Cultana::  This is one of the Australian Army Play Pens. It is approximately 2100 square klms.  I have shown these three photographs on the way to the lighthouse to illustrate that apart from  the road and the front of my car, everything you see is part of the Army Play Pen. Driving to the Port ( 80 klms) it is difficult to realise that for the entire journey everything you see on either side of the road belongs to the army. There  were two large cattle stations – one on either side, but the army wanted the land so the Government slapped a compulsory purchase order on the property owners. Did the same with two other stations that the army wanted.

Oh, I have realised I am being unkind- they allowed us to keep the small tourist park and picnic ground at  Wild Dog Hill. Wasn’t that sweet???


One of the disadvantages  is that  most of the tourist parks, motels, adventure parks and caravan parks do not allow animals (Pets of any kind) and that being so, it limits what I can do and where I can go.  Still the Lighthopuse is a nice drive of 20+  miles or  37 miles to Fitzgerald Bay. As Annabell says, Benji doesn’t care where you go – he is in the car, he’s with you and that’s all that matters to him. The temperature is still in the high 30s although there is a strong North Wind with it which is causing concern since the ground is tinder dry and if a fire were to start now, the wind and the heat conditions would be a deadly combination. Also the wind is blowing up dust everywhere which is a bit irritating.

By 4pm the wind had died down and there is no reports of any major fires, so that’s a blessing. There are two branches on one of my trees that are a tad unstable and I worry about them when the wind blows harder than usual. I really should have them trimmed but I never got round to it, however, I must before winter comes and we do get  storms. They are fairly large branches and

Obscured Sun.

although I believe they would come down on my side of the fence, I have concerns.   Friday 13th. At the moment it is blowing  pretty hard and the sun is obscured by a dust storm. This is   why some of the houses at the top of the town – Fairclough Crest. where I take Benji walking – are up for sale. There has been no rain in this area, just high wind and dust. Of course


that’s not to say that the wind will cease and we will have rain, but nothing in sight. However, above us and to the west of us there had been a lot of rain as well as in Adelaide,  and the weather forecast

suggests that the rain will by-pass us this time round and by Monday, things will start

to warm up again.    You know, I don’t know how other people manage it but I always have problems with text and photographs.

I took Benji down to the Wetlands today (15th) and the  water levels are still dropping. Well two reasons –  it’s  run-off water and there has been no rain for quite a few months and secondly this is the water that is used to water the grass and the trees, so although it is not being replenished, it is being used as required.  The workmen were working on the  Cafe building area. Nothing much seems to have progressed since last time I looked. Still when finished – in the fullness of time – it will be well used. In the last few days, for example, there have been a number of caravans and trailers in the Wetlands Car Park, so a cafe will be well appreciated by locals and visitors alike. Sometime this week, if the weather stays reasonable, I might take Benji back to Fitzgerald bay, only this time we will go there directly so we can spend a bit more time at the bay. I’ll pack the cooler again and we can have lunch and treats there. However, I have to say that the massive spike in fuel cost in these last few days, are causing a bit of a concern.



Play Pens and cancelled functions.

The Air Ambulance of the RFDS

The RFDS have a very busy period this weekend and today they are out at an auction in another part of the area – yet another property that has been taken over by a compulsory purchase order for use by  the military. This is even more land that is now closed of to the  rest of the world so the military can play their games in an area larger than most European  countries. I said this to a military person and the reply was ”  have you any idea of the range of modern tank shells?” My reply was , ” no but  do they cover an area larger than say, Holland, Belgium, Denmark?”  The SA Government Web Site extolls the virtues of South Australia as a  Defence “friendly” State with the largest land testing range in the world – 127,000  square kilometers and to that we can add another 24,000 square kilometres that they now control in this area. Not a bad play pen for a defence force smaller  than that of  Switzerland.

The sun has not been shining for the last two days and it’s still not shining People are out at  the Auction and I’ll be interested in hearing how that went. I have my  thing tomorrow and again next Saturday. There is another function this Sunday, but I’m out of that one.


Pause, think.
The cupboard on the right is now gone and I have that area to use.

I decided, after consultation with the trader, to cancel my  event for today. It’s chucking it down  and the wind is playing havoc in the area, so there would be little or no protection. I sent the girls home. I went our to the other function that we were also running and having navigated my way through ( a power boat licence would have helped) a sea of water and mud, saw nothing there and departed. There is no cover there at all so if that group decide to do that, a) I think they would be foolish and  b) they could be setting themselves up as potential clients of the  RFDS  because we are on our way to breaking even more records. I used to say that “we don’t do floods, just big puddles”  – this last month I am not quite as sure as I was.

I will be heading off to Adelaide in the morning so Herself will feed and water the dogs for the next two days.  The electrician has completed the work so I will have to give John a call and get him over to help me move the  big old cupboard and get it to the dump. So now that that’s done I can think about what to do with the space and I will have a look for a good sized toolbox that will fit in that area and can hold all the barbecue tools. Should be a good asset to the area and part of my rehabilitation of the  place, and it’s good to get rid of that redundant  electrical wiring. It’s getting there…slowly