Monthly Archives: November 2015

You’re never too old to learn new tricks

Those of you who know me know that I’m currently studying online with Open Colleges Australia for a Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing. I was meant to start Work Placement at a vet clinic, as part of the requurements of the course…after applying to over a dozen places, I thought I’d secured a place. I even helped out at that clinic twice, and had completed all the paperwork and sent them to Open Colleges to formalise between themselves. And then it all fell through. The vet clinic decided it didn’t have enough business to justify taking on another Work Placement student…even though this was essentially Free labour we’re talking about. Did I mention Free? Yes, Free labour.

And so, now that I’ve exhausted all avenues trying to get a Work Placement, in a field that’s over saturated already with students clamouring for places, I’ve got Open Colleges trying to assist me. But so far, apart from ringing up the vets I’d already contacted, and confirming what I’d already said were the results, there’s been no further movement.

I’m a bit miffed, to be sure, about having to keep paying for this course, for doing nothing. Yup, I’m paying $79 by direct debit every week, for twiddling my thumbs. They won’t even release the academic reading material to me while waiting to sort out my Work Placement.

So…what should I do while waiting indefinitely for something to happen? I know! I’ll find another course to do. I could even finish this other course before Open Colleges secure me a work placement. Or, if by some miracle they DO find me a work placement, I could do both courses concurrently.

I did some research online and, after discounting some courses that only offered a certificate but seemed to me to be just money-spinners, on account of the same course being offered by several different providers at wildly diverse prices, ranging from AU$400 through to AU$850, I stumbled upon the ISCP.

The ISCP stands for The International School of Canine Psychology and Behaviour. It was established several years ago by a very lovely lady named Lisa Tenzin-Dolma. There are several courses offered by the ISCP, the highest being a Diploma in Canine Psychology. Graduates can style themselves as Dog Behaviourists and carry the title ”   ” after their names. Do check out the ISCP’s courses, if you are interested. The Diploma is recognised globally, by the way.

So, that’s the score for now. I’ve just begun reading Lisa’s coursebook, which has written assignments. In my next few posts I’ll share with you parts of my first written assignment. Essentially, it’s semi-autobiographical, concentrating on my experience with dogs I have had in the past, and their impact on my relationship with them now.

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Dawn Chorus

I’m really tired during the Summer months, here in Western Australia. I blame the birds, yes I do. One bird in particular. I’ve never seen it, but I hear it alright. Oh, do I hear it!!

It must have its roost or nest up in the big tree just outside our front wall. When Summer swings round, this bloody thing starts its infernal singing earlier and earlier, beating even the Sun’s arrival. Yes, it sings and sings and sings…from about 0345 in the morning.

When my ex and I were still sharing our bed (we’re talking more than 2 years ago now), I used to have ear plugs in every single night, if I wanted to get any sleep. More often than not, his snoring would penetrate through my ear plugs. Heck, it even penetrated through a pillow held over my ears AND my earplugs. I was resigned to wearing ear plugs at night for the rest of my life…then his infidelity and the aftermath of my many other discoveries and confrontations led to him moving into his music studio, and I was able to reclaim my freedom, personal space and restful nights of sleep.

I’m so used to not needing ear plugs these days. And now this. Bloody bird!! To add insult to injury, this pest will sing and sing, and slowly but surely, other birds will add to it, and pretty soon there’s a raucous Question & Answer session going on, like a heated debate in the Houses of Parliament.

But damned if I’m going to go back to wearing ear plugs!!

It all stops and goes quiet suddenly at 0500. Right smart, like a military drill. I guess by that time the whole neighbourhood has been woken up, and the birds, feeling like a good job done, fly off for the day.

Yay, you think. I can go back to sleep now. Not so…because at 0530 I’ve to be up anyway, to open and close the gate when the ex leaves to go to work. Yes, he’s back living under the same roof as me, but pretty much doing his own thing. His work away from home has dried up, so now he’s working locally and coming home every evening. Until he gets another job that takes him away for weeks at a time, hopefully in the new year.

Then there’s the palaver of waking The Kid up and making sure he doesn’t take forever to get ready for school. He’s the only person I know who can change into a pair of shorts and a shirt, and put on socks and shoes in 30. Minutes, not seconds. I don’t know why it takes him so long…in that time I’ve already fed the cat, the hens, Japanese quail, budgies, weiros, Koi fish, tropical fish and the 2 dogs.

