The Dark, the Ghost and the Rosebush

Friday:  The workmen came this morning to fill in the trench. That’s all they were contracted to do – they have no idea when the concrete work will be done. Still, at least I can get the car back into the driveway – I think – I haven’t tried it yet. —– I have just been told that the concreting will be done tomorrow, so it will probably be Sunday before  I can use the driveway again. I am quite pleased that it is completed now because for the month of August Annabell will be hosting the Ladies Coffee – Tuesday evening and again on the Wednesday morning.

Ready for the Concrete
Ready for the Concrete

The other news is that I do not have to go to Adelaide to have the Laptop fixed. It has been done. I telephoned the Apple Shop to make an appointment with the Tec, and instead I ended up with one of the Senior Tecs and together we sorted the problem out over the phone. It took a while and  I will expect to see a jump in the telephone bill because of it, but whatever it is it will be nowhere as much as  going to Adelaide either by coach or driving. So the Laptop is now  running El. Capitan the newest AppleMac OS. I am quite pleased about that.

Took BJ out for our walk this morning and by morning I mean 5:50am, and just as we passed a fence we were suddenly confronted by an apparition in white, scared BJ who started barking like crazy ( unusual) and set my heart off racing at a rate of knots. It was only for a few moments before it vanished behind the very large caravan in the driveway. No it was not a ghost, what is was, was the lady of the house out laying towels over her rose bushes to protect them from the cold. Admirable to be sure, but at 5:50 am – still dark, dressed in white ( white dressing gown carrying white cloths) reflected in the street light on the opposite side of the road – scared me half to death!   Not quite what you expect at that time on a cold winter.  morning. I told a lady in the church today and her comment was “that’s good, John, as long as it was not dressed in black carrying a scythe and an hour glass, you’ve nothing to worry about”.

All completed - just needs to cure
All completed – just needs to cure

The concrete is laid, the area blocked off and all the workmen gone. Looks good and the men have  done a really good job. I can walk on it as from tomorrow but not drive on it until at least Tuesday.  Busy week ahead – Wednesday I go to the Specialist and hope that he will organise  the surgery for my collapsing right knee-cap in the not too distant future. Then I have a day off and of Friday I go see my Cardiologist. I only see him once every four months and there is a good chance that the visits may well be finalised since everything has been great for the last year.

In mid August I head off to Adelaide and will be away for two days. I am no sooner back than I set off again, but this time just for a day, at least that’s the plan. The  second visit may also be for two days and that should be me (Officially)  until November unless I decide to go down for the weekend and take the trailer with me to Bunnings. Having said that I probably will need the trailer for ten square meters of  Synthetic Turf for my plan. I have already started on that and as the weeks progress I will add more to it until I have things the way I want them.

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Travelling – Home and Away

This is what rain looks like...
This is what rain looks like…

Was down in Adelaide for two days and saw my son off at Adelaide Airport. He is flying Emirates to Glasgow, staying in Glasgow for a few days then to London and the Eurostar  to Paris.  He’s a week in Paris then on to Madrid, Granada, Fez, Marrakesh and Casablanca.  He will be touring Italy before ending up in Germany where he meets up with engineers – of course!  Last I heard – a few days ago – he’s having a ball. He can only message when he can get WiFi.  Anyway, he’ll probably bring me back a T Shirt  :o)   Ah the good lad did take some photographs of Napoleon’s Tomb for me  :o) Adelaide was cold, wet and miserable and driving through the rain on the Port Wakefield Road – in the Dark – was not my idea of fun. It has been cold the last week or so and I have had the fire on most nights.  The

A sledge-hammer would do the job just as well!!
A sledge-hammer would do the job just as well!!

Man sleeps a lot now but he still seems ok. When he is Awake, he eats well and runs around the house.  He falls a lot but he just gets up and carries on as if it’s normal. It hurts me more than it seems to bother him. I have built a little platform for his  food bowl so that he does not have to bend  down  too much to eat. I also went to the upholsterer and bought foam to put under his bed so he has a sort of cushion, which, we hope, will make tings a little more comfortable for him. Goodness, who knew that foam was so expensive, but  if it  helps him to get a bit more comfortable, that’s all that’s  important.  When he is sleeping in the evening, Chienne and I slip quietly out and go for a walk.

I have been helping to do more work along the back fence that I spoke of a while ago. The Bougainvillea is gone but the vines are proving to be a major problem. Some of these are so thick Tarzan would be proud of them. I head off back to Adelaide on Wednesday for a meeting Wednesday afternoon. If I drive down I would have to stay overnight and I would prefer not to, so I will do the same as I did last time – take the early morning coach. Still gives me time to do some shopping in town before heading home on the last coach.

I don’t know what the situation is in other places but here continual pop-ups are driving me to distraction. No matter what I do I cannot get rid of them. I have a pop-up blocker in Firefox and one in Windows 8 but they never stop. I have even had  pop-ups and a win lots of money sort of survey from a New York Lady, who likes Butterflies and  watches Cricket. In a little while I am going to shut this computer down and have it removed for a bit and put the AppleMac back in its place. I hope that Apple, with its different system, is not infested with these things because I am starting to get really annoyed.

Well,  here we are – returned  to  the Apple again. I’m starting to feel like Eve, can’t resist an Apple  :o) Actually not really true, I’m more of a Samsung person. But anyway, the AppleMac seems to be pop-up free.  I think the next desktop computer I get will be an Apple and not a PC

Have not heard from John for  nearly a week but he did say that this would happen once he crossed into Morocco. Not all that good with WiFi in Arab countries.  On Monday he will be in Seville, so I hope to hear from him then. As far as I know he is enjoying himself and he is with a good tour group.

