The healing prowess of the Basset hound

I am dying. In the great inevitability sense of the word AND in the more localised, microeconomic sense. At the moment I’m mostly referring to the latter. The progeny, in the guise of the Outbreak monkey, carried on her person a deadly pestilence the likes of which can only ever be propagated in a kindergarten sandpit through the communion of sand, tiny plastic shovels and multiple strains of snot (with mutable viscosity). After briefly battling with the symptoms herself she then bestowed this virulent blight on her poor, hapless sperm-ovum contributors.

It has both her mom and dad down and out for the count. The girl tempest is however healthy again and operating at her usual 105% capacity (which is adding to the general sense of misery) At the moment I’m tagged in to achieve some mattress time while the wife grinds out suicide hour and the parent of the year achievement award. (Because I’m the male of the species my symptoms are deemed more severe and incapacitating, also my mewling is louder and more frequent which almost guarantees me quarantine)

Unfortunately it’s not all camomile tea, Netflix and sleepy time. The basset hound thinks he has healing prowess. Whenever anyone in our household is sick, Dr D. will dutifully come and… well, cry at your beside until you lift him up onto the bed. (Our household is not a believer in equal-heights) He will then attempt to ‘heal’ you (with his body weight). Theres nothing quite like a canine mandated recovery that comes with a 25kg cement bag digging into your spleen and obstructing the peristalsis of your small intestine…. I wouldn’t recommend it personally.

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The German Shepherd, although not an innate healer, feels left out and soon adds her massive girth to the equation. Eventually everyone is snoring loudly… except for the intended recipient of said healing, who as well as being sick, is now also, extremely uncomfortable.

I vaguely wonder where it all started to go wrong for me? Lying there, crushed by the symptoms of the common cold, this has turned into a time for meaningful reflection. Especially now that the trajectory of my entire weekend has now been called into doubt. I have a sneaky suspicion it’s not going to be very exciting. And may, potentially end with my demise. If you don’t hear from me again, know that I went out swinging. Okay, thats probably not true. While I endeavoured to fight them on beaches (and on the landing grounds)… I probably slipped on some toddler type detritus in the middle of the night, fell and smacked my head on the edge of the toilet… an ignominious end for one so mighty.

If at all possible I’d like a lone piper, preferably bespoke in Campbell tartan playing amazing grace while my body is stuffed into one of Elon Musks rockets, and fired off into space. When the universe contracts again I wish to arrive before my peers. I am weirdly competitive that way…

13.04.2018 – Friday

I’ve decided (recently) that I hate running. I realize hate is quite an intense verb and that I used to run almost every single day.  In terms of time efficiency, it’s a really good workout, but… I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed running, not really. I suppose I could frame my statement with various excuses; I don’t have the right build, gait, mindset or that distance running is counter evolutionary to our bipedal form, but I think the reality is that I’m just more inclined towards sloth (the vice not the marsupial) and therefore just resistant to the whole concept of forward inertia coupled with the aggressive locomotion of my lower extremities. Besides, running is bad for you.

‘Why do you run Joey? Because it feels so good when I stop’.

I usually wake up (stupid) early, usually somewhere around four am. Theoretically this time between booting up and breakfast is meant to be spent in zen like contemplation, girding my loins for the day ahead. More often than not I loose myself in some mindless (fake) news event or some YouTube rabbit hole instead.

This morning I decided to take the German Shepherd for a walk. The Basset Hound was still snugly furled up in his pillow fort and it would have proved… challenging to extract him from within its confines without considerable effort.

In any event I appreciate the way that the world feels at four thirty am. I like the Noir effect and how the only people that are awake are those indentured beings delivering bread and newspapers (I’m guessing this won’t be a ‘thing’ forever). Although this morning I did meet another idiot walking his dog. (weird)

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The ubiquitous selfie. (I’m the one on the left)

My sojourn takes me up past a film studio, through a park and then I loop past a cemetery on my way back. Just under three miles. Only about five meters from my house on the return leg I tripped on the unkempt verge of my neighbors pavement and twisted my ankle. I’ve been hobbling around today ever since. The irony.