So yeah, these days I feel like a mother with a newborn baby. When I’m tired and hankering after an afternoon nap, who should arrive at the gate but the ex or The Kid, home from school. If The Kid has homework or revision to do, I’m obliged to help him, of course. If I try for a nap after that, the dog and her internal clock starts nagging me to go swimming. Then there’s the whole dinner scenario, followed by some TV, reading then bed…generally by 2200. I hope for a good night’s sleep, to fully recharge my batteries.

But the only battery that gets fully recharged is the one in my mobile phone.

Dawn chorus: Hello, is it me you’re looking for? 🎶🎶🎶😄

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(I found this on Pinterest while searching for a suitable picture or quote to accompany this post. It’s Swedish).

Freebies! Inspirational Quotes Digital Art by AlyZen Moonshadow

These were going to be a deck of inspirational cards that I meant to have printed out and sold via my eBay and Etsy stores. But, as it often happens, other projects and ideas overtook it, and so the project got shelved.

However, if you like, you may print these out on your own printers and use them as bookmarks, or laminate them and use them as your own personal Inspirational cards. Just please don’t pass them off as your own, or sell them, thank you.

What I might do with these is pass them to my Licensing agent to put them on homewares such as duvet covers, cushions, rugs, placemats etc. Also as canvas prints and framed prints, perhaps.

Enjoy!

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What are we scared of?

Why are people scared to tell someone that they love them? I believe it’s because they are afraid of the other person’s response. Of course, if the object of their affection immediately returns the sentiment, then it’s one of the happiest moment of their lives.

On the other hand, if there’s an awkward pause, or, even worse still, a negative response, then their whole world comes tumbling down. The close friendship they may have enjoyed previously, is now in jeopardy…all because one party decided to up the ante and take the relationship to a different level.

It’s that same type of awkwardness that strikes people who go on internet blind dates. Sure, online you get on like a house on fire. You’re both open and friendly, the banter flows smoothly, you laugh at each other’s jokes, you wonder if you’ve finally met your soulmate. So you push the envelope further out and wonder aloud if you should meet. Seeing as how you get on so well and all…

And then…the encounter in the flesh doesn’t go as well as you envisioned. Something’s not quite right, but you can’t place your finger on it. The spark’s not there. Face to face, there’s no chemistry between you, whereas online you were both smokin’.

And then comes the crunch. Exactly how does one disengage from an internet blind date, after a disastrous first date in person?

You can’t very well say “See you online” or “Catch you online later”, what would you even say to each other when next you meet in cyberspace? “Thanks for meeting me, but I think we’re better off as internet friends?” Awkward!!

It’s likewise with real life relationships that are looking to take it up a notch. How do you even go back to “the way things were”, with the spectre of one party having been rebuffed by the other looming large over the relationship? Perhaps for some this is entirely possible. But I reckon for many, it’s again that word – awkward.

Do you dare speak of love? You’re damned if you do, and you’re dammed if you don’t. If you do, you run the risk of being rejected and losing perhaps the love of your life. If you don’t you run the risk of a braver soul beating you to the grand prize. There’s even a word for that, I just found out…”Thantophobia”, or fear of losing someone you love. But the argument could be made that you never had that person before you went and opened that big mouth of yours, so how can you lose someone who was never yours to begin with?

What a conundrum! Perhaps this is why Romance is such a popular genre amongst those of us that still know how to read. The whole idea of Love Unrequited/Love Undeclared/Love Thwarted has been a recurring theme throughout the centuries. And even today, many of us are still terrified of the idea of declaring our love for someone.

Here are some of my favourite quotes about this subject. I’ve curated these from Google Images, please do respect the rights of the original copyright holders.

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The Problem With Watching And Waiting

He liked her. A lot.
He decided that
He would tell her that
Once he got up the courage to do so
But, for now, he was happy to watch
And wait
And be just friends
Even best friends, perhaps…
After all, he didn’t want his heart
Broken again.

And so, he watched
And waited
And was her best friend
Her confidante
Her buddy
They did everything together
They were inseparable
He let her tell him everything
And he told her everything too
…apart from how he felt about her.

He wanted to tell her so badly
There were times he nearly did
But he was afraid of being rejected
He knew if that line was crossed
There was no going back
It would ruin their perfect friendship
It would be awkward
To say the least
And so he kept quiet, watched
And waited.

