Of Gods and the Godless

The current goings-on in the world are wearying, aren’t they? I always feel an odd sort of exhaustion any time something horrible happens in the name of someone’s omnipotent being called God (or one of His many other names). It’s a weird reaction to have. Most people are terrified or angry. I’m just tired. The tiredness comes from the constant waiting for something else to happen. Expectation of the proverbial muck that is going to hit the rotary blades.

The bombings in Beirut, Nigeria and Paris in recent weeks have been fucking overwhelming for me and I will freely admit that a little of the terror creeps in at the sides of that tiredness. In that small admission, I guess the bad guys are winning. But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about.

A few months ago, I had a conversation with my nephew about God. I can’t even remember why. He ended up telling me about this weird class that his friends were taking.

For whatever her reasons, my sister had the Peanut baptised but is putting him through the public school system where religious education is not part of the regular curriculum. It’s a special class my sister can give permission for him to take.

As a result, the Peanut doesn’t know God. He doesn’t understand anything about the Creator. More over, he doesn’t understand the concept of a higher power at all. God, Allah, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster… it’s all alien to him. He doesn’t get it and kids like him have no idea why the world is looking down the barrel of what I think will be WWIII – The Religious War.

Back story…

Both my sister and myself were put through the Catholic school system from Prep to (in my case) year 12. From the age of 5-ish, we were taught Faith. We learned about God, Jesus, Mary. We know all the major stories from the Bible. We went through the major ceremonies to cement our membership and ensure our spot on the right side of the Pearly Gates. (So long as we behave ourselves – there’s always that caveat.)

So now… the God question.

To me, God just… is. That’s what Faith is. Inexplicable and fucking insane belief in something that has never been proven and of which there is very little evidence apart from a book of stories written by several different people and translated umptymillion times for the past 2000 years.

PLEASE don’t mistake me for being a Bible-thumping churchie – clearly I am not. Nor are the rest of my family – my parents put us through the Catholic system because they thought the education system was better in such schools. (Pro tip: It’s not.) And my schools were progressive in that while they taught the Word, they also taught stuff like science. Real science. (Like, no, humankind as we are today did NOT walk hand-in-claw with the dinosaurs and that the world was most likely created via the Big Bang and did not actually materialise magically within the universe over a period of seven days.)

But faith. It’s there. I can’t help it. I have it, as disillusioned with it as I may be.

But “it just IS” is not an adequate explanation for those who haven’t been indoctrinated from an early age (or birth) and have absolutely zero experience.

Of course this brings me right back to my initial comment. How do you go about explaining to a kid who has no concept of Life After Death (though he seems to know what ghosts are – probably due to the copious amounts of horror films he’s watched from behind a couch when he should have been in bed) that those nasty people over there in that other country are murdering people in the name of their Invisible Friend because their Invisible Friend is better than our Invisible Friend?

Yeah, it sounds as stupid as it actually is.

I really don’t blame him for the look he gave me.

Yep. This look.
Yep. This look.

PAX AUS 2015. Another year done. I’m knackered.

So my social event of the year, PAXAUS 2015, has come and gone. It was an odd mixture of fun, frustration, and exhaustion.

The mecca of all things nerdy.
The mecca of all things nerdy.

If you’re not sure what PAX (short for Penny Arcade Expo) is, you should check out Penny Arcade. Penny Arcade started life as a little online web comic that has grown into a huge industry powerhouse simply because it’s creators LOVE gaming. The expo happens yearly all over the USA and now, thankfully for the past few years, in Australia. Even better is that they’ve chosen Melbourne as the city to host it (for the time being) which means it’s incredibly easy for me to go to. It’s a celebration of games, gaming, games development and issues surrounding the gaming industry. It includes all facets of gaming, which is what I especially enjoy, so if you’re not a lover of video games but you adore table-top games, you’re totally covered.

To be honest, I am not really a hardcore gamer of any particular game style. I dabble in indie computer games and occasionally play the more mainstream stuff like The Sims, obvs. When I feel like it, I might play a card or board game or two. That said, I do enjoy knowing about the industry and it’s various facets. So for me the panels at PAX are definitely my favourite bit and what I invest much of my PAX time in.

Hee. I got the feels.
Hee. I got the feels.

