Posts Tagged ‘Milo’

A Happy Holiday (Christmas)

December 18, 2016

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With the issue of a school in Queensland not toeing the Christian line, I thought it best to use both forms; A Happy Holiday and a Happy Christmas.
http://theaimn.com/you-better-watch-out/

Christmas (without snow) is almost here. Yesterday we bought the pavlova and, as is now an Oosterman tradition, we will be roasting the Indian Raan dish. The lamb will be marinated for a couple of days in the yoghurt and lemon mixture with the usual spice of garam masala which includes cinnamon, cloves, chilies and whatever I feel like chucking in. I rarely measure quantities which gives an uncertain and exciting edge to the end dish. Sometimes it bombs but at other times it will surpass even our wildest culinary imaginings. A good Raan in the middle of a hot Australian Christmas is to be applauded and revered. It is really the true spirit of Christmas. It used to be possible to buy a large shoulder of hogget or an ageing sheep. Not anymore. It is all lamb now. A hogget is to be preferred for slow roasting.

But I am straying.

You know how it is! We used to walk with our dog Milo past a house which has a large window reaching to the floor. Very often it showed an old man reading and three small dogs all seated on a variety of cushions. The man and his book on a recliner chair. A charming and intimate picture. Milo would run up to the house and the man and his three small dogs, framed in this large window, would all be aroused by Milo’s short burst of furious barking. The three little dogs did likewise. It would just last a second or so and Milo would dart back to us. It was a little tradition without fail each time. The man would laugh and we would wave to him. It was a neighbourly bit of fun. Then, without warning, the dogs and this man were gone.

The grass at the front of the house is now overgrown and the man’s car hasn’t moved. The curtain, that was never used before is now drawn across the large window. We are not sure what has happened. Milo still expects a return of the fun, but it hasn’t. He looks disappointed each time we pass the house. It has been at least a month since the last barking and waving-back exchange. I hope things are alright and it will all come back, but that’s not a given! Sometimes things don’t return to what was. No matter how one wishes.

Another strange thing which doesn’t bode well is that the chickens on the other side of our fence have stopped cackling. Worse, the door of the pen is open. I suggested to Helvi that perhaps the owner has died. ‘It is more likely that the chickens have died’, Helvi said. I responded, ‘only three days ago they were full on after having laid eggs. The chickens were cackling like mad,’ I added. The owner of the chickens is also an old man. His name is Harley. He has a wooden sign ‘Harley Davidson’ screwed on the outside wall of his veranda. Perhaps he used to ride a Harley bike. I will ask him next time I see him.

Harley always dresses in neat long sleeved shirts and wears jeans. A reserved man with a good sense of humour. He loves his dogs. They are a very large Bernese, and a lively small Jack Russell. Harley also does the gardening, feeds his chickens and reap the eggs. All of these would be combined each afternoon with Harley sauntering around his garden while sipping a glass of white wine and puffing a cigarette, overlooking his domain. A picture of a contented man. No doubt his wife would not have him smoking inside. That’s how it has gone now. I hardly ever see the wife, but she is there. Harley and I sometimes talk a bit and each time he would shake my hand.

I do hope to see him soon and look forward to wish him a Merry Christmas.

I also wish all of you, dear followers and friends, a Happy Christmas AND a Happy Holiday.

Communion with a Frog.

November 22, 2016
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Milo at peace with the world

 

The event of my friendship with a stingray following me in the water along a stretch of beach at Bendalong was perplexing enough, but yesterday we had a frog visiting us inside our home. How often would a frog end up inside our homes? It would have to be a deliberate choice; surely?

It happened during last evening’s TV hour of Rick Stein’s ‘Venice and Food.’ He seems to be joining several TV cooks combining culture and food, or at least linking food having its origins in making do with whatever was available at earlier less affluent times . Good food is the result of poverty more than wealth. Herbs were added to basic ingredients to make tasty and often nutritious food by peasants. Of course, at least in Venice, the peasants have disappeared or are rich. The real peasants have morphed into hordes of belching tourists.

Last night’s Rick Stein’s tour along Venice’s Grand canals were interspersed with sea-food risottos or pastas dished on mouth-watering steaming plates, all so colourful, with just the right amount of a verdant green sprinkle of parsley, with Venetian sienna accented intonations by a smiling waitress.