So maybe its just walking upright that seems to be problematic for me? I feel the weight of my ancestors and my kin (all the way back to homo-erectus) as they collectively share a look of concern and then face-palm.

‘Damn Joey, been walking long?’  

At thirty nine and two months I’d like to underscore that I am a slow learner. Recently my wife has been trying to teach me some more ‘occult’ like accounting practices (specifically deferred tax). If ever there was a concept that has wrinkled the gray spongy stuff!

I feel I may have reached my ‘trick limit’ and that new tricks are now beyond me. Maybe I’m aiming too high though. Instead of deferred tax I should maybe just concentrate on the basics. You know, like putting the toilet seat down and eating with my mouth closed.

That seems like a lot to remember though.

 

 

 

Rain, rain go away

Because I made fun of the UK in my last post it’s started to rain.

It’s not all bad. We are listening to our new LP’s while pulling the girl-child round the house in a card board box.

We spent all our money on coffee and analog technology. So we have to make due with the box we got at the farmers market and a piece of rope.

Admonishing me for going too slowly.

The German Shepherd is amused.

That strange intersection of Locomotives and Attack-bassets

I’ve decided I have lower leg compartment syndrome in my left calf. Self diagnosed after ten minutes on Google. Who needs doctors anymore?

Before you knock self diagnosis my nephew and godchild had this really strange malady that was mystifying his pediatrician.  I googled his symptoms and casually remarked ‘have you tested for Kawasaki’s disease?’. No one listened to me, at least not initially, (Probably for good reason) but it turns out it WAS Kawasaki’s disease. I felt quite smug afterwards (as one does)

I don’t really think I have lower leg compartment syndrome (its in my top five possibilities though) but my calf is hobbling me. Not as badly as yesterday, but I have decided to skip my run this morning in favor of some downtime. Interestingly the most suggested treatment for lower leg compartment syndrome is, ‘Stop running’.

My fascia in my legs and feet have always given me trouble. For a long time I suffered from plantar fasciitis, which crippled me for the first five minutes of every morning. Recently I have decided to stop running hills in an effort to be slightly kinder to my body and just run round the indoor track. I am not naturally a runner. In an evolutionary sense I was not the guy who chased the elk to the point exhaustion and then stabbed it with a pointy stick. I was the guy who thought it would be a good idea to jump onto the back of the Woolly Mammoth from an elevated position with a flint tipped shiv, whose survival was only ensured by dense bones, an above average covering of meat and thick cranium, DEFITINELY not mental acuity . In the first person shooter sense, I am the tank*

*Which I always thought was the least glamorous of the FPS roles. Big and dumb.

In other exciting news. My parents rent out their cottage. They’ve had a slew of weird people over the years. Including a gay couple, who after an altercation led to an amusing (but dangerous) scene where one spurned, coked up lover chased the other round the garden with a kitchen knife in the predawn gloom.

Their most recent tenant (this weird shut in) absconded during the night and left the key and a note under the mat. The new people moved in over the weekend. An elderly couple. He’s had a stroke, which has rendered him mute, but otherwise fine (as far as I can tell). He has a model train set! You know the one of those installation pieces that comes with trees, hills, rolling pastures, a village and most importantly, locomotives. I have decided this could be the ultimate ‘friend’. He can’t speak, so we don’t have to engage in unnecessary banter AND (more importantly) he has an awesome train set that we can play with. Also he can’t tell me to go home.

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‘Doooot, dooooot’…. ‘schakka schakka schakka!’

Unfortunately the basset hound tried to murder him him over the weekend. He has general ownership issues which extends to my parents house and beyond.  An attack basset is initially quite an amusing thing… until you realize he’s being serious. At that point he’s already closed the distance and is trying to tear your throat out. He has a special hatred for my parents gardener, who often has to keep him at bay with a rake.

Anyways. Both dogs have now been banned.

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Which makes the German very sad.

