Posts Tagged ‘Pig’s ears’

The ‘Meeting’ , Final Body corporate.

November 5, 2015

photo Gerard

 

The good readers might remember the issue of the painting of our housing compound. There are eight housing units which are called somewhat grandiosely ‘villas’. I have been pulled up a couple of times when referring to our homes as units. They don’t take kindly to calling a spade a spade. A villa in Holland is usually an imposing residence of grand proportions, perhaps with a sign at the gate for tradesmen to go to the back entrance. Delivery boys of groceries and the weekly gardener have to overcome their fear of a huge growling dog at the back entrance. The owners of villas are hardly ever seen. They glide about in sleek black cars and are rumoured to own bordellos in Porto Rico and even Spain.

I have been somewhat neglectful in attending Body Corporate meetings, and like Milo, have low boredom tolerance, having reached a stage where I too could easily take up barking at the ducks hidden between the reeds. The Body Corporate in Australia is a  defined entity that regulates shared ownership of the common areas around the housing units that people share. About six months ago I noticed some activity around the place and was told that the whole estate was going to get painted. I was surprised that nothing appeared about this from the minutes of the last meeting. The meeting date had been changed. We could not attend because we were in Bali.

I queried why there was no mentioning of all this beforehand and was somewhat alarmed about a single painting contractor from Melbourne being awarded the job. The reason given was that he would carry the shortfall in our saving/sinking fund for over five years. I then wondered why not more quotes had been obtained and why a contract was given to a painting contractor a thousand kilometres away. I also queried that it might be prudent to wait till enough was in the kitty to pay for the paint job. The odd thing was that the residents rallied behind the Melbourne quote, mainly because of the debt being paid into the future. Now going into debt has never been my forte. Indeed, the opposite. I don’t ever buy anything without paying upfront. The exception being the occasional mortgage taken out to buy our home. Our credit cards never earned the banks any money. Never!

I tried to get answers but was stone-walled. After not getting responses from either the Body Corporate or other owners I went and asked for some guidance on rules from the overseeing governmental body ;the NSW Fair Trading Commission. By then the hostility was getting thicker. People ducked behind closed doors, the venetians were stirring and whispers were being overheard behind the Magnolias, roads in avoidance were skilfully being crossed. One owner started skipping. A strange and hostile neighbourhood was showing its slip.

The law was on my side and I had it in black and white. H and I turned up at the Extraordinary Meeting of the body corporate. I came prepared. I took my portable laptop. At the meeting I unfolded in a significant manner my light blue laptop.  I took the chair and as I had practiced a few phrases, such as “responsible governance, due diligence, contravention of corporate laws, accurate recording of meetings” together with a calm demeanour (but not without a few authoritative coughs in between), let fly.

There was a silence. You could cut the air. The other owners and the hostile manager all looked around. There was nowhere to hide. They all turned into mice.  See how they run, … see how they run!   They all ran to…..

A feeble attempt was made to still go with the Melbourne mob. Previously I had posted an e-mail with details of an $80.000,- underpayment made to its painters by the Melbourne mob, that was dealt with through an industrial Court, hardly a recommendation.

This is were I held my trump card. I had in black and white that no maintenance could be done without having the money up front. The meeting decided to go with the cheaper quote that I had obtained. An extra levy of $1000.- per owner had to be raised. They all filed out in silence. The cheaper quote was for a local painter for $ 29.990.- compared with the $43.995.- from Melbourne. Not a single ‘thank you’. I smell a bit of a ‘hand-0ut’ to the Body Corporate  from the Melbourne mob.  Milo smelled something too and it wasn’t a pig’s ear.

 

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!