The AGM of our local RFDS Support Group took place on Monday. This is out tenth of operation and, of course, we had a cake to celebrate. Also highlighted was the fact that for a small group we have raised, over our ten years, $315,000.oo, which is not too shabby. It being the AGM, our Coordinator, from Central Operations was here. Now a new year begins for us and it starts off with four days looking after the cuttlefish divers, the last three days being this weekend. It started a few years ago with only a handful of people brave enough to endure the coldness of the winter waters. Now it has grown with people coming from all over Australia to take part in going out to see the Giant Cuttlefish which come to this area year after year to breed. Although it is classed as “diving” it is not really. The majority of people are only about twenty or so feet out from the shore, on boards, face down and the only part of you that is under water is your head – and you use a snorkel – but the water is so cold that you have to gear up in a diving suit as ‘protection’ from the cold. We are out there for all five days of the dive providing hot food and soup. No – I am not making a mistake it was five days, but one day was in the last month 30th June, with the remaining four days in July. I am not on duty this weekend but I will probably go out anyway – even if it’s just to take photographs. I did some years
However, we did drive to the Cuttlefish area, along Cuttlefish Drive only to find the wind was quite strong, the water fairly rough and the place deserted. I had a look around and found a notice tied to the table that said that due to the water conditions the diving had been moved to the other side of the point where the wind and the water were calmer. We headed off round there. I was very surprised in that I had taken Benji out here many times ( just down from the lighthouse) and I never suspected there were cuttlefish here and so close to shore. It was a fairly quite dive when we were there but I was told that it got quite busy in the afternoon. Actually, as we left the carpark, the cars were starting to arrive. After
this we had a wander to the lighthouse, had a bite to eat, then headed off to the Wetlands for a further wander before heading home. We had a good morning out. This morning (Monday 9th) we spent three hours up at the hospital and Annabell bravely sat in the waiting room for this time while I underwent a procedure to cut out a melanoma from the bridge of my wee nose. It was deeper than first thought so it took longer than expected but it was all out and I was all stitched up. The offending bit of me will be sent to the lab in Adelaide and I’ll get the result in about ten days. Apart from stitched and plastered ( in a nice way) I am fine; some pain and discomfort, but nothing I can’t live with.laid I will get the stitches out in a week or so. All the stuff is now starting to wear off and it hurts, but I am told that this is normal and will fade in a little while – although I think there might be a variation between their little while and my little while. Go on – ask me what idiot put on a white shirt this morning :o)
Today is Annabell’s shopping day and we generally go out in the morning. Of course, that was off but we did go out mid afternoon, which I was not keen on doing mainly I didn’t want to meet people and keep answering questions about the plasters on my face. Anyway, it wasn’t too bad and I got through the shopping. Home and I lay down and my dog laid down beside me and Annabell said he was a sook.
I have to be honest and say that Benji and I have not really done very much of late. This is the coldest winter period we have had in many years with the overnight temperature and the early morning down to 1c. The Port was down to 0c and over the last few days this has been the morning temperature and just too cold to go wandering around in the dark, and to be honest I sense a lack of keenness in Benji to go wandering in the cold morning. Like me, he sticks close to the heater. Daytime temperature is around 13c / 14c, which, for us is cold. However, the winter sun sees us wandering abound the Wetlands and observing the progress – or lack thereof – of the new kiosk. I don’t wish to be negative about these things, but can you come back next year. The local council own and run the wetlands and the local council are building the kiosk. I mean, it might be very nice when it’s finally finished but at the moment it looks like two side by side shipping containers.
I recently read a post that, apart from the mention of a place I had never heard of, wandered around Glasgow to places I remember, yet don’t remember. The
places and things I remember have gone or have changed beyond recognition. One example of this was the Govan Ferry, which today, I think, is a smart boat that crosses the River Clyde in next to no time unlike the BIG Govan Ferry I remember, which was slow and ponderous. I worked for HM Customs and Excise. I was stationed at the White Horse Distillery in Port Dundas. Part of the Bonded Warehouses had been built by Prisoners of War – French POW who fought for the Emperor Napoleon. You felt that the place had been there forever and would never change – yet it is gone – flattened, the Distillery and the Bonded Warehouses – I have no idea when but it’s all gone. “Things fall apart” to be sure. On of the men in the church took his two daughters back to Scotland and when they came home he wrote a piece for the “New Voice” the church magazine which I edit. In it he talked of his holiday and the places he and his daughters visited. Before he left Jennifer, one of his daughters, asked if there was anything I would like from Scotland. I asked if she could bring me back a few postcards from Glasgow. Anybody asks me, that’s what I always suggest. I use them as monthly dividers for my Filofax. Anyway, they travelled across the British Isles and finally came back to Glasgow – Govan, where John was brought up. It was mostly about Govan he wrote and expressed his sadness that the places of his childhood were gone. He tried to find the houses he and his wife lived in when they were first married, but they too have gone. Certainly the official buildings are still there, but other places are destroyed and built over. Some of the places he talked about I knew, particularly the Cinemas – none of which remain. The Govan he remembers has gone forever.
I miss the Dear Green Place, and I really do believe it is true ‘You can take the man from Glasgow, but Glasgow from the man” I get irritated with people who bag Glasgow, particularly a Minister, who I will not name, who bagged the city just before the Commonwealth Games. Which, I understand , was an outstanding success for the games and the city.
But things do change – even here. As I said before, when we moved here this was the last house in the town. There was only bushland beyond us. The Mining Boom happened and what was empty land became a private housing estate and places I walked the dogs, were now gardens. I don’t see the Kangaroos as much. But the mining boom has been and gone and went, and so has the big pay packets. They can no longer afford the big boat, or the Jeep or even the five bedroom house – so the jeep’s gone, the boat’s gone and the house is up for sale. Sad but no one thought to put money away it was just earn and spend. And they borrowed – so what they get for the boat, vehicle and house will mostly go to pay debts. That is the sad aftermath of the mining boom for some.
A very different kind of Wednesday. I do not know if this will work, I really hope it does. If it does work, all you have to do is simply use your mouse and scroll down. Copy this and put it into your browser. and please, let me know if it works. At the far edge of the desert is the Arkaroola National Park, then the Flinders Ranges National Park, then you get down to us hundreds of klms away but we are still within the Arid lands. It is interesting country. The Diamantina floodplain is about 4,300 square klms.