Ah, The Start Of A New Week..

Cheese Hound Report

Titch is still ok – just ok though and not overly great yet. We will be keeping an eye on her for a while yet, but her illness may have turned out to be a really serious infection. And not something fatal. Yay!

The other little bugger Polly – has a death wish. She was followed home yesterday by a counsel worker who informed Mr T that Polly had been in the middle of the main road eating a dead rabbit. So it is back to being tied up again, whenever we have the outside door open. I had thought we might be able to start trusting her. HA!!

Other Stuff

Today could have been better if I wasn’t on day two of my hangover. Not that I seriously over indulged, but obviously indulged enough. It’s a bastard really, especially when my friend Sue can drink like a fish and be perfectly fine the next day. Many’s the morning when I’ve staggered out of my noisome pit (which is what any bed turns into when one has a real steamer going) and found her fresh as a daisy. It’s enough to make one spit dontcha know.

My hangover did not have anything to do with the home made cider by the way. Although it turned out to be yummy,  the alcohol level was certainly not anything near 10% yet. Will have to be patient and wait a while for that. In the meantime we will be brewing some more.

You can find the recipe for Speedy Cider here –


Tip – After you have added the sugar and lemon, wait until you can no longer hear the mixture bubbling, at least a couple of days – we left it four. This is because when bottled it is very gassy and has a possibility of exploding. Ours has been stored out in the garage, just in case.

Saturday turned out to be a great for a brazier night. The gale force winds had dropped and we had a gorgeous day and evening, with a half moon riding high.  Ten of us sat around the fire and put the world to rights. Later in the evening I snaggled a bean bag armchair which turned out to be the perfect chair to sit by a brazier in, it kept my back and bum warm and was just the right height.

Topics discussed included

  • Tom Cruise and Peter Jackson spotted in Masterton (our biggest town), P.J. lives near here.
  • Scientology – the madness of it all
  • Pollution of our local rivers. (Oh yes, the myth of the clean green N.Z.)
  • Who is going to the Organic River Festival in Feb 2010 – me, hopefully!

Organic River Festival

I loved the Organic River Festival this year. After a rough start, in which, after telling every one I had NEARLY forgotten our tickets, Mr T and I arrived at the gates of the Festival (held in Levin, approx two hours away from our town) , to discover I HAD left them at home. The mocking was fairly merciless. Much fussing and fuming and negotiating with the official and we finally got in.   The lack of sleep on the first night camping just about put the kibosh on it for me as well, but I got over it, it’s amazing what six million coffees, a cooked breakfast and and the cheer of good friends can do.

I think the laid back, relaxed feel of the festival is the best aspect of it. It’s a very small gathering as festivals go and that helps – no hideously long queues for anything. Lots of like minded greenies gathered together, and the people watching is superb, with heaps of hippys and other alternative folk to peer at.

I also really love the food, great Hari Krishna vegetarian nosh as well as all the normal stuff with and organic bent. And the plum wine was superb.

On the last night the rain forced the organisers to close the main stage, so a few bands played in the large cook tent. Intimate that’s for sure, absolutely brilliant – I heard the best version of ‘Play That Funky Music’, possibly better than Wild Cherry’s original. Even more tickled when the band dedicated the song to the oldies amongst us, and I think they may have been including me.

Saturday night - early on
Saturday night - early on
Mike and Sue at WOMAD festival
Mike and Sue at WOMAD festival

I put this photo in because I missed out a picture of Mike in my last post – aren’t they a cool Aunty and Uncle to have?

a ‘make soup’ kind of day..

I actually felt better after making soup today – amazing. It had been a rather gloomy morning, unwell hound and another pissy little problem that has been niggling away at me for awhile now, contributing.

Titch was a bit perkier, maybe because of the antibiotic jab she had yesterday. The vet did not ring till 3pm with the test results, I was starting to wish that he wouldn’t. His good news was that her liver and kidneys are ok. Unfortunately that means that there is a good possibility that she has cancer. He has given her some more antibiotics, but I have to ring him on Friday to report her condition.

The vets name is Richard – and he’s a really good bloke. Actually seems to REALLY care,  as opposed to really care, if you know what I mean.

