The WaWa – all change.

Chienne when the world was very young,.

In all of my life I have only ever bought one dog from a Pet Shop. I have to truthfully say that I have looked and liked what I saw – but then, I didn’t know any better. I bought this dog from the Pet Shop, because I knew the owner, she was also a dog groom and she also ran boarding kennels. We called the dog Chienne – I know some people in France use this as an insult but to me it just simply meant what she was a Female Dog. This was almost sixteen years ago. She died at just over fourteen years of age. She never had a day ill in her life and the only time she had to wear a “Collar of Shame” was when she had been to the vet for “The Operation”. She was a lovely dog, dearly loved by everyone who came into contact with her, particularly the Love of Her Life – my youngest son, Andrew. She also helped to fill an interesting matchmaking role, but that’s another story. My reason for reliving all this, is not to inflict sadness on myself, but to state a point – and the point is this – in my life I have only ever had one experience of a pet shop and that experience was very positive. I do not for one second doubt that many

Puppy Farms are dreadful places and should be closed down. My heart aches  when I think of some of these poor animals. However my only experience was a positive one and it is very difficult to set that aside. Every dog, including Benji, was a rescue dog. Only Chienne was a Pet Shop Dog and she was one of the most lovable dogs I have ever lived with – and to be honest it took me a  while  to stop calling him and at times referring to Benji as Chienne. That’s how imprinted she was on me.

The WaWa and I have become quite close to the point where I can go to her,  lift her up and she snuggles into my  neck. In my  wild erratic fancy, I had visions of her searching where would be the

Hello peeple..
The WaWa

best point to sink her teeth into, but that’s being unkind  :o)  I can also sit down on the floor and when Benji is not around I can sit and play with her, scratch her ears and her belly and  pet her back and head. Tippysmom was spot on when she said that  it will be an incredible wrench if /when the owner comes back and I have to give her up. I never meant to get attached to her but I have – and that’s a concern.

I have been working outside – even in the high temperatures we have had this week – because I want to get as much of the garden finished as I can. At the moment I have completed about half of what needs to be done and I would like to get most of it finished this week.  For the  gravel I am using Granite Chips – not cheap but they look good and they hold their colour for a long time. Other stone chip seems to fade after a while whereas Granite does not. The Frangipani  are coming along well as are the four Mandevilla / white /pink and two red. All very nice and should last until about mid-May, which is when I head off to Mount Gambier for four days. I water and feed the flowers and plants before I go and hope that will be enough to last them until I get back. And before you ask, the answer is NO.

A post ago I used a photographs of snow in Neilson. The photographs was taken in the morning, and by mid-afternoon the snow was all gone. It didn’t last long apparently.

Still no word about what is happening with Arrium. As far as we know there are two  buyers interested – One British and one South Korean. The uncertainty is such that there are so many houses

For Tippysmom / My Back Yard

for sale around the town;  a number of houses foreclosed by the bank and I know of at least one house – a big house – where the owners just packed up and walked away, leaving everything to the bank. As I said before our major shopping Mall, once advertised as the largest outside of Adelaide,  has 18 empty shops. However on a positive note we believe that a large retailer will be moving into the larger of the empty shops ( 3 in 1)  soon. Good in that it  is a large area and will take away the empty look from that section and also that it will provide jobs.

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Yams, Walkies and Snow

During the course of an afternoon, Annabell will ask me if I would like a coffee – chocolate biscuit or scone. Now I know I have casually mentioned in some posts that I like scones, but in a situation like this I will choose to have a scone rather than a chocolate biscuit. You see, I can’t share a chocolate biscuit, but I can share a scone with my Associate. You have to think of these things  :o)  This afternoon, being Thursday, I did as I promised I would do, I got out the Mandoline / Mandolin slicer,   sliced the Sweet Potatoes and put the slices on two baking trays and put these in a 120c oven for three hours. After about halfway I’ll go and turn them.  I just hope, after all this, the dogs like them and they don’t end up in landfill – or I end up eating them myself.  Don’t balk – it’s sweet potato not actual dog food. If this does work, I might give the  Peanut Butter recipe a go.

Benji and the WaWa at the beach

I lift her leash and her tail goes off like a wee helicopter. Last night I put her on Annabell’s lap while I got Benji ready and she was not happy and Annabell says she was watching my every move and when I came back in with Benji on his leash she was straining to get down. Once she was down on the floor she made straight for the door, ready to go. The difference is remarkable and this morning I was sitting on the floor giving the WaWa ear and belly scratches. She is a changed little girl.

