Can it be that it was all so simple then?

bell01Isn’t it amazing how the simplest things can  take you back to your childhood? Of course, for some of us that’s no  great transition since we have never really left our childhood :o)  But I made a comment the other week that caused me to remember things we did as children and I used the word “Naughty” and It occurred to me that this word has an entirely different meaning for children than it has for adults, thus anything I said is of a child version not an adult version. Where I grew up we were surrounded by fields and woods and we  children used to play in the woods or do things along the river bank.  What I meant by  naughty is the fact that some us were wicked in that we stole things from our mothers.  Oh relax !! – what  earthly use did we have for money?  No, every so often  some of us would sneak into the pantry and “steal”a couple of potatoes from mum’s potato bag, then we would all go off to the woods. Since most of us had been camping on a regular basis, we knew how to set out a campfire. Once we had that lit  and going fairly well, we would put the globepotatoes we had pinched  round the side of the fire and cook them. A bit of salt if someone  thought to bring any and that was our “feast”. In those days potatoes were cheap and were measured not in pounds but in stones. A Scottish stone was equal to about 16.5 pounds. Our mothers had a separate bag for potatoes because mainly they were unwashed and were bought in  either a stone, half stone or quarter stone.  Potatoes were dirty so they were not kept in the nice, clean  grocer but in the back of the fishmonger in great metal tubs, scooped out, weighed on the big scale then dumped into the potato bag. Not like today where everything is washed clean and sanitized and put in plastic bags so we can all have the fun of adding to the landfill. Thinking back, in the world I lived in I had a great childhood, good friends, good school and collectively we hated dentists. Doctors were a necessary  evil but dentists were just an evil. Still don’t like dentists. Ah sorry, it’s probably a generation thing.  You know, we thought we were so clever but thinking back,I’m quite sure our parents knew what we were up to.

A dog and his toys
A dog and his toys

Very strange thing happened to me a short while ago – by short I mean within the last hour. I was  going through my mail and other stuff and I could hear Benji  pottering about in the background. Never really took a lot of notice as he seemed to be ok doing whatever he was doing. Anyway, I finished what I was doing and  made the momentous decision that a coffee would go down well now. I swung my chair round to get out and go make the coffee and that’s when I discovered what the Benji had been up to. All around my chair he had placed all his toys. I don’t know what to make of that – coincidence, seemed like a good idea, no meaning whatsoever?? I don’t know, I really don’t know, but it does seem an odd thing to do.

The weather continues to behave in a weird way. I took the boy out for his walk at 5:45 this morning and instead of light, the sky was very dull with dark storm clouds moving around and the wind was quite cold. About tree01halfway through our walk I felt a few spots of rain as the clouds seemed to get darker. However, nothing came of it but the dark clouds are still lurking about and the top temperature for today is 21c. As it happened, the dark clouds passed, eventually, the sun came out but it stayed cool all day and we reached a top of 23c well below average.

The ladies have their coffee evenings on a Tuesday and coffee mornings on a Wednesday. They  each pay a few dollars – some of this goes to the hostess for  coffee, tea, and so on, the rest gets set aside for charity. This year they will present $1000 to the  Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), $1000 to Anglicare (Church of England Charity Service)  and $1000 to the family, here in the community, of  a little child who was struck down with Meningococcal. The child lost several limbs but he survived and will require on-going medical treatment. All of the local community have been great  and have been fund raising on their behalf – a community in crisis, uncertainty,  concerned about the future and almost 10% unemployment – but we can still pull together to help one of our community who needs us.

Benji, WaWa, Dump and Sons

Benji on the driveway
Benji on the driveway

First an update on Benji.  We have only recently realised that the WaWa does not attack Benji when they are outside. They wander around the  place together, they find good spots in the early winter sun and sit down together. They actually play together outside.  However, when they are back in the house all bets are off. The WaWa – as far as we can ascertain – is the defender of Annabell against everyone. When anyone comes near her the WaWa positions herself in the front and sits on Annabell’s foot – ready to attack anyone who threatens.  Take that a step further and the WaWa is the protector of the house – her mission if life is to protect the house and protect Annabell – even against me. If I go into the kitchen to talk, the WaWa will rush in,  position herself between me and Annabell, with her back paws on Annabell’s foot. If I go to Annabell’s room, the WaWa will come racing up the hall – barking all the way – run into the room and position herself between us. Thus, the WaWa sees Benji as a threat to her mistress. The difference between the inside and the outside WaWa is amazing. And we have only just  cottoned on to this.

