Keyboards, Adelaide and hot days.

My “New” keyboard

Annabell didn’t like her computer mouse. I, on the other hand, wanted a new keyboard.  About mid-morning we went off to the  shopping mall. I found a new keyboard that I was happy with. Asked for advice I helped Annabell to get a new mouse, but since she had a cable mouse perhaps time she got a wireless mouse and perhaps treat herself to a wireless keyboard. After searching around we found a good wireless mouse/keyboard combination , so she bought that.  ( I know,  where is this going??)  When we got home I unpacked and unboxed my new keyboard. Annabell looked at it and said she wished she had seen that because it’s a keyboard she would like – good, sturdy and large keys. Well, tough, it’s mine so there. Not working?? Okay  — yes I gave it to her and I took the mouse/keyboard combination, which I am using now.  Nah it’s not bad and I can live with it. Annabell is happy with the other keyboard and that’s good. I remember the lesson my dad taught me – “it’s no loss what a friend gains” She’s happy…

Second strange incident. This evening, after the news and the weather report (39c tomorrow) I took Benji out for a “Block Walk” just a short(ish) walk around the block. We moved about six feet when he dug his front paws in and refused to move. He relaxed so I moved off again, less than a foot or so and the paws dug in again. I figured he just didn’t want to go walking so I turned around to   go into the driveway. He didn’t – he walked right past the drive and kept on walking, In essence we did what is generally the morning district walk and he walked quite the thing.

Wednesday 11th: We did not go out yesterday. I had to go to the shops for some things for Annabell and the  boy was not happy because I didn’t take him with me. I couldn’t – not leaving him in

It was a wee bit wet.

a car at 39c – even with windows open. Apart from which, most of the day it blew a storm – very high winds. In the evening the thunderstorm started and continued through much of the night. Today ? Well, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the trees are in blossom. perhaps I just imagined the storm!  “Indian Hills” I really did try to comment but  three times it was deleted. I liked those signs.  (still having a problem with WordPeress.com) Had a telephone call from the Clinic at the Flinders Hospital. I have to take Annabell down there  on 27th November. The Surgeon wants do do some tests before he organises the time and date for her surgery, which will be at the Flinders Cancer Clinic. I had to take  her up to the Emergency Dept. at the local hospital last night and she has another  UTI – and, according to the tests – well the comment the nurse used was “raging” However, they  gave her the necessary medication and the doctor signed a script, which I got  for her this morning.

My drive to Adelaide for the Conference was uneventful (as was the meting itself)  but although I did manage to get some shopping done much of what I wanted – ( tools,batteries etc) was still

unavailable. However, now that the state borders have re-opened, goods should start moving again.  Most of the time I travelled with the A/C on. Things have changed and I  wasn’t able to get the bus into town from the hotel. The public transport in Adelaide no longer takes money. In order to

Just Because

travel on public transport in Adelaide  you needs must have a “Metro Card” and I didn’t. In order to get into the city I had to find a newsagent and buy a metro card – then then the next step was to put funds on to so that cost me more. Still, it does not expire so I can use it when next in Adelaide – in  two weeks time. Actually, if I hold on to it  I can use it any time I am in Adelaide, provided I remember to  put funds in it.  We have a bit of a concern in that South Australia  is now a “Covid Hot Spot”with 22 new cases in the northern suburbs and spreading. The authorities are moving quickly to contain the first outbreak since mid May, but a lot of new restrictions have been re-introduced. We don’t know if we will be allowed to travel to Flinders Hospital next week. I will try and find out what I can today.  It’s a added worry we really don’t need right at the moment.

Benji has not been out walking for a few days, what with me being away overnight,  the 38c / 39c and then 44c  temperatures it has been a tad on the hot side for his paws. Monday evening was the first time out since last Thursday. I also took him out this morning and found it a b it on the “fresh” side but no doubt it will warm up during the day,

Hospitals, Gardens and WordPress

Ada Ryan Gardens
Also Ada Ryan Gardens

Monday Nov. 2nd. The ultrasound  took place last Friday morning and we should have the results – or at least the consultant will have the results tomorrow. When we get them is another matter, Although having said that, he has been pretty good in keeping us informed when he has been here. He is not resident here. But this scan should tell us where the ‘infection ‘is  and how widespread it is. At this stage the results seem to indicate that it is in one area and not widespread, but one never can tell with this.  I attended the RFDS Meeting last night and   drew back from any further

major involvement  for the time being. Some things I  will continue to do because  they are done by telephone and do not require me to be somewhere. I have put my name down for the Men’s Christmas Dinner as has Annabell for the Women’s Christmas Dinner not knowing if either of us will be there at this stage. Everything is very uncertain until we know what is to happen.

