Wetlands and Dogs

These last few days Benji has been very reluctant to go out for out early morning walk. I can understand this – it  has been very cold. I thought that I would leave the walk to later in the morning – say 8am instead of 6am. I also thought it might be a good idea that we go to the Wetland instead of a local walk. It was a cold but lovely morning this morning and the  ponds at the wetlands were like glass – no breeze at all – not a ripple.

Wetlands this morning

However I  decided it was not such a good idea. There were a good number of people about and all of them had a dog, or dogs/. Benji does not get on well with strange dogs so the walk really wasn’t much fun for him. I think we will just stick to the local area in the morning and go to the wetlands in the afternoon when it seems to be a lot quieter. The interesting thing was that all the people with dogs this morning were males.  If I want to go to the foreshore I have to remember to take bags with me as the council has not yet replaced the dog waste bags that it removed for the upgrade.

Benji is a rescue dog and we have not known what his true age was.  In October of this year it will be

Hello peeple..

four years since we adopted him. At the time I was told he was three years, so plus the four we have had  him, that would make seven. I always felt he was older and it turns out I was right – he was born in November 2010, which means he will be nine years, not seven, this year. All of this is academic because in the end I don’t care what age he is, he’s my boy and I love him dearly. However, it may go a ways to explaining why he is so reluctant to get out of bed and get out of the house at 6am on a winter morning – and – I shall have to take the pace at which I walk into consideration and slow down a tad. Of course the reluctance to get out of  bed and get out of the house on a cold winter morning could simply be a kind of human trait, since sometimes we are pretty reluctant to do similar ourselves. I had out longer than usual last night and he actually did slow down and he seemed to me to be a bit tired, so I lifted him up on my shoulder and carried him for a while. One of the neighbours asked  “who was taking who for the walk?” After a little while I put him back down and he seemed to have a lot more energy

This coming weekend is the weekend of the Whyalla  Show (Fair). The RFDS will be on display again this year but  I will not be attending this year as I will be in Adelaide for a Presbytery Meeting. We have Yogi here! Jim took what is believed to be a slight stroke and was taken to hospital. Fay is spending much of the day there so she asked if we would look after Yogi for a few hours. I said I would and went down and collected him at 8am this morning (Wednesday) I  said before that he has not been a well dog and he has certainly lost a fair bit of weight and he is crying a lot, but that could be because this was all so sudden and he is anxious  and does know what is happening. At the moment he is a sad little dog, but Benji and me will look after him for a bit.. Yogi was only here for a few hours and he “cried”much of that time. I held him up on my lap but I had to be careful and not put Benji offside.

As it turned out, Jim did not have a stroke – not even a minor one.  He underwent a brain scan an ECG and various other tests and when they proved negative he was allowed home. When I took Yogi back home Jim was

Benji at the Long Beach

sleeping.  He will check in with the hospital every few days for a little while to make certain everything is ok. However they really don’t know what caused the turn he had. Fay was chastised by the doctor because she drove him to the hospital instead of  calling an Ambulance. Her comment was that  the ambulance can take too long to arrive and is was  quicker to drive him to hospital.  That’s a worry…

 

General wandering and playing with the camera.

The far end of town.

For my submission to the letter  ” D ”  it was my intention to drive the  112 kilometre (Return trip)  and photograph a derelict  Service Station ( Gas Station).  When we came to Australia this little township was a thriving

Sunrise over town center

place and the service station, apart from selling fuel and groceries, maintained a small fauna park and we were taken there by my sister and her family and we visited this service station to get fuel and to let my boys see a kangaroo close up. There were two settlements, Iron Knob (where we were) and Iron Baron. In the mid 1980s there was a downturn in the price for iron ore and both townships suffered a decline. Iron Baron was closed  and the people drifted away. When it reopened again, it was decided that people should no longer live in the area so everything was sold off and the entire township was bulldozed. Nothing remains. People who work there are now taken in by bus from here. A couple of years ago I went out to Iron Knob and went to the old service station. It was closed down and abandoned – derelict.  It was my intention to drive out there and photograph it but things didn’t quite work out as I had planned and I never managed to drive out to Iron Knob, but I needed a submission so – D for Dog. As an alternative it would have been D for Dinosaur but a certain dog ( who shall remain anonymous)  had a good chew at it over the last few months and it was no longer presentable.

The empty main area of the mall.

