Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dreaming and Scheming

Arnold has taken off for his daily sojourn. I thought, OK today I wouldn't let him go, but he kept pawing me, looking desperately into my eyes and whimpering softly at first, then louder, then louder. I can't believe how agitated he gets when not allowed out. And I wonder why it takes him all day to come home.

Anyway, I was looking at a shopping list and thinking about how shopping and to-do lists give you some idea of whatever is happening in your life at the time. For instance my shopping list today includes:

Green chillies
Spices (cloves, cardamom, star anise)
A plastic cover for the dining table (7 by 4)
Printing paper (to print out the Christmas books I spent a great deal of time putting together and formatting yesterday)
iPod earphones (Mum's birthday present to me)
and chicken for the truant doggie from the chicken rice shop

Tomorrow, Julie and I are going out with Chubs to get his Christmas tree and the decorations. He wants to Christmas up his new apartment and this is one time where we will willingly oblige. (He doesn't want to go to Ikea though and I do)

Julie asked if she could "upah" me to bake a cake for her office. I asked which cake and she said they're all chocolate freaks. So that makes another Texas Fudge cake (at last count, I'm making three). I actually have to make a list of the people I'm giving the Christmas basket to.

And I have one more Christmas card to send out, just cos, I didn't have the address earlier. The post office guy at Bangsar has started to know me real well. We banter while the rest of them loaded down with envelopes (apparently I'm not the only one who sends out cards early) snarl, already in the holiday mood.

The first time I went clutching my mess of cards, it was storming outside, so I sang "oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..." as I licked a hundred stamps onto various envelopes.

The second time it was not storming so I didn't sing.

The third time, who knows? But I just have one card more to send. No matter how well I try to plan, it always takes several trips to the post office. I'm trying to co-opt Julie for a nefarious scheme next week. She said she's busy but she doesn't know with what. She just has a vague idea that she said yes to something or other. My sister is probably one of the busiest people in the whole of KL. Hectic social schedule indeed! Mine is nothing compared to hers. Which is why at the present moment, I'm sitting cross-legged on the sofa while she is off to Malacca for a day-trip. Arnold has gone off on his daily odyssey and Dadda is mumbling to himself and surfing the internet. Probably writing nasty letters to the editor on the various news sites he favours.

I finished my third in a series of five stories yesterday (oh joy!) and sent off a list of very detailed questions for another unrelated interview (which I had been putting off because the topic is fairly technical and required a lot of background reading beforehand). The PR (I gotta say, she's the most efficient one I've ever come across) sent me an acknowledgement pronto. And this was like at 11 at night. Wonders will never cease.

I'm re-reading EF Benson's Lucia series because they are nothing so much as pure pleasure. I can understand why Noel Coward and the like were so potty about these books. EF Benson has a very sharp tongue but I like the characters anyway. Especially Miss Mapp whom no one else seems to like. She was such a wonderful villainess.

OK I think I have to go mandi now and make tracks for the outside world. Arnold can't be the only one having all the fun.

Later for you.

Later that day: Wonder of wonders, when I got back from my desultory running of errands, who should I see waiting under the car parked on the neighbour's verge but young Arnold. I'd know that dishevelled figure anywhere. The cats are sleeker and neater-looking.

He was waiting to be let in, and when I opened the gate to drive in my car, he let out one of his howls that had my Dadda scurrying for the window.

"Eh, what happened? Why is the fellow back so early?"

"I donno. But I think he's hungry. We didn't give him any breakfast, what? Luckily I bought food for him."

I had bungkused some chicken rice and asked the guy for an extra packet of chicken for the dog. I fully expected only to feed him tonight when he got back from his peregrinations, but lo and behold, here he was.

I handed the food to Dadda while I got all my stuff out of the car and said...ok, go give him first...the one with only chicken is his. And like a gooboy, Dadda went. Arnold wolfed down everything in half a second. So Dadda added the chicken. He wolfed it down again. Now it's been some days since we've seen any display of his normal appetite so your guess is as good as mine what happened today. Maybe he arrived at his destination and whoever he's adopted was out and not ready to feed him. So that was two meals missed as he didn't get anything from here either. It must have been one hungry dog that came back.

Anyway Dadda is busy cooking the chicken I had bought before for Arnold. I said...cook it and keep it...he's too hungry. Now Arnold has fallen asleep next to me. Four helpings of chicken has done the job.

At least I think it has.

Or I hope it has.

Dadda just came here, looked at him sleeping and said: "He's having flu, his nose is running. Maybe that's the reason he came back. Having fever or something. Check and see."

And I grunted noncommitally because to me, Arnold appears to be resting comfortably.

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