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…


Good week ahead…

No idea what they are but I liked them

Tomorrow is the last day of Winter. Spring begins on Wednesday. Winter is giving us a cheerful farewell with temperatures climbing gently from 23c today  to 34c on Thursday before falling back to 16c on Friday. After that a wet weekend. In essence we are having a taste of what summer may be like ahead of time. I mean it’s generally not as warm as this so early in the season, so it could be an interesting time ahead.

Overall it has been a fairly quiet week and on Sunday, we opened the church again. Social distancing and masks mandatory – even when singing.  The congregation were told by phone that if they were coming it was preferable to bring  a couple of masks with them. We also have a box of surgical masks at the door in case anyone forgot their mask. That’s not all that difficult since I have,  on  several occasions, had to walk back from the main door of the Shopping Centre  to the car because I forgot my mask. Well, I don’t wear it when I am in the car driving.

South Australia is still Covid Free and although we do have some restrictions, we do not, like our neighbour states, have any form of lockdown and, our State economy is recovering quite well, thank you despite the fact that we have cancelled  large population events. Except football – in this state everything revolves around football -I mean, considering what is happening and the crisis in Afghanistan, Chanel 9  opens its MAIN news broadcast with a Football story, only after it has explored that does it mention what’s happening in the rest of the world

Benji’s new chair is a darker colour.

Annabell has had a good week or so and over the last week we had two hasn’ts – hasn’t grown and hasn’t moved , so that’s great for her peace of mind when  we go down to the clinic in Adelaide  on the 14th /15th Sept.

All very true

The weather, being mild has allowed me to do some work out in the garden and I have managed to plant some new flowers.  The chair that Benji uses to sun himself has seen better days so I decided it was

time the old Papasan chair was disposed of and a new one bought. So that’s what I did. Now he can still go out and  get a few rays but with a slightly larger chair. Actually it is a nice morning and he is out on his chair at the moment.  I can see him from the window. No I do not spoil my dog, I just look after him very well. At the moment he goes out with me in the car and when I cannot take him into the shop, he is fine in the car with the windows partly open – and I time my visit to the shop so he is not left in the car for too long.  In a month or so this will probably stop as the weather heats up. Even with the windows open it would still be too hot for him.

One of my pot plants

Actually we have not been  for a road trip for a while, so I think we are about due for one before it gets too hot. Also we have not been to the wetlands for a while and have  done our walking in the morning here in our local area. I think I did mention  once before that a single area walk covers more distance than two tours of the wetlands. I did go there this morning ( Tuesday) and it seems that the group are splitting up because some of the ladies are starting  the walking at 5AM  and it is starting to get light at 5:40. But going to the wetlands is good but there is no way I can keep up with them – not with a four foot dog!! – And that’s on his good days..

I am still here – Just..

Apart from the odd Wednesday/Thursday submission, I have not really written much these last few weeks. The reason is simple, I have had to attend to Annabell. These last few

Part of the Hospital. The new extensions are behind that building.

weeks  have been  hectic and quite stressful with scans, x-rays, an MRI, medical appointments, telephone calls from Adelaide and second MRI. And if that was not enough I have to be in Adelaide  for a Church Conference. Normally I would put in an apology and stay home,  but this is the  AGM and we will be appointing who  does what for the next year and I really want to be involved in that. I want to make certain that we are involved and not overlooked and left out of things. Being over 460 klms from the centre of things can be a bit of a  problem at times. At the moment I am not keen on leaving Annabell but I will only be away for one night and I will let the boys know so they can look in on her or at least telephone her. July was one of the wettest months in the last 20 years.

Yes we did have a fair amount of rain up here, as I think I may have mentioned, , but nothing in comparison to what  the rainfall was like to the south of us – lower down the Eyre Peninsula and, of course, in Adelaide. Well, we did the second MRI and told that it was only marginal better than the first one. They could not get the slides they wanted because her system could not cope with the  dye that would be required to do this. But they  believe that between the two they  have enough to give them what they need. During this period Annabell’s computer was out of order.  So that was put into the Computer Centre for repair. I think it’s time Annabell  had a new computer, but she is used to having a tower and very few companies are making  towers these days. Those that  do make towers are  mainly for gaming machines. However, some are still available and when we are ready I will look for a new machine for her when we go down to Flinders Medical in September.

Annabell has a HP Tower

Officeworks in Adelaide have some towers so if that’s what she really wants that’s what I’ll get for her – I’m sure, since repairs are recent, we can hold out until September. In 12 days it will be the first day of Spring and already it has started to warm up a little bit. Still cold in the mornings and nights but the temperature in the last few days has been between 19C – 23C – today is the 23C. Still a bit on the cool side but warmer than it has been. It would be a lot nicer and more enjoyable if the wind would just go away for a few hours ( days would be better).


