General wandering and playing with the camera.

The far end of town.

For my submission to the letter  ” D ”  it was my intention to drive the  112 kilometre (Return trip)  and photograph a derelict  Service Station ( Gas Station).  When we came to Australia this little township was a thriving

Sunrise over town center

place and the service station, apart from selling fuel and groceries, maintained a small fauna park and we were taken there by my sister and her family and we visited this service station to get fuel and to let my boys see a kangaroo close up. There were two settlements, Iron Knob (where we were) and Iron Baron. In the mid 1980s there was a downturn in the price for iron ore and both townships suffered a decline. Iron Baron was closed  and the people drifted away. When it reopened again, it was decided that people should no longer live in the area so everything was sold off and the entire township was bulldozed. Nothing remains. People who work there are now taken in by bus from here. A couple of years ago I went out to Iron Knob and went to the old service station. It was closed down and abandoned – derelict.  It was my intention to drive out there and photograph it but things didn’t quite work out as I had planned and I never managed to drive out to Iron Knob, but I needed a submission so – D for Dog. As an alternative it would have been D for Dinosaur but a certain dog ( who shall remain anonymous)  had a good chew at it over the last few months and it was no longer presentable.

The empty main area of the mall.

Things are slowly returning to a kind of normal. There are no longer any restrictions on  food or any supermarket items, many shops – except the smaller ones here – are re-opening and the shopping mall is  fairly empty looking as people have not adjusted to the  lifting of restrictions. Tonight was late night shopping and the place was empty, although I have to say that most of the smaller shops were closed. Still keeping social distancing – hotels are closed and churches are still closed. We could have ten people but we felt it would be too traumatic trying to manage that, so we will leave things as they are until phase 2 takes effect in a few weeks.  Long time ago we had a number of camera shops here – now we don’t have a single one. Yes we have shops that sell cameras and some lenses but that’s it. Camera accessories have to be bought on line or in Adelaide. I want filters from my camera and since I can not get what I want here I will have to wait until the restrictions regarding transport are lifted next week and I can take the coach down to Adelaide and do a mini shopping trip. At the moment I really don’t want to drive there and back mainly because it

Ada Ryan Gardens

means an overnight stay and that’s still a bit iffy. Anyway I have some filters coming over from New South Wales so they should be here early next week.

Ada Ryan Gardens
Part of the Avery at Ada Ryan Gardens.

You have probably heard that we are having a few problems with China and the 80% tariff that have put on our barley. In essence, they have shut down that market to us. That left us in a bit of a hole, but  now India have said that they would be interested in Australian malt barley and will start with an order of 500,000 tons and increase as things develop.  I said before, that I believe that a new relationship with China will come out of this..

Benji and I hit the road at 05:50 this morning, After all the rain the place was a bit on the damp side, but it was cool rather than cold, dull and overcast. It’s supposed to be a nice day today so I may well take a run out to the lighthouse for a bit.  We decided ,  well I decided,  not to go to the lighthouse but to stay closer to home and since it was a nice day we went for a wander around Ada Ryan Gardens. The Gardens are looking well cared for. In the Spring and Summer and Early Autumn, mothers and prams meet up and have picnics with their children – there are barbecues areas and free electric barbecues at either end of the gardens. And there is a very large children play area – currently closed off – and for the people who like something more substantial, there is the cafe at the foreshore.  A lot of clubs use the area and the barbecues for “get-togethers. When we had children at the church, we also used it with children and parents.  The letter for the coming week  is “K ” so I will see what I can come up with in a week.

Some restrictions eased.

Sunrise over the Gulf

It’s been an odd week in which not a lot has happened. Andrew came back from Roxby Downs and we had the family together last night for the first time in two weeks.And that was about the only real highlight for the week.   However, he heads back up again on Wednesday so it will be several weeks before we see him and Connor again.  However, when Andrew was over here he did set up Zoom for me now  I have to wait until Mount Gambier are ready to start. They were supposed to be doing a couple of practice runs so we’ll see. With the travel restrictions I feel unable to move anywhere and Benji is getting reluctant to get out of bed at 6am to go walking. Well, we still have been walking but not in the mornings. Provided the  day is dry and he is fine in the afternoon, we make up for lost timje by wandering around the Wetlands and feeding the Geese and ducks.  It’s a good walk with plenty  things about the place to sniff at, check the mail and leave a reply. It’s starting to get better for me too as it gets colder and there are few flies about. There is little point in driving out to the lighthouse other than just the drive, there’s really nothing for Benji to do other than curl up and nap on the front seat during the 40klm drive out and  the same back to the house.

