Blue Lake, Padlocks and Bridges of Paris

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but if I did, I apologise. Some weeks ago it was discovered that there was a serious electrical fault in this area so  teams were brought in to examine

The driveway thus far.
The driveway thus far.

the pipes – mostly by a  sort of x-ray machine. After several hours it was discovered that the fault was right underneath my driveway. I gave permission for it to be dug up and the following morning I moved the car out to the roadway and the bottom part of the drive was dug up. They started with only a part of the drive then since that was not the area, moved to the whole length of the drive.  They

found the fault and set about repairing it — However– in digging up the area to repair an electrical fault and replace a cable, it was discovered that there was a gas fault, so  SA Gas was called in, and after trying to get the part needed anywhere in Australia it was decided to put on a temporary patch until they could source the part from somewhere. The trench was backfilled and heavy crusher  dust – a sort of very fine gravel – was pounded in and that was that. It has now been over a month  since this was done and still no replacement part and from what the supervisor was telling me that even if the part arrives it may not be enough because a whole section of  pipe is suspect all along the front of the house, so that may have to be dug up. If not now – in the not too distant future. This means that for the time being I can’t do a lot of work at the front of the house because I don’t know what is to happen there or when they might decide to replace the pipe.

Padlocks and the Blue Lake
Padlocks and the Blue Lake

The weather has been a lot cooler these last couple of days. It did reach  42c at one point but it did come down with a cool, overnight change. I think it will be fairly reasonable when I  drive to Adelaide on Tuesday. This will be the last meeting of the West Terrace Committee for the year and since other things are sort of up in the air, no more  travelling until February.

Some may remember the story of the bridge in Paris that lovers bolted padlocks to and how the massive number of steel padlocks was compromising the structure that they had to be removed, much to the consternation of the lovers. Anyway, a similar event took place in London and now it seems people are doing this in any tourist area that has a metal structure close  and, it would seem Mount Gambier is not immune. I did notice that the viewing platform, which has an open steel and timber guardrail has attracted padlocks.

I liked Mount Gambier and from what I saw of it, the place has a vibrancy that seems to be missing here. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it seemed  exciting and interesting as if something was about to happen. Also I couldn’t help but notice how clean and fresh the place looked. And of course the drive through the area called the Limestone Coast and the  vineyards on either side of the roadway, the forests and the rolling pastures and then the Wineries, it was all a very pleasant experience. I  really must  take time out to get some photographs next trip there in May.


The lady is wearing her blue dress

Friday /Saturday 14th Nov.

I am in Mount Gambier, which as I said before, is about 900+klm  South-West of home. I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a five and a half  hour drive from Adelaide,

Not enough sun to show its true Blue Colour
Not enough sun to show its true Blue Colour

where I stayed overnight. My accommodaying is quite pleasant and spacious so I  am comfortable enough. In the morning I will attend to Presbytery and in the early afternoon, head back to Adelaide. I’ll stay there overnight again and head home on Sunday morning. I will have been away for four days and although John has come over each night to take Benji our walking, I have to say that I miss my dog. Goodness I’ve hardly had him five weeks and I miss being away from him already.  Herself tells me that he gets excited when John comes to take him out but most of the time  he jumps up on my bed and stays there for much of the day.

I did get to see the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier and although it was quite blue, it needs the sun to bring out the full colour and we didn’t have much sun today. For most of the year it’s just a normal water colour but from mid-November it starts to change due to

The Rook Look-Out at the Blue Lake
The Rook Look-Out at the Blue Lake

some chemical reaction. It was a volcano. There were two other smaller lakes beside this and although there are viewing platforms for them, they have mostly dried up.  By the time I come back here – probably in May – the colour will have gone. We are not due back here again until May of 2016.

Adelaide 14th/15th

The meeting finished just before noon and I did not stay for lunch but headed back to Adelaide, arriving here  shortly after 5pm. stopping only briefly at Keith for fuel. The freeway was fairly quiet, so it was a good run through to Bolivar. I called home to let herself know where I was then had a fairly good sleep. I packed up and was on the Main Highway to Port Wakefield at 5:35 and with only one stop for fuel and food I was managed to catch  the after service coffee at the church before going home with herself to get attacked by an excited dog. I think it’s fair to say he was glad to see me. It was only four days for me, but that’s a long time for a dog.

