Flies, Distance and Diggin’ Dogs

Because of the mild to warm weather (apart from last week) the flies are out in their billions and they are ferocious. I just wont take the dogs out walking during the day unless I am covered from heat to toe in personal fly spray. Now in case  the word “woos”  is entering your head let me say that when I am talking here I am not talking about the odd annoying fly, but  clouds of them that follow you as you walk about during the day. This is something that people are never told in the Tourist Brochures, but in the summer months outback Australia has a serious fly problem. Unfortunately we have started early this year. We have a friend who is a nurse  in the far north of the State and she tells us of the problems they are having up there and the  high incidence of eye infections due to the large number of flies this year. We are bad enough, but it gets worse the further north you travel. Not quite so bad – in fact hardly at all – in the city due to the lack of breeding ground. At the moment, even going out to work in the garden is a constant irritation. If you want to know more about this and see what I’m on  about, look on the internet for ” Aussie Salute”

I contacted some friends in Canberra recently and asked them about a particular issue that I-in South Australia – knew nothing about. Surprisingly, neither did they. However they did make enquiries for me, even calling a large Veterinary Practice,  as well as the RSPCA,  and a Dog Rescue group, and although no one they spoke to had ever heard of the issue, they did manage to trace a  Narelle Jensz to the  purchase of a 77 hectare property designated “Wildlife Sanctuary” called Kinabo in a place called Gundaroo, a small village outside of Canberra.

Australia – The reason why!

So, why did I go to all this effort?  Well, because I was a little concerned about a suggestion I should know something – and I didn’t.  Apart from being one of the most urbanised countries in the world, Australia is incredibly parochial. South Australia is the fourth largest State in the Commonwealth and still bigger than  both Alaska and Texas. Asking most people from SA if they know what is happening in Canberra is like asking someone from Phoenix or Queens (NY) if they know what’s happening in  Portland (Oregon), or in London what’s happening in Inverness – and Canberra is a thousand miles from here.

I have started work on blocking off the fence joining the other property. Up until now I have kept the dogs out of the area by keeping the gate closed. The dogs on diggin'the other side of the fence are large dogs and “diggers” and I am well aware that they will never be able to dig a hole big enough for them to get through, they could dig a hole  big enough for my little ones to get through – and that’s a worry. I have spoken to my neighbour and he is aware of the problem but he says as soon as he blocks off one area they find another one. There is only about eight feet of fence that concern me so I will attend to it and see that it will not happen. Not many dogs can dig through bricks and cement.

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Flame Trees and Andrew’s Girl.

A Foxy Lady
My Foxy Lady

When people come to the house, my two associates bark. But with mine there is little or no aggression there it’s more of a “hello, why are you not over here talking to us. We are important and you should be paying attention to us”.  Once the visitor acknowledges the canine masters in the appropriate manner, stroking or scratching, then peace is restored. We have had Chienne since she was seven weeks old and it is believed that she is my dog. Not a bit of it – she is “Andrew’s Girl” and always has been.  When we came back from Adelaide on Monday and came into the house, she made directly for Andrew. It was  “Andrew’s here! – Andrew’s  here!, Andrew!! Andrew!! – Oh Hello Daddy” at least herself was glad to see me and made us coffee.  From the minute  we arrived until he went home, Chienne never left his side. Neither John (the oldest son) or I are ever the subject of such adulation. When he did go home, she remembered I was here and came over to me. Of course, I made a fuss of her but at the same time realising that I only come second in my own dog’s affections. In all of this, the little man slept – he’s very good at that. Although, in all fairness, he did lift his head up once or twice.  I remember reading somewhere that   ” Some of our greatest treasurers we place in museums and art galleries, others we take for walks”

Bit of a shock to the system really. I mean winter wandered off and spring came rushing in with warm sunny weather- great!! Then old man winter decided he was not quite finished with us yet,  pushed spring aside and belted us with rain, thunder and blasts of cold wind this last week. Not very friendly.

Illawarra Flame Trees
Illawarra Flame Trees

The Council are going ahead with their beautifying of the approaches and the town centre. They have decided not to plant Eucalyptus  Trees but Flame Trees and other “exotic” trees. Exotic means not native to this particular area – but you knew that :0)  The Flame Trees are still native Australian trees, just not South Australian. Because of the idiotic insistence  of planting eucalyptus trees everywhere, the place  was really looking dull and drab – not inviting at all. I’ve nothing against gum trees in context – out in the bush – but I object to them in an urban setting. The Flame trees will add colour and brightness to the place and at least things will be able to grow around them. I look forward to seeing the end results of this new development.

Coming and Going

chairzz
No words necessary

It’s 3:27 am on Friday morning – the storm has finally passed and Chienne has settled down. Not a great storm as storms go, more a light and noise show than anything else. However, enough to keep Chienne’s stress levels up. There was some rain once the light show started but not as much as I thought there would be. I have switched off the alarms and put the phone on silent.  I need some sleep. Trouble is, I am now wide awake although I cannot promise that I will be by lunch and I really have a lot to do including medical appointments for herself.

