Sunday – apart from church – is family day and in the evening the family all come over to our house and share dinner together. Last night, however, was special for me. Although my birthday is not until April, the family – Annabell, John, Andrew, Patrica and the Girls – decided on an early Birthday Gift. In February my boys are taking me to Melbourne to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. A reconstruction of the front facade of the Castle is being built in Ethiad Stadium in Melbourne and the permanent staff from Scotland will be coming over. I am so looking forward to this – the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards. They (the family) all know that I have a great fear of flying so we are driving there and the boys want to go via the Great Ocean Road, which means I will get back to the Memorial Arch but this time I have will my photograph taken with each of the boys. This is the area where there was a deadly fire a few months ago but it has now been cleared for travel. We should also make time to stop at Bell’s Beach. Isn’t it interesting that I am already creating photographs in my head and what I want to do.It would be really neat to make a detour to Drysdale and see what’s happened to my Sister’s property, but I don’t think we will
have the time for that. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is just magic and I will have to contain myself until the week after I come back from Presbytery, which, fortunately, is in Adelaide this time.
Apart from the Tattoo, this will be the first time in years that the boys and I have been away someplace together – so I am quite looking forward to that. Of course it’s four days that I will miss Benji and I will miss our splashing around at the beach. He will miss his hotdog reward, but I’ll make it up to him. It wont take us long to get back on track. However, it is going to be an interesting start to the month – Adelaide this coming weekend – Adelaide the weekend after – Melbourne the week after that. Yes, Benji will think I’ve abandoned him.
Benji and I tried out a new walking route this morning. Interesting but turns out to be over 1000 steps shorter than our current route. Since today is a public holiday ( Australia Day) I might drive round the route and see where I could make a detour to make up the additional steps. If you’re interested it is calculated to be 1320 steps per kilometer and Benji and I cover about 12500 steps per day which is about 5.7 miles or 9.5 kilometres and we do this every day. I realise this to professional walkers, this is probably just a warm up, but it’s a lot for the dog and me – 50+ klms per week.
At this point I wrote some thoughts on Australia Day and deleted them. Better to let the so called elites of society have their say because at midnight I think they turn back into pumpkins. I just have to say though, I love the way some Australians get elected as “Australian of the Year”and use the opportunity not to celebrate their achievements but to tell the rest of us what a racist, guilty of religious discrimination lot we are. For me – well I often think of Sir Walter Scott “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”
O Caledonia! stern and, wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e’er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left;
And thus I love them better still
Even in extremity of ill.
By Yarrow’s streams still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way.,
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my wither’d cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot Stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.
12th January 2016
It had been my intention to depart quietly and without fuss, but in the words of Robert Burns “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley ( go often astray) and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy” Close enough I guess. I believed that after four years this wasn’t really going anywhere so the sands of time had brought it to the end of its road. Well, that was what I intended but it didn’t quite work out that way. Unlike ID4 I was going to go quietly into the night, but someone whom I greatly respect convinced me otherwise. Even if no one responds, it’s still
Since December the weather has been very mixed with hot days – very hot days, fry an egg on the roof of the car days and days when it has been cold and windy. At the moment it’s up around the low 40c with a high fire danger tomorrow and strong Southerly winds and total fire bans in 11 of the 15 fire districts. So far we have been fire free for the time being – not so Western Australia and a deadly fire which is still burning. With the strange – hot-cold-hot-dry – weather we have been having lately I think most fire controls areas are on edge. We are not really in a fire prone area but part of our district is so we come under the extreme fire danger / fire bans. Temperature today 44.3. A fire on Kangaroo Island and another smaller fire in the south
Since I have been home Benji and I spend some of our evenings either at the Wetlands or at the beach. The last few nights have been windy and the water choppy so no splashing about. Today the weather was hot and calm so we could have gone to the beach and into the water but the boys and I have been clearing out the lounge in preparation for the new carpet to be delivered and laid. Herself picked out the carpeting four years ago and it was an off white colour. Was fine for a while until The Man took ill and then Chienne became ill- so, we need new carpeting. And yes, we did clear out all the furniture and brought in a professional cleaner, but whilst it did clean it some, it did illustrate that off white was a bad choice :o)
At the start of last week I ordered a new Planner/Organiser from a company in the Netherlands. A day or so after ordering and paying I was notified that it had been sent on Wednesday 6th Jan. The package – all the way from Rotterdam – arrived this afternoon. I have had packages that have taken longer to come from Melbourne, so I have to say that I am very impressed. I have been fairly busy today and I’m a bit squashed up until the furniture gets put back, so I have to contain myself and open it in the morning. I bought two new Coffee Mugs. Didn’t come up too well on the photograph, but you should get the idea; the Text is “Benji the Wonder Dog”
This week I will call the yard clean-up people back again and have the whole of the front cleared. I have decided that the woodchips cannot be saved, so we will clear the lot. Once that’s done I’ll give thought to what I am going to replace it with once I have put in new edging. Will take a while but I hope it will be worth it. Last year I made mention of weeds – everywhere and there are reports that the Flinders Ranges National Park and surrounding areas are infested with weeds. The wet then dry and hot have created conditions for an upsurge in weeds – even around here. This week has been a good example of this in that the temperature rose to 44c then collapsed and it has been cold and windy ever since. This morning I had track pants and a jacket ( should have had a heavier one) when I took Benji out for his morning walk. The wind was very cold. Almost like mid-winter. A few spot fires – mostly deliberately lit – which is concerning when we do get hot weather again.