Annabell is still very unwell and will require major surgery but the ultrasounds and the blood tests have been quite encouraging, so now we  just wait for a bit. Yes we do have the results but we need time to discuss them with the boys. At this stage we don’t know if it will be at the Royal Adelaide or the Flinders Medical Center – this  will determine where I will stay when I am down there with her. I understand that the Flinders have  a couple of houses that can be rented for a short period so if it is the Flinders I will organise that. If it if the Royal Adelaide I  will probably stay at the Princes Lodge, which is where I will be staying this weekend – maybe!!

’tis a hard life – all this walking

I will need to get back on to WordPress again and see if they can fix my problem.          I can read all your posts – no problem there – if you comment on my post, I can reply – no problem there either. Howeffer, if I try and make a comment on your posts – ah, that does present a problem in that, I can’t. So it’s not that I have not been reading your posts it’s just that I can’t comment on them. When I try to do so,  it tells me that my login to WordPress.com has expired and the  comment is terminated. I haven’t been ignoring people, I just can’t get in touch with you. On the other hand –

Me likes this

perhaps there is nothing wrong with WordPress.com and you are all trying to tell me something  :o)

As an aside, I liked the Spinach and Cheese Ravioli  recipe and have downloaded and printed it ( see, I do read them) . Depending what happens and where I go, I will take this with me and perhaps I will be able to use it as a quick meal when I am on my own. Since Annabell cannot have tomato products, I  can make it here but it would last me for a few days – and – I suppose that’s good. I love pasta but hate lasagna – strange…

I have booked the hotel in Adelaide for the Conference  but I also indicated that I could cancel at a moments notice and that seemed to be fine after I explained why this might be happen.  I made a comment on a post this morning –  Tippy Tales, –  which was good. Perhaps the problem is rectifying itself.

Benji  is well. Like the rest of us he is getting older although his enthusiasm for early  morning walks has not diminished, he is not so great on mid-

More Gardens

afternoon walks and a couple of times an night I have gone out on my own. We stopped going round the back on the Wetlands to feed the geese and ducks mainly because the path has been upgraded with  gravel and he has soft paws and the gravel hurts, so we stick to the main  paved paths. Some may say I spoil him – not so – I just look after him a lot.

It’s all Confused!

I have been away from this blog for a few days and I come back to find that everything has changed and I am not certain that I really like it: that I actually understand it or that I can

Nice and peaceful.

use it. I have no idea how I managed to get this far. I will keep on writing and see where it leads. I don’t know where my photographs are or how I can get photographs on to the page. I was particularly comfortable with the way the page was and if I knew how to I would try and return it to what it was before.   Somehow it went on to Block Editor and I don’t know why this happened, but I seem to have got it back to Classic Editor, which I am much more comfortable with.

The funeral on Wednesday was was very sad. Of course, all funerals are but this one was particularly so. It was held at the Funeral Home mainly because they have a large hall, and our church would not have been large enough – under the current restrictions – to accommodate enough people. There were a number of people from the hospital in Adelaide who traveled up. As I said, I was attending and had not intended to be part of the service. In the event I was asked to take part in the service. I was also asked to  undertake the Committal at the graveside.  William was a young man in a high pressure occupation – he was a psychiatric nurse and Team Leader at the Psychiatric Unit at a major hospital in Adelaide.  At the Cemetery, Annabell remained in the car . The walk would have been too much for her. 

I went out to the Photography Club in the evening but my heart wasn’t really in it so I came home fairly early. I want to really improve my photography and I thought joining the Photography Club was the way to achieve this, but I am not sure. I think what I really need is a hands on photography course, and that’s not possible here – in Adelaide yes, but I can’t remember the last time we ran  Community Courses here.  Yes I have tried  “On-Line ” courses, I have about three currently in the computer, but they just don’t work for me. There have been times ( yesterday, in fact) when I have gone out with the camera, taken photographs, came home and deleted every one. I was just unhappy and didn’t like them. With all the stuffing around the camera was a mess so I took the step of going into the  settings and returning the camera to Factory Settings, wipe out all the other setting except the basic  settings the camera came out of the box with. Start again from scratch without contradictory advice from assorted sources.

