Until the 6th of January.
So Christmas day went well. Present distribution was done the night before, so first thing after breakfast (non-communal) for me was taking Pooka for a walk. As expected there weren’t many people out, but there were a few regulars, and we had a good play at the oval.
Then home for a mad frenzy of cleaning before the grandparents arrived. The mother’s parents were first, and my grandmother told us all about the suspicious incident in her street between 1 and 1:14am. If I’d had a mouthful of drink I would have either spat it out or snorted it out when she said “but I’m not nosy – I’m not always watching the neighbours”! Hah!!! Although I must say that the story from that night was quite interesting 😉
The father’s mother arrived next, dropped off by the uncle, the aunt and the cousin (9 years old… or 10? 11?). The “adults” all talked for a while, the “kids” (aged 28, 26, 23 and 9) all played with Pooka in the backyard. It was during this hour that I saw just what a tolerant and non-vicious dog Pooka is. She was thoroughly tormented by my cousin. Not because my cousin is nasty, just because she was overexcited and didn’t realise that she was being rather annoying. And I didn’t know that people still pulled dogs’ tails! However some progress was made on Pooka’s commando crawl trick and the cousin was extremely impressed because her dog can’t sit, fetch, come, lie down on command, let alone roll over when told. I suspect she’ll be asking for a labradoodle when her current dog (9 years old) shuffles off this mortal coil.
The uncle/aunt/cousin then left, the parents/brothers/grandparents and I then had lunch. Cold turkey and ham, salads, pavlova, pudding. Then the grown ups had cups of tea and I went to my room and had a doze. Then we dispatched the grandparents and it was all over.
The parents took Pooka for a walk last night and she met two pointers at the dog park. They were visiting from Newcastle and apparently were very good playmates for her. The night before she met two other dogs visiting from somewhere who were also good for a rumble. Clearly she is very welcoming to out-of-towners.
So the brother and I will be away from the 27th of December until the 6th of January. And I will be away later at Alice Springs. The parents will do more Pooka-care while people are away, however they both work and she might be bored/sad during the day. We’ve asked the son of one of Mum’s friends to come and play with her on the days no-one will be here (yes yes, for money!) and he just came over to meet her. I think they’ll get along fine. He’s a very smart kid and I think he likes the challenge of teaching her tricks. I think he just finished year 7 so he’s big enough to not get dragged around by her. It should all be fine.
I hope she forgives me for abandoning her for a while… and doesn’t forget who I am while I’m in Alice Springs!
Still no Christmas cards. Everything is going to plan. If any arrive tomorrow, that is definitely after the deadline.
Now I actually want to send a non-Christmas card to someone. So I have to wait a while so that they don’t think it’s a late Christmas card. Because it won’t be.
Somehow the second batch of rum balls appears to have dwindled. A third batch is planned for tomorrow. Interestingly enough, the majority of the rum balls that have disappeared have been given away rather than eaten by me. Which is not to say that I haven’t… er… tested a lot. And they all passed.
So I never send Christmas cards. Partly because of laziness I suppose, but mainly because I don’t have much to say and don’t like just writing a few words in a card. Mainly for aesthetic reasons. My writing doesn’t do “casual greeting” very well. I can do headings and lengthy expositions. But casual greetings are difficult.
In the past I have received a number of cards in the last few postal days before Christmas. These put me in a quandary – do I send a card to the person who sent it, knowing that they will know that I only sent a card because they did? Do I avoid any response and pretend it was lost in the mail? Do I send a festive text message? An e-card? (does anyone send e-cards anymore?)
This year I have only received one card. Fromm Dee in fact. This did not make me feel guilty, because it wasn’t in an envelope and hence the implied need for a reply seemed less. And I could say thank you on Dee’s blog. AND I know that Dee is unlikely to be offended at my lack of a card. And I’ve lost her address. But I could write good instructions “go along that road past Macintosh’s pharmacy until you get to a building…. then turn left…”
So this is brilliant. I believe that the postman will come once or twice more before Christmas (sometimes he comes on the Saturday or Sunday before Christmas… something to do with days off between Christmas and New Year). If a card arrives on those days, I think I can safely assume that the sender left their card sending til the last minute and suddenly panicked in case I’d sent one to them (clearly they don’t know me very well).
I also don’t know what year my parents were born in.
This morning there was much less struggle during the eye ointment application. For one of her eyes she wasn’t even clamped!
In other news, I have to make another batch of rum balls today. I keep giving plates of them away.
I took Pooka to the vet today about her eye gunk and was told that she MUST have topical treatment and not systemic treatment for it (ie. eye ointment rather than antibiotic tablets). She demonstrated the headlock manoeuvure and it all worked fine while Pooka was on the table in the surgery and the vet put the first dose in.
It didn’t work quite so smoothly at home. Then I worked out that if I clamped her body against the balcony railing using my arms to clamp her to the side, she gave up resisting and let Mum put the ointment in (because she’s my dog I get to be in charge of restraint!)
The vet stuff is pretty cool. They put some special fluoro drops in her eyes then shone a blue light in to see if her corneas were damaged. THEN when we went home all her eye gunk was fluoro green! She looked pretty funny.
So tonight I was making rum balls using my grandmother’s recipe. My grandmother is getting on and probably won’t be making them this year. After tasting the mixture and doubling the rum content at my mother’s urging, I began the rolling process. After I had made 51 balls, I ran out of chocolate sprinkles. Luckily there is a supermarket near me open until midnight. Unfortunately the restrictions on my license (first three years after passing test) require me to have a blood alcohol level of 0.000 max. If the machines went to 4 decimal places then it would be 0.0000. They initially said the limit was zero. I’m glad they’ve clarified how many significant figures are involved. While alcohol displays zero order pharmacokinetics (ie. rate of elimination is not dependent on concentration – it is usually about 10g (one standard drink) per hour) at most concentrations, at very low concentrations, the rate of elimination is first order (dependent on concentration). The concentration is hence perpetually approaching zero, but should never get there. This means that there is theoretically no such thing as “zero” blood alcohol in anyone who has ever had a drink, used mouthwash, taken cough medicine that uses ethanol as a solvent, eaten rum balls…
The rum balls on their own would not have put me above 0.0004. However earlier in the evening I had a piece of my mother’s Unusually Potent Fruitcake. This cake is unusually potent because a) the fruit and brandy were put in a bowl to soak overnight. Unfortunately the next morning my grandmother was not well. Hence it remained soaking for two weeks, with my mother adding more brandy each day and b) when the cake came out of the oven holes were jabbed in it and more brandy poured over.
So while evaporation occurs, it seems likely that the total amount of alcohol still present in the cake is rather high. Don’t get mee wrong, it’s a delicious cake. But it is the most potent fruitcake I’ve ever had.
Anyway, cake + rumballs = probably too much alcohol to go and buy chocolate sprinkles. Luckily my father is permitted a blood alcohol level of 0.05 so he was able to drive me to the supermarket to get sprinkles to continue my rum ball production.
Did I mention that I passed all the second year exams? Yeah… well I did.
I seem to have forgotten a lot of my spelling pet hates. So that will have to wait. I know what will top the list though!