This year there was a huge number of panels that I wanted to get into but due to time and schedule overlap, I couldn’t quite see everything that I wanted to see. Sadly, with PAX and the nature of how the show is put together, you do run the risk of panels not being great. Unfortunately many of panels I chose to attend were lackluster. While the topics were awesome, some failed simply due to the lack of preparation or real direction on behalf of the panelists.

The two panels I attended about the social aspect of gaming were frustrating as they didn’t even come close to discussing the topics they advertised. One panel was supposed to be debate about social gaming (think multiplayer games) versus solo gaming (single player) and which was better. It turned out to be a bunch of gameheads talking about which games they liked to play as opposed to putting forward arguments as to which was supposed to be “better”. It could have been SO GOOD… but wasn’t.

The other panel along the same theme was “Are Gamers Social?”, which was supposed to be a discussion addressing the idea that we gamers are not just people who sit in dark rooms playing games all day, denying that the outside world exists, was extremely disappointing. It was clearly put forward by someone with an axe to grind and who wanted to whine about how people give him a hard time – and having folks on the panel who looked like they hadn’t even bothered to shower in a few days didn’t help his cause. Even as they complained about it, they had already firmly ensconced themselves idea that gamers are different sorts of people an that they were different and somehow unsociable. ARGH!

Anyway, I left that one early because it just frustrating me.

But not all was doom and gloom. I had picked a few pretty awesome panels. There were a number of panels about diversity in games – including not only women in the industry (of course, because that’s always a huge topic considering “Gamergate” last year and the ongoing saga of females breaking into male-dominated industry), but also representation of different folks from all walks of life, backgrounds and ethnicity as well as addressing the issues of physical and mental disabilities in games. Some of those were real eye-openers.

And then there were the fun ones. D&D games with audience participation; a great one being run on the last day by The Dragon Friends who put out a regular podcast, discussions about LARP (live action role-play) as art, and science versus video games presented by Tim & Phill Talk About Games which as a little bit brilliant and piss-funny too.

The business end of the panel. (The Dragon Friends.)
The business end of the panel. (The Dragon Friends.)

The main exhibition hall was definitely sensory overload and I could really only manage a few short walks around the place to look about before naturally gravitating back to the quiet of the panel theatres or the table top hall. In spite of the overwhelming visual stimulation, I did get to see a lot of games being played and I admit my trigger finger got itchy as I observed folks enjoying Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate which has all the aesthetics I like in a game. (Ye olde London? YES PLEASE.) I even got to see a live demo of a game that I have been patiently waiting the release of called Unravel which really does look brilliant.

On the whole, PAX is fun. It’s hard to describe to those who have no interest in gaming of any sort (like my work colleagues for example) but it’s nice to know that us people who enjoy games and gaming of all sorts have a place to nerd out and be with our own for a few days.

Life is Strange – Game Review

On the penultimate eve of what is swiftly becoming the geek event of the year – PAX AU – I thought I would celebrate the approaching nerdgasm with a review of a game that I have been playing on and off for the past few weeks.

I would have done a review sooner but I’ve basically been in post-game remorse since I finished it a couple days ago.

Life Is Strange

It certainly is. If you want a game that induces all the feels… EVERY. SINGLE. ONE… then you need to play this one.

Let me chuck in a disclaimer here, though. If you prefer a lot of activity in your gaming experience (think “activity” in First Person Shooter terms – button mashing and racing around shooting/hitting things), then you will not like this game. If you enjoy a character and plot-driven game that runs more like a choose-your-own-adventure book, then you will love it.

Life is Strange is about choices.

Cause and effect.

Chaos Theory.

It’s a game in five parts (or episodes) where you play the part of Max, a budding photographer who discovers she has the power to turn back time and rewrite the past, sometimes to the betterment and sometimes to the detriment of any given situation.

The game starts with saving the life of Max’s long-lost best friend, the blue-haired Chloe, and from there you follow the girls through their adventures. It’s a little Sweet Valley High mixed with Pretty Little Liars mixed with Twin Peaks mixed with Walking Dead.

But without the zombies.

Chloe and Max
Chloe and Max

For me, it was totally immersive. I became invested in both the characters and the storyline. It brought me to tears in a few parts – but maybe I’m just a sook… Though having watched a few people on Youtube playing the game, their reactions have been much the same.

