Arid Lands, Scones and CampBeds

I like this photograph.

I spent a good part of yesterday at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens with the photography group. I have to admit that I was not feeling the best and really didn’t do much. On arrival I had coffee and  cake (don’t tell Annabell!)  but I paid for it – in more ways than one!  It was a lovely day  and after the drive over (80klms) I just wanted to sit down for a bit. After the coffee and chat I went for a wander around the gardens. As I said it was a really nice day, warm and sunny and after a wander I found a nice spot to sit down and relax in the sun. My only regrets in coming here are that I could not  bring  Benji. I would have loved to have had Annabell here but it would have been too much for her – the  long, winding walk from the car-park to the buildings alone would have been a bit much. It being such a lovely day, the place was fairly busy so there was a long wait for  meals. Most of the group enjoyed a good lunch but still not feeling great I opted for simple Scones and Butter ( I like scones)  However,  I ordered two scones and discovered that  the scones at the Arid Lands  are very big and one scone  was about equal to two scones that humans have, so my two scones were about  four “normal” scones and I struggled.  The drive home was uneventful and I was glad to see Annabell and Benji.

This is the first time that I have been with the photograph group outside meetings and I was interested to see  quite a few of them have  the kind of camera that you would find with a good journalist – large telephoto lenses. Interesting.

Two years ago I bought a new tent. The  reason for this was simply to  get out to Point Lowly or Douglas Point with Benji and camp there for the night. I would then be in a great place to get up in the early morning and get some really good photographs of the sunrise. That was the plan.  Knowing the area I knew that it is not “good” ground so I ordered on line, an inflatable camp bed. Then, Annabell took ill, then the seizure and everything other than that took a back seat. I actually forgot about the inflatable campbed and the fact that it never arrived drove it from my mind.  Fast forward to ten days ago and I ordered a new Camera Bag. So, in the middle of last week I  had notifications that a package was coming via Parcel Post. I was

Benji in his stroller ready for our 3 mile morning hike.

impressed in that the Camera Bag was coming already!  Imagine my  astonishment when the parcel arrived this morning and I opened it to find – not the Camera Bag but the Camp Bed that I ordered 16 months ago and had given up as lost.  Annabell was very amused and I had to explain to her what it was all about and the fact that there was a tent that I’ve never used, lying in the garage.  The clocks go forward this weekend and since we are starting to get some decent weather ( between the rain, of course)  I might still get out to  Point Douglas for an overnight stay.

This last week has been interesting in more ways than one.  Some days ago my computer crashed – well, windows crashed – and I lost my access to Outlook, which is where my diary is.  I expect you know what’s coming – yes I lost all my diary entries for the last three years. However, I  still have hard copies for the last ten years ( yes I am a Magpie!)  I use a Filofax and have done for many years. Up until two years ago I used a “personal”size , but with all that has been happening these last two years = meetings, hospitals and doctors and everything in between, I moved up to an A5 size – I can get everything into that. What I have done for all the years that I have been using a Filofax is that at the end of each week I transfer the written copies into the computer using Outlook. I then print the  copies off  and bind them. So I have all my entres filed and bound – everything is there. I have just lost the ability to quickly go back to any particular date and get the information using the computer  The oddest thing is that only Outlook was damaged.  Flashing through my mind in all of this,  this last week was an old Greek Saying  “Whom the Gods condemn, they first deprive of reason”  I’m getting there, I think  :o)

Set-Back, Sunshine and Benji

Song title: You don’t send me flowers: I got 7 for this with a few adverse comments about the background

Over two weeks (18 days days, actually) into spring and  thus far we have had rain on 11 of these days – up until yesterday. It has been cold in the early morning (6am) but dry, so we have managed to get out for our morning walk. Both Benji and I are well rugged up for the cold and he is quite happy in his stroller. By  06:05  it is daylight and I am too late for the dawn. Still  I did get some nice photographs. I have not seen any of the Magpies yet. As I said, I used to feed them in the mornings but no sign of them, Still, it’s early days. Annabell has  been  qood this last week or so although Flinders have increased her medication for a while. One of the things that has annoyed me is that when we tell  another female where the cancer is they immedicatly start talking about a hysterectomy. I know they mean well,  and she was starting to think that way herself, but given  her  ‘other’ medical conditions, such an operation would be  too dangerous for her. We asked Flinders and given that it would be a  danger to her life,  they said that they  have not even considered it.  Ok so we have had a bit of a set-back – these things happen.

