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…

 

Cars, Dog Stroller and Cars.

What now my love, now that you’ve left me, how can I live through another day?

It has now been seven days since the car was towed away and the  repairs started. The unit for the ignition system was supposed to be over here from Port Pirie yesterday and, I imagine, fitted yesterday and today. I would like to have the car back  sometime today, but, to be really honest, I am not very hopeful. Today, being Friday, summer officially ends in two days and Monday 1st March is the 1st day of Autumn (Fall)  Summer begins on 1st December and ends on the last day of February, a total  of 90 days and from that total we have only really had 14 days when we could say “Summer is here.” A total of three heatwaves – 5+4+5-  there has been a lot of rain, there is flooding in Queensland and people being evacuated – cyclones in the north have meant heavy rain here accompanied by high winds. In fact I don’t recall seeing all that much on the weather charts but high winds. Well, that’s not strictly true, sometimes the forecaster  forecasted  “damaging winds 95kpm+)  I answered a comment by Tippysmom the other day and I said it was a nice day with a gentle breeze and it was for about half the morning before the wind increased. I took Benji out for a walk and before I was halfway through the walk I was struggling  and ended up carrying my hat rather than wearing it. In fact, the long range forecast is for more rain

I am concerned in that it is not very long before I have to take Annabell to the clinic at Flinders medical and I still don’t have a car. Yes, I realise that the  visit to the Clinic is ten days away but that’s wont stop me from worrying. Yes I worry, it’s my job  :o)  I worry, Benji does the relaxing – we share the load – that’s what friends do!

Lovely day for a stroll

I am beginning to believe that the birthdate on the Adoption Papers for Benji – 2010 –  rather than the Microchip birth date – 2012 – is the correct one. That would make him 11 this year. I have noticed that he is starting to slow down just a bit and it was very noticeable this morning when he started tiring and dragging towards the last 200 yards of our morning walk. I thought he looked

so tired that I lifted him up on my shoulder and carried him the rest of the way. This afternoon I wanted to go for a walk and he came with me. We had not gone far when he really started to slow down. I turned around and came back home. I got the  “Dog Stroller” out of the garage, cleaned it and put a thick blanket in there for him to sit on. Lifted him him in,  attached the harness and off we went. He loved it, sitting there watching everything around him and still being out with his daddy. Can’t get better than that. ( I have to mention that it is over 34 years since I pushed a pram for any distance and I forgot how tiring it is on the arms)  I also took a bottle of water and a collapsible bowl so we could both have a drink.  Well, yes, I got some looks from passing motorists, but who cares. Benji was comfortable

John & Rene’s Toyota Camry which I am now  using.

On the subject of friends, a member of the church heard that I did not have a car so  she phoned another friend who telephoned me. She asked if it was correct that I did not have a car at the moment and wanted to know how I was getting about. I said either I was not or I  was by taxi. She said that they have a spare car and I was welcome to use it. I said it was ok and my own can should be back soon. I thought that was that until she  and her husband dropped off a Toyota Camry in my drive. They handed me the keys, said it was registered until June and I can bring it back when I no longer need it. So there we are, I  have a car- now  I can take Annabell out as needed. Just as well since I ended up at the Emergency Dept. at the hospital with her  last night. She was not a well girl – had another infection.

Car Problems B

At the Ada Ryan Gardens where all the trouble began.
Old but it just perfect for this week.

