Elections, MPs and visiting dogs.

out and about
out and about

Last week we had an election and to put it bluntly – it was a schnozzle. In order to govern – in South Australia –  a party must have 24 seats to give it a working majority. We ended up with  Labor 23 – Liberal 22 and Independents 2. There was still postal votes to count and the two party leaders were having talks with the independents. They couldn’t decide – then – one of them dropped a bomb by suddenly deciding that he was ill and went off on three month sick leave leaving the one  to decide on the future of the state government. He decided that he would support the Socialists and subject us to another four years of borrow and spend. Still, he got a Ministry and a few Dollars for his trouble so he’s happy. Now comes the problem of the Westminster System – 24 Labor, 22 Liberal 1 independent – the first order of business is to install a Speaker which should be from the government party – not always but usually. Liberal will refuse to supply a speaker which means the government must,  which then puts the  numbers at 23 Labor, 22 Liberal and 1  independent. These guys play games like the nice clowns they are,  thus if a government man/women  goes off, the opposition supplies a pair (one of their members who wont vote)  so that the balance of numbers is maintained, so in effect the opposition keeps the government in power whilst attacking it. Me, I have no such scruples, as leader of a party in that situation I would simply refuse to supply a pair ( this is a convention not a rule – a “gentleman’s agreement” ) which could and probably would lose crucial votes in the House and if the opposition forced a vote of no confidence it would, in turn,  force the government to call a new election. The system is very much open to abuse.  It is still

This is Izzy
This is Izzy

an active system in the UK Parliament and also in the US Congress.

Now, here’s a thing that gets me – and I am not intentionally insensitive  – but the independent underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor and is now undergoing chemotherapy and cancer treatment and I cannot help but  think that he and his family knew about this before the election, but , three days after the election he goes off for four months and  maintains his full PMs salary  and benefits. If it transpires that he is not well enough to resume his seat then we will have the added expense of a by-election to elect a new member. I don’t know, am I being overly critical here?

You know I look at dogs in conditions of heavy snow and I sometimes wonder how my two would cope in that kind of weather, but I suppose as dogs do, they would quickly adapt. Probably better than we humans.

Some time ago i wrote that I had a lady in my driveway and I looked after her until the RSPCA came. I later found out that it was the next door dog. She is a digger and digs her way

Still open and wild
Still open and wild

out or under fences. Anyway she had been an almost constant visitor this last week and I have been looking after her until her owner gets home and tries to block up yet another hole. To try and relieve the pressure I have been taking the dog – her name is Izzy – out walking bring her back then taking my two out. And because she had been digging again she had to stay here until her owner came home. I have no idea what breed of dog she is but she is a very friendly dog. However, it seems he no longer lives next door but  has bought a house in another part of town. The fencing is still to go up and the place secured before he can move  his dog over there so he is  visiting her every  day on his way home from work – which is when I have seen him. He  says it will be another couple of weeks before the place is ready and he can move Izzy up there with him.  In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye out for her and take her for a walk. She’s no trouble so she is welcome here.

On Friday I head off to Adelaide again. I’ll be away for two days so we just have to hope that everything will be ok until I get back. I want to leave Adelaide at a reasonable time and get home in time to attend a Barbecue at my son’s place. My son and his partner bought this place about four months ago and they have decided they are settled enough in to have a House Warming Barbecue for

It's a hard life
It’s a hard life

family and friends. He was not too impressed when I said I have to be in Adelaide but I  should be able to get back at a reasonable time. I wont be hanging about because there is a Football match on in town and the place will be crowded, so I’ll by-pass the city for the weekend and stay out in the suburbs.