Things are slowly returning to a kind of normal. There are no longer any restrictions on  food or any supermarket items, many shops – except the smaller ones here – are re-opening and the shopping mall is  fairly empty looking as people have not adjusted to the  lifting of restrictions. Tonight was late night shopping and the place was empty, although I have to say that most of the smaller shops were closed. Still keeping social distancing – hotels are closed and churches are still closed. We could have ten people but we felt it would be too traumatic trying to manage that, so we will leave things as they are until phase 2 takes effect in a few weeks.  Long time ago we had a number of camera shops here – now we don’t have a single one. Yes we have shops that sell cameras and some lenses but that’s it. Camera accessories have to be bought on line or in Adelaide. I want filters from my camera and since I can not get what I want here I will have to wait until the restrictions regarding transport are lifted next week and I can take the coach down to Adelaide and do a mini shopping trip. At the moment I really don’t want to drive there and back mainly because it

Ada Ryan Gardens

means an overnight stay and that’s still a bit iffy. Anyway I have some filters coming over from New South Wales so they should be here early next week.

Ada Ryan Gardens
Part of the Avery at Ada Ryan Gardens.

You have probably heard that we are having a few problems with China and the 80% tariff that have put on our barley. In essence, they have shut down that market to us. That left us in a bit of a hole, but  now India have said that they would be interested in Australian malt barley and will start with an order of 500,000 tons and increase as things develop.  I said before, that I believe that a new relationship with China will come out of this..

Benji and I hit the road at 05:50 this morning, After all the rain the place was a bit on the damp side, but it was cool rather than cold, dull and overcast. It’s supposed to be a nice day today so I may well take a run out to the lighthouse for a bit.  We decided ,  well I decided,  not to go to the lighthouse but to stay closer to home and since it was a nice day we went for a wander around Ada Ryan Gardens. The Gardens are looking well cared for. In the Spring and Summer and Early Autumn, mothers and prams meet up and have picnics with their children – there are barbecues areas and free electric barbecues at either end of the gardens. And there is a very large children play area – currently closed off – and for the people who like something more substantial, there is the cafe at the foreshore.  A lot of clubs use the area and the barbecues for “get-togethers. When we had children at the church, we also used it with children and parents.  The letter for the coming week  is “K ” so I will see what I can come up with in a week.

Some restrictions eased.

Sunrise over the Gulf

It’s been an odd week in which not a lot has happened. Andrew came back from Roxby Downs and we had the family together last night for the first time in two weeks.And that was about the only real highlight for the week.   However, he heads back up again on Wednesday so it will be several weeks before we see him and Connor again.  However, when Andrew was over here he did set up Zoom for me now  I have to wait until Mount Gambier are ready to start. They were supposed to be doing a couple of practice runs so we’ll see. With the travel restrictions I feel unable to move anywhere and Benji is getting reluctant to get out of bed at 6am to go walking. Well, we still have been walking but not in the mornings. Provided the  day is dry and he is fine in the afternoon, we make up for lost timje by wandering around the Wetlands and feeding the Geese and ducks.  It’s a good walk with plenty  things about the place to sniff at, check the mail and leave a reply. It’s starting to get better for me too as it gets colder and there are few flies about. There is little point in driving out to the lighthouse other than just the drive, there’s really nothing for Benji to do other than curl up and nap on the front seat during the 40klm drive out and  the same back to the house.

On the news front, between all the  belligerent posturing from the Donald and the trade and financial  threats against Australia from China, South Australia is starting to get  the virus under control. For fourteen days we had no new cases in SA, on the fifteenth day we had one new case, and none since. That being so and since all things seem to be reasonable clear, South Australia is lifting a number of its restrictions as of today – Monday 11th May. Still no church yet. Yes, we can have a gathering of 10 and we did  consider having three services, but  we believed that

could create more problems than it solved.  We need to be thankful for the restrictions that have been lifted and be patient for the remainder next month in phase 2.

