Covid Quarantine Day 4

The bagpiper is silent. WHY is he silent??

Got lots done today. Cleaned out a garden shed, painted some more boards and stuffed some insulation into a very difficult place. How on earth did I ever find the time to work??

20200329_171846

Why???

Jandal

Potential table legs?

Crutches

Look and weep. What organisation, aye? Corrrrr!!!

Organised shed

Okay, so, I’m gonna need a little fortification before I tackle this next shed…

Messy shed

Insulation that I found in the now-impressively tidy shed. This is what got stuffed into the difficult place.

Insulation

I then ended up talking to my tree-triffids. Why?

Tree triffids

Because when I went to see Smudge Friday for a chat…

Smudge don't care

She told me she’s a cat an’ she don’t care.

Smudge don't care 1

Covid Quarantine 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 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

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.
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Tattoos, Dodgy Jungle Bridges, Bruce the Beetle and the Rat with no Name

When I turned 50, I was awarded ‘Awesomeness Points’ by my daughter for getting my first tattoo in a bamboo hut, down a dirt track, in the jungle of Chiang Mai, North Thailand, surrounded by elephants. Rather a proud moment really, earning said points. Then, a few days ago and three years on, I repeated that journey, from New Zealand to Bangkok to Chiang Mai to an hour north of Chiang Mai then through the elephant park to see Jodi Thomas, artist and elephant activist extraordinaire in her new bamboo hut down another track, still surrounded by elephants, and requested some further tattooing. As you do.

the-rickity-bridge

The rickety bridge. Step carefully on the centre planks…

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Blow Your Friends Away with Some Cool Art and Help Spread Elephant Awareness While You’re At It!

Jodi Kabu pic

Kabu – an elephant with intestinal fortitude!!!

I have just had the pleasure of Jodi Thomas ‘s wonderfully kind and fun hospitality over the last couple of days at the elephant park where she has lived and contributed greatly to the well-being of rescued elephants for around 15 years, situated in the jungle Chiang Mai, North Thailand.

Jodi is a painter, mixed media artist and tattooist, and supports both herself and her son through these mediums. Above is a photo of a print that I have just bought from her. As I’m still traveling for a little while yet, it is still in its plastic and won’t be mounted until I get back home to New Zealand in a few weeks. But it’s just so beautiful that I have hung it up on my guesthouse room as I can’t wait until I get home to be able to gaze at it.

Jodi painted this picture of Kabu, who has a very damaged front leg. But Kabu refuses to be pitied and manages life just fine, thank you very much. This picture is a loving tribute to Kabu’s resilient spirit and downright gutsy attitude.

Here is Kabu’s story:

“Kabu was born around 1990. She arrived to ENP very late on September 22nd 2015. Her mother was a logging elephant. She had to go with her mom while she pushed and pulled logs. At two years old, a log rolled out of control and struck Kabu, breaking her front left wrist. It healed badly and left her very handicapped. Despite this, when she was old enough, she was also put to work in logging doing light labour. She was also subjected to forced breeding. Kabu had two babies, neither of which she was allowed to keep for very long. One was a bull, who died soon after his spirit was broken. The other a female who was sold into the elephant show industry.

Since Kabu had to over use her right front leg to carry her weight, it has also grown very deformed. To gaze upon her, fills you with pity… until you see her move. She gets along quite well. She has lived with this handicap for her entire life. She has dignity. She does not let her injury hold her back… She does not feel sorry for herself. Do not feel sorry for her. She is a survivor!”

Please visit Jodi’s Zazzle page to see some of the products you can buy, printed with Jodi’s awesome and vibrant art, many of which feature elephants Jodi has known, lived with and cared for. Please aid Jodi to not only create a wage to live on but also an awareness of elephants and their plight at the hands of humans and their cruelty and greed.

Grab yourself an awesome piece of art and help spread awareness of both domestic and wild elephants who need all the help they can get. And you can also help Jodi and the elephants by sharing this post far and wide to spread some good loving awareness around. Humans are responsible for the misery that the majority of elephants suffer today, and that way too many have in the past – let’s rip into reversing that situation.

Visit Jodi’s site here:

Jodi’s Zazzle Page

Thank you for caring. Every little bit we do will help add up to positive change.

Better Jodi's Kabu pic

This version of the Kabu picture shows up the colours better.

Jodi Foot Ele Foot

Jodi’s foot beside an elephant’s footprint.