Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rocker Bye Baby

Firstly, I can't for the life of me why this font has decided to appear today.... very annoying!

Baby shower for Ms Kate and her 'Little Miss' today.

I did not subject those who partook is Lisa's fun-but-gee-you-look-ridiculous games to being photographed as I did for Linda's baby shower a couple of months back, mainly because I was participating and it is very hard to take photos while you are trying to manoeuvre a toffee pop from your forehead to your mouth without touching it.
But I did take a photo of the gift I bought for 'Little Miss' before I wrapped it this morning. I happen to love these Bud Design T-Shirts - and if you do too, check them out at

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Will a Band-Aid Fix It?

It was back to see Uncle Jim the vet today as Hugo's allergies have flared up again. I try to manage his sensitivities naturally with a raw food diet  and soothing any hot spots with aloe vera gel. As previously blogged, I even tried this. But as the licking occurs mainly when they are home without me, the collar would be somewhat problematic when combined with a dog door...
Yesterday he'd again made a hash of the insides of his back legs, so I reluctantly acknowledged that he was due for another magic jab...
While there's little doubt that his skin is very reactive to 'something', with Hugo this year there's also developed a degree of habitual over-licking, mainly on his front legs... I have tried to discourage this with a repellent spray, but I was allergic to it!
Today I suggested to Gentleman Jim that perhaps we could try covering his legs, and he agreed. I am to leave them covered for as long as possible - more than a month even. We now just to hope that he does not try to chew it off of transfer his licking to another spot...
I can't help feeling sorry for him every time I look at him! I hope a band-aid will fix him...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Channeling Cyndi Lauper

J Rock - Stage Challenge for little people - happens in Auckland tonight, and again Reremoana's represented. It's always a long day for the kids, teachers and parents involved, and today the organisers sought to make it more fun by giving the day itself a theme - a decade theme - the 80s.
Soooo long ago for some; just yesterday for others.
These two lovely teachers and a 3rd who escaped the picture, totally got into the spirit of the day!
Rachel on the left, was the subject of my post yesterday. So she'd be glowing without the help of the neon... I must say though, reflecting back on that time, that my 80s fashion choices never lead me down the psychedelic line - I was more into the shoulder pads and designer knitwear!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Ring for Rachel

Congratulations to Rachel from my work, and Scott her new fiance, who seems to have pulled off the perfect surprise proposal.

Enough to take Rachel's mind off the second anniversary of her beloved MJ's untimely death as well!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Moment

The more photos I take, the more I like the ones I don't think about, as opposed to the ones I overthink. I would rather be there in the moment and take it, rather than having to make the shot. I know instantly if I have 'got it' or not. I like this moment mostly for the hands. Wish I could see a little more of Bella's eyes. Oh, and don't you just love the Trelise Cooper Chicken Coat? :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

There's a first time for everything

Today's first: Sending back a meal.
My friend Viki and I wanted somewhere kid friendly to have a celebratory lunch. We were recommended a cafe in Onehunga where we had both been before for coffee.
The Cajun Pan Fried Snapper on the blackboard menu appealed to us both, so we ordered one each.
When it arrived at the table it looked like mush. No fillets of any resemblance. Was it advertised as a stew, we thought? We then tasted it - shite. So I found a waitress and politely asked if this was what it normally looked like. 
After some kitchen consultation it transpired that no, it was apparently not as it was meant to be - it had been cooked by 'the trainee chef' and we were getting another one cooked by the 'head' chef.
After a long wait fish resembling fillets turned up, but this too was far from ideal. Too much flour in the coating making for a soggy outer layer, lacking salt and an imbalance of spices. If the fish had been excellent we could have forgiven the drenched green salad accompaniment, which I suspect had come readymade from a plastic bag. 
If it weren't for the fact that Isabella clearly enjoyed her Rocky Road, I would be doing some naming and shaming.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I've got your number...

... literally!

I have one little Stirling dog entered for two shows next weekend, but have been sent two numbers. I hope the entrant with the missing number isn't panicking - and that the secretary of the club passes on the message that I have it.

I like the look of the format of these shows, with judging for group for both shows occurring on the one day - Toys Saturday -  meaning if you don't win anything at group level, Sunday is free. I am also looking forward to having more room in the exhibition centre with only 4 groups fighting it out for space...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Camera #2

This time it's our newest 5 year olds capturing an image of their beloved teddy bears, after writing about them.
Maybe their lovely teacher will send me some of their writing so I can share that with you too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Traumatic Incident...

I spent today training for dealing with Traumatic Incidents.Seems my sock stealing little Stirling here may have had a traumatic incident of his own today. He was stuck outside; the internal dog door lock mechanism having turned enough to prevent the door being pushed in from the outside. From the greeting I got I imagine he had been out there for quite some time. Happy therefore that we had a reprieve from the rain today...

I know, I know he's a bloody dog, how traumatic could it really be...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Heat Is On

Had SUCH a busy day - no time to think about making a photo, so another case of just taking one. Actually had the heater on tonight - not a very frequent occurrence so far this winter, but with it being the shortest day and all, it just seemed right.