Looking out of the window, I can see Benji sunning himself on the “Moon Chair” and the pot plant flowers are looking quite colourful. Benji has been out a lot recently and any sun around and he’s in “his” chair. I have the garden swing – minus the canopy. The storm and the very high winds we had the other week caused the canopy to act as a sail and the wind during the night threw it up against the side of the garage and snapped the units that hold the canopy to the frame. Now I have a garden swing with no canopy. I will fix it this week sometime and attempt to make a new part to replace the broken part and get the canopy back in place. Not sure if I have the tools to do it but I’ll give it a try. A sure sign that Spring is almost upon us is the  widespread growth of Gazanias. Some consider them a pest but I like them for their

Bright colours

bright and very cheerful colours

Lockdown Continues


Arose at the usual time this morning to the sound of a strong wind and heavy rain.. That kind of put paid to the walk. It rained off and on for most of the morning and to add to the discomfort the wind was bitterly cold. I put the heaters on, Benji settled back down in his bed and I covered him with a blanket and I settled down dressed and with a steaming hot cup of coffee. We shared the heaters – Benji and me.  Later on in the morning we had to brave the wet and cold as I took Annabell to Westland (masks on) and the  SA Pathology for blood tests. That didn’t take long as the place was empty.  Some shopping in the Supermarket and then home. Not a very exciting day and it is unlikely that the rest of the week will be any different. Although, having said that I  have to say that since the  lockdown began the case cluster has increased from 6 infections to 14 infections. However, the Premier is optimistic that we should be able to come out of the lockdown in the seven days as planned.. The day, other than the trip to SA Pathology , has been spent at home. The wind has died down but it’s still raining and looks settled in for the night.

The rain increased in  ferocity overnight as did the wind with gusts of up to  120KPH in some places – fortunately not here. I think we

Oh what fun…..

had gusts of about 70KPH and not all that much flooding or damage. During the day there was not a lot that could be done outside and since the rain was intermittent walks were short between showers.  Today, (day 6) the sun is shining, there are clear blue skies and absolutely not a trace of the wild weather in

the last few days.  Lots of damage in Adelaide and surrounding areas, but not to much here.

We are now in Day 6 of the lockdown and the Premier has just announced that the Lockdown will be lifted at Midnight tomorrow – Tuesday – some of the restrictions will remain in place for at least a further week.  By the sound of things I don’t think we will be re-opening the church at the moment. As a small church, we do not have the  capacity to accommodate a 4  metre gap between people – and singing is still banned.

With all the running around  between hospitals, doctors,  driving to Adelaide and back, x-rays, scans and MRI,  I stuffed up ONE appointment  For some reason I  believed we had an appointment today at 10AM and I got ready for it. However there was a nagging at the back of my mind that something was not quite right, so at 08:30 I telephoned the clinic and found out that the appointment was for Next Monday 2nd August. That was bad and good – bad that I had made that mistake but good because it was an appointment for me  not Annabell. The Filofax wasn’t wrong –

The Swans at the Wetlands

I was. Anyway, no harm done but will be a lot more careful in future.

I have been walking Benji around the district, which has been good – when it wasn’t raining or blowing a gale –  but once the lockdown is lifted we should be able to get back to the wetlands on Wednesday and Thursday. I know it seems longer but really 2 turns around the Wetlands is actually less in terms of distance covered than the District walk we are doing. However the reason for changing to the wetlands was to get away from other dogs. But then I met  some lovely people and that has been great. I miss our 6am walks.

Lockdown day 1 – Walks and shopping.

Back area this morning.

Took Benji out this morning for a district walk  and, since I decided on a rest from the last few days, I had him out in the stroller. The reason for the District walk and not the Wetlands, was that my son borrowed my car yesterday. He called me to say that his brakes needed attention and  he had to get to work. He returned the car just before 10:30 this morning. I  told him that  we had a medical appointment at 11:30. While he was here there was a NEWSFLASH – as from 6PM this evening South Australia will go into lockdown. Yes there have only been five cases but we know how quickly it can spread so mandatory masks  immediately and the lockdown for  a minimum of seven days. After 6pm we are to stay indoors unless out for essential reasons. Not really very sure – is walking the dog an essential reason??  I think so but does the State Government?  o:)  Well, apparently so. – exercise is a valid reason for leaving the house.. However, there are restrictions  : I can travel no more than 2.5 kilometres and the wetlands is more than 7.5 klms. away.  I can exercise only once a day outside and for no more than 90 minutes, so taking him on a district walk  is about 40 minutes. This means that  I am well within the area and time limits for two walks – and I have to wear a mask outside – easy. The sunrise at the back area  was really great and I was a bit miffed that I could not get down to the Wetlands this morning because the sunrise there would have been spectacular.

