2016 Aug- Dec 4 months in Adelaide

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December 27th 2016
Published: October 14th 2017
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The four months in Adelaide from August until December allowed us to get to know the suburbs of the city better than I had managed in 30 years of having grown up there. Four months in a year would normally fly by with routine of nothing out of the ordinary but these four months were punctuated with highlighted memories.

St Peters, Aug- Oct

Our first house sit was for a lovely couple in St. Peters for 2 months during which time they visited Portugal, France and Spain. We tended to 2 lovable little white terriers. A Lahso Apso called Cooper and a West Highland Terrier called Bonnie. I don't think they had ever had so many walks in their lives. We had fun with them and Bonnie promptly lost the extra weight she was carrying when we arrived. Both slept on the bed with us and got very excited the moment we moved in the morning making it hard to sleep in and not go for a trot around the park. Two news papers were delivered each morning to the door and when we got up to retrieve them they promptly ran out the front door to protect their garden, sniff and stalk passing walkers. It was then difficult to get them to come back into the house again.

Dear Cooper had a bad habit of nipping unsuspecting strangers which landed me in hot water with a potential fine from the council but thanks to help from some very educated friends I managed to write a convincing defence for myself and got let off. As it turned out the accusation had been from someone over paranoid, as poor Cooper had not even pieced the skin, which I was thankful for.

Unfortunately for one of our house sit hosts, his mother passed away 2 days after leaving the country and he had to return to sort out her finality. He stayed another 5 nights with us, which was not an issue as it allowed us to get to know each other better and gave him a chance to air some of his feelings. We had promptly joined the gym soon after arriving so were busy trying to get fit as well.
The weather over these 2 months was atrocious. There were storms and blackouts like the city had never seen before. Cooper did not handle thunder and lightning well (even more sensitive to this than most dogs) and was inconsolable during these periods.

We enjoyed this house. It was a traditional Victorian stone house frontage which although dark and cold had a modern architect designed extension which caught the winter sun when there was any. Magpie families would fly in and undisturbed visit the dog's kibble bowls regularly. I eventually made a habit of regularly feeding them bread on the outside table. We made a habit of a weekly night walks up Mount Lofty and also had a special celebration for my mother's 90th.

I cycled regularly to my mother's house from here and discovered a great route behind the city and through public gardens that avoided much of the traffic and made the ride enjoyable. I planted a large amount of vegetable seeds in my mother's garden on arrival and tended to them regularly so that come spring and summer there was a bounty.

Fulham, October

In October we moved to a cluttered, eclectic house nearer my mother in Fulham with 2 dogs; Charli and Bundy, 8 chicken and 5 fish. Upon first visiting I had thought the house would have been unpleasant to live in but we had a lovely stay there. It was easy to walk to my mother's. A glorious cycle and promenade along the river allowed me to rediscover the area that I grew up in from a different perspective. Warm weather was trying its hardest to arrive in October we had hot and cold days in succession. These dogs were not used to being walked. One was an enormous but gentle, happy Ridgeback and the other a tiny adorable Poodle. They loved companionship and gave us great pleasure. Their parents went to Bali for 2 weeks and we were happy that when they returned we could return to them the same number of animals in their menagerie as there had been when they left and considering there had been so many that was quite an achievement, or should I say luck.

Flinders Park, October, November

Luck, however, was not on our side on our next house sit for my sister. Roxy; the Labradoodle and the chicken; Hattie and Harriet. As soon as we arrived Hattie had liver failure and we heartbreakingly tried to help her fight but lost her within our first week of the 3 that we were there. I did some voluntary work at the local op shop but could only manage 2 days as I became too frustrated at how it was run and felt unappreciated. Roxy, our baby, had a very strong minded personality and was very unlike other dogs in that she didn't always want to walk or visit the beach so we let her tell us what she wanted from us during our 2 weeks there.

Mitchell Park, November

The next 3 weeks were in Mitchell Park with Paul; a big, slightly overwhelming 1 year old Australian Shepherd, who's energy could not be contained in a small garden.
His young parents had gone to New York to celebrate the end of years of study and final graduation from University. With Paul walks to the park and beach had us nervous that we would get ourselves into trouble as he uncontrollably jumped on and chased everyone and everything. He was extremely social and needy of interaction and much as we tried he could not be satisfied. The best places for him were the fenced dog parks to which we had to drive. We also cared for a fighting fish in a little bowl which I sympathised with as I felt his life was compromised so that he could have an ornamental effect. He got much attention from me as I knew he was otherwise often forgotten.
This was a new area for us and we enjoyed cycling and exploring and were surprised at what we found. We were an easy distance from the foothills and also from the beach. We were also a relatively easy cycling distance from our next house sit in Forestville which was convenient as we split up for a few days for which we had to overlap these 2 assignments.

Forestville, December

Here we cared for an adorable 8 month old Maltese ShiTzu called Hazel. The house was a freshly renovated dream to live in and Hazel was an absolutely perfect dog who was adorable, social, loving, well-adjusted and there was nothing I didn't love about her. I loved living here! A beautiful, green dog park was an easy walkable distance where Hazel (and we) made loads of new friends and it was also easy proximity to my friends and to the city. I could do yoga classes with my friends and meet them for lunch. Hazel made life very happy.

The last 2 days were spent living at my mother's as we prepared for returning to Sydney for the festive season. We went out to lunch, visited the Xmas lights ate apricots and plums straight from the trees and tidied the spent vegetable plants that had grown, fed us and withered during our time in Adelaide.
I left for Sydney with my 7kg of hand luggage We left Adelaide on a 33 degree day arriving in Sydney to a much cooler day in the low 20's.

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