ALBA GU BRATH
It was suggested that since the disruption – whatever it was – at the hotel, did not really affect me, it seems a little excessive to be changing hotels because of that. Well, yes, up to a point that’s true, but I stay there because it is conveniently close to the road leading directly to the South Eastern Freeway. Mount Gambier is five hours
away. A long drive on a country road after the freeway exit. Not the sort of roads you travel when you are sleepy. (no road is!!) Not getting enough sleep before setting out and getting tired along the way puts me and other road users at risk. I need the rest, so if my Little Park Bench is not providing that, I need to be somewhere that will. As for Mount Gambier itself, I have already decided on a new hotel. I have had a few problems with the present set-up, so It needs to be changed.
The weather since I came home, has been cold, wet and windy. All the work that I did, before I left for Mount Gambier, clearing up the leaves and a general tidy up, has all gone for nothing and the place look just as untidy as it was before I started. The next few days, with a combination of high temperatures and north winds is not looking too great. I have the feeling that the lady’s coffee morning on Wednesday may well be called off. Annabell is talking about not going to the hospital tomorrow afternoon, which is fair enough. It is for physiotherapy and not really a medical necessity. I also believe that I was right and the Coffee Morning on Wednesday is cancelled – oh well, so much for my quiet time :o)
The morning began well and Benji and I went for our morning walk without any concern. The temperature was fine and we completed the walk and back home for a treat and coffee ( the coffee for me!) . It is supposed to be 37c today (Tuesday) but I expect that will happen sometime during the day. But at the moment (11am) I really don’t see it happening, but you never know with this weather. It was not bad enough for Annabell to not go to the hospital, but we didn’t linger and came directly home.
Wednesday and the temperature is forecast to reach 44+c today. The temperature didn’t reach the forecast 37c yesterday and peaked at 32c. Today over 100 schools have been closed in South Australia today due to
temperature of 44+c and high winds leading to a “catastrophic” fire danger. We are not included in the school closure list, so none of our schools will be closed for the day. I took Benji out for our walk this morning. I re-set the alarm from 5:45 to 5:30, and 15 minutes can make a great difference – and it did today. We were on the road for 5:45 and, although it was light, the sun didn’t show his face until we were less than 100 yards from home. It is now 10;30 am and I have stopped working outside. Not that I am too concerned about the sun and the heat but I am concerned about Benji. I go outside – he comes outside and, really, it is far too hot for him to sit in the sun, and it’s too risky with the wind to put the shade umbrella up. So here we are. And before you suggest it, yes I could close the doors and not let him come out, but given he is my dog and he likes to be with me, it is not really a solution. Better I stay inside and let him keep me company :o) . At the moment it is about 36C and the wind is starting to build up somewhat. Given that it is a hot wind I expect the temperature to exceed the forecast 44c ( it did!)
Thursday: Good walk this morning. I have gotten into the habit of feeding the Magpies. I bought a box of oat biscuits (cookies) and when I pass the Magpies I crumble a couple in my hand and drop the bits for them. I look back further on and see them eating. We also saw two kangaroos – a big one ( and I mean BIG) and a smaller one further
on. First time I have seen kangaroos in the area for a while since the rain has produced sufficient feed and water for them out bush although it is starting to dry up now. I get comments when I suggest the temperature “crashed” to 23c, but I suppose I could just say “dropped” but that really does not convey the massive change in temperature that occurs. Wednesday 46c – Thursday 21c and 21 is cool – less is cold and the wind changes to the south – which is a cool to cold wind. It all be verra confusing… LOL
Well, that’s Mount Gambier over for another year. The trip was interesting, to say the least. There was a fatal car smash at the dreaded junction of the Inter-state Highway and the Copper Coast Highway, with the rescue helicopter called in. The traffic was backed up for miles in all three directions. The elderly female driver died at the scene with the husband air lifted out by the Rescue Helicopter. He died a few hours later in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. This is a dangerous intersection and I have had a couple of near misses myself with drivers coming off the Copper Coast Highway and either not seeing or ignoring the give way signs. The Inter-state has “right of way”. The State Government and Federal Government have allocated funds to try and fix the problem but there seems to be no sense of urgency and the construction wont start until
“sometime” in 2020. Still, as it’s not in Adelaide, no one worries much. Between the detours and the delay, I was about two hours down. Generally, I shop off for a break at Port Wakefield, but considering the volume of traffic going through because of the accident, delays and diversions, I decided against stopping and carried on to Adelaide. Thursday was not too bad with regard to the weather. I was able to get some shopping done in town and at the Central Market.
At about 10:30 I started to get a bit weary so to bed I went, only to be rudely wakened at 3am with thumping, banging and loud, continuous screaming. Next thing I saw the flashing blue and red reflection on the window blind (police car) – more banging- bit more screaming – a female screaming like a banshee, lots of voices, some sharing their innermost thoughts, then quiet. By then I was wide awake and although I sort of dozed off in fits and starts, I never really got to sleep again. It was either a domestic thing or a sex thing. Don’t know and never asked. At 6am I was showered, dressed and booked out. By 6:30 I was on the road again – and it was raining.
The drive on the freeway to Tailem Bend was not one of the best drives I have had recently – it didn’t just rain, it poured, with the windscreen wipers sometimes having difficulty in coping. Fortunately, there was not a lot of traffic on the freeway at that time in the morning, which was just as well, considering the conditions. First time I have ever driven in the daytime with headlights on. By the time I reached Tailem Bend the rain has eased off – not stopped, just eased off. I did, however, get my usual photograph of the River Murray. The Murray is looking ok,
but the dull overcast conditions gives you some idea of what the weather was like. More rain on the way to Mt. G. but at least it was a lot lighter than on the freeway. Mount Gambier was not so great this trip. The cold and the rain caused a few electrical failures in Mt. Gambier, one of which was the heating in the hotel. Second concern I have had here, one last year and not another one this year. Perhaps time for a new hotel. One of our members is in Hospital and is not expected to survive. It is really a waiting period. All of his family are there, and no visitors are allowed, other than family. It has been a week since I returned from Mt. G. and I really expected to be called down to Adelaide.
Fires continue to rage out of control in New South Wales and Queensland with five lives being lost. Here in South Australia we had a bush fire in the bottom area of the peninsula outside Port Lincoln which was bad enough to put Port Lincoln under threat. Fortunately, that one was brought under control and extinguished reasonably quickly.
The weather here at home has been cool to cold but that is about to change as the forecast is a rapid climb in temperature to 43c on Thursday. Joy!!!