Thunderstorms, Lookouts and a Goldfish Bowl

Tuesday 19th May – time 3:48 am. Last night around 9:30 we had a serious thunderstorm – the works, thunder, lightening and heavy rain. Chienne was not a happy lady. By 11:30 it seemed to have gone and everyone settled down. The rain had gone and more importantly the thunder and lightening. By 11:30 I went to bed, herself went to bed and Chi settled  down on her bed. At  2am I was wakened by an incredible crack of thunder and the storm had not only come back, it seemed to be right overhead – the combined noise of the  thunder and the rain crashing on the roof was almost deafening and to say Chienne was going gaga is definitely an understatement. At the moment things have quietened down somewhat and Chienne is spread out on the floor at my feet. The poor thing must be exhausted – two very stressful periods so close together.

I finally got back to bed and reset the alarm for 7am which gave me an extra half hour. Poor little lady. Must be horrible to have such sensitive hearing where even a loud noise

From the Lookout
From the Lookout

can set you on edge. She’s not neurotic – the word I would use is skittish. Other than unexpected thunderstorms, Chienne has been good and  there has only been a couple of nights this week when we have not been out for a walk.

I was out and about today and I actually remembered to take my camera with me. Nothing much happening but I thought I would take a couple of photographs from the Lookout Area,  The large building slightly left of centre  is the High School. At the outbreak of  WW2 ( you must have heard of it – it was in all the papers) there was a shipbuilding industry here. It was believed that it needed to be protected so the hill was fortified with big gun emplacements and like Singapore all pointing out to sea. But then again, there is one of the world’s largest deserts behind us so it is unlikely an enemy could have at us overland. In the second photographs there is a hill to left of centre – this is where the gun emplacements were

We had a lunch at church today and I was talking to one of the ladies. We got on to the subject of photography and it turns out she is a keen photographer and is a member of the local photography group. I  expresd surprise since I was unaware that there was a  local photography group.  It was an interesting chat and it looks as I might be going to a couple of meetings when I get back from Naracoorte and we’ll see if it meets my needs. At least I will have some photographs to have  judged from my stay in Naracoorte and, of course, for anything interesting I see on the journey.  On the subject of Naracoorte, I leave in the morning and the agenda only arrived this afternoon. And it was in a very odd format that my  computer did not

Another from Lookout Point
Another from Lookout Point

recognize, so I asked for it to be resent and it was. Just as well since it seems I have been allocated a role in the Second Sederunt . So much for my plan of having a leisurely breakfast and walking in at the morning tea and biscuits break  :o)

A couple of the ladies will keep an eye on Herself during the week. She had a bit of a fall last week – nothing too serious, but worrying. We have everything set up and Andrew gets back from Roxby Downs tomorrow so he and John will also keep an eye on her. Great – nothing like living in a goldfish bowl  :o)

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Trips, Tag & Caught.

Only a week until the trip to the South East. Still not certain if I will have company or not but it kind of looks like not. What is about to follow will seem pretty silly to most people and you’re right – it is, but it’s fun. Herself and I play a game when we are out in the car. If a Police car passes, or turns off just as we turn on the road, the game we play is  “that they nearly caught us that time”.  From time  to time (not very often though – only once before  this year) we do “get caught” For example, we pulled into the car park of the supermarket

Tagged!!
Tagged!!

and I took herself shopping. When we came out, this was the picture: I think we were well and truly “caught”that time. It’s a sort of playing Tag with someone who does not know they are playing.  Ok,  so to all you serious minded people it’s probably silly, but I have friends who play at finding  a particular coloured car on a particular day. What can I say – it’s not of medical concern –  it’s a country town – there’s not a lot to do :o)  But it could have been worse – I could have had a bald tyre or something , or I could have had a sudden rush of blood to the brain and signed myself up for a half marathon. :o)