When everything was steaming along on TV, I noticed Milo, our much revered Jack-Russell Terrier, carrying something around in his mouth. As it was dark outside I did not think it would be a lizard. During daytime hours, one of the less social acceptable amusements is Milo chasing lizards and performing amputations of their tails. He is totally flabbergasted that there are now two wriggling beings instead of just the previous single one. We don’t encourage him.

I told Milo to drop his pray. He did instantly. On close inspection I thought it might be a young bird. It kept moving about. I lost sight of it in the semi-darkness of our lounge room. We usually spent evenings in subdued lighting. Milo though, all excited, wasn’t about to loose his pray and directed me to this missing little animal hopping about. It had now jumped into our bedroom. I looked and discovered it was a fairly large frog. I tried putting a dish-washer cloth over it. It jumped away before the cloth hit the floor. It had jumped into the bathroom. Perhaps it needed water?

I managed to find it again underneath a rack of towels. This time I covered the frog with a wet towel. I told Helvi about the frog, but she did not seem interested, and kept looking at Venice and listening to Rick Stein’s cooking commentary on the telly. I duly and with some magnanimity carried (proudly) the frog to the other side of the house and to the safety of a tangled Jasmin bush. During the last few years  this jasmin managed to scramble over the paling fence shared by our neighbour. It was also near an outside light which had a crowd of insects buzzing about. I hoped this frog would find a nice morsel as well. It should not just be the domain of Rick Stein. I then took it a small saucer of water.

After the show was over, I urged Helvi to take a look outside at the frog. It was still there and looked happy. As far as it is possible to detect happiness in a frog.

Good boy, Milo. Good boy, for not pulling the tail off a friendly frog.

Word drought in The Highlands but spring is knocking. ( seniors)

August 14, 2016

IMG_0918 front garden August 2016

‘It won’t be long now.’ This is a saying that people use when expecting something to come along. It is sometimes used when on the Nr 1 platform waiting for the train to arrive. ‘The train is coming soon’, often spoken aloud by a brave soul to break the silence between waiting travellers, especially when a chill wind is blowing here in The Highlands. Most often, there is a response; ‘Yes, I think it is due in one minute, according to my timetable.’ This answer gladdens the heart, gives hope to the other fellow.

Those snippets of exchanging words to each other is so welcome. There can never be enough words getting exchanged between people, irrespective of waiting for a train or getting served at the Super-Market conveyer-belt. There is nothing more uplifting than getting a few words, after having gone through those endless isles of mind-numbing dairy goods/personal hygiene/ split peas/. There are now endless choices of toilet paper. We are figuring out the mathematical challenges with being confronted by the cost per hundred sheets per roll! No wonder people are becoming silent.

I could be wrong. Is there a shortage of spoken words being exchanged lately? If we feel like a good fill-up for spoken words we need to take Milo (our dog) along. He elicits the words from others so much better than if we walk without him. The word drought in public seems to be getting worse. I am curious if others have noticed this too? Most times, we used to strike it and get to hear words from others. They seem drawn to our Jack Russell more than us. Totally understandable in my own case, but with the welcoming and smiling Helvi, it used to smooth things out so much better.

It seems the problem might lie elsewhere. Often, people look serious when approaching. However, if they allow themselves to change their thought-train away from paying gas bills on line or texting and coping with obstinate or nasty relationships, and allow themselves to focus their sight downwards away from their gadget holding hand, and spot our Milo, an involuntary smile often escapes. Not only that, but many will actually stop, say a few words and pat him. That is the magic of the Jack Russell. We are still in touch. Are spoken words to adults getting less though?

I get the feeling that many are so mute now because their puckered up faces are so often close to their IPhone. I too have become a bit drawn to this gadget and at times open the IPhone without even being aware of it. Helvi gives me warning every time I slip into that. Certainly on trains we now rarely see passengers looking around or in conversation. Most stare seriously on what is in their hands.

I know, I speak and show my age now. It is all old hat. ‘Get real, Opa. This is our world now. Move over rover!’ The grandchildren have no trouble with it. They tell me that ‘Social Media’ is what is being practised. One hopes that this new form of mute media is not going to impact on relationships. I notice that so much modern TV drama is very intertwined with noise and deafeningly loud threatening thundering gun-fire type music, substituting drama where there might be none… It makes us tense and restless in expecting something, but it rarely comes or satisfies.

The words are just drowned out now.

51alYWDUUGL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_oosterman treats

Sustainable future by remaining upright.

June 2, 2016

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The man in the park looked wishfully at his surroundings. It had just rained and the trees were not only shedding the last of the leaves but also heavy drops of water. The creek was running fast, yet the ducks had no trouble paddling upstream. No doubt the first of the eggs had been laid. The drakes were on guard, and only the reeds knew where they were hidden.

