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.

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…..

The Sands of Time

The WaWa
The WaWa

April – a month that will live in infamy  – well not quite. After all some wonderful people were born in April – like me for example. However, April was when we acquired the WaWa, or rather, when we (I) agreed to look after the WaWa for a limited period. It’s almost January – nine months later –  and she’s still here. We have not heard a word from Sooha since she went back to South Korea. We have written to her and sent emails to the address she gave – all of which have bounced back. I do not know what we are going to do. WaWa is a playful, friendly and loyal little thing and  now that I have made contact with the new vet I will talk to her and see what we can do with regard to her attacking Benji and whether a .oo soft muzzle will help – at least it will stop her nipping at his back legs. And I really can’t understand this- I mean it has been eight months. I would really have thought that things would have settled down by now and she would have gotten used to Benji being around. Jealousness continues to be the main problem   She can be a real pain in the tuchus, but she has to stay – anything else, however well meaning , would be unconscionably cruel. I have no regrets about taking her –  I am being honest when I say she is a lovely dog, friendly, playful, loyal – I just wish we could sort out her jealous attacks on Benji and stop her barking at the least little shadow.

Aside from dogs, 2017 will be a year of change – changes that will be generated by me. There are some things I have let slide and I intend to change them. However, as the Rachel Hunter add

Mandevillia ( not mine - sadly)
Mandevillia ( not mine – sadly)

once said – “it wont happen overnight, but it will happen”. And here   I mention that  after months of pretending to be just a stick stuck in dirt (potting mix) the two Frangipani have started to grow. There are leaves and other bits sprouting – which I am very pleased about.  The four Mandevillia  are also growing well and the Poinsettia is still a vibrant Red. My Almond tree is good and I would like a Mulberry  Tree, which I will look for when I am down in Adelaide soon. This afternoon, the dogs and I, Benji and Yogi, went to the garden shop and bought new plants – two South Australian Natives and six Geraniums. I will plant them this evening when it is a bit cooler. I use raised planted beds and potting mix because my soil here is not good. When we moved here and I looked at an area with horrible black bark on it, I decided to clear it all off and turn it into a Rose Garden. I did all the things, prepared the soil, bought rose fertilizer  and spent a fortune on rose bushes at the garden shop. Every single one of them died. I tried other things and they died too. The soil, it seems had been poisoned – or sterilized – same thing really.  The White Ceder tree has taken off again, so this time I will really have it sorted out – no more being nice.

I’m still  having problems with the aftermath of the knee operation and have difficulty kneeling on the ground – or indeed kneeling at all. Still,  as a famous Australian politician once said,  “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”. And on that note it must be said that our current crop of  “fly by night” politicians are doing everything they possibly can to make certain that is how Australia will be under their watch – claw $2.5 Billion out of pensions – a crisis with Centrelink and millions $$  being demanded in repayments , which no one understands, but the good thing is a pay rise for politicians and government staff and the $2.5 Billion they ripped out of our Seniors’ Pensions should help to fund the  pensions, lurks and perks for politicians.

Sooha and Kongsoon - now called The WaWa
Sooha and Kongsoon – now called The WaWa

Since I started this, we have heard from Sooah and although she is well and still working with the Immigration  Department to achieve a return to Australia, there is no indication when that will actually happen. What this means is that the WaWa will be here for the foreseeable future. Yogi will be going home shortly as the friends return from Perth in Western Australia on Friday week and I will pick them, up from the Airport. The week after I head off to Adelaide and then Mount Gambier and  an extra-ordinary meeting. Oh come now, what’s a 1300 mile journey and three hotels for a three hour meeting between friends?  Still it gets me time to have a wander in Adelaide and I have  a pile of Bunnings Gift Cards to use and a Mulberry bush to find.

And finally – we are in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures hovering around the high  30s to the low 40s – what joy..

