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.

Advertisements

Trench, Gas and a T-Rex

Last night my son suggested that after I have done the backup (which I have) I should do the factory reset and reinstall myself. Not keen on that idea. I was reading on line – always a dangerous thing to do – of people who did just that, made a stuff-up of it and locked themselves out- then had to send the machine to Apple for repair and that was not cheap. I sometimes think that we go on line to find information and end up scaring ourselves half to death  :o)  We are fortunate in that there if a fairly large Apple Shop in Rundle Mall in Adelaide, so it’s an easy thing to hop on the coach, do what has to be done and coach back home. Well yes it does mean 10 hours on a coach ( 5 x 2) but at least you know that it has been attended by Apple Techs. Or, if I am feeling generous with myself, drive down,  get the machine attended to, book into the Sage,  spend a quiet night in Adelaide and drive home the following day. Not going to happen mainly because I am going to be in Adelaide several times in August so  I’ve waited this long I can wait a few more weeks – I think…..

Nice Trench
Nice Trench
Isn't this exciting??
Isn’t this exciting??

With regard to the weather, Adelaide is taking a bit of a battering and another storm front is moving in. We get some of the  left over rain, which is always welcome. But looking at the path of the storm front, it has gone through below us, which is about  normal for these things.  You may remember – or you may not know – but in November of last year an electrical fault was discovered underneath my driveway, which had to be part dug up. The fault was fixed but then they discovered a gas line fault and that could not be fixed. There was not a part available in Australia. They put in a temporary patch and filled it all back in, promising to come back soon as they had the part and repair the fault and re-concrete that part of my driveway. As I said, that was last November. The workman arrived today and not only did they open the trench, they extended it. They kindly came yesterday and suggested I park my car out on the roadway. Anyway there were trucks and vans and a back-hoe and men with shovels and they dug up the area. Then some other men arrived and they inspected the hole and the pipe and  dug two more holes, then extended my trench on either side and I had to go out and move the car so that they could do this. Anyway, that’s it for today and they will be back again tomorrow to carry on working.  Looking at the trench I thought it would look just right with a couple of WW1 Soldiers sitting in it. I know, I have a very warped sense of humour!!

Benji's T-Rex.
Benji’s T-Rex.

Took Annabell shopping and as we entered the supermarket she met a friend and chatted. I wandered off. When I came back, she looked and shook her head. Well, what can I tell you – it’s a nice Dinosaur and I know BJ will just lurve it.  (He does!) Then she wanted to know if he has enough toys already and I thought, you can never have too many toys. Feel free to disagree.

The work on the trench continues and the gas to the house has been disconnected for the moment. I can make myself as much tea and coffee as I wish, but I can’t cook anything since we have a gas cooker. By the time Annabell comes home ( I go and collect her) from her ladies Coffee Morning, it might even be back on again, although after talking to the gas fitter, it might be off for most of the day – do the repairs, test it, then turn the gas back on. Anyway, if I get peckish there is always the Microwave.

Wednesday evening:   The new gas pipe has been installed and the repairs completed – howeffer…. the trench  – nice though it is – will not be filled in until sometime tomorrow. Then we will have another wait until they finally get around to doing the concrete – in the fullness of time… Although, having said that, they could actually surprise me.

Blue Lake, Padlocks and Bridges of Paris

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but if I did, I apologise. Some weeks ago it was discovered that there was a serious electrical fault in this area so  teams were brought in to examine

The driveway thus far.
The driveway thus far.

the pipes – mostly by a  sort of x-ray machine. After several hours it was discovered that the fault was right underneath my driveway. I gave permission for it to be dug up and the following morning I moved the car out to the roadway and the bottom part of the drive was dug up. They started with only a part of the drive then since that was not the area, moved to the whole length of the drive.  They

found the fault and set about repairing it — However– in digging up the area to repair an electrical fault and replace a cable, it was discovered that there was a gas fault, so  SA Gas was called in, and after trying to get the part needed anywhere in Australia it was decided to put on a temporary patch until they could source the part from somewhere. The trench was backfilled and heavy crusher  dust – a sort of very fine gravel – was pounded in and that was that. It has now been over a month  since this was done and still no replacement part and from what the supervisor was telling me that even if the part arrives it may not be enough because a whole section of  pipe is suspect all along the front of the house, so that may have to be dug up. If not now – in the not too distant future. This means that for the time being I can’t do a lot of work at the front of the house because I don’t know what is to happen there or when they might decide to replace the pipe.

