|I’m reporting in a little earlier this week, which is near the end of Munson’s third week of incarceration, and the start of our fifth. As Australia has a public holiday this Thursday, I had to schedule an earlier exercise appointment for the big muffin, which surely could not have been more welcome. His legs were spinning in the air like wheels in his hurry to get out on to some grass. |
Half an hour is not much time for sniffing grass, racing in circles (sometimes brandishing a strip of rawhide to show off to the dogs two pens away) and finally getting cuddles and scratches from me and from Gustav. However, even though it’s autumn here, the temperature most days is about 24C and the exercise pen only has a tiny bit of shade from a tree on the fence line. Today’s appointment was an hour closer to noon, so that shade has all but disappeared, leaving the muffin half-cooked by the end of the session.
The week hasn’t been all sunshine – on Saturday we woke to a day of heavy Sydney rain, the like of which I haven’t seen … well since the last time I was in Sydney. This was also to be the day we showed my English friend Ben (a frequent visitor to the farm in France) around Sydney for the first time. He’s here with his partner Leah, a Brisbanite with no Sydney experience.
We took them out for a big Aussie breakfast at Martini cafe in Newtown, which was super busy on a Saturday morning, and so we sat under umbrellas in the back courtyard with rain sloshing off them like waterfalls. In the few hours available, I showed them Bondi Beach ( a tumult of pounding waves) and other highlights of central to eastern Sydney. I dropped them off near the Opera House in the afternoon where they had a ninety minute meeting, during which time the rain stopped and the sun came out. As soon as they emerged, the rain restarted.
I went out with Ben & Leah for dinner and a stand-up comedy show at Laughs Garage, possibly the first time I’ve done that in Australia. The three support acts were of variable quality, but the feature comedian Peter Berner had a very funny and well-crafted act.
The next day was Leah’s birthday, which we celebrated with a few hours of drinks at the East Village Hotel. Gustav is still trying to find a mainstream Aussie beer that he likes. I’m clueless about beers – drinking cider if I have that option – so of absolutely no use in steering him in the right direction.
We stayed overnight at my uncle Llyn and aunt Lana’s place midway up the northern side of Sydney’s coastal band, enjoying both her cooking and his collection of obscure liqueurs. This was Gustav’s first crossing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge so I took him on a ragged tour of the lower north shore and some beach suburbs as far north as Bayview.
That brings us up to today’s visit with Munson. After we’d finished there, I called my real estate agent to find out if my house keys would be available today or tomorrow. I was told that they’d given the tenants an extra six days (bringing them up to the last day of April) but it had not occurred to them to inform me as owner and returning tenant. Soooo we have an extra few days of couch-surfing. Since Friday we’ve been staying in Erskineville, house-sitting for a cousin in Thailand, but we’ll be returning to the Newtown house with Sceolaun the malamute on Friday for one last weekend. Fingers crossed.