Adelaide CBD and Home

Adelaide Christmas Tree in Victoria Square
Adelaide Christmas Tree in Victoria Square

Got me baffled!!  Monday, 39C Hot / Tuesday 40c Hot ( cool change expected in late afternoon) Wednesday ( Today) it’s chucking it down expected maximum 23c – wet and cool. No dogs out today.  No it was not a mistake, I did say dogs.  Every year our friends go off to Perth to be with their family for Christmas and New Year, and every year we have looked after Yogi, their dog. Like Benji, he’s a fairly placid dog so no problem. Last year Fay was ill and they stayed home.  This year, of course, we have the WaWa, so with THREE dogs the next month is going to be interesting.  No word from Sooah so we have no idea what is happening there, how things are going and when – or if – they will be back. They did give me an email address and I have used it, but it keeps bouncing back. I looked through my  Organizer and the last time

Part of Victoria Square
Part of Victoria Square

we had Yogi was in early April of this year when Jim went into hospital – before we got the WaWa. We expected that by this time the WaWa would be gone and we would only have Benji and Yogi – Best laid plans and all that! However, as I said, Benji and Yogi get on well together, walk together and play together.

Friday I went down to Adelaide to do the last of the Bunnings things. Since I have a RFDS Fundraising event today ( Saturday 17th)  I went down and back by coach – a bad mistake as it turns out. I have had some problems with this leg and it has been playing up. Sitting in the one position for five hours, then trying to walk was not great. However it eased up a bit but by the end of the day I was tired and quite painful. I got the things I wanted at Bunnings although I have to admit that although it was the closest to the CBD it is also the smallest store in South Australia. In fact, this Bunnings is so small that it doesn’t even have a Cafeteria.  Once I had completed what I wanted to do there, I  got back into town and spent time at a number of shops, picking up a few things. I  decided not to walk and instead took the tram from Rundle Mall to the Law Courts, and then over to the Central; Market. From there it’s a short walk to the Bus Station. I like wandering through the Central Market. I always find it an exciting place and so full of life and it seems to be different each I go there. Next to the Central Market is Chinatown, which has its own atmosphere with Chinese shops, Supermarkets and Restaurants. The coach was due to leave at 4:30 but didn’t leave until almost 5pm, which, of course, made us

Taken from the Coach. Not too bad for a mobile (cell) phone.
Taken from the Coach. Not too bad for a mobile (cell) phone.

late arriving home.   Sitting in the same position on the way back – although I did get off at Port Wakefield for a walk, well,  I was not the best when my son picked me up and I finally got home. However, this morning I did take both dogs out for a morning walk although I did change our route and

Children's amusements in Rundle Mall
Children’s amusements in Rundle Mall

was a little bit short. I managed through the RFDS Funding event, took Annabell shopping, then sorted out all the fund raising equipment – now I is sitting down and intend to stay that way for the rest of the day. I did say to Annabell, that I will try very hard not to have to travel down to Adelaide by coach again. I can quite happily drive all day if needs be,  but sitting for five hours is painful. Oh it is a large and comfortable coach but it’s still a coach and it’s still a five hour trip. Last night, we had our Carol Service and a collection we took up was a donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Anyway, here I am and here I intend to stay. I don’t want to move again until such time as I have to – probably Saturday night. (dog walks allowed)

 

Playing Santa – Toys for Benji

Let me tell you that I lurve you and I think about you all the time  :o)
Let me tell you that I lurve you and I think about you all the time :o)

The reason I went to Adelaide by coach rather than driving down was that I wanted several things and  I believed that I only needed to go to one place, Muno Para Shopping Center,  and I could attend to them – Telstrashop (New Travel Modem) Bunnings ( Garden things) and  some things for the Benji. Well, I guess two out of three is not bad – although having said that, I could get these two things anywhere but not the Bunnings things. Well, I got the new Travel Modem – I got things for the Benji and discovered that  Bunnings Muno Para has closed down and moved to another area. I had been to this particular Bunnings in Muno Para several times before and now, it was gone. Here’s the rub, had I been in the car I could simply driven to another  store in another part of town, – Modbury, Mile End or Pooraka- but relying on public transport and having to watch my time for the coach home, kind of put paid to these notions. I suppose I came out ahead, but not really because I actually NEED the units that I was going to get in Bunnings. I did not have the time to go elsewhere and getting there was not all that crash hot on public transport. As I said, I have