All of the foregoing on the previous post happened on the Thursday. On the Friday morning I went out and tried to start the car – and it did. It was running smoothly so I decided to go down to the shopping centre and get some things for Annabell. Got into the car, put it in reverse and slowly backed out. Got the car out onto the roadway when it died. Nothing I could do to restart it and it was blocking the road. Fortunately some neighbours came to help and with their aid we pushed the car back into the driveway I called out the RAA again and the usual hour later the mechanic arrived. By this time I was really convinced it was the battery. The mechanic arrived and the first thing he said was that there was nothing wrong with the battery. He checked the computer again and everything was fine. He ran a few more tests then went underneath the car and banged some area with a mallet ( all very technical)  Turned on the engine and the car started right away. We left it running whilst he did some more tests then told me what the problem was – the fuel pump was malfunctioning. I need a new fuel pump. Okay, called the mechanic I use only to discover that he is presently in Adelaide and wont be back for a couple of days. So no car.  Annabell had an appointment so I called Andrew and he came, took her to her appointment, waited and brought her home. It was also arranged that he will pick us up for Church on Sunday. John has a SUV and Annabell cannot get into that. So that’s it for the moment. It has been an interesting few days.

Nice and peaceful. He still get to go out for walks !

Took Benji out this morning as normal then took out again for a walk in the afternoon. Probably just as well since the evening erupted into a thunderstorm with the heaviest  rain I have seen in a long time. Did try a walk on my own between rain storms – that didn’t work too well – got soaked. The cool change that was forecast for Friday never eventuated. Most of Saturday was  nice and the sudden  quick change and the thunderstorm took most by surprise. In next to no time, the main water tank was overflowing then the  big blue waste bin that I use for overflow was itself, overflowing. With the thunder and lightening and the crash of the rain it was all very spectacular – and very noisy. We did loose power but only  for a few minutes and it was back again.  The steelworks lost power and Andrew and his team were called out to get the plant back up and running. When I spoke to him he told me they were at the plant from just after 5pm Saturday  to almost 1am Sunday morning.

The car was repaired this morning (Monday) and a new fuel pump was put in. Car fired up nicely and we drove down to the church to collect my case

The Ada Ryan Gardens

and our stuff left there after the service yesterday.  Got the car out of the driveway and drove to the church. Got the cases into the boot and drove out the gates and stopped while I  closed and locked the gates. Back to the car, which would not start. Anyway called out the RAA and a taxi to take Annabell home. I stayed with the car. Now it seems we have a major electrical fault so the car was towed to  the Autoelectrical place and  and we wait to see what will happen next.  I might have it back in a day or two. Oh look – flying animals in the sky!!!

 

 

Car Problems A

New Flinders Station

There were a number of things  that I wanted to do while I was in Adelaide. First and foremost was to get down to Central Station and confirm that there was a lift from the ground to the concourse I have never used it and I didn’t know. People said they thought there was, so I had to go and confirm that there is. Secondly I wanted  to see for myself how long the train took to travel from Central to Flinders and lastly I wanted to know  the distance from the train station at Flinders to the entrance to Flinders Medical. The train was going to sit at Flinders for ten minutes – without really rushing and walking at a normal pace I walked from the train to the Entrance to the Hospital and back to the train in eight minutes. Yes, it will take me a tad longer pushing a wheelchair, but it’s flat ground and doable. That was the first thing and finding all that out saves me the stress of  driving to the Flinders Medical or the expense of taxi fare there and back ( $80). The other thing was to go to a camera shop and buy a new lens. I wanted an 18-55mm lens as the one I have is not

Benji at rest
Sometimes it’s all just too much!

so good. I wanted the new version. I arrived at the shop and asked for the lens. The  salesperson asked if the lens would fit my camera. I said it would since I already

have  that lens. He wanted to know why I wanted a second lens – seemed odd. Fair comment so I explained that I wanted to replace the lens I had with a new up to date version. He then suggested I should ungraded to a better lens – larger and more expensive, and yet another lens, even more expensive. I thanked him for his time and trouble and left – no lens. I have since found the lens on line in a shop I have bought from before – and it was cheaper –  despite the postage from the USA, so that’s on its way here.

