Some may remember this photograph I took some time ago. It was one of two eucalyptus trees outside. Part of this came down in the severe wind we had a week or so ago. This one came down over the road and part of the street was blocked off until the emergency services and the council were able to clear the area. In the background you can see another tree and this has been examined and found wanting – it’s not in good shape and may have to be cut down.
The medication seems to be working for the Man and he is eating a lot better now. I also find that he is a lot more active – when he is not sleeping that is. What I have been doing is feeding him smaller meals but more of them. It means having to isolate him from Chienne from time to time. However, she doesn’t miss out too much and she gets her share of the treats. I have started the little man on Puppy Food and that seems to be working, and the interesting thing is that it is mainly chicken and rice. Don’t really mind as long as he keeps eating and starts to put on a little weight.
The NSW Bushfires are finally under control although they are still the subject of a watching brief. It would be good to say that the fires were all caused by nature – lightening strikes – but sadly that’s not the case. Some of them were deliberately lit, and even sadder is that some were lit by children who are under age to be charged. Well, that may well be the case, but their parents are not!! If a dog attacks and seriously injures a person, we can charge the owner of the dog, so why don’t we charge the parents of the arsonists for failing in their parental duty of care. We talked a lot about charging people who deliberately light fires in bushfire areas with “Domestic Terrorism” but nothing much happened.
I started with a tree and I will finish with the same tree. This is what is left of the tree today. Now, all we have to do is wait and in the fullness of time, the council truck will arrive, cut out the roots and clean up the area. The trouble with being on the periphery – everything takes so long to get here. Not a great photograph. The tree was much bigger than it would appear here.
The situation in NSW is not getting any better. This morning a further 70 firefighters left South Australia to head to the crisis center. There are additional fire units coming from as far away as Western Australia. We are fire free but we are back to Severe Wind Warnings again and at the moment it is blowing pretty bad – just keeping an eye on that other gum tree.
The military are believed to have been responsible for starting of one of the larger fires through “live-fire” exercises. They are being very cagey at the moment. However – as I have said we are not really in a fire area but I also said that the military have taken over several stations (ranches) – not too far from here our emergency services were called out to assist in fighting a bush fire in one of the “training” areas. Anyway, that was put out.
Since starting this the fire situation has improved and the firefighters are starting to get things under control, but it is a concern that we have this kind of crisis and the fire season has not really begun. There is a very strong indication that the military were responsible for the fires at Lithgow.
The dogs have been good. The Man sleeps a lot but he seems to make up for it in bouts of high activity. He’s eating better since I gave up the chicken and rice and started him on “puppy food” on the understanding that this should help to bring his weight back up again. I gave up on the chicken and rice because he just wouldn’t eat it – Strange dog!! He uses a lot of energy during the high activity periods, then he sleeps. I also feed him treats and because I have two dogs and not one, Chienne also has to have a treat – can’t give to one and not the other. They have walks twice a day – morning and evening.
I am humbled by the fact that a number of people thought of us during the height of the fires in NSW. We are one thousand miles away from the fire front ( about 1700 kilometres) but as a friend said, all the rest of the world hears is that Australia is burning. Thank you for your concern – Herself, the Dogs and Me are fairly safe.
Herself’s brother telephoned from Scotland to ensure that we were ok and the fires were not affecting us and she explained to him that we are more than one thousand kilometres from the fire danger. But it was very kind of him to call and be concerned. My pain still continues but I have put it down to paying off Karma. I think me and the Little Man are a matched pair at the moment. Fires continue to burn across NSW with the number of homes destroyed now reaching nearly 300. The weather forecast is not helping – hot and strong winds tomorrow and Monday. Many people have responded with incredulity at the comments by the Greens that it’s all the government’s fault. They lost a lot of ground – and seats – at the election and only barely held on to two seats mainly because they were prone to doing silly things and making silly inappropriate statements. Looks like they have not learned anything.