Just to ensure that I didn’t have time to weary, Benji took sick.  He vomited a couple of times. I was a bit worried about him for a little while. He was  very lethargic and refused to move out of his bed. I  tried to lift him and carry him through to my room ( it was bedtime) and he snapped at me. He’s never done that before so I  knew he was not a well boy. However, I wasn’t going to leave him alone in the dark. He always sleeps in my room and sometimes he sleeps at the end of my bed. Well since he didn’t want me to touch him, I took hold of his bed and dragged that, with him in it,  along the hall and  through to my room. During the night he jumped up onto my bed and I woke up with him beside me. 6am and he seemed not too bad  but he  went out the dog door and I was a tad concerned. I decided to do the  “Evening Walk’ rather than go

Benji in his stroller ready for our 3 mile morning hike.

with the stroller. and that was good decision since he just about filled three doggie bags. Since we came back from that walk he has been fine – back to his normal self again. I suspect it was something he had eaten  – peanuts  loom large

I sent in four photographs for the competition, both category  (Song Title) and  open. The judge ( in Adelaide)  didn’t really like my photographs much and I didn’t

Morning Has Broken: 5 for this one because the judges said that the “Halo”round the sun was  Unnatural – so I must have created it for effect.

score very well. But disappointed at his comments. I scored  5 for the “Morning Has Broken”. I didn’t create the halo and I actually have no idea how I would do that anyway so I was a bit concerned about that comment. The “You don’t bring me flowerers”, scored a bit higher but still concerned about the adverse comments re the background. The AGM of the group is late October and I am not altogether certain that I will continue after that. I am not really learning anything. Anyway, I like taking photographs and I  never said I was good at it  :o) I am, however, trying to talk myself into a new camera but it’s hard going  :o)

Sunday,  weather wasn’t too bad although we did have rain and high wind at odd times. Monday (yesterday) however, was very different. It was a beautiful spring day – warm, light breeze, much sun – all round a really good day. Today – Tuesday – cold, wet and miserable with thunderstorms. Tomorrow- Wednesday – wont be all that much better.  The good news is that the ladies Tuesday get-together is back on again. So I dropped Annabell off  which means just me and Benji here for a while  tonight.

Spring Continues – Wet!

Port Augusta: This is hailstones – not snow

After a nice start to Spring – it bucketed down yesterday. Really heavy rainstorms with  the  odd roll of thunder to keep us awake. Parts of Port Augusta were flooded – not as serious as New South Wales, but enough to cause disruption to traffic for a   while.  Further north from us they had Hailstones – bit of a mixed bag all round, really.   It bucketed down here but no reports of any flooding although the pit at the end of the street was full and that’s about 15-18 feet deep. I know, why do we have a pit at the end of the street?  ( even if it is fenced off)  Some years ago we had a mining and resources boom.   Land was being sold off and houses were being built mainly  up in this area. The  plan was to extend  construction all the way to the main highway. Then the boom ended and construction halted.  Well, at one point we were the last house and beyond us was scrub. When the houses were built beyond us the storm drains were extended but when construction ended there was no place for the storm drains to go, so  hence the pit. The storm drain empties into the pit and the overflow into the empty land beyond. Well, ok it’s a solution – not a great one, but  not a lot of choice really.  I  suspect they reasoned that since we do not

have a lot of rain, it was an easy  decision.

Annabell is a lot better – still gets tired but not quite so much.  We were supposed to be at the specialist now, but a telephone call yesterday informed us that Mr. Alam was ill and all  appointments were cancelled for the moment. We are due to go back down to Adelaide late October. Not sure if the new Cancer Lodge is ready for guests yet – haven’t heard anything and it would have been in the state news if it had been opened.  The opening of a  new State of the Art Cancel Council Lodge, is much too good a photo opportunity for a politician to miss  :o)

Benji on his “bench”when the sun was out for a little while.

Today started out fairly fine –  but as the day progressed the  next storm front came through from the west and we are now in the middle  of a new round of rain storms and high winds driving the rain. The news tells us that Port Augusta took another hit today and the flooding increased and hailstones brought down roofs. One lady had her ceiling collapse on top of her – however she is ok. Further north, roads were flooded and people cut off for a while. And guess what ???  more rain storms forecast for tomorrow. During a break I  drove the car to the end of the road and had a look at the pit – it really is overflowing. I

It was much higher than this last night

have never seen it like that before. Provided the rain stays off for a bit tomorrow, I will try and get a photograph or three. However, by the time I do get out and it is light enough to take photographs, much of what I  see tonight will have gone.

