Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Appointment Necessary

There are moments in life when you should just follow your gut instinct- when a decisive –
rather than an expedient or polite reaction to a situation can make all the difference. Don't walk through that darkened park, don't give that guy at speed dating your phone number, don't buy the lipstick the salesgirl just 'LOVES '...

I had one of those on my birthday. After a lovely relaxed morning at the beach with my family, my husband and the baby and I drove over to a nearby town pondering what to do with our afternoon. I remembered something I had done in my pre-baby life, a relaxing, pampering type of something that seemed perfect for a birthday girl. I would get a haircut!

Rover and her mum at the beach

The first hairdressers we saw was closed so we wandered on – knowing that the spur of the moment appointment may not be forthcoming. When I spied the second hairdressers I was perhaps a little too quick to be pleased about the 'No Appointments Necessary' sign in the window.
The moment I should have followed my gut was not on entering, but a little later. I was already in the gown and sitting in the chair. I undid the braid my hair had been in for three days – and saw that it was a good hair day for me – a good hair day being that my hair was not in one giant clump at the back of my head but hanging in limp clotted mess around my shoulders.

The moment I should have left was when I asked her if she could wash my hair before she cut it and she told me - as I sat in front of the hair washing sink – NO they did not do hair washing. If I had stood up at that point and said thanks but no thanks I could have had a shot at my relaxed afternoon of pampering. But no, instead I got a brusque lady wrenching a comb through my poor sorry hair and lecturing me on the terrible state I had gotten it into. 

I am a new mum; there are probably many things I could do better in my life – but spending time on personal grooming is low on the list of priorities just now. Which it is why an impromptu afternoon at the hair dressers is a treat. It is not just a new hair do that makes you feel like a new woman, it is the 20 mins or so guilt free reading of glossy magazines on the sofa waiting for the hairdresser, falling asleep while you are having your hair washed for you – 'a head massage? Yes please', the buzz of the salon around you, the cup of tea the apprentice makes for you and the styling that you could never possibly do for yourself. 

Rather than leaving feeling like a relaxed yummy mummy with a birthday bounce in her step and a beautiful, tangle free hairdo I left with damp, stringy hair that was slightly shorter than it had been when I went in and a sour look on my face that my husband could see from a block away.

a swim at Mallacoota

Instead of correctly and regularly conditioning my hair this summer I have been swimming, swimming, swimming. As a family we swim in the creek at my mums every afternoon. We have been to every beach in Gippsland that we can and quite a few rivers too. Rafa loves it, and smiling back at my beautiful son while he experiences the wonder that is 'swimming' is irreplaceable.

Family swim at Betka Beach, Mallacoota

I haven't added bad hair to my list of things to feel guilty about – the list is long enough already -
and includes:
going to the toilet when the baby wants to play/ be fed/ have a cuddle
trying to eat the baby wants to play/ be fed/ have a cuddle
trying to sleep when the baby wants to play/ be fed/ have a cuddle

But I have crossed that particular hairdresser off my list of places to return to.

Rafa and Rover mum swim in the Boggy Creek - Nowa Nowa
Rafa and his dad swim in the Boggy Creek - Nowa Nowa

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Rafa and Dargo dog

One night Rafa and his mum and dad were on their way to visit Nanna Helen in Nowa Nowa. They drove for a long time and nothing exciting happened. 

Then all of a sudden, when they were half way between Stratford and Bairnsdale there on the road ahead of them they saw an animal. Dad slowed down the car. 

'Is it a wallaby?' Asked mummy Sandy.
'Is it a koala? Asked daddy Jon.
'Is it a bandicoot? Asked baby Rafa. 

They soon saw that it was non of these things. It wasn't a wombat or an echidna or a rabbit or a fox either.
It was somebody who did not live in the Australian bush at all.
It was a little lost dog.

Dad stopped the car. They all agreed that a lost dog could not stay on the road. But how should they catch it?.
'We need a torch.' said mummy.
'We need a lasso.' said baby Rafa.

