Towards the final curtain D

Whilst the good people of the Northern Hemisphere wax lyrical about Autumn – or Fall, here in this little corner of the Southern Hemisphere, Spring has  Sprung and Dear Mother Nature has

Rawnsley Bluff – Flinders Ranges

given us a reminder of who is really in charge. The temperatures this week have steadily climbed to 41c, with a  high North Wind. In this corner of the planet a North Wind is a hot wind coming off the desert. It was not the most pleasant of days to be running a fundraising Barbecue for the RFDS , but never the less, we did it anyway. Given that it was the middle of a long weekend and  many people were away, if we  made more than $150, I will be very surprised.  Why did we do it- we were asked to – that simple. And, of course it was for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  However,  we have a policy  that if a trader asks for the RFDS to do a fundraising venture, I will do my upmost to get a team together and accept on the  belief that if we refuse, they may ask someone else next time. LOL, I have even organised a fundraising event from one thousand kilometers away when I was in Mount Gambier – and yes, I have had my head examined –  several times!!  Most of the time it’s good fun – we work and chat with customers and when it comes to the RFDS, people are very generous, and they were this weekend too – even although there were not all that many –  and I  expressed the belief that there was more money put into the donations tin than there was to the cashbox. Anyway, it’s funds that we didn’t have at the start of the day and that’s what matters.  Having been through an early 41c on Saturday,  the temperature crashed overnight to be 24c on Sunday – Monday wasn’t too bad and today (Tuesday) I was feeling very cold when I took Benji out for a walk at 6am. I guess I was too pig-headed to go back for a heavier jacket, so I just continued with the walk, but it was a cold morning.

One of the drawbacks of living  “in the sticks” is the fact that I miss city shopping. I don’t mean that the shops here are not good, they are, but there are things  not available in the country that are commonplace in the

Fires NSW & Queensland

city. For example, I want shoe polish, not the common  New Zealand (Kiwi) Shoe polish but a polish that is produced here in Australia and is not petroleum based. Decent size Australian Company but products not available here. We really only have one shoe shop here and that’s  “Spendless” with   small shoe departments  in Harris Scarfe and Target. The shoe shops we did have have all gone. How can you survive in a place where 60% of the population wears flip-flops or no shoes, 35% wear sandals or sneakers and only 5% of us wear  actual shoes.

Over many (Too many) years I have  gone from paper organisers, to electronic organisers ( Palm Pilot ) and finally back to paper, Filofax, Van der Spek, Mulberry and  my current Kikki.k. I have gone from Personal, to A6, back to personal and finally to A5 and Kikki.k. It was all so very easy once. I was in Adelaide fairly often so was able to buy what I needed in either David Jones or Borders, and in a few of the stationers.  Not so now. David Jones no longer stock much  in the way of Planners/Organisers and I think has only one Filofax in stock and Borders closed down. Now I have to order on line from China, Hong Kong,  or,  if it is from the UK or the USA,  I  practically have to donate an

Benji on the Hill; We were just up there again this afternoon.

arm or a leg to defray the postage costs. For other things I  have a supplier in Perth, Western Australia, and she’s very good.  For my inserts these days, I download  a system that I like in the size I want, copy it to a USB and take it to the local printer who will print everything for me in an A5 size — I supply the paper, which is great because it means I get the paper quality that I  really want.. And yet, it would appear that  paper-based planners and still quite popular, but in South Australia it certainly doesn’t feel like that.

 

Towards the final curtain C

Overlooking the foreshore this afternoon

After the medical alert and the dust storms, we had two days of rain. Still, at least it washed the dust away. The pit at the end of the street is completely full. Benji and I took a walk down there a short while ago when it stopped raining for a bit. More rain is forecast for tomorrow. We were lucky in that our fundraising event was  rain free but it started just as we were starting to pack up. In that respect we were pretty lucky.  It rained today (Sunday) but the fundraising team that were out managed to avoid the showers and stayed a bit longer. It rained for much of the afternoon so we didn’t get out for our walk until later than usual.

