Of Loss and Learning

Hi All,

If it hadn’t been for Saturday, today’s post would have amounted to about a sentence and the word “Rotoscoping”. Our latest assessment has us glued to the computer for hours at a time hand drawing over the top of individual video cells. 200 cells to be precise in order to yield 10 seconds (precisely!) of swf file that will give you a tiny window into insanity. Steve has been helping a friend renovate his mother’s house and that means that non-technological narf7 has been left in charge of the technology. A dark day indeed! On the positive side, I have learned a great deal from my solo career, the most important lesson being that of “never EVER let Steve go!” He might leave his clothes scattered all over the bedroom floor…he might drop bits of log on the pathway between the wheelbarrow and the wood basket…he might “half do” just about EVERYTHING but he is a genius when it comes to technology and I, most certainly, am NOT. I spent an entire day twiddling my thumbs because I attempted to open up a video in Adobe Media Encoder and managed somehow to click a button that changed the look of the program so I could no longer follow the video instructions given to us by our lecturer. Helplessness to the max and no amount of temper tantrums would open that little black secret box! I had to wait till Steve got in, tired and filthy from peeling wallpaper, to find that all I had to do was click a single button and that the video that was tantalisingly close to me was just “there” again.

Here’s a Youtube link to hear just how HIDEOUS my voice is. If this goes viral I am going to need therapy! I hand drew all of the artwork in this video. The art is the star, the voice is something to be endured 😦


Adobe Flash is fun folks. I love it. There are so many possibilities to be creative but we have hit a section of Flash where fun ceases and hard graft takes over. It’s called Rotoscoping and it has just consumed the last 3 days of our lives. Rotoscoping is where some poor schmuck (that would be we humble middle aged penniless student hippies) has to sit for hours on end individually hand drawing over the top of video still cells. To add to the tension, because Steve has been AWOL he had to work all weekend on his Rotoscoping assessment. We had to first take a short video (maximum 10 seconds) with audio and convert it into a format whereby we could insert it into Adobe Flash. After that we have to render it rotoscoped, then reinsert the audio file and erase the original video cells so that what we are left with is our hand drawn animation with sound. We also have to add a background but that is incidental to the hard work. The notes said that it was a 12 hour task. The notes lied. Steve spent the best part of 36 hours straight Rotoscoping his video and because we only have 1 computer with Adobe on it, I had to wait my turn. I sent a missive off to our lecturer informing him that my rotoscoped video is going to have to wait and why. Here’s hoping he understands and it’s kind of too bad if he doesn’t really 😉


Steve took this shot with my trusty camera right before it ran out of batteries. It didn’t help that he accidentally shot a video before this but this is just to show you how cold it was out where he was collecting wood this morning. The limbs in the foreground were actually frozen!


This is on the same property after it warmed up a bit. The grass is frosty and the weather is frigid but when the sun shines you just can’t feel sorry for yourself in Winter 🙂

I would like to make it officially known that I am OVER VIRUSES! Our free AVG appears to have given up the ghost and no longer upgrades. I guess you get what you pay for and they are starting to give you less and less in order to try to force you to buy their service. Steve clicked on a camera information site the other day and got 3 Trojans that took half a day to get rid of. I was eating my breakfast and decided to check out the news for the day and I got 2 Trojans from a decision to read about the new royal baby. AVG has officially worn out Its welcome in our home and I hereby give notice to the hackers, the spammers, the complete and utter gits who feel the need to invade other people’s personal information and generally make the internet a pain in the derrière to navigate that we are trotting off tomorrow to get Kaspersky to lay some smack down on their bottoms! “Bring it on you nasty little reprobates…we will be ready for you!” Just a quick note, we now HAVE Kaspersky locked and loaded onto our trusty PC steed and I have to say, it actually makes our PC run faster! “Bring it on invaders…we have brought in the big guns!”


A shameless photo of Earl indulging in the demon liquor! I am sorry to say he LOVES IT…


He might be hung over but he is MOST interested in this interesting package that I received this morning…I am not going to open it till my birthday. Thankyou from the bottom of my little black ducky heart Christi and Keith. If it is what I think it is, I am going to treasure every single spoonful down to the last. I will run my finger around the jar when it has been completely spent of its hallowed contents and I will treasure the jar along with it’s fellow countrymen. I could almost amass a tiny army of them and I love each and every one :). Hugs and love from your twin in Sidmouth and I can’t wait till my birthday breakfast…guess what I am going to have on toast? 🙂

On a sadder note, Pingu is no longer with us :o(. Pingu was Steve’s little hen that he rescued from certain death when he found her almost lifeless as an abandoned chick in the outside chook compound. He used a hairdryer to warm her and then raised her in his music room. She was never entirely normal after that and Earl tried to dispatch her 3 times. She was always living on borrowed time and spent her days scurrying out of the way of the other hens and wandering around near the back gate trying to work out how to get back inside where the warm light was and the free grain. She met a most sad and ironic death at the hands of someone who has been dead for 3 years and therein lies a tale…


