I thought today I might be on track for a few accomplishments like finally reaching the bottom of the washing baskets and putting clothes away in drawers instead of having to scratch through a bottomless pit every morning in the hopes of finding something to wear.
But things turned very sour when I returned from taking Alfie to school to find my dogs were missing. Arabella, who is home sick (nothing wrong with her), hadn’t seen them either. ‘Have you seen them today?’ I asked all tense.
‘I don’t think so’. Arabella isn’t much of an animal person.
‘I got them up this morning at six’, I told her, ‘Then I brought them up on my bed and they lay on the blanket while I was on my computer. Later I got out of bed and I put them outside. Then I woke you up and told you to get out of bed and get to school. Do you remember seeing them?’
‘Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think so’, with so little concern she barely lifted her head from her laptop.
‘Well I don’t remember them coming back in and the side gate is shut so they couldn’t get out’.
‘Dad came home a while ago and he was asking where they were.’
‘So he couldn’t find them either?’
‘No. He just asked me if I’d seen them and I told him I hadn’t’.
‘Well do you think you could drag yourself off that couch and help me look? I’m going up and down the street and I’ll have my mobile so if you find them, ring me’. So I walked the length of our street calling out to the girls but there was no sign of them and to have them go missing is just not a common occurrence. They aren’t runaways and love to be close to the home. In the morning when I put them outside they do their business then hurry back inside to recover from the cold. I checked the side gate again and shone a torch under the house to see if they were somehow trapped but they were nowhere.
At the back of our yard we have dense bush. I wondered if they had crawled in there and come to harm. They love it in that dense undergrowth because they can sniff lizards and mice and insects and it gives them a huge thrill to be on a hunt. I yelled out to Arabella, ‘Can you help me look in the bushes?’ She came out of the house wearing thongs and stood in the middle of the yard with her arms folded doing nothing.
I was all hunched over as I folded myself up to squeeze under branches and slide between palm trees and I turned over the underlying scrub looking for my girls who I thought must have met with foul play. I was getting covered in insects and cobwebs and my arms and legs were getting scratched from all the thorny scrub but my dogs were no where to be seen. I could understand one getting into trouble but both was just too weird.
It was panic stations. I rang Archie and asked him to come home. ‘The dogs are missing’, I cried, ‘I don’t know where they are.’ And I tried to phone Carl but his mobile was switched off.
The girls have been micro-chipped so I thought if someone had found them out on the street perhaps they’ve dropped them off at a nearby vet and they could run a scanner over them and that would lead them to my vet. So I phoned our vet and told them to be on stand-by for a call about my dogs and could they phone me immediately they heard some news. I wondered about calling the police because it seemed to me that they must have been snatched from our property. But who abducts dogs? I was so confused.
Carl finally returned my call. He asked me how I was. ‘Not good’, I cried. ‘The dogs are missing. Someone’s taken my girls’.
‘Yeah I know’, said Carl, ‘I’ve got them’.
‘You’ve got them? I’ve been looking for them for three hours’.
‘I told Arabella I was taking them this morning when I dropped in to get them’, explained Carl.
‘She said you asked if she knew where the dogs were and that she told you she didn’t’.
‘Well I’m sure I told her I was taking them with me to put in a video clip I was shooting this morning. We were shooting scenes at an unleashed dog park and I thought it would be good to have some dogs in it. I would have phoned you but I had to switch my phone off for the shoot’.
So I’m all covered in cuts and scratches from the noxious fronds of palm trees that are incredibly itchy and I’ve lost one-half of a productive day and I have a tension headache from running scenarios around in my head about what sort of ill-fate had met my dogs. No one in this house is getting anything better for dinner than bangers and mash – except the dogs; they will eat like kings (queens in this case).
I’m also making a cake…
Coconut Orange Cake
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This is a delicious cake that uses very inexpensive everyday ingredients.
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup milk
- 125g butter
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 tbspn orange rind
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups SR flour
- 1/2 cup milk, extra
Combine coconut and 1/2 cup milk and let sit for 1 hr.
Preheat oven to 180C (375F) or 160C fan-forced.
Cream butter, sugar and orange rind until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add flour, milk and coconut/milk mixture and mix until combined.
Place in a loaf tin and put in oven for 50 mins.
Stand 5 mins, turn onto wire rack. Top with orange icing, cool.
Sift icing sugar into bowl, add butter and enough orange juice to mix to a smooth paste.
This recipe has been adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly, Best Recipes from the Weekly.
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