Good fences make good neighbors is an old saying. I was reminded of it on returning home on Monday afternoon to be greeted by an irate visitor. It seems the goats had figured out how to get through the fence and had eaten his mother-in-law's cabbages. He was quite worked up so I let him rant and rave, agreeing with everything he demanded.
So the next morning our friendly local goatherd turned up with his van. I don't know about you, but I had never seen anybody hold a goat down with one hand while he tied their legs up with the other. The goats were a bit startled by all this, but apparently they settled down during the drive back to the farm. Once there, they were mostly interested in rubbing noses through the fence with the female goats. I think they'll be all right.
The start of the week was a bit crazy. I saw the goats off to begin with. Other things included the authorities want my doctor to certify I'm fit to drive, my health plan has to be reviewed, I need to get my flu shot as well as my second Covid jab, they won't re-insure my car till I fix the door where I drove into the gatepost, I didn't make it to croquet this week, I spent $250 at the hardware store, we came last at the Tuesday night quiz, an acquaintance is dying of cancer and I lost a tooth. Apart from that, all was calm and peaceful.
On the road again! Thursday I had an invitation to go up the country, which seemed a reasonable way to have a break from the events of the week. It was a nice change to get out in the open air on a fine sunny winter afternoon, driving up the Derwent Valley. Coffee at New Norfolk and a stop at the Bushy Park market to buy a couple of books. Then on into the bush, passing kookaburras and wallabies, not to mention sheep, cattle, horses and (of course) goats.
We visited my two goats, but I wasn't that surprised when they ignore me in favor of watching the female goats on the other side of the fence. What would you do if you had to choose between a slice of bread and the company of the opposite sex?
Tuesday 13th July
Took the bus into the city for a doctor's appointment. Part of the downtown area was cordoned off because of the fire that seriously damaged the 200-year-old Brunswick Hotel. I hadn't thought about it being a problem for the bus system until I went to catch the bus home and found a sign telling me the bus stop had been moved. I ended up walking up to North Hobart before I could get a bus.
I have a bad habit of answering questions honestly. When I gave my doctor the form to say I was competent to drive, he asked me if I had any trouble driving and I told him I didn't like driving at night because I was dazzled by the headlights. Then he asked me to read the eye chart. Now I can't get the form signed until I get new glasses.
Sometimes I think my endocrinologist and my GP are conspiring to keep me guessing. Every couple of years they tweak my prescription drugs so that I have to change the routine I've gotten used to. I suspect they want to keep me off-balance !
Another busy afternoon at the Croquet Club with 18 people playing. I was partnered with one newcomer and in the space of one game he made four hoops and I didn't get any. At half-time I got a phone call from the fencing contractor; they will start putting in the posts for the new fence this afternoon and finish them off on Friday. Should make the neighbors happy.
Tuesday I wondered why I was feeling the cold in the late afternoon. It took me a while to remember that I'd put on a short sleeved shirt this morning so I could get my flu shot with minimum disrobing. Doh!
There were nine teams at the Tuesday night quiz. Started off all right and ended up scoring 69 points, which put us in fourth place. The winners got a score of 81. And a shout-out to our compatriots at the Minerva's Disciples table who won a bottle of wine for being the first to solve the puzzle question -- it took us till Round 5 to get it.
Wednesday 14th July
Another appointment in the city, this time with my optometrist. I had been putting off getting my eyes tested because I guessed what the results would be. (Yes, cataracts.) This was my first brush with optical coherence tomography (OCT). I took the bus again, since I didn't think I'd be able to drive after having those eye drops. At least this time I detoured to a bus stop where the suburban service was still running.
The old codger in the next seat was muttering to himself, asking me how I'd feel about a nice glass of beer. I confessed I wasn't a beer drinker but admitted I had served a few in my time. He asked which hotel I had worked at, and I told him. His eyes widened and he said disbelievingly "You're not Baden O'Brien are you?" No, I replied, he was my father. "You used to have dark hair back then," he said. So we had a nice chat about old hotels till we got to my stop.
Never think that people aren't listening when you're rabbiting on. After church on Sunday some of us went over the river to the Shoreline for lunch and a catch-up. Somebody asked me what I was doing in the evening and I said that all I was going to do was rest in the afternoon, have dinner and watch the re-make of MYSTERIOUS ISLAND on television.
To my surprise, a couple of days later I received a text that read as follows: "Hi Michael, thanks for letting us know about the movie mysterious island, it turned out we had to mind the grandchildren and we let them watch it which they truly enjoyed."
Kaye Appleyard died July 4th according to a phone call from the Public Trustee. I hadn't seen much of her during the pandemic but I had known her for about 50 years. She could be prickly at the best of times -- she once said that the only two people she trusted were her brother and me -- and I suspect she was somewhere on the autism spectrum. SF fans from the 1970s may have encountered her at conventions.
Went out for lunch with Keith on Friday and then across to the Salvation Army store, where to my surprise I wound up spending more than he did ($80 against $73). I warned him this would be the last weekend for some time I would be able to drive around town - my appointment with the eye specialist isn't till next month, so who knows when I'll be operated on, let alone when I'll be back behind the wheel. 😞