Old dogs, Candles and Present Shopping

This is the "Younger" Man
This is the “Younger” Man

It’s getting to the close to publication time with the magazine and I have been very busy –  well this is the Christmas Edition and there are 20 pages in this edition. Added to this is the fact that as I have been doing this I have also been setting up the first edition for 2014. I am aiming to have the Christmas Edition out by 10th December – after I get back from the Conference on the 7th December – a date, no doubt etched into many hearts.

The temperature has been wandering around the 38/39c mark these last few days and I believe it’s going to be around 39c again tomorrow. The dogs have been spending most of their time inside and enjoying the cool. I don’t have a swimming pool and I have always wondered how the dogs would take to the water. I have been trying to buy  what’s called a clam-shell kiddies pool – just a little thing to see how they would take to it. Not as easy as it sounds as none of the toy shops stock this any more – have no idea why. candle05Anyway, this is on my list for Adelaide.

On the subject of Adelaide I have booked into my second hotel out at Bolivar – about 20k. out of the city. I will drive right into the city and may well have to drive right out again. This particular week is the start of the Second Test Match between England and Australia, and the first day is Thursday 5th December. I haven’t even tried to book the hotel in town and if I did get a room, the place would be crowded anyway. Better to stay well out of town and avoid the crush. This means that I probably wont be shopping in town but will probably go out to Westlakes, Modbury and the big shopping center out there – either that or Elizabeth. The only trouble with that is that neither Modbury nor Elizabeth have a Swarovski and I want a few things there – that’s only in Rundle Mall. But the Test is not the only thing happening in Adelaide that weekend, there’s a Film Festival, several tours, including the Justin Bieber Tour, not that any of this was even considered – or probably known – when dates were set in February. Further to that I did talk to some friends who are also going to town on that same weekend and they did say that they had difficulty booking anywhere and they have also had to move out of town for accommodation.  I hope to be able to do some Christmas shopping although trying to buy anything for Herself is a trial – no

19th Century Christmas Shopping - so much easier  :o)
19th Century Christmas Shopping – so much easier :o)

bags, no shoes, no perfume, no jewellery. no new mobile phone – doesn’t leave a whole lot to chose from – sometimes it’s just too difficult.

My son has bought a new house and we have been helping him and his partner move into it. That was fun using trailers and vans, although I did have to go and empty my trailer before it could be used. It’s a big house with lots of room to move about, so the girls are very happy. Before I leave for Adelaide I  have two RFDS functions and two more, including the Carols in the Park between then and Christmas. After that we have several weeks free before our next big function, which is Australia Day on 26th January.

I have been taking the dogs out each night and The Man has certainly slowed down, but that’s ok. I’m not in any hurry and I am quite content to walk at his pace and give him a lift when he tires. The medication is really starting to kick in and he has finished his dinner these last few nights – which is very good.

Adelaide and Christmas Shopping

I liked this.
I liked this.

I said that the Thunder Shirt seemed not to be working for Chienne and whilst this does appear to be the case, I am not prepared to give up just yet.  I will try and work with her for a little while longer and see if we  can achieve some results. Who knows, it may very well work when there is a thunderstorm and perhaps she is just one of these dogs who really does not like being in the car. With her sensitive hearing perhaps she hears something when the engine is running that we don’t and whatever that is upsets her. I am also beginning to  worry about The Man. Twice now, I have taken to the groom and he has curled up on the front seat on the way there. The return journey, after I pick him up, has been very different these last two visits. He has been really stressed and agitated, crying and whining and  I have had to clip him down in the car  for safety reasons. He has been all over me as soon as I walk into the groom. We have been taking him to Naomi for years and this is only a recent occurrence and I wonder if this could be associated with separation. The other reason is that we know his back legs are not so good and perhaps the standing and the way he has to be moved when being bathed and clipped may be hurting his back end. He was not too bad when I took them out walking in the early evening, although he did go into the sling for a little while.