The trip, however, was great and I  enjoyed passing the wineries and vinyards and although all the major  wine producers are there, there is a fair number of smaller boutique Wineries and the next time I come through here I  am going to make a point of stopping at some of the smaller wineries and perhaps doing a bit of a stock up  :o)

Home 16th. Nov.

In the meantime my computer is playing up something chronic. I cannot get into my mail server and I don’t know how much I have lost. I cannot get into other programs so

Hello, again, Hello!!

although I need to finish off the  Magazine, I cannot because I can’t get into MS Publisher — so, we are doing the best we can until Wednesday when John will come over and help me set up the new computer. I’ve just about had it with this one- it’s been an on-going battle for months now and although this is not the first time I have lost mail, this time it is serious and I cannot even get into the mail server.  and it’s only my good nature (??) that stops it from having an up-close and personal with a sledge hammer. However, it’s not a total loss and after we set up the new computer I will format this one and see what we can do with it. Use it as a spare with Windows 10. At the moment I seem to have no major concerns with the Internet and internet programs, but everything else is gone haywire. At the moment I still have no mail system but we are working on that. Part of the concern is the amount of stuff I have on Outlook Express – which is no longer available.  We are having problems setting up the Windows Mail system, but as I said, we are working on that.

Post storms and mining.

New Houses still going up.
New Houses still going up.

The place is slowly drying out. One Mall shop is still closed as repair work is being done, everyone else is back in business until the next belt of rain – whenever that may be. But it’s great – $56 Million upgrade and the roof leaks !!  The garden is drying out and once that happens -probably sometime today – I can start to clear up everything. I can do that in between packing and getting ready to head off to Mount Gambier (900k West). I will be away for four days. I will, of course. take my camera with me, the question is, should I also take the Tripod? Probably, if I have enough space. I’d like to take my dog with me so I can say I have at least one friend in the area.  I always liked that comment by Sean Connery in  “The Last Crusade”  – “My Boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land”

I have been out and about this morning and everything is drying out fairly quickly. Once the rain finally stopped the flooding dissapated as the storm drains caught up. The mud at the far end of the street  is also drying out – but the ruts are nice. A new form of gardening perhaps?? Was awake at the crack of dawn this morning, got dressed and took Benji out walking for over an hour and a bit. I have extended our area so I roughly do about 12,000 steps a day, which is about 6 miles. Perhaps not a lot for some people, but a lot for me in a day.

Today (Sunday) everything is definately drying out – well, it would with the temperature at 36c. ( 96F)  The walks take place earlier in the morning ( to avoid the heat and the flies) and later in the evening ( oddly ehough to avoid the heat and the flies) Even so, I will have to start taking my belt with me –  a waist belt that has pockets for a plastic bowl and another for a water bottle and one for black bags.  It’s interesting in that he already equates various items of clothing with walks and if I go near them he thinks we are going out and generally speaking we are. We had a hotish 37c yesterday and a milder and cooler 26 today and everything is just about dried out. I spoke to John  over the weekend and he will come over each day I am away and take Benji out walking, so at least he will get some exercise.  The mining boom has just about gone “Boom” but new houses are still being built, however, not quite as many as there were six or eight months ago and some of these

Can't remember where I got this from.
Can’t remember where I got this from.

houses that were build are already up for sale.  With the current unemployment rate in Southg Australia ( the highest in Australia) I can see this increasing and the “for Sale” signs becoming more frequent that they already are. It is a very uncertain time not just in South Australia, but Australia in general since our State and Federal Governments have based their  budgets on the revenue from the mining and comodities boom – which is  just about finished.  Interesting times!!

Where is Noah when you need him?

