A very different kind of Wednesday. I do not know if this will work, I really hope it does. If it does work, all you have to do is simply use your mouse and scroll down. Copy this and put it into your browser. and please, let me know if it works. At the far edge of the desert is the Arkaroola National Park, then the Flinders Ranges National Park, then you get down to us hundreds of klms away but we are still within the Arid lands. It is interesting country. The Diamantina floodplain is about 4,300 square klms.
There has to be a course somewhere entitled “How to offend people without really trying” I thought if there was such a course I would probably take it, but then I decided I’m probably good enough at doing that already without any courses. I seem to have managed to do just this three times in the last four years. Ok not a lot, but then Rome wasn’t built in a day, so just give me time. Seriously though, I have no idea what I have done, or even how I did it. I think I might, indeed, must have said something, perhaps using the wrong words or the wrong tone and offense has been taken where none was intended. Perhaps I didn’t write it well enough to ensure that is was said as humorous, I don’t know – perhaps there would be a better understanding if we crossed over the river and rested beneath the shade of the trees. I know- it’s only social media, just move on. Yes I get that, but it does not stop the irritatingly persistent voice in the back of your head that keeps wondering if or what you did wrong.
I decided that it was getting just too cold to continue to get up at 0540 and take Benji out walking. Go out dark, come back dark. I decided to change things a bit – just a bit. Instead of setting the alarm at 05:40 I set the alarm for 06:30. Not a lot in terms of time but different in that I go out dark and come back light. It is cold and winter so no flies around and safe enough to be out and around during the day. The cost of fuel continues to rise and although I have not been on any travels with the Man, the fuel price does not have a lot to do with it. I have just been so busy and Annabell has also been so busy these last few weeks. Even when she was unwell, she continued to do things. However, everything has now been done and we can go through a period of relaxing: I might even be able to get out with Benji. As I have said before there are no places within a decent driving distance that are “Pet Friendly” I would love to go up to the mountains in the Flinders Ranges, but the Flinders Ranges are part of the National Park and no dogs are allowed in the National Park. Well, yes, you could take a chance and keep him in the car. but the the fine for having a dog in a National Park is $2,378 at least in Victoria – couldn’t find South Australia but I suspect it’s a lot more.
The Brunch went well and we raised a fair amount of funds which we have divided into three. This will all go to help the homeless in the district and provide meals. Although, having said that the ladies are all getting on a bit and they have been suggesting that they might not be able to keep doing what they do for all that much longer. Preparing and producing enough food to feed people for three hours is not an easy task – although fair to say, we all help. I may not be make cakes but I can make sandwiches and the men can- and do – help in other ways.
My niece visited us the other day. I had not seen her in a while so it was nice to catch up with her. She has moved back here so we should see her a bit more often.
Despite the fact that it’s been chucking it down all day I spent much of the afternoon, driving through the rain delivering mail for Annabell. She was the navigator and sorted the letters into
post codes so we didn’t keep wandering back and forth across town. The church ladies are holding their Annual Brunch next week and she wanted the letters out now. It is a sad reflection on Australia Post that we could not be certain that the mail would be delivered in time. The person who was going to attend to all this when Annabell was ill, didn’t – so hence the drive through the rain. Anyway, got them all delivered except the Letter for the Lutherans. They use a post box and the church does not have a letter box at the property. We did drive to the property but is was closed despite saying that the church office hours were 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday and it was only just after 2:45. That was the last drop which gave me time to get to the Vet and make arrangements for the Benji ( who was in the car) to have a Parvovirus injection. As it happened, the Vet was fairly quiet so I got Benji out of the car and the Vet gave him a check-up and the injection. Goodness he was a trooper and never flinched – lol – and the dog was pretty good too….
