Hello Buddy

Posted in Uncategorized by Sandra on March 22, 2010

Oh wow, time sure flies.

In my last post I wrote about the passing of a good friend’s dog, Bow Wow. Today, I am going to introduce our good friend’s new dog – Buddy the Rottie!

We met him a month ago for the first time at Brighton Dog Beach, and I’ve got some photos to share.

Buddy the Rottie

This is Buddy with his owner’s bright blue bum. He’s a bit slender still but they’re feeding him well, so he’ll probably bulk up pretty soon.


Brighton Dog Beach is always abuzz with people and pooches, especially on great sunny days!


Zac having fun with a black dog, which might very well be Buddy. You can see why we love the dog beach so much – it’s fenced and safe, and we can let our beagle boys off lead… Which is an amazing thing for us. Beagles are scent hounds and notoriously stubborn once on a scent trail – no amount of calling will bring them back to you unless they’ve been trained real hard to respond to you even when they are sniffing something good!


This is Dion… hehe, having a poop and looking absolutely miserable that he has to stop playing to attend nature’s call.

Zac & The Foldy Water Bottle

Zac again, modelling for us a popular accessory for pets – a squeezable water bottle which folds out for your pet. After folding the coloured bit out, you squeeze the bottle so water goes out into the, well, portable trough.

More pictures at my Flickr, including views of Melbourne from the dog beach and several of dogs and the beach itself.

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Bow Wow

Posted in Uncategorized by Sandra on February 10, 2010

Bow Wow, I know I haven’t known you for very long, but living with you for two weeks was an eye opener.

For one, I realized just how much I missed my own two boys. Taking care of another’s dog while your own are elsewhere seems to make the heart so much more fonder, than if I were to be away from all dogs.

For the other, well, I saw how much pain you were in, both physically and emotionally. Physically because you got cancer and your leg had to be amputated. Emotionally because when you met my boys (to see if you all could get along) I could tell that you wanted so desperately to gallop around the half acre block we were on and play like a four legged dog. It made me resolve that if my boys were to ever be in your position, I’d choose the faster but more forgiving route of letting them sleep the eternal sleep.

I remember one morning a week into our stay with you in particular. It was eight in the morning, and we were still dozing in bed. I heard a great thump, and another, and then the most sooky little sigh I’ve ever heard. I made myself get up, because I thought you might be in pain and needed help of some sort. When I opened the doors, you were standing before the door with your great ugly mouth open, panting with the effort of hopping across the marble floor to get there.

When we said oh, good morning bow wow! You gave me the biggest, cheekiest grin I’d ever seen on you.

Turns out you had decided that we were late in giving you your breakfast (4 scoops of meat mince with a tablet from each of the two medications you took daily, with the tablets hidden well under the meat).

You were, we decided, even more of a grandpa dog than Dion the Grumpus is.

We originally put your mattress closer to the windows in the living room, so that you might have a view of your lands and be satisfied that no miscreant puppies sneaked in. On a day that the BF had to go out, leaving me at home, I pulled your mattress next to the long couch, so that I may read with you by my side. You seemed to enjoy your new position more, and so there you stayed till the end.

We spoilt you terribly with treats, if you remember. Those times were when you were the most active, tail whacking the floor so hard I was afraid you might break it. You endeavoured to look your best, so you kept your mouth closed and your eyes big… for a few seconds; then the excitement took over again and you were panting and slobbering all over the place, big snout nosing towards the hidden treat.

When we finally gave you the treat, you would finish it within mere seconds, and then be looking for more.

You enjoyed grooming and being touched (patted, hugged, stroked) the most. When I moved away you would pull your head up and stare at me with the most accusing eyes, as if the mere thought of going away from you should’ve never even crossed my mind and how dare I act on it!

We received the SMS on Monday. The cancer had spread to 30% of your chest. I am so sorry Bow Wow… Where you are with four legs, whole and hale again, I wish you well. Know that we love you.

Bow Wow

A Big Black Snout

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I am alive

Posted in Uncategorized by Sandra on February 3, 2010

Yes, I really am.
In fact, I have spent most of tonight updating my Flickr with more pictures from September 2009 onwards than you probably care to see.


Posted in Australia, Food, photography by Sandra on January 16, 2010

Since this is the BF’s first real holiday in two years, we decided to go somewhere further rather than just our local beach. Our destination was Cabarita Beach, about 100km south of Brisbane, where the BF’s family (well, one branch of it) were holidaying at roughly the same time. We made the drive up in about 3 or 4 days from Melbourne – the BF had to do all the driving – and arrived there on 2 Jan 2010. We left on 10 Jan 2010 and arrived 13 Jan 2010 – did the drive of 10 hours from Sydney to Melbourne in a day waking up at 5am!

