Brave New World?

Day 1 of the new arrangements:  The alarm clocks did not go off this morning. The reason is simple, I  changed the times. Over these last few days Annabell has been concerned about me wandering around the district in the

Benji observing Social Distancing

early morning darkness – even with two dogs.  This is a quiet and I believe, generally safe area, but I decided to delay our walks from 6am to 7am when it is starting to get light. I changed the time from 05:30 to 06:30. Did it work? Well for me it did – sort of.. I was awakened by noises at the side of my bed and before I could investigate there was this heavy thump on my chest and a little brown face looking at me and demanding to know why I was not getting up and dressed. At 5:50 I was up but we did not go out. Why?   Well it was raining and still is. However, nothing daunted, I  opened the back door and told them to do as they pleased. They ran out only to turn around and run back in. We are not in lockdown, so I will probably take them to the wetlands (depending on the rain) later in the morning.  Still no word from Adelaide so we  still have no idea how much longer Dougal will be here.

Well that changed quickly and it has been  suggested- officially –  that while we are not on lockdown, movement is restricted and it is probably best that we don’t go wandering in the wetlands or on the beach for the time being. Unless necessary/essential movements outside the house have to be limited. This should be fun. No walks today because of the rain and to say the dogs were bored is an understatement. What are they going to be like after a few days with no outside trips? Anyway, I dare say we’ll manage – somehow.

3 Trips.

Made three trips to the shopping centre in the last two days. Trip 1. Go to SA Pathology for blood tests requested by my doctor. Sit in Socially Distanced Waiting Room. My turn. Question- “Have you fasted?” Reply “No – I was not instructed to and there is no fasting marked on the form”.  “Sorry but the test your doctor has asked for requires fasting”  “OK I will go home and come back tomorrow”.  Trip 2. SA Pathology, sit in socially distanced waiting room. “Oh, good morning John. Nice to see you, how is Annabell?  “Annabell is fairly well.” “Errrrr, I think I have forgotten to bring the form” “Never mind we’ll take blood anyway and you go home get the form and we will see what we need and for what”   Enough blood to float a battleship later I went home and collected form which was on the fridge..  Trip 3 SA Pathology. Place empty. Signed form and nurse sorted out the necessary blood samples. Went home and made bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast. Went to room. One dog on either side of me looking up. No way, not getting share of my bacon and egg sandwich. I showed them who was boss as I finished my egg sandwich on my own…..

Andrew came back from Roxby yesterday. He’s not sure how long he will be home for. He has Connor but they will not be coming over here nor will we be going up. Andrew is going to set up Skype or

Dougal also practicing Social Distancing.

facetime so we can chat to each other.  Well I re-set the alarm clock again. The dogs have to go out and the back garden is not enough. In the interests of Social Distance, I took the dogs back out at 6:15 am – not a single person – not even a kangaroo – around. A few cars passed but that was about it. We completed our walk in isolation and returned home for coffee and treats- coffee for me treats for them——–or was it the other way round??   not sure, everything is just so confused at the moment. Apart from the trips to SA Pathology I have not seen much of the shopping center, but reading the on-line news I see a number of national companies have closed down their outlets, the latest being Strandbags.  Of the three stationery shops in Adelaide, two have closed – Smiggles and Kikki.k : Typo, I think, is still open. Kikki.k is a Swedish company that has gone into liquidation, so they wont re-open. I don’t know about a Brave New World, but it is certainly a Sad Old World at the moment.

News just released

South Australia to close borders in response to coronavirus pandemic

News has come from the State Government in Adelaide that South Australia will close its borders. This will take effect as from Tuesday giving the government time to set up new border control stations and for people already in South Australia to go home. I can’t say that I am all that surprised after 8 American Tourists , visiting the Barossa Valley were diagnosed with the virus. The way things are developing I don’t think a lockdown is very far away.

“Gam zeh ya’avor” This too shall pass.

This turns ordinary people into thieves who steal from patients in a hospital

Any crisis tends to bring out the best in some people. However, conversely, in some people it brings out the worse and worse is when you steal things from a medical facility. Like all hospitals our hospital has a bottle of hand sanitizer at the end of each bed. The nurse or doctor makes use of this when they move from patient to patient. Visitors may also make use of it. There are  hand sanitizing stations at the end of each corridor and at the entrance/exit to the hospital. Why all this information? Well I am certain you know where I am going with this – people have been stealing the bottles, not just from the corridors but from the patient’s beds. One of our ladies  in church has a small dog she takes  to visit the elderly in the nursing homes. She kept a bottle of hand sanitize to uses in here visit to the different patients. She also lets people use it if they have been petting the dog, her bottle was stolen when she was distracted.  In the news this morning there are reports of a busload of people travelling several hours to a country town  outside of Melbourne and stripping the local supermarket. We are not in lockdown but if this continues we should be.

I have just been watching a National Broadcast by the Prime Minister in which he outlined some of the measures that the National Cabinet  have taken overnight and he was quite adamant that schools should not close. The best medical advice available is that the closure of schools would cause more harm than good and  apart from which the virus seems to act differently with young people than it does with adults. He also  pointedly attacked the whole process of panic buying that is happening as stupid and completely unnecessary – we have sufficient stocks of food and we have the ability to manufacture most of what we need. The pointless panic buying of stocks of toilet paper needs to stop – it is unnecessary.   I mean only last week there was a fight in a Woolworth Supermarket over rolls of toilet paper and security were forced to deal with it. It has reached the stage that people are stealing rolls of toilet paper and hand sanitizer from hospital toilets . I think, really, it’s sort of legal looting.                What is the “National Cabinet”?  The Premiers of the other states, the two Chief Ministers of the Territories and the Prime Minister meet twice a week to formulate a National Response for all Australia, not a piecemeal State by State response. We are all in this together and the States, Territories and the Federal Government need to work together as one. Great exercise in unity. I hope it lasts.