The real star of the show is the beautiful soundtrack. A good musical score can make or break a film and the same can be said for a game like Life is Strange. The music is mellow and haunting and lovely. Paired up with the fantastic art and animation throughout, it’s a real treat. I’ve noticed a handful of folks criticising the voice acting and script but once you just get into it, you simply don’t notice the ridiculousness of it. (“You hella saved my life!”)

The game play itself is very simple, you look at everything, talk to everyone and choose an appropriate response. In some places you have problems to solve like finding number codes or remembering and repeating a sequence of events. And as I mentioned, every thing you do or don’t do or choose to say affects future scenes and decision – this idea of cause and effect is what the game is built around.

Unfortunately (and this seems to be a common and very loud complaint) is that the game will lead you to make one of two choices to finish. There are no alternative endings at all. So regardless of whatever choices you make throughout the game and how you change the journey within the storyline, you will always come back to one specific decision at the end. And that kinda sucks because unless you’re the type of person who likes to unlock every achievement possible and get the best stats, you’re not likely to want to replay. I have no problems with either of the endings but just felt bummed that regardless of how I chose throughout the game, it didn’t really matter. But that was a very small gripe in what was ultimately a very enjoyable experience.

Getting down to the technical nitty-gritty, the mechanics of the game are a little clunky. I do have to say that the drag-click thing with the mouse is annoying but if you happen to be playing this on a console, you have the option of hitting buttons which is obviously easier. (I was playing on the PC version.) Other than that, you move Max around with the typical WASD keys and steer with the mouse.

Life is Strange is available through Steam. You can buy the first episode, “Chrysalis”, for a fiver and if you like it you can buy the rest for $17USD. I finished the whole thing in about 15 hours of game play. Not bad for a little indie game. Not bad at all.

A solid 8/10.

Important note: The game has been found to be triggering for some people as it deals with illness, drugs and suicide. If you’re particularly sensitive to these concepts, steer clear. The game is also rated M for obvious reasons.

Mountanish inhumanity. A literary response to the refugee crisis.

From the play, “Sir Thomas More”, written by Shakespeare (and others) Act 2, Scene 4.

Sheriff More speaks; shall we hear Sheriff More speak?

Let’s hear him. ’A keeps a plentyful shrievaltry, and ’a made my brother Arthur Watchins Seriant Safes yeoman. Let’s hear Sheriff More.

Sheriff More, More, More, Sheriff More!

Even by the rule you have among yourselves,
Command still audience.

Surrey, Surrey! More, More!

Peace, peace, silence, peace.

Peace, peace, silence, peace.

You that have voice and credit with the number
Command them to a stillness.

A plague on them, they will not hold their peace; the dual cannot rule them.

Then what a rough and riotous charge have you,
To lead those that the dual cannot rule?—
Good masters, hear me speak.

Aye, by th’ mass, will we, More. Th’ art a good housekeeper, and I thank thy good worship for my brother Arthur Watchins.

Peace, peace.

Look, what you do offend you cry upon,
That is, the peace. Not one of you here present,
Had there such fellows lived when you were babes,
That could have topped the peace, as now you would,
The peace wherein you have till now grown up
Had been ta’en from you, and the bloody times
Could not have brought you to the state of men.
Alas, poor things, what is it you have got,
Although we grant you get the thing you seek?

Marry, the removing of the strangers, which cannot choose but much advantage the poor handicrafts of the city.

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding tooth ports and costs for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you. You had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

Before God, that’s as true as the Gospel.

Nay, this is a sound fellow, I tell you. Let’s mark him.

Let me set up before your thoughts, good friends,
On supposition; which if you will mark,
You shall perceive how horrible a shape
Your innovation bears.
First, ’tis a sin
Which oft the apostle did forewarn us of,
Urging obedience to authority;
And ’twere no error, if I told you all,
You were in arms against your God himself.

Marry, God forbid that!

Nay, certainly you are;
For to the king God hath his office lent
Of dread, of justice, power and command,
Hath bid him rule, and willed you to obey;
And, to add ampler majesty to this,
He hath not only lent the king his figure,
His throne and sword, but given him his own name,
Calls him a god on earth. What do you, then,
Rising ’gainst him that God himself installs,
But rise against God? What do you to your souls
In doing this? O, desperate as you are,
Wash your foul minds with tears, and those same hands,
That you like rebels lift against the peace,
Lift up for peace, and your unreverent knees,
Make them your feet to kneel to be forgiven!
Tell me but this. What rebel captain,
As mutinies are incident, by his name
Can still the rout? Who will obey a traitor?
Or how can well that proclamation sound,
When there is no addition but a rebel
To qualify a rebel? You’ll put down strangers,
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,
And lead the majesty of law in line,
To slip him like a hound. Say now the king
(As he is clement, if th’ offender mourn)
Should so much come to short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whether would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbor? Go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, any where that not adheres to England,—
Why, you must needs be strangers. Would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the claimants
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used?

