Having had lunch at the Tin Man, we had a bit of a walk before going back to the car and heading off to Port Augusta. He did his usual – curl up on the front seat and go to sleep – whilst I concentrated on the driving. On arrival at the Port I managed to complete the remainder of the shopping and we had a small snack and a good long walk along the Esplanade, sat down and had a bit of a break. Oddly enough, although it was quite warm in Port Pirie, Augusta was not quite so warm and instead of the A/C I put the heater on for a bit. The drive back was uneventful and as we neared the town, I noticed a cloud of dust. As I drew near to the source of the dust I discovered that it was caused by several of the Army Tanks heading towards the live-fire area. (more on this later) The boy and I had been away since about 8am and it was now approaching 4pm, so all in we had a good day out together, The Shopping Center at Pirie was really interesting and I would liked some time to explore it. I have a ‘thing’about shopping malls and centers and find them fascinating places. It probably comes from the fact that when we were growing up in Scotland there were no shopping malls or shopping centers. In fact there weren’t supermarkets until the mid 1970s – and they were few and far between. Most shopping was done in individual shops – Fishmongers – Fruit and Veg at the Green Grocer – Grocers,( butter, milk, cheese, bread ) Butcher, Baker and yes, we did have a Candlemaker. (Shearer of Govan) We had two big grocer shops close to us, Galbraith and the Co-op. There were probably others that I don’t remember. All-in-all, we had a really good day out – well I did, he just curled up on the front seat.
On Friday, Annabell had medical appointments so not much doing. Saturday I spent the day working in the garden sweeping up leaves and doing a general tidy up. I bought two new plants and will attend to them on Monday. On Sunday (today), after church and lunch the boy and I got in
the car and drove down to the Wetlands. Lovely day with a nice temperature of 25c, just the job for a circuit and a half together. Flowers out and to add to the day, the Black Swans were back again. The Kiosk is still not open. It was supposed to be open this week but there you are – perhaps next week.
This morning (Monday) was a bit on the cool side for our morning walk. Still it is supposed to be around 28c during the course of the day. A nice day in the Arid Lands. On the subject of Arid Lands, the Arid Lands Botanic Garden is under a cloud – re. funding. The ALBG was started many years ago as an initiative of the Port Augusta City Council, but with budget being “tight” the Port might not be able to keep the funding going for much longer. However, having read that I have to say the recent trip to Pirie showed me the amount of redevelopment going on in the port. The Feds and the State Government will start construction on the new major bridge soon. so there will be a fair amount of work at
Port Augusta. I have started extra work in the back garden and have planted three new plants – two in the front garden and one (so far) in the back. The soil here is poor and thin so I do have three raised flower beds – two front and one back. They contain 280 ltrs of potting mix rather than soil. In the front I have a Plumbago and a Coleonema and at the back I have a second Coleonema. I also have a growing Sturt Desert Rose which I will plant in a different area. I have
a lot of hope for this because the native plants are growing well. I would like to get time this week to drive out to the ALBG but in order to do that I would have to leave Benji at home – and he wont like that. He does not like getting left – not at all. It’s bad enough when I have to go to away for days at a time.
Thursday and the wind died down at 10:30 only to start up again a short few hours later. The second stage was short lived and all was quite until the rain started and that has been going ever since. Because of the high winds battering the state with the resulting dust storms again, a health advice was issued, re asthma, Hay Fever and people with other respiratory concerns to be careful and stay indoors if possible. I’m still getting over my being sick. It took a fair whack out of me. I hate coughing and spluttering. runny eyes and nose – the coughing is irritating. The rain finally stopped at 7:40 last night, so about 6 hours of rain. I do hope this will help break the drought here in South Australia and perhaps give some relief to New South Wales and Queensland. Amazing – has been no rain to speak of in NSW for three years and four years ago we were all fighting floods.
5th Sept. Spring has sprung – the last two days have been lovely – warm with bright blue skies and white clouds – cool to cold in the early morning and evening. I think most people have a similar feeling, that whilst we welcome the warm weather, we are so glad to be over the constant high winds that have been a feature of the last few weeks. I believe that more than heat, the constant high winds of the last weeks have depressed a lot of people. Yesterday, when I went to the Shopping Mall, the place was very busy with lots of young(ish) mums, prams, pushers and babies, so perhaps we are leaving it all behind.
As of yesterday 4th. the 3000 strong 1st Brigade arrived back for Exercise Predator’s Run, 2018, which begins today. We have
been pre-warned that live fire will be from 9am to midnight each day. They will be here until mid October, then there will be a break before the arrival of the Officer Cadets from the Royal Military Collage at Duntroon to complete their last exercise before the final exam and their Commission into the Australian Army. That should keep us on our toes for a while.
