No roses here.

Have no idea what the meeting is about on Monday afternoon, but I do know ( by email)  that the venue has been changed and instead of using two venues – North Adelaide and

The Salt lake at Lochiel
The Salt lake at Lochiel

Norwood the entire Assembly will be held in only one venue – Norwood. Just as well the hotel I picked was at a halfway point between the two, although if  I knew it would be all Norwood, I would have picked something a bit closer, like the Royal Coach Inn at Kent Town. Still at least I will be well out of the way which feeds my Anti-Social tendencies  :o) I was doing some work out back and decided it would be a good idea to caress the thumb of my left hand. I thought about this and a hammerhead seemed like a good idea at the time. Actually I didn’t do it any damage and really, I only  “caressed ” it but  with some diabetics even the slightest knock is enough to cause bruising. Sadly I am one and although the bruise may look painful, it’s not. Did spend last night  finishing off the packing  now all I have to decide is what toys I am taking and what power cords I need  :o)

The Desert Pea with the Desert Rose in the background
The Desert Pea with the Desert Rose in the background

A lady blogger I follow ( a gardener) has recently moved house and she  did a post on the history of the house and the area . The house was built in 1885 and the history of the area was interesting. I have no such tales to tell. This place has only been standing since the late 1970s. I did say, I think, that the previous owner didn’t like gardening and everything is all concrete and gravel with only a limited amount of earth to play around with and even that is limited again because we have the feeling that he may have sterilized the soil before he put bark in the area. I have removed the bark and cleaned the area up, but it has very limited growth. I  put fertilizer and blood and bone without success I wanted a rose garden there and spent a small fortune on roses and without exception every one of them died. A friend has given me Frangapini  cuttings and I will try them, but I am not hopeful.  My successes are still the Desert Pea and the Desert Rose and I am really very pleased with the masses of flowers and buds. It’s interesting; I have loved these flowers since I came to Australia and have tried several times to grow the Desert Pea but without success, so I gave up. Last year I gave it another try and was rewarded with masses of blooms and the same again this year.

It rained a tad whilst I was  in  Adelaide so that, at least, saved Herself from trying to go around and watering the plants. The drive down to Adelaide was uneventful but on Monday evening it was so dark and the rain so heavy I took a taxi to Norwood rather than drive. A very interesting week which threw up some interesting problems one of which has reached crisis proportions, which will have serious implications for all of us.  My only hope is that when the dust settles after a meeting on 14th June, we will be able to live with the solution. Personally —- I’m not hopeful!

Fortunately the day I did leave Adelaide was a lovely day. No rain, no cloud, just sunshine all the way. To make matters even better, it was a lovely drive home. I had intended to stop in

at the Arid Lands Garden but since I had bought a  few plants during my stay in Adelaide I just  went home. I didn’t even stop at the Tin Man this trip, although I did have a ” pit stop”  at Port Wakefield.  It was good to be back home again and after greetings by Herself, I sat down on the floor with the dogs.

Inter-state National Highway 1
Inter-state National Highway 1

I keep saying that because of the gravel and concrete I only have a limited amount of space to plant things. However, I am in the process of removing some of the gravel so perhaps this might change. When we first moved here I accepted the concrete and stuff and decided pot plants were the way to go but although I bought good potting mixture I now have a plethora of unused empty pots – the occupants died long ago.

RFDS, the Man and Orchids (Triffids)

RFDS Aircraft
RFDS Aircraft

I only found out very recently that there is a Royal Flying Doctor Service – Support Group,  in Germany. They raise funds, just like we do – for the RFDS of Australia. To date the German Group have raised over $110,000.  I thought this was pretty amazing. In order for the group to be legally established, the Australian Ambassador in Berlin had to write to the German Financial Authorities confirming that the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and thus the support group, is a non-profit organization. Amazing – The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia – German Division. :o)

Put the car in for servicing and repairs today. Glad to note only minor repair, and usual oil and coolant change. All ready for  Adelaide on 26th. Once the Assembly is finished – probably late  Wednesday – I will stay over and  attend a training course to update my First Aid Certificate.I figured that  since I was in Adelaide  anyway, I might as well get that done at whilst I was there. All going well I should be heading home on the Friday.

