Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hakuna matata doesn’t mean no mopping

I’ve got a big week ahead – our friend Ben arrives from the UK tomorrow for a short stay while concertising in Sydney, Gustav returns from a month in Sweden a few days later, and I start my first five day week of a new job that I’m very excited about.

Taking those in reverse order : I started working at the University of NSW two weeks ago, with a gentle introductory period due to a number of public holidays, so I began with a four day week and followed it with a three day week.  Gustav being away at this time was actually a small help in that I was able to practise my new commuting schedule without getting in his way. I’m really happy with the new environment – it’s exactly the sort of position I’ve been seeking since returning to Oz - and my new colleagues have been uniformly helpful and welcoming. There are even Moomin fans amongst them!

Ben was here exactly a year ago, but didn’t stay with us as we hadn’t moved back into the house at that time – not to mention that we had a further two month wait for our furniture to arrive! This time he gets proper hospitality as in France, albeit without the tractors and chickens. I had the piano tuned earlier in the year so that his ears wouldn’t be offended by it being at least a full tone out of key.

I spent a good number of hours today vacuuming and mopping the house – Munson’s normal month-long moult has turned into a multi-month marathon this year while his metabolism wakes up to the fact that it’s back in the southern hemisphere again.

With the floors drying, and a slow cooked pork shoulder sinking into a bed of fennel in the oven, I whisked Munson off to a Sydney Park for a final weekend frolic. Well…

It’s been wet today, possibly the first day that Sydney’s autumn has actually felt autumnal. Munson descended from one of the park’s hills into the central play area to play with a new mate, ten month old Louie. So far so good, they played very well and very energetically together … and then they discovered the tasty muddy puddles…

Munson and Louie  Munson and Louie
Within fifteen minutes about ten more dogs arrived, and they all raced around and around together. I was ecstatic because this has been the most energetic that Munson has been in the six-plus months since his surgery. While the spirit has been willing, the removal of so much flesh from that leg has not been good for his stamina and has reduced his appetite for vigorous play. Today’s enthusiastic romp gave me confidence that he’s continuing to mend.

hakuna matata

Of course there’s swings and roundabouts to this. On the very day I get the house cleaner than it has been for months. Munson discovers his inner warthog, or more accurately, his outer warthog.
DSCN0011  DSCN0010
I’ll deal with the dirty dog in an hour or so, but for now look at that grin and look at him go!


Sunday, April 20, 2014


completed tattoo in Ringerike style  outlining done

It’s been a few years since my last tattoo, honouring Bondi. This time around Munson and his love of the water have inspired a different piece, in the late Viking Ringerike style. Tail and marine foam are as one in this rendering, which captures the special detail of Munson’s tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth.

As with the Bondi tattoo, design was by Bernice Gordon, and this time inked by Dean at King Street Tattoo in Newtown in under two hours. I think it would also lend itself to a fine metal version, as per the original artisans. I’m very very pleased with the result.

If you are wondering how Ringerike (named for a place in Norway) is pronounced: try the Forvo site. Or simply say rin-ger-eek-a.