I recognized the man and his grey little dog. Both are regular walkers. He might know me too but I am unsure. Perhaps he remembers a few years ago when he had slipped in the wet grass, and was struggling to get upright again? There isn’t a lot of dignity in having reached a stage in getting older, when being upright is starting to fail. Perhaps that’s why he might prefer to remain anonymous to his sole witness. The ageing gracefully extracts a price when prostrate on wet grass with curious ducks looking on.

As I said earlier, I had noticed him before on my own walks. He walked with some difficulty. He took little steps. He once stopped and told me he walks each day. ‘I still walk for miles,’ he added proudly. People on the whole still get around, but mainly by cars. Walking is now seems the sole privilege of the old. The young drive or are being driven.

I noticed him lying on the wet sloping grass. He must have slipped and had let go of his walking stick and dog. He had trouble getting up. I asked if I could help. He did not say anything but I got him upright anyway and handed him his walking stick, and his dog with a lead. The whole procedure was then keenly watched by some ducks, and Milo our own dog. The ducks are fed regularly by other walkers, mainly mothers and young kids. The ducks must have thought it was taking some time for the old man to give them the food.

I haven’t reached the age yet of unable to get up from the prone position. But, it is strange how of late I do study old people and their ways of getting about. I keenly observe their gait. Are they using aids? Do their partners nudge them onwards, prop them up a bit, are they a bit wobbly? Do they look vague? Shops are more and more selling equipment for the elderly.

Aldi is at the very cutting-edge of elderly care. They sell everything from mobility scooters, to hydraulic toilet-seat lifters, Chrome bathroom grip holders, tri-pod walking aids, incontinence pads for the bladder-intestinal-harried sufferer. People are not shy. I noticed an elderly gentleman throwing his packet of incontinence pads, with cheerful abandonment, on the conveyer belt. I am as yet not that brave nor incontinent. But, it will happen,… eventually.

On my last medical visit, I was given a thorough check-out. I did not ask for it. It is now a Government initiative to get the old on-board. ‘You don’t suffer Alzheimer at all,’ the old doctor informed me. This was based on my ability to follow an order and fold a sheet of paper in half and put it on the floor in front of my feet. I also remembered three words; ‘chair, sea, and dog,’ after a delay of more than 3 minutes.

Amazing!

No escape from Ducks and the ‘Book.’

May 19, 2016

BookCoverPreview

It now seems the latest version of the book ‘Almost There,’ is for sale, both in paper-back and electronic format, and has trickled down into many outlets, including Amazon, Lulu and our own Australian kindle format for Authors by ASA. (Australian Society for Authors)

There is no escape and one can live in Spain, Germany, Italy, France or the UK, sooner or later you will come across the chance to buy and read it. Don’t hold back.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.de/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.es/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.it/dp/0994581033

The US has also not escaped with; http://www.amazon.com/Almost-There-Fragments-Restless-Life/dp/0994581033/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1463626908&sr=1-4&keywords=Almost+There

Australia as far as I know doesn’t yet have ‘print on demand’ facility, so for those living in Australia I bought forty books from the CreatSpace in the US which will be here within a couple of weeks and can be bought direct from me even cheaper than from the US, including postage.

Bowral Ducks

Bowral Ducks

As for the ASA electronic book in Australia, it is for sale here: https://authors-unlimited.org/book-member/almost-there

Almost There

Almost There

It was a fine moment indeed to see the book in print and on the Kindle device. The hard part is to sell the book and for buyers to read it. I would be so pleased if some of you, after having perused a few chapters, write a review. (It doesn’t really give me much joy in asking) It might give the book a ‘leg-up.’

In the meantime I am somewhat pleased with the above photo of the ducks in the creek not far from our house. Consider that Milo was pulling me almost into the water. I really love that photo.

The conversion to ePub plus MOBI.

April 13, 2016

‘Tantalising close,’ would be an understatement. ‘What price would you like to sell your eBook for, Gerard?’ Can you believe it? Yet, this was the question put yesterday while filling in a form to convert the book ‘Almost There,’ to a format called ePub plus MOBI all done by the Australia Society for Authors. It hit like a bolt from the sky. But that wasn’t all. Try and understand how it felt when reading on the same form; ‘Please provide details of the bank account into which your sales revenue should be paid.’ Your name of account, the BSB number and account number. ‘Your sales revenue?’ Joy, oh joy!

