A year, like pets, comes and goes

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It has been a year of firsts and lasts – and also dead pets in the freezer.

While it is a bit early for a “year that was”, you are getting it anyway, as it has been just over a year since I started writing for the Oamaru Mail

Hank Williams is going well. He has a job. Naughty dogs need jobs, so he tows my mountain bike.

It’s much like an electric bike but slightly more erratic with near accidents, when he stops for a poo, and actual accidents, when he suddenly chases Australian plovers that live less than a block from my house.

It is said that the worst accidents happen close to home.

Chickens are also a potential source of carnage, but he is tied on to the bike so that prevents any massacres.

All dogs have the potential to be a bit murdery, and hurricane Hank is no exception.

Ginger Rogers is no longer in the freezer, but Janis Joplin the rabbit is. She came to a rather unfortunate end, but you can’t name a rabbit Janis Joplin and expect her to live to old age.

It’s still a little raw to tell the whole story. Janis was sassy and naughty, and that is essentially what led to her demise.

She will join Ginger Rogers at Totara, where an orchard of dead pets under feijoa trees seems to be developing.

It is strange and a little sad to no longer need to “Janis proof” the house. Power cords and jandals are safe again, and there is much less fluff and bunny nuggets to be vacuumed up.

I did my first mountain bike race earlier in the year and came last.

I did my first multisport event last month and my team came last.

I once wrote in an Oamaru Mail column: “quit because you are miserable, don’t quit because you are crap”. True words of wisdom.

We had a wonderful time coming last in the teams section of Peak to Pub at Mt Hutt and are already formulating a plan for a rematch next year.

Here’s a little bit of what will be for the rest of 2019 ..

My handmade wooden Canadian canoe has recently come out of storage. She needs a bit of a polish-up and I need to problem solve transporting the rather voluptuous lady.

With a literal tonne of loading potential, there is plenty of room for a few beers. In fact, they might add some ballast and make her a little more stable. Who’s keen to start a monthly meeting of a “Pirate Club” at the Oamaru Harbour?

I also just made my first batch of sauerkraut. Apparently it’s simple to make, but time will tell. I’ll let you know if it explodes in the cupboard or not. Stay tuned.