Home; a place for coming from!

Coonalpyn in the Mist

The last post I wrote was on the 28th April, almost three weeks ago. I took off to  Mount Gambier and was there for a two day conference – two days to get there, conference, two days to get back, change clothes and off again for two days in Adelaide. Poor Benji – this is not helping his seperation anxiety one little bit. The WaWa is not too bad since she has Annabell but Benji is my dog and he does not like me being away from him. Anyway, I did bring him back two new toys and a new collapsable, silicone water bowl for when we are out walking in warm weather.

Mount Gambier was cold, but it generally is this time of the year. Annabell told me that it was raining at home. I had no rain to speak of other than a few


Still a touch of blue there

showers in Adelaide and some early morning mist in Coonalpyn and Tintinara. It was cold and I didn’t really didn’t do a lot but I did get out to the Blue Lake, which it was still marginally Blue but starting to fade and not the vivid blue of my visit last November. I had intended to get to Bunnings but ran out of time and had to get back to the hotel ready for the first meeting that  afternoon. It was almost 9pm before I got “home” and called Annabell to let her know I was still around. The second meeting started on Saturday afternoon and was supposed to finish at 2:30. At it happened it finished at 4:40 and I was only able to get as far as Naracoorte (115klm) before it got dark and I  called a halt for the night. I had intended to get to Tailem Bend and Naracoorte was about 230 klm short. This meant that I had to make 800+ kilms if I wanted to get home on Sunday afternoon.  Starting to get a bit tired I called a halt every hour or so and used my facecloth, soaked in cold water, to wash my face, not to mention the coffee at Port Wakefield, the Tin Man and Port Augusta. As it was it was getting dark before I pulled into the driveway. Annabell was not at home.  Knowing that I was away the boys had opted to look after her during Mother’s Day and dinner was at Andrew and Trishs’ place. I could have gone up and joined them, but I decided not to and to let the boys look after her.   The dogs, however, were happy to see me and the WaWa is now my new BFF.

Is photography going to the dogs?

Monday I spent  sorting things out and repacking and Tuesday I took off to Adelaide. I miss Annabell – of course – but I also miss the dogs and I have come to think of both of them as  My Dogs. They will always be Benji and the WaWa but I feel that the WaWa is now my dog  as three months has now turned in to 14 Months and no contact nor any indication if Sooa will return.

The meeting in Adelaide was interesting and I have organised with the CEO to have a meeting with himself and  one of the advisors and discuss how we will

Thw WaWa with her collar – not the best because she wouldn’t stay still. Benji looks on bemused

procede with the restoration of two of the  graves in the West Terrace Cemetary. Both of these graves are of two of the three founders of the Church in South Australia ( 1860) and both have been neglected to the extent that both are on the endangered list. After the meeting in early July and the CEO has an opportunity to inspect the graves, we  should be able to come up with a plan and hope that Mount Gambier – and Queensland – will also get inhvolved and these graves can be protected. For me it has been a frustrating sort of time in that I really didn’t get time to do the things I wanted to do. I wanted an archway for the garden and had fully intended to get out to Bunnings but didn’t , either trip. Also I want to get the WaWa to the vet as she has a bad cut. My vet has gone to see his sick mother again and the clinic is closed – the other vet was too busy to even have a look, so, tomorrow I will phone the clinic. If there is no reply I will make a second call and take the WaWa to the vet in Port Augusta – about 50 miles away.  The Vet was

In Adelaide

open so I took Kongsoon (The WaWa) over to see him. The wound is not as bad as it looks so, with a slight washing and application of some cream it should start to heal up without causing her too much concern. – Mea Culpa…..

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Adelaide and Forever Easy

As expected the weather has been cold, wet and windy and to add insult to injury, the area in front  of the house is about to be dug up as the Fed. Govt. workpeople  lay in the  National Broadband Network (NBN) cables. They are not quite up to my section yet, but they are about seventy meters away – our section is next, probably in the next few days. I am concerned in that there are many people I know who have been discussing the NBN and how  slow it is and yet it is being touted as being able to deliver Internet connections, better and faster. Most of the people who are complaining I know and will probably see some of them in the next day or so. I think you actually have to apply to join the NBN and if it is as they say, I shall delay that for as long as possible.