Ten months ago I requested a Specialist Referral Note to be sent to my Cardiologist. I was told by my doctor that he would do this closer to the time. It was never done and now we are out of time. I steeled myself and underwent the degrading and humiliating experience of talking to a mesh covered window like an errant schoolchild. It seems to be generally assumed that when this is all over we wont be going back to ”

Still the Lighthouse.

normal” some things  have changed and may never go back to the way they were. I believe the relationships we have had with our doctors is one change that may not ever go back to what it was. I am honestly considering changing to a different medical practice. Yes, I understand the thinking “Heck John, a bit of inconvenience and you are going over the top. Settle down and don’t be so dramatic”  Yes, I understand and there is every likelihood that I wont change and  walk away from one of the best doctors in town, but the fact that this is my thinking concerns me somewhat. We have set up the zoom as much as we can – now I have to wait until  contacted on Saturday morning with the code and the access ID. We will see how that works. As it happens it worked very well and I was very pleased. We were concluded by 11:45, so that was good.. The next conference is in August and we are starting to look at a video conference for that meeting if the restrictions are

Sunrise through the bushes

still

in  force. We don’t think so but some members, who have difficulty getting out of bed ( ok so I am being unkind!)  want to stay with the Zoom, therefore we have decided that we can do both. those who wish to can physically attend the conference and others can  stay with the video. We’ll see how it works if everything is good to go in August.  The word for this week is D – yes I know “Dog” but that’s just too easy. What I have in mind  (if it still exists) is some 30 miles away and with the restrictions on most travel lifted, I can drive out there with Benji. What I have in mind ia  D for Derelict and I will let you know how that works out.

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Benji-Birds but no Bees!

Took Annabell shopping today. She said it was the first time she had been out of the house in over two weeks. I reminded her that this was incorrect and that it was the second time. She did not agree and wanted to know when the first time was. I reminded her that I had taken her into town with me during the week. Her comment “yes, but I never got out of the car!” Well, yes, that’s true, but she was still out of the house.  LOL.  I know, I hate me too sometimes.   Took Benji out last night and we were only five minutes back inside when it started raining. Before long we were in the middle of another box of tricks, thunder, lightening, heavy downpour. It was still going

Feeding the Birds

strong at 1am this morning ;  the noise was unreal and Benji was not happy. This is unusual – generally he’s not bothered.  I made a coffee, sat in the computer chair and answered some letters, then I think i slept for a couple of hours – in the chair . I’ll probably have a quick nap this afternoon. As it happened, I took Benji for a walk round the Wetlands and fed the Geese and the Ducks.  One of the larger ones kept approaching me as I brought my hand (with seeds) out of the bag. I’m certain it wanted to take  the seeds out of my hand. I dropped the seeds so that it moved away – I kind of enjoy having fingers. They are very useful I feel. After the Wetlands we drove down to the beach. Didn’t stay long there as it was  cold and very windy. After all that rain in the last three days, there is a dampness about the place, but we still had a walk along the beach. Not that there is all that much of a beach at the

A big fellow.

moment. Moving into winter the area is mainly seagrass/seaweed. Not exactly the best surface for walking along. However the tide was on its way out so there was some sand to walk on.

I wanted a new keyboard for the computer – I don’t actually need one, but I wanted one. The reason is that I feel that I am restricted in the use of my desk by the fact that I have to place the computer in the centre of the desk mainly because I am attacked  to it by the keyboard cable. I figured if I bought a new wireless keyboard I would have  more flexibility on where to place the computer in relation to the keyboard. I already have a wireless mouse. So – go buy a keyboard — Simple — Yes??  Well, actually No!  There is not a keyboard to be had anywhere. There is also a shortage of computers, desktop and laptop -and a shortage of printers. With all the  emphasis on working from home, in some cases, teaching from home and the semi-lockdown, there was a run on computers and accessories.

The mid-year church conference is due to be held on the 16th May. It is unlikely that restrictions will be lifted by then so we are currently organising a video conference and even if we did lift the restrictions, with the airlines still being grounded for inter-state travel, the Queensland commissioners would not be able to attend. I am not certain how to set this Zoom up  since my Guru is in Roxby Downs until the middle of this week. Once he’s back I’ll ask him to set it up for me. Actually,  John will be here tonight I’ll see if he knows how

Benji & Bird

to set it up   ( He didn’t)  .Queensland reduced restrictions on the understanding that social distancing would be maintained. Did it work?? Unfortunately,  no! . Police were forced several times to break up large drinking parties and the main beach was  fenced off because  people just would not comply with the rules. South Australia has now gone 12 days without any new cases and we are about to lift some of our restrictions, but our people have been warned that social distancing must be  continued. I hope our people have a bit more sense than some people inter-state.