Arid Lands, Dog Friendly and Hospitals

Been a long day. Need rest!

The house these last few days has been very quiet. I have gotten so used to the WaWa , barking and running to greet me that I miss her. Benji is there but he is not the demonstrative  dog the WaWa was so his greeting – whilst no less loving – is a quiet affair.  Since the departure of the WaWa last  Thursday Benji and I have been out and about again – the Beach several times and the Wetlands several times. I would like to go to the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens for some new plants,  but dogs are banned from the area, so I could not take him with me – which is a pity. South Australia is largely behind everyone else and we have – to my knowledge – very few places that are dog friendly. Some places that are supposed to be “Dog Friendly”have so many restrictions  that it’s hardly worth while – unless you are towing a caravan or a driving a  motorhome. There are some places that are catching up, but it’s a slow process. However, I am heading off to Adelaide in ten days so if I get away from Conference at a reasonable time and make  thee Gardens before they close.

A lady – Samantha Grant – writes about her travels in Scotland with her husband,  her Westie and sometimes her daughter. In reading her posts I have been amazed at the number of places she has gone to that are “Dog Friendly” many of which I associate with my growing up in Scotland.  I think it’s great but I have to confess that such a concept  as dog friendly would never have been considered when I was growing up in Scotland. You were more likely to be shouted at “Get that +#$$%y animal out oImage result for no dogs allowed clipartf here ”  It’s certainly changed days – and changed for the better in some instances.

Still on the subject of dogs, Benji is much, much happier, and it shows, but he still stops and looks before he comes into the living room and jumps up on to my lap. I did put his extra bed back where it used to be but he hasn’t used it yet. Even today, when Annabell come in to my room, he grabbed one of his toys and started squeaking it at the open door – It may take him a while but he will get used to the WaWa not being here. Oh, and we will not be looking after Yogi after all, so Benji has the house to himself (apart from us humans)  for the foreseeable future.

It is now  eight years since Annabell was cleared of the Golden Staph Infection that put her in three hospitals for months.In the last hospital there was some concern that the amount of drugs she was being fed was starting to compromise her liver and kidney functions. So here we are, eight years on and I now have to take her to hospital for x-rays because her recent  blood test shows that there may be some problem with her kidney function.  She was about an hour or so in the clinic where she underwent an ultra-sound on both kidneys. We should get the results once the doctor gets the report – which will be posted directly to him. The following evening I had to take her to Physiotherapy, so both nights were take-away dinners – and my diet went out the window  :o) Anyway, at  least we have the weekend to wind down and relax and the  report


should be with the doctor on Monday. However, she said herself that she feel fine so we are not expecting anything too drastic.

Sooah and Kongsoon reunited: life post WaWa

Mom , Dad and the WaWa – reunited

Wednesday mid afternoon and I was sitting in the Doctor Waiting Room with Annabell. Annabell was due to see him. My mobile (Cell) phone was on buzzer and it started to buzz. I took it out and had a look at the message, then handed the phone to Annabell to look. She was just as  taken aback as I was. It was a message from Sooah to say that she was in Whyalla and wanted to come and see us. When Annabell was clear of the doctor I messaged Sooah to let her know that we would be home in ten minutes. About half an hour later Sooah and her husband arrived. They were back in Australia and although they tried to get employment in Whyalla, he could not and was offered a position in Sydney, which they took.. They arrived in Australia and met his new employer and agreed on a starting date, then drove over here. They came to collect things that friends here were looking after and, of course Kongsoon ( The WaWa). On Wednesday evening Annabell and I got all her things together and fed and watered her one last time. They wanted to get an early start so we arranged to have everything ready at 6am Thursday. To be honest I really

didn’t sleep all that well.  Just before 6am they turned up and we loaded everything into the van. There were tearful hugs and farewells and then they were gone and  the WaWa with them.  The fortunate thing is that it all happened so very quickly, rather than get dragged out. Sixteen

Benji and The WaWa

months ended in just over 10 hours.

It has been an interesting 16 months and we will miss her. I think for all that she attacked him, Benji was a little confused and wandered about looking for her. I think he was expecting her to suddenly jump out and nip at his heels. I made a point of sitting down in the chair and getting him to come up into my lap, which he was able to do without being barked at and his heels nipped. However, he will only be a single dog for about ten days then we will be looking after Yogi for two weeks whilst his mum recovers from surgery. But that’s ok. We have looked after Yogi a number of times and he and Benji get along well, so there’s no problem there.

Benji is still in the room with me and the door closed, but at least the closed door is not my way of keeping him safe, it’s because it’s cold and I have the heater on. During the  day the doors are left open now but he still stays in here with me. He will get used to having the house all to himself again.

Benji and the Beach

Yesterday (Friday) I took him down to the Wetlands – which turned out to be packed. Parties, picnics and games for the last day of the school holidays. We decided to have a look at the beach. The weather was nice, the sky was blue and clear, the water looked

The deserted beach

inviting and the beach was empty – we had the entire beach all to ourselves.

Adjustments will come slowly. If my room door was opened Benji garbed  one of his toys and used the squeaker  as a sort of security thing – to ward off an invading WaWa. This afternoon he was sitting on my lap in my room and Annabell opened the door to come and talk to me.  Immediately he jumped down, grabbed a toy and started squeaking  it. He is still sitting on the floor, facing the open door with the toy in front of him and Annabell is gone.  It will take a little while to realise that she is not coming.

