Winds of Change

The daytime temperature has been nice but the mornings are cold – probably not in Adelaide – but up here, cold. The evenings have been much the same

Some of the larger birds at the wetlands. Swans have gone, though.

and I have taken to be rugged up if I take Benji for a walk around the wetlands in the evening as the sun  is on the wane. The other day my son sent me a message – “Wetlands in 30 mins.” so off  Benji and I trotted to the wetlands and caught up with him and the pram The day is great, warm and sunny, but the mornings and evenings are still cold. The month of November is a very busy month for the Royal Flying Doctor Group here. I said in the last post that I was asked to organise a fundraiser for this weekend – which I did – but this coming weekend is particularly busy with three events all going off on the one day. Next Saturday  I will be on the go from 8am to at least 9:30 pm. Still if it raises funds for the RFDS, it’s all worth it. I will be doing a fundraiser at the hardware store from 8;30 until 1:30 – a quick change and over to the Ada Ryan Gardens and the RFDS Simulator and  showing people through that until the close of the After Pageant Fair at 9pm and by the time we tidy up and get everything put away, it will probably be close to 10pm. Never mind – worse things happen at sea, or so they tell me.

The RFDS apart, it is going to be a busy time at church over the next month. The Lutheran Church are holding an Advent Service next week to which Annabell (my wife) and some other members of the congregation will be attending. With the other lady still on the sick list, I am still the Tuesday and Wednesday driver, and to add to that I have to take Annabell and pick up another lady for the Lutheran Advent Service on Wednesday afternoon. I thought after Mount Gambier things would start to calm down – oh sure, lead up to the Pageant,  Christmas, Carols in the Park and New Year and  you think things will calm down?

I had a bit of a “wake-up”call on Monday evening. On Sunday, the family come here for dinner. This Sunday Andrew did not come. We held off dinner, but still no Andrew. I tried to telephone him, but no reply. He was on call,  so we assumed he had been called out. Monday I tried several times to call him and again after dinner on Monday -still no reply. So I got into the car and drove to his place. He opened the door and he looked fit and well to me, but I asked how he was. He said he was fine. Talked to Trish and she was fine too. Trish quietly left the room leaving

My Grandson.

me with Andrew. I had just done what Andrew believed I would do when he did not turn up on Sunday and his phone remained unanswered – I would get in the car and drive over – and that is exactly what I did.  His reason for doing what he did is that he believed that this was the only way he could get me to come to his house. In the last year I have not been there to see my grandson, or play with him, because there has always been a reason to prevent me getting there –  organising some function or event for the RFDS – a church function or I am away for days at either Para Hills,  Naracoorte, or Mount Gambier on church business. And if i’m not doing that, I am up to my eyes in paperwork. He asked if I had to do the things I do – i.e. why me, why not someone else? I edit the church Magazine. This takes up time and effort but as much as I have tried to get people to even contribute – well,  everyone wants a magazine but no one is willing to help. The same with the State Newsletter – write on what’s happening here for the State Newsletter –  every other month I have asked for someone to do this- no one has ever responded. I have to go to the places I go to because that’s my role over and above running the service,  if you like. There are three of us who run the church, neither of the other two are fit to undertake the stress of  driving around the State – and by fit I mean medically – one is disabled and the other is recovering from  Cancer, which leaves me. Helen take care of everything locally and undertakes many of the visits, I look after things beyond local – that’s my role. I have to prepare reports for each of these meetings and be prepared to answer any questions that may arise. But Andrew is right, I am so tied up in other things that I am missing the growing up of my grandson – and to be very blunt and truthful – he is the only one I am likely to have.  Things will have to change and soon. I relayed all this to Annabell and she said she was not surprised  at Andrew’s method of getting me over there. “Your son knows and understands you more than you think he does”

 

Advertisements

Heat, Fires and the RFDS

It’s 4:35am and I am sitting here hot and sticky. The temperature has been hovering around the 46c mark for the last few days and will continue for the next few days with a cool change coming in at the weekend. I was in bed at 11pm last night so I guess five hours or so in this heat is fairly good. I do not have an AC in my bedroom, only overhead fans – which I find are only really effective in moving the warm are around, not really cooling it. Still, it’s better than nothing. The Man finally crept out from under my bed at 10pm last night.  The  dry thunderstorm (no rain) sparked off a number of fires (200) in South Australia, one of which is only about 50 klm. east of the city. Water bombers have been brought over from  NSW and Victoria to assist. As the high temperatures continue the possibility for bushfires increases., but I have to say (although Chienne would not agree) the light show last night was quite spectacular.

This is not ours, but it gives you an example.
This is not ours, but it gives you an example.

