Adelaide and a Dinosaur

Adelaide Arcade
Adelaide Arcade with the fountain in front.

Just after 1:30 pm Andrew picked me up and we headed off to Adelaide. We drove directly to Port Wakefield before we stopped for coffee and something to eat. From there we drove to Adelaide – Andrew to his hotel, me to mine. Fortunately both were in South Terrace – The Chifley and the Sage – Andrew in the Chifley. Why not in the same hotel, or even sharing a room? Well this was not a planned trip – Andrew was going down for a meeting so I  bummed a lift from him and I just booked to stay where I normally do in Adelaide, whereas Andrew’s room was booked by his  company. In the morning I made my way into town – had  scones (and butter) and coffee at the Coffee Club in David Jones. Refreshed I  went up the road to the Apple Shop to find out what was wrong with my laptop. Here I need to bore you further with an explanation. My Apple MacBook Pro is working fine – it’s great – no problems– however  (there’s always a “however”isn’t there?)   although it is working very well, it will not upgrade. I am running an operating  system that is at least three upgrades behind what I should be running and I am starting to find that some things I download will not operate because the OS is out of date. Why wont it update? Well, that’s what I was seeking an answer to. I didn’t get one – well I got one of sorts. After  going through it the tech admitted he had seem nothing like it. Everything is there but it will not upgrade and we don’t know why. They believe that the best solution is to  wipe it clean and start with a fresh install then upgrade that to the current OS.  That I could not do because I do not have a recent backup, so  we are back home again and I will do a backup before I go back down.

Andrew finished his meeting and I met up with him again. We went off to Bunnings and we both did some shopping there and I checked out some of the things I would like for the garden – which I need a trailer for. Leaving Bunnings we headed for home again stopping at Port Wakefield for fuel and food. We arrived home at about 9:40 – a long and tiring day.  I may do the backup this weekend and perhaps take a run down during the week and have the clean and install the new operating system. All I have to do then is put the backup back into the computer. Actually I might get

Sleeping with a Dinosaur
Sleeping with a Dinosaur

the Tech to do that for me – probably cost, but worth it. In Adelaide we came across   “The Pet Barn” a big pet accessories shop.  Well, yes, I did buy some new toys for BJ, one of which was a Dinosaur. Since I gave him the Dinosaur he has hardly let it go and he takes it up on my bed with him. I managed to  get it on its own for a bit and took a photograph. His duck was a bit grubby so I gave it a wash. Came out quite well and the squeaker still works.

Although I’ve been in Adelaide the weather up here has been calm and warm – today is a mild 24c and whilst the warmer weather is welcome, it wont last and we’ll be back to cold and wind again soon. However, I did take advantage of the warmer weather to get some work done and this morning I  hope to hook up the trailer and get down for a load of Granite Chips and make a start on the back.

The WaWa continues to go for Benji and the spray bottle is no longer having any effect; Yesterday was not a good day. The WaWa never shut up the entire day. Spent much of the day outside or driving – always with Benji with me – even if I was going to the hardware store, I took him with me. Keeping him with me and  stopping the WaWa from nipping at his back legs has become a constant battle and although I do not wish away time, October can’t come soon enough. Sooah  insists she will be back then – I hope so, I really hope so. I have to have something in place before November when I head off back to Mount Gambier and be away for  four and a half days and I wouldn’t be at ease worrying about him.

Raining Still (2)

I still  miss that little face
I still miss that little face

There has been some flooding but the rain seems have stopped for the moment. The RFDS function at Mitre 10 was a loss and our function at the church was reasonable. Not well attended but in the rain I never expected it to be and the fact that the carpark was closed off didn’t help. At the moment I have not seen any reports of property damage only  road flooding and the town cut off for a while. Both of my water tanks are overflowing so that’s good. * Diversion*  There used to be a saying “if you ever hear that the world is going to end come to South Australia – everything takes 50 years to get here”. Well not quite fifty years but three months at any rate – the time until Father’s Day in South Australia.  Sorry if I seem to have neglected to say anything but since Father’s Day does not happen here until September, I forgot. 

