Home – Feet up.

It was a very hectic time with meetings not only every day but several meetings per day in one instance. Added to this was the fact that on the Thursday when I left the temperature was hitting a  a hot 46c. On Wednesday we had 44c and I was out  doing things for the RFDS. On Thursday I drove down to Adelaide and thankful that the car A/C was working well. I paid a visit to the Wine cellar,  then headed off to Bunnings. At least at Bunnings I was able to use the  gift cards that the boys bought me for Christmas.  On Friday the  temperature was again 44c and I had a meeting at West Terrace and spent several hours in the sunshine since this particular meeting was  to determine the state of disrepair of several places and the work needed to restore and repair the structures. On Saturday the temperature was a mere 30c  and I had three meetings. However, I got away as quickly as I was able and headed for home to get there before it got really dark. I hate driving north when it’s dark in hot weather – Kangaroos become a problem. I normally would have spent another night in Adelaide and headed home in the morning but we

The lower Flinders Ranges.

had a special service at church on the Sunday and I needed to be home for that.

The Wetlands

It took me days to catch up on everything and I think I managed to do just that. There was 87 thousand emails  but I figured sleep was for wimps and got through them. Part of the week was also spent  with Benji  the beach – the lighthouse and the wetlands. He got a bit upset when I went out without him several times,  but I was going shopping and I don’t want to leave him in the car. Monday after I came back I picked up Jim and Fay from the airport – home from their two week holiday with family in Perth (Western Australia). On Tuesday afternoon they came over and collected Yogi. It was mixed feelings really – glad he was going home with his family, but sad that I’ll miss him. He is a friendly little character and he and Benji get on well, so I’m always happy to look after him..

The beach wasn’t  so good this week – less of a beach with sand and more of an area covered in seaweed and seagrass. We do get a beach with sand from time

The Jim Pollock Memorial

The Foreshore

to time, but this wasn’t that time. Certainly it has been a little while since I have taken the dogs down to the Wetlands – not in the extreme heat that we had. I was amazed at the loss of water from the area and it showed. I was also disappointed  that the black swans had gone, but not only that, most of the bird life had  gone. There were, generally, a lot of ducks and I have taken photographs of them in the past,  but there was none. All that was there was seagulls. I did  photograph the new memorial to Jim Pollock, the Mayor who died a year or so ago.  He was a mayor – he was always well turned out, well liked and respected be everyone he look good and inspired confidence.  His death was sudden and he is well missed.  I also noticed that there was an area under construction a there had been talk of  building a cafe at the Wetland to make the area more family and tourist friendly. This could be it, but there was nothing to indicate what it is.

Anyway, barring any emergency, I wont be traveling again

Fine Winter day (Last Year)

until early May. This will be to  Naracoorte. Not quite Mount Gambier but at least through much of the Limestone Coast, Coonawarra  and Padthaway — not complaining  0:) However, we are moving from Mount Gambier to Naracoorte for the May Conference to accommodate the Adelaide people who are concerned about driving through winter  misty conditions on the way to Mount Gambier. I shall do my very best to think kindly of them as I drive through winter  mist and fog on the Eyre Highway on my way down to Adelaide.


Wednesday again.

What? come between a Crazy Cat Lady and her and her cat??



His fault….



Seems about right..


Heatwave, Flowers and Eagles

When the temperature hits the mid to high 40c it very rarely lasts for more than two days – three tops. But even those two days are enough to do a lot of damage. The north of the State,

Wild flowers grasses and Emus

Flinders flowers

the Flinders Ranges and beyond change from arid lands into desert landscape. In the spring these areas are alive with grasses and wildflowers – the area becomes a sea of colour – wonderful to behold. People come from all over Australia and  beyond to photograph the Flinders  wildflowers. Yet, within a short space of time, spring changes into summer, the sun starts to bight and burns up the grasses and the wildflowers and the dry, brown desert land returns. We are, the driest area in the driest state of the driest continent.  We have one river, to the west of the state, the Murray and that’s being done to death slowly. All the lakes you see to the north and west of the state are all dry salt lakes – so big they even have world landspeed races and records on them. Water is pumped from the Murry some 300 miles away and without that much of South Australia would simply cease to exist. The Murry Pipeline is the umbilical cord of the north on which much of the settlement of the state  beyond Port Wakefield relies. If we have a really warm and prolonged summer we start to eat into the water reserves and we have to ration water. No watering of gardens is allowed except under certain conditions. However since we have a spendthrift government, we built a water desalination plant – a couple of $billion, but who’s counting – which was put

More dead than alive

into mothballs because  in the time it took to build – delays, cost blow-outs, over-runs, usual SA Govt. project- we had several wetter than usual winters and the catchment

dying plants

areas were all at capacity so water was no longer an issue. But despite all the precautions and the special Mandevilla Fertilizer, a day and a half of  46/47c  heat is enough to undo all the careful tendering that you may have done over the late winter and spring to little more than dead brown leaves. Both the  Frangipani didn’t fare all that much better. Two days undid all the work and expense of months. I came home at midnight from Adelaide, played with Benji, had a chat with Annabell then close to 1am went out and watered all the plants before going to bed, but by then the damage was probably already done and the Friday was even hotter. I had great hope for the Mandevilla but I think they have gone too far to be saved now. – Update – I have been told by the garden people not to dig up or pull out what appears to be dead plants. I should keep on tending to them because it is very likely that the extreme heat has killed and burned the surface shoots and leaves, but it is  more than possible that the plant itself is still alive and will respond to care, attention and watering. Ok I can do that and we’ll see what happens.