Steve doing his level best to look like Sid Vicious whilst tempting Earl with his favourite fruit “eggs”. Note the view that I have out my window. It’s not hard to get Steve to do the dishes 😉


Earl will do tricks for eggs. Bezial is sitting nicely in the hope that good behaviour is going to get HIM an egg and Steve is attempting to be a teapot apparently…”Love that hair babe! Who needs hair gel when you can have wallpaper paste instead? ;)”

3 years ago my father died. My father was a conundrum of a man. He was bolshie to the core and proud of it. He was erasable, he was ornery, he was just about every kind of irritating and frustrating at times but his worst quality was his abrogation of responsibility. Dad knew he had cancer when he purchased a young vital Curly haired retriever that he named Milo. He knew that he wasn’t going to last till Milo passed away and just assumed that Steve and I would take Milo on when he died. He told us that we were going to inherit Milo and as the child of a bolshie man, I felt the need to put my foot down and make it known that if we wanted a dog, it was going to be OUR choice of dog and not dad’s! Bezial was purchased, in part, to stem the tide of “Milo”. Dad, being dad, spent his days alternating between indulging Milo and yelling at him. Milo, being the bone headed mutt that he was had NO idea what was expected of him and so ended up confused, neurotic and more than a little irritating. When dad died some “friends” who owed dad a lot of money came out of the woodwork and said that they would take Milo. We thought that it was because they thought it was a way to pay him back for the money that they owed him but we have since found out otherwise.


Some of the ingredients chosen to make vegan Bibimbap a Korean dish that I LOVE.


I home dried those large regular mushrooms from the stash that I got ages ago in our mushroom compost. The other mushrooms are cloud ear fungus. They add a delicious crunch and some nutrition to any dish that you add them to

Dad was in the habit of “promising” people things…dropping little hints about how wealthy he was and how he would “see you right” and this resulted in him picking up vultures like ticks. He had a “girlfriend” who evaporated like so much smoke after he died but who was armament (before he died) that he absolutely positively HAD to marry her because she adored the ground that he walked on… he also had some fair weather friends who stuck like glue to the honeypot and who were loath to give up their free source of money. Unfortunately for Milo, the people that took him were the worst of the bunch. We think they thought that dad was going to leave money in his will to take care of Milo. He was locked in an outside garage for 3 years and only let out on very rare occasions. Every time he was let out he would return here and Steve would put a leash on him and take him back. The woman who took him never seemed to have a problem with that until exactly 3 years to the day after dad died and Milo started making repeat appearances on the property within days of each other. Steve took him back and the woman screamed at Steve to “Get off my property!” and “He only goes to your place because you feed him!” and other such crazy talk. Steve was gobsmacked to say the least because every other time she just took Milo back. It would seem that they have suddenly realised that there isn’t any money in Milo. They have also apparently stopped feeding him. He is rake thin and starving. He has been up to our property 7 times in the last month and after Steve’s screaming match with the woman I have been taking him back. I got screamed at too but I told her that I didn’t want to fight with her, dropped Milo off and just walked away from her mid tirade.


The reconstituted cloud ear fungus along with a plate with tofu, thin sliced veggies, reconstituted regular mushrooms and some bamboo shoots in chilli oil and some fermented tofu. Just a note folks…take it VERY easy if you ever decide to walk on the wild side and try fermented tofu. It’s a most definite “acquired taste”. I think it might be a cold day in hell before I eat it again!


My daughters have sauces that they purchased from a local Asian supermarket for their bibimbap but I didn’t have any so decided to wing it. I did have gochujang, the Korean chilli sauce that adds delicious spicy piquancy to everything that you use it with and so added ginger, garlic etc. to make my own. Here’s a link to a good recipe for Bibimbap sauce if you would like to make your own…


The last time that I took him back she threatened to call the police on me if I came near her property. Hard to bring “her dog” back when I can’t go near her property and it became more and more obvious that she was attempting to get us to take over responsibility for Milo…to deal with a problem that she no longer wanted. Milo is a lovely dog. He is pure bred, he is handsome, he is now incredibly well behaved and he walks amazingly well on a leash. He would make some family a stunning pet. I walked home from my last altercation with “the fishwife” and called the police myself. The advised me not to take Milo back and to call the ranger. We associated “ranger” with pounds and dogs being put to sleep and we didn’t want to go down that road so we tried to take Milo back as close to her house as we could get without being seen and release him. It didn’t work. Why would he want to go back to being locked in a shed with no food? On Saturday at lunchtime we were working inside when Earl went ballistic. We know Earl’s “Milo alarm” sound and Steve sighed…