Of course it will mean a lot of changes within the State and for some businesses it might just be too much and they will not reopen. The Flight Centre in the Shopping Centre is a good example. When all this is over I think we will be looking at a fair number of tax increases to pay off the damage (financial) that covid-19  has cost the world-wide economy. Of course, it’s not all bad. I am feeling very self-indulgent these days. With a massive harvest and  nowhere to sell them, there are  Avocado’s by the bucketload available in the

Part of the Main Entrance at Flinders.

supermarkets right now, with the prices as low in some shops as 65cents. Generally though $1. Anyway, that’s all very well,  but I have to tell you that smashed Avocado on toast for lunch is quite nice.

Annabell saw her doctor yesterday and I was called in halfway through the consult. I was called in because the information that was required was in my Filofax. It turns out that

Feeling a tad indulgent

Flinders had not been keeping Annabell’s doctor up to date and informed of what was happening. He knew nothing about the MRI and I had the dates, times and the appointment letter in my  diary. Once he had that information, he called Flinders and asked why he had not been kept informed and what this  MRI was for.  Seems that there was nothing wrong with the X-rays and everything is in place. The purpose of the MRI is to determine that the  cancer is still where it was first  detected and has not grown nor moved any.. If it has I think surgery may be suggested, but that’s a decision Annabell has to make.

As usual in this part of the world, mention the word  close or even Long Weekend and people panic buy. Throw the word Lockdown into the mix and the result is chaos. According to reports and  news, less than two hours after the Premier used the word Lockdown ( there I said it again) and shelves in the supermarket were being emptied of stock. People must be expecting to use the toilet a lot since the toilet paper shelf was emptied, despite the Premier and the Supermarket owners telling everyone not to  hoard or panic buy because we have plenty of stock and it’s not necessary – they did anyway.

Wetlands: Benji: Closed Church

Flinders Innovations Clinic

The modern way of thinking is that if something can be corrected or cured without the need to resort to major surgery, then that is what will happen. The major surgery then becomes a “fall-back:” option.  This is what Annabell is going through.  The Innovations Centre occupies a fairly new and large area in the Flinders Medical Centre..  It also,  has a very nice and well stocked cafeteria. When Annabell goes for her consultation and exam, I  go down there and wait for her. I let them know where I am and they bring her down to me Then we head back to the Lodge.

As you may know Benji was attacked by a large dog and required medical (Vet) attention.

Not  very long after that he jumped down from a chair and landed badly. We thought it was just a sprain because he was still walking and seemed to be in no pain. We expected that the sometimes limp would be gone in a short while. It was not, so an examination by the Vet showed that he had torn a ligament. I had to take Annabell to Adelaide and Flinders so Benji’s surgery was delayed. It was a couple of

weeks.  When we returned from Flinders I had some things to do with Annabell, so it was after that he underwent the surgery. With only a short break he has been in the stroller since after Easter, I have had him out a few times and walked with him, and when he has tired, lifted him and put him back in the stroller. However, he has been getting stronger and today was a great day.

It started off not too good. I was up and dressed as normal but he refused to move. No amount of cajoling would encourage him to move.. So I just went back to working on the computer and downloading the new Covid-19 Plan for the church and working through the implications of that.  I decided that I wanted to go for a walk,  so I got ready and I had no sooner reached the door than he was at my side. I thought “Oh now you want to go out” Anyway, out we went = harness on,  no stroller – and we walked a total of 2.17 miles and he was fine. I kept thinking that we would turn back any second now – any second now – but he kept on going and by the time we finished at home, we had covered 2.17 miles. and he never flinched. I was very impressed. Love my rascal so much. Between the two of them, Benji and Annabell,  I have been fairly busy since Easter.

Our borders remain closed to the other mainland states. Thus far South Australia has stayed clear of the new wave in

The Wetlands Island

NSW and Victoria. The church has been closed this week and I have the feeling that it will be closed until this outbreak in Victoria and NSW is contained. We have told the congregation ( by telephone) that we will let them know by Wednesday what is happening. However, with New South Wales recording 100 cases a day it is unlikely that there will be much change in restrictions for at least two weeks..

After yesterday I thought I would give the Wetlands a try and I drove  there  with Benji this morning  and I did not take the stroller.  We generally do two full rounds of the Wetlands but this morning with Benji walking and the rest of the AM gang delighted to see him walking, I cut it down to one and a half turns which was a total of 1.68 miles – which, to say the least, is impressive.  Not for me – but for Benji.!! He has really done well these last few days, so I think we can “retire” the stroller for a while.