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Chienne and The Man

Chienne (Chi for short)
Chienne (Chi for short) as a young puppy

Her name (Chienne)  means several things but I prefer the term “Female Dog”  Unlike the Man, Chi was not adopted or rescued, Chi was bought by me – well, actually both of us –

Chienne and her Thundershirt
Chienne and her Thundershirt

from a Pet Shop. Now  when you have calmed down and brought your arms back to your side after throwing them up in horror, let me explain.  This was a small town pet shop – it was not part of any big group – animals were not generally part of  what the shop did :  it provided boarding – short and long term, was a grooming service;  herself and I knew the owners and the dogs she did have from time to time, were checked by the Vet – who, by the way, is still our Vet. He still looks after Chienne (Chi (Chee) for short)) and has done for the last twelve years.. However, there was adoption of a sorts because – and we do not know why – Chienne adopted Andrew. Andrew moved out years ago but work commitments meant he had to leave her behind but he did come  over a couple of times a week just to take her out . Even now, she can tell when his car  pulls into the driveway and she goes nuts – the excitement is amazing. Heck she never gets that excited for  me when I come back from Adelaide  but then I only feed her and walk her,  look after her and pay the Vet bills.  I suppose by extension Andrew and Trish’s girls get nearly similar treatment. Chienne revels in all the attention from her beloved Andrew and the girls.  The Man, on the other hand is different. He is a rescue dog. He had, from all accounts, a pretty rotten time and was sick, matted and looked really sad and pathetic. There were other dogs at the pound that day but for some reason I asked for him. He was brought home bathed and cleaned then taken to the groom. He was pretty sick and spent time in  “Hospital” with our Vet looking over him. He had been kicked about the mouth and a good number of his teeth were in a bad way. The Vet tried to save as much as he could but in the end, over

A Man and His Chair
A Man and His Chair

about a year, all his teeth were removed. I just have to cut things up smaller but he eats well.  Unlike Chienne he dislikes the girls and tries to go away and hide when they come over. They think of him as a puppy and want him to play so he tends to get grumpy and I have been quite happy a couple of times that he has no teeth. The little one – Tallia – wants to keep picking him and and trying to cuddle him like a little doll and this makes him very unhappy. I generally open the door and he takes off to his secret den in the garage and only comes back when they have all gone. I can understand – he’s old and he doesn’t like being pulled about, poked and prodded not to mention being treated like a doll – it’s just so undignified.  I think if the girls went to the UK they would qualify for entrance to one of what I think is one of the top schools there – I believe it’s called  St. Trinians  :o) The man sleeps for much of the day and although he gets excited when I

Out in the bush
Out in the bush

get ready to take them out, he only walks for a little while then I have to carry him for  a bit, but this is fine – he’s not heavy. In the early days, when we moved here, there were Kangaroos around the place and I would see them when I took the dogs out. However, over the last few years most of the land has been fenced off and earmarked for future house development, so we don’t see the Roos any more, glad in some ways, sad in others. I have looked at two sets of wheels for him, one set being metal the other being PVC – the PVC only recommended for dogs under 6 kilo and he is only 3 kilo. Over the next week or so I will give thought to getting him measured up and the measurements sent off to the United States. And before you ask, I can get a set of wheels made in Australia but it is cheaper to buy the good in the USA have them shipped over here and pay the postage costs than it is to have them made in Australia. Still, it could be worse, they could be made right here in South Australia, then we really would know what charges are all about in the highest taxing state in the Commonwealth. We have a government that wants to play with the big boys but in order to do this, it needs money – so it borrows and spends and borrows again – hence the fact that 1,oo9,000 of a working population have a collective debt of  75% of revenue with an interest bill alone of $780 Million per year – and that’s before it spends the next four years accumulating even more debt. And it will because they  are addicted to spending

A Man and His(?) Office
A Man and His (?) Office

because that’s what the big boys do.