This is a metre long home made sausage. It is also part of my kitchen but the sausage is the star. That tiny little “thing” next to the metre long sausage is Steve’s idea of a bit of fun. He filled the remaining sausage casing with water and kept leaving it around where I would find it…nothing like an adolescents sense of humour to keep the spark in your relationship 😉


The sausage rolled up in the style of boerwors sausage…note Steve’s “rubber Johnny”…sigh…

We had also been advised over the telephone, by a lawyer to not take Milo back and to see if he would go back himself. We waited, hostage, inside with our dogs for 3 hours while Milo roamed around the property eating old dead wallaby bones out the back and sniffing all over the place. We felt frustrated and upset by the whole situation and suddenly Earl started to bark at the back door and Steve headed over to see what the commotion was all about. The last we saw of Pingu was Milo carrying her off in his mouth down a pathway on the property :o(. We raced outside but he was gone and by the pile of feathers outside she was dead. He had apparently taken another hen as well because there was another pile of feathers in another area so I looked at Steve and said “That’s IT!”. It takes a fair bit to get me really angry folks. I dabble in minor explosions but when my ire is truly up I make Vesuvius look tame. Steve knows better than to say anything and just grabbed his jacket and followed me out the door. We were most of the way up the road (on foot) when our friend’s partner drove up behind us and after we had explained what happened, decided to drive us up to deal with the fishwife. For a while she refused to come out of her house, then she saw our friend and decided that as we had witnesses she wouldn’t go down her usual screaming track and instead headed back inside her house and slammed the door…it was ON!


Steve cutting the casing from the end of the boerwors style sausage that he is just about to cook for his tea


After skewering the sausage to ensure it didn’t manage to get out of the oven it ended up being very tasty. We will be experimenting with making different kinds of sausages from now on. They are much cheaper and better quality than regular supermarket or butchers sausages and you can customise them however you like. This variety had Asian flavouring with chilli and mixed herbs and Steve gave them his (fussy) tick of approval 🙂

We headed back home where we detained Milo in our shed. We then called the police and were amazed when they sent someone around! He headed off to the fishwife’s home but strangely and most curiously, there wasn’t anyone in (although we had been there not 10 minutes before 😉 ). He then told us that we were within our rights to contain Milo and that he would phone up the on call ranger to come and get him. Steve and I looked at each other but by now it was too far gone for us to stop Milo being taken to the pound. We know that this is EXACTLY what the fishwife wants. She wants to not only be abrogated of responsibility for Milo, but to make it “our fault” that he gets put down. She didn’t factor in the ranger being an animal lover. We got a call from the ranger at 4pm. He told us that he would pick Milo up the next morning and that we could feed him and keep him in our shed. Steve headed out with a big bowl of dog biscuits that our dogs won’t eat (too fussy) and Milo scoffed them down in 10 seconds flat. It was very sad to see and we don’t blame the poor dog for killing our chooks…he was starving.


My new kettle. The old one was threatening a melt down and this one has a very thick base and a whistle that is more melodic than manic. I LOVE IT 🙂

We talked to the ranger and filled him in on the situation and the next morning he turned up at 9am at the bottom of the drive to pick him up. Steve and I were waiting with Milo on a lead. He kept looking up at us and licking Steve’s hand. We felt awful. When the ranger arrived he told us that as Milo was micro chipped to dad (the fishwife was stupid enough to get his rego changed but too lazy to fill out forms to have the microchip changed into her name) that officially he didn’t have to contact the fishwife and could go to plan B. He said that after 5 days in the pound that Milo would be sent to the RSPCA for rehousing. That made Steve and I VERY happy. It’s what should have happened 3 years ago but for the greed and avarice of a false friend. To ensure that the fishwife didn’t reclaim Milo (which she is apparently entitled to do) he is going to wave a series of prospective fines at her for allowing her dog to roam unlicensed that should eventuate in her signing Milo over to the ranger rather than torturing the poor dog more than he has already had to endure. We refused our right to complain about Milo killing Pingu and another hen. If we had, he would have been put into a different category. As far as we are concerned, he did it because he was starving and who knows what we would do if put in the same situation?


I just found this picture that I took of some gochujang, the paste that I use to make Bibimbap sauce. Just thought you might like to see it so that if you want to give this dish a go for yourself you can


Another Korean paste made from miso and flavoured with garlic, spring onions and sesame seeds. It is really delicious and adds a lot of flavour to healthy Korean dishes

