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)

Farewell the Old – Greet the New.

Sunrise from Busch Street.

I sometimes think we started to loose our sense of wonder when we gave the term “Magical” a designation it does not need. We tend to  think two ways about magical- we dismiss it because we have been told so often that ” magic does not exist” and on the other hand we seem to think that ” Magical”, if it does exist, is something “other worldly” or “supernatural”. I think both are wrong – magic  does exist but not in the way we have been conditioned to believe. Magic is all around us in mundane, everyday things. The magic of the  sunrise not just taken from the Wetlands, or the foreshore  or any exciting place, but  just walking along a nearby street with your dog and looking across the spare ground and watch the sun rise slowly from the horizon into the sky. On any day, given the right conditions, a sudden change of wind or a change of sunlight, or even just you- open to change – ordinary everyday things can become magical.  There is a slight rise  – a small hill, if you like, at the Ada Ryan Gardens. As you crest that hill you look down the other side to the  child play area, the, Sea Rescue buildings, the water lapping gently along the sandy beach and beyond to the ships at anchor on the clear blue water as it stretches onwards to meet the sky at the far horizon. A child wakens from sleep and smiles as she/he looks into the eyes of a mother or father. The simplest of things, given time and circumstances can suddenly be magical.

I had a new Covid-19 Restriction Plan from the State Government which would come into effect at midnight on the 27th.  I had not printed it off when an urgent email arrived also from the State Govt. to the effect that we are to disregard the plan due to come into effect on the 28th. The current plan with all its restrictions is to continue in use until further notice. The various State Govts. are concerned about the rapid spread of the new variant and I can see restrictions – perhaps even lockdowns coming into play early in the New Year. Unfortunately where I need to go to for the conference (Norwood)  is in an “Area of Concern”, so it is unlikely that I will go there any time soon. Between that and Annabell’s health concerns I doubt I shall be going  anyplace for the time being.  The weather has not been too bad but according to the weather report on the news this evening it is about to get a tad on the warm side with  Thursday at 35c, Friday at 37c and Saturday at 40c = nice lead in to the New Year. Sunday and it starts to drop down to the mid to high  20s.

Still my Happy Boy!

Benji has changed his morning ritual. Instead of getting his treat then going to check on Annabell, when we come back from our morning walk, he gets his harness off and goes directly to Annabell’s room, then he comes back for his treat. He spends most of the morning  looking after  “His Mum” It’s amazing that it is only in these last few weeks that we have begun to understand how much his “mum” means to him.

We did have a family Christmas but not in the way that we generally plan it. Generally  Annabell and I do the cooking and the preparations and the boys come over , they bring additions  to the table and spend much of the afternoon here. Not so this year.  Christmas was spent at Andrew’s place  still with the family and Andrew’s partner – Rachel Claire.  The food was very good and the Apple Crumble and Cream was a change from Christmas Pudding.  I helped a little bit but not too much as I didn’t want to seem to be interfering. I played with Connor and let everything happen around me.

Well days have passed and Annabell is starting to get a lot better. I am still Chief Cook and dishes washer – and shopping boy  :o) But she is a lot better and I am happy about that. She still sleeps a lot and she still tires, but she is getting stronger. We are concerned about the rapid spread of this new variant and what effect it could have on her Adelaide Hospital treatment and the Day Surgery, but we will just have to “wait and see”.

I think that’s all I have to say.  December has been an interesting month, rounding off an interesting year – in many ways. I could say that I hope 2022 will be a better year, but it will be what it will be and we will take things as they come. I expect I will  stay up and watch the Edinburgh Tattoo ( pre-recorded) and  probably  have something wet, 22 years old and Scottish  :o)   Take care everyone and I hope – wherever you are-  you have a great New Year and a fantastic Hogmanay.

Christmas Day, Annabell, Benji and Me.

Had to happen

Today ( 24th December) is Annabell’s Birthday. Presently she is asleep and still recovering slowly. She  sleeps a lot and tires easily but she is getting better and we have managed to get out  from time to time. It is, however, two weeks today since she came from hospital and Benji is still watching over her. I have not been out much with Benji. We still go on our morning walk but only because it is early morning before it starts to get hot.  Presently the temperature is  wandering around a daily temp of 29 – 35C. I have taken him to the Ada Ryan Gardens, but only once since  the present illness. I do not like leaving her on her alone for too long. I was supposed to be going down to Adelaide yesterday but I cancelled that.  I was only really going to look for a new mobile (Cell) phone so I can  survive with what I have for the time being and probably until I have to take Annabell to Flinders sometime in January. Currently my mobile is going to voice mail and not ringing. My son called and I missed the call, but he called the house phone and alerted me to the  what was happening..  This has been happening a lot of late so with phone in  hand and a large hammer on stand-by  I examined the phone and  found that for reasons unknown, the annoying thing had gone into flight mode and was blocking all calls and sending them to voice mail. I fixed the settings – again,,  With unbelievable will power, I laid  the large hammer aside.   Not too far away though.