Cell phones, Flowers and Teddy Bears

Aren’t mobile (Cell) phones wonderful. During the trip back  home I was able to call herself and get her to have a taxi waiting for me when the coach arrived at the

Samsung S 3
Samsung S 3

terminal. Thus, I was home at 11:50 – before midnight  :o) Apart from the  crazy idea of walking through Adelaide, I was fairly fresh by the time we got in and then home. I stayed up for a while and worked on my notes and report – which I have  about four weeks to complete.  It was a good meeting, interesting and very worthwhile and I am really glad that I made the decision to go. Thursday I took herself to her medical appointment and spent most of the day in and around the house keeping an eye on her since she had had pre-op medication. Friday and she was admitted into the hospital – Day Surgery.  I took her up to the hospital at 7am and at 7:30 they came to collect her. I came back home.  As the time started to wear on past lunch I  was just a tad concerned. I didn’t get a call to go back and pick her up until 2:30, but I spent a good deal of the time working on the introduction and the first part of the report. I went to the hospital when I was called but it was after 3pm before we were finally on our way home. The rest of the day was fairly quiet and I let her rest. Dinner was  light and simple and after the news she watched Rugby and I vanished into the room to do some work. I did take the dogs out for a while. Anyway,  we don’t have to go back to the hospital until 5th June, so we have a bit of a break, which should allow us to return to semi-normality for a bit.

The Lasiandra
The Lasiandra

As an aside  – I have to say that I told the doctor’s practice manager over the phone that  I was going to charge her for all the white-out I was using as she changed times and dates on me. Next time I went up there she handed me a Liquid Paper unit.  My comment was ” I was only joking” her comment was ” Yes but I’m not and I have to change the date for the next appointment ”  :o)

Since the hospital I have been busy planting several rows of Lettuce and several rows of Parsley. I have also planted an attractive  Lasiandra Jules, so it would be nice if that takes. The Sturt’s Desert Rose amazes me. The flowers are so delicate, but the bush on which they flourish is as tough as nails. It’s amazing the contrast between the hardy plant and the delicate flowers that never last more than a few hours.

I continue to take the dogs out each night and whilst I still carry the Man for a bit, I find that I am not carrying him for

A Man and his  Teddy Bear
A Man and his Teddy Bear

as long as I used to. I think perhaps the cooler weather is good for him. I believe that and the fact that I take them out after the sun goes down ( no flies ) is a great help. He does sleep a lot but he is still eating well and he still gets excited about going out – in fact if I am slow in getting ready, the pair of them are not slow in t

elling me.  The Man is about thirteen and a half and the problems with his life before he was rescued are really starting to tell.  He has no teeth and when I give them their treat in the morning, Chienne takes hers out side and I close the door on her – that way I can break his treat up and hand feed him until it’s all gone. I have not measured him for a set of wheels since he seems to be walking a lot better in this cooler weather and I would rather he continues to  walk whilst he can, but I will order them when I think it’s necessary.

Coaches, Meetings and Rundle Mall

The Hibiscus that I planted the other week is doing well although I suspect the cooler weather has a lot to do with it.  Still, it’s all good and I look forward to some flowers. I was informed that the Sturt’s

Stateliner Coach
Stateliner Coach

Desert Pea has to  be replanted each year – howeffer – it seems that my plant has re-seeded itself and after cutting all the dead wood away, it’s looking pretty healthy. I hope to get another display of flowers out of that this year.  The three pines I planted out front are still very small but I hope that will develop and grow soon. They still look healthy enough. I have another bag of sand so I will probably take a run over to the Garden Center and see what I can find.—————- Goodness me ( or words to that effect) this sand has set like concrete. Very nice, it’s crushing the poor plant to death. In the morning I may have to dig it out and attempt to rescue it – if it’s not too late. That was unexpected and it worked in the video – but perhaps I missed something or perhaps it’s the wrong sand – who knows?

I have decided that I really need to go to Adelaide on Wednesday, but since I need to be back for a medical appointment for Herself on Thursday, I will go down and back by coach. Not my favourite mode of travel but needs must. We used to enjoy coach travel many years ago when Interstate Highway 1 was realigned and  practically rebuilt as the Federal Government Bi-Centenary Project,   but the coach company, in its infinite wisdom decided to desert the new highway, and  moved to the alternate Highway with all its ups and downs, twists, turns and ruts as well and going in and out of every small town on the way down – and back. So to drive down by car  takes just over four hours;  the coach takes  five and a half = leaves at 6am arrives Adelaide 11:30am. Once the 5am (now 6am) coach was the “Express Coach”  that  went directly down Highway 1, arriving in town at 10:00. There was also, once, an overnight coach that left at midnight, which was good for an early morning meeting – arrive in town, walk along North Terrace to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and have a good breakfast in the  Canteen. The return journey will get me home just after midnight. Anyway the meeting is not until 2:30pm so I will have a couple of hours to spare to hit Rundle Mall  :o) – It’s not all doom and gloom.