Well, Benji wasn’t using it.

A few days ago the Catholic Church here in South Australia suspended their Easter Services and their Mass in response to the Virus. This morning the Presbyterian Church has suspended services for the moment. This also to include all meetings of boards of Committees. I guess the Congregational AGM, which was due this coming Sunday,  will not now take place. The General Assembly Emergency Meeting  will  keep us up to date by daily emails as the situation develops. This afternoon will be spent sending out emails to those of our congregation who have  them and telephoning those who do not. Also this morning was an email and letter from the CEO of the RFDS which has suspended all fundraising activities until at least 31st June.  Annabell  attended the  Ordination Service of the new Pastor  at the Lutheran Church last week and we were thinking that it was good that it was last week whilst there was still some sense of sanity about the place. Oh and by the way, she said the new Pastor is  very young —- Only a boy – were her words  :o)

Just Because

I have also decided that this might be  the last time I will have Dougal here. Yes he and Benji get on fairly well, but  when I have to go away it means that Annabell has to look after both dogs for two or sometimes four days, depending on where I am going. She is really not able to do that anymore.  As it happens I didn’t have to go away this period but that’s not the point. This time was only  to be for a few days- this coming Monday it will be Five Weeks since he came. There is also the problem when we are out walking. A dog barks and Benji  ignores and walks on. Dougal, on the other hand, goes ballistic and just about pulls my arm off.  But, but, the other day I had had enough, got Benji, put him in the car and he and I drove off to the Wetlands and then the beach It was nice out walking just Benji and me.

Life is being cancelled

Adelaide Cup

Monday 9th March was a public Holiday. Well, it was in South Australia – no where else, only South Australia.  What was the occasion you may well ask and I shall tell you it was such a holiday that no one outside of Adelaide really cares too much about – it was the Adelaide Cup Horse Race. It’s a Group 2 Horse Race, not in the same League as the Melbourne Cup, which is a Group 1 Race. Still, it was a long weekend and whatever the reason, quite acceptable.   Andrew and I decided on a  Road Trip to Port Lincoln, about 280 klms from here. We did ask John, but he was working. The drive down was uneventful with surprisingly little traffic. Yes I did take the camera with me but  there is not a lot to see and not much of any great interest since  this is mainly farming country – from the arid lands to the arable lands. However it was interesting to note that the street we were driving on in Port Lincoln were under water not so long ago.- in the flooding rain that followed the bushfires.

On arrival we went directly to Bunnings where we had a wander and a coffee. From there we went to the Tech Store where Andrew bought a new Mouse and I bought a second  64GB Extreme SD for the Camera. Well, yes, we could have bought these things at home, but we didn’t. We had a delayed lunch at Del Giorno’s Restaurant, which Andrew recommended. I had a  Vegetarian Pasta dish, which was very good and  Andrew had a Gourmet Hamburger, which he said was great. I chose a large glass of +Lemonade+  and Andrew a Diet Coke. Sad, I know, but it’s 280  kilms drive to home. One of the highlights for me was to come across an “Inspector Morse” Red Jaguar,  well looked after and in magnificent condition. Just after I took the photograph an

This is not my photograph. I never got to take one.

elderly man got into the car and drove off. The drive back was just as uneventful as the drive down. Yes there are little settlements, Tumby Bay, Arno Bay  Franklin Harbour and Port Neill. All of these are on the coast and the main highway is about 3 – 5 klms inland and thus a straight run from the top of the Eyre Peninsula down to Port Lincoln. A great day out – John would have enjoyed it. Port Lincoln is a busy, bustling town but has a lot of problems with youth crime and youth vandalism. However, I did relearn an important lesson -if you think you would like to do something- do it. Don’t leave it until later because later might be too late. On our way to the restaurant we came across the statue to the great  racehorse, Makybe Diva. I  thought I would like a photograph of that but decided to leave it until after lunch. After lunch, however, two families were having a picnic on the grass around the statue – some people were sitting on the  base and children were climbing over it. I never got my photograph. The name – Makybe Diva – comes from the first two letters of the names of the  five female employees of the owner –  Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa

I was supposed to be taking John to Adelaide next week. He was going to a concert in Melbourne but was unable to get flights at the times he needed to Adelaide and return, so he asked me to take him down. I would stay in Adelaide for a couple of days. pick him up at the airport and drive home. Yesterday I cancelled the hotel booking as word came through that the Melbourne concert is cancelled. John is not very happy. I will have to go down to Adelaide because I had arranged to do things on the Friday – like go to the RFDS Base to collect things for up here. I still need to do that so I will head down on my own.

Hmmm. Very Interesting

Here in our country town the virus has arrived with one person being tested. The Laura Fair has been cancelled, the Peppercorn Markets have been cancelled but no word of the much larger Unearth Festival which is due here next week being cancelled. And we really should know because  the RFDS Simulator has been booked to come up from Adelaide for this. To date (one week out) the Festival is going ahead as planned. Ah…. 16:43 Saturday14th. At 5pm this afternoon there will be a Council announcement that the Unearth Festival in Ada Ryan Gardens on Saturday 21st and the Colour Run on  Sunday 22nd will both be cancelled. On Monday we will notify RFDS Central Operations that the Simulator will not be required. Perhaps later on in the year when things have settled down, but I don’t see that happening for a while yet. We are living in a very different reality. Annabell was not happy about me driving to Adelaide for no really good reason in the current climate, so to allay her fears I have decided that I really do not need to go to Adelaide at this time.