The meeting on Saturday was interesting in that we still have not come to terms with Covid-19 so we did not have a full physical meeting but rather two meetings linked by a Zoom system and from what was said this is going to happen for some time to come. Back to the future indeed  when we used to have two separate  units. Now we call them “Hubs”

Sadly the present weather conditions mean that I cannot take Benji to the wetlands. I did go down – briefly – to check out the pavers and the bitumen and both were too hot to the touch for me so

At the Ada Ryan Gardens where all the trouble began.

too hot for wee paws. Apart from which, there is not really much shelter at the wetlands, except at  the barbecue area  just beyond the carpark and of course, at the kiosk. The beach being much the same, we went back to the gardens for a little while. Getting to the gardens was a problem in that the car started playing up. I only just made it into the carpark when it died. Pretty rotten parking, but not much I could do about that. I called out the RAA ( Royal Automobile Association) and they arrived about an hour later. The mechanic  tested everything, the car started, he logged into the car’s computer and everything there said all was well. The car started again and ran fairly smoothly so I drove home with the RAA vehicle following me. It cut out once, but then started up again and we drove home. I just put the car in the drive with the intention of  getting it under the carport later. That didn’t work too well and it’s still out there.

 

Saltire, Birds and strange “gifts”

I came across this yesterday. Do you think the someone is trying to tell me something?

I took Max home on Thursday morning after special arrangements were made. I did say that we used the garage and I did not come into contact with anyone in the process. Of course we talked over a distance. I have to admit that I kind of miss him although, to be fair, Benji does not. Friday morning, nice day and Benji and I went out on our morning walk. First time in four weeks we have done so. In was good to be able to get out and be able to walk at a reasonable pace.. In the past weeks with, rain, sun, heat, cold, rain, rain and then sun again, the weeds at the church have grown something shocking. Thankfully the gardener, who has been kept very busy, will be with us this morning. I’ll go down presently and open the gates for him to get in.   The weeding will cover two days. Today he will spray weed killer on the area. In a day or so he will come back and check and  clear up.

Strange thing happened the other day. I took Benji to the wetlands and had a good walk – also  photographed the Black Swans and their young. Got back to the car and headed for home.  On the main road I noticed something red on the windscreen, I thought it was just the Remembrance Day Poppy that I keep there, but that’s on the inside not the outside of the windscreen so no idea what it was.

The Cockatoo at the Ada Ryan Aviary

Since it was not obstructing my view I didn’t bother with it until I got home. When I examined it I found that some unknown person had placed a large Kabana  (Polish Sausage) under the windscreen wiper. I took it inside and discussed the issue with Annabell – where and when I discovered it. We believed that it was meant for Benji but  with no indication from where and from whom it came, the safest course of action was simply to dump it in the bin – which we did. We also discovered that  the package had been slightly opened so that was a concern. It had to have been done at the Wetlands, not here since Benji would have been barking and I would have investigated. Anyway, it’s done now.

We had a telephone call from Jim yesterday and we will not be having Yogi to look after. Jim is still going to Western Australia but he is now going for three months and he will be taking Yogi with him. Actually I am  glad about that. Yogi is old, has medical problems, is deaf and partly blind. I hope to be proved wrong, but I don’t think Yogi will be with us for very much longer and I would hate for that to happen whilst he is in my care. Selfish – perhaps – but I have enough to do worrying about Annabell without also worrying about a visitor dog.  However, in March, after the Flinders Medical visit, we will have Dougal staying with us for 10 days. Dougal is a very lively Maltese Terrorist and we can go out on walks as normal.

The Black Swans at the Wetlands

In the morning I head off to Adelaide  for two days. This should be the AGM but with covid restrictions still in  place and some people still using Video Conferencing – particularly those from the South East –  it was decided to postpone the AGM until May when we hope all the restrictions will be lifted. At the moment we are meeting in two places, the south East people meeting in one location and the Adelaide and the North people meeting in another location, with the intention to re-join  sometime in the future..  Although in my view I don’t think it will make a difference in the long run. We were two separate bodies before and I think that’s the way we are heading again –   as the hymn says ” In this world of darkness, so we must shine, you in your small corner and I in mine”.  Our weather is now heading in the general direction of 45c. That’s ok just as long as we do not have a North Wind – like last week. At the moment it’s  37c with not a breath of wind. That’s  fairly tolerable.

