Thursday, 27 June 2013

Boutique Browsing

'Twas a nose-sniffling, rain-drizzling, fog-rolling, see-your-breath-as-you-exhale sort of day: perfect weather for an adventure by train in the mountains! As I walked along the platform in an attempt to keep warm and watched the fog drop lower I wondered why on earth I had let this weather keep me indoors yesterday! It is crisp and fresh and makes me feel alive! This is what you come to the mountains for.
As the trains gingerly make their way along the slippery tracks, screeching and squealing as they brake, you can't help but marvel at engineering-it really is all physics (as those who understand mathematics are continuously telling me!). Even though I don't understand it, I certainly do appreciate the benefits of mathematics.
Pure bliss....best bookshop ever with a ladder to reach high books, a reading corner with cushions and nooks and crannies stuffed with books! What a beautiful sight. I wanted everything and had to severely counsel myself against very large purchases and only walked out with three books. Browsing art galleries, perusing boutique craft shops and dodging raindrops has made for a splendid day out!
Next up a stop for lunch, the most enormous bowl of soup you have ever seen! Followed by vegan cheesecake for a bit of holiday indulgence (yum!!!) and a spicy chai and I'm set to continue on my way.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

An Anecdote (Dedicated to my faithful, four-footed furry friend)

It rained the other night, and with the rain came an electrical storm. I don't mind a good electrical storm (a trait which probably comes from having grown up in the tropics!), however, my dog detests them. He cries and barks and is so terrified that his body shakes. This electrical storm hit just around bedtime and as the lights around the house were switched off, the thunder began to rumble and the dog began to bark. Because he is 'my' dog, responsibility fell to me to keep him quiet so that everyone else in the neighbourhood could sleep. Foolishly, I let him in to the garage for an hour while I stay up to finish off some work. This seems like a good idea at the time because the dog is quiet and everyone can sleep in blissful peace. The issue comes when I want to go to bed and have to kick the dog out. Can you see where this is going yet?
I open the internal door between the house and the garage and two big brown eyes glance up at me gratefully as a hairy, four-legged creature squeezes past me and into the house. I can just hear him thinking 'ah, now this is nice...warm, cosy, and I have company!'
Oh no you don't, dog! And so, as his tags rattle on his collar I attempt to coax him out the door...to no avail. He begins pattering down the hallway, his claws clacking on the tiles...this dog is not going outside anytime soon. By this point I am tired and cold and getting grumpy, thus losing patience with said dog.
Resourcefulness kicks in-he likes bread! I run to the kitchen for a piece of bread to bribe him out with. Success!! He takes the bait and is outside! I close the door and breathe a sigh of relief...I speak too soon....the bread is gone in a minute and the thunder is still rumbling in the distance and rain is pouring down. The dog paws at the door and barks. I've now learned not to let him inside, so I decide that I will go outside this time...bad idea...I just get more grumpy and more tired and more cold and the dog is still not happy. Also, there are toads hopping around the yard and on the patio and I am petrified of stepping on one. I am also becoming increasingly irrational and am imagining toads leaping at my face or clinging to my leg. I am also getting wet and a very large toad is staring at me from the edge of the patio. *shudder* I come inside for a blanket and I guess the dog doesn't like toads either, because who squeezes in between my legs...you guessed it! Now I have to get him out again...no luck this time, he doesn't fall for the bread trick again.
I decided that my best option was to put him back in the garage and to go to bed with an alarm set for 2 hours to let him out, because 2 hours of sleep is better than none!
Just as I climb into bed and close my eyes, the storm stops, the rain eases and all is still outside. I decided to seize the opportunity and get the dog out once and for all! No more bread left though...time to face my fear and step outside to the toad infested yard and try to bribe him out with food from his bucket. I tip-toe gingerly over to the bucket, trying not to look around too far-I'd rather not know how many toads are within leaping distance! And then I leave a Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail of food from the hallway out the door and to outside-all the trembling and barking must have made him hungry because it worked! The dog was out, I was in and no toads had attacked me!!! Hooray!
By this time I am too tired to celebrate and crumple into bed. I have no idea if the dog barked again because I was too far gone to care!

(And next time it rains and storms, someone else is dealing with the dog!)