Monday, June 20, 2011

On Camera

Busy collecting pics for our cluster Mini Conference in the July holidays...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Capital D for Dismal

That basically summed up the weather for Auckland this afternoon.
Oh well, it is winter after all, and we have been sooooo lucky with the weather really. It is still incredibly mild for June too.
If I can continue with my Pollyanna Principle before getting back to the Dismal, one good thing about winter is that the lawns don't grow . Meaning less lawn mowing. To that I say... Delightful!
But to the photo -  I took it as I was leaving the fruit and vege store in the drizzle. By the time I reach the supermarket it was completely raining. I think this scene conveys the mood.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Finding your perfect match

In terms of posting a 'photo' I know that a screen shot is tenuous.

However I saw this website on Close Up by accident the other night and thought I would check it out. The aim of the NZ developed site is to match dogs needing a home with a 'physically similar' owner - you know the old adage of dogs and their owners looking alike...

Well, no cavs on the pound list (I hope) because of course my perfect match would have been one of them... but I am quite happy with the match it came up with for me. I think Elliott is pretty cute. And as a weird coincidence, some will remember that I once co-owned a cav puppy called Elliott. He was the result of a repeat mating to get another Hugo. But he went to live with a lovely family in Onehunga, and became 'Duke'.

Anyway sorry Elliott, but sadly there is no room at the inn here. Perhaps someone else will visit the Doggelganger website and be a perfect match for you also...

PS just to keep it real, I have gone back and found a photo of Elliott the Cavalier...

Friday, June 17, 2011

School Uniform

You really would have thought there was some kind of theme day going on in the admin block today, with Geri, Viki and myself all turning up trounced in purple and black. Shame there was not a more flattering photo (of me at least) to put up here, but I had already announced this would be my blog post today. I seriously do look as old as I feel at the moment... can't even skin smooth it out...
TGIF - hopefully some time to bank some sleep...
Now where was that wine... Mmmmm come to me Church Road Reserve Sauvignon... THAT will help me sleep - surely!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Four of a Kind - x2!

It was Small Dog Central at Kauri Point Reserve tonight.

Very hard to capture with my phone so I will have to explain...

Four cavaliers - My Hugo, Reilly and Stirling, and our new found friend, Charli.

Also another trio we meet regularly (miniature poodles), plus one - Moa, Pippi, Dino and Zorro.

And all their people. There were actually 5 of us!

Seeking Feedback

My photo today is, obviously, the one that appears as my blog wallpaper. It remains one of my personal favourites, despite being one I took when I was still a learner driver on my DSLR.
At the time I took it I published it on my FB page and received some affirming feedback from a friend who I think is a wonderful photographer. He (Mr Spudooli) was also the very first blogger I followed and I miss both his photos and his commentaries (hint, hint, Dave).
Last night I put this favourite photo forward for more feedback at the MPS Club night - set subject, Trees. Even though I know that feedback - both positive and constructive - is what helps us to learn and grow I must admit that I felt protective of my 'Sunday @ Cornwall Park' pic and hoped the judge would share a similar view. I did not feel quite so precious about the other set subject entry, as I did not feel it was as 'good' as this one. But I had not fully analysed why. His comments showed me what I could do next time to improve the image. And I appreciated that knowledge.
I took this attitude with me today as I continued observations of my teachers. I know they put their best efforts forward, and that they also know to expect to find out what they did well and where they could hone their focus moving forward. Like me with my second photo, our teachers are pretty good at actually drawing their own conclusions about what went well and are open to ways to improve.
So how did I go? Well this pic received Honours. Yay. The second Tree one - a Merit. All good and to be expected.
I had also entered a 3rd photo - another I really like myself - and was awarded a Highly Commended, which is all good, but I would have like to know what would have lifted it to an Honours because the platitudes about it were flowing. Proving that getting positive feedback only is not always wholly satisfying.
Except when your favourite one gets Honours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cutey Cutey! babies always are...

Miss Karissa, now 6 weeks old.  Sleepy eyes and perfect lips.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Anonymous Donor

I came home on Saturday to find this plastic bag containing some lovely little red capsicums outside my door. Thinking I knew who the donor would be - a colleague and nearish neighbour, -  I waited until I would see her in person today at work to say thanks.
But it wasn't her.
Now I have no idea who is was, but I am grateful for the thought and the potential yumminess. If it was YOU and YOU are reading this - many thanks for thinking of me and please reveal yourself :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You Bea-UTE-y!

Whilst my folks are galavanting around Europe, I have had a chance to galavant around in my Dad's ute. Aside from being a little more difficult to negotiate out my driveway, it's been excellent. Especially for transporting dogs and gear to a dog show. You would not hazard the amount of crap one lugs in and out to show one small dog off to his potential.

I also quite like being higher up on the motorway. And I have even quite enjoyed driving a manual again.

Thanks Hilt - she's bloody beaUTEy, boy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Dog Stuff

I have sure made a lot of dog related posts lately.

