After a good shower, coffee and breakfast I set off from Tailem Bend. It was close to 7am before I got on the road and I couldn’t help reflecting that had I been in Adelaide I would have been leaving Port Wakefield by this time. Anyway, the first little while the weather was not too bad, but, sadly it didn’t last and it started raining. When it wasn’t raining I was driving through a heavy mist and the windscreen wipers were given a good workout, The thing I really dislike about the South Eastern Freeway is the descent from Crafers to the City – a long steep 15 klm long descent and there have been quite a few accidents in this section of the freeway and quite a few people have died. I really don’t like this part of the journey. That part of the journey over, I drove directly to Port Wakefield – a distance of 230 klms from Tailem Bend. I had a break for fuel and food then started on the drive to Port Augusta. The rain had largely ended – the odd light shower, but that was about it. I did not phone Annabell because she would be at church. I thought of a further break at the Tin Man but decided against it and went through to Port Augusta. Here I did have a break and made a call to Annabell, to let her know where I was and that I would be home in about 40 minutes. I only generally stay in one hotel – twice – and that’s because it is a Motel and I can park the car right outside the room. You see, I do not travel light – I never have and it can be kind of embarrassing walking in and out to the car to get baggage and cases. So I stay in a Motel and generally good quality cabins. Here in Australia, cabins in leisure parks generally cost about as much as a motel room, so It’s not a money saving exercise. Four days away and I was attacked the minute I stepped in the door. Dougal wasn’t too bad, but Benji went wild and it took me ages to get him to calm down. I couldn’t be certain, but I think he might have missed me a little. Of course, he doesn’t know or understand how much I missed him. Annabell called Andrew to let him know that I was home and I would take her to the shops, which I did. Benji was not impressed that I was going out and leaving him, so, since the dog cover was still on the back seat, we took them both to the shops with us. By then Benji had settled down. The boys, all three, arrived for dinner on Sunday night so things were fairly back to normal. Took both dogs out for a short walk after the boys had gone home.
Monday started a new round of Doctor and Hospital visits with one Monday, two Tuesday, one Wednesday and one Thursday. At this stage, Friday is FREE! On Monday, Dougal went home but we have another dog to look after for two weeks beginning tomorrow – Max the Pug. Max is fairly old and not really able to go walking too much –
however – when the man was still with us and he had grown old and blind I bought a dogger and strapped him in that and took him walking with – well he rode, we walked… Chienne and me – and no , I merely used the name to mean “Female Dog” besides she was more often called Chi (chee) anyway. Well, Max is – as I said – fairly old but he is grossly overweight. In fact as dogs go he would be termed obese. He is so heavy and difficult to lift and I am not sure he will be able to go into a dogger that was bought for an old, blind Maltese. I did take them out last night and had a very slow walk abound the block. When we came back, I settled him in, took Benji away and he and I sneaked out the back door to go for a real walk. I never want Benji to get overweight like that, But it was a lovely night and a very enjoyable walk. Max, on the first walk did well – new smells everywhere, so apart from being a slow walk – given Max’s condition, it was a long walk, given his interests. I have to say that Max really is a most lovable and affectionate dog.
Anyway, that’s the long travel over until November. The next conference is in Adelaide, so that’s only overnight – leave Friday back Saturday. Oh… just been on the news – The Million Paw Walk to raise funds for the RSPCA on Sunday (tomorrow) has been cancelled due to a forecast of possible thunderstorms.
Sunday: Annabell is much better today. The antibiotic kicked in and she is a lot better than she was last night. She has to take the second antibiotic this evening and we will go see the doctor tomorrow. I am feeling much more relaxed than I was yesterday. When we returned from the hospital I called the boys and asked them not to come over on Sunday as normal. They were concerned but agreed. Sadly this means that we didn’t get to see the Grandson this week Annabell has been having a difficult time of late but hopefully this infection has been the underlying cause and, with a treatment of antibiotics, we should be able to get on top of that fairly quickly – or so I am told.
