Floods, Hospital and Wetlands.

Some of the serious damage north of here

Today was a really good, warm day after the weather of the last  week.  The government has announced that restrictions are to be

Wetlands, before the storms.

lifted and sign-in  rules scrapped. Still no change on masks but that will probably be next.   Here in South Australia Covid cases continue to decline and we are now below 1400 cases a day with 246 in hospital. We had a telephone call from Flinders and we will be  going to Adelaide next Thursday for the Day Surgery on Friday. Flinders will call again on Tuesday with the final instructions. It is possible that she may have to see the doctor in person in which case we will leave on Wednesday but we wont know about that until Tuesday and I will be ready to leave on Wednesday if required.

In the post I wrote and sent off the other day,  I did mention that there was  major infrastructural damage to road and rail lines – this afternoon the State Government has declared a Major Emergency  to  deal with the structural damaged caused by the storms. Don’t know how this will work, but I expect it will give the State Govt. some extra powers to cope with what has happened. As I said I have never seen anything like this before. Yes we have had rain and a few storms but this beats all. We had another small storm in the early hours of this morning – nothing too great but loud – I know because it seemed to be right outside my window and  woke me up at 2am. By the time I got settled back down, I closed off the alarm clock, so no walk this morning. Since Benji was quite happy sleeping, I don’t think he was too fussed.

At the far end of Robinson Street, is the Pit which probably has some fancy name like “Strom Water Catchment Area” but it’s still a pit some 20 feet deep. This is not only filled to the brim but is overflowing.  We have storm water drains and the water from these  drain into a channel which in turns  drains into the Spencer Gulf – at least it does in this

The Pit.

area. In other areas the storm water  drains through garbage catchment filters

Life sure is tough!

into the Wetlands. And before you say anything, yes, there are notices everywhere  warning people to stay out of the water. This side of the fence is the end of the town and beyond is bushland, so the area of the pit is fenced off. If the boom had continued, this land would have been taken up and built on, but the Mining Boom ended and so did the house construction.

Anyway, it’s nice to simply have a day off and I don’t think either of us suffered.  Still we did go out on a few errands and he was quite happy sitting in the front seat of the car with his harness on. I said before he is most definitely not a “head out of the window” kind of dog and is quite happy to  curl up in the seat and watch  what I am doing and from time to time I reach across and scratch his head.  Annabell has not had such a good day. There are a couple of concerns but she is still improving and we take things a day at a time.    I  am ashamed and sad to say that I am really not the most patient of people but I am trying ( sometimes very trying!!)  Depending on how Annabell is, I may take Benji for a wander  around the Wetlands and take my camera with me.  I have not been out with the camera for some time, so  I think it’s overdue an outing and it has been a while since we were at the wetlands anyway.

Water, Water Everywhere

Roads washed away or damaged

For the last four and half days it has rained. Sometimes not just rain but socking great thunderstorms and cloudbursts.  Many of the road outside of Adelaide are flooded – some badly damaged to be unpassable. Rail has not been spared and much of the rail track to the  north of the state has been seriously damaged by the floodwaters. The damage over four horrendous days may take months, if not years to repair or restore. The main road East – The Augusta Highway – is intact: the Wakefield Highway to Port

The rail line North.

Wakefield is intact and the section of the Wakefield highway to the outskirts of Adelaide, is on a higher level and undamaged.  To the west, the Lincoln Highway is flooded, The Road to Stoney Point and the Lighthouse is flooded and unpassable, the Roads to the north are all unpassable for the moment and we will have to wait until the water clears before the know the  extent of any damage. This should not effect our trip to Adelaide  and the Flinders Medical Centre next week. Well, I  hope it’s next week – we are still waiting to hear from the doctors and  information  whether or not the surgery will go ahead. I need to know soon so I can book the accommodation.

Since last Friday until yesterday (Tuesday) the rain hardly stopped – no walks at all for  four and a half days. Once we did go out and only just made it back before the  next storm hit us- and they were hard; the noise was unreal at times. There were a number of  storm cell’s each one sweeping over our area. I have never seen weather like this in all the years I have been here and speaking to older residents, they tell me likewise.   The water in my back garden was just lapping the top of the concrete slab.  On the news this evening there was reports of another storm front heading our way.  Some places recorded almost 200 mm of water.  I was thinking of  adding a Notice to Facebook – Lost; Summer. If found please return to South Australia.  