I bought three Pencil Pines when I was in Adelaide, but because of the heat I have not planted them. They should be safe enough remaining in their pots under cover and well watered until I can get them out. Normally I would do it at the weekend once the cool change comes in, but this weekend I am busy with the Royal Flying Doctors and fundraising. On the subject of the RFDS, we are bringing a 10 meter simulator into town at the end of the month. It’s coming from Central Operations and we  will have it for four days, so we will make the best use of it we can. With 557 landings here in the last 12 months, I think many people would be interested to see what the inside of an RFDS aircraft looks like and what range of medical  equipment it carries. We can’t take an aircraft out of service, so the simulator is the next best thing.

There are still fires burning out of control across parts  of  South Australia as the temperature shows no signs of letting up at the moment. Some places further north have recorded  temperatures of 50c – and – would you believe – 11 incidents of  people leaving children in a car and 4 of a dog left in a car. True one of my dogs will be in a car today, but the Man will be with me and you may be certain that the AC is on at full. We will only be driving for about ten minutes – to the groomer – and a further ten minutes when I collect him.

When I was a boy I went camping, fishing and hiking in the Scottish Highlands with my Dad. After my Dad died, I went off hiking on my own and an kept up the fishing. No. 3 GF came hiking with me but we are talking about the late  1960s in Scotland, so camping was out and we stayed in B&B – separate rooms, of course and if I went in to see her, the room door had to remain open.  Even better – she liked Sinatra!! I get slightly amused with the term “relationships”because we never had “relationships” which seems to me to be a fairly modern term. You either had  Boyfriend or you had a Girlfriend – there was no relationship – or what moderns would consider a relationship. Yeah, but what about the 60s, Woodstock, Hippie Generation, Free Love and all that – yes certainly in America, possibly even to a small extent in England, but  in Presbyterian,  Conservative Scotland – I think not!?! After  herself and I were married we went back to the Highlands and the mountains for a few carefree years before the twin adventure dampeners  of mortgage and family.  After the first son was born we did spend some time in the North and my family looked after the child. When he was about four, we introduced him to Loch Earn. We even took him out to Rannoch Moor for a walk. Not really knowing much about Australia I assumed that I could go for long walks and to off fishing. The bulk of Australians fish from the Jetty and that really didn’t appeal to me. The nearest river was the Murray – about 100 miles away and the nearest trout fishing was in the Australian Grampians which are cold enough for trout. I didn’t get used to the flies and still have not, but I missed my highlands so at weekend for the first year or so we were here I very selfishly took off to the upper Flinders Ranges. It wasn’t too bad walking through the SA High Country because we seemed to be out of the way of flies. I don’t think I will ever get used to them.

Sneaky, very sneaky!

about 1.5 feet to go - but I have it worried.The weather really warmed up very nicely and then, just as you were starting to welcome spring, it turned on you  and it’s raining again. Was cold yesterday and rained for a good part of the evening and into the nighttime.  The weather has stared to improve despite the drops in temperature and the rain, but at least it is no longer raining every other day. The sun has been out for the last two days and provided it stays good tomorrow I will make a start on the concrete work and start to get the area ready for her  clothes line. Once the line is up I will start work on having the area levelled out so that she can walk on it with relative safety. The badly uneven surface of the crazy paved area is too much for her.

I went across town to the Brick and Paving  supply place and had a look at bricks to  slightly change the shape of the area but the bricks hat I wanted are no longer available, so I will have to come up with another idea. I have completed the cement and he unit is now in the round. With any reasonable luck I should be able to place the clothes hoist in the  area and then it will be a simple  matter of  stringing it all together.  I have not yet decided how I will smooth the area out but I’m working on it.  am also doing the section outside my office, which I have never been happy with. So, as spring comes on and moves towards summer, there is a lot of work that I want to be done, some of which I would like finished before Christmas.

The dogs are well although the little man has started to slow down a little when I take him out for the evening walk.  carry him for a little while to give him a bit of a break. He is nearly 12 years of age now.

“Aye, aye the year’s awaking, the fire’s among the ling”

Winter is slowly loosing its grip and we are starting to have a few warm days in the north of the state. I did, however, spend a few days in the city for a funeral. The funeral was of a dear friend of ours  who helped our church look to the future when everything around us looked pretty bleak and people in Adelaide gave us three months (if we were lucky) before we would have to close the doors. That was twelve years ago and here we are, through God.s grace, still flourishing. Adelaide is a strange place and unlike the other major states, South Australia is a one city state – 77%  (1.3 Million) of the population of 1.5 million, live in and around the City of Adelaide, so Adelaide people were not really not too concerned about a small, relatively unimportant, country church. They still are not – something that was brought home to me at the funeral judging  by the remarks that were made.

