The drive to Adelaide was uneventful. The temperature was about 35c, but I did leave at 7am so I avoided much of the heat. I arrived in Adelaide at 11;10am – from Adelaide out to where Alan is took me
– via the South Road – from 11:10 – 12;27, which is when I parked the car. I had spoken to him fairly regularly – every few days – but I was unprepared on how frail he had become. Having spent some time with him, I had a much better understanding of why the Medical staff were against him being in a car, without oxygen, in a 44c heat for nearly six hours. Anyway, I did spend some time with him chatting with him and bringing him up to date on herself and the boys, Trish and the girls (Trish is Andrew’s Partner and the girls are hers). He spends nearly all of his day in a chair, hooked up to the oxygen and watching television – which means, the conversation was fairly one sided. I wanted to get back into town and spend some time there, so I only stayed for about an hour or so. I should be going back down in early February so I’ll try and take a run out to see him again. Certainly it’s a lovely place – I mean it REALLY is a lovely place and the staff are very helpful, but that being said – it is still a Nursing Home and he wont be coming out of there until …….
Making my way back into town I stopped off at the Garden Center and bought some new plants. I bought three new pencil pines for out the front and two new hibiscus for the back to compliment the native hibiscus. The colours should should provide a good contrast. I did some shopping in town and went into the Optus Shop and upgraded herself’s phone. Apart from other things, it was a long day but still not over yet. I made my way to the hotel, settled in and parked the car. I walked up to the main road and caught a bus into town and walked to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) – a fair distance. Considering I have been suffering from a condition called “Plantar Fasciitis” it was not a very pleasant walk. A friend of one of the elderly ladies in the church had an accident and was flown to Adelaide. I said I would go visit her when I was in Adelaide. I arrived at the RAH and asked where the lady was only to find that she has been flown back to the local hospital the previous afternoon. I was not really overjoyed at the walk back to the bus stop. I am glad that she is back home ( well, sort of) so she can have visitors. That was good – the walk back to the bus stop was not. It was a hot sticky night so thank goodness for air
conditioners. How did I cause the damage to my foot – well I saw some jobs that needed to be done and went out to do them – “Wont take long ” I thought. That being so I didn’t bother to put on work shoes but spent the day climbing up and down ladders wearing sandals. Ok so it took longer than I anticipated, and whilst this may not be the exact cause, it certainly didn’t help. And if there is anyone who feels the urge to berate me for not wearing the correct footwear for the job, please don’t – my doctor has done it for you :o)
This week in South Australia is one of extreme heat. It starts today with a temperature of 39c – 42c Tuesday – 44c Wednesday – 43 Thursday – 44 Friday and then a cool change late Friday afternoon. Saturday we drop down to the high 20c/ low 30c. The Emergency Services and the hospitals are on stand-by as the sun bites and humour takes a back seat. There is a total fire ban across the State. One person asked me today what I was going to do to keep cool and I said that I would probably curl up with the dogs on the ceramic tiles in the laundry. I don’t think it registered…
Thousands of Firefighters are being placed on standby as the temperature soars to 44c and above. To add to the problem, we have a North Wind, which is helping to dry everything out. We are not, officially, in a heatwave – yet. A heatwave is defined as five consecutive days when the temperature is above 35c. So, if you have, 36,36,42.35,31 – then it’s not a heatwave and if the 6th day soars to 44c., then that’s the start of another five day cycle. What you have to remember is that 44c is the “Official” temperature. It is not ground temperature and it is not what the sun is beating down on your wee head. The official temperature is taken in a shaded area not in the direct heat of the sun – like your head. The dogs are sleeping inside and I have renewed the bowl of water I have at the end of the drive. In weather like this – when I am home_ I change the water every couple hours to stop it getting hot. This is for dogs, or indeed, any thirsty animal to drink from. The birdbath has a slight leak and needs to be replaced/ repaired. It has been empty and I was intending to do the repairs soon – however, I have filled that with water also at least the birds can cool down, if needed. The Weather Bureau has warned that we are on track for temperatures above 40c for the next seven days. All the more reason why anyone with a lick of sense should have at least 6 litres of water in the boot (trunk) (for the radiator) and enough water for drinking. Today was 41c, and tomorrow will be 46c – official temperatures so I expect the dogs will be inside all of tomorrow. Actually, unless I have to go out I think I will be inside for most of tomorrow.
The State of South Australia covers some 983,482 sq.klm. It’s bigger than Texas but with a total population only marginally greater than Phoenix, I suppose we do have a lot of environment. To the west of me – the town of Cowell some 115 klms away -the photograph is in the general direction of Cowell and there is nothing in between except the general assortment of Australian wildlife. Like many places in the USA South Australia punishes people who do not take the environment seriously – they die in the harsh, hot conditions of outback SA. There was three travellers died only a few weeks ago when the car they were driving in broke down and they decided that it was only twenty miles to the nearest settlement, so they could walk there for help in a 45c temperature. They became lost and didn’t make it and their bodies were recovered only after a massive police and ranger search. If you treat it with disrespect and are unprepared for the worst that could happen, the far north of South Australia can be very unforgiving. Even driving between here and Adelaide, I carry 2 x 3 litre water containers in the boot (trunk) and I always have drinking water with me in the car. When I take the dogs out during the summer months – in the morning before the heat and in the evening when it’s little cooler,, I generally have a small backpack with a bottle of water and a bowl.
The South Australian Dog Rescue ended the year fairly well and 400 dogs have been saved from the pound and have gone to new furever homes. I have been involved in ten of those, which I have taken from here the 400 klms to the State Capital and their new owners. I hope to be heading that way sometime next week, once this heatwave breaks. At the moment it is 35c but this is expected to rise and to mid 40+c over the next few days and into the start of next week with a cool change coming mid-week.
In the garden it has generally been a tidy up and keep up the watering to what plants have survived the heat of the other week. I have not been able to replace them because it is New Year and most places are closed until today, so I will probably get over to the Garden shop during the course of the day and have a look at what I think might survive. As I said before I have doubts about labels that say “Full Sun”