Apart from the strange weather, everything else is fairly normal. Annabell continues to improve and like me she is patiently waiting for information  about the  surgery at Adelaide..  Well the expected storm front rolled in about 10:30 last night, thunder, lightening, (sheet, not fork)  heavy rain – the works. Lasted for about an hour or so and then it was gone. Little bit of wind but nothing too serious. Took Benji out for his walk this morning and the place was calm and a bit untidy. People had put their bins out and the heavy wind at the start blew them over. I suspected this could happen so I went out and brought my bins back under cover. I put them back out when I went out with Benji this morning.

Damage to rail and roads.

Benji turned 11 last October and I find that what used to take us 40 minutes to cover in the morning now takes almost a full hour.  I still take him out at the same time and we still walk the same distance but I find he stops a lot more frequently and perhaps I am walking just a tad slower to compensate. It’s not a problem unless he is really starting to slow down and perhaps I need to review our walking distance. I want to keep  doing what I do – 37 miles a week – but trying to get out of the

My very untidy Office

house without him is not so easy and besides there is “The Look” if I do go out and leave him. I think once we come back from Adelaide and Annabell is much better, I may go back to the wetlands and even if he is slowing down, I can always use the stroller again. At least at the wetlands I do not have to worry about on-coming cars with people going to work.

Moving Forward – slowly.

Dawn at 06:15 this morning

Last weekend was fairly quiet. Sunday evening we had dinner at  Andrew’s Place. Andrew and Rachel decided that since mum was still unwell, they would cook dinner this week, so that’s where we went. It was most enjoyable and Andrew refused  all assistance from his mother and produced a simple but excellent  meal with Rachel making a Cheesecake for desert.  We had a good night and got to play with Connor for a while.

As I said on a previous post, Benji and I go out for our morning walk at the same time every morning – 05:45  and I find it passing odd that the mornings are getting darker. And before you suggest “he’s cracking up” it just seems to me that it has gone from daylight in the morning to darkness very quickly. I have even started bringing my flashlight with me

On Monday I booked accommodation for the Church Conference in February. There is every possibility that I may not be able to attend or that the conference may be cancelled, but I thought it best to book early and  did ensure that there would be no fee charged for a cancellation. Not being able to attend means problems with Annabell or it clashed with a Hospital appointment, or it’s simply just cancelled due to Covid. At this stage we just have to take things on a daily basis.  Went shopping on Monday and didn’t get much. The


reason that I didn’t get much was that there was not much to get – the spread of Omicron  has closed down  warehouses, reduced shop staff and reduced the number of  drivers able to transport goods to  places around the country. Thus, some shelves are very bare looking, particularly the meat sections.

At the moment, here in South Australia we have about 3400 cases per day. A decline from the over 5000 cases a day a week ago. The total number of cases here is about 65,000. We are however, as of this week,  90% fully vaccinated.

Annabell still gets tired but she is starting to do some things around the house. I am still doing much of the cooking and all of the Laundry. I mean there might only be the two of us here but the laundry still mounts up at the end of the week.  Andrew and Rachel are heading off to Adelaide today. I was invited to go with them but I would have to get a coach home as they are staying until Sunday. It was a kind offer but I said no. If all is well I will be going to Adelaide myself first week in February and for what I want in Adelaide I need the car.

It’s a worry…

Having just written the above we have had a telephone call from Flinders and we will be in Adelaide on Friday  4th February for her surgery. Now we do not know all the details  but they are sending them by email. We may be required earlier for tests so I will leave off booking the accommodation for the moment.  I had intended on going to Adelaide so I might be able  to combine the two events — well, that’s plan A.

Moving Forward

Glasgow Cathedral from the Necropolis

I read a comment recently that a regular writer had “lost her mojo” and  I fully understood. I want to keep writing but I seem to have temporarily misplaced the  overall desire to add pen to paper, I haven’t really done anything.  For the last six weeks I have largely been confined to the house and infrequent trips to the supermarket and out walking with Benji. To be honest there is nothing really exciting about grocery shopping or trips to the pharmacy for medication. Although, I have to say that I get some odd looks when I buy “ladies things”. Can’ t think why in this modern day…  My mobile (cell) phone had been playing up and in essence it’s old and by old I mean that it’s more than four years old.  With other phones – as I did in the not too distant past –   I would simply go to the battery shop next time in Adelaide and buy a new battery for that particular model. Not any more. Phones are sealed and  are not able to be opened. The battery lasts only for a few years and then it has to be charged more often –   twice, sometimes three times a day. I was getting close to the three times and I was missing calls, so I decided to get a new phone = Samsung, not Apple. I have to say that I was amazed at the price of modern mobile phones and sad though it may be, $2486 for a phone is a bit beyond  my budget limitations. I suppose it really depends what you want. I want a smart phone,  I don’t want a, computer, phone, and sophisticated camera sitting my my shirt pocket – I just wanted a phone similar to what I already have,  and that, really is what I now have.