The ranger drove off with Milo and is going to keep us informed of the situation. It turns out that not only is the ranger a very nice, animal loving man, but he comes from Devon in the U.K., his father was from Liverpool (Steve’s home-town) and he lived in Western Australia (MY hometown) for many years. We had a lot in common and that certainly helped to grease the wheels for looking out for Milo’s welfare. I can’t believe that someone would be able to disregard the life of something in order to get money. I know it happens. It happens every day. My father inherited a lot of money from his partner when she died and he managed to fritter a most of it away on fair weather friends and a series of useless causes. It was his right to do whatever he wanted with his wealth but it did nothing towards making his life happy. His money ended up being a milestone around his neck because he didn’t realise that money is a means to an end, not something to be held in high esteem and used to affect power over other people. It always ends up turning around and biting you. It’s easy to say that from a penniless student hippy point of view. We don’t have money and so it is easy to negate its importance. When money buys you fishwife you would be better off without it folks! The huge irony is that despite Earl getting hold of Pingu 3 times and plucking her within an inch of her life, she always managed to get away. It took dad’s dog from the past to take her out. She was officially unscared of dogs thanks to Bezial roaming free with me in the mornings and not bothering the chooks. She would peck at seed and he would sniff her. The last time I saw Pingu she was trotting along next to Milo at the side of Steve’s shed, oblivious to her fate. I hope it was quick :o(. I found some feathers on the pathway down to the front gate. I brought them back with me and put them into my feather stash that I have on the deck. Pingu finally made it posthumously back into the fold.


A tray of homemade potato wedges…potatoes go hand in hand with winter…note the “sampled” spud over to the left 😉


Bezial pretending to be fast asleep so I will leave him alone. Winter is a great time for dogs to laze around on rocker recliner chairs next to the fire…it’s a dogs life here folks!

That’s about all I have to share with you today folks. As I mentioned, aside from Saturday, it was a manic week spent scratching out cells on videos and scratching my head trying to work with technology that is more bolshie than I am. Have a great week and see you next week where I might share the 10 second video that Steve took 3 solid days to make.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. brymnsons
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 19:53:08

    Wow what a week Fran. So sorry about Pingu and that poor dog, I hope that fishwife has karma bite her hard on the bum! I just don’t understand how you can be nasty to a defenceless animal. What a dilemma it put you in 😦
    Nice looking sausage too, yours not Steves 😀
    I think I will be becoming best friends with Brunhilda by the look of that frost! Brrrr


    • narf77
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 21:01:12

      That frost was a bit further in land than us Kymmy, we are right on the river and so we get a lot less frost. We do get to watch the fog roll down the river and then back again a bit later on, its very pretty :). We are going to have to do a Tassie version (and middle aged version) of Thelma and Louise when you come over albeit minus the angst and the bad ending ;). “Franny and Kymmy” touring the wineries and sipping their way to oblivion…”Who CARES about 50, we have another winery to go to…it is just going to have to wait!” ;). Just soes you know we have at least 5 vinyards within walking distance from here. Steve says you want to visit one apparently…just one?!!! 😉


      • brymnsons
        Aug 01, 2013 @ 18:20:14

        I love the idea of the wineries being within walking distance! No one has to be the driver then. 😀 . Look out Tassie, here we come lol.

      • narf77
        Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:31:52

        “Drunk and disorderly in Sidmouth”…I feel a new chapter of our lives coming on Kymmy! Bring it on!!! 😉

  2. gardeningkiwi
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 20:00:22

    Hi Fran. Gosh it looks like your winter is way colder than ours. So far we have had two frosts and the last couple of weeks it has almost been tropical with the sunny weather and potential for drought – I nearly got the hose out! However the rains are set to return and winter will become its usual soggy self.
    I’m glad Milo had a happy ending, but at the same time you can get surprising attached to chickens – I have my favs.
    Cheers Sarah : o )


    • narf77
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 20:58:46

      Cheers for your comment Sarah, Steve was very attached to Pingu, he raised her from when he found her almost dead as a tiny chick in our chook yard and it was sad for him to be the one to see Milo running off with her in his jaws :(. We are getting reasonable amounts of rain but a lot of cold. Lucky for Brunhilda and lots of lovely dry firewood! Hopefully summer won’t be a stinker.


  3. cathyandchucky
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 21:01:54

    Poor, poor Pingu and poor, poor Milo. People like those two down the road should be banned from owning animals forever. Why Dad surrounded himself with scum I don’t know. We can only hope milo is re-housed somewhere good. Thanks for looking out for him even in your loss of Pingu.


    • narf77
      Aug 01, 2013 @ 02:40:17

      They conned dad Pinky and tanya actually had him staying away from Roxy and Guy and said that they were trouble! She was making sure that the money stayed right where she wanted it. When dad died, she had been hassling him for days to take them over to W.A. again. Some people are just vultures 😦


  4. quarteracrelifestyle
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 05:27:38

    Oh, poor Milo!!! Dogs are such beautiful creatures, they deserve to be loved. I hope he finds another home where he can be. And I am sorry about Pingu. Roger is very attached to his chooks and has his favourites, one of them is 8 years old and there is no way we could ever put them down because they no longer lay.
    Steve sounds like Roger around the house lol, drives me crazy at times.
    Your voice is fine on that, it’s great but not loud enough – me thinks you were feeling rather timid in doing it 🙂


  5. teawithhazel
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 09:19:37

    what a saga of a week you’ve had..i feel sad for you losing chookie..we had a rooster years ago that my daughter raised from a 2 week old chick that we adored..he was taken by a fox along with the 10 hens he was trying to protect..and i hope poor milo is re homed and given the love he so deserves and needs..