I am not altogether sure what is going on but for the last three days there have been police and police cars all around this area. There was five officers went into a house three houses away, two more officers on the street and parked outside our house was one of the police cars. I mean even if you are a law abiding citizen ( is there such a person?)  having a police car practically parked outside your door is a little bit disconcerting.  I thought of an escaped convict but that would have been all over the news and it was not a drug thing because had that been the case there would have been vans and chemical containment vehicles there and there wasn’t – so I don’t know what’s going on. I know their dogs keep escaping but that would not involve what must be half the city police force.

Yes daddy, I will sweep up – but first – The Nap..

Benji seems to have put his paw down in revolt “no more photographs with me and the WaWa”. Every time I stopped to try and take a photograph he  came quickly back and went behind my legs. He did this every single time when we were out yesterday afternoon. On Wednesday morning when the coffee ladies are here I’ll take them both down to the Foreshore and see what the beach is like and see what happens there. If the seagrass problem gets too bad, the council send in front loaders to clear if away and use it – with other stuff – for mulch.

On Sunday I had to quietly call Annabell through – there was Andrew sitting on the chair, the WaWa lying lengthwise along his lap, and he was scratching her and playing with her. When he stopped scratching her belly, she hit him with her paw until he started again. Sadly I was too stunned at what I was watching to get the camera and I was also afraid that if I moved,  it would break the moment. Unreal is a much overused word, but that’s what it was. I have taken advice and early this morning when Benji and I go for our long walk – I  decided to take the WaWa with us. She was willing and walked most of the way . I did carry her for a little bit, but mostly she did it on her own.  The photograph of

This was taken in Neilston not far from Glasgow today.

Benji – I did not set this up, he lay down beside the brush himself. This other photograph is for Denver in Colorado. It was sent to us this morning by a friend who lives in a place called Neilston,  outside Glasgow. I thought you would like and appreciate it  – and my life insurance is up to date  :o)

Update, the house mentioned is now empty and there is a notice on the gate “This property is under Security Surveillance ” same notice as the house the bank foreclosed in another part of our walk route.  It’s really quite sad and the Sacked Arrium Management has a lot to answer for – but then they have gone so they never will.

Traffic Comments and Walking with WaWa

I think daddy set up this bed for me. Isn’t he kind..

A long weekend has just concluded and things will get back to normal. Anyone with any degree of intelligence, stays away from Adelaide at this time – unless there happens to be a specific reason for going – conference, Adele Concert, International Cricket Match, and so forth. Even at the best of time Adelaide traffic is heavy, but then as I keep saying, 15% of the land mass is occupied by 85% of the population – give or take the odd percentage and South Australia  is bigger than most European countries and bigger than Alaska. We are fortunate in that we do not

Oh that’s what these things do!?!

have the traffic problems experienced by other places – mind you there is only one other place in South Australia- Adelaide, so generally our drivers here in the north  are still largely courteous and considerate, although we do find with younger drivers that no one has really impressed on them what that lever on the right of the steering wheel is for. That’s the one that goes backwards and forwards and makes a strange clicking sound. Other drivers find the sound soothing,  strangely comforting  and just leave it on. Other than these little quirks, driving here is  good.  I find the drivers in Adelaide, rude and impatient and very intolerant – but then, I suppose that’s no different from any other major city.  However, the roads into Adelaide get so congested that it doesn’t take much to bring traffic to a halt and create a  major back-up. An event – whatever – and half the city is closed down. I’ve been caught up in that once. Never made that mistake again. On a long weekend like this everyman, woman and their dogs head north and the generally quiet Port Wakefield becomes a major bottleneck since all traffic – coming or going – has to pass through it. One slight problem and the traffic can be banked up either way for quite some distance.  But to compare our traffic to  the USA or any other major European City, is just plain silly. The entire population of South Australia would probably  fit into one of the Boroughs of New York.

Out last night

The family were here at the weekend and they were amazed at the changes that have taken place with the WaWa.  John came in and she started by barking at him then

Bit better – not much, but a bit

jumping at him, so I told him that she wanted him to pick her up. He was reluctant to do so, but then he bent down, put his hand under her and lifted her up into his arms. He was amazed at how she was. Andrew came in later and she did the same thing to him, barked then jumped at him and I told him to pick her up. Andrew thought it was a bit of a joke, but on  assurances from John and I he bent down and picked her up. She snuggled into his shoulder and he wandered about the house for the next half hour with the WaWa on  his shoulder. The boys just could not believe the changes in her in a week. I am very pleased that all our patience is starting to pay off and she is becoming what she really is – a friendly, lovable and playful little thing. First few days of our walks I carried her part of the way, now I don’t and she walks the whole distance. We generally walk within the bike lane. I pick up her leash and her tail is going fit to create a hurricane  I have to admit though in the early morning when I have Benji out on his own I don’t mind his stopping at every tree, bush and clump of grass  to have a sniff – it’s  the almost forever NCIS investigation of every blade of grass in that clump that gets me.