*Joey takes another sip of coconut-coffee*

You know I used to disparage this notion of coffee and coconut oil. I tried it for a loooong time and felt zero cognitive improvement.  I’ve started intermittently fasting (my eight hour window is between 9am and 6pm). Last week some time I opened the cupboard and saw the half-empty jar of coconut oil. I figured why not, let me put someone in my coffee again.

Interestingly I felt sharper and my alert afterwards. So there might be something to this after all. Maybe I was just doing it wrong before, clearly the intermittent fasting is helping somehow. Anyways, just thought I’d mention it….

 

Hide and seek

The little person surreptitiously hid away my keys before story time last night. This lead to an increasingly more frantic search this morning as I upended the house searching for them. Eventually she woke up. ‘Do you know where you put daddy’s keys?’

(Almost) Two year old’s are naturally resistant to interrogation I’ve found. ‘Me, funny’ and then running down the passage, doesn’t, as you might imagine, give you very much to work with. Especially when you’ve just gone through the trash (outside, in the pouring rain)

She had at some point during the evening, likely when I was supine on the sofa and preoccupied with my phone, clandestinely concealed them in her puzzle box. You know the one that comes with predetermined cut-outs and you’re supposed to put the correct shape in the correct slot. (I’ve gotten quite good at this)

‘Hey guys, help me look for my keys’

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‘Zzzzzzzzz… zzzzzzzz’

Eventually my wife found them. She has better instincts for what little people might do with objects of desire (keys, iPhone’s and credit cards). In fact without assistance I would still be wandering aimlessly through the house, likely mewling and feeling sorry for myself. (this is kinda my go-to response to frustrating events)

South Africans find moisture very challenging and now delayed, my morning commute became the aquatic version of ‘Fury Road’.

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It also meant that going to gym died stillborn.

On the plus side I did get my 400% badge yesterday. (required another 30 minutes of shadow boxing and push ups in my pajamas)

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I feel like one of the cool kids now. Whether or not this will allow me to sit with the cheerleaders and football jocks remains to be seen.

I am however, hopeful.

Lupus, pie and chilies that can burn your face off.

How does it go again? What’s worse than finding a toenail in your pie? Finding the bandaid that was holding it on.

I generally avoid savory pies for this reason. For me pies have always conjured up the image of a man in gumboots mopping the slaughterhouse floor, corralling all the beef detritus into the central drain and then shoveling it into a bucket (later to be combined with ground up hooves and snouts). That’s the meat destined for your pepper steak pie.

We took my daughter for a hair cut this weekend. Which is weirdly exciting for me because the kiddies barbershop has a very decent bookshop next door and across from them is a Morroccan restaurant.

The Morroccan restaurant sells lamb pies. (I love North African food)

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I make a massive exception to my rule for these. They are remarkably delicious, combining the two ambrosia like elements of lamb and pastry. They also don’t skimp on the meat. Just thinking about it makes me salivate uncontrollably.

The little person is taking her afternoon siesta. It’s been a rough morning of arts and crafts and playing Duplo.

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‘Look daddy a cute little lion cub’ OMG BEHIND YOU!!!! (I try and teach my daughter useful survival skills through allegory)

I have my free hour now (maybe an hour an a half if I’m lucky) to kick back and blog. I’ve been joined by a creature. (In our house the humans lie on the floor)

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My German has lupus. Which is why her nose looks a little raw. I know it’s NEVER lupus (Dr. House) but in her case it really is.

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Have some Lupus dad. Right in your eye hole.

For lunch we made sticky teriyaki aubergine. As a Christmas present my sister gave me this…

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Generally I find Jamie Oliver receipes quite hit or miss. We’ve been slowly working our way through this one since Yuletide. So far its mostly been quite good. The sticky teriyaki aubergine today was excellent, and more importantly used stuff from my garden almost exclusively. Except peanuts. And teriyaki sauce.