He’s not daft, you know, and last night he discovered an unexpected benefit of the sling. Normally he goes in and keeps his head out so he can see the world

This is similar to what I have
This is similar to what I have

about him. Now, as you know I have complained about the continual wind these last few weeks, so last night he went into the sling and after a few minutes he pulled his head in and curled up and had a quick nap free from any wind. Chi went a bit gaga for a few minutes because he had vanished. I lifted him for a bit to let her know he was still with us  :o)  I’m still thinking about wheels if he gets any worse but I very much hope that’s a long way off. Oh, I should have mentioned that there actually is an advantage to the wind – keeps the flies away  :o)

I will be driving down to Adelaide in ten days and already I am doing the  things the Old Fellow in the Red Suit does – Making a list and checking it twice  – and making sure the list goes into my Filofax. Herself was surprised since she thought  we had agreed to change the date of the meetings. We have,  but since the meeting dates and venues are set at the AGM in February, the time, date and venue of this meeting will go ahead – unless, of course, they cancel it. It will then be the task of the AGM to set the times, dates and venues for 2014.  Either way, I will still drive down to Adelaide , do some Christmas Shopping in Rundle Mall  and stay overnight.  One thing you can be sure of is that one of the dates and venues will not be here.

Rundle Mall, Adelaide
Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Traveling to “The Badlands”  (that’s any place outside of the city limits) scares them. As I keep saying, the drawbacks in living in a One City State.

Bus trips and Thunder Shirts

Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall, Adelaide
Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall, Adelaide

This week has been a fairly quiet week. The conference in Adelaide was cancelled, but I still went down to Adelaide for the day. Last year I was to attend a Funeral in Adelaide and I wanted to go down and come back on the same day – something I will not do if I am driving. The only way to do this is go by coach – depending on the time of the event, of course.  As it turned out, the funeral for a number of reasons was  put back and I never went – at least not on that day. I still had a ticket and I had a year in which to use it. I decided to use it last Thursday and discovered why I do not like traveling on Stateliner Coaches. The trip down was not too bad – I slept part of the way and watched Despicable Me (again x3) on my laptop for the remainder of the trip. We left at 6am and arrived in town at 11:26.  I had a good day in town – relaxing – knowing that I wont have any meeting to attend whilst I am down here and thus have a leisurely wander.  I bought  Office 2013 with Publisher and have since installed  the program in the new “All-in-One”.

The trip back from Adelaide was something else. One gentleman was busy throwing up in the barf bags provided and  the nicest word I wish to use here is malodorous. I wish to be kind, he was quite elderly and somewhat unkempt. The children sitting on front of me  moved to the rear of the coach as did the man sitting opposite. As well that the coach was  almost empty. The seat was uncomfortable and I really didn’t have a pleasant trip home.  You might well be inclined to suggest that the Scotsman in me didn’t want to see the ticket expire, which it would have shortly. Anyway, did not have a good night and spent Friday, stiff and sore and regretting the journey. I have the last conference on 5th & 6th December and that should be it until February

Christmas in Rundle Mall
Christmas in Rundle Mall

The Thunder Shirt for Chienne arrived during the week. I was delighted with it – it was well made and  fitted Chienne like a well tailored glove. Let her get used to it then took her out in the car. Goodness me did she go off her rocker = screamed, whined, cried non-stop – just like always. Having the Thunder Shirt on didn’t make the slightest difference. To say I was disappointed is an understatement, but herself and I feel that her behaviour is probably so ingrained that it wont change now and the instructions did say that it may not work for all dogs but it will work for most. However, I will try it again when we next have a thunderstorm.  The Man is really starting to slow down and I had to carry him for a fair part of our walk last night. I really will have to keep a close eye on him. He is eating and has finished off his dinner most nights  as he does with his stick treat in the morning.

Chienne, Angus and the Road’s End

WHEN I began writing this I really didn’t know what I wanted to achieve. I joined the old  My Place and wrote a blog on there for a few years. I didn’t have followers and in essence the weekly post was a way of talking to several friends who had moved away,  keeping them up to date on what we were up to in town and at home. (I still sort of do this on Google+) So it was a sort of public/private letter. A few years ago MySpace changed hands and the blog feature was discontinued. I had an account with WordPress but never used it. Once MySpace closed down, I re-activated it and have been here ever since – well a year or so.

Our house, which we bought some years ago, is right on the very edge of the town. The garden was in a bit of a mess so I thought it would be an idea to write about what I’m doing in the garden. I have two dogs that I love dearly – Chienne and The Man  (Angus)– and they would be included, as would comments about the family.  I dismissed the notion of writing about church activities because  I had this horrible feeling that all that would do for me is fill up my inbox with comments from would-be theologians.   Once I started I began to look for other posts that I felt I would like and be of interest – gardens and dogs and some general interest. Some of the blogs I looked at were interesting, informative, funny and serious and I joined a few. Some people even joined me, which I thought (and still do) was great.

 “Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses that you may the better judge.”