One of the common problems I have is the buffering of this machine. I try to watch YouTube or a movie on Netflix and  what I am watching stops and I get to watch the pretty blue circle going round and round until  the program catches up and it all comes back again. As far as I understand this means that the computer does not have sufficient RAM to cope. Well, during the week I put the computer in for an upgrade and 4 more gigabits of RAM giving me a total of 8 gigabits. Surely that should be enough to stop the buffrering – or whatever it’s called.  No. 2 son suggested that we should get a repeater which would boost the WiFi signal from the Modem. I am not the one who watches the television but there you are  I got the repeater from Harvey Norman and set it up for her.

Today much of what I have seen are reminders that the clocks go forward next Sunday (6th Oct.) That’s ok and  probably necessary,  howeffer—- Christmas Decorations are not and I am seeing these in shops already – I mean by-pass Halloween, Thanksgiving and whatever else and go directly to Christmas. This is just money-grabbing silliness.  It’s the same at the pump, the second after  it was announced that the oil production facilities had been damaged in an attack – Australian  fuel prices shot up. It is now announced that  there has been major repairs and production is back to what it was before the attack, but the prices are not coming down.

I went down to the Wetlands with Benji about 10am this morning (Saturday) and I have to say that the kiosk was R.J.F.  (Ram Jam Full)  The new roof has gone up giving shelter from  any rain and shade from the sun. There were also a lot of people walking around. The Wetlands is becoming very popular and it would be nice if the council spent as much time looking after the Wetlands and presenting it better,  than is does with their  $6 Million + Jetty that they rave about. I don’t like the jetty – or at least the plans for the new jetty, one little bit. I feel that close to seven million dollars  could be much better spent.  However it being Monday, the Kiosk is closed. They are open six days so they do need a bit of a break to catch up on upgrades and  cleaning.

After the Wetlands we went for a quiet wander in the shade around the Ada Ryan Gardens –  The gardens are looking fairly good but they tend to highlight a problem – why dog owners

Flowers at the pathway

get a bad reputation- dog poo. Well not enough to be a major concern but enough to be a noticeable concern. Difficult to miss on the  brick walking paths. When we came here Ada Ryan Gardens was the main place for  outings. We used to take all the  Sunday School children – and parents – to a picnic in the gardens several times a year. We could have a barbecue or just a simple picnic with sandwiches,  biscuits and cold  drinks from several Eskies. We played games and fed the ducks in the duck pond. But then the vandals came and began throwing stones at the ducks, killing several. The council installed  higher fencing, but that didn’t deter them and after  two more ducks were killed, the council removed the ducks, drained the duck pond and filled it in. We also had an enclosure where  several injured kangaroos were kept and looked after, but the vandals attacked them too and they were removed and the enclosure dismantled. In the 1980s we had a lot of trouble with vandals, which all the experts blamed on living in the country and isolated from the facilities and opportunities that are enjoyed by the good people of
Adelaide. Like all things,  that passed but I wonder what the new reason is these days for all the vandalism and youth crime ( as young as 13/15) currently taking place in Adelaide.  Hhmmm…

The weather is starting to warm up a bit – 33c today 30c tomorrow and 37 on Friday. Fires are still burning in New South Wales and Queensland but in some places there is an added concern in that several towns are running out of water. There are no water restrictions in South Australia since we have had enough rain to fill the reservoirs and they are fairly healthy. One town in NSW is spending 14 Million to run a pipeline from that town to another town to access their dam. Problem is that the dam is now reduced to 50% capacity so by the time the pipe is complete there might not be enough water to go around both towns .  The long range weather forecast is not  very encouraging..

 

Towards the Final Curtain B

Before
After

Blank, Blank, Blank and Blank again!! I don’t know what I have done but I have lost 800 blank words. A full post gone along with all the photographs.  I have no idea how I did it or even what I did, or even if it was my own fault, but everything just vanished