This is the strangers’ case;

And this your mountanish inhumanity.

Isn’t it funny that even 500 odd years ago, we were talking about the same problems and behaving in much the same way?

I like big ‘buts’ and I cannot lie.

(Yes, I’m back. For now.)

So after a rather successful first week back into it… I lost 1.6kg.


Didn’t really do much except not eat ALL THE THINGS.

Not even any exercise. That’s a nice ease back into the new routine.

I was like, “Sh-t?! REALLY?! Not eating ALL THE THINGS works?”

“Yes,” said Scales, “Not eating ALL THE THINGS works.”


You knew there was a ‘but’ coming. Go on. Look at that ‘but’.


My out-laws arrived for a five-day stay.

And they believe in things like happy hour and entrees and nibbles and big dinners…


So I ate.


And Scales snickered and asked in that low, smirky kind of way, “You ate ALL THE THINGS again, didn’t you?”

And I answered “Fuck off, Scales.”

But Scales was not done yet.

“Look at that,” Scales flashed with barely suppressed, unmitigated evil glee. “LOOK. You gained 3kg. IN FIVE DAYS.”

And, a little more quietly, guiltily, I said, “Fuck off, Scales.”

Actually, it was the Tuesday night (when we went out to a Greek restaurant in Williamstown and I would eat a MOUTAIN of well-cooked flesh) that I had hit a new low-high. My size 16s don’t fit anymore. My size 18s (the things I recently bought to be my interim “fat pants”) are wearable but way too tight.

I reached up into the top of the wardrobe and pulled down a pair of size 20s.


I never wanted to see that fucking number again, but there it was.

I put them on and they were snug but comfy and I cried with a mixture of regret, heartache and relief.

Regret that I had not had more self control this past 12 months when everything seemed to go pear-shaped health-wise, heartache because I never wanted to be at this place again and yet, here I was, and finally relief; because without pants I would have been going to dinner naked and ain’t nobody should have to deal with that.

So this weekend I took stock, ate a little more (and enjoyed it), weighed myself again, put in all the numbers and climbed back on that fat-arse horse.

Seriously, bugger the wagon. I can scare the horse into submission by threatening to eat it.

I mean beat it.

Nah, ‘eat’ sounds better.

I am tracking everything again too – my phone reminds me to make sure I track. I was actually really guilty that I didn’t track this weekend and I kept getting beeped by my phone saying, “Helloooooo.. have you tracked today? I know you haven’t tracked today otherwise you wouldn’t be getting this notification! Helloooooo! YOU NEVER CALL! I only spent SEVENTEEN days in labour trying to give birth to you! NOBODY LOVES ME!!*”

Yeup. That WW app does guilt like the Jewish mother I never had.

*True story. I was 17 days late. Shut up. I was comfy.

The End of an Era

Sometimes you just have to admit that you’ve lost the interest and motivation with something that used to bring you joy. The thing you once loved is now the monkey on your back.

So it is that blogging has become that for me. This has been coming for ages. I’ve tried to find things to keep me interested in posting, thought that I could maybe monetise the blog a little (this was vaguely successful as I was part of a few awesome campaigns) and win back some readers at the same time. But there’s no real point if I’ve got nothing to say and certainly nothing I want to share with the world at large any more. As it is, there are actually huge changes afoot in my life but to share them here would be damaging and unfair to those involved.

Fact of the matter is that I am far too lazy to pursue it any more. I am not a “mummy blogger”, I do not want to sell my soul to do product reviews, I’m not a travel writer, I’m not a regular crafter. I’ve lost my writing voice. I’m just not inspired. I’m actually infuriated with what mainstream blogging has become.

I blogged before blogging was a profession and something to milk for cash and free stuff. I’m sad that I tried to make that what I wanted too.

