Moving, Benji, and Water for Wildlife

The Road Trains going through.

Thankfully, the weather has calmed down from its hissy-fit last week. A warm week this week but temperatures will be no more than mid 30s. The Hay Convoy of 50 B Double Trucks went through on Friday and I did get a lot of photographs and a video that had been sent to me. It really was something to behold and I am sorry that I missed it but watching the video was incredible. Perhaps next time they go through I will be able to see for myself. They always go through that way but this is the first time we have ever had notification  of the time they were going through. Actually,  they have to go through where they did – there is no other way. – Well, there is, but it would add about 1100 klms on to the journey and not really achieve anything. Saturday was Australia Day, which started out fine – a bit cool, but fine.  By 6:30, the temperature had fallen and the rain came down. It wasn’t really all that heavy but it was constant and the latter part of the Australia Day Celebrations were canceled – although the fireworks did go ahead.  John Jnr and I spent Saturday at my niece’s place moving furniture. She was only here for seven months and she is now heading back to Adelaide. Some things she didn’t want to take back with her, so they went onto my trailer and  into the garage and  the church may dispose of them.

Back to the doctor with Annabell this morning. This was a planned visit, but not a good one.  Generally her blood sugar level has been controlled by diet, but that is no longer working.  Doctor wants to put her on diabetes medication but can’t. He has to contact a specialist in Adelaide, explain the situation to them and they will decide what medication is suitable for her,  given her health concerns and her current medications. So we just have to wait.

I had a telephone call this afternoon from one of the major Hardware firms and they wanted to give us (RFDS) the space to run a fundraising event at the store. I said I would see what I could do and try and get a team together. I will call them first thing in the morning and accept since I have a team available for them. Ten days and I head off to Adelaide for conference. We plan these  days away and both of the boys either telephone her or just come over and see she is ok,  The Weather people lived down to their reputation yet again. Fine weather, they said – temperature in the mid to high 30s, they said. What they didn’t say was 43c today. It be a wee bit warm. Ah, look on the bright side – We survived 48.9, we can survive 43c. The danger period will come in about two hours when people start getting home from work and cranking on air-conditioners, which  could overload the system. Might even blow a fuse again.

As it happened a cool change swept in and brought temperatures down  quite a bit. Temps came down, wind came up and we had  dust problems which I could see in the distance when I was walking with Benji.  Come the weekend and we are looking at high 30s again, but that’s fine. I think one of the things that has made people grumpy is that many Australians have been unable to do what they would normally do in summer. Generally, in the backyard with friends and family – barbecue and a few beers, a glass of wine –  backyard cricket with the children, and so on – in the park or down the beach. Not so much since  it’s been blowing  every day for weeks, then the heatwaves came along and all of this has disrupted the Australian lifestyle. I don’t do any of this but I like to go walking with the dog or dogs and I can take them out despite the wind, but the heat causes problems  for dog paws, so it’s after 9pm when the sun has gone down and it’s starting to get dark. From time to time Benji will dig his front paws into the ground, lock them and refuse to move. I have no idea why he does this but after a  minute or so he will start walking again as normal.  I think he does this because he wants to see if my arm can actually come away from my shoulder since he does this without any warning.  The heat is not only causing problems for us uprights and our companions, it is also causing problems for our wildlife.  This is mainly exacerbated by the drought and just the general lack of moisture in the bush. It is really pleasing to see that more people are filling buckets of water the leaving them in their gardens. .

 

 

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An unexpected Adventure!

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Sunday – apart from church – is family day and in the evening the family all come over to our house and share dinner together. Last night, however, was special for me. Although my birthday is not until April, the family –  Annabell, John, Andrew, Patrica and the Girls – decided on an early Birthday Gift. In February my boys are taking me to Melbourne to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. A reconstruction of the front facade of the Castle is being built in Ethiad Stadium in Melbourne and the permanent staff from Scotland will be coming over. I am so looking forward to this – the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards.  They (the family) all know that  I have a great fear of flying so we are driving there and the boys want to go via the Great Ocean Road, which means I will get back to the  Memorial Arch but this time I have will my photograph taken with each of the boys.  This is the area where there was a deadly fire a few months ago but it has now been cleared for travel.  We should also make time to stop at Bell’s Beach. Isn’t it interesting that I am already  creating photographs in my head and what I want to do.It would be really neat to make a detour to Drysdale and see what’s happened to my  Sister’s property, but I don’t think we will

The WWI Memorial Arch - Great Ocean Road
The WWI Memorial Arch – Great Ocean Road

have the time for that. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is just magic and I  will have to contain myself until the week after I come back from Presbytery, which, fortunately, is in Adelaide this time.

Apart from the Tattoo, this will be the first time in years that the boys and I have been away someplace together – so I am quite looking forward to that. Of course it’s four days that I will miss Benji and I will miss our  splashing around at the beach. He will miss his  hotdog reward, but I’ll make it up to him. It wont take us long to get back on track. However, it is going to be an interesting start to the month – Adelaide this coming weekend – Adelaide the weekend after – Melbourne the week after that. Yes, Benji will think I’ve abandoned him.

Benji and I tried out a new walking route this morning. Interesting but turns out to be over 1000 steps shorter than our current route. Since today is a public holiday ( Australia Day) I might drive round the route and see where I could make a detour to make up the additional steps. If you’re interested it is calculated to be 1320 steps per kilometer and Benji and I cover about 12500 steps per day which is about 5.7 miles or 9.5 kilometres and we do this every day. I realise this to professional walkers, this is probably just a warm up,  but it’s a lot for  the dog and me – 50+ klms per week.