And that was how he lost her
He watched as a stranger appeared
And became her friend
This person did and said everything
That he was too afraid to
This person was dauntless
He watched her being swept away
Off her feet by this stranger
Who clearly wasn’t about to watch
Or wait for anyone

He watched his hopes and dreams
Crumble and lay at his feet
He waited to hear the sound of
His heart breaking in two
He watched as two souls
Gave voice, unafraid
And found each other
He let her tell him everything
And he told her everything too
…apart from how he felt about her.

Because now it was too late…
Too late to watch and wait.

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AlyZen Moonshadow

From Out Of The Ashes…

Once upon a time, alright then, back in 2010 when I first arrived in Perth, Western Australia, I discovered to my great delight that there was a Borders bookshop in the city, on Hay Street.

Sadly, scarcely a few months later, Borders shut up shop and disappeared. The company went bust, taking with it all its outlets all over the world. It was a sad day indeed for booklovers who relished the idea of being able to pore over pristine pages and enjoy the feel of paper between their thumb and fingers, before taking those precious books home. Previewing a book digitally on a mobile gadget just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Last week, I had to post some items at the Post Office in the city. And I decided to walk through the very quaint “London Court” walk through shopping mall through to Hay Street, where I intended to grab some lunch before heading home. London Court is worthy of a blog entry in its own right, but that will have to wait another day.

Imagine my surprise when what should I spy in the space previously occupied by Borders the bookstore, but another American import.

Pottery Barn.

Pottery Barn! Right here in Perth, Western Australia? No, it can’t be, surely?

Yes, Pottery Barn. Plus, Pottery Barn Kids. And also their more contemporary, edgier, small-space- living style little sister, West Elm.

So, what’s a girl to do but to go find out what all the fuss is about. Here are some photos to show you. Enjoy!

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Quotes about Inclusion

Following on from my post yesterday on the subject of Inclusion, I found so many inspirational quotes on that subject that I just have to share them with you.

Inclusion is a very positive thing, the antithesis of a “Me versus You” mentality. It puts us in the shoes of the other person, and makes us see the way things are out of someone else’s eyes. We would do well to not assume that everyone experiences things the same way we do – how can they possibly? Or that everyone feels/believes/knows/does things identically to us. Quite the opposite! Inclusion means we step out of our egos and take into account someone else’s reality, and try to understand them, as they try to understand us. By exchanging information about ourselves, experiencing each other’s culture and traditions, trying foods from different countries around the world, learning about each other’s religions without prejudice, we learn more about our own humanity.

The concept of Inclusion should be taught to all children from a very young age, to teachers, to staff at work training workshops, to managers, to employers. It should go hand in hand with the idea of embracing Diversity. Diversity in the kindergarten, in schools, in the workplace, in Sports, everywhere where people gather, even and especially in houses of worship. Instead of being afraid of our differences, why not embrace and celebrate them together? Life IS good if you make it so!

Anyway, here are some quotes on Inclusion that I found on my perambulations on Google Images.

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Teach Them While They’re Young

The Kid was recently asked by his Form Teacher to represent his Year in a welcoming session for the Year 6s, who would be transitioning to Year 7 early next year. For those of you not familiar with the Australian educational system, up until 2014 children studied 7 years of primary school, followed by 5 years of secondary school.

In 2015 this changed. Year 7s were no longer considered Primary School students, but Secondary School students. This meant that they were no longer the oldest in their school, but the babies.

The Kid’s school, Peter Carnley Anglican Community School, has both Primary and Secondary departments. For Year 6 students already at the school, the transition into Year 7 would hardly cause a ripple, meaning simply a change of venue for classrooms and having a new set of teachers. But for Year 6s coming into the school from outside, the changes would be many indeed.

To help The Kid prepare for his Q&A session with the Year 6s, I asked him what he had found most difficult about his own transition. He replied “The bullying from those already in the school, they all know each other and don’t welcome outsiders”. Having come from a Primary School outside the catchment area, this was to be expected, I suppose. But I know he really suffered at the hands of several class bullies, to whom ticking offs and detentions seemed to mean nothing.

I suggested that, instead of speaking about Bullying, he emphasised the importance of Inclusion. How about if he encouraged the in-house Year 6s to include newcomers from outside in their conversations, play, discussions and to welcome them into their circle of friends. How about they got to know the new students, especially the ones not just from outside the school, but those from different countries, races, cultures and religions. Knowledge of new customs, food, festivals etc can only enrich their minds and widen their horizons.