No big wins for us today at our TIKI Champ show, but a couple of nice placings. Especially proud of Hugo's 3rd in NZ Bred as a shaggy neuter boy in a class of 6. Also he placed second in Best Dog Head (to the show winner).
He was such a good boy, and I am sure his presence had a positive influence on Stirling's anxiety.

The photo today shows the trophy table in the background; some evidence of the silverware I had to track down, receive, account for, catalogue (also have done photographically), polish (thankfully most were already pretty clean) bubble wrap, transport, unpack, display and gain signatures and contacts details of all who won them today.

I actually DID get 2 myself - forgot to mention above. Best Handler and Best Neuter. The latter trophy will get Du Maurier Sir Hugo's name engraved on it 3rd time running :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Canine Valium!

I'm at 4 dog shows this weekend - 2 All Breeds, our Tiki CKCS Championship show, and Auckland Toy Dog. All at the same venue, but will still be very full on, and with a busy environment, my little dogs sometimes get a bit overwhelmed.
So much so for Reilly that this time he is staying at Aunty Mignon's; the show scene really isn't for him. Hugo, as a neuter, is able to be entered at the Tiki show. Nothing much phases him, except he does hate the bath routine - thankfully that is over!
Stirling's entered in all 4. He has been through a patch of feeling unhappy in the ring lately. Upon the recommendation of a respected cavalier breeder/judge I got what she called 'Valium for dogs'; a homeopathic remedy for anxiety called Gelsemium. Maybe 'rescue remedy' for dogs?
He's been having the drops for a few days now. Here's hoping they will make him feel less anxious and on top of the world tomorrow and Sunday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Officially Official

My family here, is legal.

Got the paperwork to confirm my multiple dog ownership status tonight.

Which is good - but also a little inaccurate.

For starters we Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners really do like the name to be said correctly. It is not King Charles Cavalier.
Secondly, Hugo and Stirling are not red, but blenheim. I can handle Reilly being called black, but really? Red?
And lastly, please don't tell Reilly he's a girl. He has enough problems feeling manly as it is! And Stirling might also be a tad confused by this; after all Reilly is his Dad not his Mum!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bird watching

I did not know I had a thing for birds, but I must admit I find them very appealing to look at through the lens. Not that these are spectacular shots, but the colours, I think, are amazing. Thanks again Franklin Zoo.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What Am I?

If you guessed peacock feathers, you were right!
Following on from the swans last weeks, today I was enarmoured by another mighty bird, the glorious peacock.
My kind brother and his family invited me to visit Franklin Zoo with them, cheap tickets having been obtained via Treat Me.
It was a lovely chilled atmosphere and the animals, many described as 'misfits', appeared happy enough. Loved the exotic birds, though hard to get a good shot through the wire.
These ones roamed free however,  making capturing them a little easier, especially when enticed by feed. That said the only one to fan his tail would not turn around to face me!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's a Dog's Life...

A poor phone portrait of my ratty bunch after a soggy walk today. Wet underfoot despite the balmy weather. Hugo took it upon himself to have a good old roll in the park, coming away reeking of Eau de Duck Shit. Hence his wet ear; he had to have a partial bath.

But the clip below is quite cute..
Please excuse the patchwork of covers on the carpet, trying somewhat to protect it from the weather; not to say Stirling's antics in this movie are carpet friendly... but like I say - cute.
"Play with me, please Dad!"

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And then there were three

Queen's Birthday weekend, rainy old day - one has license to stay in bed a little longer, and remain in one's PJs for longer still. In such a scene one does not expect visitors before 8:30 am, especially strange men they don't know.
Turns out the knock at my door was Dog Control. No, no complaints against my canine children, but a response to my application for multiple dog ownership. Requirement for having more than 2 dogs in an urban property.
After discussion with my friend and co-owner Mignon, I decided last time Stirling came to stay that it was just too hard on the both of us for him to have two separate homes. To just have him stay on show weekends felt like I was 'using' him. Yes he came for the holidays too, but separation became so much  harder as we continued to bond. I swear when he first sees me he wants to get inside my blood!
So I had to take into account how this would affect my boys, my Hugo and Reilly. The past 3 weeks I wondered if I was doing the right thing, Stirling is so demanding of my attention and I do not want to take any of that away from my loyal companions. Would I have enough 'love' to go around. Then I thought - do parents have 'love enough' for more than 2 kids? Of course they do.
I also recalled how much Stirling interacts with H and R and makes them 'play'. Even though they are not 'old', he keeps them on their toes. They never have a cross word, and I am sure they were pleased to see him today. Have a look at this video of Hugo and Stirling and my unfortunate sock. It's a corker.

So he is here now. Asleep sandwiched beside Reilly his Dad and in co-eee of Uncle Hugo. Who will always be the boss, as this clip shows:

Welcome home, little man. This is your family now.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Just a little reading/instruction following/Art/ICT activity I did with a class I was teaching in today. The kids loved it.