The drive to Adelaide and then on to Mount Gambier was completed in beautiful weather; an average of 34c. I spent Thursday in Adelaide, and, as I had promised myself, I visited Miss McGregor at the nursing home. She is in the locked (closed) section so I was escorted in by the Chaplain. I have to confess that I was taken aback by the changes in Mary’s looks. She has lost a lot of weight and she looks different. The voice, however, although
less strong, remains much the same. I am told that her health is good and that although she is confined to bed ( being unable to walk) but also that she takes part in limited activities. I have never had a “conversation”with a dementia (Alzheimer) person before so I was unsure of how to proceed, but I just talked about mutual people we knew and I was pleased that some of the names were familiar to her. I, sadly, was not but I had accepted that from the beginning and felt that it was not really important that she remembered who I was – the important thing is that I know who she was/is. I mentioned one name and she responded by asking how he was. I told her that, sadly, he died last year and she was sad, but a short time later she mentioned his name again and asked how he was. I decided to tell her that he was fine. She mentioned other people who have also passed and I told her but then she mentioned them again and asked how they were and I saw little point in repeating the sadness each time, so I told her they were well. I stayed with her for some time going over the same subjects and talking about the same people and after I left I decided that whenever I am in Adelaide I will make time to go out and visit with her. I wish to make sure that this is not a case of out of sight – out of mind. She deserves better.
A beautiful drive to Mount Gambier – sunny and a warm 34c in Adelaide – not so much in M.G. but still nice. I did what I promised myself I would do and that was to visit some of the wineries of the Limestone Coast – my favourite wine area. I was in no hurry to get to MG so I took my time and ended up with a half dozen bottles of wine from several places – a mixture of Shiraz and Cabernet-Sauvignon, with one Vintage Cab-Sav. However, I was still able to spend time at the Blue Lake, The Umperston Sinkhole Garden and the Sailing ship, The Lady Nelson. Although no one is allowed on the ship, I was amazed that something this small could make the long voyage from England to Australia. I would have gone to the Caves but after the stairs at Umpherston, I gave the caves a miss. The stairs at Umpherston were enough torture on my knee for one day, although I found the gardens quite impressive and I would have liked to go back later in the evening and perhaps feed the possums that live there at night, but I didn’t for a number of reasons.
Saturday was very different – cold, wet and miserable and the meeting dragged on well into the afternoon. That being so it was after 4pm before I got away from MG and I believed that I could make the descent from Crafers into Adelaide before the failing of the light. I did not count on there being heavy rain storms and dark clouds so, in essence I did two of my most favoured things in all the world – the descent from Crafers in the dark and in the middle of a rain-storm- what joy! I made it through town and headed to Bolivar – in the rain – to find that it was closed (irritating) so I pushed on through to Dublin only to find that they have a very nice hotel for which they have lost their accommodation license. I decided to drive back to Two Wells and stayed there overnight. Didn’t get much sleep because the rain belted down and the wind was pretty fierce and having a balcony outside my room didn’t really help. I know, I just like complaining!!
Sunday I got up early, had a quick wash ( no shower – I’m a mucky pup) and hit the road as soon as it got light. It looked good, dull, overcast but dry. That didn’t last long and I had only passed Dublin (again) when the rain started. Much of the time it was quite heavy but occasionally I was going through a bounce off the road kind of rain. And the really fun part was that the
corrugations and depressions on the Port Wakefield were all filled with water, which made for an exciting drive. Fortunately there was no other traffic on the road and I was the only idiot out in this inclement weather, which was just as well because I skidded twice. This weather pattern kept up until I passed Crystal Brook about 200 kms from home. After that, clear skies, dry road, sun and blue skies even. I started to wonder if the previous 200+ kms were just a bad dream. I made good time after that and arrived back at the church just as the urn was boiling and people were having coffee and biscuits. A good way to end the trip. Oh yes, and the River Murray is looking good and I did make a stop at Tailem Bend on the way through – not on the way back.