 Lately, however, I am finding that some  posts  have become much too serious – almost taking on the dimension of a Dissertation on The Meaning of Life. My other, and perhaps the more serious concern, is that with all I have to do, one post every week, or even every couple of days – which is how many of these started – is quite acceptable – but three – or four – posts from a single site, almost one on top of the other,  every single day, is too much and my inbox is just clogged up. Like everyone else they started out as a post every few days but this has changed to a post almost every few hours.  So, having said all that, I may have to consider withdrawing from a number of places if only to unclog my inbox for a while. I just cannot handle nor process the volume of traffic. If any I have offended, I am sorry but my continued sanity ( which, to be honest, is not all it’s cracked up to be) demands that I make this change, and the crash gave me an opportunity to do so with the new system – which is still not fully functional as yet. I still have some bugs to iron out and get used to an “All-in-One” system.

Gone: not here: departed.

I will be closing down this Apple comouter system presently. I am in the process of changing ov er to a new system which is causing me some problems.  I will be away for a few days and cannot devote time to  getting everything changed over. I can keep somethings bus this will be the last blog on this AppleMac  and probably the last post for a little while and I will start to organise things on the new PC – Windows Based when I get back from Adelaide – should be fun…

Fire, Dogs, Vets and Clothing

In a recent post I made mention of the major fluctuation of temperatures in this area. This week is a perfect example of what I was talking about. At the start of this week the temperature started to climb up and by Thursday it had reached 39+c. I had some friends that were about to go North and delayed their departure because of the  “Catestrophic” fire risk for the area. By lunch time yesterday, the temperature started to drop as a cool change came in from the  Great Australian Bight and the Southern Ocean. By late Thursday the temperature dropped to 26 and the rain started. Today is Friday, the temperaure outside is 22c and it’s still raining. I put the heavy quilt back on my bed.  Fires still continue in NSW and Queensland.

This afternoon I take The Man back to the Vet. He still concerns me – he seems healthy enough, sleeps a lot but is not eating as much nor as often as I would like. He is still active and although we have not been out since Wednesday evening but he walks well, if a bit slow at times. Chienne gets impatient. However,  if the rain stops I will have them both out tonight. We have had a lot of rain over the last 24 hours so what we don’t need is any high winds until the soil dries out otherwise we will have trees down again.

So after scaring the living daylights out of me and keeping me worried for a fortnight, I was told that there was a scale malfunction and that the Man’s weight was quite normal – he hadn’t lost weight – well not a lot – at all. However, we keep with the medication and  remain with the puppy food – I still think twice a day because I would like to see him gain some extra weight. Still no real reason for the weakness in his back legs other than age and  damage years ago when he was dumped out in the bush. However, I did have them out tonight when the rain stopped and he walked without any problem at all. Difference — Chienne, being the lady she is, delicately jumps over puddles,  The Man just walks right through them. I have ordered a Thunder Shirt for Chienne, which should arrive sometime this coming week. I have heard and read a lot of information regarding these items of clothing, so I  really  want this to live up to what I have heard.

Dogs, Flowers and Fire Bans.

Dogs find something interesting to have a sniff at. I think it’s a blade of grass…

The weather has started to warm up a tad and the temperature today was 39c. but a cool change is on its way and it should cool down for  day or three before climbing back up again. The official Fire Season will being on 10th November and continue through until Mid-April. When I took the dogs out for their evening walk the wind had started back again. The Man was having some difficulty and after a little while I lifted him up and placed him in the dog sling for a bit – at least until he got his breath back.

Thre are still about 40 fires burning in NSW but the  State Firefighters can manage that and our Firepeople have come home.

This must be the worse state in the world for colds and flu and really, it’s not all that surprising. Not when you consider the serious flucuations in temperature. Yesterday it was 39c and hot – the temperature collapsed overnight and today it’s a very cool 24c and the wind started last night when the sun went down. Within the span of a 24 hour period the temperature climbed back to 38c  today and tomorrow will be 40c. A total fire ban has been declared in some areas.

Northern Wild Flowers

One of the things that irritate me is the inability to edit something once posted. I don’t mean this post,  I mean comments made. I have gone through a comment to check that everything is ok – and it seems to be – but the very second you press the “post comment” button a glaring error jumps out at you. But then I suppose when you are commenting on a page that has 5500+ followers, one comment probably wont count for much – but still…..

A friend is travelling in the  Northern Flinders Ranges and sent some photographs of the wild flowers.

Tomorrow I take the Man back to the vet.