Having said that, I love instagram and I’ve developed a new taste for tumblr. I’ve had a tumblr blog for ages but really only used my account to look at other people’s tumblr blogs. So that’s pretty much where you’ll find me. I want to post pictures, photographs I’ve taken, all that good stuff. I think the format is better there. I’ve also got a massive following on my Pinterest account.

So… Important links:


What will become of Renlish? I don’t know. I’m keeping it for the time being. I might just switch it to the photoblog I always said I would like and keep it simple.

Bead Peeps Swap n Hop Reveal! Um… err… well…

My dog ate my homework?

My cat chewed my cables?

I broke my fingers?


I suck.

Truth of the matter is, even though I got an awesome, AWESOME, AWESOME set of beads from my partner for the swap, I haven’t been well and life hasn’t been that grand that I have wanted to create any more more than the occasional doodle in a sketchbook. And even those suck. I also think my partner, Candida of Spun Sugar Beadworks, (her blog) has been having a rough time with the health of her little boy so I am not even sure if she’s managed to even open her swap box from me!

I feel awful because Linda, our swap hostess, had put such hard work into pairing everyone up. I must thank her for her efforts. The excitement surrounding this hop has been huge considering she’s virtually taken over what used to be the yearly Bead Soup hop project.

So if you’re here because of your travels through the list, my apologies. But let me show you what I will be using to create something special in (hopefully) the not too distant future.

My goodies from Candida.
My goodies from Candida.

Please note, because I was in a general state of “not good” from months back already, I totally neglected to take a picture of what I sent my partner. Hopefully she’ll post a picture of it soon.

Please follow this link to the massive list of beadsters who joined in the hop and enjoy!

Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Renlish.com - Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in CatsDo you have a cat who is starting to look a little thinner, a little greyer, a little unkempt? Is he or she starting to demand food constantly – not in that annoying “I’m a cat” way but in a weird, desperate sort of way? Is he or she drinking a lot? Throwing up for seemingly no reason? Chances are your cat may be suffering from Hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism in cats is not unlike that in humans. It is the increased production of thyroid hormones in the thyroid glands and sadly, it’s becoming increasingly common in our moggies, particularly as they get older. Thyroid hormones, among other things, causes a cat’s metabolic rate to go into overdrive and burn energy way too quickly resulting in often dramatic weight loss, even if you give in to your cat’s complaints and feed it more. As I found out, it can also make your cat extremely ill in other ways.

I knew something was up with Bindi initially when, a few years ago, she started throwing up. Now I am used to both of my cats’ regular upchucking. Dugite and Bindi do it with aplomb but this wasn’t right.

For Bindi not to be hungry, there had to be something wrong. And as she wasn’t hungry, she wasn’t eating much and so she was throwing up nothing but clear bile. This carried on for a couple of days, steadily getting worse until she was refusing to eat and drink at all.

Renlish.com - Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in Cats
We monitored her for about 24 hours once we realised we actually had a problem that wasn’t just the regular “cat’s a bit crook” thing before I took her to the vets. She was in a bad way. Severely dehydrated and exhausted, her little body was suffering. She was immediately put on a drip and kept overnight for observation. Clearly there was something wrong with her stomach (or so we thought) but we couldn’t tell what it was.

Several appointments and dollars later we ended up having an ultrasound and a small biopsy done. The results were inconclusive. She may be suffering from an infection or she may have have had an obstruction or she may have stomach cancer. Ugh. The only way to check was to do a full depth biopsy. That meant opening my little kitten up. That was simply a no-go. I wasn’t about to put my frail little puss-puss through that.

While the stomach issue was still a mystery at this point, after the multitude of blood tests and examinations we put her through it was determined that Bindi was also extremely hyperthyroid and was given medication to treat it.

Renlish.com - Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in Cats
At the vet. Again.

There are a few ways of treating the condition. Methimazole in tablet and gel form are the two most common ways of treating hyperthyroidism in cats, but this medication needs to be given multiple times a day for the rest of their lives which is understandably a huge commitment to take on.

Unfortunately neither of these sorts of medications agreed with Bindi because she threw the tablets up due to the sensitive stomach and the gel, while it initially worked, started to lose it’s effectiveness and the dose needed to be increased – and there’s only so much gel you can rub into a cat’s ears!