So – although I feel like I’ve done feck all today, I have done pretty well under the circumstances, witness –

  • baked two loaves of bread
  • made an orange cake
  • cooked huge pot of veg soup
  • made three necklaces
  • spoke to many and varied people on the phone, mainly re ill cheese hound

The cheese hound herself has kept me company while I made the necklaces, and is still wanting to get up on the window seat but needs a boost. We will miss her very much if she has to go. I am still hoping that she just ate some thing dastardly at the beach and the antibiotics will kill whatever it is and she will get better.

Obviously wasn’t quite all here today though as I managed to cook the orange cake without sugar.  I didn’t notice – even when I licked the spatula clean after pouring it into the pan, probably because the orange was so sweet.  Still is edible though – of course, LOL.

Here are a couple of the arty photos I took at the beach the other day..

Picture 122

Picture 132

Picture 158

On A Frosty Morning..

The Cheese Hounds have different ways of dealing with a morning that is beautifully sunny but sparkling with frost. Titch assumes her favourite position on the window seat, muzzle on the sill, and has a wee snooze.. While Polly the Wild Child, prefers to air her parts on the sofa, in the sun.

I Could Hear Her Snoring
I Could Hear Her Snoring
Picture 014
In Preparation For A Hard Days Laying Around

A Word About the Cheese Hounds

The Cheese Hounds are a couple of mutts we liberated from the R.S.P.C.A. We had been living in the UK for a year and had just bought our first house – and what is a home without a furred/feathered creature to further filthy the house? Damn right! So, it was off to the rescue centre to find the pooch of our dreams.

Now – I don’t frequent animal shelters a lot, can’t even volunteer at one because I would spend most of my time weeping indiscriminately over the inhabitants and my home would be overrun by every creature who I thought looked sad (I know already, I am pathetic). So armed with this knowledge, gentle reader, you won’t be horribly surprised to find, that we came home with two dogs instead of the single one stipulated in husbands contract.

I did try, I really did. But after wondering around all the cages, with Mr T (anxious husband)  in tow who keeps repeating the check list to keep me on track – i.e. small dog, not barkie, not angry, not a Jack Russel (like my Mother’s demon dog, but that’s another story) I got to the last cage.  And there she was.. crunched up in the corner at the front of the cage, a tiny, bony, black and white collie x. We-eking and whining as I talked to her, she stood up at the wire trying to lick my fingers – and by the time Mr T had got to us I was done for, I had finally met a dog as pathetic as me. “I WANT THIS ONE!” echoed across the Welsh Valleys.

Unfortunately there wasn’t just one of her. Occasionally being of a more practical bent than myself, Mr T took the trouble to read the card posted on the cage wall and discovered that my beloved had a sister who would have to be adopted with her as they had come from the same home. This was a problem – but not one that I was unequal to. Firstly some fast talking was required – two dogs could be better that one couldn’t they? Especially as we both worked, and they would be company for each other? We could afford to adopt two dogs and had a garden and house big enough. And look how full the shelter was – didn’t we owe it to society to take on two if we could? Oh yeah, I can lay it on thick when required..

On the way back to the Shelter office to find out where the sister was housed,  we passed a separate group of cages with some large barkie dogs in them, one of them, a fat, black and white, bulgy eyed fur bag, stood on top of her kennel enthusiastically joining in the Who Can Bark The Loudest competition. “Please don’t let it be her” I thought.  And of course it was.

Needless to say Mister T and I have become proud companions of the two best Cheese Hounds in the entire Universe (in my opinion) and any fears as to the nature of Polly’s larger sister were unfounded. In fact she has turned out to be the least troublesome of the two, preferring to hang out at home, relaxing and playing with her balls.  Her sister, the diminutive Poll prefers to hurl herself over six foot walls (usually successfully) in an effort to get hit by cars and have her human companions fined for her exploration of  neighbourhood garbage bags.

Whatever their differences in character they have one important thing in common – a huge and total love of cheese. This fact has been imprinted on our memories after one brazier night when an entire Kikorangi Blue cheese, expensive and beautifully smelly, was snaffled by a canine burgler who, when taken to task,  looked upon us calmly .. and belched

Titch - The evening of the missing cheese