Went down the Wetlands this afternoon. One moment it was quiet next there were people and dogs everywhere. Decided to head for the beach instead. Good move as the place was deserted. We had a good walk along the beach for a fair bit, then turned and came back again. By then is was just about 4pm, so time to head for home The Kiosk at the Wetlands is looking fairly good and should be ready for business shortly.
Today (Thursday) the Boy and I left home at 7:45 and header for Port Pirie. Generally I would stop for coffee on the way through but not today. Although we did stop to have a break and stretch the legs for a bit, but otherwise -170 klms right through to PP. Once there and parked the car, I checked the time, set my timer , locked the car and set off to get the things I had come for. I got half of my shopping and headed back to the car just as my alarm went off. I stick the things in the boot, closed the windows and turned on the A/C for a bit to re-cool the car. After a while I reset my alarm for 15 minutes and went back into the mall to get the rest of the things I wanted. Back to the car. I was intending to go back again and get some food but although Benji was fine, he felt a bit on the warm side for my liking, so I decided that was it. and we drove back to the main highway. We did stop at the Tin Man Roadhouse and he was cool enough for lunch ( what am I saying — he’s always “cool enough” for lunch) so we stayed there for a bit to cool down and have some food.
Not counting today, only four days left until Spring is here. Not going to miss winter one little bit. The days have been mild but the mornings and evenings have been very cold. This morning it was foggy and very cold – so cold that I really entertained thoughts of giving up the morning walk, turning round and heading for home and a heater. I didn’t!! However, as soon as I got in I went directly to my room and turned my heater on full. Benji has had his breakfast and is curled up in his bed. However, we can’t really complain too much since the weather this last week has been mild and it has been enjoyable walking around the Wetlands with Benji during the day. It has also allowed my to get back out in the garden and start the process of cleaning up the 40 billion leaves. Ok so I exaggerate – there’s only 20 Billion. I also have an area out front that I have tried to grow things in without success. I had a think about this and finally decided this last week to dig it all out and remove all the soil and replace it with new material ( 3 x 70 ltrs of material) and finally, on Saturday, I bought new plants from the Garden Centre and planted them – we’ll see what happens. Oh and I also put down fertilizer. My stick was just that – a stick, so that’s gone. With the lack of rain the Kangaroos have been wandering well into the area looking for water and food. In another area, close to bushland, they have Emus wandering around. I see the Roos in the new area beyond me, but I haven’t seen any down near me—-yet.
The fact that we have a shortage of water is illustrated in the level of water at the Wetlands. There is still a fair volume of water in the pools but the drop in water
level is fairly obvious. The black Swans returned – briefly – but I hope that this is a sign of things to come and the swans and big ducks will return. The Kiosk is just about completed and I believe it’s due to open sometime next week. If the day is very warm to hot – and it will be in summer – I really think that if the opening hours are good, the kiosk will do well. I do a full lap and a half when I am there, but if, after a full lap, I could have a drink and relax, I could end up doing two full laps. A full lap is 3.5 Klms – so Benji and I, when we go to the Wetlands, do 5.35 klms. The front – across the bridge from the car park, is the barbecue areas, the exercise area, the flying fox, the grassed area for family play, and the children’s play area. There is also a barbecue area just down from the carpark and just beyond that is where the kiosk is situated.
All winter I have escaped colds and flu. There are two days of winter left and I have come down with a very heavy cold. Seen out winter the cold, fog and wind and now this. What happened to all this Vitamin C and all those Oranges and Mandarins that I have consumed by the bucket load?? I sort of feel cheated. To add insult to injury the high winds have returned. So much for my leaves cleaning. Don’t really know, some blame climate change whereas others ( and a growing number) blame stuffing around with clock changes and daylight saving. We have always had strange weather up here but I really do not remember the continual and sustained wind that we are having presently causing concern to both country and city. Today (Wednesday) it’s warm, it’s overcast, the temperature is 26c , yet we have high winds 42 – 65 km/h – battering the place again. It is now after 9pm and the wind is still going and no sign of letting up. Reports of dust storms across the mid north and pollen is being blown arond as a result of the mild conditions. And still not much rain. The little rain we did have was, according to the farmers, too little, too late.
I had been thinking of the WaWa recently and surprisingly, I actually miss her. In the last three or four months she became my friend and wanted to be lifted up to sit with me on the chair, with Benji. Then she left, but these last months made up for everything.
PS All night. The wind died at 10:30 Thursday – for a whole two hours before starting up again.