When my vet initially suggested the radioactive iodine treatment for Bindi, I was horrified – both at the cost and the idea of the procedure. It sounded full-on and a thousand or so dollars is not small change for most people, I totally get that. But given how much money we were spending on regular blood tests and medication and vet appointments, that’s pretty much a year’s worth of medical bills for a single cat right there.

While Bindi was an ideal candidate for the treatment, there is another thing you need to consider when investigating this as an option for your cat.

Renlish.com - Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in Cats
And again.

Hyperthyroidism can often mask other issues in older cats, in particular kidney disease. Their systems are working so fast to keep up with the thyroid production that all the organs are affected. Once the thyroid is treated, the system slows down again to a normal rate and as such, the kidneys also slow down. Sometimes this return to a more normal pace causes problems if the kidneys are no longer working well on their own anyway. Your vet will arrange a full set of bloods to check that your cat is otherwise in good health prior to treatment.

The radioactive iodine treatment itself is very simple. As it involves radioactive material, it needs to be done in a specialist centre (your vet can refer you onto a specialist) that has the proper facilities in which to carry out the procedure.

In most cases, the specialist will sedate the cat and induce it to swallow a capsule. In some cases, the iodine is injected directly under the skin.

As the thyroid is the only organ in the body that needs iodine, nature is allowed to take it’s course and the radioactive iodine targets the thyroid, thus killing the cells producing the thyroid hormone. No other organs or glands are affected.

That’s it.

Renlish.com - Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in Cats
“Mum? Mum? MUM?!”

The only thing now is to wait for the all-clear from the vet that your cat is safe to bring home. Any treatment requiring radiation means that there are significant dangers of radiation poisoning to people as well. That means your cat has to stay in isolation until they are no longer radioactive. In my case, Bindi was in isolation for seven full days until she was safe to bring home again and even then I was only allowed limited contact with her for a further week.

(Bindi put paid to this idea very quickly. My future hypothetical children may very well be mutants.)

Since having this done it’s like we’ve returned to the Bindi of five or six years ago. Fat, happy and slightly (ok, very) neurotic instead of skinny, bloated, stressed, sick and… yes… still neurotic. Would I do it again if my other cat fell ill? In a heartbeat. And as it turned out, the horrendous vomiting turned out to be part of the hyperthyroidism and we haven’t had a chuck in months apart from a hairball or three.

I have NEVER been so happy to clean up hairballs in my life.

Renlish.com - Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism in Cats
Cuddles with a much healthier Bindi

I seriously cannot thank Animal Accident & Emergency enough for the way that they looked after my Bindi-boo this time around and all the other times over the years that I’ve rushed to them with my sick kitten.  I was kept up to date from start to finish. Dr Abraham is a fantastic, knowledgeable and personable specialist and is a real “cat person” too. I was very comfortable leaving Bindi to her care and that of the awesome nurses at the centre.

Radioactive Iodine Pros & Cons


  • It’s expensive.
  • It’s not without the usual risks that come with sedating  animals.
  • It can result in the opposite condition. (Hypothyroidism)
  • In younger cats, the condition may reappear after about 5-7 years and the procedure may have to be done again.
  • It may not completely work the first time around.
  • It may unmask other issues such as kidney disease.


  • Successful results are mostly permanent for older cats.
  • One time cost pays for itself over the remaining life of the animal if it is in good health.
  • Benefits and improvement in quality of life are almost immediate (from my experience).
  • No daily medications to remember!
  • No added stress (for you or your cat) of blood tests every few months.
  • No ongoing specialist bills!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a vet. I am an animal lover and I am very attached to my pets. This post is based on my own experiences and the information I was given and researched. ALWAYS consult your vet if you think something is wrong with your pet.

20 Things about Ren

1. In 2009 I had my gall bladder taken out. Because I was so fat at the time, the surgeon didn’t take much care with how he sewed up the holes he made and as a result, my belly button is inaccessible.

2. I used to self-harm as a youngster. I have scars.

3. My favourite gemstone is Labradorite.

4. I cannot stand watching a television series the old way anymore. I need to binge-watch from the first episode to the last. Unfortunately this often leads to me wanting to kill people who will not shut up about what’s happening in a show as it’s being aired week by week.

5. I have a Reverse Bucket List – it contains the stuff that I have done as opposed to the stuff I want to do, because why pine about stuff you’ll never really get to do in life?

