Normality is an illusion!

Me feeding the wild geese a few days ago.

Thursday: January 2nd 2020.    Things are going from bad to worse to catastrophic. Nearly 4000 people trapped on a beach as fire destroys their town. Royal Australia Navy ship  will rescue close to 1000 people each trip using their boats and any other boats available to ferry people from the beach to the ship. This is the only way out. New South Wales has declared a State Of Emergency and  close to 10,000 people are moving out of the area ahead of the monster fire. Currently 17 people are missing and there are grave fears for their safety There are serious concerns for the remnants of the Cudlee Creek fire here in South Australia that was only just contained and there is concern that it may breach the containment lines.  The Middleback Road, about 30 klms from here has been closed due to fires and the two sealed roads between South Australia and Western Australia have been cut off due to fires. Nothing is moving and trucks are backed up. The Service stations and two small towns have run out of supplies, including  most of the basic needs, bread, milk, water and toilet paper. I did mention that we had a thunderstorm, but as I also said, bashing, crashing, flashing but no splashing and this has been a problem since the dry storm lightening strikes  started other fires.   It has been cool here the last few days but  it is set to reach about 44c from tomorrow. Even just writing this, it is hard not to get emotional.

I picked up young John at just after 1pm and we drove to Port Augusta. I wanted to visit better Home Supplies to get a replacement canopy for the garden swing. This,

A swinging Benji

sadly, got caught in the wind and was badly torn. I also wanted   some special bouncing balls for Connor that I couldn’t get here. Visit the Arid Lands Botanic Garden for some tea and scones. Well, I failed at the canopy – there was nothing there. I tried several places  for the balls without success. Then as we were leaving and heading to the Arid Lands B.G. I  came to a halt at the Reject Shop and  decided to try for the balls in there. Well, they did not have what I wanted but they did have something that would fit the bill – the important thing was that the balls did what I wanted – light up as they bounced. I bought one at a stall at the Carols in the Park, and Connor was fascinated by it and everyone got involved in playing with him. I only got the one, but I really wished I had bought more. Didn’t make that mistake this time and bought three. Office National was closed until next week so failed there. On the way  to the Arid Lands BG, John had a look at the time and decided that perhaps it was best to head for home, so that’s what I did. But overall a good afternoon, pleasant drive, not too warm but sadly too warm to bring Benji.

Friday 3rd January:

State of Emergency in effect in NSW and Victoria. There are now 8 confirmed deaths with 28 people unaccounted for. One reporter spoke to the firefighters who said that they did not want to be looked on as “Heroes” because calling them “Heroes”overstates their ability to control the fires and downplays the long term psychological effect of fighting these fires.  The  road between Western Australia and South Australia remains cut off and is likely to be so for some time.  In one service station some 250 trucks are stranded all loaded with  produce. The Supermarkets have already warned that this could lead to severe shortages in some areas over the next few days. Emergency supplies have been  dropped in to several of the roadhouses.  In Victoria over 100,000 people

We’ll always have Paris

have been urged to leave making this the largest evacuation in Australia’s history.   It is 16:00 and my thermometer is reading 48c  Goodness knows what it’s like in the fire areas.  I did not post any photographs of the fires. I think there is more than enough of these in the main media and on television, including the BBC. Haven’t been to the wetlands for a few days since it’s been too hot, but if it calms down tomorrow I’ll take a run out with Benji and I have bird seed for the ducks and geese. LOL notice how the seagulls stay back.   —– I have been told that the Middleback Road Fire is still burning and the road is still closed..

I read a post recently and I was totally lost for words. It was about a modern day city that merely bears the same name as a city I knew  and worked in over 40 years ago. But the city this lady write about is a very different city from the one I knew over 40 years ago. This is a fun place, a vibrant, exciting place and my problem is that since this is not the place I once knew, I really don’t know how to respond. I’m stumped.  Perhaps some time in the not too distant future, if the fires don’t burn us all, I might try and organist a visit and see this City for myself.

Arid Lands, Animals and Bugs.

The entrance to the Gardens
The entrance to the Gardens

It had cooled down a little when I left to travel to the gardens, thus it was quite a pleasant drive. I spent some time in town first, bought some pens and a M&M Dispenser. Fill with M&Ms and it’s ten cents to turn the handle for a small handful of treats. Ok, so it has no practical benefit, but it’s fun. I had lunch at the Gardens and bought four new plants. I bought two new native Hibiscus.  I will plant the native Hibiscus next to the present one. If I can get a normal Hibiscus in a reasonable colour it should make a nice contrast. I also bought two native bushes which should do well and tomorrow I am going to buy three Pencil Pines to replace the three almost dead rose bushes out front.

Whilst it has been hot and sticky up north there has been wild weather in the lower part of the state with the emergency services working flat out to cope with the calls for help. Trees have come down on houses, and also brought down power lines. At one point about 60,000 homes were without any power. Some shopping centers had to close.  At this time,  power has been restored to all but a few thousand houses. The interesting thing is that almost all of the trees than came down in the suburbs were Gum Trees – isn’t that surprising.

I think every city has its iconic statue and Adelaide is not exception. Some places have bulls, or  Rio’s Statue of Christ, or a Giant Buddha – Adelaide has pigs. Yes

The Adelaide Porkers
The Adelaide Porkers

, four bronze pigs in the major shopping center of Rundle Mall. They have been there for as long as I can remember and although they do change location from time to time, they are always somewhere in the Mall. Kids love them and have their photograph taken sitting on one of them. So, Rundle Mall,  The Mall’s Balls – The Fountain – the Four Pigs and now a “statue too far” a Giant Cockroach.  You think  I am joking, don’t you? Well, I’m not. Close to twenty years ago Adelaide took  over land off the Port Wakefield Road, well away from Adelaide itself, and  made plans to create a landfill for Adelaide waste. The local landowners objected and protested, but it was done anyway. One landowner created a series of statues in protest of this waste site and one of the statues he created was a giant cockroach.  There is a range of statues representing the protest and over the years they have become a feature we look for on the drive to Adelaide. One of the statues went missing and petition was put up to find

Yes, well !!!
Yes, well !!!

it and restore it. It was found in a scrap yard and the yard owner sold it for two cases of beer. It has been repaired, but where to put it until it can go back to Port Wakefield Road?  Oh… I know, let’s stick it in the busiest and most popular shopping precinct   in the City of Adelaide! Hey, it’s a cockroach, it’ll be fun – everyone likes them, right??  Perhaps it’s just me and it’s only a bit of harmless fun, but I can think of many things to place in a busy shopping precinct and a Giant Cockroach would not be one of them.