Oddly enough last Wednesday morning was the last fine day we had. It has been heavy rain throughout the state  for the last four days. It has also been cold and windy. It is supposed to start warming up by the end of the

Dog Stroller can be used if necessary

week, but it feels more like an extended winter rather than Spring. I have had Benji out and about and he is developing into a little con-man.  Of late we are out walking and after a while he will start limping then stop and lift his right paw up as if he was in pain. When I bent down to  feel all over his paw I could find nothing wrong, Even when I gently extended his paw he didn’t complain. He put the paw on the ground but when I started to move off, the paw went up in the air. Yes, I lifted him and put him on my shoulder and carried him for part of the way home.  This has happened several times and much of the time I have carried him – except for today. Off we went at 6am this morning, and about  three quarters of the way into the walk, the paw went in the air. I examined the paw,

There are definitely days ;like that..

found nothing amiss and told  him that we would go back home—-well I had hardly said the word home, than he turned around, the paw went down and he took off, no sign of any pain or discomfort or paw problem. I had a chat with Annabell and we have come to the conclusion that this is his way of telling me that he’s had enough and he wants to go home. He is getting older so really we should expect that he doesn’t want to be quite as active as he was. Anyway, I have a “Pet Stroller”which I bought for Misty, a Maltese we had many years ago,  who went blind. When we go out tomorrow I will take it with me and if he does the paw thing, I will lift him, strap him in the stroller and we can finish the walk together – like companions should.

Annabell is as well as expected. I  will have her at the hospital on Wednesday and again on Friday.  We may find out  sometime after Friday what the problem is, but if not then it may be day surgery on the 22nd October.

Towards the Final Curtain V

On a good day

The police are at their wits end and are at a loss on what to do next. Hardly a week passes without there  being a death on our roads, drivers taunting police and engaging in police pursuits, which have to be terminated because it’s too dangerous for the police to continue. And if the clown ( not the word I really want to use)  crashes the car and is killed- guess what – it’s the police fault – it was only a car for goodness sake!  And it’s not just males. What made the police and the rest of us, shake collective heads in despair.? Less than five minutes drive from here ( my house)  a driver rolled the car in the scrub,  one passenger was  badly injured and was flown by the RFDS to Adelaide, where he died. The other passenger  suffered “multiple limb injuries” and treated here in hospital as was the driver of the car, who suffered minor injuries. This was NOT the outcome of a police chase.          Ok having taken that in, now take this in – The driver of the car was charged by Major Crime Investigators  with causing death and harm, by Dangerous Driving. There was also a raft of other charges. The Driver of the car was 12 years of age.  The  passenger who died was his 20 year old brother and the other injured person was 11 years of age. In Heaven’s Name – where do we go from here? This is not over – there will be more to come out of this.  The main area for these deaths on the roads is Adelaide and surrounds and it is

Just so tired, daddy. Not able to go walking.

concerning me that I have to drive down there in a couple of weeks and right at the moment I am not greatly enthused. A few days later a teenager walked free from court after a crash that killed his passenger, The driver suffered head injuries and said he doesn’t remember the crash or the fact that he was high on drugs and alcohol when he lost control of the car,  so the  Kindly judge gave him a suspended sentence and he walked free from court. In South Australia you can kill someone, go to court, plead guilty and get 40% deduction of your sentence just for pleading  guilty and saving the state the cost of a trial.

I have had an email yesterday which now tells me that there will be no physical meeting next week. The people cannot come to Adelaide from Queensland so the Conference will be by Zoom- which is yet to be set up, so no doubt I will get all the necessary information in the fullness of time.`My problem is that the NBN is not stable in this area and I keep on dropping out. This is what happened at the RFDS Conference – freeze up, then drop out.

I have been doing some further reading on  the South Australian National and Conservation Parks and discovered that with the exception of parts of the Flinders Ranges National Park, to even have  a dog in your car within the bounds of a National Park can still attract a hefty fine. The reason for the part exemption of the Flinders Ranges National Park, is simply that the main road runs through the middle of the park.  However, here’s an interesting thing – I have said that dogs are banned from National Parks – Service Dogs are not. Interesting.

