I Thought I’d Recorded A Relaxing Meditation For You, But Then This Happened

“The world is too quiet without you nearby.” 
Lemony Snicket

I decided to record you a guided meditation yesterday.

I sat in the sun, with birdsong all around me, moved into deep relaxation, closed my eyes, and spoke into my little recorder.

Then I came back to the house and listened to the recording. It was marred by loud noises. I wasn’t sure what it was. Static maybe?

In fact I thought it might be the recorder itself.

So I tried to record three more times. But the same thing kept happening.

Then I saw this…

Problem solved.

Rufous just wanted to sit beside me while I was working.

I’ll try again tomorrow!

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

A Very Hurried Post Because…

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“Tantrums are not bad behavior. Tantrums are an expression of emotion that became too much for the child to bear. No punishment is required. What your child needs is compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in.”
― Rebecca Eanes, The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting


Thanks for your understanding as I write this post really fast!!!

It’s Cafe Dog, you see.

For the past week or so Harry (Cafe Dog) and our other hound Bert have been cooped up in the city while we’ve been busy with family things. Harry has tried his best to be well behaved, even when it meant being shut in the house all day with no play time, no cafe, no fun at all. That’s hard for a farm dog who is used to wide open spaces and lots of adventure.

So of course when we came home to the farm for a brief respite Harry was all ready to resume his regular routine. A morning coffee at the local cafe followed by a day of running around on the farm. Except that on Thursday morning Ben took me for an early acupuncture appointment. We left Harry and Bert on the daybed on our side veranda.

Cafe Dog. Was. Not. Happy.

He took a few bites out of the already chomped bed just to show us his displeasure.

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Then there were the looks he gave us when we came home, smelling of cafe, because of course we got a coffee after acupuncture. As you do.

Yesterday was Friday. Mullumbimby Farmers’ Market day. Our favourite day of the week. There’s a No Dogs policy, so once again we had to leave Cafe Dog at home. We decided to put him in our dark bedroom with Bert, as it was cold and early and we thought they’d just sleep, all cosied up in their coats.

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Cafe Dog ATE BERT’S GOOD WINTER COAT right off poor Bert’s body. The straps were chomped off. The stuffing was ripped out and strewn around our bedroom. The place looked like a fluff bomb had gone off.

Why? Cafe Dog was most displeased with us, so he threw a tantrum.

It’s okay. The coat is salvageable with the use of some patches and an industrial sewing machine.

Truth is, Harry’s about to have another week of city living and confinement. Poor little blighter. He is missing his normal life, and so are we.

So this morning we’re off to the cafe. With Harry. Who has been waiting to go since 4am.

And honestly, it’s better than the chomping destruction being wreaked by our toothy terror, and we’re seriously in need of a good coffee anyway!

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No Trouble Here!

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“Whether you’re being good, or you’re up to no good, try not to look guilty.”
~ Jarod Kintz


They look so sweet and innocent, don’t they? Bucket-Head Bert and Cafe Dog Harry…

But looks can be deceiving.


Could these two dogs possibly be responsible for:

a) the raiding of the kitchen bin

b) the destruction of lounge scatter cushions, whose stuffing was strewn throughout the house

c) the complete annihilation of a box of tissues in the bedroom


Surely not, based on this comforting picture of two brothers sitting quietly on the couch.

Some other random dogs must have broken in off the street, wrecked the joint and then left while we were out.

That’s the only possible scenario I can think of.

The Bucket Of Shame

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“What strange creatures brothers are!”
― Jane Austen

Bert has a significant wound under his jaw right now after surgery to remove a grass seed that had caused a huge abscess and infection. There are about twenty-five stitches, but in a place he can’t reach.

The vets thought he’d be fine and didn’t place a dressing or any kind of cover on the wound.

He did try to scratch them when he first came home, but it hurt so Bert left them alone.

We hadn’t factored Harry into the equation…

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Bert volunteered his poor sore neck to his brother, who covertly began nibbling the stitches. Harry has a LOT of experience with this kind of work. Eating beds, destroying remote controls, nibbling the teeth off every available zipper – Harry grew up on this kind of delicate covert work. It was a cinch and he managed to get quite a lot done right under our noses.

In fact, we’ve always had to use a bucket on Harry’s head, because he will undo any stitches anywhere!

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It was the blood everywhere that finally gave them away.

Harry had managed to get about a third of Bert’s stitches out, leaving a nice big mess.

All cleaned up and repaired now, but we have reverted to the Bucket of Shame to protect Bert’s wound until it heals.

Brothers – they’re double trouble, but we love them dearly!

Where’s My Cheese?

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“What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?”  ~ Bertolt Brecht

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”  ~ G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions


I was sure I put a wedge of cheese on the kitchen bench last night while I was making dinner.

I popped outside for a moment to pluck some herbs from the garden, and when I came back the cheese was gone.

I looked in the fridge.

I looked in the pantry.

I even looked in the bin.

No cheese.

What had I done with the cheese?

Harry, I asked, have you seen my cheese?

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Harry pretended I had woken him up. No, he hadn’t seen my cheese.

He did look a bit guilty though…

Bert, I asked, have you seen my cheese?

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No, Bert hadn’t seen it either. But Bert did look decidedly uncomfortable with my question.

Hours later, after Ben and I enjoyed a cheese-free omelette dinner, the dogs began bounding round excitedly. I went to investigate. There was the cheese, more than slightly nibbled, and no longer appealing at all. Bert had concealed it by lying on top of it until I forgot about the missing cheese and moved on to other things.

They quickly gobbled the last of it to hide the evidence.

Scientific studies say that the tryptophan in cheese is proven to help you sleep.

I think they’re quite pleased about that!

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A Very Sad Tale…

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“Oh, pity the poor glutton
Whose troubles all begin
In struggling on and on to turn
What’s out into what’s in.” 
~ Walter de la Mare


Harry and Bert invented a new game yesterday afternoon. It’s called ‘chase-the-guava’.

There is so much fallen fruit beneath our heavily-bearing guava tree. Even when I pick a full basket in the morning there is fruit on the ground by evening.

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Guavas are a little like tennis balls. They are roundish. You can thrown them. They roll down hills and are good to chase. They are also handy for playing ‘fetch’ and ‘tag’. Harry was delighted to find out how much fun they are. It wasn’t long before he had lured Bert into a game.

But then came the problem. Harry joyfully tossed a guava to Bert. Bert skillfully caught it in his mouth and chomped.

The expression on his face was priceless. “Hmmm…” he seemed to say, ” a ball that tastes juicy and delicious.” Instead of playing nicely and returning the guava to Harry, Bert ate it!

This went on for over an hour. Harry would fetch a new guava, throw it around a few times, toss it to Bert and Bert would eat it.

Eventually Bert cut out the middle man and moved under the guava tree, hoovering up everything in his path. I swear he ate his body-weight in fruit.

And now, of course, he is paying the price.

Party tummy.

We’ve been up half the night, in fact.

Bert is not a happy camper.

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Moral of the story? There really can be too much of a good thing. 🙂