31 December 2009

Christmas in Auckland

Dear Coco
Hope you had a not-too-lonely Christmas. We had a lovely day in Auckland with Nicky, William, Emma and Shaun and some other people you have never met. Here are Willaim, Emma and Nicky having a champagne Christmas toast in Emma's garden. We had a swim in the sea near Emma's house, but unfortunately there were no dogs allowed there although Kiwis are generally very keen on their dogs. Nicky has a cat called Jeffery. I think you and Dougal would be scared of him becuase he has a very funny face!
We are both still feeling a bit jet-lagged. (But I havent turned into a giant teddy - I am taking the photo!)
love to Dougal and to Gremlin
the Foodlady x x

25 December 2009

Dingos and Beagles

Dear Coco
Yesterday we said our farewells to Lucy (the lordly poodle from Melbourne) and indeed, to Australia and its dingos. We didn't actually see any dingos but saw a strange painting of dingos in an art gallery in Melbourne. An artist called Nyurparya Nelson painted this funny one called Papa Tjukurpa (Dingo creation story) which is about the Ancestral Period in Australia when all the dogs left their camp and travelled to Irrunytju rockhole, where the artist was born. Here the artist depicts the Papa tjiltji (the baby dingos) playing in the sand hills. Bit weird what?This was a better painting of what they look like. And here are some regular schnauzers that came to say hello when we were walking with Lucy in her posh Melbourne suburb. (Their human Alpha Male was an ex teacher from Bishops. )When we got to Auckland last night, a beagle came and sniffed out our bags at the airport. I was a bit alarmed! But apparently it was sniffing for food. We didn't have any food but I think it could smell the rusks and tea we had in those very bags a few weeks ago. Or maybe it could smell you and Dougal.
Any way, we miss you very much. Please send our love to Dougal and Simon and have a happy Christmas. By the time you wake up, we will have finished our Christmas here! Mad.
love from the Foodlady

22 December 2009

Letter from Melbourne

Dear Coco
We are now in Melbourne. You and Dougal would love it here as there are possums in the garden where we are staying. They are like big squirrels with long tails. A very nice Miniature French Poodle called Lucy lives here too. Here she is being left behind while we went sight-seeing.
We went to this park called the Fitzroy Gardens and saw this statue of Diana and her hounds. There was also an amazingly Fairy Tree filled with creatures carved into its trunk.
Steve Booth took us to the beach at Port Philip and we looked for Little Pengins but didnt see any - but we did see was giant Silver Gull! Not quite the flowers we see on our walks, but here are some King Proteas for sale at a market in Melbourne.
Please send my love to Dougal. I hope he is not eating all your food!
Must go to bed now, I am rather tired.
love The FL

21 December 2009

Letter from Changi airport

Dear Coco
Just to let you know that we are missing you already. We had a nice breakfast with your human brothers, and saw a cute little scotty puppy in the brand spanking new Cape Town International airport.
We are now in Changi Airport in Singapore and we spent the day in the city of singapore which was amazing. Here is the Alpha Male at Raffles having a Singapore Sling! And we threw peanut shells on the floor! It is very hot here - not scotty weather.
Battery running out so will continue soon.
Be good and look after Simon
love the Foodlady x x

17 December 2009

Four Fit Ladies

Last, LAST Sunday saw four fit ladies - Sue, Thea, Pauline and the Foodlady - and us two scotties toiling up Steenberg Peak in the heat. An enormous Baboon Spider, Harpactira baviana, was lying in wait on the path, but we didn't notice it luckily or Dougal might have tried to catch it because it was hairy like a rat. There were lots of flowers despite the heat for the Foodlady - including this lovely Golden Orchid, Disa cornuta that Sue spotted. Three fit ladies in the Garden of Eden. There were also lots of Watsonia borbonica, and this pretty pink parasitic plant called Harveya purpurea, the Yellow-throated Inkflower.
While we were having tea and crunchies in the Fit Lady shleter, we were joined by two strange humans with a huge mattress on their back who tried to climb upside down on the roof of the Fit Lady Shelter, then moved on saying that they would return once they had warmed up. We didn't wait for them, and walked on because we were well warmed up ......and even though the Foodlady told us there was Cape Snow all around, it sure wasn't cold snow like what you would find in Scotland! Here is Dougal in the Cape Snow Syncarpha vestita. You can just see Pauline in the background.
Luckily there were a few caves and cracks where we found some shade to cool down in. Here is Thea coming through a shady crack in the rocks. When we were almost home, we met another Scottie who could speak German, called Max, who joined us for a dip in the stream. Tails up!

02 December 2009

Up Pecks with Josie

Last Sunday was a mostly girl walk with Alice (still my most most best) and Pauline (in the photo above), Lucy, Sue, the Food Lady and Josie. Dougal stood in for the alpha male who is still in the ranks of the walking wounded. Standards have definitely been raised with the arrival of Josie who is a very clean, very refined Maltese who only drinks out of her own bowl, and who doesn't eat human or ordinary dog food because she has allergies and needs her own special food. We all set off up Pecks which was very hot. Sue set a blistering pace, you can see her and Lucy in the photo above, behind the clump of Syncarpha vestita (Cape Snow). And here I am near the top - shouting encouragement to the stragglers.
Tea was a rather windy affair, but the rusks were yummy. And some of the humans discovered that a liquorice buchu grew here.... (possibly Agathosma ciliaris).

Dougal really likes this walk and got stuck into some serious rodent hunting, forgetting his alpha duties completely. Can you spot him in this photo?