I could hardly believe it and neither did Milo. Out of the goodness of my heart, I gave him not one but two raw chicken necks. He looked perplexed but did not muck about, burying one neck for later consumption. He is prudent when it comes to his food larder. Only yesterday, while digging at the front garden I uncovered one of his beloved pig’s ears. He was watching me. I left it near where I found it and after leaving the garden I observed him re-burying it again. I suppose, it had not quite reached the level of dead carcass decay that Milo likes when consuming a pig’s ear. It explains where that broodingly dark smell comes from when Milo is sitting between us on the console of our car just inches away from our own faces.

We are al prepared and ready for the onslaught. The grandkids are coming over. The school holidays are on again. We have stocked up on half a litre of cod-liver oil and promised if they behave they will get a nice treat. Last time, just a few weeks ago at Easter, they managed to use up our monthly allocated Telstra data in just two days. We only ever use up about 1/10th of our monthly data. Just imagine how quick kids can rack up bills for their parents? In our days we would be lucky to get a spoonful of cod-liver oil for our birthdays. Or, when times were really good, get a pair of hand-knitted grey coloured socks. By the way, cod liver oil as sold in the past in liquid form is now mainly dispensed in very silly and expensive little gelatine sugar coated capsules. However, Price-Wise chemists still sells this wonderful golden nectar in its full liquid form. So, rip into it while it still lasts.

The latest controversy about the effects on health by eating sugar might well bring the liver oil back into vogue. I can see people crossing the street, slurping it up. Cafés will be selling it as ‘liver oil latte.’ And liver pizzas. The return of slim people

Anyway, the book is ‘Almost There.’

Normal is back again.

January 1, 2016

This chair.

Already the second of January, 2016. It all went rather smoothly. There were no great dramas or upheavals. The threat of terrorism raised its head but only to turn out as false alarms. People in Munich wanting to catch a train were inconvenienced. A fire in Dubai with no-one seriously injured. A heavily armed anti- terrorist man carrying a fearsome gun in Paris was filmed yawning. The news was mainly about what had not happened.

Our large porker leg of double smoked ham I wrote about previously, has now been reduced enough for Milo to gnaw on to bare bone level.  Yesterday, I fried up the last of the ham  together with  pine-apple slices and some mushrooms. It was nice, but the wet towel in which I had wrapped the ham in, started to smell a bit sour. We are now ready to tackle the coming year, full of ham and resolve. Resolve of what? Get a book  ready and in print.

I have now got most of my pieces in some sort of order on M/soft Office Word, ready for a good re-read.  I have some doubts if it is in a fluid enough form . I wasn’t aware of this Office Word capability till a friend suggested I down-load the program. It is magic and allows me to insert pictures as well as correct spelling and make good other English language injustices. I also wonder at the size of the coming book. What is a normal book? Is a seventy thousand worded book reasonable? I suppose it is not really about the number of words but more about in what order the words have been written and…the quality of those words. They have to make sense and be uplifting to the reader in the sense he or she wants to continue on reading the words. It is such a huge task and it mustn’t be boring. There is nothing worse than boring the reader. It is criminal to bore a reader and an insult to well-meaning words. It is never their fault!

We went for an early walk yesterday. Being the first day of the New Year, we thought that the streets of Bowral would be awash with people celebrating this event. It was disappointing. The shops were mainly closed. The super-markets were open and some shoppers were seen to park their cars and stock up again on food. The coffee lounges and cafes were all locked up. Perhaps, the owners were hung-over and stayed in bed. We were disappointed that ‘Dinner for One’ wasn’t shown this year. It is the one thing I look forward to on New Year’s Eve. SBS Channel must have cut this comedy loose. A great pity. I watched it next morning. A blogger had put it on her post. It still makes me laugh. A great comedy.

I could be wrong, but New Year’s Day back in Holland was a day of exuberance and joy. People were out on the streets with the pavements crowded. Christmas Eve was always celebrated with dancing in the street at the local square. Can you imagine, people dancing in the streets?

Perhaps my memories are always rather colourful of yesteryears in Holland but Bowral on its first day was rather solemn and serious. Some coughed politely and held their hands in front of their mouths. Another made way for Milo to pass. Sedate and peaceful the day passed. I noticed a well-dressed man on a bench adjacent to the little river running at the back of the town. He was eating a sausage roll. Now, there was normal for you! We walked home somewhat reassured that things were alright…

Today is the second day and I expect ‘normal’ to have returned fully.

