Out and about – again.

Part of the Wetlands

Well, that’s one task almost completed. I have finished writing the Church Newsletter and have now sent it off to my two proof readers, one of which is Annabell. Once they come back to me and I make the corrections, I will send out the Newsletter by email to those who have it and by snail mail to those who do not and a general after service distribution to the congregation. There is no charge for the newsletter and we pay for this  ourselves.   It takes a lot of work but I enjoy doing it ( mostly). Next task is an article for the State Newsletter, the minutes of the RFDS

Wetlands Bridge

Meeting and a letter of resignation from the West Terrace Consultative Committee. My  church are unhappy with my membership of this committee in that, due to increased costs in fuel and accommodation, it is no longer a cost that the church is willing to continue to meet. It’s costing about $800 a year and it’s high time someone from Adelaide started doing their share of the work and being part of Adelaide committees. At first it was acceptable and I could travel down by coach, go to the meeting, walk back to Franklin St.  and get the coach back on the same day. With the downturn in employment and a decline in population and thus coach use, the timetable was changed and no longer meets our needs,  ( last coach leaves Adelaide at 4pm. – Meeting starts at 3:30 ) so it requires a drive down and an overnight stay, and that’s bumping up the costs,  and hotel charges change with the season or what’s happening in Adelaide. I think it is a great pity but fully understandable and it is an amount  we could put to better use.

We have not been wandering this week – other than the wetlands – and I have spent much of the time trying to catch up on  cleaning up.  After the windy conditions over much of the week, the place is covered in leaves.  The morning we head to the wetlands and the afternoon I clean up around the place. Weather has been odd – to say the very least – and we have now experienced the warmest April on record with  10 consecutive days with temperatures over 30c. This week it is going to drop down to the mid 20c but then it’s going to build up again. According to what I read part of the problem is that the Ocean is warm and that’s helping to drive up temperatures and as far as I have been reading the warmth of the ocean is causing problems for the coral on the Great Barrier Reef.

RFDS over water

Tomorrow (Monday) and the RFDS will be flying into town for a meeting to discuss the arrangements for the function on 3rd May, to see what facilities there are, where things will be set up  and the catering arrangements for all the guests. I will also discover if it is the responsibility of the RFDS to notify the newspaper or if it is my responsibility to do so. I kind of suspect that will be my job.

We have an organization here called RICE – Remote and Isolated Children’s Exercise. Three ladies – a Nurse/Midwife ; A Health Care/ Social Worker:  A Child Care Professional. They go out from their base and visit outback and isolated properties. They announce their dates in advance so other families have the opportunity to join them at the designated property. The Land Rover is filled to the brim with toys and games.. The Nurse/Midwife Practitioner talks to the  moms and  discusses health and children related matters- the Health Care person talks to any Aboriginal women that may be there and feel more comfortable talking to an Aboriginal person and the child care person, sets up the games and toys and spends the day playing and looking after the children. Other than toys and medical equipment, there is also bottles of water and baskets of fruit. The base is at the Port and their “Clinic” covers  covers 620,000 square klms. The Nurse Practitioner  ( Marg. MacDonald-Ashe)  racks up some 50,000 klms a year in her Land Rover. I was going to put an outback photograph here, but they are all copyrighted



Cultana::  This is one of the Australian Army Play Pens. It is approximately 2100 square klms.  I have shown these three photographs on the way to the lighthouse to illustrate that apart from  the road and the front of my car, everything you see is part of the Army Play Pen. Driving to the Port ( 80 klms) it is difficult to realise that for the entire journey everything you see on either side of the road belongs to the army. There  were two large cattle stations – one on either side, but the army wanted the land so the Government slapped a compulsory purchase order on the property owners. Did the same with two other stations that the army wanted.

Oh, I have realised I am being unkind- they allowed us to keep the small tourist park and picnic ground at  Wild Dog Hill. Wasn’t that sweet???


One of the disadvantages  is that  most of the tourist parks, motels, adventure parks and caravan parks do not allow animals (Pets of any kind) and that being so, it limits what I can do and where I can go.  Still the Lighthopuse is a nice drive of 20+  miles or  37 miles to Fitzgerald Bay. As Annabell says, Benji doesn’t care where you go – he is in the car, he’s with you and that’s all that matters to him. The temperature is still in the high 30s although there is a strong North Wind with it which is causing concern since the ground is tinder dry and if a fire were to start now, the wind and the heat conditions would be a deadly combination. Also the wind is blowing up dust everywhere which is a bit irritating.