I’m not really sure what constitutes the ” lowest of the Low” but I believe the looters that have broken into houses in the fire areas of the Blue Mountains come pretty close. Didn’t we used to shoot looters – and can we still do that?? The NSW Government has declared a State of Emergency and things are looking pretty grim with hot conditions and winds of up to 70kph. The biggest concern is to prevent two major fires joining up and creating a 200 klm mega-fire front.
Took the dogs out for a walk last night and got to use the Dog Sling for a little while. The Man likes walking so when he feels he has enough rest he wants out and back down again. Couple of times he has almost jumped out of my arms once he gets another wind. He’s sleeping a lot, which is good: he is eating a little, cooked chicken and rice; and he’s better off in food than I am :o) I asked for something that would help put on a bit of weight and was told to feed him cooked chicken and rice, so that’s what I’m doing. Apart from the medication he gets a daily dose of Fish Oil.
There is always a silver lining in everything – if you know where to look for it. I looked for it in “Revolution” no, not me – the TV Programme. Incapacitation has allowed me to start to catch up on series 1 of the programme, so I can look at Series 2 knowing what is happening. I remember years ago when the boys and I went to see “Patriot” and there were young people sitting in front of us who thought it was all stupid – “I mean, come on, lines of soldiers walking towards each other and standing fifty feet away and letting other soldiers fire guns at you – that’s just stupid, they never did that”. This should have surprised me, but it didn’t. Australian Students know very little of history, next to nothing about international history not all much more about Australian History. History is a dirty word that many schools have done their best to expunge.
There is no one like Mother Nature for putting things into perspective. Here am I in the Arid Lands, complaining and being grumpy about a few miserable trees that have fallen, made a mess that I have to clean up, whilst our neighbours in New South Wales are fighting a desperate battle to save lives and property. Only one killed, thankfully, but the homes lost will number in the hundreds. Already over 80 properties have been lost to the fires. One Hundred firefighters from the MFS (Metropolitan Fire Service) and the CFS (Country Fire Service) have set out from South Australia to take over part of the work from the exhausted NSW Fire Service. Units and people are also setting out from Victoria. Being in a non-fire area it is difficulty to imagine the terror of a bushfire. Of course we could have a grass fire but it’s not the sam thing and if the bush beyond us caught fire then the levy bank that was created for the once in a generation flood, would help to contain any fire that came even remotely close.
I did get The Man to the Vet and we adopted him 11 years ago but the Vet. thinks he is closer to 13 – perhaps older. Difficult to tell because of his background. However, he has lost weight – from 3.5kilo to 2.6 kilo. and there seems to be no reason for that. Yes he wobbly on his rear legs and his joints are pretty slack. There is some pain there but not a lot and apart from the weight loss, he’s in reasonable
shape for his age. When we closed the doors and put him on the floor he ran around without any signs of distress. However, I have to give him 10 ml of Carprofen per day and Pernaease Powder also daily. I have been out this morning and he has been running around with no discomfort, I will, however, take the “Dog Sling” out with me when we go for walks at night – which we have not been for a few days now, but I should be able to get out with them tonight.
Addition: So far reports are that 194 houses have been destroyed, 83 properties destroyed with a further 37 damaged – and it’s still goes on. And although they only took up the reigns of government last week, the Greens have blamed the government for this disaster. ” Don’t know how or what, or why, but let’s just blame the government anyway”.
One of the positive things that came from the weekend meeting was a proposed alteration of the meeting dates. Currently we meet on a Saturday morning at 9:30am and these meetings have been knows to go on to 3pm – a long, tiring day then a long drive home. The proposal is that we meet at 4:30 on a Friday and put a time limit of 9:30. This would work for me in that I would leave the meeting, go to the hotel, sleep, breakfast and a refreshed drive home. I expressed concern when the matter was raised because we tried this some years ago and we were still at it at Midnight, but there will be a time limit that will ensure that this does not happen and anything that is still undiscussed at 9:30 will be held over until the following month. If it works, it will be a great improvement. There was also a serious complaint from our Colleagues from Sydney about the short notification of the change of meeting. One day later than it was and we would have been up for cancelled hotel bills and air flights – there should be no reason to change a meeting date.