  6. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 11:06:47

    Dear Fran. I’m sitting here at my favourite coffee shop reading your blog. What a sad tale for that poor dog. I am so pleased that you found an animal-loving ranger who shares your consideration for the wellbeing of this lovely dog. Hope Milo finds a really good home, he deserves it. Well done on you and Steve for sticking with Milo through this trauma.


    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:13:40

      He is a lovely dog Jean and he didn’t deserve to be purchased by a grouchy old man who knew that he was dying when he bought a young vital retriever. Poor Milo has remained stoic and how the poor thing has managed to retain his wagging tail and happy demeanour amazes me! He will be rehoused somewhere with people who actually choose him and who want to love him. He deserves that at the very least. Hope your coffee was good :).


  7. Annie
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 11:14:49


    I have recently signed up to your blog, and I must say I am really enjoying it. love the dogs, the way you are living and the way you write. Its a shame that the story of your dad is a common one – come in to money and amazingly come into friends but it is good to know that there is still kindness in strangers.

    glad to here the story of Milo has hopefully ended well and hopefully you no longer have to deal with the fishwife.

    keep up the good work of living life well



    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:19:38

      Hi Annie, welcome to Serendipity Farm :). Dads story seems to be lingering on. He was bolshie when he was alive and 3 years later he is STILL bolshie ;). I tell people that he is still here in spirit. He lives in the crows that inhabit the eucalyptus trees and spends his days haranguing the other animals here and complaining about everything. Nothing much has changed ;). The fishwife is between a rock and a hard place. If she demands Milo back, she will have to shell out a fair bit of money for the privilege and as she could care less about him and only WANTS money, I think it is a fair bet he won’t be going back to live in the shed in the cold locked up for the rest of his life. We have to wait till she has officially ignored the rangers notice of intention for a week before he will phone us and let us know what is going on. All I care about is that Milo gets rehoused somewhere where he can actually have a life. Sometimes you have to wait to later to start living. It’s Milo’s turn at 8 :). I am constantly amazed that people would want to read about 2 penniless student hippies out in the bush who spend their days juggling a mutual dose of procrastination coupled with bursts of manic derring do ;). Once everyone heads off home after my birthday, mid August, we are going to hurl ourselves back into the garden with a vengeance. It should get pretty interesting about then :). Till then, just hang about and you are bound to get a nice cup of tea, a homemade biscuit (cookie depending on where you are from 😉 ) and a good chat about life, the universe and everything. That’s what I do best 😉 (oh…along with the procrastination. I do that VERY well 😉 )


  8. Littlesundog
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 12:25:00

    So sorry about Pingu. Those kinds of losses are difficult. I’m still a little sad about Daisy losing Rowdy. I still find myself hopeful he’ll just show up… but I know better.

    Now you know I love those snapshots of Earl!! Is that a beer he’s swigging? Another thing to love about that boy… my, I get so sidetracked with Earl. I read on, but then find myself scrolling back up to have another look… or two… or 5… well, who’s counting anyway?

    Strange you’re having winter and we’re suffering the inferno of summer! I think I’ll enjoy the heat. I’m not too keen on cold temps! Brr!


    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:23:37

      I love the cold. I think I was a walrus or a seal in a past life…maybe a penguin? 😉 Knock yourself out with Earl, he loves having his picture taken and will pose for ages when he knows that the camera is on him. I figure he was some kind of vain crazy young French base jumping model in a past life. He spends most of his days jumping from chairs to tables to racing maniacally around the house knocking over kitchen chairs and posing on the sofa with a blanket on his head. I figure the French bit is because he shows NO signs that he understands my commands ;). Earl is an enigma and we love him that way. The closest thing to “wild” we are going to get to :). Earl sends slobbers and yes…that WAS a beer. Bezial is straight edge and hates beer. Earl is showing his French connections again. He also loves to get hold of those shiny silver bladders inside wine casks. We blow them up for him and after bouncing them around the house he bursts them and drinks any remaining wine he can get…LUSH! 😉


  9. christiok
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 13:54:01

    Wouldn’t it just have to be the resurrected Pinku to bring all the parts and the hearts together?? I feel so sorry that all of you went through this, including Milo. I really like how you weave the story through the victories and defeats of your week, and the picture of Steve the Teapot is priceless. Happy Birthday, Fran. You are a dang good writer! 🙂 p.s. glad you got the box in time!