It is true that simple things can give pleasure. I have not been able to use my camera recently (Sony) because the battery died and I cannot get a replacement here.

Stationery Shop of Choice
Stationery Shop of Choice

In under 30 minutes in Adelaide I had a replacement battery and my camera working again. The other pleasure was giving away a large box of Lindt chocolates to                       ” Strangers”. Why?? Well last time I was in Adelaide I left my Filofax in a stationery shop – Kikki.K  ( actually I think I mentioned this) Anyway, they were kind enough to post it to me, without charge, so, when I was down this time I bought a large box of chocolates and  gave it to the staff (three) to say ” Thank You”.  I managed to cram in a few other things before heading off to the meeting, but the battery and Kikki.K were my main concerns. I took a taxi to the meeting and at the conclusion, I still had a bit of time, and, since it was a nice day,  I decided to walk to the bus terminal — OK, not perhaps the brightest idea I have come up with recently. I thought  because I take the dogs out walking every night for over an hour that walking back to the bus terminal would be no problem but what I didn’t take into consideration was that with the dogs I have no timetable – not so when I have to navigate my way through the heart of the city and be on time to book in. If you have been reading you will know that not so very long ago I caused damage to the arch of my foot, (planter  fasciitis ) which is still not fully recovered – so,  walking back to the bus station was not my best idea. However, good me – I made it in time (barely but we wont go into that)  booked in, grabbed a bottle of water from the kiosk and staggered on to the coach – which,  fortunately was almost empty (12 people),  and I was able to stretch out in a double seat, and yes, I did take my shoes off  :o)

Barbecue, dogs and movies

Saturday and I spent the morning  helping to run a fundraising Barbecue for the RFDS. We were only there about three hours and managed to  raise about $340, which is not  bad. Herself had a good night last night  and after I laid out her breakfast I  set off to the BBQ. I did call a couple of times to make sure everything was ok. It’s not been all that bad of a week and we were able to relax for a bit as things calmed down. Monday we are at the hospital again and we’ll see how things go from there.  I have been giving the Man a medication that was recommended to me and we have noticed that he is crying a lot less and is much more active. Well, yes, I still have to carry him for a bit, but just to get his wind back, you understand, not that he needs it, of course  :o )  On the other hand, if he didn’t run around like a mad thing and expend all his energy in the first five or six minutes, it might be a tad different.

Not sure where I got this from, but it works for me.
Not sure where I got this from, but it works for me.

Monday and we are back to the hospital again. This afternoon she goes to have an  Echocardiograph, which is an ultrasound of her heart. They are, I believe, doing this because she failed the Stress Test last week. Well, she didn’t actually fail it, she couldn’t walk on the treadmill as fast as they wanted her to so they abandoned it. With this test the rules are that we MUST be there on time or the test will be cancelled. Should not be a problem. This will be our last appointment until Friday, so after today, provided all goes well,  I should be able to wind down for a little. I don’t know – perhaps it’s just me but I really fail to see what these tests have to do with a blood loss, but I suppose they have to eliminate other possibilities.  I am supposed to go to a meeting next Wednesday and I think I might just be able to fit it in. However, it means taking a coach to Adelaide and a coach home. I can get the 6am coach, go to the meeting then get the 6pm coach back home, ready to take her to the Specialist on Thursday. I really need to attend this meeting because I  have to write a report and it would be better that I was there and talk to people rather than simply write the report from the information I have to hand – comprehensive thought it might be.

