Covid Quarantine Kiwi Day 3

In which I get some chores done and a strange cat turns up.

Woke up to the sound of bagpipes being played about a block away. It sounded nice from here, but I have to wonder how his wife feels about it.

Day 3 noticeboard

Pretty pleased with today’s progress. Put some silicon above the windows in preparation for the winter rains. This required ladder perching – not my favourite sport.

Silicon gun

However, the windows are all extra super water proofed now, so it was worth being a wobble-hobbit for an hour or so.

Silicon on windows

Got some boards painted too, ready to go on the ceilings. It was a nice day, so they dried pretty quickly. Not really looking forward to putting those up. Thinking it may require wine for intestinal fortitude.

Painting boards

I checked the portal a few times, but Smudge Friday was nowhere to be found. Guess she’s wandering around in a wormhole somewhere. A bit odd, as she’s usually hanging around somewhere.

Smudge sand pile

There was a patchy white cat hanging around though. Seemed friendly enough. Funny thing though, every time I called Smudge, this one would come running. Weird.

Patchy white cat

Oh, and another thing. Look at my floor! How the heck did that happen?

White paw prints

 

Covid Quarantine Kiwi Day 2

In which I learn the art of drainage and find a mad fisherman in my garden.

Day 2 whiteboard fisherman

Cobbled together with some gravel gathered from around the place and a few spare pavers. Why is my back hurting?

Drainage pavers

Went to check on the cat portal (still functioning) and found a madman fishing in my ponds!

Fisherman 3 cat portal

Close-up – obviously deranged. Dangerous? Used zoom lens, just in case.

Mad fisherman

Whoops – sprung!

Fisherman evil look

And off he goes! Obviously intimidated by the ferocious furry beast on the table.

Fisherman fleeing 1

Where did he come from?

Fisherman fleeing 2

Where is he going?

Fisherman fleeing 3

Tomorrow’s task – plan and potentially execute trip wires plus dig a strategically-placed large hole with spikes in the bottom. (Oh yay, more digging.) Count fish stock. 

Fisherman fleeing 4

 

Covid Quarantine Kiwi Day 1 March 2020 New Zealand

In which I catch Smudge Friday blatantly using a portal to translocate from area to area – right on our property!

Day 1 Noticeboard

Day 1: While partaking my daily life-force liquid – known to most of mankind as “Coffee”, I noticed Smudge Friday acting suspiciously. You will see what I mean in this picture. Observe how she looks around, checking the way is clear.

Smudge Portal checking

It starts to look like she is preparing for some form of action.

Smudge Portal takeoff 1

Her look of intent deepens. As I watch on, unbeknown to her, as the Rolling Stones were playing in the background and she didn’t notice the camera noise, the most astonishing thing occurred right in front of me. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Smudge Portal takeoff 2

See what I mean?? Look – no cat!! This can mean only one thing – Smudge Friday is in possession of the knowledge of a nearby portal. There is no other explanation!!

Smudge Portal gone

I leapt straight into action and raced around the section, to see if I could find the portal exit. And voila!! Here she was exiting over at the sandpile, and cooly strolling away.

Smudge leaving portal

A little later, while I casually pretended to nail a sausage to a tree, I saw her with that look of intent on her face again.

Smudge activates portal other end 1

Watch, watch…

Smudge enters portal other end

And there we are! Once again, the cat is suddenly nowhere in sight.

No cat at other end

I unceremoniously strolled back over to the first portal, looking nonchalant so she didn’t catch on she was being followed, and lo and behold, there she was. Chilling out at the original portal. She then, of course, started to wash, as is a cat’s wont when wanting to look like an actual cat, but this warrants further observation on my behalf to see if I can catch her peeling off her cat suit and signalling to a UFO. If only I had the time to follow her around all day. Oh, wait…

Smudge Portal checking

Internal Narratives and Aphantasia – Who Knew??

Nothing COPY

Do you have an ‘Internal Narrative’ – an ongoing dialogue in your head? Never told anyone, ‘cos you think you’ll out yourself as a weirdo? Or do you struggle with picturing things in your ‘mind’s eye’, and can’t figure out why nary a flock of sheep has graced you with their presence when your eyelids are closed? Well hey, turns out there’s a club out there you can join! (Metaphorically speaking.) Continue reading

Pack Your Knickers and DO NOT Kill the Taxi Driver

I’m stuck in Kuala Lumpur.

My day from hell started at 5.30am this morning when I got up. I finished wrestling my luggage together, managed to toss a 7/11 coffee down my throat, then got a taxi to the airport. I waited around lots, ‘cos I always get to the airport far too early, due to my immense paranoia of missing planes, trains and automobiles. It turned out that my luggage was 10 kilos over – it appears that my luggage-weighing device thingy is a bluddy liar. I had run out of data on my Thai sim card, and the airport wifi didn’t want to talk to my phone. So I forked out some baksheesh baht for the extra luggage weight and flew to Bangkok. I was way too early again, so I schlepped around with my trolley full of bags – unable go to the toilet because I couldn’t leave the luggage unmanned. God forbid anyone steal my ukulele and hill tribe hat.  Continue reading

Crocodiles, Mud Wars and Elephant Flatulence. Return to Elephant Family Sanctuary.

phet-eating-lunch

Phet – or ‘Diamond’ in English – scoffs some lunch.

A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to return to Elephant Family Sanctuary, in the Maewang District of Chiang Mai. On this day it started raining just as we got to the camp, so things were done a little bit differently from my previous visit. Our lovely guide Cookie gave us a bit of a run down on elephants and safety around them, then we grabbed our feed bags and climbed the hill to load up on cucumbers. Once again our group was small – there were five of us – and we were joined by a likely couple of lads from London, upon who I directly lay the blame for the ensuing discussion on elephants and flatulence. You know who you are, Aziz and Shay. Continue reading

Shine On You Cuddly Diamond – Elephant Family Sanctuary. Go here!

baby-ele-walking

Baby elephant walk.

I’ve just had the privilege of playing with elephants at Elephant Family Sanctuary, in the Maewang District, about an hour and a half south of Chiang Mai. It’s run by my Thai adopted brother Chaiw, who rang me on Saturday afternoon and said he had booked me in for the next morning to go on a half-day excursion and I would be picked up earlier in the a.m. than I am generally comfortable with. So I hauled myself out of bed, foregoing my crucial morning coffee, (potentially fatal to those around me) and got myself ready for this momentous occasion. The EFS silver van duly picked me up at 7.15am and we did the rounds, via back roads and lanes, to pick up the other clientele that were in on this particular trip, Theresa and Tom from California and a young lady from Israel who I think was named Carly. We were a small group today, which I’ve found is always a good thing, as you get to ask your guide lots of questions. And I am indeed rather nosy, although I prefer the label “Curious” or “Enquiring”. There was also a driver, who didn’t speak English, and our guide was a lovely young lady called Hnong, friendly and full of smiles, with quite reasonable English.
Continue reading