The enthralling, continuing, saga of ‘The Mermaid’ .

Disaster has been averted. My reputation salvaged. The Mermaid is whole again. “How has this been accomplished?” I hear you/y’all ask. 

“Very simple” I reply.

Disperser to the rescue! 

When reading of my distress, and despair, at the task ahead of me, in the previous episode, disperser at great inconvenience to himself; scoured the WWW, and came up with the solution to all my problems.

He promptly, and without regard to his own safety, sent an e-mail  to me containing all the information needed to solve my dilemma; how to repair ‘The Broken Mermaid’.

Immediately, and without further ado, 48 hours later, I hurried off to Officeworks in downtown Glebe, after first stopping to fill the tank with petrol/gasoline; my wife and daughter had been out the day before, and I had a fuel gauge reading ‘EMPTY”, and then taking Coco for a run in the park, I decided it was best to take him home, rather than leave him in the car whilst wandering the aisles.

I rather enjoy wandering around the Officeworks store, and am inclined to forget that there may be someone waiting patiently/impatiently in the vehicle.

So an hour or so after leaving on the 1½ – 2 km  trip, to Glebe, I arrived, travel weary and bedraggled, got the stuff I needed and headed home. Someone, somewhere, must have been looking out for me, as I arrived home some 5 minutes later!

A couple of hours later, after my epic outing, I had recovered enough to tackle the task ahead! 

That was yesterday. Today was the 4th anniversary of Ruby’s  birthday, and when she came to see me for hugs and kisses, her ‘Mermaid’ was waiting.

As some bloke said some time ago “alls well that ends well”; not sure, it might have been dispenser, he  writes  lots of ‘stuff’.

And here are some pictures of Ruby with her Mermaid, and Ruby in her yellow Wellies.  😀





Bush-Walking with the Grandkids

Here’s a great blog from the Garrolous One, some great photos of the ‘Gong’ and surrounds.
Pity I wont get to see this when I take up permanent abode there!

For those interested in birds, like disperser, there’s some shots of the Australian Lyre bird , the very bird I was telling him about recently.

The Reluctant Retiree

Two years age separates our grandchildren, but in this shot, the camera has captured them as twins!

According to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney and its eastern seaboard neighbours had the wettest March since 1975. It was getting to where I considered buying a raincoat and wellingtons. Of late though, our autumn weather has been spectacularly pleasant. Today, for example, is 22’c / 71’F with clear, sunny skies punctuated with fluffy clouds.

The perfect conditions to have two of the grandchildren for a four day visit. The first two day’s activities centred around the beach followed by the swimming pool, but on the third day, we packed a picnic lunch and went off exploring.

We started with a drive up into the escarpment behind us, to take in the scenery from the Mount Keira lookout.

In the below shot, you can see the main road snaking up Mount Ousley…

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Finally made ’em!

friands that is.

I’ve been putting it off for some time, but as a special request for my granddaughter, Ruby, who loves her grandpa’s cakes I decided to set to and make  ‘Friands’.

They are fussy things to make, it’s a basic recipe, and can be found quite easily on the WWW. What you do with it, any variation, is entirely up to you,  the cook.

I like a lime zest and raspberry friand. They are bursting with flavour and colour, the raspberries tend to ‘pop’ as you can see in the photos below.

As you can see there is one, sticking out like a sore thumb, without a sprinkle of icing sugar. Thats mine, 😄  I tend to like mine sans sugar; which you’ll find hard to believe, if you see the ingredients 😈

Around 2 this afternoon, I’m hoping to meet up with my good chum Neill, for a quiet drink at the ‘Vic’. I’ve saved a couple of the friands to tempt his palate.



The ‘Mermaid’


A grandpa’s woes.

It’s not always easy being a grandpa; the expectation of very young granddaughters is beyond all imagination. Beyond mine at any rate! 😥

I was never told, that my being a grandpa required being the possessor of infinite wisdom & knowledge; the  patience of a saint; “chief fixer upper,  Jack of all trades”; and keeper of everything everyone needs, and never has.

Luckily I possess all these qualities . 😈

This belief in the omnipotence of grandpa’s, is, I believe, instilled in them by their mothers, and grandmothers, from  an early age as insurance against being caught short by said granddaughters.

How the revelation came to me, was purely by chance. Some weeks ago, Luke, Ruby and Poppy Mays daddy,  my son-in-law, arrived home, with some minor damage to the rear of his SUV thingy. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t very happy, and Ruby cheered him up by uttering the following.

“Don’t worry daddy, I’ll tell Bampa (Grandpa) and he’ll get his tools and fix it for you!”! The real words of a three and a half year old; true as I’m sitting here. 🙄

Luckily, Luke got me out of it, how I don’t know. There have been a few small things that she has managed to break, and I’ve succeeded in fixing; but a panel beater?