Thursday: I headed off to Naracoorte to the quarterly conference. The boys kept an eye on Annabell whilst I was away. I was very late in leaving mainly because I had appointment with my cardiologist at 10am and I could not afford to miss that. This was a long appointment in that it lasted a whole 15 minutes when it normally lasts 10 minutes. I am well and everything is as it should be so really it was just an ECG and then a quick chat about how things were and the fact that he continues to be pleased. I don’t see him again for a year. By the time I reached Adelaide it was late in the afternoon and it took me some time to get clear of bank business before I got into town. I did get some shopping done for Annabell but by and large I booked into my hotel and stayed there. It was a cold, wet and miserable trip down – rained most of the way, and it was Thursday – no late night shopping in the city. I slept well enough and after booking out set off to the South-Eastern Freeway towards Murray Bridge and then Tailem Bend. Cold, and miserable and the weather was not great either!! I bought the car in the summer and was more concerned with the A/C – never thought much about the heating — well, you don’t when the outside temperature is 41c. I practically froze on the drive from Adelaide to Tailem Bend. I did have some hot food there before continuing on to my next overnight stay. Here I really had problems in that I was not, for reasons unknown, booked in. Every cabin was taken and I was offered the bunkhouse which consisted of a
room with two bunk beds, one on top of the other) a fridge and a small tv (that didn’t work) It was a broom cupboard with bunks. The kitchen was about 200 yards in one direction and the facilities 150 in another direction. I discovered what a great thrill it was to walk two hundred yards, rugged up against the cold and the rain, plus the same distance back, to make a mug of coffee. The discussion of the facilities is not for gentlefolk, so we just wont go there I did not have a shower in the morning. I did have a rubdown with a cold, damp facecloth and when I drove the last distance to the conference I stopped off in town, bought myself a pair of gloves and deodorant. I have to be truthful and say that yes it was a broom cupboard, but the bunkbed was comfortably and I slept well. Both meetings were poorly attended and only half of the commissioners were present. Still more than enough to hold the meetings. I got my books attested and signed fairly early on and I did the books of two other places. I had hoped to be clear by 3:30 but if not I would simply stay there in town and head for Adelaide in the morning. As it happened, the lack of numbers meant that we concluded business by 2:45 and I hit the road. I wanted to reach Tailem Bend before dark, and I did. I pulled into the River Edge Caravan Park and I was allocated a lovely cabin overlooking the River Murray. On a really nice day it would be very pleasant to sit outside in one of the chairs and watch the river and the birds – all very relaxing.
Once Dougal went home, the times walking were a little more comfortable and less frustrating. Dougal is a barker and tends to go gaga if he hears another bark or, indeed, any noise. It does not make for a really enjoyable walk with him dragging and pulling. Benji, on the other hand is sort of like a modern teenager – some other dog barks – ” meh whatever!”. Although we never had any concerns, because our fences are secure, I am told by other people that Dougal tends to be something of an escape artist and Sam has had to go searching for him more than once.
I took Benji to the Wetlands this afternoon and it really is starting to look quite sad. The birds have deserted the back pond where they generally hang out.
The four wild Geese have taken to wandering around the area of the main pond, the ducks and swans have gone and the back pond – what’s left of it – has become the haunt of seagulls. Thursday week – 9th May – I set off to Narracourte for the quarterly conference. There will be one overnight stay in Adelaide and a second overnight stay at Padthaway. The meeting does not begin until 12:30 so it is likely to last for most of the afternoon since each of the churches has to bring their Books for inspection, stamping and cleared by Presbytery. That wont take five minutes so it is unlikely that I will get much farther than back to Padthaway since I will not drive on the Riddoch Highway and the Dukes Highway at night. There has been several accidents recently on that stretch of the road recently. Apart from which, I like staying in Padthaway since it is one of the few places that are dog friendly.
The flood waters from Queensland continue to pour down the Diamantina River into South Australia and then drain into Lake Eyre. Having said that I have also to
say that it has been raining for a good part of the late evening and into the night. It was not the soft, silent rain that really doesn’t do much but a decent rainfall for several hours. I must try and get down to the Wetlands and see what difference – if any – it might have made. Wednesday: Never got out to the Wetlands, had a bit of a wetlands in the back garden. It’s chucking it down here again and I I was surprised to learn that despite the widespread rainstorms, some parts of the State missed out – bummer. Looks as if we wont be going out for our walk tonight again. Well, as it happens, the rain went off and we did get out for our walk. I went directly to the water catchment area at the end of the street and although there was a good amount of water in there, I did believe that there was less than I thought there would be.
I thought that I would be able to go to the Wetlands tomorrow (Thursday) after the 10 am Hospital appointment with Annabell, but as of this afternoon,(Wednesday) we have a further appointment on Thursday at 2:30pm. However, at this stage, Friday is looking good :o) Talk about ‘Things Fall Apart” – I take Annabell and another lady to the Tuesday coffee evening and she and the other lady get picked up on a Wednesday. This same lady picks up Annabell for visits and other meetings. Well, this lady now has a new car and guess what????? Annabell cannot get into this new car, so I have more driving around to do. Oh well, I do believe it’s part of the job description.
I think it comes under the heading of “Sickness and Health ” :o) And, since the Universe is not altogether finished with me for the moment, Dougal came back this afternoon – right after we came back from the dentist. Sam is heading off to Adelaide to be with Ina for a little while – then when he comes back he is going into hospital himself, so I have no idea how long we might have Dougal this time. He’s not a really concern, just the fact that he has never learned to ignore barking and other sounds without going gaga, I’ll have to put on the harness again if I take him out walking but we have had a fair belt of rain here the last few days, so we’ll see how things go. I didn’t expect to have Dougal back quite so quickly but at least Sam knows that he can go visit his wife in Adelaide safe in the knowledge that his dog is being looked after and taken care of. It’s Friday – no doctors, no hospital visits – FREE… Woo Hoo