On the news front, between all the  belligerent posturing from the Donald and the trade and financial  threats against Australia from China, South Australia is starting to get  the virus under control. For fourteen days we had no new cases in SA, on the fifteenth day we had one new case, and none since. That being so and since all things seem to be reasonable clear, South Australia is lifting a number of its restrictions as of today – Monday 11th May. Still no church yet. Yes, we can have a gathering of 10 and we did  consider having three services, but  we believed that

could create more problems than it solved.  We need to be thankful for the restrictions that have been lifted and be patient for the remainder next month in phase 2.

Ten months ago I requested a Specialist Referral Note to be sent to my Cardiologist. I was told by my doctor that he would do this closer to the time. It was never done and now we are out of time. I steeled myself and underwent the degrading and humiliating experience of talking to a mesh covered window like an errant schoolchild. It seems to be generally assumed that when this is all over we wont be going back to ”

Still the Lighthouse.

normal” some things  have changed and may never go back to the way they were. I believe the relationships we have had with our doctors is one change that may not ever go back to what it was. I am honestly considering changing to a different medical practice. Yes, I understand the thinking “Heck John, a bit of inconvenience and you are going over the top. Settle down and don’t be so dramatic”  Yes, I understand and there is every likelihood that I wont change and  walk away from one of the best doctors in town, but the fact that this is my thinking concerns me somewhat. We have set up the zoom as much as we can – now I have to wait until  contacted on Saturday morning with the code and the access ID. We will see how that works. As it happens it worked very well and I was very pleased. We were concluded by 11:45, so that was good.. The next conference is in August and we are starting to look at a video conference for that meeting if the restrictions are

Sunrise through the bushes

still

in  force. We don’t think so but some members, who have difficulty getting out of bed ( ok so I am being unkind!)  want to stay with the Zoom, therefore we have decided that we can do both. those who wish to can physically attend the conference and others can  stay with the video. We’ll see how it works if everything is good to go in August.  The word for this week is D – yes I know “Dog” but that’s just too easy. What I have in mind  (if it still exists) is some 30 miles away and with the restrictions on most travel lifted, I can drive out there with Benji. What I have in mind ia  D for Derelict and I will let you know how that works out.

.

Benji-Birds but no Bees!

Took Annabell shopping today. She said it was the first time she had been out of the house in over two weeks. I reminded her that this was incorrect and that it was the second time. She did not agree and wanted to know when the first time was. I reminded her that I had taken her into town with me during the week. Her comment “yes, but I never got out of the car!” Well, yes, that’s true, but she was still out of the house.  LOL.  I know, I hate me too sometimes.   Took Benji out last night and we were only five minutes back inside when it started raining. Before long we were in the middle of another box of tricks, thunder, lightening, heavy downpour. It was still going

Feeding the Birds

strong at 1am this morning ;  the noise was unreal and Benji was not happy. This is unusual – generally he’s not bothered.  I made a coffee, sat in the computer chair and answered some letters, then I think i slept for a couple of hours – in the chair . I’ll probably have a quick nap this afternoon. As it happened, I took Benji for a walk round the Wetlands and fed the Geese and the Ducks.  One of the larger ones kept approaching me as I brought my hand (with seeds) out of the bag. I’m certain it wanted to take  the seeds out of my hand. I dropped the seeds so that it moved away – I kind of enjoy having fingers. They are very useful I feel. After the Wetlands we drove down to the beach. Didn’t stay long there as it was  cold and very windy. After all that rain in the last three days, there is a dampness about the place, but we still had a walk along the beach. Not that there is all that much of a beach at the

A big fellow.

moment. Moving into winter the area is mainly seagrass/seaweed. Not exactly the best surface for walking along. However the tide was on its way out so there was some sand to walk on.

I wanted a new keyboard for the computer – I don’t actually need one, but I wanted one. The reason is that I feel that I am restricted in the use of my desk by the fact that I have to place the computer in the centre of the desk mainly because I am attacked  to it by the keyboard cable. I figured if I bought a new wireless keyboard I would have  more flexibility on where to place the computer in relation to the keyboard. I already have a wireless mouse. So – go buy a keyboard — Simple — Yes??  Well, actually No!  There is not a keyboard to be had anywhere. There is also a shortage of computers, desktop and laptop -and a shortage of printers. With all the  emphasis on working from home, in some cases, teaching from home and the semi-lockdown, there was a run on computers and accessories.