    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:26:39

      I am going to open it on Monday and am going to have birthday toast of happiness :). I “think” we might be almost finished with flash! I did my rotoscope (that I will share on Wednesday) and added a light touch to it. Hopefully you guys will like it. No idea why you liked my voice. I want to sell it…give it away! I am going to go to elocution classes (maybe those classes that Madonna went to when she went from a squeaky Kylie Minogue impersonator to a real singer? 😉 ) to re-educate my vocal chords…I was traumatised by the whole event ;). I am thinking about jam…that jar is so close to me right now…and yet so far away (in the middle room with the door shut…)…must…wait…till… birthday…must…wait…till…birthday…sigh… 😉


  10. OhioYarnFarmer
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 15:38:32

    Poor Milo, and poor chickens…

    I’m really glad that you can relax a bit knowing that the ranger will do his best by Milo. I’m just sorry you got landed with the fallout from fishwife’s greed…

    Best of luck with the Flash project, and I hope Kapersky works well for you. The last time my laptop was transformed into a useless mass of bits and parts via Trojan Horse, the techie (poor guy) who ended up working on it had to wipe it completely. (Holy water, an old priest and a young priest may or may not have been involved, I wasn’t present at the time…)


    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:29:01

      Kaspersky is like holy water! He turned up 7 viruses that were burrowed into inaccessible places like ticks. We were both amazed at where they were and he cleaned them out like so much flotsam and jetsum…must say I am VERY impressed with him and he has made our PC run faster to boot! $54 for 2 years cover makes it just over 50c a week to run and you know what? That’s a dead set BARGAIN for this kind of peace of mind :). I’m not even being paid to say this!!! That should tell you how enamoured of Kaspersky I am :). He is my new bestie 🙂


  11. Ally
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 17:53:52

    Oh poor Pingu 😦 I hope Milo finds a loving home. I’m going to watch your video now.


    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:31:16

      I hope I didn’t traumatise you too much with my hideous voice. We haven’t heard back about Milo yet but the fishwife has 5 days to respond and after that he can be rehoused. I hate being lumbered with other peoples lack of responsibility but dad was the king of doing that and just assumed that Steve and I would take Milo when he died…not likely as we already had 2 dogs (both male) and dad never had Milo neutered (a small statement about dad’s view of the world) so there would have been MAJOR problems. Funny how something set in motion 3 years ago came back to bite poor Pingu though 😦


  12. thinkingcowgirl
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 22:20:13

    This has made me sad….not only for the dog and the chicken but also your dad and his so called friends and his damaged way of interacting with the world. Just think of what you could have done with that money! Ah well, you are breathing positive life into the place so it all balances out 🙂


    • narf77
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 03:38:02

      I see what dads money did to him. I wouldn’t want it. Same went for my brother who inherited and has spent the lot. Money DOESN’T buy you happiness folks, it buys you choice, that’s it…that’s all! I certainly learned a remote life lesson and thank GOD that I didn’t have to learn it personally. We might be asset rich and money poor but we are rich with ideas, possibilities and real life. I wouldn’t trade it for quids. My dad had to wait for his wealthy partner to pass away before he could “live”. She controlled everything and when she died, he suddenly realised that the “noose around his neck” was someone that he actually missed incredibly. He spent the rest of his life trying to find something like what he had lost. A really sad story and another life lesson. Live your life for the here and now because there isn’t another chance. This is all we have. Live it as openly, as honestly and as truly as you can because we only get one “suck of the sav” (a very peculiar Australian saying regarding strange large frankfurters that we get here called saveloys. DON’T ask me why we are sucking them or why they must be so precious as to be shared in the first place 😉 ). I am trying to bath positivity over Serendipity Farm. Starting from when we changed the name from “Highfield Gardens” (garden? WHERE!) to trying to ladle our procrastinating derrières off our computer chairs and get out and start planting out our food forest. Kymmy visiting has given me another out till mid August but after she heads back to W.A. we will be out in force planting out chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts all over the first block. Anyone have any cheap hay bales for sale? 😉


      • thinkingcowgirl
        Aug 02, 2013 @ 04:21:49

        yes! cheap hay bales available…you’ve obviously missed my last post 😉

        I’m afraid Oz doesn’t have the monopoly on those saveloys – they are in every chip shop here the length and breadth of the land! – at least they used to be I haven’t been to one in years. ‘One suck of the sav’ that’s funny – and very puzzling as you say as they are not the most wonderful thing in the gastronomy department 🙂 I wonder if you imported them here…or the other way around.

        At least your dad leaving you the farm has given you the chance to do something positive there…so something good came out of it. Computers definitely have a derriere welding effect. I’ve been making babies today….the plant kind 😉 for my stall outside the gate where I’m selling plants in aid of Perennial (the charity which helps us). Sales have been brisker than I’d imagined given that our place has probably the lowest footfall in Britain! That’s kind neighbours for you.

        Have a lovely weekend.