 

 

The ducks know: Bin liners rarely match kitchen tidies.

November 22, 2015
The flooded creek

The flooded creek

In five weeks time it will all be over folks. Don’t give in now. I know, I know, the running of the Christmas shoppers has started early this year. Santas are already in short supply. Some are now being lured away by Captains of Cash Registers (CCR’s) from underneath bridges and wheelie bins. I already noticed an abandoned trolley. Its owner sobbing (inconsolably) nearby. Her tears wetting the grass but some ducks were consoling her. Ducks are good at that. You can tell by their kind eyes. They always seem to be saying “It is never too late to reform”, repent, all will come good.”

There is hope growing eternally, especially along our creek at the back of our house. Each year and few weeks prior to Christmas, more and more elderly but still in revolutionary spirits, are to be found fondly looking into reflections of the creek’s water bubbling demurely over reeds and rushes. Some have, very wisely, taken the grandkids, to partake in the simple act of feeding wise ducks. For those with insight into the real spirit of Christmas it is the only thing left to do. Seek an answer in duck’s eyes and listen to flowing waters. Give generously to ducks.

We know the pull of materialism is strong and overwhelming. Most succumb to drop-dead shopping-malls, only to be taken by howling ambulance to hospital and hoisted into emergency beds, still warm from  previous shoppers still with laden trolley’s frozen turkeys oozing bags of Violent crumble and 2 kilos of acidly sweetened jute bags of Mars Bars. Jingle bells, jingle bells!

We are almost ready to go for our daily walk and meet up with the elderly but true believers at the creek. I know the ducks will be waiting and Milo is respectful, even considerate, seeing we are feeding the ducks food that he normally would receive. Good Boy!

We had a bad fish yesterday. The kitchen still smells even though I cooked the fish on the Webber outside. It wasn’t a good meal. The sauce was far too spicy. I had bought a jar of Sambal Oelek and even half a tea-spoon proved too much. Fortunately Helvi had also opened a jar of Hak’s sweet red cabbage that somehow diluted the chilli taste. Sundays are not good for fish buying. I should have known. Since buying the fish cook book I seem to want to try out recipes. Why are the pictures of food books so alluring? We ended up squabbling because the meal was almost inedible. Yet, the intention was so noble and good.

This morning I discovered the reason for the fish smell. The foil that the fish was baked in was doing its stinking job in the kitchen tidy. I had once again bought a large roll of those plastic tidy bags that never seem to fit the tidy. Either too big, too small or without handles. We even bought a large roll and then went shopping for the tidy so that both would match. Alas, even though they were matched, the bags did not have handles allowing it to be tightened into a bag without any spillage on the floor. The bags just had four flaps that somehow hung listlessly over the edge of the kitchen tidy. It is quite an art to then lift it out of its tidy without a nervous break-down.

We need the ducks this morning. They know and understand!

 

 

A hot day, but all is still fairly normal.

November 20, 2015
Milo contemplating biting a bit.

Milo contemplating biting a bit.

After emptying the contents of the shopping trolley into the boot I noticed the car’s outside temperature was 39C. We decided against walking Milo around. He was keen, but we were not. Instead took him with us in the car. We took his water dish and water bottle. Both are kept in his own little bag. We always tie him up in the shade with his water dish. Within minutes he gets surrounded by admirers who queue up to pet him.

Isle Nr 5 at Aldi in Bowral is the one that has the liquor license. That’s right, one can buy butter and Whisky all at the same counter, and at the same time, and from the same cash register and no questions asked. How we have progressed. I reckon, eventually all the registers will be so bold and allow the sale of alcohol. It just takes time. Easy does it, especially in Australia where you can sit in a train, have a nap and on awakening still see the same cows outside your window.

Since Milo’s limping with a possible tendon problem we have to lift him in the car. He now also doesn’t jump on his chair anymore. He is wise to his problem and knows his limits.  Soon after Milo’s trouble, I developed an excruciatingly painful back. We are now in a kind of symbiosis where before, one were the strong and large with the other being small and agile. I barely am capable of lifting Milo in the car. He is small but surprisingly heavy. I know how to lift him and even go through a preliminary exercise where I ,ever so gently tell him, ” wait a moment, just wait a moment”, before gently lifting him in the car’s back-seat. I bend my knees as advised by hospital’s doctor. He gave me very strong tablets and they do help but are addictive, so I only take them sparingly or not at all.  I don’t want to end up mugging old ladies while wearing a hoody, kicking them in the groin, and stealing their Panadol Forte.

