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Hello, hello! It’s Russell Bear here today. Bouncing all over the place with excitement & damp fur. Have you seen our rain?

It has been raining in the desert for days now, and the clouds have come tumbling down the mountainside of those MacDonnell Ranges. Alice Springs is very, very wet!

Russell Bear with his raincoat. Just look how low that cloud is!

All this weather has been caused by a large, monsoonal low pressure system which brings a lot of thick cloud & much rain with it as it drifts across the desert. The plants & insects will love it!

And we have another flood. Only little right now but the river is rising again and we’re on Level B flood alert! How exciting it is. The other bears don’t think so, they’ve all hibernated indoors, watching TV and eating chocolate.

Russell Bear out in the rain watching the clouds come tumbling down.

I, on the other hand, joined The Mistress for a walk in the rain yesterday. I am the only bear in this clan who owns a raincoat. I might add I am the only bear in this clan who is adventurous enough to believe it is fun to go singing and dancing in the rain! Well, in the deep pocket of The Mistress’ waterproof jacket anyway. I didn’t want to get too damp.

Her jacket wasn’t that waterproof. My paws got damp.

We saw lots of little birds flitting in and out of the trees and grasses that grow near our home. And we saw great flocks of galahs, not flocking but walking about in the vacant paddocks, pecking and scratching for tasty morsels to eat.

Galahs! We saw lots of these birds on our walk.

Oh look! There's a tiny honey-eater sitting in that tree.

The river was amazing! Have a look at these photographs.

They kept the street lamps on during the daytime! It was very, very misty. Russell huddled down deep in The Mistress' jacket pocket to stay dry.

The Todd River. It's usually dry but it flooded in January and it's flowing high & fast in this last week of February too! We don't normally see so much water here in the desert. Most of the river crossings are closed now.

We walked across the bridge & around the corner to look at the Todd River flowing from the town side. The water level has risen much, much more today.

So much rain! So much mud!

Today the wind has blown in quite fiercely and it’s very cold. The rain is teeming down and the river has risen very high. All the river crossings are closed except for the highest bridge on Stott Terrace.

The Mistress had to drive through the power station to reach that bridge as we’re isolated where we live. That’s not usually open to the public, they have to open big gates to let us through so we can get into town or the hospital. It’s very, very exciting!

If the river breaks its banks (and it looks like it might), the water may close off Barrett Drive and then we will be totally cut off from the town centre! Ooh, that might be scary I think.

It’s so cold today I have decided to join the other bears & hibernate in the warmth of the lounge room with some fine, dark chocolate & a good movie.

Written whilst he sang & danced by Russell Bear

A new Bear!

G’day, Charley here again.

Sorry, we’ve all neglected to write any posts for a week or so. I’ll rectify that situation now shall I? And pass on our exciting news.

A new bear has joined our clan! Quite by accident too. Apparently he’d been hiding amongst the clutter in the dining room. Goodness knows how long he’d been lurking there, he was rather dirty & dusty when he finally emerged. Master Paul unearthed him and encouraged him to come out and join the family. So good on the Master!

Most bears arrive with a name tag and our latest clan member was no exception. Meet Demazin Bear!

Demazin Bear with his name tag. Demazin thinks it was a mistake that people thought this was his name tag, it's really just the tag for one of the sponsors of Angel Flight, but the name Demazin has stuck & he rather likes it.

Chocolate Bear tells us that Demazin’s name means “clear headed”.  Just what we need, a clear thinking bear in the clan. Chocolate also mentioned Demazin being a sponsor for a good charity organisation but we’ll overlook that bit. Because we like the name Demazin & it doesn’t need to be allied with an over-the-counter pharmaceutical company.

Russell Bear says Demazin originally came from Angel Flight. They’re a charity organisation that help fly very sick people who live in the rural & remote areas of Australia for their non-emergency medical & hospital appointments in the cities. For free!

The pilots are all volunteers and donate not just themselves, but the use of their own small aircraft too! What a grand organisation. You can read about them on their website along with stories of some of the people they have helped.

Anyway, Demazin Bear has fitted in nicely with the clan. Mistress Sharon popped him into the wash for a scrub to clean him up and look at him now! He’s so white and clean! And his angel wings & halo are nice and shiny too. Lovely.

Here's Demazin Bear all nice & clean now he's been thoroughly washed.

Oh! Tossed into the clothes basket & ready to be hung up to dry. His special angel wings & halo are very shiny.

Hanging around. Demazin says it doesn't hurt to have his halo pegged but the other bears were a bit concerned. They were very glad to see Demazin unpegged & allowed to come back inside the house.