Botanic Garden, Tartan and Arrium

The Entrance to the A L B G

When I returned from Adelaide and calmed down from the slightly chaotic days afterwards, I  spent some time in the garden. On my way back from Adelaide I stopped in at the Arid Lands Botanic Garden and bought three new native plants. Also, when I was in Adelaide I drove to  Bunnings at Modbury and bought a garden arch. I wanted that to be a climbing base for the  two Mandevilla – now one on either side of the arch. I spent the Saturday assembling that and getting it into place. Saturday afternoon and emails asking me to take the minutes of the RFDS meeting since the secretary will not be there. Next thing was an email from the secretary resigning her position – and she wont be at the AGM.  Actually, the President wont be there either. so it should be an interesting meeting since there will be people from Central Operations in Adelaide there.

As it turned out it was a good productive meeting Chaired by the Vice-President with me as Acting-Secretary. After a fairly quick general meeting, the chair of the meeting was taken by the Adelaide Central Operations Coordinator and all positions declared vacant. Only one change as I was asked to take the Secretary Office again, which I agreed to do. Our contribution to Central Operations was $37,000, which, given the depressed state of the town at the moment, was not a bad effort. In the last nine years we have contributed  almost $300,000 to the RFDS Central Operations.

Jewish Tartan

Interesting article I was reading that after a long wait the final process, initiated by Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, Scottish Jews now have their own, Officially Registered Tartan. It is registered in the Name of The Jewish Community of Scotland and The tartan, featuring distinctive tones of navy and burgundy, is a kosher non wool-linen mix which abides by shatnez – the Jewish law prohibiting the mixture of wool and linen in garments. The design, representing the colours of the Scottish and the Israeli  flags, the silver to represent the silver from the scrolls of the law, the gold represents the Ark of the Tabernacle, the red from a traditional Kiddush wine. The threads have also been carefully chosen, in blocks of Seven and Three – Seven lines in the Central Section and Three Lines in the Flag.

While Scotland is having a bit of a heatwave at 29c it is cold and wet here and I spoke to one person. who told me that he doesn’t take his pullover off until it reaches 32c. I can understand this

Arrium has now been sold. The South Korean  dropped out of the running mainly because they wanted too much in Government handouts, or so I believe. The British buyers have said they will upgrade and do so without any loss of employment. In fact, in an interview this afternoon the British company will spend $1Billion to up grade and modernise the place and start to bring it up to world class standard. So the future is looking a great deal brighter.



Benji, Rhododendron and a Funeral

At the beach

Decided to take Benji out for the afternoon.We went down to the markets and had a wander around there. Not a lot happening and the mist was only just clearing away. Bought some  cakes and some chocolate and decided to have a look down the beach to see how that was. That was fairly clear so the Benji and I went for a wander along the beach then had a spot of lunch at the beach cafe. We sat outside – of course – and I had a burger and he had a sausage roll. I had a plain ole long black coffee while he had an  ever so pretty bowl of their finest water. LOL – it was quiet and the girls made a fuss of him.  We had a good walk before the drive home.  We were at home for a little while before we drove to the car wash and gave the car a bath.

The weather has been – as expected – cold – but no rain and other than the little bit we had during the week, we have not had any rain for a few months and our farmers are a tad worried. At the moment this is going to be the driest June on record. I don’t know if the rain will raise the temperature or lower it, so I suspect it will still be cold either way.

At the moment I still have no landline and so we are totally reliant of the iphone. I hope that will change in a few days and we can have a landline back. Well,  around here things can change quickly. Last night the heavens opened up on us and we had heavy rain the whole night. Don’t know if this enough to alter the stats but I hope it was enough to keep the farmers happy and allow them to get seed planted. Also, this morning I had an SMS and an email from my ISP and my landline will be restored, hopefully by the weekend, but certainly Monday. All good stuff.

A recent post by Tippysmom had me thinking of home.  The family took Tippy to Roan Mountain and the rhododendron  gardens. I will say right at the start that I love Rhododendrons and


think they are a most beautiful flower. However, in many places in Europe and especially in Scotland, they are regarded as an alien invasive species and there are calls for their total eradication in Scotland. In some of the islands off the Scottish Mainland, the plant has been eradicated and  banned from ever being brought on to the island.  Rhododendron Ponticum is  the result of cross breeding by the Victorians who wanted it as ground cover for their Grouse, which the English and Scottish Gentry hunt in shooting parties. However, what they created was a    species that has perfectly adapted to suit the harsh Scottish climate. Yes it is a beautiful plant with the most beautiful flowers, which cause people to wonder how such beauty could pose an serious problem to the Scottish environment. It is a problem that has been building up over years and it needs to be addressed soon. “There can be only one” and the  Rhododendron has to be that one. It takes over everywhere it goes, driving out other plants and species, and thus the wildlife that feeds on them. Trees die and their seeds  cannot take root in the  ground. The Scottish Government is considering enacting legislation that will allow the destruction and eradication of the plant in much of Scotland.

I came back from Adelaide and  spent a sleepless night creating an order of service, printing and proof reading, picking up a few faults and reprinting, then on the morning of the funeral from 6:45am ( Funeral at 1 pm) open up the church; photocopy, collate, fold and leave for the Clerk, the completed  Order of Service for the Funeral of our dear friend and one of the longest serving members of the church.  By the time the funeral was over and the after funeral food and Coffee/Tea at the church, I was in serious need of a sleep and anxious to close up and get home. Saturday and I took Benji for his walk and stayed home for the rest of the day – pottered around the garden. It was  a good day.