Tomorrow I start working on another problem – that of finding a new  Vet. Not that I need one and could probably put the issue off for some time, but I  think I should do this now – when I don’t need a vet. The problem is that Mustafa – our vet for many years – has gone back to Turkey for an indefinite period. His mother is very ill and he has gone  to his family home to be with her and at the moment there is no indication when he will be back. I have heard good things about the Vet at the ABC Village, so I will probably go and see her and ask if she would accept Benji as a patient.  As I said  I don’t need a vet right at the moment but it’s good to know that there is one around that you can call on if needs be.

Yesterday the boy and I drove to Port Augusta. It was a warmish day (33c) but I kept the A/C on most of the time so it was a pleasant enough drive. I got some of  the things I was looking for at Better Homes, but I still need a trip to Bunnings to get the rest of what I need for the back garden. On the way back up to the main highway we stopped off at a park and I took Benji for a walk to stretch his legs for a bit and this time I did remember to bring a water bowl with me.

Amazing – truly amazing!  Yesterday – as I said – the boy and I drove to Port Augusta and back – it was warmish to hot and we drove with the A/C on. Today, it’s chucking it down and the temperature is about 19c and this is the last day of Spring and whilst it is now in the records as the wettest spring ever, perhaps it’s giving this last rain storm  – just to make sure. The interesting thing is that the long range weather forecasters have  consulted, whatever it is they consult, and suggested that we are going to have a long, hot summer and that a hot summer means hot north winds off the desert – increased levels of Hay Fever. Not  fun in the sun.. And talking about illness,  I discovered something new – well new to me anyway. There is this thing called  Thunderstorm Asthma, which I had never heard of until a few days ago. Apparently it is caused by the pollen absorbing moisture, which then breaks up into smaller fragments  and dispersed by the wind. The smaller fragments can reach the lower areas of the lung  and  cause terrible consequences. From what I was reading there have been 8 deaths in Victoria ( Melbourne area)  in the last few months. Bit scary.

Yesterday (Thursday)  I was in Adelaide and arrived home at midnight last night.  I did not drive down as I normally would but went down by coach. I decided to have a quick check of my on-line mail before my taxi arrived. To say I was in shock is an understatement – Easy Gone!. How, why what… My taxi arrived to take me to the Bus Terminal and all the way down to Adelaide on the coach I thought of little else. The last thing Easy asked was for us to  make a short travel post for his unwell cat friend and I was thinking about that and how I could sent the cat to Mount Gambier and the Blue Lake and I will do that. I  think we are all still in shock with the suddenness of events and I am so very, very sorry. I wish there was something I could do. Our thoughts and prayers are with Easy’s family and when I came home last night, I gave Benji an extra hug.

Blue Lake, Padlocks and Bridges of Paris

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but if I did, I apologise. Some weeks ago it was discovered that there was a serious electrical fault in this area so  teams were brought in to examine

The driveway thus far.
The driveway thus far.

the pipes – mostly by a  sort of x-ray machine. After several hours it was discovered that the fault was right underneath my driveway. I gave permission for it to be dug up and the following morning I moved the car out to the roadway and the bottom part of the drive was dug up. They started with only a part of the drive then since that was not the area, moved to the whole length of the drive.  They

found the fault and set about repairing it — However– in digging up the area to repair an electrical fault and replace a cable, it was discovered that there was a gas fault, so  SA Gas was called in, and after trying to get the part needed anywhere in Australia it was decided to put on a temporary patch until they could source the part from somewhere. The trench was backfilled and heavy crusher  dust – a sort of very fine gravel – was pounded in and that was that. It has now been over a month  since this was done and still no replacement part and from what the supervisor was telling me that even if the part arrives it may not be enough because a whole section of  pipe is suspect all along the front of the house, so that may have to be dug up. If not now – in the not too distant future. This means that for the time being I can’t do a lot of work at the front of the house because I don’t know what is to happen there or when they might decide to replace the pipe.