Snow in Canberra

and nothing I have been able to do  has helped to restore the post. I can’t even remember what I wrote. The name of the post is still there but the 800+ words are gone.  I feel that this is merely another chapter in the  frustration that has been me and WordPress over the last year. I have now come to accept Spam as simply a different name for the Inbox but in trying to search for this missing posts I came across posts that I never knew existed. I expect it’s a bit too late to do anything now, but at least two nice people are probably reflecting on my rudeness in not replying to their messages, particularly the lady in Sydney NSW Anyway, this has really added to what has been a really, really bad week. Started off  well with me having to go to hospital for x-rays on my left wrist and arm. Out walking with Benji early Monday morning, I tripped and fell to the ground so fast I was  down before I realised what had happened. For a few moment I just lay there unable to move. Sadly I didn’t hit my head – I say sadly because I figure doing so might have knocked some sense into me.. As for Benji – I think he must have decided Daddy wanted a bit of a rest so he came over, licked my face, then sat down – totally unconcerned. I discovered that I could not put any weight on my left arm so it took me a few minutes to get back up again and discover that apart from the left wrist and arm, I was ok. We finished the walk and went home. Annabell was awake and  she seemed to realise I was in some pain so she helped me get my outdoor clothes off. I managed to see my doctor who sent me to the hospital for x-rays. He also had a few choice words to say about the fact that I drove to the surgery – not the brightest of things to do, but there you are.  Anyway, nothing is broken or cracked,  some trauma to the arm muscles  which has caused swelling and will settle down again – in the fullness of time.  What I did do, though, was go see the Pharmacist  and get a support strap that would allow me to vigorously attack the keyboard.  One of our elderly ladies died on Friday last and there was a funeral to arrange and an Order of Service to  create, print and photocopy. Why didn’t I ask someone else to do it??  Simple – there is no one else! We cancelled Annabell’s hospital visit on Tuesday afternoon because of the funeral, but I did take her to her coffee evening on Tuesday night. One of the things that that always stresses  me is whether or not I have made sufficient copies of the Order Of Service. I stress about it every time, but we always seem to be ok. In the before photograph it was discovered that there was a slight “lip”in the concrete which had to be attended to. That was smoothed out with quick drying cement and a heater the day before the  the workmen started. We put a heater on for a few hours so by the time they came it was dry and work could begin. – And no, I didn’t do it – they did.

Benji likes the new floor
Fire New South Wales

Whilst some parts of the country are in severe drought, other parts are on fire, other parts are running out of water, and Canberra has snow. Spring and snow in Canberra. Well, ok, not quite a patch on the “Beast from the East” but snow…  Last night it was announced on the news that people with breathing difficulties as well as babies and the very elderly, need to stay indoors tomorrow – Thursday. This will be a day of very high wind and there will be  problems with duststorms. This will present life threatening concerns for people with breathing difficulties.  Today is Thursday and I can tell you that it has been blowing all day – sometimes  85 – 100 kph with a temperature of 35c. There is certainly a lot of dust and it has not been – and is still not – a nice day. Still, it could be worse, we could be in a fire zone area. Yet, there was hardly a breath of wind when Benji and I went out at 6am this morning.

What with me deciding to experience homelessness and curl up on the concrete with my dog, we have fallen far behind our step and millage total for the week. Just have to write this week off. Sarurday and we have a Fundraising event  for the RFDS at the local Hardware. Son John, me and one other will do this one. Hope the weather is a bit better than it currently is

Wetlands and Dogs

These last few days Benji has been very reluctant to go out for out early morning walk. I can understand this – it  has been very cold. I thought that I would leave the walk to later in the morning – say 8am instead of 6am. I also thought it might be a good idea that we go to the Wetland instead of a local walk. It was a cold but lovely morning this morning and the  ponds at the wetlands were like glass – no breeze at all – not a ripple.

Wetlands this morning

However I  decided it was not such a good idea. There were a good number of people about and all of them had a dog, or dogs/. Benji does not get on well with strange dogs so the walk really wasn’t much fun for him. I think we will just stick to the local area in the morning and go to the wetlands in the afternoon when it seems to be a lot quieter. The interesting thing was that all the people with dogs this morning were males.  If I want to go to the foreshore I have to remember to take bags with me as the council has not yet replaced the dog waste bags that it removed for the upgrade.