At the moment it’s too hot to go wandering so although I have been thinking about the Arid Lands Botanic Garden (ALBG)and getting native plants that probably would survive the heat in this area, I’ll leave  the 150 klm drive off for the moment. I think I have said before that dogs are banned at the ALBG – which is understandable given the nature of the gardens and the native  small reptiles  ( mainly harmless lizards)  that roam freely around the place.

Wedge-Tail Eagle ( Not my photograph)

Not sure if  I mentioned this before but my son had to have a meeting with the Environment /Wildlife Officer of the  Mine. A few days before, he was called out for a problem at one of the areas and was on his way to the mine. An Eagle, chasing prey, mistimed and miscalculated its attack and flew into the side mirror of Andrew’s Vehicle, killing the bird and smashing the side mirror. The report was sent by the company to the Environment Officer and although no blame was attached  to Andrew it was considered unfortunate in that the  Environment and Wildlife people had been running a program to re-introduce the Wedge-Tails (Eagles) back into the area. The damage to the vehicle and the replacement of the side mirror cost over $700. Sad but at the same time fortunate for Andrew that it was not a fully grown adult – these birds are BIG with a wingspan of up to 9 feet.



and that’s what matters


Warmish Day in old SA

Tomorrow I head off to Adelaide and a wonderful 42c, so shopping should be a load of fun.  When the arrangements were made there was no indication of this kind of temperature but regardless, my son ( with whom I am hitching a ride) has to go down anyway, so I didn’t want to appear as a wimp by not going :o) Still the drive down will be in an AC car and the shops will have the

The TDU Village

AC on, so really it’s only going between the shops that I want and Annabell asked me to go to that will be a little bit of a problem – only a little bit. Andrew is heading to Port Adelaide for an appointment. He will be staying overnight but I have an appointment on Friday morning, so I will catch the late coach home. I also want to get my traveling modem recharged and I  could do that here, but they make such a song and dance about it that I generally wait until I am in Adelaide to get it recharged for the year.

The drive down was uneventful and the A/C was kept going all the way. I generally stop at the Tin Man, but Andrew prefers to drive directly to Port Wakefield and then have his stop. We arrived in Port Adelaide early for his appointment so we went and had an early lunch. He went for his appointment and I sat and read  the magazines. Back into the city and shopping – I had my modem recharged and then went and bought some new clothes, as did Andrew, but for his son  rather than for himself. We had coffee in Rundle Mall and then walked ( 42c) to the central market. Normally we would have taken the tram, but they were out of service so It was a nice, pleasant walk.  We spent some time at the Tour Down Under  (TDU) Village. After this Andrew walked with me to the Coach Terminal and  we parted. I caught the late coach home, getting in at midnight. We did drive down together but he was staying the night whilst I had to be back for a

TDU Displays

meeting Friday Morning (Today) Stateliner have a new coach which was impressive in that along the side of the coach were UBS sockets for charging phones and music players or even laptops/tablets.

Today has been another scorcher with the temperature hitting 46c – at least that’s the official temperature – in real life, it’s actually hotter. Interesting though, after three  hot days we are in line for a thunderstorm. I took Benji out a little while ago and I could see some clouds starting to gather.

Saturday: As it transpired, nothing (as yet) came from the Gathering of the Clouds but the weekend is yet young.  I have sat next to the AC, drinking  Iced Water and listening to John Denver / Frank Sinatra. I think everyone of a certain age has a favourite John Denver – mine is Poems, Prayers and

Benji and Bowtie

Promises. As for Sinatra – it doesn’t matter  what Sinatra sings, I like them all, but if I had to pick just one, I think it would be a choice between  My Funny Valentine / It was a very good year. I think everyone has a favourite Sinatra and every one would probably be different. Driving down to Adelaide on Thursday I was subjected to heavy rock – my son’s car/ his music. Same rule – as in my car/my music.

I think the saddest thing for me is that in this hot weather I cannot take Benji out with me. I cannot take him into the supermarket and I cannot leave him in the car. And yet, hardly a week goes past without some report about police having to free dogs from a hot car and no windows open. And then this week a man went off and left the child in the car – she survived but only just. Even in relatively mild weather and I have Benji in the car, I check the time I get out the car and I carefully watch my watch when I am in a shop and make sure I don’t waste time. If I consider it too warm I wont take him and have to  accept – The Look – but it’s worth it to ensure that he stays ok.