Margaret River Through The Eyes Of The Rockstars Part II – Animals.

..and then Rockstar’s horse bit me. She didn’t mean to, you understand, she was trying to bite the Miss’ horse.

My favourite memory of the trip thus far. NO IRONY. This one’ll go down along with the Trying Not To Die On Skis¬†one where I’m pretty sure the ski instructor gave up on me <proud> ūüėÄ But first to the ponies, and then to a convoluted point.

It turned out, according to the proprietor, the two ponies “bicker like children” (NOW he tells us) and so while passing each other they¬†exchanged snappy jaw movements just when my leg was in the way. Fortunately I was wearing jeans, and so this is the initial bite mark:

Jupiter's Great Red Spot (Ok maybe a little smaller :D)

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (Ok maybe a little smaller :D)

I didn’t even take a pic of the 1-2 inch purple bruising after a few days – beyond¬†the initial feeling of being pinched in hedge cutters which happens so fast, it’s like any other big purple bruise. Just very happy that through the jeans there was no broken skin.

This riding school btw gets school trip visits from as far away as Singapore –¬†the proprietor names¬†a well-known international school who recently had their 14-15 year olds here on camp. Some of Rockstar’s friends and classmates back in HK also ride, in nearby Pok Fu Lam, and apart from that I heard it’s also a SEN (Special Education Needs) activity. For both Rockstars however, this one’s a first – we hadn’t been able to make riding playdates during busy school weeks.

I love animals very much. As an only child whose family moved from Sandakan to Penang after primary school, the constant parade of animals through our home was a lifesaver. I believe in the therapeutic ability of animals. It’s why a Golden Retriever/ Lab trained to sniff out cancer cells is a far more user-friendly detector than some of the heaps of expensive medical equipment.¬†Technology is one thing, people terrified of a terrible disease¬†choosing¬†to get tested is quite another. When early detection is one of the biggest factors¬†to survival, getting someone to agree to have tests regularly is vital. When science continues to struggle with curing cancer particularly in advance stages, it can surely devote some resources also to early detection. But I digress.

Leaning against those ponies was the most wonderful, therapeutic feeling. My best friend in secondary school used to ride, but well we always had different¬†favourite animals and I only watched her riding from afar. When I visited her one Raya, she brought me also to the home of one¬†of the attendants who took care of her horses. We were served horsemeat because an old animal had had to be put down. It was the kinder thing to do and they didn’t want to then waste the meat. Old Horse is incredibly tough and tasteless, even with rendang sauces, it is not… a young baby animal whose meat has been tenderised.

Growing up, I had wanted to be a vet for the longest time – me and this other Chindian friend of mine who boasted two vet parents. Neither of us became vets because I couldn’t imagine a bad day at work being unable to save abused¬†animals, seeing first hand¬†how ugly some human beings could be; her because…. I don’t know, I didn’t ask her, but she’s a surgeon-in-training for¬†human¬†patients now. I don’t know if she specialises in non-life-threatening stuff, I don’t think I can handle a bad day at work telling someone’s family I couldn’t save their loved one either.¬†Plastic¬†surgery, hey now¬†that’s¬†a thought ūüėÄ

You might wonder why I’m fine with the Horse Who Accidentally Bit Me. It was because in the past I never really got to know horses¬†that well. The erm, reaction of the horse after realising she bit the wrong party¬†was….. ¬†Whoops. (Fine, more like Oh Cr*p I’m In Deep Sh*t Now) I Shall Pretend I Didn’t Do That. Neither horse snapped at each other at all, after that.

A ship in the harbour is safe, I used to write in commentary to RMs… But…. It’s not what ships are built for. (In other words, so too investments.) Yet neither do ships leave the harbour without checking the weather forecast first.¬†(Research!)

Or, nowadays, handle animals for the benefits, be aware of ornery ones who bite – but do your best to avoid it?

The Miss got bitten by a parrot. That one drew blood, even from a tiny cut. Though there was a sign saying “be careful, I bite,” the Miss that time WASN’T messing with the bird, she was feeding it. I’d trolled the holidays-half-opened pharmacies for Dettol Antiseptic Cream. They didn’t even have that in the first aid box of the petting zoo where she got bitten, “The birds don’t have any diseases,” …but we were carrying our own disinfectants and creams. It should also be noted that we were repeatedly encouraged at the farms to have the kids feed the animals¬†from their fingers,¬†not from the buckets, not by throwing the food on the ground. (But honestly I don’t trust beaks <sheepish>)

And so Animals.

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The Ends.

The Ends (We uh, were eating fish in this one.)

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Riding Out The New Year

Giddyap.

Giddyap.

2 of our family members have been bitten by animals this trip; 1 of em is in this picture. (So too the animal). Who, what, where, why? Stay tuned :)

Happy New Year, everyone. May 2016 be filled with fun, fortune… and fascinations. May we never stop finding new things to be intrigued by, new skills to learn.

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Margaret River Through The Eyes Of The Rockstars Part I – Arrival

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We drive up to an ulu cabin-looking place in the middle of field up field,¬†for¬†Christmas 2015. The Miss… misses a first view of the house. There are no fences around any of the properties we pass, this one included, even as we drive for hours along the way. Maybe just a couple low ones to keep the cows and horses from wandering.

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We park the Miss on a random sofa and proceed to unpack the 10 thousand¬†things that come with travelling with two little kids. I never engage a helper, and we have no cleaning service for the duration of the stay. Some people would consider this mild insanity for the holidays. I consider it not a holiday <shrugs>. (Let’s call it instead Christmas Season :)

I once watched this mum in Hong Kong finish parking a large family-sized vehicle, then hop out seemingly effortlessly in workout gear, with a car-safe baby basket on one arm and a younger pacifier-ed toddler clutching a bear and holding her other hand. Capes must simply not be in fashion with tank top and yoga pants.

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Not like we are without help, the Miss soon wakes, and after the prerequisite loud fussing mourning the end of yet another deep narcoleptic sleep, she takes charge of a Christmas tree our landlords have very thoughtfully put up.

(We brought just a couple gifts especially for the kids – Rockstar won one of the most coveted prizes in his school PTA Fundraiser draw just before the holidays, and we kinda didn’t need to get him much else by way of gifts after that, haha. Just as well, because Kings initially brought back one of those motorised skateboard-looking things you stand and “float” about on, and then there was all that press about one of them made in China ones (ok¬†fine loads of these things are going to be cheaply made in China) setting an apartment on fire, gutting the entire place, because of a faulty charger. Made headlines.)

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Other than that, Nerf Fight Selfie.

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In the distance is another cabin-house which the landlord has told us is the holiday home of a Hongkie couple. We attempt¬†one¬†walk around the property, during which the Miss points out,¬†“poop!”¬†I remember just once seeing an Asian lady with her little dog and figure Ah, must be the dog. Except, 50 feet and more poop later, a bunch of wild kangaroos hop by.

Except, they soon spot us, kids and all, and eventually all of them have turned as one, and are motionlessly staring at us.

That’s when we turn back and watch them hop on their merry way – from the deck.

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