The Budget  was presented to Parliament and People and the general feeling is that it’s an  Election Budget” the sort of budget that a government produces when it’s looking to an election coming up and spends money to influence votes. The government denies that this is the case but considering the horror of last year’s budget and the fact that a lot of it has still not passed through the Senate, it’s very suspicious.  However, the likelihood is that this government will be elected and all the rage against it over the last year will vanish as the new  spending budget takes effect. Apart from which, the Opposition is full of faceless, bland people, with the leader being  the man who stabbed not one, but two Prime Ministers in the back. Did the dirty on Kevin Rudd, then backed Julia Gillard then stabbed her in the back and welcomed Kevin back into the job. Probably just as well that Rudd and Gillard  have gone from parliament or else Shorten would probably  looked to see which of his knives were still available.

I set off on Sunday morning for Naracoorte and according to the weather forecast it promises to be a nice sunny day. Assembly is due to finish on Wednesday morning and it

Chi, just a few days ago
Chi, just a few days ago

depends when it finishes. If it finishes late I will leave Naracoorte but may have to stay overnight in Adelaide. If this is the case, it may well afford me the opportunity to get some shopping, particularly  Bunnings, although Herself wants me to stop at the Bagman (it’s a company – not a person)  and pick up some sleeves of polystyrene  trays for the ladies  craft and baking tables. The update is that John will not be coming with me. His boss is away sick and John has to run the place until she gets back from sick leave. Pity, I would have liked his company.

Chienne is well. In fact she is doing great. Still drinking copious amounts of water, but eating and walking well. I am still taking her out every-night, so she is getting plenty of exercise but also plenty of rest.

Thinking Arizona Thoughts..

We attended a funeral during the week. It was  very unexpected in that he was ill but his death was sudden and came as a shock to his family. We knew the daughter and some other members of the extended family  I have also been watching the  British General Election, which is due this weekend. From what I have been reading it is  going to be a  bit on the nasty side.  I miss the times when we had political figures that  had the ability to use the English Language, who had wit and style, who could destroy, but still be good-mannered about it. These days I look on most politicians as thugs in ties  whose first thoughts are in filling their pockets  with looking after the interests of the nation coming a far away second.  Vision is something that lasts only between now and the next election. There is something seriously wrong with a system where politicians can award themselves a 7% pay increase yet maintain that they can only afford a 1% pay increase for frontline troops.

Today here in Australia it is Mother’s Day – Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums and Moms and including all  Fur-baby Mothers. My little Chienne is as happy as anything – we play and we go walks and she sits beside me. There is no indication that there is anything amiss and unlike the Man, I can do a lot more with Chienne because she is not blind and

The Dog Stroller
The Dog Stroller

can see what is going on. I feel a little sad in that Chienne was just a tad neglected these last few months when we were looking after The Man.  If it gets to the stage where she has difficulty in walking ( and I really don’t see that happening) we always have the Dog Stroller to fall back on. That’s good fun. I put her in it from time to time and wheel her around the garden and the house and unlike the Man, Chienne is quite comfortable in it. My idea here is getting her used to it – just in case! I miss the Man and think of him constantly

My working desk
My working desk

It’s been a fairly quiet month and I have been doing some work in the garden and across in my office. My office was a mess- well very untidy anyway, so I decided it really needed a clean and a clear out of all the old paperwork that was piling up and was no longer relevant. Isn’t that what I bought the shredder for anyway?? So, I filled the recycle bin with all this shredded and other paper and generally gave the place a good clean out. I’m quite happy with how it looks now – like it’s supposed to!

Only a few weeks and I set off to Naracoorte. I am sort of looking forward to this. I have never been in that part of the state so it will be somewhat of an adventure – almost as far from Adelaide to Naracoorte as it is from  here to Adelaide. Although I have driven through part of the way when I went over to visit Alan in Geelong  some years ago. I am looking forward to  having some different places to photograph. I was thinking of taking a short course on photography but having looked at some of the costs I decided to  just potter along as I do. My photographs might not be great or professional looking but they work for me.