But they needn't have worried. As soon as daddy opened the car door the lost dog wagged it's tail and hopped into the car.
'Can I hold it daddy? Please!!' Begged baby Rafa.
Daddy thought the lost dog looked like a very nice dog, but he did not think baby Rafa was quite big enough to hold onto a lost dog just yet. He gave the lost dog to mummy Sandy.

The lost dog turned around in her lap three times, sniffed and then settled down in her lap for a sleep.
Mummy looked out the window, and because they were going past the Dargo turn off she decided that the lost dog would be called Dargo dog.
'Dargo dog. Dargo dog, Dargo dog,' sang baby Rafa.
'Go to sleep baby Rafa,' said mummy and daddy together.
Soon baby Rafa and Dargo dog were fast asleep. 

Mummy and daddy were wide awake. They wondered where Dargo could have come from. She was not a puppy, she was quite clean, and liked people. There were no farm houses that they could see, so they decided Dargo dog had better go with them.

When they arrived at Nanna Helens it was very late and very dark, but she had left the light on for them. Mummy carried Dargo dog and daddy carried baby Rafa.
Nanna Helen got a big surprise when she saw that mummy Sandy was not carrying Baby Rafa.
'We found a dog!' she announced.
Nanna Helen rubbed her eyes with surprise, when she had her eyes open properly she agreed that Dargo was a very nice dog.
'Dargo dog. Dargo dog, Dargo dog,' sang baby Rafa.
'Go to sleep baby Rafa,' said mummy and daddy together.

That night Dargo dog slept in the dog pen at the side of the house. She had a bowl of food, a bowl of water and a nice warm dog house. It smelt a bit funny, but it was much nicer than the scary road with all those loud cars and headlights. But she missed her home.

Before they went to bed that night mummy and daddy wondered what to do with Dargo dog. Could they keep her? Did they know anyone else who would take her and love her? What if she had a family who were missing her?
'Dargo dog. Dargo dog, Dargo dog,' sang baby Rafa.
'Go to sleep baby Rafa,' said mummy and daddy together.

In the morning Dargo dog was very happy to see them. Daddy and baby Rafa took Dargo for a walk along the river and they were all very happy.
But they knew they needed to try to find out if Dargo dog had another family.
Mummy and nanna Helen took Dargo dog to the vet in Orbost. Daddy and Rafa stayed home and played, but they both wondered what was happening with Dargo dog. 

Baby Rafa learns about Australian animals

At long last the phone rang. It was mummy, ringing to say that Dargo dog did not have an identity chip, and no one had reported her missing.
Mummy I could look after Dargo dog,' said baby Rafa. 
'No.' Mummy said sounding sad, the vet had taken Dargo dog away to the Pound.

'I told the vet that we could look after her,' said mummy, 'but she said it was the rules.'

When mummy got home she and daddy and baby Rafa had a big hug. They remembered how special their family was already – but they were sad not to have Dargo dog anymore.

That night they imagined Dargo dog in a cold kennel, with lots of other noisy dogs around and no one who knew what a special dog she was. Even though the nice lady vet had promised to try to find Dargo's family daddy said he would use the internet to help Dargo as well. 

'Dargo dog. Dargo dog, Dargo dog,' said baby Rafa sadly.
'Go to sleep baby Rafa,' said mummy and daddy together.

In the morning daddy put a photo of Dargo dog and a description up on the East Gippsland Lost Dogs Facebook page.

Dargo dog

Twenty minuets later he came running in to where nanna Helen, mummy Sandy and baby Rafa were playing.
'Guess what,' he said, 'Dargo dog is called Biscuit!'
'Biscuit?' said baby Rafa. 'How do you know?'
'Because I got a reply to my Facebook message.'

They all sat together to call Dargo dogs owners. None of them could quite think of her as Biscuit, but they were very pleased that she had a home to go to after all.