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Saturday, 16 February 2019 Dereel → Cape Clear → Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 16 February 2019
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Leo, day 3
Topic: animals Link here

Clearly we had to do something about Leonid's eating pains, so off to Cape Clear before breakfast to show him to Pene Kirk. She had already said that she wasn't equipped to examine him properly, but she took a quick look and saw a swelling round his larynx. Tumour? Maybe thyroid problems? I should get him looked at in a vet practice.

But which one? I had been less than positively impressed last time we had him at a vet, this time last year. What I perceive as a lack of experience resulted in us getting a bill of nearly $1000, not to mention the worry it caused. In the end we decided to go back to Ballarat Veterinary Practice, where we haven't been for over 5 years. They, too, are expensive, but we had no issues with the quality of the care they gave.

Yvonne was able to get an appointment so quickly that we barely had time for breakfast. Then off, spending the time waiting talking to Brendan and Robert Herbert about the funeral arrangements.

Finally got to talk to Richard Lawrence, who took a look at Leo and decided that the swelling was only on one side of the throat, near the epiglottis, and suspected a grass seed lodged in his throat. Most times, he says, it will detach by itself, though the possible requirement of surgical removal remains. He gave him a painkiller and a course of antibiotics (Juroclav 500 mg, one twice a day for a week). Yvonne was visibly relieved; she had been reckoning with a malignant tumour. Hopefully he's right, but he made a very good impression. I wonder what a junior vet would have done.

In the evening Leo should have eaten. He took one look at the food and turned away. Dammit, what does he want? After a couple of attempts, took some food and put it in his mouth. He chewed, dropped some but swallowed most of it. How about the food now? No, thanks. Tried again, same thing.

Yvonne took over, and after another attempt he finally got the message and finished his food. So apart from the pain, there must have been a significant psychological factor involved.


Garden flowers in late summer
Topic: gardening Link here

Middle of the month, time for the monthly garden flower photos. It's been a long, dry summer, and many of the plants are suffering as a result. I've been following the Hebes, which suffered badly from the combination of heat, drought and problems with the sprinklers. The sprinklers are still not working as well as they should. The result are some very sick looking plants, and I wonder if they will survive:


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Others, though, are definitely surviving:


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I hope that they'll improve as the weather cools down.

The trees in the area are also suffering. Our oak is still alive, and so is the ornamental cherry, but I can't say that they look good:


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On the other hand, the Paulownia kawakamii seems to have benefited from the fertilizer, making me wonder whether I shouldn't spread a lot more:


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Another genus that seems to be benefiting from fertilizer are the tomatoes. These ones are on the north side of the house, and they're promising to bear more fruit than we can eat for the next few months:


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On the other hand, the ones round the water tanks are anything but happy:


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They're much smaller, and the second one has no fruit at all. They're getting enough water; time for more fertilizer.

The gladioli finished flowering a month or two ago—most of them. For some reason, probably related to irrigation, we have two new shoots:


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And one of the Hibiscus syriacus is also flowering:


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The other, more sheltered one, is growing better, but so far there has been no evidence of buds.

The roses are also doing better than it's easy to demonstrate:


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And the corner succulent bed is gradually looking the way we would expect:


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Arranging the funeral
Topic: general Link here

When my father died, my sister Bev completely took over the funeral and other arrangements, and I wasn't involved at all. With my mother it's different: we now have four people involved. Apart from Bev and myself they're our cousins Brendan and Robert Herbert, who live in Bendigo and thus had frequent contact with my mother. As a result of our discussion on the phone today, and also a mail exchange with Bev, we have:

What has occurred to me since then:


MARION'S KITCHEN massaman curry
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Another dish from MARION'S KITCHEN this evening, a Thai “Massaman curry”. Once again ridiculous quantities of meat, and otherwise not very convincing. The other packages go back.

That has been four different dishes from MARION'S KITCHEN. The curry laksa was OK, the Phat Thai acceptable, but the San Choy Bow and the Massaman curry are really not worth the trouble.


Sunday, 17 February 2019 Dereel Images for 17 February 2019
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Coroner and funeral arrangements
Topic: general, language, opinion Link here

Rather to my surprise, got a call from Tracy at the Coroners Court of Victoria today, a Sunday. She didn't ask for any form of identification, but had some important information:

  1. I am the “senior next of kin” and thus the prime point of contact from them. Was that because I'm senior? Yes. So Bev is junior? No, she's senior too. Clearly another case of redefinition of existing terms.
  2. In this capacity, she asked for and received my authority to hand the body to Brendan (really to a funeral director in Bendigo).
  3. Contact details are by phone at any time at 1300 309 519, case 847-19. They don't do email, but in due course I'll get written documents.
  4. They asked for permission to perform an autopsy if they should find it advisable. I said that I had not objection, and I assume that's Bev's attitude too. We will, however, have another say before they actually perform the autopsy.
  5. The background for the involvement of the Coroner was that the GP was unwilling to issue a death certificate. I wonder why not. Did he suspect something? To be observed.
  6. Her body will be released after “5 to 7 working days”. Though they clearly work on Sundays, I assume she means Mondays to Fridays in this count. That would mean between 25 and 27 February, which would fit in with Bev's wishes (she's travelling in Italy this week). I told her that the more warning we get, the better, but they say they can hold on to her until necessary.
  7. She asked me about any known illnesses. I have barely seen her in the last 25 years, so clearly I don't know of any real problems. I suggested that they contact Brendan about that.
  8. Brendan has been named as executor of her will.

Another question we're going to have to address: who is going to pay for the funeral? Various discussions suggest that her estate may not be released for quite some time.


Another wildflower
Topic: gardening Link here

While walking the dogs, saw this relatively forgettable flower:


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The only interesting thing is that it is a bush, while most flowers round here are very small and grow directly on a stalk. The flower looks like a Goodenia, but the leaves of the bush look more like a Hibiscus.


Leonid's progress
Topic: animals Link here

Leonid is much better after his medication, and ate a lot of food this morning. He's also much livelier. The most surprising thing, though, is that he is no longer afraid of going outside. Certainly it wasn't magpies: we went straight past some returning from the walk, and he didn't pay any attention to them.

So somehow his throat pain made him not want to stay outside. Why?


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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