We are hearing from Sooah a bit more frequently now and she has responded several times to the photographs I put on line, which is very good and I am well pleased. I think she  must have been reading from the start and was upset by the fact that the initial behavior of her dog was causing me problems. There are still problems with Benji when they are in the house, but outside of the house they are more like Big Brother and Little (adopted) Sister and the play and walk well together. Something we need to work on. I have to say that the changes have been quite remarkable, but very welcome. Now if I could just get her to stop ambushing Benji ……………………….

 

Past, Present, and Future.

I think both here and overseas, one of the major talking points is the weather and how strange it has been – we expect winter snow – and we get none / we expect summer heat – and it’s limited to a couple of days.  We had a heatwave a few weeks ago when the temperature topped 44c. Last week, and this week we were warned of another heatwave and possible power cuts – neither of which happened. I took Benji out this morning, turned round and came back inside and changed into a heavier jacket. True it was still dark, but it was cold – not winter cold, but cold enough for a different jacket. Temperatures have been warm to very warm. Using the term “Hot” would be – for us here anyway – a slight exaggeration.  I look on the weather people as I look on the South Australian Government – take everything they tell you with a large pinch of salt.

Michaela Denis

When I was growing up in the 60s there was a pioneer couple appeared on Television – black and white, of course, we didn’t have colour until the mid 70s – anyway,  this pioneering couple were Armand  and Michaela Denis. As far as I know they retired in 1961,  but their films and the Wildlife TV Programs were shown well into the  1960s because they were pioneers in Wildlife Filming, setting man of the standards. If I remember correctly I think one of their  TV programmes was “On Safari”   Interesting in that the  Denis couple were closing their career just as another broadcaster was starting his – David Attenborough.

Took Benji and the WaWa down to the Foreshore for a Beachie. There is a small problem here – in order to have a beachie you needs a beach. Today was not a good day with about 10% beach and 90% seaweed. Oh  a Beachie is South Australian for a romp around the beach. Depending on the weather we might go North sometime this

A Seagrass Beach

week. This morning we didn’t go anywhere. Generally I get up with the alarm, get dressed and the Boy and I go out for our morning walk. Well, I got up and I got dressed and I got ready to go out, but he refused. I don’t know what was wrong with him, but he just didn’t want to go out. In fact when I produced the leash, he looked and went back to bed. Going back to yesterday, it’s not really seaweed on the beach –  it is seagrass, which is a different thing altogether. The area of sand in the photograph is all there was and the photograph makes it look much larger an area that it really was.

Tanks for the Memory.

Lots of rumbling – like thunder – the army is back playing in the Play-Pen again. Apparently  there are some War Games going on. No idea how long this will go on  or how long they are here for. I have not seen any  army people around the place. The photograph is from when they were here last year and conducted Operation Hamel. —- Sorry about the caption, I couldn’t resist it. I’ll try harder next time  :o)

This morning I sent yet another email over to Korea (South) and at the moment it has not bounced back. Of course this is not to say that it wont during the course of today, but at the moment it’s looking fairly good.  The Coffee Ladies are here this morning and they were here last night. They are lovely ladies and many of them have dogs so they don’t mind Benji and the WaWa wandering around – which is good. They pay the host a few dollars each for coffee, tea and cookies, but what remains they save and bank  for the year and  this is donated to several charities. Last year they presented me with a cheque for $1000 donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service,  $1000 to Riding for the Disabled and $1000 to help with the medical bills of a young boy who was involved in a serious accident and requires a number of operations. So, they do good and sometimes someone brings scones, or Annabell makes them – I likes scones……. I can be bribed so easily  :o)

This morning (Friday) I opened my mail box when I came back from our walk and there was an Email from Sooah. She is doing well and loves the photographs I have sent her. She says that it looks like Kongsoon ( WaWa to us) and Benji are good friends and she is pleased. ( Shush – our little secret!) She says she hope to see us soon – but that could just be politeness with no

Somewhere, underneath this is a WaWa

indication if and when she is returning. However, the note did sound positive so that was good. I will keep sending and even although things bounce back from time to time, I wont give up. At the moment no one is really sure what is going on – there is still major uncertainty in the town and our Shopping Mall – Which was once billed as the largest outside of Adelaide – has 19 empty shops. There are so many houses up for sale it’s unreal – there is an offer ( two I believe) for Arrium and the Feds have made it clear that if the buyer is not willing to commit to a long term future for Arrium and the Steelworks and upgrade the outdated equipment, then they would not be inclined to give approval to the sale. At the moment there is still some hope that things will settle soon and we can get on with life.  ==== Past, Present and Future / The Past was exciting / Present full of uncertainty / Future has limited hope – but still hope)