Maybe next time with slightly less chili. My crop this year has largely been a disaster. I had quite high hopes planting Telica (my all time favorite eating chili), habaneros, Tabasco and chocolate flavored varieties. Only a hail storm in early spring  annihilated all my seedlings save three plants. The lone jalapeño that survived can pit titanium as far as I’m concerned. Goddamn!

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In other news I plan to round out my afternoon furlough with 30 minutes of PlayStation. (Hopefully) In fact I should start with that… now.

Canis familiaris foetidus

Apparently the noise humans find most comforting is the crackling of a fire, combined with the snoring of dogs. It’s apparently an ancestral thing. I can get behind that with out much further rationale.

Currently however I am getting an additional sensory input. That of damp German Shepherd.

I took the dogs to the park this morning at 5am before it got blisteringly warm. The basset hound being ostensibly lower to the ground than his counterpart and the fact that he is also a firm adherent of the ‘let no muddy puddle be left unplumbed’ school of dog waking, came home looking a tad worse for wear.

While I can abide a stinky French man, my wife/his mother cannot. After a brief chase around the garden the le petite corporal was captured, harangued and then placed in the tub of torture.

The German adding her input on techniques best suited to water board a baguette eater.

It’s not so bad, here let me put this damp towel on your head.

After the basset hound we thought maybe we should give the German a go. None of us really relished the thought. The basset hound, once in the tub of torture, becomes super compliant. The German fights you the whole time. Alternating with shaking like a leaf. Which means I have to implement some doggie type Ju-Jitsu on her while the wife does stuff with shampoo and the garden hose.

For our sins (and because she is basically a 40kg sponge) we now to sleep to the aroma of moist canine assailing our nostrils.

In other news I finished building my Christmas present!

The residents of Joey… polis have a new carousel. And they are very pleased with their benevolent, omnipotent, sky god, creator type person.

I really enjoyed building this set. In fact I’m super impressed with the engineering that went into its construction. The whole contraption is driven by a single axle which is then ‘geared’ up to create the rotation of the carousel and the up and down motion of the animal figures. I’m not naturally inclined towards this ‘type’ of thinking, so I find it incredibly clever. I’m ridiculously excited for this years ‘creator’ releases. I’ve already racked up some serious YouTube time perusing sets and watching reviews.

Almost free stuff.

I broke my Fitbit.

…sooooo my Fitbit broke. (Like a car accident let me not admit culpability). And then two weeks later I broke my wife’s Apple Watch

my wife’s Apple Watch broke (randomly)

The resulting trauma of these events fueled a foamy and introspective apoplexy where I raged against all fitness trackers and vowed from hereon-out to track my fitness data via journal (with a pencil) instead..

…that little endeavor lasted about a week before rolling over and assuming a position not unlike a dead bug. Clearly I have almost no capacity to self motivate.

I need colored circles and stupid achievements. I’m guessing that is probably psychologically quite telling and likely positions me on the spectrum of someone not to share a foxhole with.

I’ve been counting down the days for my banking rewards program to assign spurious pretend money to my account, which happened this morning. (I have this thing about not spending real money on such frivolity)

Sha-zam! Four hours later I have a new shiny Apple Watch.

I have to laugh at the size of the delivery box though. Although maybe they just didn’t trust their courier, so they Trojan horsed it. Which now that I think about it actually makes sense to me.

In other news our slide got delivered yesterday afternoon.

We’ve been building a fort (raised platform, whatever) in the garden for the girl spawn. Up until this point its been a completely free exercise. We’ve using wood (pallets, boxes, container dunnage, etc) that I’ve scavenged from work and brought home piecemeal. The only thing we’ve paid actually money for was the fiberglass slide.

Basset hound used for scale.

The little ‘house’ structure was also free. My brother in law was using it as dog kennel but it was starting to fall apart (and his dogs never used it anyway) so he offered it to me. Replaced some of the rotting timber, a coat of paint, a home made stable door and Tada! This corner of the domicile is starting to take on the form of a real Branch Davidian compound (from which to wage war)

Jo sticks the landing. But gets smashed by a German Shepherd in full gallop shortly hereafter.

*fade to black*