Friday, October 28, 2011

Maggie's current adventure

This week Miss Maggie went to the Vets for a visit and overnight stay.

We had noticed a while back the sometimes when she is playing and running and changing direction a lot that her leg seems to lock up fully extended. After a few hops, it unlocks and she is all back to normal. She isn't in any pain when this happens, and will happily come and have her leg checked out.

We mentioned this to Dr Harry (her vet) when we went in for a checkup. After a bit of investigating and checking her over, he told us she had Luxating Patellas. Basically, her knee cap moves out of its little groove, and dislocates, locking her leg up, until she pops it back in. She has it on both legs, but worse on the left one.

This is pretty unusual for a border collie, as its most common in small and miniature breeds of dog.

We got a second opinion from the orthopedic specialist at the vet clinic, who then sent us off for another option at a specialist centre. All agreed that it was luxating patellas (for a while there was a worry that she might have had something wrong with her back as well, but all is fine there).

So on Wednesday, Maggie went to the vets and had surgery on her left knee. All went well, and the vets where very happy with how it all went. And on Thursday morning, Spanky went and picked her up and brought her home.

Maggie looks a little naked, with her left leg all shaved. The surgery site looks pretty good though. She isn't trying to lick her stitches, although we think its annoying her that she cant scratch her head properly. She is getting around well, when she is standing still she is has the left leg down to help balance and although not using it to walk, she is toe tapping with it.

Its currently fun trying to get a 1.5yr old energetic border collie to 'rest', but by being home with her its helping.

So, for 2 weeks, she is to rest up and do very little (we have someone home with her the whole time to try and achieve this) then she will have another 4 weeks with reduced activity (but will have small walks that build up to bigger ones). She will need the right knee done, but we have to see how long it takes her to recover from this one before we book the next surgery in.

It will be interesting watching the hair on her leg grow back!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Briar Hill Spring Fair

This Saturday is the Briar Hill Spring Fair.

This Spring Fair is an old fashioned family affair opening with a Maypole Dance presented by the children of the school.

There is also a central stage featuring children's performances, including strings, recorder, singing and drama.

Stalls include bric-a-brac, cake stalls, homemade lemonade, children’s woodwork, craft and story tents, jumping castle, pony rides, yummy food stalls, cafe and LOTS more!
I will be there having a stall selling magnets, and some of my fellow Ivanhoe Makers Market stall holders are also having stalls. Fingers crossed that the weather stays nice and that it's a great day had by all.

Briar Hill Primary School
25 Gladstone Rd,
Briar Hill, VIC 3088
Fair from 10am-3pm

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fiji (Part 2)

The other main resort we stayed at while in Fiji, was the Vatulele Island Resort.

To get to this resort, you have to fly via a small prop aeroplane. You know, the type where they really do weigh your entire luggage, and then they weigh you so that they can try and keep the aeroplane even.

Our plane to Vatulele Island
We flew to Vatulele with another couple, who where honeymooning and are from San Francisco in the US. The flight was interesting. It was cool to be able to see the pilot doing all his stuff, and the view was great, but when we landed on the grass runway, we where pretty happy to get off the plane as the tummies had had enough of all the vibrations.
View of a reef on approch to Vatulele

View of the resort from the air

The plane on the Vatulele runway
Staying on Vatulele was unlike anywhere we had previously stayed at in Fiji. The island itself is different. It is quite large, and has 4 villages on it. It is a fairly dry island, with no rivers or streams, due to it being porous limestone. When we where there though, they had the rainstorm of the decade! It poured for a solid 24hrs. Water is obtained from desalinated seawater. Most of the island is ringed and protected by a barrier reef that is about 1 to 3km from the beach.

The resort was designed on a ‘Sante Fe Style’, with building carefully placed to avoid removal of important trees. This means the Villas are positioned away from each other and are surrounded by vegetation & trees. We where lucky enough to stay in a plunge pool Villa. All Villas have the same layout, but some have a pool attached, while those that don’t just have bigger decks. There is also a ‘Pink house’ at one end of the resort, and at the other end there is a ‘White house’. Both of these houses are larger than the normal Villas (and cost more!).