And yes, I did consider selecting the phone, paying for it and having it sent up from Adelaide. As you probably know, Adelaide is about a four  and a half drive from here, yet to get something sent up to here would take over two weeks. I asked  if the Post Office Delivery Service had been taken over by the stagecoaches of  Cobb & Co. – which was the 19th century Australian version of the American Wells Fargo. I didn’t get a reply. I was quite miffed about this until a friend, who works for the Fed. Govt in Canberra wanted something from Sydney  30 minutes away, and it took ten days to get there. Fair enough I can make allowances for Covid-19, State Border closures and lockdowns, but to take these time within the State is pushing things just a tad.

The Force was with them not…

Benji is well and he has not changed. We go out for our morning walk at 6am, returning around 06: 40. Has his morning treat then he heads off to check on his mummy and sleeps there for the remainder of the day. I only see him if I rattle the car keys. Sadly, because of the heat I cannot always take him with me. I have a small, mobile  air-conditioner type fan that I can take with me.  If I do take him with me I put that on when I park the car, check my watch ( allow 21 minutes only), partly open the windows and lock the car. He’s generally fine as long as I watch my time and make sure the  cooling fan is directed at him to keep him cool. It’s not bad, a dog with his own personal air-conditioner  :o)

Back to work- I think there is movement and Benji  has left the room..   I should  like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas – or Happy Holidays if you prefer. I hope everyone has a lovely time. My son and his partner and hosting Christmas Dinner today so, that’s good. Normally we do and Annabell does all the cooking, but not this year I am sorry to say. Andrew is a decent cook – don’t know about Rachel yet  :o) we’ll find out today.   Thank you all for your thought, prayers and good wishes for Annabell’s recovery – it is all very much appreciated.


Love and God Bless

Annabell, Hospital and Benji

This is so true…..

Tuesday 7th. December (interesting date)   Annabell is recovering, although we still have not determined the cause of the seizure. She was seen by a Cardiologist today and over the next few days she will have some tests to determine what damage this may have caused to her heart.  The brain scan is problematic  because of the damage the diabetes has caused to her kidney, it could not withstand the  contrast that would be needed  for the brain scan to be effective. However, Mr. Alam (Cardiologist) should have the results of the ECG and the blood tests in a few days and then  decide with his team what  the treatment will be. I have been  at the hospital every day and evening but not tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be at home all day. As of midnight tonight because of the Covid outbreak in South Australia,  new rules come into effect, which is one visitor per patient, per day.  Connor wants to go visit his Gran so Andrew will take him tomorrow after day-care.  This means that I cannot visit. This is ok since it will allow me to get the house tidied up and take a wander to the shopping centre and get some shopping in.

I have notified Adelaide and Flinders Medical that she will not be down for the Day Surgery on Friday. They will reschedule early in the New Year. Likewise with the Flinders Lodge- accommodation cancelled. However, I did speak to the Lodge people and they have told me that when we are ready to come down, they will organise the accommodation for us. The people at Flinders Medical and at the Flinders Lodge did call and asked how Annabell was – so that was really kind of them.

Thursday;  Since the new rules are one visitor per patient per day, I did not go to  the hospital until after lunch – giving the doctors time to do their rounds.  I arrived at the hospital at about  12:30 and was told that Annabell was going for an ultra-sound and then she would  be able to go home -depending on the results. Between one thing and another and the doctors examining the results of the ultra- scan, then a few more tests, she was  discharged and I was able to take  her home. By now it was close to 5pm.

Annabell has always said that Benji is MY dog. My response has always been to insist that he loves his dog mummy, “which is why he sits at your feet when you are watchng TV and why after we go for our walk he wants to go into your room to check on you”.   Well, when I brought Annabell home, did he go gaga!  I have never seen him so excited! He ran around us, then around Annabell, the tail going to cause a hurricane and it became difficult to walk forward for a little while, I had to stop him from jumping up on her. I think he was pleased to see her home. I would go missing from time to time, but she was always there.  On the subject of missing, I am on extended Leave of Absence. I did not go to the conference yesterday but I did tender an apology and the reasons for that apology. Did I get a response? Sadly I don’t have those exciting kind of dreams!  As far as I am concerned, my job right at the moment is to look after Annabell.  Not sure….. but I think it’s part of the Job Description I agreed to.

Sunday: Everything today is quiet – of course, it is only 07:30 so I should expect it to be quiet. I did take Benji out at 6am after I checked in on Annabell. She was sleeping peacefully. She did not have such a great day yesterday but we  survived it all and ended the day  peacefully.  Today the temperature is to be around 34c, which is good after all the rain, high wind and cold of a  not so great Spring.  Still raining and flooding  in the Eastern States of  New South Wales and Victoria.