Monday, September 17, 2007

Cast a long shadow

Just after I took the above photo, we passed a guy in a motorized wheelchair, his upper body affected by some palsy. His eyes flashed an immediate interest in Bondi, so I brought him around to say hello. It's almost always the case that the wheelchair-bound and the elderly show an unqualified interest in having the beast close to them, and Bondi almost always reciprocates the affection. This chap, speaking clearly but hesitantly, asked for Bondi to be brought around to his other side, where I suspect that he had better motor control to embrace Bondi. He seemed so desperately needy for affection, and each new question was really about whether Bondi was going to be in the area and for how long and would he be coming back to this park. It was really tough to have to take Bondi away and for nearly an hour afterwards I was riding on the edge of tears.

Two more weeks to go in Edinburgh. Three months left in the UK, and then we're on our respective flights back to Sydney.

I think I have some accommodation in London sorted for the last 6-8 weeks, so the big tasks left are to nail down Bondi's transport and also the details for shipping car & excess baggage. I'm still shuddering at the cost Bondi's flight, which will be about double the combined costs for myself and the car/baggage! I have two different pet transport services giving quotes. One doesn't offer true full service of picking Bondi up for his final shots and taking him to the airport (which is a major hassle) and the other does offer that, but didn't exactly instill confidence when they quoted on a travelling cage, none of whose linear dimensions were big enough to fit Bondi's measured needs.

I've been waiting 6 weeks for two certificates, one from the UK GRO, and the other from the NSW. The former is about a possible lead for a near Williams relation, and the NSW document is for the marriage of convict ancestors on my mother's side. While both documents were despatched weeks ago to my current address, neither have shown up. I think this is a partly a function of recent postal strikes, and also of some sloppy delivery here (I routinely find dropped letters in our stairwell, either for this building or others up the street). If they've been misdelivered, chances are they haven't been returned to the post for a second chance.

I contacted both agencies by email on the same day. While the GRO has a 4-day turnaround for certificate despatch, it has a 5-day turnaround for enquiries, so all in all about 2 weeks to get a re-post vs half that if I simply paid £7 and re-ordered from scratch. It still hasn't turned up, but the Australian document arrived (well, a neighbour found it tucked behind a pipe in the stairwell) a few days ago. Unfortunately it doesn't supply any promising new leads such as names of parents. So, fingers crossed that the GRO document unlocks a few doors....

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