At this point I wrote some thoughts on Australia Day and deleted them. Better to let the so called elites of society have their say because at midnight I think they turn back into pumpkins. I just  have to say though, I love the way some Australians get elected as “Australian of the Year”and use the opportunity not to celebrate their achievements but to tell the rest of us what a racist, guilty of religious discrimination lot we are.    For me – well I often think of Sir Walter Scott “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”

O Caledonia! stern and, wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e’er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left;
And thus I love them better still
Even in extremity of ill.
By Yarrow’s streams still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way.,
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my wither’d cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot Stone,
Though there, forgotten and alone,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.

Sunset, Meerkats and a Memorial Arch

When the world was young
When the world was young

I began writing this some years ago and in essence I wrote it for myself. Actually, that’s not really true – I started off in My Space and I was writing it as a letter for one person. My Space changed and I no longer wrote there. I came on here but it was never the same.  I never really expected to have any “followers” – I felt that that’s something interesting people have. Of course I am thankful for any comment, advice or concern, and for the lovely people I have met but I’m not exactly setting the world on fire now, am I?  But as I said, I started this mainly for myself.  These last 12 months have been something of a revelation, that this is not really going anywhere, discovering personal limits, discovering I am not invincible as well as doing everything possible to wreck my health by living out of a suitcase for

The WWI Memorial Arch - Great Ocean Road
The WWI Memorial Arch – Great Ocean Road

much of the last eighteen months.  In looking back over the last 12 months I have to ask myself what, if anything,  I have achieved.  The answer is, regretfully,  nothing. I only retain  the West Terrace  Committee and that  mainly because it’s working with a wonderful group of people. A refreshing change, which is always welcome.

This next weekend – the weekend after Australia Day –  I will be in Adelaide for three days. I have organized this to make it as stress free as possible. I drive down on the Thursday, perhaps a bit of shopping – a visit to Bunnings –  Office Works – relaxed day; quite night at the hotel, good sleep. Friday, all day session – finish about 5:20, perhaps a bit of late night shopping and a meal in town, quite night at the hotel, good sleep. Saturday, breakfast, check out, drive home – simples!! (cue in cute Meerkat here) – On the way back I’ll try and get time to stop into the Arid Lands Gardens and if I leave early enough I might get there in time for lunch — they make very nice scones!!

Bells Beach where the Australian Surf Championships are held
Bells Beach where the Australian Surf Championships are held

When I visited Alan out at Drysdale we toured the Bellarine Peninsula. I am particularly pleased with this because it was among the last things he did before he before he became confined to a hospital room on oxygen. I only mentioned to Herself the other day that I did wonder if Alan might have still been alive if he had remained in Drysdale surrounded by his friends. Difficult to say.  I was also thinking that I would like to take a trip back to Drysdale and have a quiet trip around the place and tour the Bellarine Peninsula with herself, but I don’t know if

The Big Koala: a refreshing break on a long journey
The Big Koala: a refreshing break on a long journey

she would be well enough for such a long journey. If we did go, it would have to be in small, easy stages to give her a break. But the added concern is that this is Australia and not all than many places are Dog Welcome. I know there is one in Drysdale so we would probably stay there. However, that’s all speculation and quite unlikely. It’s impossible to get her to Adelaide let alone Geelong.

Dogs, Hospital and The RFFDS

AussieThis is the Australia Day long weekend, which means that, other than supermarkets, most places are closed until Tuesday. I took herself to the doctor on Friday and he has ordered blood and other tests  to determine where we go from here. We should have the results in a few days. Our fire crews came home on Friday night after ten days away. The fire is still burning but our crews were relieved by crews from another area, so they can have a bit of a rest. The temperature has calmed down a little and at the moment it’s about 34c and expected to climb to about 42/42c during the week. Hot but bearable. Thankfully last week was rare and we really do not get extended temperatures of 48c. However, what we do still have is the wind and that is keeping the flames going.  Fortunately I do not have to travel to Adelaide since the smoke from the fires is causing a few problems on National Highway 1 – our main road in and out of here.

I visited the Vet on Friday morning and asked for a repeat of the flea treatment for the dogs. We have never had fleas before but because offrontline the hot dry conditions this year, there is a lot about and many people who never had the problem now have. However, I got on top of it right away and for the last three months I have been treating the dogs with Frontline.  I didn’t wash their beds – I dumped them and bought new beds. The raised beds and the dog houses, I  washed with an antiflea treatment. I took the Man to the groom and she found no sign of reinfection, but me being the sort of paranoid person I am, decided to extend the treatment for a further three months.   One pack set me back $96 -that’s about 48 pounds. I will be down in Adelaide in early February and I know where to get Frontline for half that price. But then. I wont really need it but it’s good to know for the future. I also discovered that I can buy the packets on-line.

20140130_090802We brought the RFDS Simulator back, which was fun and a bit novel judging by the looks we were getting from other drivers. It’s here for the next four days and we will certainly make the most of it. Our main sponsor for this year – Woolworth – are organising a barbecue for us and we will have the simulator at their carpark on Saturday. It is a fully equipped training model laid out with the same equipment that would be in the aircraft.

This afternoon I take herself to the hospital to see the specialist. The telephone call came through yesterday when I was out of town and although it it short notice, I don’t mind in the least because the next appointment woud not be until March. The specialist will complete his report and we will know on Monday of next week what  is to happen.