Snow in the Flinders

On the subject of the Flinders Ranges, the weather, which is cold, wet and miserable was soo  bad these last few days that it was snowing at the Flinders National Park and there are reports that it looked like a ski area. Apparently it has snowed there before but that was about 60 years ago. So, really, it has been cold here the last week or so. Down here it has just been raining almost constant, but a couple of times it has not really been “rain” but a continual wet and cold Scottish Drizzle. Might not be heavy but it’s just as wet.

 

 

Sky, clocks and Cruise Ships

Odd looking sky

This is a photograph I took when I was out with the dogs last night. I took it as my phone was on its last gasp because I forgot to charge it after my facetime call with my son and grandson. I thought it was a very odd looking sky. Generally I would have waited until I had cleared the houses but I didn’t think my phone would go the distance. (it didn’t)

Yesterday I attended church – well sort of – I attended the Moderator’s Service on line. He also found it odd because although he had conducted a service in a church with several hundred members and a church with only 20 members, it was the first time he had ever conducted a service in an empty church.

I sometimes think about life some years hence when we might be sitting around a table having a meal and a drink and the conversation turns to “The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020″and I will be forced to drink more to cover my embarrassment at  not being able to join in the conversation because I never bought 100+ toilet rolls a week. However, I console myself by thinking that  some of these people will buy  empty 40 gallon drums and  light fires so they can quietly burn all these hundreds of toilet rolls so  no one will ever know how stupid they were.  LOL I sleep well at night. Dougal is still here and  we had a call from Adelaide this afternoon to say that they will be home next Thursday and will come and collect Dougal on Friday.   I went over to the supermarket for dog food and since that was all I had, I was asked at the checkout if I had missed the toilet rolls. I said no, I didn’t want any. I got some very strange looks.

Apart from the smaller shops, most of which are closed anyway, actual cash money it no longer acceptable and  paying by card is the accepted way these days.  The Pay Wave on my card is not working since so I have been using my credit card. I am due for a new card next month so I can wait for that rather than order a new card now and have to pay for it. I can still use the card in the normal way  since only the pay wave function is not working. However, Annabell raised a point with me in discussion – can these stores legally refuse to accept cash as  payment for goods?  i.e.  can they refuse to accept  legal tender?  Interesting, my answer was no,  I don’t think they can,  but I really don’t know. —- I do now–  and according to a Reserve Bank Statement on this very issue –  a refusal to accept Australian Banknotes and coin in payment for goods is not unlawful. A business can  request that payment can only be made by using a card.

I put the clock thing in to amuse:  the clocks actually go back this weekend and I think going back about four years would be good.

The Cruise Ships off the coast of New South Wales, have been refused permission to dock. They are believed to  be a hotbed of the virus. There is one off the coast of Western Australia again with foreign crew and

This is the Ruby Princess,

foreign nationals. It has been instructed to leave Australian waters but refuses to do so. The  ships are registered in the West Indies so they have been instructed to go home. – they refuse to leave. Navy ships are on standby, although just what they can do is anyone’s guess. But  on the news this morning there is a new virus case in South Australia – again from the Ruby Princess. Nearly half of the  deaths in South Australia are linked to the Ruby Princess and the idiotic decision to allow 2700 people to disembark from the ship in Sydney and  disperse to  their homes without any checks, is at the root cause of this. There are a number of cruise ships  (8) off the Australian Coast several inside Australian waters that have been ordered to leave. They have refused to do so and right at the moment there is really not a lot we can do about it. The spectacle of Naval Warships forcing a cruise ship out of Australian waters, does not bear thinking about.  Judging by what I am reading in the news I have concerns that the European Union will survive this crisis with a number of the Eastern European countries,using the crisis to gain control of power and on the path to  becoming right wing dictatorships.  That’s a worry.

 

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.