I am so sorry to hear that things are not well in  Arizona. I  am thinking about you all  every day and I  really hope that everything can be worked out and settle back down again. I am sorry about the horses. I know how you loved them too.  Poor Charlie!  I  thought building the “Fortress” would solve the problem, but apparently not. Everything that has happened must be very upsetting ( to put it mildly) so I really do hope that you can sort everything out and get back to “relative” peace. I have  missed you and I think others have too,   so you know  many people are thinking about you.

IMAG0459 I have missed the posts of late, but then, since New Year I have missed a lot. However, as I said the other week, things have improved and I am  much, much better.

Time for a Chienne Winter Coat.

I decided to resign from one of my organisations and instead I was asked if an assistant would help. I said I would have a think about it and I will. I will most probably stay

Never ending forms!
Never ending forms!

and work things through. The organisation is starting to become like many others in South Australia, baffling everyone with  bulldust. There has to be a form for everything  and I am just fed up with forms. Every time we do any catering that is connected to the Local Council,  I fill in the same form with the same information, same addresses and telephone numbers, and I provide a copy of our insurance liability – every time – even to the silly extent that we have worked for the Council twice in the same week and filled in the forms on both occasions. No the same form will not do – it is two different functions – so – two separate forms!!    It cannot be filled in on line – that’s way too complicated for the council ,  so  it has to be hand written and personally  handed in at the Council Office. Now there is a whole new batch of forms that have to be filled in every time we poke our heads outside the door and I’m not really sure I  want to go on doing this. And if that was not enough the Central Office of the Organisation now also wants a whole new batch of forms for their salaried staff to play with so now you start to understand why organisations are failing to deliver as much as they did in the past – lack of volunteers to assist. Every time you move there is a form to complete. It has reached the farcical stage where a teacher, who requires a police clearance form to even enter the school, has to apply for a further police clearance if he or she wants to  cross the corridor at the end of the day and engage with students in  after school activities. There are so many of these Police Checks floating about these days that the backlog has people telephoning talk back radio on a daily basis complaining that they cannot work because they have to wait on a police clearance and a waiting list that is measured in

Story of my Life  :o)
Story of my Life :o)

months rather than days or weeks. We have not quite reached the stage where you have to have police clearance before you can adopt a dog from a shelter – but it’s getting there. To adopt a dog you first fill in a form – then you are interviewed to determine if you – or you  and your partner – are suitable persons – age is a consideration – next a person or persons come to  your home to examine your home and your property ( yard) to determine if the environment is suitable to meet the needs of a pet that is – the fencing is secure.  Of course  I could simply go to the nearest Pet Shop ( few and far between these days) and just buy a puppy, or I could look in the “Animal”section of the  newspaper and buy either a dog or a cat, or  I could go to a registered breeder.  But if you want to rescue a dog from a shelter, you have to go through “The Process”.  As I said, no police clearance required — YET!! This is only fairly recent – we never had any of this process when we rescued the Man from the Shelter.

In writing to his sister,  Lord Byron wrote, ” kingdoms and empires in my little day I have outlived and yet I am not old” and the same sentiment could be said regarding the “Paperless Society” We seem to have outlived this and instead  of the promise of less paperwork that was touted at the start of the “Technological Revolution ” we are generating  more than we ever did and creating a grossly inflated bureaucracy that employs people to shift all this paperwork from one pile to another. What do they do with this mountain of paper? I suspect they shred it all, send the  shredded remains to the papermill to be made into more paper sheets so that the process and the flow of paper can continue uninterrupted.

Chienne is well. I still continue to take her out every night, however she has learned another word that excites her when we come to the end of our walk and start back – Home. I did put her in the stroller a couple of times and walked her around the  garden and she quite enjoyed it. I hope I wont have to use it for a long time yet, but I’ll put her in and wander with her from time to time to get her comfortable with it. It was bought for the Man but it looks as if Chienne will get the benefits from it, and that’s fine.