A welcome break but hard work.

I know, hard to believe, but it’s raining again. By this time I expect your thoughts are along the lines of “I wish he would just shut up about that rain” Well, I just wish it would stop raining for a while – I’m getting waterlogged.   To add insult to injury it’s  cold – freezing really. This is not surprising because the  fiction writers that forecast the weather have said cold, wet with the possibility of snow in the Adelaide hills this weekend. In Scotland it rains from time to time and one of my most loved definitions of Scottish  weather comes from a Ken McClure book

Summer in Scotland
Summer in Scotland

“Fenton’s Winter” where the two main characters are in Edinburgh sheltering from the rain in a doorway. One says to his mate “All this rain – do you think maybe God has something against Scotland?” His friend’s reply “No – I think it’s a character development agreement  He has with John Knox. I mean, lets face it, if we were enjoying ourselves we’d feel guilty!”

But if it rains so much how can we tell the difference between winter and summer ?  Oh that’s easy – in Summer the rain is actually quite warm – wet, but warm,  whereas in winter the rain is very cold, and we have a special name for it – Snow.. I know, Scottish people joke about the weather all the time, but what else can we do ?

The seriousness of the weather is such that the Adelaide central bus station has said that it will stay open all night during the  extreme weather. It will provide a place of warmth and shelter for the elderly and the homeless. There will also be food and hot drinks provided. I have to say that the Bus Station has gone up in my estimation of it.  There is flooding in most areas in Adelaide, expected flooding in the Adelaide Hills and still looks like snow in the wee small hours. But we have been told to  brace for wild weather over the next few days. Like the weather we have had thus far has not been wild enough?

Tomorrow (Friday) we have been asked – at very short notice I might add – to organise catering for  part of the army group that has taken over parts of the town.  Presently there are about 4000 Military Personnel, soldiers and admin. here in town. No we are not catering for  all that lot – but we are catering for about 200+ who have organised a “Show and Tell” day at Civic Park . The bulk of the Army Group are stationed at Cultana – which is the military playpen of about 2090 square km. and that’s only part of it. Anyway it’s part of the main training area for the 1st. Brigade, 7th Battalion  Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) as well as units of the Australian Light Horse – so a lot of soldiers wandering around the town. Annabell has medical appointments tomorrow so I can’t help out until later in the day. On the Sunday, we have organised a Cake Stall so that should be interesting. I wont be at that! This is being held in the Stratco (hardware company) carpark.  Oh Annabell is making

Attack Helicopter
Attack Helicopter
Mr. Spananberg considers adding a new tool to Student Behaviour Management
Mr. Spanenberg considers  a new addition to Student Behaviour Management

cakes and biscuits (cookies) for

Some of the group ) my photograph)
Some of the group  ( my photograph)

this,  but I wont be there other than first thing in the morning to take her things down to the RFDS stall.

Next weekend ( 1st. 2nd. 3rd. July) we are catering for a big diving course being held out at Point Lowly – about 30 km from here. I am there on the Saturday and I have to pick up a couple of people and take them out there. We are three groups, one Friday, one Saturday and one Sunday. I have the Saturday group. Our contribution to Central Operations will be $45,000 this year – which is  pretty good for a small band of people.  It’s been a lot of work at times but we have the highest number of  RFDS landings in Australia – 573 this year. It’s not that we have a lot of sick people here but if there is an accident or an emergency in a community hospital  further north, the RFDS will pick up the patient and bring them to the nearest major hospital – us. It may well be that all we can do is stabilize , call back the RFDS and get the patient off to  the Flinders Medical Center or the Royal Adelaide Hospital for specalised treatment that we cannot provide. So a lot of that accounts for the large number of landings.