Milo allows me to lift him in the car. He does look a bit embarrassed but what can you do? He refuses to let Helvi lift him and bites her instead. Not seriously, but he is letting her know he is not happy with her doing it. We find it hilarious. The reason is that Helvi is action woman. She grabs and just does it. A no nonsense woman. Milo always refuses to do anything he is asked. In fact, often does the opposite. That’s why he is so lovable. He doesn’t like being grabbed suddenly and from above,  probably thinks another dog is biting him.

I told Helvi to calmly approach Milo and stroke him a bit first, gently lift him whilst whispering soothing words in his small ears. “Get f*&cked,” she told both of us. I am rather chuffed Milo doesn’t bite me and prefers Helvi. And yet, it is Helvi who makes sure he gets everything he might possibly want and much  more. He gets his wants far in excess of his needs. No wonder the world is in disarray.

This post seems to lack cohesion. The binder of what makes things stick together has gone watery. It must be the heat. 41C now.

But apart from that the day is turning out ‘normal’.

I don’t like to find pig’s ears between my Fox-gloves.

November 4, 2015

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The ears are on special at Aldi’s. Ten pig’s ears for just $15.- They are good for dog’s teeth. Dog’s teeth are the latest target by veterinary interests propping up a booming industry. A doggy smell is most likely caused by your dog’s state of teeth. Have our clinic checked them for you!

Last time we had our dog ‘Milo’ in a boarding hotel his teeth were found in need of de-scaling. That was the beginning of his ‘journey’ of self discovery. An X-ray revealed he needed a tooth pulled as well. Never mind the state of my teeth! Milo sits on the console between us when we are driving and his breath was staggeringly overpowering at times. Mind you, his dietary habits are hardly savoury. He seems to forever find long-lost bones (much prey-loved) he buried in the garden some months back.

After Milo’s teeth were all fixed and paid for, we were advised to give Milo chewy food. The pig’s ears are ideal for that, nurse added, while handing over a chagrined looking Milo. He was clearly miffed about his missing tooth. Anyway, I bought the ten pig ears at Aldi on ‘special’. They were packed in a large yellow bag with a self sealing opening after cutting the top of the bag open. Pig’s ears are large. They were processed to a dried crispy but chewy state and double smoked. Your dog will find them irresistible and it helps to keep their teeth in good order, was writ on the yellow bag. I told Milo the good news.

I could hardly wait to give Milo his first pig’s ear. He sniffed at it, but wasn’t too impressed. I urged him on, ‘go on, this is for you Milo,’ I said pleadingly. He grabbed it and went promptly to the front door. I knew what he was going to do. He took his revenge. He walked towards Helvi’s new crop of the most stunning looking Fox-gloves and started digging a hole with his front legs and stuck the ear in it. He then neatly covered it with the dirt that he had dug up by deftly using his nose like a spade. Now, one would have thought he  understood when I lifted the ear out of that hole, that he would have the manner to start chewing it.  No, he promptly buried it again.

I told Helvi about this latest. She did not even know I had bought a bag full of pig’s ears. Yuk, she said when I showed her an ear. I held one ear up against the reading light; look, I said you can see the veins and bundled groups of ear muscles. The ears are totally translucent, I enthused further. She said yuk again. How awful, she added, get them out of the house. Where are they? Oh no, not next to the cartons of chicken stock! Out of my cupboard. Pardon; my cupboard? I thought it was ours! What’s wrong with pig’s ears? Get them out! At times like that I dislike her intensely.

I decided not to give Milo his beloved chicken neck in order to get him hungry enough to tackle the pig ear and told Helvi of this dastardly plan, also adding ‘it is for the good of his teeth too.’   How can you be so cruel? Of course he doesn’t eat ears. How awful. You  really are a bastard. Poor Milo. Those ears cost me $ 1.50 EACH, I said.

I stood firm and denied Milo his chicken neck. In the afternoon I opened the yellow bag and took out a fresh double smoked ear. Yum I said, looking direct in his eyes. He knew what was coming. I dropped it in his bowl, again murmuring an irresistible ‘yum’. He grabbed it totally resolute, and marched towards the door. He went outside and again went straight for the Fox gloves. He knew he was winning. He was teaching me a lesson. In between the Foxgloves the ear went. This was the third time. I had lost.

I told Helvi.

Get those pig’s ears away from my Foxgloves. Yuk!