There is a doctor who writes an interesting blog and in a recent post she said that she is a terrible

nothing too bad and not in town - access roads.
nothing too bad and not in town – access roads.

single parent – the children go to bed when they feel like it, pizza every night, heaps of movies, no bath, no dishes done and sleep in street clothes. I thought  I would mention that I was available for adoption, but everyone seemed so serious in their comments and it was a tribute to her husband, that I decided just to select “like”and leave it at that. I thought my frivolous comment would be out of place. I felt like the Joker from Batman “Why so Serious?” or at the very least Frank Sinatra  “I tried being serious once, all I could get was construction work”.  But the interesting thing was that it was only in reading that  post that I discovered that today in Father’s Day in The United States. Yes, other posts came in too but that was the first. I understand holidays and special days that are specific to the USA  — 4th July or Thanksgiving — it’s the days we “share”that confuse me at times —  Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.   Mother’s Day in particular because you have a day in the USA, which is different from the Day in the United Kingdom, which is different from Australia.  It’s all very confusing – I feel like Paddington “I am a bear of very little brain and long words confuse me”.

Most of the flooding has subsided and the rain has finally stopped. The sun is shining and the ground is starting to dry out. The forecast is for no rain at least for most of this week, but then I believe weather forecasters make things up   :o)  If the new concrete path at the church is to be done, the concreter will have to clean out the  channel and get rid of the water before anything can be done and once it is done it will take at least a week to cure.

The WaWa is still attacking Benji and I  believe that  none of what is currently happening was ever taken into consideration. With BJ being such a placid and lovable dog we made the assumption that he and the WaWa would get on well together. On that premise I made the promise that I would look after the WaWa for Sooah until she returned. However, the WaWa has been a one girl dog was treated her like a baby, who has now bonded herself to Annabell and sees Benji as a threat. Bj is paying a high prise for my promise.

I have started to put my ideas for the back garden onto paper and I still think they will work. I don’t accept  John’s comment that some of my ideas are too big for the available space and I wont accept that until such time as I get to Bunnings and see the things I want for myself.

And as I leave I have to say that it is Tuesday and it is raining again. If people want the rain, please come and collect it. We’ll give it to you free of charge. I would be delighted to swap you for some of your snow, but people in this area would probably kill me if I did   :o) By the time summer gets around we shall all be nice and brown – not suntan – rust!!

On the Road again!

side01Still working on the area at the side of the Crazy Paying. I have, as I said the other day, completed all I have to do for the moment, but once I get settled down a bit I’ll make the change I want. However that’s not likely to happen until the crazy paving area is underway. In the top planter I have Purple Lavender  and in the lower planter I have White Jasmine.  I will get some more plants when I am in Bunnings. With my black thumb I don’t expect them to last.  However, I take comfort from the fact that you can’t kill river stone  :o)  Also, on the way home I’ll take Catherine for lunch at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens and perhaps get a few things there. Well,  depending on how she is and when we leave Adelaide, it may well be afternoon tea and scones.

I went down to buy a set of car stands which were on special for Father’s Day   ( today only 60% discount) Couldn’t find them so asked an assistant who went off to look for them. Little while later he came back – “Sorry Mate, that’s a typo error, we don’t actually have them” Was not very impressed. Didn’t think it was worth the effort to  kick up a fuss since I’ll be down in Adelaide on Thursday and will hit Bunnings Thursday morning, so I’ll have a look then. I wanted a Ryobi Cordless Drill and  these are only sold by Bunnings so the Boys gave me gift cards for Bunnings – I’m very easy to please!!!

Only two days left and I am off to Adelaide. The weather looks to be good – 20c Thursday / 24c Friday so it will be two good days for driving.  Depending on the traffic and time, I would like to be able to stop somewhere along the way and take some photographs but the point here is that the road is much the same and I have just about taken

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

photographs down and back many times. Which is why I am looking forward to the meeting in November. This will be held in Mount Gambier and I have not been there before.  My family lived in Drysdale, Victoria for a while and I was out there a few times. Last time I was there was for my sister’s funeral. I drove to Kaniva, stayed there for the night and drove to Drysdale in the morning. My Brother-in-Law decided to take me touring the Bellarine Peninsula and out as far as the Memorial Arch at the start of the Great Ocean Road. We also  went to Bells Beach and Fort Queenscliff. Alan never got over my sister’s passing and six months later the children moved him to Adelaide. I was against this move but not my decision. He was comfortable and settled where he was and his friends were there.  His health deteriorated  and died 18 months later.