Raining Still (2)

I still  miss that little face
I still miss that little face

There has been some flooding but the rain seems have stopped for the moment. The RFDS function at Mitre 10 was a loss and our function at the church was reasonable. Not well attended but in the rain I never expected it to be and the fact that the carpark was closed off didn’t help. At the moment I have not seen any reports of property damage only  road flooding and the town cut off for a while. Both of my water tanks are overflowing so that’s good. * Diversion*  There used to be a saying “if you ever hear that the world is going to end come to South Australia – everything takes 50 years to get here”. Well not quite fifty years but three months at any rate – the time until Father’s Day in South Australia.  Sorry if I seem to have neglected to say anything but since Father’s Day does not happen here until September, I forgot. 

There is a doctor who writes an interesting blog and in a recent post she said that she is a terrible

nothing too bad and not in town - access roads.
nothing too bad and not in town – access roads.

single parent – the children go to bed when they feel like it, pizza every night, heaps of movies, no bath, no dishes done and sleep in street clothes. I thought  I would mention that I was available for adoption, but everyone seemed so serious in their comments and it was a tribute to her husband, that I decided just to select “like”and leave it at that. I thought my frivolous comment would be out of place. I felt like the Joker from Batman “Why so Serious?” or at the very least Frank Sinatra  “I tried being serious once, all I could get was construction work”.  But the interesting thing was that it was only in reading that  post that I discovered that today in Father’s Day in The United States. Yes, other posts came in too but that was the first. I understand holidays and special days that are specific to the USA  — 4th July or Thanksgiving — it’s the days we “share”that confuse me at times —  Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.   Mother’s Day in particular because you have a day in the USA, which is different from the Day in the United Kingdom, which is different from Australia.  It’s all very confusing – I feel like Paddington “I am a bear of very little brain and long words confuse me”.

Most of the flooding has subsided and the rain has finally stopped. The sun is shining and the ground is starting to dry out. The forecast is for no rain at least for most of this week, but then I believe weather forecasters make things up   :o)  If the new concrete path at the church is to be done, the concreter will have to clean out the  channel and get rid of the water before anything can be done and once it is done it will take at least a week to cure.

The WaWa is still attacking Benji and I  believe that  none of what is currently happening was ever taken into consideration. With BJ being such a placid and lovable dog we made the assumption that he and the WaWa would get on well together. On that premise I made the promise that I would look after the WaWa for Sooah until she returned. However, the WaWa has been a one girl dog was treated her like a baby, who has now bonded herself to Annabell and sees Benji as a threat. Bj is paying a high prise for my promise.

I have started to put my ideas for the back garden onto paper and I still think they will work. I don’t accept  John’s comment that some of my ideas are too big for the available space and I wont accept that until such time as I get to Bunnings and see the things I want for myself.

And as I leave I have to say that it is Tuesday and it is raining again. If people want the rain, please come and collect it. We’ll give it to you free of charge. I would be delighted to swap you for some of your snow, but people in this area would probably kill me if I did   :o) By the time summer gets around we shall all be nice and brown – not suntan – rust!!

Raining Still.

Storm Damage
Storm Damage

Well, we survived the first really Major rain storm of the season. Sadly, however, so did that  blooming stringy bark gum tree. I felt sure it would fall down – it’s half dead and hanging over the road – but no, it’s still there. If they work the same way as Adelaide we’ll have to wait until it falls down and kills or injures someone before anything gets done. The reason for that is simply if councils decide a tree is dangerous or dead and causing a hazard and decide to remove it, you can  bet with certainty  that there will be a protest group and demonstrations against the council and the workmen. Just about two years ago when we did feel the brunt of a serious storm, which caused some flooding and widespread damage, trees came down all over the town. Once the place had been cleared up and regenerated  the question arose on which trees to replace the  removed trees. The council looked over Australia and decided that it would plant Illawarra Flame Trees, ( from New South Wales) which were colorful and more suited to an urban environment than the Gum trees. Two of our council members organised a protest again the council using “exotic” trees instead of the trees that were native to this area. Thankfully we got the Flame Trees.  The storm Damage photograph shows part of the main road through town – Nicolson Avenue – both sides of the Avenue were blocked to traffic for a while. The good thing about the Flame Trees is that they will allow other things – like grass – to

Illawarra Flame Trees
Illawarra Flame Trees

grow alongside them. They don’t kill off everything around them the way Eucalyptus Trees do.