Demazin Bear chatting with Charley. Charley likes to read so he's always happy when the Mistress leaves her books on his sofa. Demazin also likes to read. He's a lovely little bear.

Written by Charley who has been as lazy as Chocolate Bear during the hot weather in Alice Springs over the past couple of week.

Fruitcake?

Fruitcake! Fruitcake?

I ask you, is that any way to celebrate a birthday?

Oh, hello, it’s Polar Bear here.

Whatever happened to baking a luscious chocolate birthday cake? An orange cake would be acceptable for birthday celebrations. But no, The Mistress said she wanted a fruitcake.

A healthy, low-fat fruitcake.

I said to The Mistress that that was no way to celebrate her birthday. A birthday should be filled with scrumptious eating. But she disagreed and suggested I eat a slice before condemning her choice for birthday fare.

Polar Bear examines the birthday fruitcake baked by The Mistress. He concedes that it does taste good but stands by his assertion that it isn't a proper birthday cake. Not really.

Okay, so it tastes nice. Very nice. It’s still not a proper birthday cake. Then Master Paul came along and said he ALWAYS has a fruitcake for his birthday. Hmm. I think I’m outnumbered here.

The Mistress sliced up the cake and gave each of us Bears a slice to eat. Which we enjoyed, immensely. She is a very good cook.

It was a quiet birthday celebration. After her visit to the hospital for her Important Tests, The Mistress was very ill. All that poking & prodding I told the other Bears. It took her two days to recover fully and if you ask me, she’s still a bit fragile. We’re keeping a close eye on her. At least she was able to enjoy a most pleasant day for her birthday.

Written by a grumpy Polar Bear who really wanted a chocolate cake.

Hello again. Chocolate here.  Another busy week ahead for us bears I’m afraid.

The Mistress is heading to hospital to begin the next round of medical tests.

She has a most unpleasant chronic illness that requires constant monitoring.  Usually that just means regular visits to see her doctor but occasionally things turn a bit more serious. That’s when the doctor suggests pulling out the big guns and doing a series of Important Tests.

Because we live in such a small town, far from the capital cities, these Important Tests mean going to the hospital.

The first test is just an Ultrasound examination.

The Mistress says this doesn’t hurt except when the technician presses too hard over the very sore parts of our Mistress’ body.

We don’t like it when that happens.  Not at all.  We bears are the ones who have to deal with The Aftermath of such violent probing.

We’re the ones who care and help The Mistress as she recovers from these tests.  I wish the technicians would be a bit more gentle.

Anyway, we bears have decided to take a leaf out of our Southern cousins and form an Emergency Response Team of our own!

We think this will help Mistress Sharon and be a source of great comfort for both her and Master Paul. He’s often very busy these days at his work and he doesn’t always have the time to assist.

This is where the Bear Emergency Response Team will come to the fore!

Just as Frizzly, Thornbury and Bobby Bear pull together to do their bit for Mistress Fiona, we Northern Bears will do the same!

We had a meeting over the weekend and I called for volunteers.  Polar Bear and Russell Bear stepped forward to take on this Very Important Role. Well done Polar and Russell!

Emergency Response Team (Northern Bears branch). Russell Bear & Polar Bear have taken on this Very Important Role.

Polar & Russell have had a chat about how best to run the Emergency Response Team (Northern Bears branch).  They’re splitting the tasks and roles.  Polar Bear will accompany Mistress Sharon to hospital for any tests, consultations & admissions.

Meanwhile, Russell Bear will organise the home front.  He’ll liaise with Polar & keep Charley and me up to date.  When Polar & The Mistress return home, Russell will take over from Polar and ensure The Mistress is comfortable and will stay by her side.

Polar Bear will travel with The Mistress to the hospital whilst Russell Bear will organize the home front.

Russell Bear, as part of the Emergency Response Team, with all sorts of potions & unguents that may be useful for The Mistress.

Charley & I will do what we can to assist too but my role will still be that of the Lounge Bear. In charge of the telly. Oh, and sitting with The Mistress when she is watching TV or reading in the lounge room of course. Suits me just fine.

Written by Chocolate Bear who is still trying to work out the remote controls.

Hello! It's Frizzly again!

Well I have to say life has been pretty exciting here the last few days.

Master Paul arrived for a brief visit and was pleased (we like to think) to find Cerridwen keeping his bed warm and ready for a late night chat should he feel the need. We abandon the couch when Master Paul visits as he needs the room and is not so chatty with us as others are.

Not all people can hear bears and what we have to say, and of course many don’t want to hear us, which makes us very sad. We keep talking though. We have so much to say.