The place is still a bit of a mess and the wind is still with us. Nowhere near what is was at the start of the week but enough to make sweeping up a waste of time. However the high winds moved down to Adelaide and it was reported last night that a Jetstar Liner was forced to abort landing at almost the last moment because of high cross winds at Adelaide Airport.
Statistically speaking, six out of seven dwarfs are not happy. I am not happy and very disappointed to discover that I am not invincible. This is quite a shock to the system. Apparently all the dragging, pulling, cutting, loading trailers and unloading trailers, then jumping in the car and driving 400 k to Adelaide and 400 k back, has inflamed the sciatic nerve, which is quite painful. I am laid up for a few days, which does not please me as there is a lot of work to do. However, I dare say it will still be there in a few days time, which I am informed I might be up and about again, provided I behave myself over the next few days. Well, of course I will. Why do you even doubt it?
I was up early and got the brushes, shovels and rake all ready, as well as the suction/blower. I spent yesterday cleaning up, sweeping up and filling the mean, green recycle bin. I put the dog houses back into place. I had moved them so I could clean up. It was such a lovely day that I broke out the hammock and put up the big double brolly. Had lunch, quick couple of hits with the personal fly spray and into the hammock for a rest and a read, then back to work. For a while, all of yesterday, the place started to look neat and tidy again.
The Severe Wind Warning was slightly downgraded but we still had winds of up to 95kph and the big gum tree on the corner came down. The Council, SES (State Emergency Service) and the Police had the road blocked off because only part of it came down and the other part was none too safe. My son asked me to take some photographs but no one
was allowed near it. All my work in cleaning and sweeping was to no avail and I had two branches from the other tree (small branches) snap off. Anyway, it will have to stay untidy until I get back from Adelaide. The car is with the Electrical people and they believe it should be ready today. If not, then I have the use of my son’s car. However, the mechanic said it should not be too difficult and he would get to it this afternoon (Thursday)
I have just returned from two days in Adelaide and I have come to the conclusion that I am getting too old for this nonsense. I sat in my Hotel Room, shivering – not because of cold -just shivering. Herself says it was probably an adrenaline rush because of the over tiredness. At the moment I still feel washed out.after leaving Adelaide at 2pm and driving 400k back home. My Associates were happy to see me as I was to see them. I do wish I could take one of my dogs to the meetings, that would be nice :o)
The joy never ceases! We got the tree down from the aviary and out of the other property and that’s good. What’s not so good is that I cannot take things to the city dump for two reasons 1) it’s a long weekend and the dump is closed and 2) the brake lights on the car are not working, everything else is but the brake lights are not. I will have to book it in for a service/repair and hope that I can get it done fairly quickly because I need to be on my way to Adelaide on Friday.This is only part of the mess with the full trailer in the background. I would chance the dump but not this weekend with the police out in force – as they are every long weekend – it’s not worth the risk. Herself wanted to know if I had been hit on the head because I seem to be leaking sawdust- Oh yes, very funny!!
I have not been able to get to see the vet regarding the little man. Things are a bit chaotic at the moment and as it’s the long weekend, most places are closed down. I will make every effort to get him in on Tuesday. I have been taking him out for walks and the other night he just didn’t walk very far and I carried him again. But it’s like the song ” He aint heavy, he’s my brother” I don’t know if I said this before but the little man was a rescue dog that had been beaten and abandoned – chucked out into the bush. He had been kicked and bashed and whilst the vet tried to save as many of his teeth as possible,the poison from the rotting, broken teeth was too much and they were all removed – so I guess you can say that in this case his bark is worse than his bite. After we rescued him from the “Final Cage” at the pound he was in “Hospital” on a drip for several days. Yes, he was spoiled rotten when he came home to stay with us, and yes, he slept with me. Chienne has always slept with Herself.
The dump was open today so John and I took three big trailer loads of debris. How to spend $15 a trailer load. Still the place is clear – not cleared up – just clear. I’ll start the sweeping up tomorrow. The stuff that’s left I should be able to get in the Green Recycle Bin, which I have already started to do.