Taking the back down to the bare earth had  a few problems – it became a sea of mud during the rain storm, so everything is halted until the ground dries out. That means not moving the second shed for the time being. Perhaps by the weekend things will dry out.  However, there are two functions one church and one RFDS.  I have to attend the Church function but  son John is helping to run the RFDS function. The new concrete pathway is being laid out and the cars will no longer be able to access the  church grounds for at least a week. That should be fun!  Been raining off and on for most of the day. Managed to get out with Benji for a little while between rain showers. It was still raining but kind of spot raining rather than real rain so it wasn’t too bad.

Yes we are there somewhere..
Yes we are there somewhere..

Saturday:  Yes, well, so much for drying out at the weekend. If this rain keeps up I’ll go fishing or swimming out back. Yes it is Saturday and yes it is still raining. Not quite sure if this is merely a continuation of the original rain storm, or new rain.  Just before it started to get really dark yesterday ( about 3:30)  I took Benji out in the car and we went driving to various parts of the area and took photographs of the town shrouded in rain and mist. I also took a photograph of the storm drainage area, which is pretty full at the moment and probably today is in need of its own drainage area. I dare say the developer intends to finish off the drainage area and extend it to the  pipeline for the wetlands – in the fullness of time.

Have concerns that both functions for today might be canceled – well the Barbecue for the RFDS at any rate mainly because there is no shelter at Mitre 10 and although the function at the church is under cover ( in the hall) this continual heavy rain will probably deter a fair few people

Just Because//
Just Because

considering that they will have to walk in all the rain to get into the church since the grounds are blocked off to cars. Nipped down to see how the group were doing at the Barbecue at Mitre 10. Not all that good from what I saw. Just John and the team – no people despite the fact that Mitre 10 have a big sale on.

Winter rain cometh!

In happier times
In happier times

It would appear that the “Parcel”thing may well have been some sort of scam. What the purpose of it is or was, we have no idea but it

The WaWa
The WaWa

would seem several people across the town received such an email. Anyway, it has been deleted but it seems such a strange thing without any definable purpose.  After we dropped Andrew back at his place yesterday, he apparently continued to work on the cleanup after we left. Andrew’s house is an older house – actually it is two houses joined together – professionally done – and he has rooms everywhere inside and sheds and garages out the back, a cubby house and  what used to be a home office – similar to mine. There are trees and bushes planted out front and they have been allowed to become overgrown. To the right of the house (left of the main garage) there is a water outlet, which feeds water into a “river” that runs along the front of the house, under a bridge and ends in a pond at the left side of the house. Over the years the  bushes have become overgrown, the  river is clogged up and the pond is full of leaves and branches. We discovered solar lights and gnomes fishing there. Andrew has not really done much since it’s only in the last seven months or so that he stopped running back and forth to Roxby Downs – the  big South Australia Mining Area – ( he’s a Systems Engineer) and settled in to home. So he has this project of cleaning everything up and  getting it all back together again. He says he has reservations about  getting the water flowing again, but he does want the  “riverbed” cleaned up.  Me?  I would go all out to get the water flowing again, but that’s just me. I had a waterfall here and it grieved me when we discovered that it had  deteriorated too much to be put back  into use. But I did work on it and turned it into a sort of rock-raised flower bed.  But these things are not uncommon here –  many people built water features in the days when water was water and plentiful. Most of them would have been turned off forever when water ceased to be water and became a major source of State Government Revenue –  and South Australia has the highest water costs in Australia. We also have the highest gas prices, the highest power prices and the highest State Government charges. We are in the process of building the third most costly building in the world- the Money Pit known as the New Royal Adelaide Hospital. But we have a spendthrift government – and I believe Arrium is merely an example of a system, which might not quite be broken, but has bits falling off it. It’s a borrow and spend culture.

