Friday, August 04, 2006

Accommodation with 2 Cs and 2 Ms


I've had a busy couple of days finalising my accommodation for the Hadrian's Wall walk. The most awkward part has been the part around Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Besides a general inability to spell accommodation on their websites or to return emails or phone messages (which they happily acknowledged receiving), most of the venues who had registered themselves with various agencies as pet-friendly, turn out to be not so.

I've also been organising Bondi's accommodation for the period when I'm in Sydney. I had a choice between a (more expensive) leafy boarding kennel, and one with all the charm of a prison: concrete bunkers looking onto more concrete. The choice was fairly easy.

I remember when Bondi was quarantined for a month (with his brother Dougal) on my return to Sydney from Seattle, 3 years ago. It was heartbreaking to see all the dogs in nearby runs who were rarely, if ever visited, and who might be stuck there for up to 6months. That can happen when their owners are in another state without quarantine facilities, or who failed to make appropriate early arrangements which would have minimised the stay. These dogs have no proper exercise and no kindly human contact, and you just wanted to go and sit in each dog's cage in turn, to remind them that they hadn't been abandoned. I remember also that there was water leaking from the tap near the top of Bondi and Dougal's slightly sloping run, so they ended up lying on damp concrete all day, which was awful for their skin.

Listening to the brilliant new live recording of Brahms' Second Piano Concerto, with Marc-André Hamelin at the piano. Posted by Picasa

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