Toward the Final Curtain Q

Part of Victoria Square, Adelaide

I have been away since Friday attending a meeting of the Presbytery. It was announced to the meeting that a former Moderator, who last attended a meeting ( hale and hearty I might add) in August of 2019. had died. There was no indication of what was to come when he attended in August of last year. In the November meeting we were informed that he was ill and then the news that it was an aggressive brain cancer. He stabilized over Christmas and New Year but at the beginning of this month (February) he was rushed into hospital as the cancer had become more aggressive.  Sadly, it was terminal and he died on 13th February. We expect his funeral to be sometime this week, so I may be heading off to Adelaide again. Ok well that’s Plan A but I have the feeling that I may have to activate Plan B, which is to submit an apology and stay here instead.

When I got home on Saturday evening I  said my “hello” to Benji and then got Annabell in the car and up to the Emergency Dept at the Hospital. She had been unwell all day and was in some discomfort. She has an UTI and was in a bit of pain. She was seen to fairly quickly and after some tests and samples, she was given medication to last her until today. I have made the appointment with the doctor so we’ll see what happens, but this is happening much too often and we really have to get to the cause of the problem. Why did I have to

They are still around.

take her to hospital??? Because she put up with the discomfort all day and never called anyone, not even one of the boys. They could have had her up at the hospital  during the day . But she said, she didn’t want to cause a concern so she suffered until I got home. She worries me!! At the moment she is sleeping. She got up and showered early in case we were able to get a very early appointment. However as it is an afternoon appointment, she has gone for a rest and a bit of a sleep. We have spent the last week either at the doctor,  the clinic for blood tests or the hospital for particular medication. We have the weekend off and we start again first thing on Monday morning. Since I wrote all that a week ago, we have spent most of the week travelling back and forth to doctors, blood tests and hospital.  It seems her potassium levels were off the chart and that really concerned the doctor so we have spent the week working on getting that back down to normal. I was unaware of the

The Area Hospital

dangers of high potassium – I’m not anymore!! Tomorrow is, as I said, Monday again and we start a new week and see what that brings

Prior to leaving for Adelaide I  listened to the weather forecast which was for rain, thunderstorms and possibly hail for Adelaide, so I put a raincoat on the back seat. The drive down to Port Wakefield was great – traffic was light and the weather was good. The weather in Adelaide was excellent, about 33c and no sign of any rain. When you go to a foreign country there are always somethings you miss from the “Old Country” For us Scottish people it is the very simple things in life – Scotch Pies, Potato Scones, Ayrshire Bacon, and Lorne  Sausages, Irn Bru and Lees Macaroon Bars  Well, there is a butcher that does make these but he is miles away from the centre of Adelaide. However, having contacted him I was told that he supplies Continental Foods in Salisbury Shopping Centre and the same company in Ingle Farm Shopping Centre  both of which are within easy reach. From where I was, Salisbury was closer – and yes, I got everything I wanted and packed it into a Cooler with Ice Blocks. Continental Foods, so I was also able to get Lees Macaroon Bars – mind you, just about had to take out a bank loan for them.

I did not get to the funeral. It had been organised for Saturday – a private family funeral and a Memorial Service in the afternoon.  Apart from the fact that I needed to get home for the service on Sunday. I had arrangements this week and next week with the RFDS, I also wanted to be here just in case we had to go to the hospital again.  Sad I was not able to attend, but these things do happen.

 

Towards the Final Curtain O

Came across this young fellow.

Growing up in Scotland there were – and probably still are – a number of popular brands of paints. One of the most popular was Dulux. This, as far as  we children were concerned, was a British Company using a very recognisable Old English Sheepdog as its company mascot. As children we stopped thinking of the dog as an Old English Sheepdog and it became – and I expect in the UK at any rate, still is – known as the Dulux Dog.  I liked

Dulux, not really as much for the dog but more for the fact that this was the paint my dad used. That’s all there was to it, the Corporate Identity, the fact that the company traded in India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada – and other countries, was unknown to us and as children – what did we care anyway. For us it was just  Paint.  It has been almost 40 years since we left Scotland so we  brought with us the memories of all these early days. I have no idea what has changed or how much has changed. For example, I can say this –  I worked  for a Government Department and the place where I was stationed, the Distillery and all the Bonded Warehouses, have been demolished; everything has been flattened.  I mean some of these warehouses were built by Prisoners of War — From Napoleon’s Army !   So if I annoyed anyone by saying “It’s a British thing” then I apologise but that’s what I knew and understood and when I wrote it I was thinking of my childhood, nothing else.

