Monday, February 9, 2009

Craig skis and fixes teeth

This is Ben the Bear. Ben goes everywhere with Cate if she travels without me (and everywhere with me if I travel without Cate).

He has circumnavigated the globe many, many times and is (as far as we know) the most travelled bear in the world.

(Apart, of course, from Alexander Downer)

This is Ben who Waves. Ben has two brothers, Ben with the Wonky Ear and Ben (yes just Ben).

The three Bens were given to more than 20 years ago by Susie (who may still have Ben with the Wonky ear).

Ben (just Ben) lives in Richmond in the UK just near the river with his Aunty Ally and her son Robin.

We hope to organise a reunion one day.

Ben travels everywhere with Cate and sits on her pillow in the hotels where she stays. When the staff at the hotel have made the bed they always prop Ben up on the pillow – and sometimes they give him a chocolate to hold.

(Cate stays in the sorts of hotels where they turn your bed down and put chocolates on your pillows. The hotels I stay in have straw on the floor).

Travelling with Ben has never been a problem until the last trip Cate did to Hong Kong when a teleconference Cate and her boss were doing in a conference room did not work and they both had to go back to Cate’s room to complete the call.

Cate’s boss Dave looked at Ben carefully and said not a word – and has never mentioned the incident since.

We went to Da Capo in Schulerstrasse where I had one of the best meals I have had in Wien. Cate thought it was just OK. But she said to me that she doesn’t really like any restaurants in Austria.

This is a big call because we have been to less than 0. 01% of all restaurants in Austria - but perhaps she was just feeling a bit fragile in advance of her trip to Moscow.

The best dentist in Australia (and possibly the Universe ) is Craig Calleia who has a surgery out west in Sydney. Every time he gets too many clients he moves further away – but they follow him anyway because he is so good.

Craig is so good he doesn’t need X-rays – he can commune with teeth through a mystical process. He says things like ‘I have a funny feeling about the fourth bisected upper incisor’ and then he fiddles around and finds (Shriek!) Decay – and has to winkle it out.

Craig is to teeth what Cate Blanchett and Sean Penn are to acting.

I mention this because when we go back to Sydney in July we will both have to see Craig for checkups. He has probably moved to Marble Bar by now to get away from his patients - but we will go there because we love our teeth and we love Craig.

Craig skis and would love it here because they do almost nothing else. He is (ahem) very solidly built and could probably survive most collisions (unless it was with a sled).

Cate is now in Moscow with Ben who Waves – prancing about in her Anna Karenina coat (but without the Dead Rabbit Hat). She is back at the end of the week for a few days and then goes to Zambia. Zambia?

Quolly sent me a story about a man named Gordon in Darwin who had his arm amputated after he was bitten by a King Brown snake.

He picked it up at the side of the road and it bit him (well it would wouldn’t it) and he put it in a bag.

He then – to use his own words ‘for some stupid reason put his hand in the bag’. Whereupon the King Brown – which was clearly not having a good day – bit him another eight times – yes that’s right – 8!

I wonder what was going through Gordon’s tiny little mind while Brownie was fanging away in the bag?

Oh it’s bitten me again, and again, and again – I wonder if I should take my hand out of the bag – oh there it goes again, and again – I really should take my hand out now – oh damn it’s bitten me again – and again – well I’ve had enough of this I’m definitely taking my hand out now – oh it has bitten me again!

In mitigation of his colossal stupidity Gordon says that he was drunk at the time.

To keep him alive while they were on their way to hospital his mate hit him on the head (no, not with the snake) and poured beer on him.

I reckon Gordon should have a go at skiing.


  1. Ok Ben the bear is cool. The dentist is someone I would love..
    So what do you do with all your alone time. beside take care of Muffin, Learn German, Oh You are BUSY :-) Later!

  2. I just don't know where the day goes!