My groomer informed me – reluctantly – that she would prefer not to  groom the Man. Not that he is a “problem” dog but  she is concerned about him. Because his back legs  are a bit of a concern she is frightened that she might hurt him and that makes her nervous.  She’s a young woman and I understand her concerns.  So, I either try to find a new groomer who has experience in working with a dog that has

 The Maltese Terrorist in "our"Chair
The Maltese Terrorist in “our”Chair

unstable back legs or  I think about attempting to do it myself and really making a mess – and don’t say I wont because I know I will. I can leave him until I get back from Adelaide, by which time he will be just about ready for a groom again. He has some problems at time standing still to eat his dinner, so when that happens I stand behind him and support him with my hands underneath him. He’s only little, a slow eater and boy after a while it gets a bit painful on the back bending down., but we’ll think of something.  The good news is that I have found another groomer and I have made an appointment with her when I get back from Adelaide. – Chienne is short-haired and does not need grooming – just a bath and I can do that :o)

Like the song says “All my bags are packed, I’m  ready to go” and it is so. I did hope that I would be able to do some things in the city before the General Assembly begins, but I have been called to a meeting at Para Hills in the early afternoon. Anyway, first two days in North Adelaide then over to Norwood for the remainder.  I have no idea what the Para Hills thing is all about – most unusual to say the least, to call such a meeting only hours before the General Assembly. Very strange!!

Masses of flowers!
Masses of flowers!

The back is still a disaster area and the lovely weeds are thriving. The two Bougainvillea are still surviving (sorry CDL) as are the three other flowers. I am pleased that the  Native Hibiscus – which I really though had died, has sprung to life again and is growing like crazy. Have had salads – I know it’s nearly winter here but I like salad – and I am pleased to say that I  have been using the lettuce leaves from the raised  vegetable bed. In a day or so I should also start to use the parsley. But that’s no great feat – parsley will grow anywhere and good as I am, even I would have difficulty killing it. Brussels Sprouts -hmmmmm – early days.  So everything is not quite a total disaster out back. Front – no movement from the Fir Trees – still at the height they were when I planted them – Sturt’s  Desert Pea is going like wildfire. I want to take a few photographs of this and take it into the Arid Lands Botanic Garden on the way home – also the Sturt’s Desert Rose, which is also thriving. The weeds are too, but I am getting on top of them out there..  The big Shadehouse has been abandoned for the time being. With a limited  access to a good

Gives me the creeps  - like Orchids  :o)
Gives me the creeps – like Orchids :o)

garden shop, I can’t get  the shade plants that will survive. One “friend”suggested that I  give it over to Orchids. I couldn’t do that – I would freak out every time I looked at them – Triffids – miniature Triffids..

Peas, Roses and Orange Blossom

Nationwide our youth unemployment is, according to a recent press release, in the region of 21%. As a nation we are on the horns of a major dilemma – actually a twin dilemma – youth unemployment and age pensions. About to be announced in the National Budget this month  is the decision to raise the pension age from 65 – 70, which will deffer the payment of pensions for five years, but will make the youth unemployment worse than it currently is. Well, yes, I have no doubt that the government will come up with all sorts of plans that their tame academics have devised to tackle the problem — More training and development – get them  ‘Job Ready”  not that there are many jobs around for them to be ‘ready’ for – but let’s not quibble over semantics.   ´South Australia is facing a generational crisis,” warned Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson. ”For young people caught up in this jobless spiral this can be a road to long term poverty and reliance on welfare.”  Raising the pension age from 65 – 70 might, in the short term, solve one problem but creates a whole lot of other problems.  As one person put it – in the event of a major fire – or indeed any fire – do you really want  someone 70+ trying to carry you out of a burning building? Do you really think a 70yo police officer is a running match for a 22 year old offender? Also the longer you keep older people in jobs the less opportunity for employment there is for younger people. We have had six years of a Socialist Government that spent money like it was going out of style. But all socialist government do likewise – borrow and spend – and to quote the late Baroness Thatcher – “The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s

Orange Blossom - Not my Photograph
Orange Blossom – Not my Photograph

money”.  Have you heard of the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain – all socialist  governments – all up to their little eyes in debt – and the UK is not all that far behind. Ireland is slowly starting to recover but it’s a long slow grind and not popular because the population have gotten used to “Let the good times roll” and if and when you threaten that – look out. That’s what’s happening here right at the moment. The Labor Party Government threw money at everything and anything and people liked it until their lies started to come home. This government wants to repair the damage but it’s having a hard time to do just that. The previous government promised billions  for programmes that we cannot afford and people still want them – even although we can’t afford to implement them.   I look at Europe and I really do wonder how much longer the European Union can continue to survive because it’s really only Germany that’s holding it together – well German money at any rate. But this is not a political thing and I don’t intend it ever to be,  so I will simply say that we are in a mess right now and it’s not going to get any better – well it will,  but later rather than sooner.