Our Villa (Bathroom on the right, lounge & bedroom on the left)

Our Villa had a HUGE bathroom, large bedroom, and big lounge room. The photos don’t do the size justice! The Villa had a bar fridge, where the soft drinks are included in the accommodation and refilled twice a day, a cookie jar with fresh cookies for afternoon tea, a wine fridge for those that want one, a large TV & stereo system (although we couldn’t figure of how to turn the bass down). The pool was about 2m by 6m and maybe 1.6m deep. We had our own beach hut with 2 lounge chairs. The beach was so long, had white sand, and the water was nice and clear.
Meals where nice, and although everyone was saying they where outstanding, as we had just been at Vomo Island, we found they where not quite up to that standard, but they where nice and very filling. There is a number of locations to eat at, from the Main dining bure, Main deck, on the beach, in the wine cellar, at the Folly, in your Villa or on the very private Noki-Noki island. We ate at the main bure, on the main deck, at the Folly and on the beach with everyone on the Meki/BBQ night. Most nights we actually ate dinner with our new American friends from the flight over.

View from the Folly
One of the beach dining huts

There was also a nightly ‘Cocktail hour’ before dinner. The cocktail of the night, plus local beers, selected wines & soft drinks are complimentary.

At the BBQ night

On our last night everyone had a BBQ dinner on the beach. We also where treated to a Meke show by some locals from the nearby village.

Some of the activities offered at Vatulele are very unique. We did the Red prawns trip, which is a boat trip and then a 10min walk along the base of sandstone cliffs through the rainforest to tidal rock pools that host the legendary Red pawns. This is the only place in the world that these prawns exist. They are protected and cant be caught or taken away from the pools.
On the way to the Red Prawns

Red Prawn
We also did a cave walk (about 30min to get there). Along the way we passed local kids out crab hunting, and they decided to join us in out walk to the caves. Of the two main caves that we visited, one has crystal clear water in it. The water was so clear that we couldn’t even see most of it, and very much didn’t believe our guide when he said how deep it was and that it covered the whole base of the cave. We all had a slight moment of panic when he jumped off a rock into the pool in a spot that we judged the water to be only about 2m deep. As soon as there where ripples in the water, we could see it all, then all jumped in! It was so much fun. The water was very cold, but after the walk there it was refreshing. We talked the local kids into joining us in the water, and they had a great time jumping in.
In the Caves
Bubbles again enjoyed snorkelling. One day he went out on the day it rained solidly, non-stop all day, but said it was still really good. On the other occasions it was clear and really nice. He said that the diving would have been fantastic.

We both took the sea kayaks out on afternoon for about an hour and paddled along the island. Spanky saw a giant sea turtle. It pooped up right next to her kayak, put its head out of the water, had a look around, got a breath of air, then headed back under water.

We again spent a lot of time relaxing and resting. Spanky had a very nice massage one morning. She felt it was perfect. Not to soft nor to hard, but still firm (like she asked for).

During our stay at Vatulele there was only 12 people staying there, so it was nice to be able to meet other guests during the cocktail hour and at meal times and to be able to say hello during the day when you see them and actually know their name!

It was a little sad to leave, and if we had a couple more days that we where staying we would have been happy, but at the same time, we didn’t leave feeling like we had missed out on doing anything.

It is somewhere we would happily return to (as with Vomo).

Our flight back to the mainland was slightly bumpier than the flight over, just because it was a little windier. When we landed, Bubbles said he was thankful the flight wasn’t any longer, or he would have had to use the ‘sick bag’.

We had about 3hrs to kill before we could check into our flight back to Melbourne, so we left our luggage at the airport and walked out of the airport and over the road to a hotel and had some lunch and a couple of drinks and watched some Rugby on the TV. Nice way to kill a couple of hours. Then we headed back the airport, checked in for our flight and went and sat in the Airpacific lounge til it was departure time.

I was nice to come home, but im sure we could have happily done a couple more weeks away in Fiji easily!