Brian was one of the very few that were willing to travel the 400 klms from Adelaide to help us out. The current hierarchy are still not interested in travelling north and believe that having to come up here  once a year for a meeting is an imposition that they can do without. We have people who, regrettably,  tell you what hey think you want to hear which may not necessiraly be when you need to know. We will miss Brian and there are not many of the few left now and those of “The Old Guard” that are left are piling up the years. Brian was in his mid 80s.

With the warmer weather starting to come in I should be able to get back out and get some work done. The trial has been the back garden and the trees, which, because of the constant wind, has been a nightmare to keep tidy. I must also get the front finish off and the driveway water blasted clean. So, as the weather improves I have a lot of work ahead and  “she who must be obeyed” has decided that the inside of the house could do with a lick of paint.  I really don’t know how I ever found time to go to work.

Winter is heading off – the sooner the better.

Scanda Personal

I think winter is starting to move on and make way for spring and summer. It would really be nice if we had a summer this year. I just want some warm weather so I can get out and get on with some of the projects I have lined up-  such as the decking and replacement of the roof on the pergola, the concrete and  rebuilding of the washing area an for these I need  several days of dry weather. We have not been getting dry weather. It rained for two days this week including this morning.

I have been using a Filofax for years. I have a Samsung Galaxy S 2 but I prefer to write things down on paper with a pen. I joined  phILOFAXY and I did make some comments on there, but with the passing of time I  get the feeling that it is really not a group for me.  It’s run by some really nice people and I like some of the ideas and the web comments and I will probably continue to look at it, but I won’t comment on there anymore. However,I will continue to look at the blogs that I like and that interest me.

She who must be obeyed, has been quite ill and I have had to  take her to the hospital for teatment.  Her doctor was concerned about her so he had her put on to a Ventolin machine for about 40 minutes and it really helped her. I have spent much of this week recovering from the flu and trying to look after my good lady. She is breathing a lot easier now, but I feel she should be in the house and not go out for a little while. She wants to go to church and I feel she should not. We do have a Board meeting afterwards but we can manage. She rarely takes time for herself and she should. With the  ‘gravel’ in her voice she sort of sounds like Darth Vader on a good day. Poor thing…

Slow week.

Likes a nice bed!I have been trying to tackle the weed problem as best as I can at the moment, but with the rain we have been having, it’s not so easy. I did say the other day that they seem to just spring up overnight and the daily dose of rain is not really helping. Oddly enough our weather seems to be  somewhat European at the moment in that  much of the UK is cold and wet. For us here in South Australia we seem to have had a very ordinary summer and an early start to winter with more rain than we generally get at this time of year. But I take heart from the fact that I am not an orphan when it comes to weed problems since the grounds at the church  are starting to show an influx of weeds.

We were invited to a 60th Wedding Anniversary last night and on show was a very elaborate photograph album which contained  letters from : The Governor General,  The Prime Minister,  The State Premier, The State Governor; The Federal MP for the area, the State MP for the area and the Leader of the Federal Opposition – very impressive. And no, there was no letter from the Queen. In this day and age, this is quite an achievement, but then, they are pre-boomers so it’s really not that unusual for that generation and the generation that followed  even although the boomers sometimes get a bad name.

Because it’s cold at night I have been letting the dogs into the laundry earlier than usual. Once they bed down, that’s generally them until about 6:30 am. I give them their breakfast treat and let them out.  They are quite comfortable in their houses and their padded beds and  the houses are under the pergola out of the wind and rain. Actually, I think they are  more comfortable in their houses than in the laundry, but sleeping on a padded bed in the laundry is now a habit and by 10 pm they are generally at the door anyway. We are expecting more rain over the next few days.

Showers with a few dry spells.

Not an encouraging sight.Friday afternoon and the sun came out. It ended up being quite warm so everything has a chance to dry out – well at least here, not so for other places. We don’t do floods here – a few puddles, but no floods. Other places, particularly in New South Wales, are in serious trouble with dams  about to overflow – and it’s still raining. This is not “normal” for this area – not for late summer early Autumn By the time the sun did come out and the day cleared up it was too late to get changed and go outside. I also had a pile of work to do for herself, who was hosting a Ladies Meeting at the church on Friday evening.  We had about 75 attending the meeting, which was good. Today, Saturday, started off quite nice then started raining again although it didn’t last very long. When we start the new week on Monday I will have to wait and see if I get called in to work. If I don’t and it stays dry, I’ll  move some of the rocks and see how much of the black bark I can get into the trailer. Amazing, great chunks of the country are under water and I’m talking about gardens and trailers. I really don’t have room to plant a lot of things and  a herb garden and the shade house are just about my limit. Do I mean the place is small – no I don’t. The place is a fair size but designed as entertainment rather than “garden”. And NO, I do not intend to turn the front garden into a  vegetable garden – I have no intention of going all ‘Good Life”  :o)   The photograph is the Warragamba Dam to the west of the city of Sydney. Not good.