I should have an early night but that wont happen. I will be too busy crying to be sleepy :o) No,  not because my team lost  – if they won I would be too stunned to be crying – but because we have a big barbecue in the morning and I will be cutting and slicing onions for a good part of this evening.

Saturday

The Fete went very well and I think we  cleared a reasonable amount. Sadly, the barbecue did not go as well as expected  but I think we just about broke even on that. Things that were not sold we donate to Lifeline to sell in their shop. Anything we consider to be  close to the “Junk” side we  donate to the council rubbish dump. Surprisingly enough not a lot  is “donated” to Council

Sunday and I headed off to Adelaide again. We will stay overnight and see the Specialist in the Morning and hopefully be back on the way home in the early afternoon.

Harbour-Town-Adelaide
Stock Photograph – mine didn’t turn out.

All being well we headed back on Monday and yes, I did make a slight detour at the Harbour Town Shopping Centre. Spent about an hour there before heading back home – ariving at 17:40. Was a long day and glad to be home to play with my  Associates.

Spys, Thunderstorms and Chienne

It's warmer outside.
It’s warmer outside.

For quite a few years I have been “associated” with a group because of a mutual interest but I found that it was very much an “in-group” and if you were not  accepted by the in group, well you were just not accepted. So I decided that I would give up talking in the group but still be a kind of a part of it because a lot of the content really did interest me.  A few days ago I decided to “talk” I thought I would be like John le Carre “The Spy who came in from the cold”. However, here’s the thing, I discovered that it was colder in the inside than it was on the outside, which I found quite disappointing.

I am heading off to Adelaide on Sunday afternoon for a clinical appointment on Monday morning. Again it means an overnight stay but at least  we will be home  late Monday afternoon. I say late because depending on how long we are at the clinic, I would like to get some shopping done. I need some supplies for my Filofax – which I cannot get in this part of the world.

According to the weather forecasters this little burst of spring weather will soon be over as we head towards a winter throwback and rain. Actually, they said rain and thunderstorms and that’s a worry, particularly if they creep up on us unannounced. There are supposed to be storms today yet as I look out of the window, the sky is clear and it looks like a nice day – although it is only 6:40am and the day is yet young. Chienne is very – and I mean very – afraid in thunder. Her sensitive hearing stresses her out something fierce and if we know ahead of time that there is a thunderstorm on the way ( her hearing usually tells us long before it gets here) we can medicate her and keep her reasonably calm.  11am and it’s raining and heavy clouds. Will have to keep an eye on it – but I had words with her and she’s ok at the moment. However (now 7pm) it is raining heavily, there is a lot of lightening about, but not too much thunder as yet. I have given her some medication – half a tablet – and she is reasonably calm but I think it’s going to be a long night.

Samsung the noo 036
Like the song, “Me and my Teddy Bear, got no worries, got no care”

This month is a very busy month for the FRDS Support and I will be involved in a number of the fundraising activities – thankfully not all. But then I will miss one of the Big Events at the start of the month because I have to be in Adelaide again – four trips in five weeks – 3124 klm. just to Adelaide. No wonder my poor  Ford is feeling the strain.

Flowers, dogs and fundraising

dogsway
Fairly True.

I Believe that the Native Hibiscus comes in a number of different colours and I would like to have a good look at that., something I will do when next I visit the Botanic Gardens. I would like a red and a yellow to go with the blue/purple I already have. I think these would make a nice addition. I know, but I am going with the things that I believe will survive rather than be adventurous

This is a snapshot of our electorate:

Grey is a vast electorate, covering 904,881 sq.km, or 91.8% of South Australia, an area larger than New South Wales. It includes the agricultural districts of the Eyre Peninsula and the fishing and port centre of Port Lincoln, the iron triangle cities of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie, and since the 2003 redistribution, the whole of the Yorke Peninsula. The greater part of the electorate covers the  arid semi-desert north of South Australia

So there it is – a crushing defeat for the incumbent  government, so many seats lost, others reduced to marginal seats. A new government, a new direction, so let’s see where that leads. At least this government won’t have the added burden of stabbing each other in the back with the defeated leader  and his supporters, undermining  the the winning leader and her government.  But the saddest thing of all was that  even her  own supporters turned on her in the end and we had the ” Et tu Brute?” as her so called friends delivered the final cutting  strike. Yes it was a lacklustre campaign, populist on one side,  controlled and disciplined  on the other and in the end, the controlled and disciplined won handsomely. So, as  some Americans would say ” Upwards and onwards – Confidence is High”          Well, ok, I really don’t know if that’s what real  Americans do say, but they do in the Movies  :o)

The weather has started to warm up a bit so the dogs have been spending much of their time indoors. Once the weather really heats up and we start to get into the high 30 and 40 then they will spend most of their time inside where it’s cooler. Also, I would like to be able to get back out on my bike again and at least with the warm to hot weather, there is not the annoying wind. I had a look at the Pound and there are ten dogs in there – one Maltese, One Jack Russell and eight Pit Bulls. A worry..