I did not open the computer until after I had returned from our morning walk, so it was  around 6:55 am when I opened the computer and read that Her Majesty the Queen had died. There is much sadness today and I will be interested in seeing how things develope. I have a feeling that many  events will be cancelled here. . I will have to  change the Order of Service for  sunday. Not too sure what to do – never having done anything remotely like this before. Indeed, not many people have – she has been there for  all of our lives. I actually didn’t think he would use the name Charles  – Charles I caused a Civil War and  was executed, Charles II didn’t really do much other than set the groundwork for a second Civil War  although they don’t like to use the term  “Civil War”  for the second conflict and insterad call it  “The Glorious Revolution”.  The RFDS Fundraiser went well and we were finished by 1pm ( 9am – 1pm) Endedup in a short family gathering as Andrew brought Connor down for a little while – which was “interesting”  :o)

Spring, Printers, RFDS and Magpies

6:16am yesterday morning during our walk.

Thursay; 1st Day of Spring!  The boy and I had a great walk this morning and, yes, he is still in the stroller. I think 3 miles is a bit too much for him these days. Yesterday, Annabell went for the CT Scan and the results were faxed to Flinders. Today around 11:30am, Flinders telephoned and gave us the results. The CT Scan has cleared up a few things and  the results are quite clear. The cancer has grown slightly  but enough to upgrade a stage. However, they believe this is not  too serious and they would start her on medication that will help with this.  We arranged for the medication script to be sent directly to the pharmacy  and afer lunch we went down to the shopping  centre to collect the medication. Well, there you are – this medication is not available here and after telephoning varions  places, the medication will come from inter-state and be here Saturday afternoon. The joys of living in a small countgry area!  Apart from all that, she is  responding well. She gets tired but otherwise she is not  too bad. Flinders did mention that we would be down for  day surgery  end of October or early November

Epson Ink Tank Printer ( Not mine)

Tails/Ranch bought an Ink Tank Printer and I am just wondeing how it is going. I have been printing a lot with mine recently  – much colour – and the ink levels don’t seem to be moving.  Not that I am complaining but it seems that although I have printed much, the ink levels have barely moved. Annabell did mention that at this stage I would be looking at a second set of cartridges for the ink jet. The only other person I know who has a “Tank” printer  and I would be interested in knowing how that one is going. I just have this frightful feeling that one day I will look at the high level of ink, set a task and the levels just vanish to nothing and I have no ink . And yes, Paranoia  is part of my make-up….

Annabell has been unwell the last day or so. Nothing too serious but she has been very tired. We  suspect that it is a question of her body getting used to the new medication she has been given. I worry about her. – well, I have to – that’s my job.. Five days into Spring and the weather has been fine. Light and lovely sunrises in the early morning and sunny as the day progresses. At times it has been warm, not hot, just warm. The forecast for the week in Adelaide is rain, rain and even more rain . In the forecast Adelaide gets a forecast  a week in advance, whereas we only get the next day.   Benji has been making the most of the weather outside spread out on his chair or on the  “bench”I made for him.  It is a very low bench with a full bench cover at the back and a second one at the front. He sometimes, depending where the sun is, jumps on that and spreads out, catching the rays   :o)

RFDS shortly after takeoff.

Last week we had something medical almost every day, which became quite tiring. This week we only have one medical appointment – she has to see her doctor on Thursday morning and the rest of the  week is free. Well, it is only Tuesday and there are three more days to go and anything could happen. ( And generally does!)  I was asked to do a fundraiser for the RFDS  on Saturday morning and I said I would provided Annabell was  ok.  I will have help from son John and Rosemary so it

It’s that time of the year – Magpie Swooping Season.

will work out ok provided the weather is good, Fortunately the trees in this area are few and far between. This generrally means that I can walk along the road without too much fear of being attacked.  In streets down from here where there are many trees, it can be a dangerous time of the year – Magpie Mating Season and they attack anyone or anything (even cars and pushbikes) that for them represents a danger to their family. Once the young have grown up for a few months it all  tapers off and walking is safe again.