In which she shows that even city dogs know what to do…
For days now on their morning walks, Ms Emmalumpdogg and her Daddy have been spying a surprising, out of place thing. And every day, Ms Emmalumpdogg has looked up hopefully at Daddy, asking, “Can we cross the road and go over there today?” Only to be told, disappointingly, “not today, big girl”.
But today, she’d decided enough.
Off they went, not long after dawn…
Yes! Finally! Daddy had, after several of Ms Emmalumpdogg’s “we shall not be moved” moments, agreed to take her to the flock. To get her closer to what she knew in her koolie/kelpie bones was her True Purpose in life! Sheep! Part of her soul! Where she was meant to be! Her own little herd of people around the house was all very well, and she loved looking after them, but she was, after all, a Working Dog.
Happy and exhausted, Daddy and Ms Emmalumpdogg trotted home for breakfast and a nap. After all, a girl has to build up her strength for more adventures!
This cold. Or flu. Or whatever it is. I’m tired of having it (and of it making me tired!) I’m sniffly and coughing and weak as a kitten, although the last day or two have been better, so I’m hoping I’m heading towards recovery.
I did cook, with lots of hand washing and appropriate hygiene, another big stew/soup in the slow cooker:
But allll that pumpkin had… well, let’s just say it’s disagreed with some of us. Oops. Luckily, there’s other stuff in the freezer, so one person can gradually eat this lot up, while the other clears up other food. And we know pumpkin is now off the menu.
I’ve missed everything this week. Haven’t called people, haven’t exercised, haven’t done any art, just slept a lot, ate a bit, read a bit, then collapsed back into bed. The highlight of the week was getting clean sheets on the bed.
I had a couple of days where I overdid it on reading the news. There’s so many conflicting numbers. “This is the only number you need to know”, says one source, trumpeting that the R-0 is dropping, thanks to most people behaving decently. And yet: “Be prepared for Level 4 social restrictions, and this is what they may look like”, and “police impose record fines for bad behaviour”…
I try to let all that go, and wait for Dr Norman Swan and ABC health reporter Tegan Taylor to tell me the fair dinkum stuff on the Coronacast Podcast (and I miss them on the weekends).
The other podcast I listen to during the week without fail I can’t find a way to link to, but here’s a screenshot of their logo. It’s an offshoot of another podcast I listen to, but this is a daily one, and is as the two hosts say, “here to provide comfort so we don’t all go bananas in this crazy time”.
They may be sweary sometimes, but they’re also honest, and compassionate, and real. (And privileged and white, sure, but still, I’m not going to hold that against them right now.) The amount of work that goes into producing a podcast is huge, and to do it daily with kids at home even if you do have access to great equipment etc is a significant commitment, plus they’re keeping up their other podcasts.
Me, I’m more…
Meanwhile, poor Mr Beloved has had to do rather a lot, apart from making sure that Ms Emmalumpdogg goes out for her walk
He’s also been the one tasked with venturing out for groceries and the dreaded chemist run. The chemist is the worst, we reckon that it’s the biggest pathogen palace around. Last night I realised I’d somehow run out of lip balm completely. Not a skerrick left. And of course, I only wear red lippy – not a viable substitute. Neither, it turns out, is hand moisturiser… yuk!
Oh, and it’s Easter Saturday as I’m writing this. It feels very odd, still, after all these years, not going to church for Easter. I miss the traditional hymns and service of the Anglican Church, although I suppose my memory of it is like an insect in amber now, and nobody even does it that way anymore. I’ll potter about the house with Easter hymns ringing through my head tomorrow, no doubt, but mostly the church left me long ago. I feel sorry for those who have true church community and are missing out this year, for who knows how long.
Well, that’s it. I’m in no way caught up, I have other posts waiting here, but my eyes tell me I have to stop.
Remember to call someone you need to talk with, cook something yummy, and wash your hands!
May have noticed that there was no blog post last night.
Are there any keen readers? Send me a comment, I’d love to hear back from you!
But you know what? Even if this is me shouting into the interwebs, I’m okay with that. Because my entire blogging life, which stretches waaaaay back to early times on Typepad and Livejournal, more than twenty years ago, has been less about who’s reading, and more about something else. I think it was Gretchen Rubin, speaking on Judith Lucy’s podcast, who said that narrative was how we made sense of our lives. This, and all my other blogs, have always been my way of turning my narrative, my stories, into memory, into reality, into history.
So here’s a little glimpse of what happened today: I walked Ms Emmalumpdogg. Mostly successfully.