 

Dogs, weather and former leaders.

Playing with a new lens – settings not right yet.

Sunday and I am tired from very little sleep. Max is, as I have already said, very overweight and the problem with that is the noise he makes. He woke me up several times last night with loud snoring and other noises so, really, I am more exhausted than tired. It’s daylight and now he’s quiet. In three hours I have to be at church but when I get back home I  will get changed and try and get some sleep.. I have not been out walking much as I would be with Benji so, as I said, my fitbit steps are way off. I didn’t even make half the standard yesterday. Go out without Max – just me and Benji – well yes,  I tried that and Annabell suffered by having to listen to his  complaining – he was not happy at us going out without him and made his feelings known. He’s a lovely, lovable dog, but he’s hard work.  Took them to the lighthouse yesterday and this time I let Benji out of the car and closed the door before I let Max out. I have to lift him into the car – and he’s heavy!!!  Was trying out a new lens yesterday – a wide angle lens – and I still haven’t got the setting quite right and ended up sending most of the shots I took yesterday to the trash – best place for them! Sometimes I get frustrated and slightly short with people who advocate all kinds on on-line courses. I have tried them and gave up.  It just didn’t work for me. Yes I know, they work for most people but I am not most people.. We used to have short-term  community courses for many things at the Tech. College here and although they still hold photography courses in Adelaide, they don’t here any more. Actually, they don’t do much here any more! – Yes I know – I am living in the past. Well, the music was better then!

I was thinking about a recently former President of the United States the other day. Why this should be, I have no idea,  but for some very strange and odd reason the following came to mind –

“How many times can a man look up,

before he sees the sky?

And how many  ears must one man have,

before he can hear people cry?

And how many deaths will it take ’til he knows

that too many people have died?

I check the  Covid updates released by governments throughout the world every morning and I find it very sad to see that the USA will reach 500,000 deaths within a month. The UK as a whole is over 1600 deaths in the last 24 hours, which is the highest in Europe. People are dying in their thousands and how any rational person can say that this is fake news and that Covid is not real, beggars belief. And people outside of hospitals in England chanting that Covid is not real and harassing nurses trying to get in to attend to their duties, is just not acceptable.

Taken yesterday morning – out with dogs 06:10. Looks better on the phone.
Just Because

This last week we had a heatwave from 33c up to a top of 46c. The top temperature was yesterday (Sunday) Today –  Monday –  the day started off quite well, humid but not too bad. I was out with the dogs and then shopping for Annabell. In the afternoon, the  thunderstorm hit and the rain came crashing down. It is now 5pm and it’s still going and by the sound of things likely to go into the night. Sorry boys – no walk again tonight  – same reason – different aspect.  Had a look at the satellite and it might be clearing shortly but the Yorke  Peninsula and then across to Adelaide  could get a bit of a hit. Tomorrow, however looks nice.  The rain stayed away and I took the dogs out – well I took Benji out. I started off with two dogs and had only gone  about twenty odd feet when he started  sitting down and wouldn’t move, so as soon as he did move I turned around back to the house put him inside, took off his harness and left with Benji and we had a good walk together. Annabell suggested that I just go out without him but that presents problems in that I take them out at 6am .If I go out without him ( as I did once)  he  whines, barks and makes a racket which will waken Annabell and that’s what I don’t want to happen, so I just take him with me in the morning. He should be going home this Thursday.  He is a lovable big soul, but he is  really not too much, but I have concerns about Benji. I mean  yesterday Max came and sat down beside me. Benji got up and was making straight for him – and I got up and put myself between them, facing Benji. He stopped, then turned and went back to his mat. It’s a worry.

***UPDATE. The Western Australia / South Australia Border has been closed – Max may not be going home on Thursday ***