The Lower Flinders Ranges from Highway 1
The Lower Flinders Ranges from Highway 1

driven to the Muno Para Shopping Center several times before, so when I went over to the train station in Adelaide I got a ticket to Muno Para – seems logical, yes?? Well no!  I got off at Muno Para Station in the middle of nowhere – almost. I happened to  see a  person and asked them where the Muno Para Shopping Center was and they informed me that the Muno Para Shopping Center is in Smithfield – which was the last stop. So I had to  go over to the other side of the station and wait for a train back to Smithfield. Agreed, not difficult to do – not rocket science – but time consuming.

After I  got the things I was looking for (except the Bunnings things) I went back to the train station and took the train back to Elizabeth and had a look for some things there. Did buy a second toy for Benji so that was good. I have this theory that a dog can’t have too many toys.  Also had a belated lunch.  I was back in town by 16:40 and spend  three quarters of an hour at the Central Market  where I finally found a collapsible  water bowl. Overall the trip wasn’t a complete loss but a lot of time spent  traveling and getting nothing done. I mean  11 hours in coach travel alone. Why Bunnings – why not get what I want elsewhere – because like Ryobi Tools in Australia,  there are things that are exclusive to Bunnings – what I wanted was part of that.

On the journey up as it got dark I was  puzzled by all the lights around us, then I realised that it was the farmers working into the night – under lights- to get the harvest in whilst it was still dry. This  was on both sides of the highway all the way up through the farming areas. After the wettest spring on record, you can hardly blame them working hard to get  their crops harvested in case the weather breaks.

Travelling to Adelaide by coach these days is  very much a waste of time. The coach leaves at 6 am – arrives in Adelaide at 11:30 am and departs again at 4 pm – not really a lot o

A dog and his toys
A dog and his toys

f time to do much other than wander around Rundle Mall. Thursday the departure time is 6 pm so  that certainly helps – although it used to be at 6:30. I can understand the coach company reducing services – last Thursday, for example, there were six people on the coach leaving Adelaide. Four left at Port Pirie, one left at Port Augusta, so for the last 80 klms I had a 44 seater coach all to myself. -With the driver, of course.  Still, two new toys and a water bowl for Benji – seems like a good day out to me  :o)

Adelaide, Bunnings and a Strange Experience..

Me and some of my toys
Me and some of my toys

I did a little bit of work in the garden yesterday, and also did a lot of sitting down but I am starting to get moving . Just take it in easy stages.  It was nice yesterday morning but by 2 pm it was  dull, overcast and chucking it down again. It’s not the best start to spring that I can remember. Not much in the way of rain for Adelaide for a day or so – then the next front rolls in. However, not so great looking for Victoria and parts of NSW. Took Benji out for a walk the other evening – after it got dark – not a long walk nor a quick one, just a slow walk to the end of the road and back. How very odd – for some reason I must have pressed the publish button and published the first paragraph of this post  – I must be cracking up. I think it must be all this rain that has waterlogged my brain  :o)

As I said, I managed to do a little bit of work in the garden before the rain started – not a lot and I did sit down a fair bit, but I did something – which is good. I am also heading off to Adelaide this week. My son has three days off work so he wants to go to Adelaide and has asked me to come down with him. Bit of a break and he will do most of the

No Offense intended
No Offense intended

driving. This comes at a good time because I wanted to go to Bunnings Garden Center and look for Mandevilla Climbers. I saw them in a booklet and liked the colours so I thought I might try them here. I think our local garden center has some but only in the one colour and I would like an assortment of different colours. Depends if we have time or not.  A week or so ago, on another site I follow there was a small discussion on doctor’s handwriting and the difficulty at times of reading it. Not  very long afterwards I came across this cartoon whilst I was looking for something else. It appealed to my warped sense of humour. I hope she ( the doctor) is not offended.