By 4pm the wind had died down and there is no reports of any major fires, so that’s a blessing. There are two branches on one of my trees that are a tad unstable and I worry about them when the wind blows harder than usual. I really should have them trimmed but I never got round to it, however, I must before winter comes and we do get  storms. They are fairly large branches and

Obscured Sun.

although I believe they would come down on my side of the fence, I have concerns.   Friday 13th. At the moment it is blowing  pretty hard and the sun is obscured by a dust storm. This is   why some of the houses at the top of the town – Fairclough Crest. where I take Benji walking – are up for sale. There has been no rain in this area, just high wind and dust. Of course


that’s not to say that the wind will cease and we will have rain, but nothing in sight. However, above us and to the west of us there had been a lot of rain as well as in Adelaide,  and the weather forecast

suggests that the rain will by-pass us this time round and by Monday, things will start

to warm up again.    You know, I don’t know how other people manage it but I always have problems with text and photographs.

I took Benji down to the Wetlands today (15th) and the  water levels are still dropping. Well two reasons –  it’s  run-off water and there has been no rain for quite a few months and secondly this is the water that is used to water the grass and the trees, so although it is not being replenished, it is being used as required.  The workmen were working on the  Cafe building area. Nothing much seems to have progressed since last time I looked. Still when finished – in the fullness of time – it will be well used. In the last few days, for example, there have been a number of caravans and trailers in the Wetlands Car Park, so a cafe will be well appreciated by locals and visitors alike. Sometime this week, if the weather stays reasonable, I might take Benji back to Fitzgerald bay, only this time we will go there directly so we can spend a bit more time at the bay. I’ll pack the cooler again and we can have lunch and treats there. However, I have to say that the massive spike in fuel cost in these last few days, are causing a bit of a concern.



Benji and me – out and about

The Wetlands Bridge

Friday and after church I took Benji down to the wetlands again. I was surprised to see workmen working on the cafe  construction area. I mean it was Good Friday and a Public Holiday. Odd – very!  Anyway, Benji was ok and we did well until the gravel section and I carried him over that and set him down on the bitumen. He walked the rest of the way with no bother. This morning (Saturday) we got up and hit the road at 6am.  He was quite lively this morning and we went out on a slow walk – slow because it’s been four days and a lot of P-mail can build up in

The Lighthouse Cottages

four days!!  On Tuesday I’ll make an appointment with the vet to have a look at him and decide what to do about that claw. One of those weeks when I make a bunch of plans and everything goes off kilter. I had intended to get away for the day  today, but didn’t: I don’t know if I will get away tomorrow and Friday is out. Still, if nothing else we will get a run out to the Lighthouse.  Well we did go out to the lighthouse and it  wasn’t cold but it was very windy, difficult at times to hold the camera steady.  There is gravel there but it’s smooth and Benji was able to walk on it without too much bother. These last  few days he has been reluctant to go out early in the morning. I think I mentioned that last post and it hasn’t

changed much and I have  no intentions of forcing him to go out. But we still go down to the wetlands and stay on the  bitumen path, so there’s no problem there.

I had intended for him and I to go off for the day somewhere, but Annabell has been unwell and I am reluctant to go away for any length of time and leave her on her  own, so the lighthouse and the wetlands are about as far as we go at the moment. If the conference had been this weekend I would have had no hesitation in  an

Benji at the Lighthouse

apology.  Don’t panic, she is not desperately ill or sick, she is just unwell and a residue of ilness past (MRS)

This year the Royal Flying Doctor Service is 90 years old and  Central Operations  are holding functions in each of the major regional areas. We are one such area with over 547 landings here in the last year.  I have been in touch with Adelaide and have been working to help organise our morning.     The C.E.O. the Volunteer co-ordinator, the Anniversary coordinator, a doctor and a nurse will all be flying up to give presentations.  We were asked to organise  chairs, a lectern, loudspeaker and

RFDS Emergency Flight landing on Outback Airstrip

mike, and catering for about 80+ people which will include community leaders, Elected Members, Mayor and guests that we want to be invited – I had to supply a list of names and addresses of people who had helped us over the last year plus all our group.  For the catering – I made a presentation to the ladies of our church and asked them if they would be willing to do the catering for the function. They  agreed. However, they thought they would ask a few friends, who asked a few friends, who asked a few friends, who ——— well you get the picture. The response, to say the least,  was overwhelming with almost every church in the city – different denominations – have volunteered to contribute.  The Anniversary coordinator was contacted and told that the catering was all organised and who was doing it. He asked if there was an idea of  the cost, and was told that there would be no cost. I don’t think he quite understood and I was told the information had to be repeated   :o)  I had given him a contact number for catering arrangements.   All this will happen on the 3rd May, but we will get together on 23rd April to discuss the final arrangements.

The man and I went away for the day and we had a great day. Now you’re thinking that I said I wouldn’t go far because Annabell was unwell. Well, let

White Sands

me tell you that we had a fantastic day out and at no time was I ever more than 20-25 minutes away from the house. We started off at the Wetlands, then we drove to Wild Dog Hill, then from there out on the lighthouse road to the white sands beach. Our next stop was Fitzgerald Bay and finally, the lighthouse. A lot of driving back and forth but we enjoyed the day out, and if I was needed,  I could be home in 25 minutes at the longest.

The Road over the Hills to
Fitzgerald Bay