Considering what the weather was like the last two days, today is a beautiful day. Not all that warm, but nice and bright, limited cloud cover and blue sky – a really nice day. Of course things are still wet and damp and it will probably take most of this sun for them to dry out. I think someone is playing tricks on me. I told you how last week I did not set the alarm but I got up at the alarm time anyway – well last night I did set the alarm and was very surprised when I woke up and looked up at the skylight and saw daylight. I got up and found that the time was 7:35 – either I slept through the alarm or it did not go off. Either way I feel quite refreshed today.
Annabell is much better now and in the process of organising things for the Ladies Brunch at the church on Saturday. This is an annual event and generally well attended. We used to do this
kind of thing for a national charity but many people were unhappy with the money raised going out of town and the fact that after payments, wages, administration costs etc., only a small proportion of the funds raised actually goes to the charity. A decision was made to stop doing this and to start
raising funds to donate to local organisations that we felt needed help – The Breast Cancer Support Group / Men’s Prostate Cancer Support / Catholic Ladies Group (they supply meals to the needy and the homeless) Isabell Smith ( a local lady who cooks and supplies meals also to the needy and homeless ( she pays for all this on her own)). Hair to Help Wig Library, also a local Anglican Charity. It’s not that we are being parochial, we just came to the conclusion that with all the glitz and glamour and national and international TV and movie stars of the big national charities competing for your Dollar, the small, local charities and organisations are ignored and left to struggle. We don’t talk in millions of dollars raised but we do what we can to keep our local people and organisations operational – because that’s what small towns like ours should do. Ok, I’ll be quiet and not rant any more.
The Computer Guru ( My Son) is coming over in a day or two to show me how to print off inserts for my A6 diary. Normally I have bought them from the USA but the little shop in Virginia who did them, is not doing them anymore and other shops – large or small, now charge a fortune in postal costs to send to Australia. I tried this downloading years ago and was told to do this, this, this and this – easy.. So I did this, and this and this and what was that other thing again??? The sheer frustration, not to mention the amount of wasted paper and printer ink, and I gave up and bought refills instead, I hope John (son) will help me sort it all out.
I am happy to say that Annabell is very much improved and has started going back to the coffee evenings. Have no idea why they call them coffee evenings – most of the ladies drink tea. Oh well. I took Benji down to the Wetlands to see the progress on the new Kiosk. It’s coming on well and should be opened soon. The electricity had been cut off to the area whilst work is being done on the kiosk. There doesn’t seem to be much happening on the outside so I suppose it is all happening inside – well I hope that’s the case. But really, some form of kiosk here is well overdue and this one is close to one of the three barbecue areas which should increase the traffic on warm days. I have come down here on public holidays and being family friendly the whole area is well patronised, so the kiosk should do well. My concern is that some “couldn’t care less” dog people are not cleaning up after their dogs and it is becoming noticeable. There are dog bag dispensers situated all over the park, plus there are notices but neither seem to help. I don’t know what the answer is. So, a small minority, not doing the right thing, give us all a bad reputation. When we came here at first there was, on the outskirts of town, a Fauna and Reptile park and an animal sanctuary. Again this was well used and I took a number of visitors down there. There was a Snow Tiger that was no longer able to perform at a circus. The circus people were going to have it put down so the owners of our park bought it and brought it to the Fauna Park where it lived in peace and quiet for its last years. However due to financial problems the Park was closed down about 14 years ago.
Recently a local business family have expressed interest in opening the park again and work has already started on cleaning it up and getting it back in shape. A lot of people and businesses have donated time and equipment to help get it up and running again. Most of us remember it from when we took our own children there. It is believed that the park will be open in time for the September school holidays.
Wilson Park is a family friendly park not very far from Andrew’s house. This is where they held Connor’s birthday party. However, it has drawbacks in that there are no Barbecue facilities there so in order to have a Barbecue Andrew and friends loaded a Barbecue onto a trailer, moved it down to Wilson Park and then manhandled it
off. Just off the designated playground, Council in its infinite wisdom have decided to construct a second skate park. It’s about 30 feet away from where we had the children on Sunday, so that should be “interesting”.