It has been bucketing down off and on here for most of the day and according to the news we had about 13mm of rain. Fortunately it looks as if it will be dry for the drive to Adelaide.

It was mainly dry. We did run into a rain band not too far from Port Pirie. That lasted for a bit then it was clear all the way to  Marlston in Adelaide.  John did most of the driving down and after changing over at Bolivar,  I did the driving in town. John  attended to his business and I went to Bunnings at a place called Mile End. I got the garden lights that I wanted. I was told that it is too early for Mandevilla – next month is better.  I really don’t know what happened after that but I felt a  that very strange pulling sensation and next thing I knew I was in the Pet Barn and these Dinosaurs were calling to me. There were three and I felt that it would be so wrong to take two and leave one poor dinosaur all on his own with no one to love. Next thing I knew I was back in the car with a bag with three dinosaurs in it and only a vague recollection of how they got there. I know, you probably don’t believe me – – interestingly enough, neither did Annabell.   Well….. I don’t think I dog can have too many toys..

 

The Dark, the Ghost and the Rosebush

Friday:  The workmen came this morning to fill in the trench. That’s all they were contracted to do – they have no idea when the concrete work will be done. Still, at least I can get the car back into the driveway – I think – I haven’t tried it yet. —– I have just been told that the concreting will be done tomorrow, so it will probably be Sunday before  I can use the driveway again. I am quite pleased that it is completed now because for the month of August Annabell will be hosting the Ladies Coffee – Tuesday evening and again on the Wednesday morning.

Ready for the Concrete
Ready for the Concrete

The other news is that I do not have to go to Adelaide to have the Laptop fixed. It has been done. I telephoned the Apple Shop to make an appointment with the Tec, and instead I ended up with one of the Senior Tecs and together we sorted the problem out over the phone. It took a while and  I will expect to see a jump in the telephone bill because of it, but whatever it is it will be nowhere as much as  going to Adelaide either by coach or driving. So the Laptop is now  running El. Capitan the newest AppleMac OS. I am quite pleased about that.

Took BJ out for our walk this morning and by morning I mean 5:50am, and just as we passed a fence we were suddenly confronted by an apparition in white, scared BJ who started barking like crazy ( unusual) and set my heart off racing at a rate of knots. It was only for a few moments before it vanished behind the very large caravan in the driveway. No it was not a ghost, what is was, was the lady of the house out laying towels over her rose bushes to protect them from the cold. Admirable to be sure, but at 5:50 am – still dark, dressed in white ( white dressing gown carrying white cloths) reflected in the street light on the opposite side of the road – scared me half to death!   Not quite what you expect at that time on a cold winter.  morning. I told a lady in the church today and her comment was “that’s good, John, as long as it was not dressed in black carrying a scythe and an hour glass, you’ve nothing to worry about”.

All completed - just needs to cure
All completed – just needs to cure

The concrete is laid, the area blocked off and all the workmen gone. Looks good and the men have  done a really good job. I can walk on it as from tomorrow but not drive on it until at least Tuesday.  Busy week ahead – Wednesday I go to the Specialist and hope that he will organise  the surgery for my collapsing right knee-cap in the not too distant future. Then I have a day off and of Friday I go see my Cardiologist. I only see him once every four months and there is a good chance that the visits may well be finalised since everything has been great for the last year.

In mid August I head off to Adelaide and will be away for two days. I am no sooner back than I set off again, but this time just for a day, at least that’s the plan. The  second visit may also be for two days and that should be me (Officially)  until November unless I decide to go down for the weekend and take the trailer with me to Bunnings. Having said that I probably will need the trailer for ten square meters of  Synthetic Turf for my plan. I have already started on that and as the weeks progress I will add more to it until I have things the way I want them.