Padlocks and the Blue Lake
Padlocks and the Blue Lake

The weather has been a lot cooler these last couple of days. It did reach  42c at one point but it did come down with a cool, overnight change. I think it will be fairly reasonable when I  drive to Adelaide on Tuesday. This will be the last meeting of the West Terrace Committee for the year and since other things are sort of up in the air, no more  travelling until February.

Some may remember the story of the bridge in Paris that lovers bolted padlocks to and how the massive number of steel padlocks was compromising the structure that they had to be removed, much to the consternation of the lovers. Anyway, a similar event took place in London and now it seems people are doing this in any tourist area that has a metal structure close  and, it would seem Mount Gambier is not immune. I did notice that the viewing platform, which has an open steel and timber guardrail has attracted padlocks.

I liked Mount Gambier and from what I saw of it, the place has a vibrancy that seems to be missing here. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it seemed  exciting and interesting as if something was about to happen. Also I couldn’t help but notice how clean and fresh the place looked. And of course the drive through the area called the Limestone Coast and the  vineyards on either side of the roadway, the forests and the rolling pastures and then the Wineries, it was all a very pleasant experience. I  really must  take time out to get some photographs next trip there in May.

 

The Man is still with us. My condition ???

Out in the bush
Out in the bush

It’s been about ten days since the Man had that serious episode and two vet visits, a slight increase in medication and he is still with us – I am most thankful to say. Yet I have to confess that at times it is like being of a merry-go-round ( Carousel) with alternative highs and lows. I have been told that it is only a matter of time and not too much of that. He seems to want to stay where he is for the moment, hence his continual fighting back to where he wants to be. He is blind – but you know this – he is very unsteady, he spends most of the day sleeping. I hand feed him in the morning and I hand feed him again at night. He likes the safety of his playpen.  The continual Highs and Lows can be exhausting and quite tiring He will leave us when he is ready to go and not before – soon, but not today.

I go and see the Cardiologist next week and get the results of all this battery of tests that I have been put through. However, I also have to say that I have been twice to Adelaide

This is Izzy on the driveway
This is Izzy on the driveway

and will go back down again four days after the Cardiologist visit but at least that will be the last visit until the end of May and after that the next visit is not until mid August. I have cut down my traveling quite dramatically. Assuming an “all clear” from the Cardiologist, I have started work in the garden. I cleaned up the driveway and the carport and I really do think it needs to be redone. The concrete is still very good but the  driveway painting job is starting to show its age. Oh yes, it’s a special paint that will last for decades and I have tried to clean it with a high pressure  hose but it’s too old and too faded now, so I think it needs to be redone – different pattern and different colour. In the photograph with Izzy the pattern looks ok but it gets dirty very quickly so I really would like to have it changed. However, it’s not high on the agenda for the time being.

I go see the Cardiologist this afternoon. I feel  in excellent health so I do not foresee any problems – all merely a precaution.  We took the Man to the Vet again and a slight increase in his medication – half tablet in the morning half at night. He still gets trapped in corners and he still bumps into things. Actually we were thinking it would be great if we could get a miniature crash helmet for his head  :o)   He’s still with us and he still sleeps  a lot but he seems to be fine although  we had to  create a new service – MRS to replace DRS when  DRS is not available.   DRS = Daddy Rescue Service / MRS should be self-explanatory – although this service does have limitations.

I am looking forward to going down to Adelaide and staying overnight. I have a meeting in the afternoon and could be home very late at night, but I have never been to the Fringe Festival and the Garden of Unearthly Delights so I am going to take the opportunity of going there before it closes for another year.

You know, things is serious when you come to the frightening conclusion that your sick, demented, blind, arthritic dog is in better condition than you are!  The reports from the cardiologist was not all that crash hot – in fact it was pretty awful. My heart is only operating at 52% – which is not good. We managed to get at appointment at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Hospital, Heart Clinic in Adelaide for next Thursday,  so,  after the meeting, the Fringe on Wednesday ( I am determined to go there) and rest at the hotel, I spend all day Thursday at St. Andrew’s. Back to the hotel and then come home on Friday. In April, or perhaps earlier, the hospital will move me into HDU ( ICU) and perform Cardioinversion- which means banging my heart with electricity to shock it back into a correct Rhythm. That may solve the immediate problem but not, as far as I am aware, the long term problem – but what would I know??

 

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.