The weather has warmed up again and I have been back out in the garden. I am working on the Crazy Paved area and trying to decide what to do with it. The blemishes make it unusable for herself. It had been my intention to make this her clothes line area but the ground is so uneven that I really cannot expect herself to walk on it in safety – but I have already gone through all this. I have started the re-edging and am halfway through that. Once I have that completed I will make a decision on what to do, but I rather suspect I am leaning towards having it concreted over – it would be just too much to big a job and much too time-consuming to dig it out and start again – not that I would anyway. It looks fairly reasonable from a distance but up close it is badly done and very uneven. It’s the devil to try and keep clean because the dust and leaves get into the cracks and the uneven divisions between the stones and make it a hard job to sweep. I started by saying that the weather was warming, but in this little corner of the Commonwealth, it can heat up to a point where it really is silly to go out and work (unless you have an occupation that requires outside work) because the temperature can really do nasty thing to you. I personally believe that working outside in the garden in temperatures of 46c (115f) is pointless because it is exhausing and draining, and that’s what the temperature climbed up to on Monday and despite being watered, fed and mulched, many plants died. I have questioned the contents of plant information tickets – they say the plant can be full sun, but what does that mean? Does it mean full sun in the highlands of Victoria or full sun on the edge of the desert in northern South Australia. I rather suspect they are created in Victorian and New South Wales temperatures and not for 40+ of country South Australia, so “Full Sun” does not really relate to this little corner of the world. Our ‘ Full Sun” kills them off. I was told that they should survive if I ensure that the ground is mulched to protect the roots and that they are well watered, but it really didn’t make a lot of difference and the only two plants that survived the extreme heat of last week were the two “Sturt’s Desert Pea” – which is not really all that surprising since it is a plant well adapted to desert life. However, they are short lived plants and will really only last the season, but at least I might have some colour.
A “feature” of our part of the world is a North Wind. In many parts of the world, particularly in the UK, a North Wind is a very cold wind – they even have a poem about it ” The North Wind doth blow and we shall have snow” Well here, the North Wind is a hot wind that blows off the hot desert and pushes temperatures up as well as being draining, making the heat worse than it is already. The dogs have been inside in the cool.
I was only away for four days but it might just as well have been a month. The dogs set up a racket when I drove into the driveway and even before I emptied the car, I was on the floor playing with them. At times I think I sort of felt like General Custer because they did their little dog thing – run around t you in circles. It was so funny – I’m sitting on the floor they are running around me jumping in and out of my legs and every so often they would stop shower me with licks and kisses then circle me again. She who must be obeyed just sat and watched in amazement. It t was ages before they settled down and I was able to empty the car and get my case in. I love my dogs and I enjoy their company – they are my associates really. The good thing is that when I was away this time, my flowers and plants were watered. Normally she forgets to do this and I come home to dead plants, but this time she remembered.
The front of the house is starting to look nice now. During the course of this week I will start to look at the picnic area and see what I can do with that. I have looked an a number of options and it was intended that this would be made into a clothes area so she wouldn’t have to move too far outside to hang the clothes up on a line. And no, we do not have a cloths drier because she does not like them and prefers to hang cloths on a line to dry. We did consider using the area as is, but the crazy paving is just that – crazy – and was really not done all that well. Because she is partially disabled the ground is too uneven for her and I wouldn’t be comfortable having her even try to walk on it. I will replace and make alterations to the borders then decide what I want to do with it. I have bought her two laundry trolleys – one from the door to the dog gate and one from the dog gate to the Hills Hoist clothes
Anyway, that’s me until next year. The next meeting of the Presbytery is not due until 2nd February, so all being well I should not have to be away for a while. This is good – for me – for the dogs – for the plants. The meeting lasted two just over two hours – that’s 900 klms round trip for two and a quarter hours. We have six meetings per year – five in the metropolitan district (I go there) one in the country (they come here). There is only one place that I will not travel too, but five out of six is not a bad record.