The flowers of the Desert Pea are really starting to take off now – just as they did last year, and in the same pattern  and I am more than happy to leave them alone and get on

My Sturt's Desert Pea
My Sturt’s Desert Pea

with what they want to do  :o) I am  happy about this because it’s my one of only two real success stories – the other being the Desert Rose, so it’s fair to say that I’m quite chuffed. Oddly enough the three pines I planted months age are as big now as they were when I planted them. In other words they haven’t grown an inch. I have a friend in another area who is going to get me  some cuttings from a frangipani plant, which should be nice  Out back,  the Mexican Orange Blossom is progressing well as is the Flamenco Hibiscus as well as the  new native Hibiscus, so it’s not all a dead loss. Two of the Bougainvillea have died – but I mentioned that before – but two have survived. What have also survived are the masses of weeds that the wet stuff produced.  I have a problem with them because  they just love the weed killer I  feed them with. It’s a worry  :o)

Garden, Hugs and anti-social me.

This is last year's photograph but the odd things is that it is starting to flower again in the same pattern
This is last year’s photograph but the odd things is that it is starting to flower again in the same pattern

There has been serious precipitation for ten hours now and if the weather heats up just a tad, I might go for a swim in the back garden – no I

This is just for Suzie :o)
This is just for Suzie :o)

don’t have a swimming pool  :o) I may have to take a trip to a laundry and throw the dog beds in a drier. I think one of them has gone out, got soaked and came back into bed. Although, as the sun comes up – or as it gets light – things tend to change and  I might be able to get them dry during the course of the day.

You would think that with all this wet stuff, grass would be knee deep and I dare say in other parts of  the State ( Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills region and the South East) it would be. Here we do not have grass – ever. We have saltbush. Yes there is grass but not natural – it’s grass on well manicured lawns. Even this is dying out as water costs continue to rise and a government that is so strapped for cash, it wants to charge water fees if we have a rainwater tank and use the water we have collected.  They are charging farmers for the amount of water they have in their  stock dams. Well, yes, the State Government acknowledges that the water falling from the sky belongs to G-d, but once it hits South Australia – it belongs to them  :o)

I’m good. I really am good. They say that Bougainvillea are hard to kill – don’t you believe it.  Anyway, the plants I bought from the  Garden Shop are dying, but the two I bought from the hardware shop are surviving. I have found this before, that some things from the Garden Shop do not survive as they should and things from “unusual” sources do.  Also I have to say ‘rejoice with me” because my Sturt’s Desert Pea is starting to bloom. There are buds and a few early flowers and when they burst out I’ll take some photographs with the Desert Rose in the background. At the moment the Desert Rose has about five flowers on it, but as I said before they are so delicate they do not last for very long. The interesting thing is that the Gardner  at the Arid Lands BG told me that the Desert Pea will only last for a year.  If I wanted another flowering I would have to get another plant. However, mine last year didn’t die and  after dying back, as opposed to dying off – resurfaced again and now it is about to flower. I am told that this is unusual

I Like Linus.!
I Like Linus.!

I have completed a nine page report  and sent it to Adelaide. I have chosen a hotel equidistant between the two venues and far enough out of the way to wind down at night in preferred isolation. I just like to be on my own.  It allows me to write up my notes and thoughst for the day,  spend some time reading, eating and then bed. It’s not that I am anti-social but after spending all day with a group of people I prefer to be on my own for a while – and besides, there is the traditional Dinner along with the traditional group photograph – and no. I don’t go to the dinner either.  :o)

Well, ok then, perhaps just a tad anti-social. As I have said before, this is a metro-centric State and they are the Adelaide Boys Club – I really do not have anything in common with them – at least nothing we could sit down with a glass of wine and socially chat about for an evening. Yes I will have a glass of wine and some cheese and either read,   work on my notes, start writing up my report for the Magazine or listen to music – and that’s generally how I will spend much of the week – exciting – yes??

I want to rebuild this sometime.
I want to rebuild this sometime.

The wonders of a modern society: you pack your clothes and papers then you pack another bag with all your electronic devices – laptop,  pad, phone, camera – and because you are away for a while – you also need to pack all the chargers. How did we manage in the past  ?  :o)