After all, if everyone learns from a young age to get along with others, regardless of their differences, then when they grow up, surely co-operation and peace will prevail, rather then competition and war? Or perhaps I’m being too optimistic? Surely, with this screwed up world going from bad to worse, and with racial and religious tensions growing by the day, we could start Change at the beginning, with our young when they’re at their most malleable and impressionable, before the rot sets in? If the parents are too set in their ways, too busy, or ignorant or averse to changing their own mental attitudes, surely good moral values, ethical thinking and common decency can be taught, encouraged and inculcated in schools? Or don’t the teachers care either, that their students are turning into automatons without manners, conscience or a sense of responsibility for their own future?

I’m reminded of a concept I first came across when reading George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series – that of a custom where the defeated party’s child or children are sent to live with the victor’s family as “hostages”, to be raised as one of their own children. This custom may well have been common in real life Medieval times, (forgive me but I never studied European History in school while growing up in Malaysia, I can tell you all about Malaysian history, but not much about European history). My point, from a chess player’s view is: if your children have been “adopted” by your enemy and raised, not as a prisoner but as part of his family, then would you not think twice before considering another attack on his stronghold? Maybe it’s not Peace on a voluntary basis, but rather a forced Peace…but over the course of several generations of this practice, one would like to think the barbaric, violent tendencies in Men would have been extinguished? And replaced instead by the union of two or more families, leading to a united front?

And, from the viewpoint of the “hostages”, they have received a good upbringing, education and yes, love, from their father’s enemy, they have played and grown up alongside the enemy’s children, they will probably marry into that family and inherit the land…so why would they wish to disrupt that perfect scenario?

I suppose what I’m trying to say is: in order to change the way things are, we have to start with ourselves. We have to Be The Change We Want To See. Recent world events have brought this point home very clearly to me – we fear that which we do not know, and that leads to us wanting to destroy it, so we can feel safe again. It works both ways.

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Dogs’ Refuge Home Open 2015

Today the 22nd of November 2015, the Dogs’ Refuge Home hosted its annual Open Day, a fun day out for all the family and their furry four-legged friends.

The Kid and I had originally intended to get there by train and on foot, as the Sunday bus service was infrequent to the Refuge Home. At the last minute, though, I decided to do what I’d never dreamed I would do…I decided to drive the 48km there.

My little car, Missy Meep, must be charmed. Either that, or my driving isn’t half as bad as I thought. We got there just before 11am. The festivities had only started an hour before, and already there were lots of people there.

I got so excited seeing my favourite dog, Django, and with him giving me his usual exuberant welcome of hugs and slobbery kisses, that I plum forgot to take photos of the Home open event until much later.

Anyway, here are a few photos, to give you an idea of the festivities on this very hot day. I pity the poor people who had volunteered to sit “In The Dog House” to raise money for charity, it was really a very hot day, with temperatures in the mid to high 30s.

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I did shoot a couple of videos as a virtual tour of the Dogs’ Refuge Home, but I can’t figure out how to download them to WordPress without first having to upload them to my YouTube channel. This I will do when I get home tonight, but right now I’m writing and posting this off the hoof.

While we were there, it was announced that one of our long-term residents, Tango, had just been adopted. He’d gone into foster care a couple of weeks ago, and today Clemence, his foster Mum, had decided she wanted to formally adopt him. Her little 4-year old boy, Luca, was beside himself with excitement.

And so it was a happy day for Tango and his new family. Clemence decided she wanted to give Tango a bath at the City Farmer’s hydrobath stand, so Pilot, a fellow volunteer and I accompanied him there. When the nice City Farmers folks at the hydrobaths heard that Tango had just been adopted and was going home, they very generously waived their fee.

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Good luck, and Bon Voyage, Tango! ❤

Everything in Black and White

Notice I didn’t say “Everything IS Black and White”, because nothing really is. There are always Shades of Grey, and I’m not talking just 50 either.

Anyhow, today I just want to share with you some inspirational quotes that ARE in Black and White. By this I mean they’ve been illustrated/painted/designed/typed/etc by the artist/photographer/designer/etc to be black on white, or white on black. There’s something simple, yet profound about keeping things minimal yet making a big statement.

The following images have been taken from Google. If you want to find out who the original creators are, you’ll need to do a reverse Google image search. All copyright remain with the original creators, of course.

This post is also an experiment. WordPress has this relatively new feature that makes uploading images from a mobile device much faster than previously possible. It’s called the “Multi Select with the New Picker”, and lets one select multiple images at the same time, rather than the painfully slow process one had to go through previously, of uploading images one at a time. The Multipicker, as I call it, certainly does what it says on the tin.

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