The workmen came yesterday (Tuesday) and worked for a couple of hours. The reason it took so long was the “hidden obstacles”.  I knew there was a concrete slab at the back but what I didn’t know was how far it extended since the previous owners had covered  up that area with topsoil and gravel. It took a fair chunk of time to remove that. However, even the workmen were pleased with the result and I now have a “workable”area. I did say that I don’t have plans, but I do have ideas – whether they work or not is a moot point – but I think they are good ideas. However, the next task is to have the back fence repaired and I am not certain when that’s getting done.

My son wanted to borrow my trailer, which meant a trip to the dump to get it emptied then take it over to his place. On the way  I picked up my other son  who was going to help me. Well we did

The WaWa we are looking after for a few months
The WaWa we are looking after for a few months

that and drove to Andrew’s place to pass over the trailer. Instead we stayed there and helped him clean up. John and I loaded the trailer with all the green waste ( tree and bush cuttings) and was in the process of trying to tie it down when Andrew decided to tell us that he has a portable green waste shredder in the garage. We will draw a curtain on the next ten minutes but I understand a shearer passed by and blushed. We emptied the trailer and

The Foreshore - My Picture
The Foreshore – My Picture

used the shredder – much better. Took the trailer to the dump and guess who had not brought any money with him?? Guess who paid the dump fee?? Well I suppose fathers have to be useful for something :o)

Sunday 12th:   Benji was in a strange mood this morning. Don’t know what happened but he was covered in tattoos, smelled like a distillery and was reluctant to get out of bed. Finally got him out and the morning walk took twice as long because he kept stopping and was determined to water every tuft of grass.  He’s a worry.

Oh a quick PS.  I think we might have the WaWa for a tad “longer than the “few months”.  In the current economic climate it may take Sooah and her husband longer to get back to Australia.

Winter is closing in – rain and cold.

Sunrise over Whyalla JenkinsGoodness, it’s been over a week since I wrote anything. It has been a very busy week, but not in the garden. On Monday and Tuesday I was away at a funeral, on Wednesday we had a thunderstorm at 3:30am – neurotic dog, acute hearing, had to sit up with her until she calmed down. I had a call on Wednesday but I was just too tired to accept. On Wednesday, workmen put a drill through the gas main. No explosion, but the primary school and the university were evacuated. It is now Friday and we are still without gas. Fortunately, I can take care of cooking by using the barbecue, washing and heating are different issues.  It took until Saturday afternoon before gas was restored to the west of the city. It is interesting how much we depend on services and we  have difficulty in coping when they are interrupted. As I said, I used the barbecue, the side burner and the two burner camping stove, so we were ok. Others were not so.

On Thursday I went through to Port Augusta to look for Standard Roses, as well as a few other things, but to no avail. I came back (152 klm round trip) empty handed. I did manage to get some special degreasing stuff that I will use on the driveway. I don’t think it’s been cleaned ever. I hope to be able to do that this coming weekend.

Tuesday:  Over the weekend I was not able to do much. The boys were over most of the weekend and the youngest was back from  OlympicDam – in the far north of the State. and with the gas not returning on Saturday morning, there was consternation on how we would feed everyone. I didn’t think it would be a problem since we had a barbecue, but as I said, the gas returned on Saturday afternoon and all was ok.  I still have not managed to get my Standards but I did buy four new rose bushes which I will plant  over the next day or so.

We have had a lot of rain over the last week and I have not really had an opportunity to do much outside and I really need a dry day to do the driveway. Certainly most of it is covered in but I need dry weather or the driveway itself would never dry – particularly the covered section – which is most of it. For example I took the dogs out for a walk the other morning and it looked like it was going to be a fine day. I was not long back in the house before the dark clouds came over and it was raining again. I think it’s going to be a long, wet, cold and damp winter.