      • narf77
        Aug 02, 2013 @ 04:25:25

        I love plant stalls out the front of people’s homes. It makes me smile whenever I see a bunch of flowers in a bucket and a few potted plants, it smacks of real community :). No baby making at the moment although I DO have a list a mile long of hard cuttings to take…sigh… how do we fit all of this “life” in?!!!! I dare say we adopted your savs, at least I know where they come from now! I thought it might be a Germanic thing. I used to love them as a kid with lots of buttery mashed spud and peas and carrots to decorate the mass. Chop it all up together and you have sav hash… thank GOODNESS I evolved tastebuds! 😉

  13. brymnsons
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 09:34:39

    Err Fran if you think you have an out you are mighty wrong my friend! I am bringing my gardening gloves and intend to get my hands dirty 🙂


  14. Sincerely, Emily
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 13:47:22

    Oh I am so sorry about Pingu and your other chook. I am sad to hear what Milo has had to endure through the past 3 years. I am so glad he is out of that situation. Where ever he ends up, it just has to be better. Glad you met the ranger and had so much in common.


    • narf77
      Aug 03, 2013 @ 03:12:53

      Hi Emily, still a bit confused about how/when I am supposed to be posting on Not Dabbling in Normal but I am going to trawl the facebook page today to have a look-see. I noted that Xan said something about photos of family and writing a post about family this week? Monday (my posting day) is actually my 50th birthday so I should have a post for it but I am going to have to take Steve with me to peruse the site a bit and work out how/what/when to post.


  15. Namita
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 14:47:46

    Hi I love reading your long long and sometimes very long posts full of such interesting episodes that I feel I am almost there! Oh I love Earl. I love his expressions and his antics. He reminds me of our dog Prince whom we adopted 10 years ago. He has a similar white parting on his forehead.
    How did Pingu die? I see some element of suspense there……
    Thanks for commenting on my posts. It always motivates.
    I loved your potato wedges, pictures of your fields and of of course the lovely view from your kitchen. Love, Namita


    • narf77
      Aug 03, 2013 @ 03:11:15

      Hi Namita, it was a bit ironic that my dad owned a dog that ended up being rehoused when he died with some not very nice people. They had assumed that someone would pay them to look after the dog and when no-one did, they started to starve the poor animal and ended up letting it roam free. The irony was that our pet chicken Pingu, that Steve raised from a tiny chick that he found almost dead in the hen house was killed by this poor starving animal. Earl loves having his photo taken and would sit posing for hours. He is full of crazy antics and is just a huge puppy at heart. He thinks that he is a lot smaller than he actually is and spends a lot of time trying to squeeze underneath our bed and hide from Bezial. I love your posts and am getting some really wonderful new recipes to add to my repertoire. I love how you cook and the fact that you try not to use eggs is great for me because as a vegan eggs are the sticking point in most recipes. Milk is easy to substitute but eggs perform several different tasks in a recipe from making things lighter to binding them together so they aren’t as easy to substitute. Glad we can share blogging experiences on different sides of the world 🙂


  16. Chica Andaluza
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 15:54:54

    Sorry I haven’t been able to visit much – complicated times right now 😦 What a sad story, poor Milo, poor Pingu. What a vile woman the fishwife is. I wish I could be certain that people like her get their just desserts, but sometimes I’m not sure. So glad thought that Milo will now get rehoused to a good home 🙂


    • narf77
      Aug 03, 2013 @ 03:06:49

      I strongly believe that what goes around, comes around. What you put “out there” is what you arrive at and whether you get away with a whole lot while you are alive, it certainly comes back to haunt you in one way or another. I figure (and this is just narf7’s opinion) that all we really have in life is the choices that we make and our lives are like a “Where’s Wally” book. We get to choose how it turns out to a degree depending on the choices that we make. Fate is fate but how you measure up is entirely down to you. Sorry you are having complicated times as well. Hugs from Tassie for you and the big man and although it might not feel like it right now, complicated times do pass.


      • Chica Andaluza
        Aug 06, 2013 @ 18:03:22

        Thanks for your wise words which reflect my philosophy too 🙂 Hope all is well with you both…

      • narf77
        Aug 07, 2013 @ 06:26:29

        I am just starting to recover from the alcoholic haze I spent my birthday under…its amazing how great a few bottles of sweet white can make a birthday isn’t it? ;). Seriously though, 50 doesn’t seem to have incapacitated me much and I am mostly the same as I was before the day so hopefully the slow decent will indeed be slow and unperceivable ;). As for wise words, narf7 is full of them, pity she doesn’t apply them to her own life which tends to be a seething mass of neurosis and twitching brought about by being a control freak in a world of country chaos 😉

  17. Linne
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 15:15:14

    Oh, Narfie7! I love dogs (well, all animals) and was so saddened to read of Milo’s life to date. I’m so glad you were kind in spite of poor Pingu’s fate and that Milo should have a better life going forward. Hard on Steve, though. I’ve done a bit of rescuing myself and somehow those wee ‘orphans’ stick deep in our hearts, don’t they? I know that karma works, for all we do, good, bad and indifferent. It’s the only thing that keeps me from a likely vacation behind bars . . .