Going off to pack for the morning – and no, I do not travel light, one holdall for clothes and things, and another for cords, chargers, laptop, Modem. The camera batter is on the charger at the moment, but I’ll still take it – you never know…

Trips, Tag & Caught.

Only a week until the trip to the South East. Still not certain if I will have company or not but it kind of looks like not. What is about to follow will seem pretty silly to most people and you’re right – it is, but it’s fun. Herself and I play a game when we are out in the car. If a Police car passes, or turns off just as we turn on the road, the game we play is  “that they nearly caught us that time”.  From time  to time (not very often though – only once before  this year) we do “get caught” For example, we pulled into the car park of the supermarket

Tagged!!
Tagged!!

and I took herself shopping. When we came out, this was the picture: I think we were well and truly “caught”that time. It’s a sort of playing Tag with someone who does not know they are playing.  Ok,  so to all you serious minded people it’s probably silly, but I have friends who play at finding  a particular coloured car on a particular day. What can I say – it’s not of medical concern –  it’s a country town – there’s not a lot to do :o)  But it could have been worse – I could have had a bald tyre or something , or I could have had a sudden rush of blood to the brain and signed myself up for a half marathon. :o)

The Budget  was presented to Parliament and People and the general feeling is that it’s an  Election Budget” the sort of budget that a government produces when it’s looking to an election coming up and spends money to influence votes. The government denies that this is the case but considering the horror of last year’s budget and the fact that a lot of it has still not passed through the Senate, it’s very suspicious.  However, the likelihood is that this government will be elected and all the rage against it over the last year will vanish as the new  spending budget takes effect. Apart from which, the Opposition is full of faceless, bland people, with the leader being  the man who stabbed not one, but two Prime Ministers in the back. Did the dirty on Kevin Rudd, then backed Julia Gillard then stabbed her in the back and welcomed Kevin back into the job. Probably just as well that Rudd and Gillard  have gone from parliament or else Shorten would probably  looked to see which of his knives were still available.

I set off on Sunday morning for Naracoorte and according to the weather forecast it promises to be a nice sunny day. Assembly is due to finish on Wednesday morning and it

Chi, just a few days ago
Chi, just a few days ago

depends when it finishes. If it finishes late I will leave Naracoorte but may have to stay overnight in Adelaide. If this is the case, it may well afford me the opportunity to get some shopping, particularly  Bunnings, although Herself wants me to stop at the Bagman (it’s a company – not a person)  and pick up some sleeves of polystyrene  trays for the ladies  craft and baking tables. The update is that John will not be coming with me. His boss is away sick and John has to run the place until she gets back from sick leave. Pity, I would have liked his company.

Chienne is well. In fact she is doing great. Still drinking copious amounts of water, but eating and walking well. I am still taking her out every-night, so she is getting plenty of exercise but also plenty of rest.

Road Trip, Adelaide and Bunnings

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 recent trip to Adelaide was completed in excellent weather. No storms sneaking up and no nasty surprised lurking over

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

hills. I made directly for Bunnings at Para Hills.  I like Bunnings – different from most run-of-the-mill hardware stores. There is always an excellent range of stock and I can generally get things that I want and that are not stocked at home. They alsdo have a good garden center.

Provided the weather is good (and it was) the drive on Highway 1  is quite relaxing. The change in the vegetation  is very noticeable the further south you drive – it becomes softer and you can find this strange green stuff, which I am told is called Grass. We had this in Scotland, but I had forgotten it.