Interesting post recently with reference to the Oscars. The writer asked her followers to list their three favourite movies – mine being, Casablanca – The Man Who Would be King – A Man For all Seasons – these are the three I would take with me to a desert island, but I have to say that there are “Runners Up” that I like:   Hatchi -55 Days at Peeking – The Day after Tomorrow ( yes I know the science leaves a lot to be desired, but I like it), Shadowlands – The Remains of the Day –  On The Beach (with Fred Astaire not the remake) Braveheart – The Lion in Winter. I would quickly get fed up with the Lord of the Rings, but I would take the three Narnia Movies with me and one other probably surprising selection – Yankee Doodle Dandy – with James Cagney.

I have some worry about the Man and he is not only slowing down but there is a loss of strength and control in his back legs. He still runs about the house like a mad thing, but he does lose his balance a bit and falls. Still,  he gets up and carries on. As soon as we get herself settled again, and whilst there does not seem to be any immediate concern, I will get him to the vet for advice. Other than that, this is a long weekend and Monday is a public holiday, so I have the weekend to sit down and contemplate the heavens – or something.

Hospitals. Canberra and Gooseberry Bushes

ANZAC Parade Memorial, Canberra
ANZAC Parade Memorial, Canberra

Over the last week or so  things have not been so well for some of the people I receive mail from – some of the posts I follow  – and this  distresses me because  I look on you all as extended friends and I find it all the more sad where animals, dogs or cats, are concerned. I have  parted with three dogs and two of them died in my arms. The little man still gets excited about going out but he spends a good bit of the time with me carrying him and I suppose it must look strange – me walking along with two dogs, one on a leash and one in my arm.  But he likes to see what’s going around him and he does enjoy his outings.

We were at a medical appointment yesterday and did not get home until after 6pm. At one point there was talk of admitting Annabell into hospital as her blood pressure was 210/70 – well that’s what they told me. But in the end it was decided to let her come home. Poor thing was tired and  rather than start to try and make something for dinner, I got a take-away on the way home. After dinner she went to bed and has been sleeping since – well almost, I did hear her get up once during the night. Of course, I did say that 2014 was fairly reasonable thus far, and that’s true but only because I am keeping things organised and can make sense of all the appointments, but having a blood pressure of 210/70 is, to say the very least, worrying. Also receptionists calling me and changing days and times  of appointments doesn’t help  :o) But we are fine – we can manage – me, herself, the dogs and a Filofax.

DSCF0006
ANZAC Parade from the National Memorial

She needs to rest so I am chief cook and bottle washer for the time being. Goodness, it’s perhaps as well that I actually like to cook. There are some things she cannot eat so I have to be careful but this evening I made Omelette with cheese, onions , vegetables and a small side salad, a slice of  chocolate cake and cream. I fed the dogs after the dishes were washed and put away – oh yes I am very domesticated. I suppose that’s the price of growing up in a household of females. But she is able to cope fairly well and is still cheerful and things are not quite so bad and once they get to the bottom of this and perhaps the two appointments this coming week will help to do just that.

The garden, whilst not neglected, has had little more than merely maintenance – i.e. sweeping up leaves and keeping things tidy. Although I did plant a Hibiscus in a new (to me) and unusual way.  I cut the bottom off a planter and split it down the side. I dug the hole for the Hibiscus larger than necessary and put the planter in the hole. I then  put a good  amount of propagating sand in the bottom, put in the Hibiscus and filled up the rest of the planter with the sand – then watered it in. In a few days I will remove the container and hope that the plant takes. Surrounded by the sand I think it might. And the Gooseberry Bush is pushing out shoots, so the cooler weather is good for it.

The Man sleeps a lot, which I expect is good for him. He still gets excited about going out and now is actually sending me a summons when HE thinks it’s time to go  :o) I take them out at 7:30 because the sun has started to go and the flies are a lot less. At about 7:20 he starts barking and whining and it’s as if the little character can tell the time.

Whilst herself was sleeping today I wandered through my files to find some photographs of our trip to Canberra. I would like to back there and perhaps we will if and when herself is up to the travel.