Just before I close off, it’s blowing a gale and there is a Severe Wind Warning for the region. All the work I did yesterday , sweeping up and so forth, had all been undone. Ah well, it looked nice for a few hours, now it will have to wait until I get back from Adelaide.
Some 10 months ago we had a storm which caused a lot of damage and a very high repair bill – mainly trees down , damaged wires, roads and houses. I was lucky in that we eacaped the damage out here. Well, we had another storm the other night and this time I was not quite so lucky. Three trees or parts of trees came down and the place is a mess. The gum tree at the rear of the property came down and was on my Aviary and the neighbour’s garden – another one out back dropped several big branches and the tree in the front just simply broke in half. Rain, high winds and gusts of over 115kph. Most of the damage was done in the last storm so other places were not too badly off. I got it – well probably because it was my turn :o). I have done what I can and the boys are coming over at the weekend with a small tipping truck, gloves and muscle and between the three of us, we should get it down. Once we get it away from the neighbouring property, even if it is still on the aviary, I can cut it at leisure.
Anyway, the place is a mess and although I have managed to stack all the branches I can’t clean nor sweep up because although it’s not quite gusts of 110kph, it’s still a high wind and sweeping anything is pointless. I’m heading off to Adelaide in the morning, but I will be back Friday evening so we should be ready to go on Saturday.
Had an excellent day in Adelaide on Thursday, although I did have to stop at the Tin Man for a while to give my hand a rest. It really has been bothering me this while back. I should go and see about it, and I will – in the fullness of time. I visited my usual haunts in the city and then headed out to one of the major shopping areas in the outskirts of Adelaide – Tea Tree Plaza. I bought a package of paddle-pop sticks for herself to use as stirrers. Can’t think why, she does very well without them :o) Anyway, there is a big Fair at Civic Park next Saturday 12th. and along with the paddle-pop sticks I also bought 300 paper coffee cups to go with the 200 she already has. The church Ladies Group will be providing coffee, tea and cakes for sale. And here’s the thing, I can’t help because—- well of course I’ll be in Adelaide, where else would I be?? I have the agenda for the conference and it looks like a very long meeting and they are already making arrangements for Lunch and Afternoon Tea, at 3:40, which means I’ll be staying overnight – at the Lodge again – coming home Sunday instead of Saturday.
My vision is generally excellent, but I need glasses to read and I have had reading glasses for most of my life. I do not wear or use glasses other than reading or, as now, working on a computer. I recently changed my optician and was tested at the start of the year. Since then hardly a week went by and I was in for repairs to the frame. Sometimes I was holding the lens in place with bits of wire. Finally it was decided to activate my insurance and provide new frames. I had them for about a week and they broke. No, I do not use them for digging ditches – I generally take care of my glasses because they are essential to me. After now repairing them twice it was decided that I should have a completely new frame – different from the one I currently have. I will go back in a week and collect the new glasses and the new frames and see what happens – however, I have already decided that I will go back to my previous optician – never had any problems with frames or lenses.
My little man is now getting on for 12 years of age (we think he may be older) and he is starting to show some weakness in his back legs. He’s not as steady as he was and we have noticed his back legs slipping away from him at times. I have already ordered a dog sling – like a baby sling , but for dogs – so that when we go walking and he gets tired, I can lift him up and put him in the sling and carry on walking and he can still see the world. I will do this for a little while then I think I will look for a dog wheelchair. I think the wheelchair is a good option because his front legs are still strong. However the wheelchair is the final option. Oscar is different, he cannot use his back legs at all and I would only use the wheelchair for the Little Man when we go out walks, not for all the time use. We have also decided to take the Little Man to the Vet and get an examination and a talk. At the moment he is driving everyone round the twist with his constant barking. At just after 3am this morning he was standing facing a blank wall and just barking. John has suggested that it could well be that his back is causing him problems and this is possible, but, although as I said we have seen that he is not quite as steady as he was, he has no trouble running around the place in bursts of high activity. I will see what the vet has to say.