Enter the Vogon

Last Friday I celebrated my first week at a new job. For the past few years I’ve worked as a physio in acute public hospitals in Melbourne’s East, but this week I moved to a Community Rehab facility.

It’s a simple truth that with every significant life change there is “different good”, and “different bad”. The different good has been wonderfully refreshing. I actually have time to deliver effective therapy to people, instead of rushing around like a headless chook.
I get to invent fun ways to build people’s strength and co-ordination, eg.
“Stand on this piece of foam, on one leg. Good, now I’m going to throw balls at your head.”
Three afternoons a week I get to drive around in the sunshine to visit people in their homes. Fun!

Unfortunately, to balance the different good, there is also different bad, different confusing, and different stressful. Never in my life have I filled out so many forms! Yahgrhgarhgrhg!

Say I wanted to scratch my knee. First I would need to fill out three separate application forms to do so, and send each to a different manager, along with an email to each to inform them of its arrival. Once approval came back, I would fill in 4 different assessment forms to make sure scratching was appropriate, and identify the goals for scratching. Then I would book in the appointment times for scratching on the timetable, and also add it to the spreadsheet. Then I’d phone my knee to make sure the appointment was still ok. Once I’d scratched, I’d reassess the goals and complete the original forms, enter the casenotes in my knee’s client file, check that my knee’s home exercise program was clear (for independent scratching), refer on to any long-term scratching programs in the community (more forms), write a summary letter to my knee’s GP, then discharge my knee from the client registration system. Once that was done, I’d make sure the assessment forms were in the right folder for discussion at the next interdisciplinary team meeting.


Have you read (or watched the film version) of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
Do you remember the Vogons?


Many times in the past week I have felt like a Vogon. Especially when taking three times as long as everyone else to get all the administrative tasks done, mostly because of needing to ask 17,000 questions, and even then getting it a bit wrong.

Mmmm, job satisfaction!

After a Vogonizing day of grappling with the complex and tedious, it’s wonderful to focus on tasks or experiences that are simple and good.


Receiving enthusiastic displays of affection that pay no heed to convenience or space limitations.

Watering my garden, and gloating over how many tomatoes are growing on my single, gargantuan tomato plant (19 and counting! Ripen up you babies!)


Eating a super juicy plum, and resisting the urge to flick off the drips, until they have run all the way down to my elbow and jumped off themselves.

Going for an evening stroll.

Enjoying an after work drink in a little beer garden I know.
(This venue is particularly popular with the honeys.)

In considering how to conclude this post, I thought it might be nice to finish with some inspiring quote or something…. But I couldn’t seem to find anything that wasn’t painfully cheesy. So in that spirit, I’m embracing the cheese, and will leave you with this exquisite advertisement for Kellogg’s Cornflakes from 1989.

Yeah boy, this week I’m fighting Vogons with Bogans.


Free love, doggy style.

Eeew wanton debauchery!  Run awaaaayyyyyy!

Don’t worry, this isn’t some raunchy tell-all.  In some ways that title is completely misleading, but in other ways it’s totally appropriate.  Oooh, the tantalising difference between speaking literally and figuratively!

A couple of months ago I read an article about how much people love, and feel loved by their pets. In it, they made reference to some statistics released by the Australian Companion Animal Council.  The council reports that 91% of owners feel “very close” to their pets. In fact, 56% of women and 41% of men said that their pet is more affectionate than their partner.

I was shocked to realise that, while the statistic saddened me, it didn’t actually surprise me.  

As humans, we do tend to harbour a number of prerequisites, subconscious or otherwise, that must be filled before we give our love away.

  • What do you look like?
  • What do you do?
  • How old are you?
  • How do you smell?
  • Will being seen with you make me more or less “cool by association”?

A six month old baby with big blue eyes, a musical laugh, and a clean nappy? 
Hand him over lady, and I’ll cover that kid with kisses.

The middle aged woman with greasy hair, 12 teeth in total and a rasping cough?  
Avert thine eyes children, and dash off to buy sushi.

Many of you have probably guessed that I have a border collie puppy. 
Her name is Indie, and she brings much joy into our lives.

Technically, I’m still on my mat. Technically.


When we walk down the street, Indie happily engages with anyone and everyone, only limited by the length of the leash (!)
The little old lady with her wheelie walker;  the teenage skinheads smoking at the train station;  the professionals at lunch, sipping lattes with their laptops … they all get the same affectionate acknowledgement.

Dogs don’t care if your sunnies are Armani, your car is a rust box,  or you’ve gained 15 kilos. Dogs don’t care if you’re intellectually disabled,  you just got promoted, or your legs need a shave.  They only care that you’re there, with them, and have time for a pat.  
No judgement.

When I was a little girl I thought that when I was very good, I made God proud, and he loved me more;  but when I was naughty, then he got disappointed, and I had to earn back his love by impressing him somehow.  One time at church the minister told us that God loved us, and there was nothing that we could do to make him love us any more, and nothing we could do to make him love us any less. God loves us, just for being us,  with an unchanging love.  I remember being really surprised by this – surely we can influence how much other people love us by the things we do? I certainly felt less love for my parents straight after being smacked.  For many years these thoughts rattled around in my brain, not quite fitting with my experience of the world. And then I got a puppy, who made me think…

 Maybe Indie understands more about God’s love than I do?  Indie gives love freely, and without thought of return. She doesn’t love people because she thinks she should,  it’s completely genuine. Indie’s love for us is unchanging,  regardless of whether we just took her for a long walk, or forgot her breakfast that morning.

Is my dog a better Christian than I am?

Haha, woof.