Annabell continues to improve and on Tuesday I took her out to her Ladies Group. She had a good evening with the “girls” and I picked her up when she called me. Last

The Benji

night (Wednesday) I went back to the Photography Group for a little while. The group are going for a photo shoot on Saturday so, depending how things are I might go along for a while. Benji and I are still out in the morning but not during the day, as it’s too hot to take him. I do take him out later in the evening when things have cooled down. I get “the look” every time I leave the house without him and before I  get the few feet from the door to the car, he’s at the window looking out and watching me leave and abandon him. Nothing like making people feel guilty. However we have still managed to maintain our total distance walked for the week  despite problems and  “the Look”. He still has his treat then heads off to  watch over his “mum” as soon as we come back from our morning walk.

Sunrise and cleared land

I took a photograph of a sunrise a few days ago and I was surprised to see that the ground had been cleared not very far from here. There have been two new houses built in the area and this land clearing leads me to believe that there might be some more building in the pipeline. At the moment Adelaide is undergoing a “Rental Crisis” and one young lady interviewed was sleeping in her car because, although she has  a job, she just can’t find a place to rent.

Covid cases continue to increase in South Australia with a new total of 5630 cases today (Friday) with 160 in hospital. Not quite as bad as other places, but they have a much greater population  with higher density than South Australia.  We had a call from Flinders Medical regarding Annabell’s Surgery and the fact that the December visit had to be cancelled because of the seizure.  Flinders want to re-schedule the operation and we were willing for that to happen.  There will be discussions with the doctors and  given the  medical restrictions currently in place, ( due to Covid) organise a time for us to go down to Adelaide. Flinders hope to let us know sometime next week.

A New Start – Hopefully.

All in all, a quiet New Year.  Andrew was at home looking after Connor and John came here to stay overnight as he generally does. Annabell stayed up with us until “The

Sun arise – he come in de morning.

Bells”  then she went off to bed. John and I watched “70 Years of the Edinburgh Tattoo” since the actual Tattoo was cancelled. We also gave a little bit of a scare to a Elderly Gentleman from Glenmorangie.

It’s been an interesting week, really. Annabell continues to improve and gain strength. I have continued cooking and looking after things. We have been out but not too much since there are now Covid-19  (Omicron) cases here  and in Port Augusta. Started at the Port then moved here and we now have about 115 cases between both places Masks are still mandatory at the shopping centre  because of the overall number of cases. These continue to escalate  throughout the State. Elsewhere, there have been serious floods in Queensland and loss of life :  major fires  with property and lives lost, followed by major snowstorms in Colorado. I was worried about people in Denver for a while then I remembered that they had gone to Texas and the newsfeed hasn’t told us anything about Texas. Europe is not doing so well , France less so, and I understand that “what’s her name”

Cardonald Parish Church where my Son John was Baptised

has all but closed down Scotland. If I am reading the figures correctly, Scotland has over 100,000 cases. Like many people I thought 2022 would bring some relief. I never for a moment believed that it would happen instantly – that’s just silly – but I did believe that it would show a light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. However, I  am beginning to fear that the light we see is not an exit but  that of an on-coming train.

In the beginning of this  pandemic people were panic buying. Not so now because the  produce is not there to panic buy. Woolworths have announced that they  have a 12% absence of warehouse staff and  almost 22% absence  of shop staff  and produce is not arriving because of the shortages of staff to load and transport the produce to the stores. Coles  (the other major supermarket) have put restrictions on what amounts of certain produce that people can purchase at one time. But it is not just Covid that is responsible for the

Yes I did – Sorry about that!

shortage of shop staff. People are leaving because they would rather be unemployed than  accept the daily abuse from customers. This is bad in some instances and people are blaming the shop staff for the shortages and the long wait at the checkout.   The speed of the spread of this variant has caught everyone by surprize.  The Prime Minister underwent a 7 day isolation as did the Premier of South Australia and the leader of the Opposition. Doctors locally are not “seeing” patients but are conducting telephone consultations. I still take Benji out but I stay local and not during the day. Nothing to do with Covid – the temperature is up around 35c – 40c so the ground it too hot for his paws. Before I take him out in the evening, I go out and test the ground with the back of my hand and then decide if we are good to go.

I am toying with the idea of a new computer. This one works very well but it is old and has come to the end of upgrades. Howeffer— I have only recently updated my mobile (cell) phone, so a new computer might be pushing things a tad much  :o)