Benji is a rescue dog and we have not known what his true age was.  In October of this year it will be

Hello peeple..

four years since we adopted him. At the time I was told he was three years, so plus the four we have had  him, that would make seven. I always felt he was older and it turns out I was right – he was born in November 2010, which means he will be nine years, not seven, this year. All of this is academic because in the end I don’t care what age he is, he’s my boy and I love him dearly. However, it may go a ways to explaining why he is so reluctant to get out of bed and get out of the house at 6am on a winter morning – and – I shall have to take the pace at which I walk into consideration and slow down a tad. Of course the reluctance to get out of  bed and get out of the house on a cold winter morning could simply be a kind of human trait, since sometimes we are pretty reluctant to do similar ourselves. I had out longer than usual last night and he actually did slow down and he seemed to me to be a bit tired, so I lifted him up on my shoulder and carried him for a while. One of the neighbours asked  “who was taking who for the walk?” After a little while I put him back down and he seemed to have a lot more energy

This coming weekend is the weekend of the Whyalla  Show (Fair). The RFDS will be on display again this year but  I will not be attending this year as I will be in Adelaide for a Presbytery Meeting. We have Yogi here! Jim took what is believed to be a slight stroke and was taken to hospital. Fay is spending much of the day there so she asked if we would look after Yogi for a few hours. I said I would and went down and collected him at 8am this morning (Wednesday) I  said before that he has not been a well dog and he has certainly lost a fair bit of weight and he is crying a lot, but that could be because this was all so sudden and he is anxious  and does know what is happening. At the moment he is a sad little dog, but Benji and me will look after him for a bit.. Yogi was only here for a few hours and he “cried”much of that time. I held him up on my lap but I had to be careful and not put Benji offside.

As it turned out, Jim did not have a stroke – not even a minor one.  He underwent a brain scan an ECG and various other tests and when they proved negative he was allowed home. When I took Yogi back home Jim was

Benji at the Long Beach

sleeping.  He will check in with the hospital every few days for a little while to make certain everything is ok. However they really don’t know what caused the turn he had. Fay was chastised by the doctor because she drove him to the hospital instead of  calling an Ambulance. Her comment was that  the ambulance can take too long to arrive and is was  quicker to drive him to hospital.  That’s a worry…

 

Beach, Wetlands and Dougal is Back

Benji at the Beach

On Friday I set out to Port Augusta -80 klms away. Annabell had been sent a cheque from the UK and  it was in  Pounds Stg.  – no one here would even look at it because it was a foreign currency cheque. Added to the fact that it was a crossed cheque, meant that the trip to our branch in Port Augusta and back  was necessary.  We set off around 9:30 – oh “We” that’s me and Benji not me and Annabell – but I did the medication in her eyes before we left. Benji really likes road trips. He gets his car harness on, is clipped into the seat and he settles down. He watches me just to make sure I am concentrating on driving and not being distracted. We have this all worked out, I drive, he supervises – it’s a good arrangement.

The bank was a great help even if it did take up more than an hour of our time. The cheque had to be  confirmed by Adelaide which required  a confirmation email, paperwork to sign and wait. Left said bank,  got Benji out

The Feral Geese at the Wetlands.

of the car and took him for a short walk. Back to the car, seat belt on and I went back to the bank. The email had arrived from Adelaide  and I had to sign an agreement that meant I paid the fee of $15 for the clearing of the cheque and the depositing of same in Annabell’s account.   That done, I drove round to Big W and did some shopping, then went for some lunch. I had  fresh cooked chips (French Fries- sort of) and a bottle of water. The Benji had   cooked Chicken and share of my water. I have a collapsible silicone bowl that I keep in the car for just such times   We sat on a bench at the jetty and watched the world.  That done, another short walk then headed for home. I would liked to have stopped in at the Arid Lands Botanic Garden, but no dogs are allowed, so that was out.

Nice Day – Empty Beach

This afternoon- Sunday – we took a walk down to the beach. I didn’t stay there long because I only had a single waste bag with me and the Council have not seen fit to replace the bag dispensers. The area was almost empty. There was a few children in the new  play area with parents  close beside on benches, but otherwise, not busy at all. As you can see from the photograph that the beach is all but deserted I used the bag I had and decided to drive back to the wetlands. The wetlands has become very popular and the Kiosk was  crowded again. I managed to get a place in the car park, got some bags from the dispenser and set off.  Like Friday, it was another warm and sunny day – bit cool at times but generally a good day for walking. We did find the  birds. I have asked some people who know these things and I am informed that the birds are “Feral Geese, Domestic, Non-Native” No one seems very sure where they came from, but they are there and settled in by the looks of things. Apart from the geese there are Muscovy Ducks and  an interesting little bird – black and white with long pink legs – which I discovered are called Black Neck Stilts – apparently native to much of the USA but we do have them here in Australia..

