Friday, 27 April 2012

Short Curtains and a Whisked Away Kennel

Cossack will sometimes endure miserable conditions just to prove a point. The pointless point he stubbornly makes each autumn is that he is tough and therefore we do not need to light our first fire of the cold season until May 1st. He is prepared to freeze while watching TV and, although the fire is all ready to go with paper and kindling in a neat little wigwam, no match dare come near it for 3 more nights as from now.

So, wrapped in rugs, I sit in our living-room with pretty icicles forming at the tip of my nose and look out at the black night which is possible to do even with our curtains drawn because nobody told me that you shouldn't make curtains out of Indian cotton because they will shrink with each annual wash. Our curtains look like mini-skirts and are equally useless for keeping one warm as they now only come down to my navel. Next winter they will only come down to my chin. Our curtains are ridiculous and much mocked by visitors.

My hardy Cossack is quite nice to our visitors in his own unique way. He tells them how proud he is of never lighting the fire before May 1st and then asks them whether they would like him to abandon his principles just this once and light it for their comfort. They inevitably say no and I then feel obliged to wrap the poor people up in duvets to ensure their survival as friends rather than iceblocks. They do keep coming back to our place but I have no idea why.

Anzac day was a glorious sunny day to have off work. I planted a punnet of pansies on top of our dead dog and the marigolds are still blooming faithfully in fits of orange and yellow.

The kennel has gone. Now we have only Pinnie's collar and leash left and noone is getting them as I need some kind of souvenir to remind me of the best dog in the whole world.  The 'Pinnie Palace' as we called the kennel got claimed by a neighbour up the road. Months ago, when he heard about our dog having a heart condition, Gill Bert said in his matter-of- fact way, "Hey, when your dog's dead I'd like to buy that kennel", and he did so as soon as I told him that Pinnie had shuffled off her mortal leash on life.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when the Palace got whisked away on Gill's trailer in a cloud of dust but I am actually happy it's gone to a good home and it's a reminder to me that life goes on and there is no point in a vacant kennel. A dead dog's kennel may as well house an alive new puppy.

Years ago at a flea-market I noticed this lovely older woman selling all sorts of things including a pair of soft French leather shoes. I bought them for Cossack and she touched my hand and said, "I am so glad these shoes are going to someone nice because they belonged to my husband who died a few months ago".

Funny how she assumed that my spouse must be nice just because I am but anyhow, Cossack knows what it is to walk in someone else's shoes (even if that someone is dead) and they fitted him like a dream by the way.  So tonight the dear man who must have been metaphorically walking in my chilly shoes lately gave me his old laptop computer because he bought a new one, how noble is that?

So I will be able to sit up in bed as snug as a bug and write my Blogs. Life is good.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Snorus Chorus



Out of sheer habit I almost grabbed Pinnie's red leash the other day when I went for a walk down in the paddocks but then sadly remembered that the best dog in the whole world is now pushing up marigolds. The sentimental part of me almost took the leash for a walk anyway for old time's sake but then I thought, "What if someone sees me dragging a leash with no dog attached to it?", so I didn't.

The ache lingers but I must not let my dead dog side-track me from today's topic which is snoring. No, my topic isn't snoring but it is if you know what I mean?

Lots of people snore. Perhaps someone in your bed snores? Someone in my bed certainly does and his name is Cossack. Yes, the very same man you have come to know and love through my Blogs spends two-fifths of his sleeping-life totally silent, thank the Lord for that, two-fifths nostril-whistling what he thinks are melodious tunes like 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and one-fifth snoring like a dysfunctional chainsaw.

I suppose I cannot punish Cossack for his nocturnal crimes as he is unaware of them but what is a woman supposed to do when frightened into wide-eyed sit-up awakeness by the sudden onset of his chainsaw routine?  Sometimes I discuss my options with Coss such as sleeping on the sofa now and then or suffocating him and he seemed to prefer the former option so I either do that or else I just turn Lloyd on FM 101up louder. That helps.

Occasionally, when I am in a silly mood, I play the cutest little bed-time game with Coss who doesn't seem to mind participating in the least. In my school-teacher voice, I ask my sleeping spouse,

"So who's the naughty boy then?"

Coss answers with only a few more revs of the chainsaw so I raise his hand high in the air for about twenty seconds. He doesn't even notice so, when my arm gets tired, I drop his hand and it clunks down, often onto his own nose which stops the snores abruptly after a bit of a shocked snort.

The other technique that works well is tickling Cossack's nostrils but he tends to react by assuming I am an extremely annoying mosquito and swatting me hard across my hand. That is not very nice of him but the good news is that he then tosses and turns and the snores stop for a wee while. I had to do this repeatedly a couple of weekends ago because we turned the clock back for Daylight Saving and he took the liberty of snoring for a whole extra hour, bless his soul.

It's a wonder I could do an honest eight hours work for Neville today after the horrific night I had. It was about 2 am, I think, that I resorted to nostril-tickling after which came a tremendous bellowing from Coss  followed by gurgling noises so terrifying I was nearly catapaulted out of my very own skin.

It was a commotion like you wouldn't believe could issue forth from a throat and two little holes in a man's nose and I truly thought my Coss was experiencing death throes of the kind that kill you so I passionately grabbed him and hollered sweet nothings into his chest. Then he went silent. Completely silent.

I checked for a pulse in his neck but there wasn't one but that might be because I had the wrong part that doesn't pulse. In fact I think I got Cossack's artery and Adam's Apple confused.

"COSS! ARE YOU OK? COSS! ", and I shook him vigorously and started CPR but forgot how many chest compressions to do so blocked his nose tight while I tried to remember.

Next thing my silent corpse started laughing because, as it turned out, he was playing a very cruel wide-awake joke on a distressed spouse. It was shocking to think that Coss could pretend to be dying just to test the strength of my feelings for him so, in a daze of relief,  I found myself staggering to the fridge for a consolation-to-my-frazzled-nerves munch.

I was delighted to find an Easter-egg behind the marmalade and was about to eat it but then didn't because it belongs to my Cossie-Wossie.