Some of the “kites”

The Australia Day celebration ( at least here) ended up being cold and very windy. In the afternoon it was a nice breeze, not too cold at all, but as the sun went down, the wind

Bouncy Castles deflated because of the wind.

The wind was too much

increased and the South Wind off the Spencer Gulf was  strong and cold. So much so that the  Bouncy Castles were taken down and two of the major kite units broke their moorings and came  down. The RFDS Site was fully exposed to the wind and the ladies were just about frozen, so they closed fairly early as did a number of other sites.  The fireworks still went ahead. In previous years we have been at Ada Ryan Gardens for Australia Day but this time the  City Council was making a great play about  Australia Day returning to the Foreshore. I don’t think it was the success they had been counting on. The coolness of the day would have been fine, but the wind put a bit of as dampener on things. Personally I would liked to have had Benji with me – it was cool enough to have him, but the thought of fireworks close up was the decider to leave him at home – to look after mummy!

Next weekend is the first meeting of the year so I will be heading off to Adelaide for a few days. Mount Gambier wont happen until the May meeting. I have plants in pots and they are dying. Those that are not dying are severely wilted. They may come back but based on past results it is unlikely. Yes I  pick heat tolerant plants but 46c is pushing it just a tad. At 06;40 this morning they were all watered and those that could be moved were moved into the shade, but the extreme heat was just too much and even the shaded ones suffered. Even now in the early evening it is still too humid to take Benji out for a walk. The present temperature at 7:45 pm is 32c and not expected to fall below 28 overnight with heavy rainstorms and possibly flooding

From the beach

forecast for tomorrow and Saturday-  what joy!  From the sublime to the ridiculous.

California Dreaming, Adelaide, Star Trek.

To give some scale to what has happened here so far,  The 2018 California fires burnt 2 million acres; the 2019 Amazon fires 2.2 million acres; and the 2019 Siberian fires 6.7 million acres. So far, up until this morning,  Australia’s 2019/20 fires have burnt 15 million acres. To further put that into scale, 60,702 square kilometers or bigger than Denmark ( with Wales on the side) – Think West Virginia  Here, we are, to a large extent,

I wonder if he has the answer?

protected in that  any fire that started here would be out fairly quickly since – although we have some trees – we don’t anything like the density of woodland and forests like NSW and Victoria and, of course, other parts of SA. Yes, we have had a couple of fires here but mainly grass fires that were put out fairly quickly and a few of them were started by morons who thought it was fun. The court did too because it gave them a slap on the wrist and sent them home. The only serious fire near here is in Middleback Road and that’s about 50+ kilometers away. We did have rain here on Sunday and it started raining when I took Benji out at 6am. The rain, although not heavy, continued throughout the day. It was of some help but not as much as had been hoped for. At the moment the main (only) sealed highway between Western Australia and South Australia remains cut off and  trucks are still backed up at the border or at several service stations. Life here continues much as normal and there are no restrictions. However, there is talk about  how the bushfires may effect how we view holidays and if it really is in the best interest of Australia for people to be taking holidays and travelling during the  fire season. Perhaps we should look at holidays in the cooler periods, Spring or  Autumn. Most schools are fully air-conditioned so perhaps we should be looking at keeping the schools open during the hot weather, changing the semester dates. so that the long six week school break does not fall in summer during the fire season. But this is Australia, reluctant to change even when the reasons are  slapped in your face – a very much “She’ll  be right mate”attitude. What’s happened is alarming in that when fire has gone through an area,

To Boldly go…

generally it will come back again – in about 50 / 60 years. But here it’s only been 15 years since fires went through some areas and that is unusual. However, at the end of it all,  nothing much will happen. The fires will eventually go out, people will discuss how we are going to tackle them in the future, and they will still be talking when the next fire season comes around. We  do not seem to have either the social nor the political will  to put a stop to the seemingly endless cycle – Fire – destruction – rebuild – repeat.  We build houses with a Star Trek Philosophy _ “Boldly go where no one has gone before”.   Oh look, a lovely, pristine landscape – we could fit 10,000 houses, roads, supermarkets  etc. in this area and call it Ocean View Housing Estate.