This morning dawned fresh and clear and until about an hour ago it was still so. About then I started to see that the sky was dulling down and dark clouds were slowly moving in and sure enough, here we are in the middle of another thunderstorm. This is passing strange – we don’t generally have three in a row like this. Two in one day was bad enough but three in two days is trying the patience just a tad. There are about 5000 homes without power – 100year old trees were picked up thrown over, along the main streets power-lines are down due to falling trees all of which I said yesterday, but this new storm, if it develops like the last one, could cause more damage. However, having said that, I don’t think it will. It doesn’t have the same’ feel’ as the ones did yesterday. According to the statistics there were 120,000 lightening strikes across the State. Anyway, Chienna is in the laundry on her bed and the little man is curled up on my bed. The reason for this is that he must have sneaked in and no one saw him. He was too quiet and it was only a few minutes ago that I went into my room and saw him. I didn’t have the heart to move him so he’s still there. Yesterday was the first time I have ever seen him concerned during thunder. Normally he’s not too fussed but yesterday it was very loud and the lightening was very bright.
The “flooding” was a lot of water on the roads, in gardens and elsewhere – it was NOT gushing through people’s houses, it did not threaten lives, it was at best ankle deep and apart from a few smallish puddles, it cleared away very quickly as the storm water drains caught up. The damage we did experience was caused by very high winds that threw down trees and brought down power lines. No one was hurt or injured, but it is interesting that this is the third year in a row that we have had a thunderstorm of this nature right at the very start of summer.
I was booked to go down to Adelaide this weekend, but everything conspired against me. I was going on Thursday, which would have been a day early, so that I could visit family in hospital. The Temperature soared to 42c and I decided to put the trip off for a day. Then I received a message that the meeting I was to attend on Saturday had been cancelled, so it seemed to me that it would be cheaper to go down and back by coach if all I wanted to do was shopping. I booked the ticket. At 2am this morning (Friday) a thunderstorm struck the area and the dogs were going gaga. My taxi arrived at 5:40and I just paid the fare and sent him away. I could not, in all conscience, go off to Adelaide and leave Herself, to look after two neurotic dogs in the middle of a thunderstorm. At 6:16am sixteen minutes after the coach left, the storm passed and the thunder ceased., but the storm front is not cleared and there are still rumblings, so the dogs have not settled down and by the sound of things this could go on for a while yet. At the moment I am kind of floating on a sea of coffee . Once things clear and the dogs are settled down, I might try and get some sleep. It’s hardly surprising that people get sick easily in this area – an area where the temperature can climb to 45c in a day and drop twenty degrees overnight – this week being a good example where it was 42c yesterday and 25c today – and a thunderstorm into the bargain.
It has just gone 9am and in an hour the coach will arrive in Adelaide. Here the storm has finally cleared and although it is still overcast, everything is fine. Herself is awake and suggested that I should have gone to Adelaide but I still think it would have been selfish and irresponsible had I done so. And I said before, we really don’t do floods here – just very big puddles and lots of water and even that only last for a little while because we have very large storm drains to cope with the heavy rain that we get from time to time. By 1:30 pm the rain came down and there was crashing and banging of thunder and another storm – louder and wetter – and the dogs were really going gaga. The little one fled out of the house and into the pouring rain. By the time I got to him we were both soaked, but he got into his house and I could not get him out. Finally did get him out and wrapped him in a blanket and sat with him in my arms until he calmed down. We gave him a bath. – Yes he was wet, but the bath water was warm. This storm was interesting in that it did cause some damage mostly due to falling trees. The ground was wet from the rain we had the other day so this downpour , coupled with high wind, just ripped trees out of the ground along the main road. and since most of the old buildings have a tin roof, we lost a few of them. Power outages caused by falling trees. I had a friend call me from Adelaide and they suggested that it was not a good day to be in the city.. We don’t really get the full-blown storms (thankfully) what we get is the rough edges – a sort of side-swipe. The older areas of the town get bigger puddles.