 

 

We do not have the great multi-lane highways and intersections that are normal in the populous parts of Australia – Sydney – Brisbane – Melbourne and driving through Adelaide, although busy and frustrating at times,  is not a patch on Sydney.  What you see is the major highway  linking the north of the state from the south. It carries on across the top of the state and links South Australia with Western Australia. You have, no doubt, noticed the distinct lack of transport – other road users – this is fairly normal. In our little world if we see more than four cars in a row, we wonder where the funeral is. There is not much in the way of wildlife either.  People die on this road because it is long, little or no traffic, and minds tend to wander. I do not travel this road at night. I used to but it’s not a great experience – major trucks tend to travel at night. The one advantage of Highway 1 is the  4 klm long passing lanes. They occur every  10 klms, so the longest you are ever stuck behind a caravan or truck is about 20 minutes to half an hour. On the way down (or up from) to Adelaide is the “Tin Man” a BP Service Station and the Crossroads of South Australia for anyone traveling north or south. This is where I generally stop for coffee and a snack both going do0wn and coming back. You meet all sorts of people there – even family  :o)

Highway 1 - the road behind
Highway 1 – the road behind
Highway 1 - The way ahead.
Highway 1 – The way ahead.

Watching grass and Conference woes.

The Young Man
The Young Man

The Man’s health  is declining but he is not making it any easier to help him. He resists every attempt to be nice to him and help him. I have stopped taking him out with me because I have to watch him like a Hawk – not for his benefit but for mine. He cannot walk in a direct line but wanders about the place crossing back and forth in front of me or  so close to my legs that I have to stop. My fear is that I wont see him because  of some distraction and it’s me that will go head first into the roadway.  Bitumen hurts!  I don’t know what to do. He is not the lovable little Man that we knew and loved and that’s a worry. This is like living with a  stranger,  one that wanders around in circles. Actually, Chienne walks away from him and goes outside and sleeps in the Dog House rather than listen to him yelping. It’s not a question of medication because he is getting the right medication for his age and weight – he is less than  3 kilo. Despite all his problems at the moment, he is still My Dog and it’s still my responsibility to take care of him – even when he bites :o) My theory about that is that when he wakens up from his sleep he has no idea where he is and no idea who I am, which means that if I try to touch him he may well see me as someone who is trying to attack him and responds accordingly. He sleeps most of the time now so we ensure that his bed is as comfortable as we can make it for him.

I did not go to Adelaide as I was supposed to on Wednesday. I wont have the same luxury this coming weekend when I really do have to be in Adelaide. Fortunately my son is coming with me so he can have a turn at the driving. Apart from the Conference I want to get the sleeve for the Hills Hoist, a cleaner for the driveway, some stationery at Koorong as well as some things for my Filofax at Office Choice. John wants to go to the computer warehouse to get the components he wants to build his computer, so all in it will be a busy weekend. Fortunately, things are starting to calm down and I only have three more days in Adelaide – the coming one – one in November and the last one in December. That should be me until February of next year. If I do go to Adelaide it will be because I want to do something or get something there rather than have to – if that makes sense  :o) The trouble with living so far away from anything – and being a One Horse State – our shops only stock a limited amount of “sellable” stationery and other things. Anything out of the  “ordinary “means a trip to Adelaide or order on line. Much of the things I want for my Filofax, I have to order on line from the USA (Pens & Leather)  or from Filofax U.K. I have, however, ordered a new Leather Binder from Holland – a sort of move away from Filofax – but not a complete break since I will use both, the  Van Der Spek  and the Filofax although it really wont make all that much difference since I will still have difficulties in getting supplies whatever I do.

Spring is being its usual obnoxious self. We were warm and sunny, then it took a turn for the worse and just as we were getting used to the warmth, it  was cold and wet and miserable again – rain and high winds. Still, according to the news this morning, Sydney got a bit of a battering. Then, just to keep us on our toes, the forecast for the coming week is warm to hot with temperatures reaching the high 30s during the  forecast period. Nice pleasant weather for driving.

It was a good drive down and traffic was fairly light. We drove directly to Elizabeth and John ordered the things he wanted or needed to build his computer Driving into Adelaide I managed to get to the stationery shop and get the things I wanted, then drive out to Bunnings and get the  sleeve unit for the Hills Hoist. After booking into the hotel we walked into town and get some other odds and ends. Nice quiet night at the

The way home
The way home

hotel.  The following morning  John dropped me off then drove back to Elizabeth to get the things he ordered.  Personally, I think he got the better of the bargain for the day. I think I would have had a much better time watching grass grow. I would love  not to go there  but there is no one else – and that’s not an excuse, it’s a sad fact. John picked me up at 12:15 and we drove home. It wasn’t until after we were on the road that he told me that a couple of people were trying to get him to talk me into staying for lunch – which I will not do. You can judge how much importance he placed on this by waiting until we were on the road home before he told me.