    Nice to hear your birthday visit plans 😉 and I’m glad you will be walking . . . stock up on dome tomato juice ahead of time is what I say . . . 😉

    Aren’t you lucky all your friends in this virtual village are too distant to ‘surprise’ you by showing up en masse with sleeping bags and backpacks? But what a party that would be . . .

    Haven’t viewed your video yet, but soon, I hope.

    Hugs to the Duke of Earl and Bezial, too. And to you and Steve. Hope your weekdnd goes well this time . . .


    • narf77
      Aug 04, 2013 @ 03:13:28

      It will Linnie :). We just had a most uneventful Saturday apart from me completely hand scrubbing the wooden floors while Steve headed into town to pick up a birthday treat for the son and heirs sweetie Kelsey who is spending her first birthday away from home in Texas here in Tasmania. Her birthday is the day before mine (so today – Sunday) :). They are arriving in Tasmania this morning and will be driving up to the mountains where the son and heir has a cabin with a cosy wood fire all booked and ready to head to and light the wood fire and then go exploring in the snow! As a Texan Kelsey had seen about as much snow as I had before I got here to Tasmania so she is looking forwards to making a snowman. I will give them a carrot and some coal and they can make a snow alien ;). I will be making my narf7 famous Stromboli’s for lunch with them today and then they will head off to the mountains. The son and heir has also booked a wonderful luxury gourmet food hamper for them to share while they are in the lap of luxury on the mountain so they should have a great time. They are going to take me out to a newly opened vegan restaurant (a FIRST in Tasmania!!!) for a birthday lunch so we should have a lovely few days to come :). If you get time (when you recover) you could check out this blog post about cradle mountain and Tassie by a couple of American guys travelling through Australia. Lots of lovely photos of where the son and heir and his sweetie are about to stay…
      Bon Chance with the box moving again. Just try to focus on the positive…think of all the calories you are about to burn!!! 😉 All the savings for gym memberships, a chance to build up those latent muscles…heck, it is a positively wonderful chance to get back into moving in a big way (narf7 ALWAYS trys to see the positive or she would spend her life under the bed with Earl peering out and muttering to herself 😉 )


  18. rabidlittlehippy
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 21:39:32

    Seems like we’ve both suffered a loss this weekend. I am so glad though that Milo has a chance now to have a real life as opposed to an existence and here’s hoping that karma levels the playing field with the fishwife. RIP Pingu. As Jasper says, she is playing with granddad now in heaven.


    • narf77
      Aug 05, 2013 @ 03:24:43

      :). Hugs for that wise little soul from mad crazy aunty narf in Tassie 😉


      • rabidlittlehippy
        Aug 14, 2013 @ 11:39:31

        He has had the wisdom to bring us through our sad times for sure. We always get a giggle thinking about Martin’s father and how he would have loved the thought of all the animals being sent to his care.
        Hugs and giggles from Jas right back to you (he loves the name Narf. 😉 )

      • narf77
        Aug 14, 2013 @ 19:12:57

        He can borrow it but only when he is being good…no sending the police around when he has been using it for nefarious purposes 😉

  19. nat
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 09:56:27

    What a sad story, poor pingu and milo. you certainly know how to make me hungry though with all the yummy food pictures while been sad at the same time.


    • narf77
      Aug 05, 2013 @ 18:32:10

      Sad and hungry…sounds like the name for a new band! ;). Hugs from Serendipity Farm and cheers for the lovely phonecall tonight, we will have to catch up soon and “chew the fat” together over a nice glass or two of white 🙂


  20. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 11:36:08

    SO many sad dog stories lately… Oh, I can’t stand it. I’m going to cuddle with my pup for the rest of the evening, or until she’s completely sick of me.


    • narf77
      Aug 05, 2013 @ 18:33:18

      I know…it made us feel worse because we couldn’t keep Milo at the time because we had dogs and so for 3 years he had to suffer. Thank goodness he can be rehoused somewhere better now :). Give your dog a cuddle for us as well and a lick from Bezial and Earl (you don’t really have to lick your dog, just pretend 😉 )


  21. Joanna
    Aug 06, 2013 @ 05:33:40

    Oh what a stressful time for all involved. Hope that things settle down and Milo Dog gets a loving home. Your poor chicken and her feathers, oh dear. We were in a no signal part of Wales the last few days, and It takes me a while to get hooked up mentally again – but send you happy birthday greetings from the land of mist and magic as it is called on one of Brian’s tv shows.


    • narf77
      Aug 06, 2013 @ 06:22:45

      I found the U.K. to be altogether delightful when we visited back in 2005/2006 and “Mist and magic” describe it to a tee :). Hope you had a great time in Wales and I had a great birthday thankyou for asking :).


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