Home and Away

Taken by my son last year
Taken by my son last year

France,  and Paris in particular, are recovering from the recent atrocities inflicted on that beautiful city and people are returning to normal life and revisiting the places they once felt safe in. One restaurant owner said that all traces of the  damage had been erased and the place repainted and customers, albeit slowly, are coming back. My son  spent last year touring Europe from Vienna to Casablanca spending the longest time of his tour  in Paris. He greatly enjoyed wandering the

The Tomb of Napoleon ( son's Photograph)
The Tomb of Napoleon ( son’s photograph)

streets of Paris, paying his respects to the  Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe and then paying My respects to the Emperor Napoleon. John  liked Paris a lot and was greatly saddened by the damage inflicted on her. Oddly enough , and I apologise to any Italians, he didn’t like Rome at all. Some of the photographs in parts of Europe that I use were sent to me by my son

Been a tad on the warm side this week with temperatures hoovering around 40c. Cooler today – only 38c – but a day of extreme fire danger since high winds and possibly dry lightening strikes are forecast. However, I think there is a cool change forecast for late Monday or early Tuesday.

Our Moderator and his wife visited us yesterday (Sunday) conducted the Service and joined us for Christmas Lunch afterwards. We had been criticized by some  for the money we spent on the installation of two reverse-cycle air-conditioners, but at 41c, there was not a single adverse comment in sight – a very pleasant lunch in a pleasantly cool hall. Of course, safe to say that the majority voted in favour of the  air-conditioners, but the dissenters were very vocal, however,  fact is that without these air-conditioners  the hall would have been much too hot and uncomfortable to spend any length of time in, let alone have the whole of the congregation sit down to lunch.

The expected cool change came in a little earlier than expected and there was widespread lightening strikes across the State – we even had some rain. However, we were not too bad but parts of the lower state are without power and will be for some days. We have our own power station here – Northern Areas Power Station ( NAPS) – but this is a coal fired station which is coming off line

Hello..
Hello..

during 2016. From then on we will be part of the main system and whatever power failures they get, we will probably get too.

The good aspect to all of this is that Benji never missed a beat. The noise of the thunder and the rain – such as it was – didn’t seem to bother him in the least. It didn’t last long at all.  Herself always felt really sorry for Chienne because the noise so severely affected her and there was not a lot we could do other than the Vet

Chienne and The Man
Chienne and The Man

medication to try and calm her down. We did buy her a Thundershirt, but it didn’t work for her. It’s cleaned and packed away since Benji has no need of it. I have also been trying to give away one of the dog houses but no one seems to want it and BJ has no need of two. Actually we did have three but I dismantled one and stored it in the garage – will probably do the same with the other one.

Annabell and Benji get along well, so much so that at lunch she becomes his BFF – I get ignored because he really doesn’t like my diet  food – I guess he figures he’s a dog not a rabbit.  Benji is still not registered yet. I have written to the Canine Animal Register in Victoria and they still have not sent me his Registration and Microchip papers yet. It is now ten days since they informed me that the papers would go into the post that very day, and I  believe that either this was a falsehood or there has been a mail holdup by highwaymen on the Cobb & Co Stagecoach ( Australian Wells Fargo)  because using a stagecoach is the only way a letter could take ten days to come from Melbourne. Why don’t I register him here anyway?? I cannot because his microchip  still lists his previous owner and if anything happened here and he  went wandering I would have difficulty  getting him back because he would be shipped off to Victoria and I have no proof that he is my dog, so I need these papers.

Benji, Trees and Firefox

How can that be comfortable?
How can that be comfortable?

Sunday; and for the first time since  we adopted Benji, we had a family dinner. This meant that for the first time the two girls were here with Andrew, Trish and, of course, John. I was a bit concerned about how Benji would react to the girls and how the girls would take to Benji. As it happened,  my concerns were ill-founded and  everything went smoothly with the girls and the dog taking to each other quite well. Overall it’s been a very quiet week and not a lot has happened really. I worked at two fundraising ventures for the RFDS, with a third one this weekend. Herself has been busy writing letters to all the other churches and inviting them to the 36th Anniversary Service of the Women’s Association. I have also found ( well I knew, really) that,  since my  unexpected stay in hospital at Christmas, some of the temporary restrictions, plus all the medication, I have put on weight. This I am unhappy with, so back to my diet again and get rid of the extra kilos. Once we get into spring and  the winds start to abate  I should like to get back out on my bike – and yes, before you ask, I am very much a fair weather biker. There is a dedicated Bike Track down at the Wetlands but it’s like everywhere else here in spring and summer, the flies  become a nuisance. I sometimes  find that rather than deter the flies, the personal fly-spray seems to attract them.

Haven’t  done much outside other than never-ending sweeping. I have an Australian White Cedar which has to be – more than gum trees –  the messiest tree in

White Cedar problems
White Cedar problems

Australia. I have spent days on end sweeping up  the mess from the Cedar and can well understand why the council had them removed many years ago. Pity they replaced them with  gum trees. These berries, or whatever they call them, come down in the tens of thousands and clog up everything and cost the council a fortune to clean up the mess and unclog drains.  The other problem is that everything about them is toxic – the berries and the leaves. This gentleman in the photograph, in Adelaide –  has a problem with the White Cedar in the front of his house and the fact that the berries are all over his garden and he has two young children. Many councils are undertaking programs to have the White Cedars removed. The photograph is from the newspaper and I thought it best to block out faces. I need to get a quote for the  trimming back of the one I have, which in the last year has just about doubled in size. Other than sweeping, I have  had words with herself about just where she wants the washing line. I think she wants it moved back  to where it was. Certainly the  crazy area is closer to the door but it is now over hanged by the Ceder – tree – branches – birds – washing – thus it has to be moved. In the short time that I laid down the weed matting and  placed in the stones, the place was covered in “Berries”.  Fortunately I have a blower that is  powerful enough to move them but not so powerful that it moves the stones. Herself could not believe the amount of “Berries ” cleared in a a few hours, so I can well understand the Adelaide Father’s concern for his children. For me, well Cedars of Lebanon I could live with, Cedars of Australia, not so much.

 wetlands
wetlands

This last week has been a week of on-going frustrations with the computer and more than ever I realise the truth of the  saying  “To err is human, but to really stuff up takes a computer”. It’s been a week that saw my  Mail Server crashing ( Outlook Express) the crashing of Firefox, which  meant a delete and then a fresh install, and just general frustration. I gave up banging my head on the desk, put the  lead on the dog and we went for a drive to the wetlands to watch the swans.  That  did help and I came back, fixed the computer and got back to work.