There were a lot of beaches involved on the way to Cabarita and while we were in the general vicinity of Brisbane. Hopefully the pictures do enough justice as to just how beautiful they were – my favourite one was Hastings Point. The waters were significantly warmer than Melbourne’s and therefore that much more enjoyable – i.e., no shock freeze upon entering the water. The weather was cloudy for a few days after we arrived in Cabarita itself, but that was fine since the sun was so savage that I am now as brown as a coolie.

I plowed through six books while I was there, went body-boarding (now that was fun!), and we started watching Burn Notice. We also got to know this particular branch of the BF’s family tree a lot better (long story, complicated and too much trouble to explain really) and we had dinner as a family almost every night. Eight people, now that’s a crowd!

We’re going to get back to work on Monday – not looking forward to it at all. :(

Us, somewhere between Melbourne and Lakes Entrance

Us, somewhere on a beach between Melbourne and Lakes Entrance

Above-mentioned beach, without me for a better view

Ship on the Sea - Look at those colours...

Me on Windang Beach

Yamba, Morning of 2 Jan 2010

Surfers Paradise - 4 Jan 2010

Me on Cabarita Beach - 5 Jan 2010

Posing against Cabarita Beach - 5 Jan 2010

Cabarita Beach

Hastings Point was a little inlet which got to about waist height as we waded in. It’s protected by the embrace of rock formations at the point, which meant that the waves broke early on the rocks and as a result, the water in the inlet itself was really calm. There were even little whiting (a type of fish) in the water swimming curiously all around you! It was amazing – we felt so close to nature, I could hit my ToL hotkey (Shift+T) and rest in peace there. (WoW moment over :P)

Hastings Point with the BF and his cousin - 8 Jan 2010

Hastings Point

Hastings Point

Me at Hastings Point

Us at Hastings Point

There is one Sushi Tei in Australia, and its in Sydney. Whenever we pass through Sydney we make a point of visiting Sushi Tei (which is something we started last year) and this year was no different. However, this year’s visit – we went with the BF’s dad and his wife – was rather disappointing.

Salmon Sashimi

Slices were half as thick as any other salmon sashimi I’ve had in all the Sushi Teis combined (Aus last year and Singapore)

Salmon Belly Soup... though in hindsight I should've moved the vegs to the side.

Ebi Mentaiyaki

This prawn dish was the most shocking of all for me. The prawn flesh stuck to the shell and removing it was a four lettered challenge, while the entire thing looked warped –

Ebi Mentaiyaki looked disfigured this year.

Definitely a far cry from the previous visits to Sushi Tei International (10++ visits?). Look at the difference with the picture below (snitched from Google Images and therefore someone’s blog probably):

Ebi Mentaiyaki as it should be

Ebi Mentaiyaki as it should be

Absolutely shocking.

Perhaps I should start planning for a visit to Singapore for our next holiday for one day just to have good dishes again.

Oh wait, there’re outlets in Bali!

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Posted in Words by Sandra on December 16, 2009

Typo is a new shop in Knox Shopping Centre, next to Perri’s Hair Saloon on the second level. The BF and I had gone to Bar Bosh for breakfast, which is why I chanced upon this shop in the first place. I bought two items from it:

Duck-shaped paper clips and "natural"-look A5 Lined Spiral Notebook from Typo

Duck-shaped paper clips and "natural"-look A5 Lined Spiral Notebook from Typo

I’m not sure if I’ve told anyone what a big fan of paper I am. I love the texture, the cleanliness, the many different colours, and the way they smell. But most of all I love them because, before computers and blogging came about, I used to write every day and night. Journal entries, short stories, character biographies, I wrote anything and everything. Even street directions. Typing on a keyboard just doesn’t compare… until now.

I’ve not written lengthy diatribes by hand for so long now that I can scarcely write more than a page or two at a sitting. And usually, the stuff that struggles out of my pen is so bland that I’m tempted to rip the page out and attempt my imaginary novel anew. The computer just churns text out so much faster, and so much more legible at that. How can my cursive handwriting ever compare to the stoic elegance of separated letters that you, a thousand miles away, can read? (Which reminds me, I have a post card I should make for someone in time for Christmas.)

Well people, if you’re ever in doubt what to get for me and don’t want to ask what I would like for fear that I would give you a list of items far beyond your budget, then a beautiful, sturdy spiral notebook or a nice ink (not ballpoint, they don’t seem to lend to my writing inspirations) pen would be perfectly lovely.

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