Annabell is improving, just in nice time for the grocery shopping tomorrow. She goes to the supermarket, I do all the other jobs, post office; newsagent,: chemist then meet up with her

Dougal at the beach

to help her  finish off and then checkout.  After that – generally a coffee before we head home.  Ina has has to be taken to Adelaide for  check-up and more tests. She is not a well lady. Sam is taking her down tomorrow (Wednesday) and later on this afternoon he will bring Dougla round here. Annabell and I will look after him until they get home – they hope Friday but probably Saturday. I don’t mind, Dougal is no trouble and he and Benji get on well together.

Dougal came to visit not long after I brought Annabell back from her Coffee Morning, and after a little while I got  both Benji and Dougal  ready and took them down to the Wetlands. We had a good wander around the wetlands and although it had been my intention to stop off at the Kiosk, the fact that there were people with dogs there already deterred me from doing that. However, we did go down to the foreshore and had a wander and a play on the beach.  I understand that Yogi is not a well dog at the moment. I hope he gets better soon. Still, he has a good Vet. – not the same Vet as Benji, but a good Vet.

An interesting week and a Survivor.

Part of the Wetlands today (Monday)

After  our shopping trip this morning, (Monday) I helped Annabell get things sorted out them took Benji off to the Wetlands. It has been very cold here these last two days and this morning Benji  didn’t want to get out of bed and go for a walk in the cold at 6am. With the temperature at -2,  I can’t say I blame him, so we didn’t go and stayed in the room with the heater on. By the time I took him to the Wetlands

Benji at the Wetlands

it was a bit warmer and he was quite happy to  go out. We had a good walk  around the wetlands – bit of a breeze and cool, but not too bad. The Kiosk is closed down for alterations but it should be up and running again shortly. The rain the other week has helped to make the wetlands look a bit more visually pleasing – as you can see – but we do need a lot more rain. In our walks recently there have been a lot of Kangaroos wandering about looking for water again. They have even been seen in Nicolson Avenue, which is a fairly busy road. At the moment it is a fairly mild day in that the last few days have been mornings of  – degrees while today (Tuesday)  was 4c,  still a bit on the cold side but ok for a morning walk. Benji and I will be out and about most of this week as we endeavor to keep out of Annabell’s way. This weekend in the Ladies Brunch, so she will be busy baking in the kitchen. Apart from keeping out of the way,  Benji and I will be ‘gofers’ and drive to the various shops to get anything she needs, if and when she needs it.

Went for a walk to the Wetlands this afternoon and  had coffee in the Kiosk with Jennifer, Milan and Max.   The usual sniffs but at least  Benji didn’t snarl at Max and we had a peaceful time with coffee and scones. The day was warm and sunny and 21c but I can see that already the water  is starting to evaporate. There is supposed to be some rain on Saturday – in nice time for the cuttlefish and the Cake Stall – will not interfere with what Annabell and the ladies at the Ladies brunch but it could interfere with both the RFDS events.

Rejoice with me!  Today is Friday – the end of the week – an entire week without a single hospital visit nor a doctor visit. Is that something  to rejoice about or what! Next week is different, and will include an ECG for her,  but we’ll deal with that when it’s next week. In the meantime, it’s been a good week.  Saturday and it’s all happening. It’s 6:30am today is the Cuttlefish diving, the RFDS Catering out there, the RFDS Cake Stall at the Hardware store and the Ladies Brunch — and —- it’s chucking it down. Isn’t that fun. It will be ok for the Cuttlefish Divers, they are going to get wet anyway, the ladies Brunch will be indoors, but the Cake Stall and the Cuttlefish Catering are currently at risk. Right at the moment I am being hassled  but I am not taking him walking in the heavy rain, so he can just go

The last surviving Mandevilla.

back to his bed for a bit;.

