23 April 2013


It is Georgie’s birthday this Friday. She is the eldest daughter of my younger brother Richard and she is my favorite niece. Georgie will be turning seventeen. She sent me a text on Saturday telling that me she had made the first team for soccer at her school.

She messages me quite a lot. Georgie told me that she gets to wear a special blazer at school for being in the First team and it is a big honor. She added in her SMS:

"Now that is worth writing about Uncle Peter"

I agreed that it is and I told her so. So here I am, writing about it. Goodonya Georgina and congratulations. I am very proud of you and I really wish I was there to watch you play. Please kick a goal for me. Kick a couple in fact. 

For your uncle Peter.

Georgie is a very good soccer player. She always has been. My daughter Charlotte is too. My baby Totty. She is seventeen as well. Three months of time separated the cousins from birth and they are inseparable. They are family and are the very best of friends. George and Charlotte once played on the same soccer team when they were very little and people thought they were sisters. They used to pretend to be sisters all the time and they were a good soccer combination as well. They always sought each other out to pass to in games and they had excellent foot skills. They were fast as well. 

They could run like the wind.

My brother's family and mine used to go and watch the girls play soccer every Saturday morning. They played all over Sydney. Bob our golden retriever always came with us. Before the game and at half time Bob would charge up and down the oval chasing soccer balls and he would chase birds and butterflies and other dogs as well.

He loved to run and play.

During the games Bob would always be itching to get onto the field and join in but I told him quite firmly that he had to sit and watch. He knew this and he grinned at me and he wagged his tail. Bob always understood everything we said to him. He was very clever and he mostly obeyed. Occasionally he would get very excited though.

Too excited.

When George or Charlotte scored a goal Bob sometimes couldn't contain himself and he ran onto the ground. He ran up to the team huddle and joined in on the team celebrations. The referee wouldn't restart the game until Bob left the field. He blew his whistle until Bob ran off the ground.

Bob loved going to watch the girls play soccer. We all did. 

We loved it together.

When Bob was only about three years old we used to take him to Glebe park in Sydney. We took him every day. I often went with my brother Richard and his kids and their Border Collie who was named Chloe. Chloe was Bob’s girlfriend. The park was very close to where we both lived and we would take tennis rackets and rubber balls and the dogs would run and chase until they dropped. Bob never brought the ball right back to us. He would drop it near us but somewhere that we had to walk to collect it. It was his game with us and that was his rule.

We didn't mind a bit.

We used to throw the ball out into Glebe harbor and Bob would swim and collect it. We stopped doing that though when a lady told me that her boxer dog got taken in the same waters by a shark. Her dog got eaten. Golden Retrievers are water dogs and they were bred to collect dead ducks that were shot by duck hunters. Bob loved to swim and he loved the beach too.

Bob when through a very strange period when he was growing up in Sydney. When we took him to Glebe park he started peeing on people. He cocked his leg on them. Quite understandably people got very annoyed and when I apologized for his behaviour some of them were still very angry. Some yelled abuse at me and they behaved as if it was me that had peed on them. We had to implement a strategy where the kids would run ahead with Bob in the park and when they saw him stop and start sniffing at people they would yell warnings.

One child would yell "NO BOB" and the other would shout "LOOK OUT HE MIGHT PISS ON YOU". Georgie used to mostly do the pissing warning. She liked it. She giggled when she said it but she screamed it out loud. Georgie was always very dramatic and loud when she was little and she still is. 

I suspect that she always will be.

We consulted a friend who was a dog therapist about Bob's pissing-on-people conduct and he told us that he thought it was just a juvenile phase that Bob was going through and he had encountered such behavior before in juvenile dogs before. The majority of people that Bob had urinated on were actually patting him at the time. They patted him because he was a very friendly dog and he always had a big grin on his face.

The friend-who-was-a-dog-therapist thought that peeing was perhaps Bob's way of patting them back. She suggested that we yell at him to stop in a stern voice when we were at the park and that we try and warn people of the possibility of the event occurring. Which is what we did and he stopped after a while. 

The phase passed.

Georgie told me that Rory is taking her out for dinner on Friday but she didn't say where. I don't think that my brother would be overly delighted with this date but he seems to have begrudgingly accepted that Rory likes Georgie and she likes him back. Teenage love is unstoppable anyway and resistance is futile.

I have written about the Rory saga previously so I will not go through it again. It may not be a saga anymore either but I suspect it could well be again in the future. Rory is a bit of a rough nut and Georgie is feisty and fiery. She is a gorgeous live wire who I think would be very high maintenance for Rory. I have no doubt that the relationship between Georgie and Rory will be volcanic. I think it will erupt and more drama will inevitably unfold.

I asked Georgie whether Rory had yet got her name tattooed on his body. She told me that she didn't think he had but she wasn't really sure. When I suggested that there wasn't much un-inked skin left on Rory for a tattoo of "Georgina" she agreed. I told her that I hoped that she wouldn't get Rory's name tattooed anywhere on her torso and she laughed. It was more of a scoff really.

She told me not to worry on that front.

When I asked Georgie whether Rory had yet joined a Motorcycle Gang she told me not to be stupid. She told me that Rory didn't have a motor cycle nor indeed even a drivers license. Georgie told me that Rory’s Mum drove him everywhere.

I hope Rory's mum takes him to watch Georgie play soccer one Saturday. 

He should definitely be there to watch her and to cheer her on.

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