Spent all day yesterday (Saturday)  at a fundraising event for the RFDS. I think we

Support Group
Support Group

did pretty well for the day but I left before the end to pick up herself and go off to vote.

The Tin Man and Native Plants

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The Tin Man

Halfway between here and Adelaide is “The Tin Man” an institution in this part of the world. The Tin Man is a BP Service Station, Motel, Rest Stop, but it’s more than just that, it’s a crossroad for travellers in this region. Almost everyone stops there for fuel, comfort, food. It’s one of these things where no explanation is necessary – everyone knows what you are referring to.  I remember one time when the older son and I were coming back from Adelaide and we stopped at the Tin Man only to meet the younger son and friends travelling to Adelaide for a concert.  People wanted to know if this was a family reunion  :o) What’s this got to do with anything, you ask?? Well simply this – I have been travelling back and forth to Adelaide so often recently that some friends have suggested that the only way they can get in touch with me is to leave a message at the “Tin Man”

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Native Hibiscus

About six or seven months ago I planted a Native Hibiscus  that I bought at the Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Since then it, like the Desert Pea, has taken root and grown like wildfire. I have had to trim it back somewhat since it was spreading branches over the pathway and Herself  was having to push through it to hang out a washing. The  Seedling is very tiny but it certainly grows high enough. I am particularly happy with that and the other Arid Lands plants. Some of them are still on the small side but they are supposed to grow to a reasonable height. I am impressed with the Hibiscus but even less so with the Sturt’s Desert Rose, which does not seem to have taken at all. When I get the opportunity to go through to the Arid Lands BG I will buy two more of the Hibiscus plants and replace the desert roses, which have done nothing.  I don’t mind waiting for results if I feel that I am going to get results but the desert roses have not  progressed in any way, shape or form since they were planted and they were planted before the Desert Pea.

This morning I had to step in  quickly and break up a nasty fight between my

This is my Main Man - the MalteseTerrorist!
This is my Main Man – the MalteseTerrorist!

Associates.  Actually, the little man is very lucky he still has his head on after what he did . Just picture a dog sleeping peacefully on her bed, not a care in the world, stretched out and completely relaxed. Suddenly there is this white blur as the little man goes charging past my legs, takes a flying leap, lands right on top of Chienna and bounces off on the other side of the bed. Struth did she go ballistic!! I mean, I can’t blame her, poor thing, and there’s me trying to keep them apart while laughing. I know, it probably hurt her a bit as well as scaring the living daylights out of her, but it was so funny. Talk about living dangerously!!

Elections, Clowns and back to Adelaide.

Just under two weeks left in campaigning for the Federal  General Election.  We have compulsory voting in Australia and I have to say that I have found the campaigning to be very underwheleming. All the parties have been very luck-luster and I think most people are fed up and just want the election to be over. Already we are $300 Billion in debt and one side are concerned whilst the other side are claiming that it’s nothing and a debt we can handle, so they keep adding to it. It’s like drug addicts ” It’s ok man, I can handle it” I dare say all the countries of Europe that are begging for  a bail out said pretty much the same thing, – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and the British Economy is not in such great shape either – although it is starting to recover slowly. It was not so very long ago that Ireland was referred to as “The Celtic Tiger” because of the strength of its economy and  did like they all did, borrow and spend. I think the barrel they rolled out is missing quite a few staves. The best definiton of a politician that I like is “A politician is a person who sees the light at the end of the tunnel and goes out and buys more tunnel”

We have a nice new addition to our hospital – two new wings – and very impressive they are. This was all paid for by federal money, but here’s the thing – our State Government (Socialist) is also up to its eyes in debt and they haven’t got the money to staff the place. No idea what’s going to happen but I expect, now that it’s finished, they will have people come and open the place with great fanfare. It’s like something from ” Yes Minister”  In fact, now that I think of it, a British person reading this will probably think I have stolen it from “Yes Minister” but be assured I most certainly have not.

Tomorrow I head off to Adelaide again.  We have to be at a clinic  in North Adelaide. However my younger son will drive back home and the main reason for driving down and back is that we have a funeral to attend on Friday. Edwin was 100 years of age when he passed away last week – and he received his letter from the Queen.

Chienne. JPEG
Hi Daddy!!

We all have a special friend – someone we love dearly but can be a bit of a clown. You know the one – he/she is the friend who, when you take what  you think is the perfect shot with a camera – stick his/her tongue out. I have a friend like that – she’s called Chienne.

Less than a week to go and already there are predictions of a landslide against the present (caretaker) government, so, by this time next week we could well have a new government and a new Prime Minister.