The rain faded away by about 7:30 and it turned out a fine day – almost. Everything went well, the Cuttlefish Catering, The  Cake Stall and the Ladies Brunch. The cuttlefish catering we wont know until  the  end of today and we get the two days  and the cake stall calculated. The Ladies Brunch was good but not as good as it has been. We think there was just too much on this weekend – something the ladies are going to have consider if they decide to continue next year. I did say almost a fine day since the rain came back about 3pm but only in the form of a few quick showers. Not enough to cause much concern. The Cake Stall had sold everything by 11:30 and they had nearly three full tables of home baking – and it all went.

Taken at 10am as the heavy, wet mist was  slowly clearing.

Tomorrow (Monday 1st July) is the AGM of the RFDS here and my last  time as Secretary. There is some doubt as to whether or not  the  Secretary Elect will  go forward to election but either way, I will not. The Secretary elect was elected as Secretary but not without some controversial maneuvering. Members of the “In Group” wanted their man to be Secretary but the  Coordinator from Central Operations in Adelaide who was chairing the meeting, ruled this as Out Of Order, since the person concerned was not at the meeting and therefore unable to agree or not to his election.   Oh, yes, and we were told at the meeting that the RFDS Jet, which was to make a visit to each of the areas, will not be coming. Central Operations decided to  send the Jet to the properties of each of the major corporate sponsors instead and since it is now in operation, there is not time for any regional visits.

John’s wheels, Benji and the WaWa

Took the dogs to the Wetlands this afternoon. The rain we have had over the last week has had  a reasonable effect but it still needs more to bring the ponds back to capacity. The boys were very good and walked well – like old pals, in fact. Pity they could not behave like that at home.  Still to be fair, it’s not the fault of Max – Benji is the culprit here and as I said, for some reason he does not like Max. On Sunday, Max went home.

I have just returned from a trip to Adelaide. My son’s car has “given up the ghost”so he needs a new car. He asked me to take him to Adelaide since there was nothing here that he liked.  There is only one car dealer here and private buys are a bit “dodgy”  I took him to a decent dealer, “Adelaide Auto Sales”at Mawson Lakes. We spent some time there looking at various SUV models and he finally settled on a Ford Territory. Personally I preferred the

John’s new Wheels

Sliver-Blue one, but he settled on the Black.  The reason for the SUV is the high clearance which on the back roads could get him out of any trouble a lot easier.  I had booked two hotel rooms but having got his vehicle, he decided he wanted to go home, so I led him back to the Port Wakefield Road and after a stop at Bolivar when I asked him to call me from Wakefield,  any other stop and to call me when he gets home. I went back into town and did some shopping before heading off to the hotel for the night. John called me from Wakefield, Tin Man and when he got home. I had intended to head out to Bunnings this morning but decided I would follow John and head for home. I started out at 6am expecting to be in Wakefield by  sunrise and continue the rest of the way in the daylight.  I did, of course, but it was not without its interesting moments. There is a lot of reconstruction and road works  at the bridge where the Northern Express branches off. It was dark, I was unaware of  the situation so I followed what I thought was the right traffic cone-lined lane and ended up on the Northern Expressway. My GPS, which I had programmed for home led me off the Express to the Penfield Road, exit then to Virginia and back to Highway A1 – The Port Wakefield Road,  and all of this was done in the dark and I don’t like driving at night. Still the Port Wakefield Road if a fairly large, well divided  four lane highway from Gepps Cross in Adelaide all the way to Port Wakefield and I generally  drive this in the dark to be in Wakefield for the sunrise  so that I can  continue by daylight. Wildlife on the Port Wakefield Road is unusual.

After my unscheduled  detour I drove directly to Port Wakefield and stayed there for  breakfast before heading off to the Tin Man.  I decided, since I had sufficient fuel,  not to stop and drove

Benji and Bowtie

directly to Port Augusta, did some shopping there and headed for home.  Crazy Benji went gaga and I eventually had to sit on the floor with him for a bit until he settled down. You would think I had been away for weeks instead of just a day and a half,.  After I emptied the car and sorted out my case, I took Benji out for a walk. That made him happy, just him and me together.  I actually do miss him when I am away. However, all being well, I wont be away again until August and then only for a day and a half.

I have been looking through some old photographs and I came across photographs of Kongsoon ( the WaWa) and oddly enough, I do miss her and wonder how she is. We never hear from them

The WaWa

so we’ll probably never know. Sad, but there you are.