Emails, Apple and the Guru…

A sledge-hammer would do the job just as well!!
A sledge-hammer would do the job just as well!!

Monday 20

This morning the email arrived. I answered two comments – one from Turkey and one from Manhattan – and started reading about dancing and traveling oop north then went off to do something else. When I came back the mail had gone – just vanished – and this is happening a lot. I have decided that I am not going to solve this conflict so I will go into town and order a new battery for the MacBook and put that back into service. Outlook for AppleMac is reliable. It may take a few days, cost more,  but I think it’s the best option. Not that I really need a new battery, but when I bought the MacBook three years ago I was getting nine hours from  a charge. I liked this because it meant that I could disconnect from the house here and go to work and not have to worry about taking a charger with me. I could also take it to Adelaide for the same reason.  Because it is one of the ‘early’ MacBook Pro the battery is not the best and these days I am lucky if I get four / five  hours out of it.

I’ve had the Guru  (No. 1 son) over and we have made some changes to Outlook that we hope will solve the problem and at the moment the mail seems to  be stable. This on-going problem with my mail system and the fact that Windows 8 and Outlook are not best friends has had me worried more than I can say.  I felt that people might think that I was using it as some sort of excuse to ignore them, and nothing could be further from the truth, because it’s all mail, family and friends,  not just posts and comments. I probably worry too much about things and people, neither of which, in this instance, I  have much control over.

The worst of the heat is now over for the moment, at least in South Australia and the dogs are getting out a lot more. I took them out last night  and where the Man is concerned, it’s  – one third walk – one third carry – one third walk. Still he’s a happy little soul and much loved by everyone, he’s just getting a bit slow.   More than Chienne, the girls want to play with him, but the problem is that he is old and he can be cranky and he does not like being  set upon by six and seven year old girls. I am so glad that he has no teeth, because he has snapped at  Rhianna a couple of times. Chienne wouldn’t mind in the least, but they want to play with the little cute and fluffy one  :o)

I have said before that I do not play the “stat”game but I expect,  like everyone else,  I like to have comments. I try and respond as soon as I can. I expect most

Not related to anything - I just like it.
Not related to anything – I just like it.

people do, but here is where my ‘paranoia’ sets in and I find that I make a comment and whilst there is replies to all the comments around it, mine stands out lost and alone. I go back in a few days, and it’s still there. I read it and re-read it and wonder if what I said has caused offense, or if the person does not consider it important enough to bother responding to, or it’s a stupid comment and ignores it. It’s a worry.

Tuesday 21

Went up to the Vet at 10 am this morning to get more medication for Chienne and to get the capsules of  “Frontline” which can only be issued by a Vet. Remembering that he closed down from 6th December to 6th January, I arrived at the surgery to be told that ” the Vet has an appointment so we’re closing down for the day. “. There is a new Vet in town and I am told she is very good with animals. Two of my friends go there and they tell me she really is a pleasure to work with.  Oh, I am so tempted!!

Fires, thunderstorms and fires

Fires burning out of control 90 miles from here.
Fires burning out of control 90 miles from here.

Over 20 fires are still burning in South Australia and the residents in the Northern Grampians in Victoria have been told to be ready to evacuate as a massive fire burns out of control. Once our fires are under control we will be able to spare firefighters to go over to Victoria and help out. I am so glad that we don’t do fires or floods here. The heat has not abated any and we are still in the mid to high 40s and have been for five days now.  I have tried my best with water and mulch but my plants have just burned off and the Natives are struggling. And the constant wind means that my garden has become a leaf depository on steroids. Once this heat is over and we go back to normal it will take me ages to clean the place up. The heat I can take but I have never known a period when we have had constant wind day in-day out and it becomes more of a struggle to keep the place clean because the dust gets everywhere.  The wind is fanning the fires burning out of control some 95 miles away in the National Park. However the main threat is in Victoria where several small town have been evacuated.

Right at this very moment we are in the middle of a thunderstorm and Chienne is going gaga. Her distress is now passed to the Man and he is a bit upset. It is loud and it is a bit scary. I have medicated Chienne but I am reluctant to give anything to the Man that I have not already cleared with the Vet.  The Thunderstorm is a cause for further concern and it is believed that the lightening could spark off further Fires. Tomorrow the temperature is due to crash from 44c today to an overnight low of 30c and then down to a cool 28c tomorrow, and then we just wait for the next belting  :o)

It’s down to 29c at the moment but over the border in Victoria fires are still burning out of control and although conditions in the South East of  SA are starting to ease, we still have a couple of fires burning out of control with over 12 homes destroyed. If the cool weather lasts for a bit. I’ll  go out and  plant the Pencil Pines.

The cool weather is really not helping the areas where the fires are burning because of the wind change – and it’s a fairly strong wind. All it’s doing is causing the fires to change direction and

The fires on the far side of the Spencer Gulf
The fires on the far side of the Spencer Gulf

add more problems for the hundreds of firefighters battling the blazes.  I have posted here a photograph that was taken from a hill at the foreshore. In the foreground to the left, is the Iron Ore export jetty and in the distance, over the water is the fires burning on the hills at Port Germain about twenty miles away. And yes I did say that the fires were a long way from us and that’s true (170 klms by road) but I have not yet seen or heard of a fire that can travel across 20 – 25 miles over open water.

I am still having major problems with my email system and I know I’ve just lost another batch of mail. It was there this morning but when I went back into MS Outlook a little while later it was all gone. I cannot find it anywhere, so it looks as if I am going to have to bite the bullet, buy a new MS Outlook – from Outlook 2010 –  Outlook 2013- and see where we go from there. If it cannot be fixed it might be just as cheap to have a new battery put into the AppleMac and abandon the PC. Please understand I am not ignoring anyone. Everything else is fine, just MS Outlook.