6. I hate exercise.

7. I have embraced “The Selfie” and take many of them for myself and others. They help remind me that I am not an ugly person. Sticks and stones break bones, but words scar for life. I lived for way too long thinking I was ugly because that’s what people told me.

Renlish.com - Selfies

8. I can’t eat bread anymore without feeling sick – but I’m not gluten intolerant.

9. I think the kerfuffle over raw eggs is fucking ridiculous. I eat raw cookie dough that has egg in it and have done so since forever. My mother used to give me raw eggs at my request – and yes, I would eat them. I clearly haven’t died from it.

10. I don’t understand how people like the taste of fizzy drinks.

11. My favourite sort of wine is late harvest white. It’s sweet and flavourful rather than tasting like…. well… fermented grapes.

12. I am a major procrastinator. I am writing this list instead of doing stuff like feeding my cats and doing my laundry…

13. I haven’t ironed anything in YEARS and totally judge people who iron stuff like sheets and underwear.

14. I am addicted to popping candy.

15. I am VERY addicted to The Sims 4. (And I promise Sims Saturday will return.)

16. I am not very good at keeping up with my friends but my friends know who they are and that I would be there with a shovel if any of them needed help in hiding a body.

17. I want children but I am pathologically afraid of and disgusted by pregnancy.

18. I will be a Crazy Cat Lady in my twilight years.

19. I believe that the human race is not inherently monogamous and we are all capable of having many great loves – and not necessarily one at a time.

20. I am addicted to French Bulldog accounts on Instagram. They are the cutest dogs ever.

Road-tripping with RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance

Disclosure: this is a paid post for RACV sponsored by Nuffnang.

RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance
A late Summer evenin’s drive…

Until we got a little busier with Life and Stuff™, road-tripping was one of our favorite things to do almost every other weekend. We’ve spent many a Saturday and Sunday traipsing around the waterfalls of the Otways and enjoying the wealth of fresh produce of the Jindivick region on the (slightly defunct) Jindivick Food Trail… not to mention a plethora of other places around Victoria.

Unfortunately we also have horrible luck with our cars. Terrible luck. The Worst Ever.

The manbeast is a little worse off than I am – if he so much as looks at anything vaguely mechanical in the wrong way, you can be guaranteed it won’t work the next day. (Really, I’m not even going to mention the way the engine literally fell off his motorbike. That was FUN.)

Me? I just do silly things like leave my lights on or lock my keys in the car.

Or end up with flat tyres that I still don’t know how to fix by myself.

Yes, I am such a helpless nuftie sometimes, though in my defence, I do know how to check my oil and know exactly where the transmission fluid goes! Moving on!

With our horrible bad luck in mind, being members of RACV’s Emergency Roadside Assistance has been a no-brainer. I’ve used RACV for my insurance needs for my entire driving career and in that *cough*twenty*cough* years, I’ve been a member of the RACV’s Emergency Roadside Assistance service.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be without them. They’ve been my heroes more times than I would care to admit. Even as recently as last month I had to call them when my car decided to pack it in on the way to work for reasons known only to itself. They made what could have been a disaster of a day easy to deal with. With no one else I could contact to help me out, they were there as they pretty much have been for nearly two decades. They’re heaps more helpful than relying on a mate who might have better things to do or a reluctant family member to meet you with a set of jumper cables.

It’s that service that I rely on to be there when I’m traveling long distances on my holidays and during my day-to-day commutes. They’ve been invaluable to me and a reassurance that if I need help, they’ve got my back.

So here’s my tips for road-tripping these school holidays – or any time you feel like going for a drive to places unknown…

  • Check your oil, fluid levels (water, transmission, etc) and tyre pressure before you head out. Also make sure your car kit is in working order and your spare tyre is in good condition. Why tempt fate?
  • Take snacks! The occasional treat makes a long drive bearable.
  • If you have kids, pack a play kit with stuff that they can do in a moving vehicle and maybe even something they can play with while you’re making a pit-stop.
  • Take a camera and leave it somewhere visible in the car – it’ll remind you to get out and explore along the way to your destination.
  • Consider getting yourself covered with RACV’s Emergency Roadside Assistance, for help when you need if you need it so that you’re not caught out on the roadside with narky bored kids or a partner who will say “I told you so!” if you don’t.

Check out this link about how RACV’s Emergency Roadside Assistance services can be heaps more helpful for any emergency while you’re traveling.