Bobby Bear was most pleased that Cerridwen invited him to sit with her for a while the other day on one of the cushions, but he tells me it’s hard not  trying to steal a kiss. His tough police bear exterior really does hide the heart of a romantic.

Bobby Bear is the policeman teddy & Cerridwen is the third bear from the left.

Radcliffe went off with Mistress Fiona for an appointment with a brain doctor and I am told that all went well, but they are going to put Mistress Fiona into some big machine next week so the Emergency Response Team is standing by for extra cuddles and late night chats.

Emergency Response Team - Frizzly, Thornbury & Bobby Bear

I went on a nice bike ride to the beach the other morning and saw the pelicans sitting with the Pelican Lady. She feeds them and sits with them having a chat. The pelicans talk a lot about conservation of the beach – they’re really quite the activists at heart.

The horses were hanging out under the bridge near where the river meets the sea and I stopped to catch up on the latest gossip. (Some stallion is trying it on but all the lady horses think he is quite ridiculous – Mistress Fiona told me that the first erect penis she ever saw was on a horse and it disturbed her to see how big they grow. The lady horses scoffed and said the Stallion is small by their standards.)

The biggest news is that Mistress Fiona and Uncle Jason have bought tennis rackets and we all went to the court to play! Happy Bear is so pleased, and even got the ball over the net. Mistress Audrey is most impressed to see us all head out. Mistress Fiona has already lost one tennis ball in the neighbour’s pool whilst practicing in the front yard, but was too embarrassed to go and ask for it back.

Happy & Frizzly ready for tennis.

The other bears are all pretty happy just watching the tennis, and of course we all come back to the couch tonight to sit with Mistress Audrey to watch Inspector Rex. Two episodes, we’re all very pleased!

Until next time, bear hugs all round!

Frizzly, who seems to be enjoying keeping us all informed on the comings and goings of The Southern Bears

Hello, hello! It’s Russell here today!

Sorry, I’m bouncing all over the place today. I do enjoy a good bounce, a run and jump and spring around the bed. So much fun.

Russell Bear bouncing all over The Mistress' bed! And having a lot of fun doing so. Bounce, bounce ...

I am ignoring Charley because he got very cross today.  We’ve not been posting on this blog as per The Plan and we missed posting last Friday or Thursday. Whatever.  I said it was because we have all been busy with other work but Charley said that that was no excuse at all!  Not to worry, we’re all back on board with it all now.

There is much excitement in the bear clan today. A holiday is in the offing! I do so enjoy a holiday!

I’m one of the smallest bears so I am usually selected to accompany the Mistress on her travels. But Charley has expressed a desire to go and so we’ll have to have a round table discussion and work it all out.

I’ll be disappointed if I’m not selected. I’m Russell, the Travel Bear after all.

We gathered around The Mistress’ suitcase and checked it out thoroughly.

Here we all are checking out the suitcase. You can see me, Russell Bear, firmly taking up my place inside it.

Plenty of room, for all of us!

There's a lot of clothing to be packed, will there be room for the Bears?

Charley climbing in. We asked Mistress Sharon to put some of her clothes & things in so we could see if we will all fit. Look at Polar crammed right into a corner!

"It's not very comfortable" says Charley. "I might get squashed when the lid is shut."

Charley thought it might be best if he lay on his side for the suitcase trip. But Polar is still squished in his corner. Russell of course, has plenty of space.

Polar tells me it might be a long stay with the cousins and as Charley’s not yet met them I should be gracious enough to give up my place in the suitcase to him. We can’t all fit! Harumph … mutter, mutter, mutter.

But, but … I so want to go!

Hastily typed by Russell who is keen to ensure his spot in the suitcase isn’t filled by anyone but him.

G’day, Charley here again.

It’s Australia Day here today so HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!

This is the Australian flag. You see lots of them on Australia Day.

That means it’s a holiday across the nation. People are having Australia Day barbecues and already I can hear loud music playing from the house down the street. The Mistress says there are cars parked everywhere.  Big crowd. So it’s not a quiet holiday here at all. It’s a noisy holiday.

The Mistress was too ill to drive into town yesterday to do the shopping.  I thought today, if it’s a public holiday, that would mean the shops would all be shut.  But no!  This is Alice Springs and we’re different (along with Broken Hill, Kadina, Ports Augusta, Lincoln & Pirie, Roxby Downs, Whyalla, Goolwa and a whole host of other rural towns) and that means our shops are open!

Well, the supermarkets are open and that’s the most important shop for us bears.  We like our treats and I see the Mistress has sweet biscuits on her shopping list. Ooh and some more of those yummy cornflake cookies. Very nice. Perhaps I should help her get ready?

Typed by Charley who really loves a holiday.