The mid-year church conference is due to be held on the 16th May. It is unlikely that restrictions will be lifted by then so we are currently organising a video conference and even if we did lift the restrictions, with the airlines still being grounded for inter-state travel, the Queensland commissioners would not be able to attend. I am not certain how to set this Zoom up  since my Guru is in Roxby Downs until the middle of this week. Once he’s back I’ll ask him to set it up for me. Actually,  John will be here tonight I’ll see if he knows how

Benji & Bird

to set it up   ( He didn’t)  .Queensland reduced restrictions on the understanding that social distancing would be maintained. Did it work?? Unfortunately,  no! . Police were forced several times to break up large drinking parties and the main beach was  fenced off because  people just would not comply with the rules. South Australia has now gone 12 days without any new cases and we are about to lift some of our restrictions, but our people have been warned that social distancing must be  continued. I hope our people have a bit more sense than some people inter-state.

OTT Restrictions, Ruby Princess, ANZAC Day

Bin Night — I-so-late — I-so-late

I agree with much of the isolation, social distancing and lockdowns but I think some places and people have gone just a tad too far – slightly OTT. Understand, I am not whining and want them all to stay in place but some things I am concerned about. Let me explain: just before all the restrictive movement and other measures came into effect, Annabell was instructed by her doctor to  take her blood pressure reading twice a day ( morning and evening) over ten days and  record the results. At the end of the ten days, he wanted to see the results. Annabell had told him that I had a machine that recorded Blood Pressure and heart rate. So I did this for her over the ten days. We printed it off and Annabell wrote a short report. I was to take it to the surgery and  hand it in . The envelops was clearly marked for the Dr.. I arrived at the clinic only to find a locked door and a notice that I was to go to a window outside in the carpark where I would be attended to. I did this and was confronted with a window about seven feet from the ground, fly screen covered and looking down on me. I have to admit that her “what can I do for you”had a tone of “what do you want? I explained that I had a letter from Annabell that needed to go to Dr…..  Her comment was “I don’t think I can accept that”  I looked at her and said “Fine”and turned to walk away — “oh I have hand sanitizer and gloves on now so I  suppose I can accept it” I said nothing, handed it up and walked away.  I’m not impressed., really I’m not. I fully understand the need for social distancing and the need to keep our front line workers safe, but I honestly felt that this was just Over the Top, to have people standing in the carpark taking up to a flymesh covered window. I drove  along there the other day and there were still people standing at the window. Today (Thursday 23rd) we are in the throes of the full  treatment – Thunder, Lightening and heavy rain – I wonder if there are people standing outside at the window this morning? Okay – Okay, my whinging is over!!

The investigation into the Ruby Princess continues. The figures from the Federal Government indicate that 10.47% of all Coronavirus cases in Australia are directly related to the Ruby Princess. In South Australia the figure is higher at 21% of all cases in the state. The ship has been ordered to leave Port Kembla this afternoon and to leave Australian Waters. The really sick have been removed to hospital. —- The Ruby Princess left Port Kembla and headed out of Australian waters on Thursday afternoon.  I believe she is heading to Indonesia – not sure why.

Annabell is still well. I have been the one to go out and do any shopping or anything that needs to be done. I still take Benji out in the early morning and the only people I see at that time in the morning are a few people in

The Benji

cars heading off to work. These days we don’t go out every morning. Oh I get up and ready to go out, but he is reluctant to go and I don’t intend to force him. Sometimes I just sit down beside him – he puts his head on my leg and I sit and scratch his ears for a while. If we don’t go out in the morning I generally take him for a drive in the afternoon and we have a walk around the Wetlands which is also quiet.

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day and I have set up the letterbox with poppies and candles. In the morning I will go out at 5:55 and light the candles so that we  “light up the Dawn”  at 6am, then quietly repeat the Ode and a minute’s silence.  After that I’ll take Benji for a walk ( about 6:15) . On the subject of Benji – the Photograph theme for last week was the Letter  R so I submitted a photograph of Rascally Rabbits. Don’t know what I am going to do this week as the theme is the letter B. Verra difficult.  The rules are that it cannot be a photograph you already have.It has to be a new photograph taken after the  Friday  Theme release date. I have a week to come up with something.