I have started to do some work on the back garden.  Shared my ideas with No. 1 son and he was not too impressed. He thought my ideas were good but some parts were too big for the available

And the RFDS were there
And the RFDS were there

space. Anyway, I’m working on it. I have emptied and moved the first of the two sheds and I hope to have the second one moved to its new location sometime today.  (didn’t happen)

Thursday 16th: That was yesterday and today the rain is pounding down outside and the lightening is lighting up the sky. Rain was definitely on the weather forecast for today. At the moment I can only hear – it is still too dark to see anything yet. And yes, you may assume that we did not go out for our morning walk. Call me a wimp if you will, but walking dogs in the middle of a rain storm, with the accompanying thunder and lightening,  does not fit into my definition of a good morning’s exercise   :o)  However, I will go and check up on the WaWa – Benji is curled up asleep. – as is the WaWa.

To add to the gloom of the place, our Mayor – Mr. Jim Pollock – died and his funeral is this coming Monday.


OK. I know this will seem like a silly / odd thing to ask. Has anyone sent me a parcel? I have had an email from the parcel delivery service to state that they have tried to derliver a package to me over the last few days and if I do not respond within 24 hours, it will be sent back to the person who sent it. To my knowledge I have not ordered anything so it’s a puzzle. If you have not just ingore this, but it you have, please let me know because tomorrow is a public holiday here and I will have to get to the depot on Tuesday if I can.




Thank you.

Benji, WaWa, Dump and Sons

Benji on the driveway
Benji on the driveway

First an update on Benji.  We have only recently realised that the WaWa does not attack Benji when they are outside. They wander around the  place together, they find good spots in the early winter sun and sit down together. They actually play together outside.  However, when they are back in the house all bets are off. The WaWa – as far as we can ascertain – is the defender of Annabell against everyone. When anyone comes near her the WaWa positions herself in the front and sits on Annabell’s foot – ready to attack anyone who threatens.  Take that a step further and the WaWa is the protector of the house – her mission if life is to protect the house and protect Annabell – even against me. If I go into the kitchen to talk, the WaWa will rush in,  position herself between me and Annabell, with her back paws on Annabell’s foot. If I go to Annabell’s room, the WaWa will come racing up the hall – barking all the way – run into the room and position herself between us. Thus, the WaWa sees Benji as a threat to her mistress. The difference between the inside and the outside WaWa is amazing. And we have only just  cottoned on to this.

The workmen came yesterday (Tuesday) and worked for a couple of hours. The reason it took so long was the “hidden obstacles”.  I knew there was a concrete slab at the back but what I didn’t know was how far it extended since the previous owners had covered  up that area with topsoil and gravel. It took a fair chunk of time to remove that. However, even the workmen were pleased with the result and I now have a “workable”area. I did say that I don’t have plans, but I do have ideas – whether they work or not is a moot point – but I think they are good ideas. However, the next task is to have the back fence repaired and I am not certain when that’s getting done.

My son wanted to borrow my trailer, which meant a trip to the dump to get it emptied then take it over to his place. On the way  I picked up my other son  who was going to help me. Well we did

The WaWa we are looking after for a few months
The WaWa we are looking after for a few months

that and drove to Andrew’s place to pass over the trailer. Instead we stayed there and helped him clean up. John and I loaded the trailer with all the green waste ( tree and bush cuttings) and was in the process of trying to tie it down when Andrew decided to tell us that he has a portable green waste shredder in the garage. We will draw a curtain on the next ten minutes but I understand a shearer passed by and blushed. We emptied the trailer and

The Foreshore - My Picture
The Foreshore – My Picture

used the shredder – much better. Took the trailer to the dump and guess who had not brought any money with him?? Guess who paid the dump fee?? Well I suppose fathers have to be useful for something :o)

Sunday 12th:   Benji was in a strange mood this morning. Don’t know what happened but he was covered in tattoos, smelled like a distillery and was reluctant to get out of bed. Finally got him out and the morning walk took twice as long because he kept stopping and was determined to water every tuft of grass.  He’s a worry.

Oh a quick PS.  I think we might have the WaWa for a tad “longer than the “few months”.  In the current economic climate it may take Sooah and her husband longer to get back to Australia.