Along came a spider

31 May, 2008

Along came a spider

My family piled out of our house this morning to attend to the usual weekend tasks, and look what was hanging down right in front doorway. A massive huntsman spider.

Tim had already barged his way through the doorway. The spider missed his right ear and shoulder by millimetres. The rest of us stayed inside and checked out the huntsman in all its glory. Wakes picked up Mitzy for a closer look but she wasn’t interested in the slightest.

If you really want to freak yourself out, click on the photo for a larger image. Check out the hairy legs. And if you look really closely, you can see a couple of dark eyes staring at you. Think about that in bed tonight*.

Don’t tell David Attenborough, but the spider is now an ex-spider. It has ceased to exist.

*PS – One of these monsters crawled over my forehead when I was asleep once.


A close shave for Mitzy the Cat

25 November, 2007

Close Shave for Mitzy the Cat

Mitzy and I have never been on the best of terms.

She thinks I’m bossy and a control freak.

I think she’s aloof, and well, a bit simple.

To be honest, cats just don’t do it for me. Wakes, on the other hand, is a life-long cat fan. She loves cats. She dotes on them. And cats, in turn, trust Wakes.

So which of the two adults in our household do you think was responsible for giving Mitzy her new, unflattering haircut?

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See here for more scandalous photos.


Tarpins getting closer

11 November, 2007

A pretty good run by Tarpins at Echuca on Tuesday.

He was second for most of the journey and briefly challenged for the lead around the home bend. Unfortunately he veered right off the track down the home straight and was passed on the inside by several horses. In the end he finished 7th of 13, which was a pretty fair effort in his second start. The jockey said he pulled a bit early – hopefully he can learn to relax a bit and can work out where the inside rail is before his next outing.


I wasn’t expecting that…

30 July, 2007

During our week in Portugal we took a sightseeing tour of the Algarve which included a visit to the spectacular Cape St Vincent.

End of World

In the good old days when the world was considered flat, the Portugese thought this spot (situated at the south-westernmost point of Europe), was the end of the world. From the photo above you can probably see why.

We were fortunate enough to experience beautiful weather for our visit, however part of me was a little disappointed that we weren’t there in bad weather. Our tour guide showed us a postcard of a wave breaking right over those massive cliffs during a particulary fierce storm. Now that is something I’d love to see.

On the way home from Cape St Vincent our bus called in at a roadside cafe for refreshments. Our driver told us to make sure we checked out the stuffed animal display inside. We were expecting some sort of quaint teddy bear and purple dinosaur display. Instead, what we got was a full-on 1800s style taxidermy display, complete with a Noah’s Ark of African wildlife, including a lion, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, crocodile, hyena, elephant tusks etc. etc. Not at all what we were expecting and more than a little offputting in today’s politically correct, more enlightened times.

As well as the African stuff there were loads of deer heads, antlers, wild boars etc.

Someone had a hell of a time killing all of those beautiful animals to make their smoking room look cool.

We took a quick look around – the scariest thing was the zebra, which glared at us the whole time and looked as if it was about to spring to life at any moment. A bit like the donkeys that terrorised Wakes during our NZ trip a few years ago.

Anyway, here is what the lion looked like, just to show how real and scary the display was. Probably something we could have done without.

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Stable visit

10 June, 2007

Tarpins in stable Today Wakes, Fiona and I went to Cliff Brown’s stables at Flemington and met ‘our’ horse Tarpins. It was great to meet Chris Bock, who was very welcoming and happy to show us around Cliff’s new training complex at the back of Flemington, between the Hayes and Hawkes stables.

Tarpins himself looked in great nick, as you can see from these photos. He behaved himself impeccably and seemed pleased with all the attention. Chris told us Tarpins had not been behaving “too coltish” which I think means he hasn’t been too frisky. If he does get too coltish, he may find himself making a trip to the vet. The horse nodded when he heard this, so I think he understands too.

Tarpins lives in this prestigeous Number 1 stall, and has Drumbeater right outside his window to keep him company. The female horses are kept up the other end of the stables, a further attempt to limit coltishness. He is enjoying his food and has settled in well from his recent move to this stable, as have the other horses.

He had a practice barrier trial during the week and apparently did OK. He may be having a more serious jump out towards the end of this week – if so we are hoping to go along and watch.

We also spent a bit of time checking out some of the other ‘Read Racing’ horses – Drumbeater, Ask the Music, Sayaprayerforme, and Emission’s half-sister, Ariella. There are some photos of these here if you’re interested.

We had a great time patting the horses and admiring their strength, size and athleticism. Chris tells us we are welcome to call in any time – one of the advantages of being associated with a smaller trainer.

Can’t wait for our boy to have his first start – hopefully it won’t be too long away.