Australia, like some other countries, has a serious problem. That problem is Queensland and the reliance of Queensland on Coal. The political party that attacks Queensland’s love affair with coal is in serious trouble when it comes to elections and votes. True the coal powered power stations are being closed down here, but there are many others across the world and a number of them rely on Queensland coal – the mining and exporting of coal from Queensland. Between the coal industry and the mining industry in Queensland we are  talking about 47,000 jobs. Australia exports a staggering 370.1 Million Tons of coal a year. The loss of jobs and the destruction of the Queensland Economy and the flow-on effect that will have,  does not bear thinking about.

Wednesday saw me in Adelaide. I did my least favourite thing and that is travel to and from Adelaide by coach. Had I driven down it would have meant an overnight stay and I didn’t want that, so the price for not doing that was 11 hours on a coach. Oh Joy!!  I use Ryobi tools and the only supplier of Ryobi, tools, batteries and accessories in South Australia is Bunnings. Apart from which there were a few other things I wanted I also wanted a couple of large things from Bunnings but they can wait until I go down in February with the car. Fires are still burning out of control in Victoria and  Kangaroo Island here in South Australia. It’s not improving at the moment. The temp today (Thursday) was 45c. Tomorrow (Friday)  27c

Towards the Final Curtain F

The Blue Lake, Mount Gambier

Well, that’s Mount Gambier over for another year. The trip was interesting, to say the least. There was a fatal car smash at the dreaded junction of the Inter-state Highway and the Copper Coast Highway, with the rescue helicopter called in. The traffic was backed up for miles in all three directions.  The elderly female driver died at the scene with the husband air lifted out by the Rescue Helicopter. He died a few hours later in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. This is a dangerous intersection and I have had a couple of near misses myself with drivers coming off the Copper Coast Highway and either not seeing or ignoring the give way signs. The Inter-state has “right of way”.  The State Government and Federal Government have allocated funds to try and fix the problem but there seems to be no sense of urgency and the construction wont start until

You can see the buildup of traffic. The only alteration to this photograph is my erasing of the reg, plate

“sometime” in 2020. Still, as it’s not in Adelaide, no one worries much.   Between the detours and the delay, I was about two hours down.  Generally, I shop off for a break at Port Wakefield, but considering the volume of traffic going through because of the accident, delays and diversions, I decided against stopping and carried on to Adelaide. Thursday was not too bad with regard to the weather. I was able to get some shopping done in town and at the Central Market.

At about 10:30 I started to get a bit weary so to bed I went, only to be rudely wakened at 3am with thumping, banging and loud, continuous screaming. Next thing I saw the flashing blue and red reflection on the window blind (police car) – more banging- bit more screaming – a female screaming like a banshee, lots of voices, some sharing their innermost thoughts, then quiet. By then I was wide awake and although I sort of dozed off in fits and starts, I never really got to sleep again. It was either a domestic thing or a sex thing. Don’t know and never asked.  At 6am I was showered, dressed and booked out. By 6:30 I was on the road again – and it was raining.

The drive on the freeway to Tailem Bend was not one of the best drives I have had recently – it didn’t just rain, it poured, with the windscreen wipers sometimes having difficulty in coping.  Fortunately, there was not a lot of traffic on the freeway at that time in the morning, which was just as well, considering the conditions. First time I have ever driven in the daytime with headlights on.  By the time I reached Tailem Bend the rain has eased off – not stopped, just eased off.  I did, however, get my usual photograph of the River Murray. The Murray is looking ok,

The River Murray

but the dull overcast conditions gives you some idea of what the weather was like. More rain on the way to Mt. G. but at least  it was a lot lighter than on the freeway.   Mount Gambier was not so great this trip.  The cold and the rain caused a few electrical failures in Mt. Gambier, one of which was the heating in the hotel. Second concern I have had here, one last year and not another one this year. Perhaps time for a new hotel. One of our members is in Hospital and is not expected to survive. It is really a waiting period. All of his family are there, and no visitors are allowed, other than family. It has been a week since I returned from Mt. G. and I really expected to be called down to  Adelaide.

Fires continue to rage out of control in New South Wales and Queensland with five lives being lost. Here in South Australia we had a bush fire  in the bottom area of the peninsula outside Port Lincoln which was bad enough to put Port Lincoln  under threat.  Fortunately, that one  was brought under control and extinguished reasonably quickly.

The weather here at home has been cool to cold but that is about to change as the forecast is a rapid climb in temperature to 43c on Thursday.   Joy!!!