Weeds, Stone and Windows 10

I've made a start
I’ve made a start

I have to admit that it is not the prettiest  of things but it’s clean, neat and tidy and since I  don’t seem to be able to grow anything here, clean, neat and tidy seems like a reasonable compromise. That’s only part of the area I am doing, I haven’t even thought of starting in weed central yet. The stone is called Tregalana and is, I think,  20cm. I have two days in Adelaide and I hope to have the backhoe work completed, the area laid out and partly covered in stone by the second day and look at the Hexagonal Pergola that I would like and organise  getting it home. Probably mean a third day with the trailer. That’s not so bad in mid-spring when the days are longer. It means I can go down with John, get what we want and drive back, with John taking a turn at driving. Yes, that would work. The stone for this area will be about two trailers ( about 1.75 tons)  but for weed central, could be a lot, lot more.

I know I said a fair bit about the new Wetlands and the work being done there but I really am impressed with  the way

Another area of the wetlands
Another view of the wetlands

the area is being developed. When it is finished and the  plants have grown it will look nice.

Well that was exciting!! I received a notification that Windows 10 was ready to download on this computer so I went ahead and began the upgrade. By late afternoon it had froze on “32%” and stayed there for most of the day and well into the evening. Using my tablet I found out that 32% was a common problem  and there was really not a lot I could do about it. What I did do was unplug the computer and restart the computer, Windows restored Windows 8.1 and aft5er a few scares it restarted with no problem.  ( HA!!)   I left the  computer alone for a while and went off to help herself. When I came back the machine had gone into “Sleep Mode”, which is normal. What was not normal was the fact that I could not get it out of sleep mode. Again I closed down and went for a restart – not this time, The machine refused to reboot. I tried several things but nothing worked. I got out the copy of Windows 8 and put that in ( yes it had power) and tried to reboot it on that – again nothing. Left it off overnight. This morning I tried again – same result – nothing.  Then I had a thought.  ( don’t be concerned, I recovered quickly)  Some time ago I had a problem with the printer and after trying many things to get it working I hit on the idea of  disconnecting it from the mains – and on re connection, it worked.  I had my doubts that something as simple as this would  work on the computer, but I went ahead and carried out the process of disconnection

Almost....
Almost….

and re connection. Hit the on button and, yes it worked and to prove it I am here. Now here’s the problem, I didn’t  rescue everything and I lost some things – mail being one of these things ( Outlook – go figure) I also have a few programs that are not working as they should and I may have to reinstall them. I think I will give Windows 10 a miss for the time being.   The icon is still sitting there in the right corner but it can stay there for the moment. Once I fix things I’ll stay with 8.1 for the time being.

The sands of time are sinking.

The town from The Hill
The town from The Hill

One of the things I am happy about it that I don’t have to be responsible for the minutes of anything now. I have the luxury  of being able to  do things because I want to, not because I have to. I’m not running about the place as I was last year – well last month was exceptional.   I have started reading again now that I can sit down for a bit. I also have a new camera, which I  have difficulty using, so I have decided to join the local photography club. I like taking photographs and I am reasonable when it comes to editing, but  would like to get better. I went there for the first time and had to do a “show and tell”and put a couple of my photographs on the big screen. On a scale on 1 – 10 with 10 being the highest,  I scored 5.6, which I suppose for a rank armature, is not three bad

I have no idea what to do in the garden, short of hiring a flame thrower to get rid of the weeds. With all this rain

No - not part of a river - our new wetlands
No – not part of a river – our new wetlands

they have taken off something fierce and weed killer is about as effective as using a water pistol to put out a house fire. When things settle down and the weather is a bit less inclement , I might get a backhoe to take off the surface. Once I get that done I will lay down weed matting and decide what to do after that.  Probably turn it into an gravel garden with a round house in the center (Hexagonal Gazebo)

Over 70 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand flew out to the USA to help  with fighting the fires in the  Western States,  particularly California I believe. I think it is brilliant that  countries with  forest fire problems  work together to assist each other when the need arises – such as now in the USA. A few years ago there were firefighters from the USA, Canada and New Zealand came to help in Australia.

I spent a good hour at the wetlands taking photographs. The wetlands looks a bit rough at the moment but new paths  have been put in, a new parking area with the possibility of a tea-room shortly,  restrooms, including a disabled restroom, ramps for wheelchair access and a barbecue area.  New fencing installed, a bike track round the entire area, new trees and shrubs planted, so, when everything grows and starts to get a bit of greenery around the place it should be really nice. An excellent area for a picnic. When I was down there, there were walkers  and mums with babies in prams getting ready to go for a stroll. Never really looked at the rules so I’m not sure if dogs are allowed – even on a leash.  The total area is 24.6 hectares with over 8 hectares of artificial lakes. One of the  better projects of a Council that is out of favour with a lot of residents.

Five months – that’s what I have left on my current site, then I have to renew with WordPress. If it were now – this week – I  think  I would be doing a MASH = Goodbye, Farewell and Amen. However, as it is I have from now until January to decide – renewal is in February.

A lot has happened since Christmas. I look out of the window and get depressed looking at the sea of weeds and I definitely think hiring a backhoe and driver is the answer. With regards to weeds, I am no orphan around the town in that regard – many people have been complaining about the massive growth of weeds. Then the weather people tell us that we have had our average rainfall for the year. What they don’t say is that we had a long dry

Weeds - I hates them precious!!
Weeds – I hates ’em precious!!

spell then the average for the year over a few months, hence the  huge amount of water in the wetlands (storm water runoff)  and the  massive spurt of weeds. Even in the church grounds it’s a fight to keep them under control at the moment.

