Monthly Archives: February 2008

Just like riding a bike?

Next Tuesday I have my first riding lesson for about twenty years;  I am very excited, and not at all nervous, despite the fact I haven’t ridden at all in the last ten.  The interim years I had the occasional mad ride on a clearly insane animal [of the equine kind, get your mind out of the gutter] [I know, I know, so mine rarely leaves it], and one memorable five day trek a la Man From Snowy River in the Shannon / D’Entrecasteaux National Park down in the south west.  Five days of riding 15 hours a day in sensational untouched wilderness that encompassed hills, heath, sand dunes and karri forest.  Amazing.  I didn’t do too badly, considering how sick and unfit I was, and had a fantastic time.

Long-time readers may remember [as well as deserving a medal for patient heroism] that back in December I was in a horrible blue-black mood.  I needed something to cheer me up, give me something to look forward to and enjoy, something fun that would be both physically and mentally / emotionally therapeutic.  I decided to go back to riding, not at a “normal” riding school but specifically with the RDA – the Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia, whose motto is Riding Develops Ability.  I need me some of that!

My plans were to have a weekly lesson in a small adult group, and to volunteer my services in office / admin work, caring for the horses, schooling horses and helping out in the kids’ classes as a leader [many of the riders require one or two assistants to lead the horse and help them balance etc].  I went out to one of the RDA’s sites, met the coach and some of the volunteers and signed up. Continue reading


Wet pussies

Ha, bet that got your attention, or at least a few raised eyebrows.  I’ll probably get sickos looking for pr0n, landing here and being most disappointed.

Because I’m talking about felines.  Felines that have had a close encounter with water.  Our two big Maine Coon clowns* adore the water, as do most Maine Coons, which is to their advantage in the Australian heat.  All cats run the risk of over-heating and dehydrating in summer.  I keep a close watch on our two for signs of stress given they are so big and furry, and the temperatures are so extreme [over 38C pretty much all through February, getting down to a “minimum” of 25 – 28C at night, with very high humidity]. Continue reading

Otterkat updates

I’ve made a couple of updates and changes to Otterkat recently :-

          updated links in general

          added a new links category, Horse, for my favourite horse people and horse bloggers

          updated the links category for foodies and floggers, it’s now called Food, Cooks, Gourmets

          updated the links category for beauty blogs et al, it’s now Make Up, Beauty Blogs, Guilty Pleasures.  I’ve also subtracted a fair few blogs and added some new good ones

          added a new post category called Horse Talk  Wanna Wanna Pony!, because I do; also for posts about my highs and lows and experiences with horses and riding, and horse people

          amended the Menagerie post category to Kitten Caboodle, to reflect it’s mostly-about-cats nature [Kitten Caboodle, as in “kit and caboodle”, geddit?  OK I’m lame but I thought it was cute]

          merged the Health and Science post categories into one

          I’ll edit the About pages at some point too.

I think that’s it.  Check out the new people!  I’ll feature some of my new imaginary friends here and there in the next weeks.  And big hellos and thanks to the new visitors.

Beauty and the beast – Skin care update

Well after all that lovey-dovey stuff, I figured I’d continue in the “girly” vein and write an update on my skin and the products I’m using now [further to my post here way back in July 2006.  Yep, definitely time for a review].

Toward the end of last year my skin was looking truly terrible.  Perhaps not leprosy-level terrible or even terrible by others’ standards, but I’ve always had good skin and this was bloody awful, for me.  I’ve never had acne, only the occasional hormone- or stress-related pimple, it’s normal-to-dry and fairly balanced, and tends to look very fine-textured and smooth.  The only “issue” I have are these red blotchy patches on my forehead, my upper lip and chin.  It’s not exactly rosacea although it shares many similarities;  it’s more a kind of birth-mark.  Or perhaps it’s just the capillaries are more visible because my skin is so soft and translucent [due to the collagen imbalance of the connective tissue disease].

So … toward the end of last year my skin was giving me an awful time.  The bitch.  It was even more blotchy and red than usual, I had raised acne-like lumps under the surface but not breaking out completely, and even though it felt kind of greasy and clogged it was so dry it was flaking in some areas.  Delightful.  All the medication I was on definitely had a lot to do with it [or rather, increased dosages of same], having been even more ill and bed-bound than usual, then add to that a good dose of hormones and depression.  Not the greatest combo. Continue reading

Love dot com – Part three

Ahhh, love.  Of course none of it was as easy as that, and Belfast did freak me out.   But every moment of hardship, stress, adversity has been more than offset by the wonder of love and life with my gorgeous fella.  In spite of all the crap we’ve gone through, and my health problems, I’ve never been so blissfully happy and content.  Yeah, gag, right, I don’t blame you.  But it’s true.

I reckon the worst, the very, very worst thing we had to contend with was all the Visa Applications and Immigration Departments.  Continue reading

Love dot com – Part two

Back in Australia I chatted online a lot more to Tux, first venting about The Boy and as that wound scabbed over, about much more interesting things.  Online communication of personal history/feelings can be easier in a way – it is less threatening, less forced, gives you time to think about wording, and inspires confidences better than stilted conversations in pubs and clubs especially if you’re the shy reserved type.  At least that’s how it worked for us.

In a way it was a very old-fashioned kind of courtship.  Continue reading

Love dot com – Part one

[Update:  have broken this into three parts.]

[I’m writing this in bed, propped up against my back rest with my laptop propped on my knees.   It is not comfy and I’d really like one of those breakfast tray/tables with foldout legs but buggered if I can find one anywhere in Perth … ]

Wishing everybody a delightful, romantic, not commercial-or-materialistic-or-designed-to make-singles-feel-like-killing-themselves Valentines Day.  I have written [ranted] before, and at length, about the vileness that is VD; or as it is known around these parts, “Get Fucked Day” [say it with flowers].  So rather than getting my knickers in a twist, I shall merely calmly say that we [that would be Tuxedo and me, not the royal we] do not celebrate.

I thought I’d bare my soul a bit and tell all about our love dot com, our geeky love across the internet and various telecommunications systems, that resulted in our getting hitched six years, six days and six feet piles of paperwork ago. Continue reading

Sausage and Vegetable Frittata

This is a great recipe either to use leftovers or start from scratch and produce whatever you want for either a hearty dinner for two [there will still be leftovers!] or light lunch with salad.  It is delicious cold the next day.  You could easily make this totally vegetarian; the addition of mushrooms is particularly good; or make with just one or two main ingredients [eg zucchini and red capsicum].  Continue reading

Hu Tieu Bo Vien [Vietnamese Meatball Noodle Soup]

This is a delicious meal in a bowl noodle soup – like Bun Rieu et al it’s one of the group I call “Mesocosm Soups” as there’s a whole world in the bowl;  noodles, meats or seafood, vegetables, herbs, spices.  Incredibly yummy and rich with different layers of textures and flavours.  Pretty healthy too! Continue reading

Salmon Goi Cuon [Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Salmon]

Goi Cuon are Vietnamese rice paper rolls filled with poached pork and prawns, sundry herbs and other grated or shredded vegetables, and [precooked] rice vermicelli noodles.  The Vietnamese dipping sauce, nuoc cham, is served with these and many other street and market foods. In this variation I substituted the pork and prawns for salmon fillet, sautéed in a teriyaki/caramel type sauce then flaked. Continue reading