I say “mostly” because a) it was a very short walk and b) usually she walks with Mr Beloved, not least because she is around half my weight (yes, she needs to lose a couple of kg) and she is VERY strong. However, she is also quite well trained, and so long as people (especially cyclists) don’t sneak up on her while she’s busy on her walk, she’s quiet. She is a Koolie/Kelpie cross, both Australian working dog breeds, and both known for being good thinkers – dogs you have to work with, not dogs you can always tell what to do, because they may decide they have a better idea – and be right.
We didn’t see anyone else, so we maintained the appropriate social distancing rules currently in force.
Since that was nowhere near enough of an outing for the doggo, we came back inside, let her have a drink, clipped her leash back on, and sent her back out with Daddy for her usual, much longer walk.
And she was very happy.
Tomorrow I’m going to take her on a short outing by myself, as having Mr Beloved next to us was causing some issues; but as you can see from the glaring white state of my legs and Ms Emmalumpdogg’s happy smile, today was good for both of us.
And now it’s time for me to ask you, imaginary reader: what have you done to put a smile on your face today?
Remember to be good to yourselves and others, (now more than ever as we enter into this lockdown phase that I’m just hearing about), call someone you miss, and wash your hands!
So for some reason, I’m tired today. I took this photo earlier in the day, showing my new computer glasses (single vision, since I wear multivision or whatever the fancy name is for most of the time, and a different pair for reading, and of course prescription sunnies… quite a collection I’ve built up over the last couple of years).
Also, since I’m expecting hairdressers to close, and I was going to grow my hair out anyway (and it’s getting a bit tight between now and next pension day), it’s time to start using scarves and bobby pins and anything else that comes to hand to manage my hair.
I over-read the news today, and there really wasn’t any. I mean, nothing that was going to make a difference to the way we are already living. We’re already self isolating, and only venturing out for essentials. We’ve already experienced the brutality and rudeness of some people at the shops. Some of my necessary medications are unavailable from the pharmacy, they say they’ll try and supply soon… (I’m hoping that for a couple of key ones we can find them somewhere, because otherwise things could get… tricky.)
So – back to the self discipline of only reading the news once, at most twice, in the day. Preferably around lunch time, when things have maybe stabilised. Any more than that is just feeding anxiety.
Meanwhile, the most excellent Miss Emmalumpdogg continues to let us know when there is a WRONG by barking at it and pointing to draw our attention. She is also a marvellous self taught therapy dog, who knows when we need extra cuddles, or a nap.
Maybe tomorrow will be more productive. Or maybe not. Right now, it’s time for podcasts and then sleep.
Be kind to yourselves and each other, try and get some exercise while you’re self isolating, and remember to wash your hands!
This wonder was spotted by Mr Beloved while he was pottering amongst the plants the other day. “Nearly as loud as a hawkmoth!” he said. After some searching, he found out that’s it’s an Australian native bee, a solitary bee with a stingless barb, known as the Teddy Bear Bee .
Apparently the Covid-19 panic buying (just STOP, people!) this weekend extended to stripping Bunning’s shelves bare of plant seedlings. Here’s my prediction about that: in two weeks time, most of those seedlings will be dead, because people have short attention spans and will go back to Netflix or Disney+ or whatever. And plants take too long for most kids, if they’re not already used to seeing the cycle of planting and waiting. Even a tomato plant takes time.
I did let the stress of everything get to me last night and today, just a bit. I probably didn’t eat enough (which is very easy for me to do, I ignored my phone alarms, and at the moment I don’t generate my own hunger signals. It’s easy to slip down into a vicious cycle of not eating, not noticing, not eating…) So tomorrow I’m back on the alarms, back on the supplementary meals. I had Vanilla Hospital Strength Sustagen with some frozen raspberries blended in for a meal this evening, and just had lactose free cheese and gluten free rice crackers as a snack.
And I read the news too often. I’ve been limiting myself to twice a day, but today I kept going back. Not helpful. Learning that South Australia would be closing its borders from 4pm on Tuesday made me surprisingly anxious. The rest of my family are there, and my first instinct was to try and get a plane ticket, at any price – but realistically, I’d be more of a hindrance than a help. And Mr Beloved and Emmalumpdogg need me here.
So, what to do?
Read more. Eat more. (Cook more). I’m grabbing a few new art materials to replace things that have dried up or run out, and doing things with those. Write more. Maybe if I’m strong enough if I can even help walk Emmalumpdogg more.