Travel and Changes

When the world was young
When the world was young

I have downloaded Windows 10 on the computer in the office. Can’t get it to download on this one yet – have no idea why, the icon is there but it just hangs. Fullness of time I expect. I haven’t had time to really have a look at this new Windows but I hope to sometime soon.

Although it might not seem like it there are advantages/ disadvantages  in the dissolving of the State Assembly. Instead of 7 meetings a year, by dissolving the Assembly and amalgamating the two presbyteries into one, we reduce the meetings per year  from 7 to 4 –  1 meeting per quarter – two meetings in Adelaide -two meetings in Mount Gambier / and that’s the

The size of this place
The size of this place

sting in the tail. There was  a total of 5700 Klms for six meetings and the assembly.  The new system will mean 98ooKlms for four meetings and an assembly – with the assembly being in Brisbane, Queensland – which, from here,  is a 22 hour drive. Looks like a bunch of fun.

John’s knee operation was successful and having been down to Adelaide to see his surgeon he has been given the all clear and will not have to see him again – unless there are any problems, so I can scrub the Memorial and Flinders Hospitals off my list. I  came back from Adelaide late last night and have no intention of moving again until I go back down and pick up Catherine from the Airport. I have booked us into the Chifley on South Terrace. Her flight wont get in until after 8p.m. so we stay overnight and head north in the morning. Good,  because I gets to chat to her first and catch up with all the news in Scotland. I am so looking forward to seeing Catherine again. It will be an interesting visit in that we had word from Scotland that Catherine had a fall and has broken her shoulder, but she’s still coming  over.

Other than two trips to Adelaide, one to collect Catherine and one to take her back to Adelaide Airport, I have no trips planned until November and Mount Gambier.  I had a trip to Adelaide on Tuesday for the West Terrace Consultative Committee. A presentation to the Committee on  Jewish Funeral Customs was made  by Dr. Klee Benveniste of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation, which I found very interesting. She also gave  an explanation on some of the most common features within the Synagogue, which I also found  interesting and most of which I did not know. I would like to do a presentation but at the moment with everything sort of up in the air, I have no idea how things will develop. Perhaps November will bring some clarity and we can  work towards acceptable changes. There are two changes that we cannot accept and if either one is imposed on us, many of the people will leave. I am not sure about me but  I don’t think I could work with either of these unacceptable changes.

The last few days have been cold, wet with very high winds. I’m so over winter. Although I have to admit that the high winds and rain that were an annoyance here, caused a fair amount of damage  elsewhere. Being in the center of Australia we are “protected” from the excesses of weather that other parts of the country experience, The only really issue we ever have is when there is a coupling of high temperature and a north wind coming in off the desert – things tend to get a bit on the hot side then. I have  gotten used to Central Australian weather, but what I think I will never get used to are the flies. Still, two out of three is not bad – Central Australia, Heat, Dust and Flies.

Living in Interesting Times

There is a distance of some 450k  between Adelaide and home. In any other civilised country there would be a better than adequate rail service. Not here. When we came here the rail service had been terminated for a number of years and there was calls to have it back on again. It was put back on again but  it was put back on to fail. The train

Just a bit wet!
Just a bit wet!

station was well out of town so it meant a taxi out. The train left at 6am and arrived at Keswick Station – well out of the city – at 11;30am  so another taxi or wait for a bus. It could have gone into Central Station, which is only a five minute walk from the city centre, but no, it was sent out to Keswick.  Then taxi back – to catch the train at 5pm arr  11pm, then taxi home. The  private owned  Greyhound/Stateliner bus service left at 5am and dropped off in the city centre at 10:30am after making a number of stops along the way, so most people, who didn’t want to drive, took the coach rather than the train. – faster, more efficient and got you right to the heart of the shopping district at a reasonable time. Coming back, the Bus Terminal is only a short walk from the city centre. The State Transport Dept could then point to this and say that since more people preferred to take the bus rather than the train, there was no need for the train service to continue. We have not had a train service for nearly 25 years.

Home is thataway!
Home is thataway!

I think this is how most governments in Australia work, they make things as awkward as possible and when people shun them, they point to lack of patronage and terminate the service because it’s running at a loss.  The reason for this is that I was asked why not take  the train instead of driving all the time. Don’t we have a decent rail service? This is why and the answer is no we don’t. I would love to have a train service. I  went out to Geelong, from Adelaide,  twice by train – it was new and it was exciting. I  was able  to get up and walk about , go to the dining car for a meal or a coffee. But the trains are slower than in the UK or the USA, mainly because of sped restrictions, small settlements and the tracks crossing roads. Keswick has been rebuilt and is now known as the Adelaide Parklands Terminal, which is nice, but doesn’t bring it any nearer to town.

About six/seven months ago the small settlement of Lochiel lost its hotel/pub. It was reported to have been some sort of electrical fault. The Hotel/Pub had just celebrated 150 years, so,  whIMG_0420en it burned down, 150 years of history went with it. Now it’s just a fenced off blackened shell. I have stopped twice now and found myself wishing that I had stopped more often on these Adelaide trips and perhaps taken more photographs. When we have any sort of function at the church I take photographs. Some people complained so I explained to them why I take photographs and how each photographs becomes part of the history of the church and its people and if you are in any of the photographs, then you become part of that history. At least, that’s how I see it. Not sure everyone else does though. And who knows – perhaps some kind benefactor  will put up the cash to rebuild the Lochiel Hotel/Pub and we can look back in years to come and  remember what it was before restoration.