Roll on a few weeks, and Granny Smith, my wife not an apple, arrived home from baby sitting, for want of a better expression, bringing ‘The Mermaid’. More properly, the pieces of ‘The Mermaid’, two pieces to be precise minus a few chips.!

You’ve probably gathered that ‘The Mermaid’ is/was a figurine, and a prized possession of Ruby, which had somehow ‘become’ broken, and it was sent to her grandpa to fix.

Trouble is, it appears to be made from chalk, and when it was dropped, it split into two large pieces, and  several small ‘splinters’ which have been lost forever.

There is “Buckleys’ chance of my fixing this ‘treasure’. How will I tell her?

You may notice that Ruby had improved the figurines looks, with a dab or two of paint. 

And now by special request.

Some photographs of Coco; the picture with Butch, Luke’s dog is from 2012 when we first got him at age 4 years 2 months, as is the bottom one where he’s enjoying a siesta. 😀



Back in March I posted this blog, ; concerning my dog, and companion, Coco, and the re-occurrence  of a growth on his left eyelid.

This time there were complications,  and over the next 4 weeks, the poor little fellow had to have two more operations. I’m happy to announce, that for now, all is well and that his eye and eyelid are back to normal.

The growth, being under the eyelid and therefore not visible, had caused some fairly serious damage to the eye itself.

For some weeks; I lost track of how many, I had to administer an ointment directly onto the eyeball, three times daily, dropping to twice daily in the last  week. After the final operation I had to administer 14 ml  of an anti-biotic orally each morning with his breakfast.

Believe me, I was frazzled by the end, but I must report that my Coco was a gallant little fellow, the whole way through.

Unfortunately, there is one sour note. Isn’t that always the way? :/

The doctors and staff at the Annandale Animal Hospital, are a very caring and obliging set of people, and they go out of their way to help not only our pets, but the owners as well.

They don’t have to do it, but they do. They’ll handle the insurance claims for the owners who do have pet insurance.

After the first operation I paid the bill and submitted it and my claim to ‘Petplan, the pet insurance people’ as they like to call themselves. This organization was recommended to me by the Vets at the University of Sydney Veterinary School.

When we first moved down from the ‘Northern Beaches’, to the ‘Inner West’, we took Coco there for his annual injections; until we discovered the A.A.H. and they recommended Petplan to me.

Petplan policies are underwritten by the firm MS Amlin Underwriting Lloyd’s Syndicate 2001; having been an insurance man, for many years, and a claims manager for a Lloyds Broker,  I was quietly confident that I’d taken out decent insurance. How wrong can one be?

As I said earlier, I submitted a claim after the first operation, and in what was a very reasonable time, I received a cheque for the expense incurred, less of course the excess payable; which because of Coco’s age carries a loading.  The excess came to around $335.00.

The second operation, there was no charge from the hospital; told you they were caring people; the only charge is for the eye ointment I mentioned  before, which reminds me; I still have to claim for that, getting a bit forgetful.

However, the third and final operation incurred a fee, fair enough, a fairly big operation, I paid the account, and the receptionist said that she would submit the claim to Petplan for me, as the surgeon hadn’t filled out his part of the claim form. I accepted her offer, they had done this for me, on a previous occasion.

Now for the sour note.

Would you believe that Petplan decided that this third operation constituted a NEW claim and therefore another excess was applicable.

Yes indeed, the same eyelid, needing further medical attention, had nothing whatsoever to do with the original operation performed less than 3 weeks previous.

When I rang them to enquire what was going on; I was told that it was something entirely different, apparently the doctor, on the claim form, had used a different word to describe the operation, and therefore it was not the same ailment and therefore another excess was payable.

No effort on my part could make the people, I spoke to more than one, see that this is indeed the same ailment; and flatly refused to reconsider their position. Had I have been the claims manager I’d have fired them all!

Naturally I was riled, and lodged a notification of  dispute, with the Insurance Ombudsman in Victoria, I expect a resolution, in my favour, in a month or so. Meanwhile the Doctors at the hospital are going to send a full report to Petplan which will , hopefully straighten them out!

I am not amused! 👿

It seems that MS Amlin Underwriting Lloyd’s Syndicate 2001 are having a bit of a rough trot at the moment, ratings agency A M Best has downgraded the  ‘Financial Strength Rating’ (FSR) of MS Amlin Underwriting managed Lloyd’s Syndicate 2001 due to what it describes as deteriorating technical performance.

Thought you’d be happy to know that bit of useless information. Does it surprise you? 


You may have noticed that there hasn’t been much activity on these pages, the past few weeks. I haven’t been giving much attention to this, or my email, with the worry of my Coco. He takes precedence over all else. 🙂



Annandale and surrounding neighbours

Erick Allas

Taking it one day at a time

Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Wish to Dish

Celebrating food and all the joy that comes from creating and eating it.

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