 Supermarket Carpark
Supermarket Carpark

I haven’t the foggiest idea who said  “be careful what you wish for – you might actually get it” Four serious thunderstorms in less than three days. That was fun!!  A fair amount of  property damage, serious damage to crops and structural damage all across the peninsula. Port Lincoln,  at the bottom of the Peninsula,  took the brunt of the damage but we took a fair hit ourselves with damage in the city center and the major shopping center. There was  flooding all around the place – not the damage to houses and sandbag kind of flooding, but the streets and carparks were flooded with the storm drains unable to cope with the volume of water. There was also a lot of leaks in the roof of the new  supermarket and several of the new shops were partly flooded with one still closed for repair.  The

Taken at the Garden Center - Not my photograph
Taken at the Garden Center – Not my photograph

thunder abated and the lightening faded and the rain stopped and we thought it was all over. Poured again an hour after that and kept going until after midnight. That’s when much of the flooding took place. The morning was quite but by lunch it started again – another cloudburst and thunderstorm. That stopped about 3pm and we had a break until about 5pm when we got hit yet again. We had a shorter, smaller storm the following morning and according to reports we had over 63mm of rain in two and a half days. Eveything is still damp and wet but the good thing – the thing we should be thankful for – is that it was thunderstorms and rain – THERE WAS NO WIND. With that amount of rain a high wind would have been a disaster –  these  gum trees would have come down like they did  some years ago. That was only light rain then but a very high wind and enough rain to loosen the soil. That would have been really serious.  So it’s all been fun and games these last few days and like me, even people who have lived here their entire life said they had never seen anything like it. Makes you thankful that we don’t have a river anywhere near here.

That's What Port Lincoln looked like - not my photograph -
That’s What Port Lincoln looked like – not my photograph –

Up here at my end of the town no flooding to speak of but the road and the gardens of the new houses are awash in water and mud. With only bare earth the workmen driving in and out – when they can – as well as people who have done nothing to the earth in the front of their houses, the area is like a giant mudbath. However it will dry out in time. At the moment when I have managed to get out with Benji, I have had to change shoes and wash his paws when we come back  for our  between storms walk.  At the moment the damage to crops is still being assessed but reports are that it could run into $$millions.

The rain it falleth on the Just

Nice Rain Clouds - these ones didn't amount to much but the others did.
Nice Rain Clouds – these ones didn’t amount to much but the others did.

On Monday the tree people came and had a look at the White Cedar and gave me a quote for trimming it back somewhat. Tomorrow (Wednesday) they will come and do the job. I am quite pleased about this because I really am tired of spending hours on end every other day sweeping up these  “berries”. Once this is done I can then think about how I am going to cover up the crazy paving so that Herself can walk on it with safety.  The Sturt Desert Rose has taken off again and I have masses of blue/purple flowers. They are very delicate and do not last long, but there are a lot of them and they are constant during their flowering season.

I am convinced that weather people make up the forecast as they go along. Yesterday they promised heavy  rain and even thunderstorms for today and up until now (6:46pm) it has been a lovely day – nice – not too warm – just nice. Not a whiff of dark clounds. This is good in one respect – it means that I can continue to work at clearing all the gravel  ( cheap stuff) that the previous owner laid down. But in other rerspects it’s not so good because my knee is killing me and I need a break – a day off – so I am equally unhappy with the less than accurate weather forecasts.

Benji continues to settle down but there is still that accusing face at the window if we go out without him. There was a RFDS Barbecue at the weekend and I took him down to let people see him. They made a fuss over him, which he loved,  and he got free grub.  Bummer – I had to pay for mine   :o)

The long predicted thunderstorm finally arrived and it was a beauty. I was delighted to see that Benji gave not the slightest attention to the noise of the thunder and the heavy rain.  Reports are that there is a fair amount of flooding and structural damage across the peninsula. The thunder started about 5pm followed by  more, heavier thunder lightening

These chicken samwishes, look nise, daddy..
These chicken samwishes, look nise, daddy..

and the heaviest rain I have seen here for a long time. I believe there is some damage to the shopping center. I’ll have a look at that in the morning.  It’s almost midnight and it’s still raining – not as heavy as it was earlier, but still raining. It did go off for a while and I managed to take Benji for a quick walk, but the rain was back again before we got home –

not too wet  :o)