Padlocks and the Blue Lake
Padlocks and the Blue Lake

The weather has been a lot cooler these last couple of days. It did reach  42c at one point but it did come down with a cool, overnight change. I think it will be fairly reasonable when I  drive to Adelaide on Tuesday. This will be the last meeting of the West Terrace Committee for the year and since other things are sort of up in the air, no more  travelling until February.

Some may remember the story of the bridge in Paris that lovers bolted padlocks to and how the massive number of steel padlocks was compromising the structure that they had to be removed, much to the consternation of the lovers. Anyway, a similar event took place in London and now it seems people are doing this in any tourist area that has a metal structure close  and, it would seem Mount Gambier is not immune. I did notice that the viewing platform, which has an open steel and timber guardrail has attracted padlocks.

I liked Mount Gambier and from what I saw of it, the place has a vibrancy that seems to be missing here. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it seemed  exciting and interesting as if something was about to happen. Also I couldn’t help but notice how clean and fresh the place looked. And of course the drive through the area called the Limestone Coast and the  vineyards on either side of the roadway, the forests and the rolling pastures and then the Wineries, it was all a very pleasant experience. I  really must  take time out to get some photographs next trip there in May.

 

The lady is wearing her blue dress

Friday /Saturday 14th Nov.

I am in Mount Gambier, which as I said before, is about 900+klm  South-West of home. I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a five and a half  hour drive from Adelaide,

Not enough sun to show its true Blue Colour
Not enough sun to show its true Blue Colour

where I stayed overnight. My accommodaying is quite pleasant and spacious so I  am comfortable enough. In the morning I will attend to Presbytery and in the early afternoon, head back to Adelaide. I’ll stay there overnight again and head home on Sunday morning. I will have been away for four days and although John has come over each night to take Benji our walking, I have to say that I miss my dog. Goodness I’ve hardly had him five weeks and I miss being away from him already.  Herself tells me that he gets excited when John comes to take him out but most of the time  he jumps up on my bed and stays there for much of the day.

I did get to see the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier and although it was quite blue, it needs the sun to bring out the full colour and we didn’t have much sun today. For most of the year it’s just a normal water colour but from mid-November it starts to change due to

The Rook Look-Out at the Blue Lake
The Rook Look-Out at the Blue Lake

some chemical reaction. It was a volcano. There were two other smaller lakes beside this and although there are viewing platforms for them, they have mostly dried up.  By the time I come back here – probably in May – the colour will have gone. We are not due back here again until May of 2016.

Adelaide 14th/15th

The meeting finished just before noon and I did not stay for lunch but headed back to Adelaide, arriving here  shortly after 5pm. stopping only briefly at Keith for fuel. The freeway was fairly quiet, so it was a good run through to Bolivar. I called home to let herself know where I was then had a fairly good sleep. I packed up and was on the Main Highway to Port Wakefield at 5:35 and with only one stop for fuel and food I was managed to catch  the after service coffee at the church before going home with herself to get attacked by an excited dog. I think it’s fair to say he was glad to see me. It was only four days for me, but that’s a long time for a dog.

The trip, however, was great and I  enjoyed passing the wineries and vinyards and although all the major  wine producers are there, there is a fair number of smaller boutique Wineries and the next time I come through here I  am going to make a point of stopping at some of the smaller wineries and perhaps doing a bit of a stock up  :o)

Home 16th. Nov.

In the meantime my computer is playing up something chronic. I cannot get into my mail server and I don’t know how much I have lost. I cannot get into other programs so

Hello!!
Hello, again, Hello!!

although I need to finish off the  Magazine, I cannot because I can’t get into MS Publisher — so, we are doing the best we can until Wednesday when John will come over and help me set up the new computer. I’ve just about had it with this one- it’s been an on-going battle for months now and although this is not the first time I have lost mail, this time it is serious and I cannot even get into the mail server.  and it’s only my good nature (??) that stops it from having an up-close and personal with a sledge hammer. However, it’s not a total loss and after we set up the new computer I will format this one and see what we can do with it. Use it as a spare with Windows 10. At the moment I seem to have no major concerns with the Internet and internet programs, but everything else is gone haywire. At the moment I still have no mail system but we are working on that. Part of the concern is the amount of stuff I have on Outlook Express – which is no longer available.  We are having problems setting up the Windows Mail system, but as I said, we are working on that.