New plants, toxic plants and climbing plants

Sturt's Desert Rose
Sturt’s Desert Rose

Tuesday and I have Herself at the doctor this morning. I expect to bring her back home and let her lie down for a while.  Our appointment is at 9am, so we should be home by 10:30 and I’ll let her rest until lunch. If she is feeling up to it I may take her out for lunch.   Yesterday I  spent the day clearing the ground – covered it with fertilizer then a Blood and Bone  mix, dug all that through and watered it all in. I planted two new flowering bushes – a Lemon coloured Hibiscus and a new bush called  Mexican Orange Blossom (White flowers) AND I have fenced the area off. Unless they have mountaineering skills ( like some dogs I know)  they should be kept out of the area. Not that I am not thankful for the work in watering they have done, but  I feel this responsibility added to their extensive Guard Duties, is really too much to expect so, fencing it off is for their own good.  I feel that this is a good time to plant these things (black thumb notwithstanding) because whilst it does say  “Full Sun” I am not certain that it means South Australian Full Sun, so, now the bite has gone out of the sun and it is cooler, it might be better and give them time to get established. I have also planted Bougainvillea (Two) along the line of the fence in the hope that they might brighten up the place a bit.  I have two different colours at the moment but I may well get two more during the course of this week and provided they all survive, it should be a nice coloured wall

The doctor appointment well and I think we are clear for a couple of months. Still  waiting to see if we need to go visit the other specialist, 20131008_151606but at the moment, she is not too bad – tired but well.  She should be ok provided she does not overdo things.

Our local hardware store also sells a limited number of plants. Once upon a time we had three Garden Shops – now we have but one. I bought two Bougainvillea  at the hardware store at a cost of $9:50 each. That was the last two they had.  The two I bought yesterday at the Garden shop cost me $16:95 each. This is part of a big chain and since it’s the only place in town they can charge what they like – mainly because the nearest Garden Shop is over 100 miles away. Although— having said that –  I do know a young couple who  had a house built then took a trailer to that particular Garden Shop and filled the trailer with plants for the garden they had started to lay out. In a few weeks I will be going to Adelaide and be there for a week. On the way home I will stop off at Bunnings on Main North Road and have a look to see if I want anything in the way of plants. I’ll probably stop at the Arid Lands B.G. on the way through.  Oh, I did buy one plant the other day and I am unsure what to do with it. I liked the flowers and thought they would look nice. But I decided to look it up on Google and was horrified to learn that it is toxic to dogs, cats, horses sheep and cattle. It also gives off a perfume that  destroys other species of plants around it and encourages the spread of its seeds. It is called Lantana Camara and, I think I may have to be careful where I put it.

We had a little bit of precipitation (not using the other word – don’t want to cause upset)  this afternoon so that helped to get  things settled in – I hope.  In another section I have the trailer parked and I am  digging out the gravel from that area. It is unlikely that I will be able to plant anything there but I will put down weed matting and refresh  the area. There is also a very large area that’s covered in gravel but it’s the cheapest stuff you can get so it does not look all that nice. I will, over time clear all that away and again refresh it  with some decent gravel – granite chips perhaps.

It's a hard life
It’s a hard life

I have never had any problem feeding my associates. Well, not strictly true in that I have to have a gate between them –  one on one side of the gate – one on the other. Chienne  gets right into the food dish as soon as it is put in front of her. She raises her head only when her bowl is empty. The Man, on the other hand, herself calls O.C.D. He has a ritual he has to go through – sniff, walk away – sniff, walk around daddy’s legs, –  sniff, walk around daddy”s legs – sniff, walk away, return, eat. If I fed them together after the first walk away, Chienne would be in there and finished before he came back. Ok, so he’s weird, but I guess he fits in quite nicely. He sleeps a lot and I still carry him when we go for “walks”.

I am still undecided  about accommodation in Adelaide for the State Assembly and I’m leaning towards a hotel closer to town and about equal distance between the two places I have to go. I think that might be the place.