Going back to the Wetlands again – when I was down there with Benji the other day, I took this photograph of a Magpie drinking from the dog trough. Not spectacular, but I thought it was interesting enough to share as something you don’t see very often,
Denver held a Pet Expo and I said that we never held anything like that here and that’s true. However, I did discover that in April of this year there was a two day Animal Expo in Adelaide, billed as the biggest in South Australia, which is really not all that difficult because I don’t think many country towns can afford to run such a specalised event. It is also unlikely that many traders would attend such an event in a country town because of the costs involved – and really not a great return on outlay. Sad but true. However, and this is the thing, until I read the Denver information and started looking at this area, I had never heard of the two day event in Adelaide – which indicated how widespread the advertising for the event was. On a final note – it has been raining off and on – heavy and light – for the last 24 hours. I guess that means that the drought in this area has been broken and that the Emus population that invaded the town, can now go back home.
A few weeks ago – as you know – Annabell had a fall and was taken to the hospital in an Ambulance. On Monday we received a bill from the Ambulance people ( St. John’s) for a thousand dollars – well actually $997 to be exact. Fortunately my Medical Insurance covers this so they will pay it. This is the first time – ever – we have used an ambulance and the cost kind of shook me a little. True they were very kind and really did look after her so I have no complaints regarding the service, but I did think nearly a thousand dollars was a tad heavy. I could have flown to Glasgow, London, or Paris for less. She is much better now and almost back to herself with a few additional pains for her trouble.
Sometimes I think life likes to play practical jokes on people. For instance, the other night I was very tired and did not set the alarm before I went to bed. I figured I
would take Benji to the Wetlands to make up for not walking in the morning. I was in bed by 11:00 and woke up looking up at the skylight expecting to see daylight. I did not. So I got up and checked the time – 05:41 and had I set the alarm it would have gone off at 05:45. I got dressed got Benji ready and we went out on our morning walk. Sometimes you just can’t win. You are probably wondering why I didn’t see the time on the clock – I don’t have a clock. I use my Mobile (Cell) Phone as my alarm, and I do not keep it near me.
It is starting to get really cold in the mornings so I think it’s time I laid aside the Baseball Cap and started with the Beanie. The long range weather forecast is for very little rain but for colder than usual mornings and evenings, so the Beanie and gloves. But things change and one can never be sure who to believe as another report says that there will be no rain but the forecast will be for warmer than usual mornings and nights. Anyway, for the moment it’s the Beanie.
One of the sites I go to put some photographs of sunset over her area and it reminded me of the photographs I took here. Mind you my camera is probably not as good as hers but I think they came out not too badly. I’ll put one in the next post and you can decide. Although having said that some friends recently visited Washing DC and sent photographs. I asked her what camera she was using and she floored me by telling me she was using her cell phone. The clarity and quality was amazing. She was using a Samsung. This iPhone is the first Apple phone I have ever had. I have always been with Samsung and it was a sudden rush of blood to the head that made me pick Apple, so I am stuck with the decision for two years. However, as soon as the contract has expired I will be going back to Samsung.
Connor, our one and only grandson, is a year old today. Nothing much happening since it’s Saturday and there are games to be played – netball for the girls – Hockey for Andrew. However, tomorrow Andrew is having a Barbecue at Wilson Park, which only a short walk from his house.
After church on Sunday, I took Annabell home and let her get changed – I changed into slacks and a heavy pullover and we drove up to Wilson Park. It was very well attended and I found it good fun. Sadly Annabell was not at her best, but we looked after her and she was not left out of anything. I think she did enjoy herself despite not being able to walk around. Andrew very kindly walked back to the house to get a seat for her. It was, as I said, fun, but very much a chocolate overload :o) We stayed until the sun started sinking and moving away from where we were. By then Annabell was cold and I got a blanket from the car for her and about 2:45 we left and came home. Today (Monday) Benji and me went out for our morning walk – it was cold and very misty with visibility down to about 20 or so feet – less at the top end of our walk. I think winter cometh.