I agree with much of the isolation, social distancing and lockdowns but I think some places and people have gone just a tad too far – slightly OTT. Understand, I am not whining and want them all to stay in place but some things I am concerned about. Let me explain: just before all the restrictive movement and other measures came into effect, Annabell was instructed by her doctor to take her blood pressure reading twice a day ( morning and evening) over ten days and record the results. At the end of the ten days, he wanted to see the results. Annabell had told him that I had a machine that recorded Blood Pressure and heart rate. So I did this for her over the ten days. We printed it off and Annabell wrote a short report. I was to take it to the surgery and hand it in . The envelops was clearly marked for the Dr.. I arrived at the clinic only to find a locked door and a notice that I was to go to a window outside in the carpark where I would be attended to. I did this and was confronted with a window about seven feet from the ground, fly screen covered and looking down on me. I have to admit that her “what can I do for you”had a tone of “what do you want? I explained that I had a letter from Annabell that needed to go to Dr….. Her comment was “I don’t think I can accept that” I looked at her and said “Fine”and turned to walk away — “oh I have hand sanitizer and gloves on now so I suppose I can accept it” I said nothing, handed it up and walked away. I’m not impressed., really I’m not. I fully understand the need for social distancing and the need to keep our front line workers safe, but I honestly felt that this was just Over the Top, to have people standing in the carpark taking up to a flymesh covered window. I drove along there the other day and there were still people standing at the window. Today (Thursday 23rd) we are in the throes of the full treatment – Thunder, Lightening and heavy rain – I wonder if there are people standing outside at the window this morning? Okay – Okay, my whinging is over!!
The investigation into the Ruby Princess continues. The figures from the Federal Government indicate that 10.47% of all Coronavirus cases in Australia are directly related to the Ruby Princess. In South Australia the figure is higher at 21% of all cases in the state. The ship has been ordered to leave Port Kembla this afternoon and to leave Australian Waters. The really sick have been removed to hospital. —- The Ruby Princess left Port Kembla and headed out of Australian waters on Thursday afternoon. I believe she is heading to Indonesia – not sure why.
Annabell is still well. I have been the one to go out and do any shopping or anything that needs to be done. I still take Benji out in the early morning and the only people I see at that time in the morning are a few people in
cars heading off to work. These days we don’t go out every morning. Oh I get up and ready to go out, but he is reluctant to go and I don’t intend to force him. Sometimes I just sit down beside him – he puts his head on my leg and I sit and scratch his ears for a while. If we don’t go out in the morning I generally take him for a drive in the afternoon and we have a walk around the Wetlands which is also quiet.
Tomorrow is ANZAC Day and I have set up the letterbox with poppies and candles. In the morning I will go out at 5:55 and light the candles so that we “light up the Dawn” at 6am, then quietly repeat the Ode and a minute’s silence. After that I’ll take Benji for a walk ( about 6:15) . On the subject of Benji – the Photograph theme for last week was the Letter R so I submitted a photograph of Rascally Rabbits. Don’t know what I am going to do this week as the theme is the letter B. Verra difficult. The rules are that it cannot be a photograph you already have.It has to be a new photograph taken after the Friday Theme release date. I have a week to come up with something.
Last Friday I drove down to Adelaide in lovely weather. It was an excellent day for a drive and I enjoyed the journey. Well I did until I reached the crossroads of the State ( The Tin Man) and discovered that I had left my laptop bag at home – so an exciting two days ahead – no laptop, no modem and – more importantly – no diary. That’s the first time I have ever done that. I completed the task I had to do at Elizabeth, then continued on to Adelaide and met up with a young friend who is currently continuing her studies at Adelaide . We spent a few hours drinking coffee and catching up with each other’s news. I walked her back to the railway station then caught the tram to the Central Market. My son had asked me to look at some computer things for him and the computer store was halfway down Franklin Street. The walk to this store was something I had done many times before, but on this occasion it was a nightmare and I was in pain not long after I got off the tram. When I finally got to the computer place it was to find that the store was closed down and empty – which – to say the very least – was a tad annoying! Anyway, got back to Rundle Mall, rescued the car from the Car Park and drove to the hotel. Once I unloaded the car I was in no mood for anything other than getting my feet up. I did buy a small notebook so I was able to keep a note of things for my diary. I spent most of the evening propped up on the hotel bed with a good book.
The Saturday meeting didn’t last long since there was only one item on the agenda – what used to be called an “in hunc effectum” meeting before the use of outdated Latin phrases was discontinued about four years ago. Anyway, by 11:30 I was on the road home and called Annabell to let her know I was in Port Wakefield. The drive home was something else. Given the poor state of the highway, depressions, potholes, poorly repaired sections and a high wind into the bargain, it was not the relaxing drive it was the previous day. The Port Wakefield Road is part of Inter-State National Highway 1 and I believe the responsibility of the Federal Government. I arrived in Port Augusta tired. I did some shopping there, had coffee and fuel and headed out to the last 80 klms.
Since coming home the weather has been wild and windy and to round off a bad weather week, it has been raining heavily all night. There was an interesting report on the news the other night about the consequences of all this rain – things are growing like wildfire – I know that by the continual battle against the weeds that we are all having – but already the pollen count has been very high and starting to foreshadow what could be the worst hay fever season on record. I spend a small fortune on weed killer and by and large the weeds laugh at it, have a ball and invite their friends to the party.
It now be official! I went to my diet people this morning and was weighed at 82.7 kilo.Not good but a lot better that I had expected and a loss since I was last weighed a few weeks ago. I not only want to get back to where I was before the operation but to push further to about 77 kilo. I shall be happy then. Anyway this bad weather has not been “all bad”and not going out at night means that my Associate (Benji) and I had a few lazy evenings plonked on the bed, propped up watching season 6 of Downton Abbey. I had a look and season 10 of Lewis is not out on DVD yet. I have all the others.
Well, things are going from bad to worse. An American company offered to bail out Arrium to the tune of $1.4 Billion Dollars – $950 million and the remainder raised by Arrium Shareholders. The financial backers and creditors of Arrium rejected the deal and trading was halted on Arrium in the Australian Stock Market. It’s not looking good and there is now talk of the major banks and
creditors extending a $400 Million loan to Arrium to try and pay off some of its debts, but the sting in the tail is that the Banks and Creditors will appoint an Administrator. We have had politicians, senators and others here all day and there was one thousand people strong rally and march through part of the town – mainly around the CBD and the main street. And no, I was not involved in either. I was at the hospital with Annabell and later in the afternoon we had Benji at the Vet for a check-up. We don’t know about injections and I have not managed to get much information from the rescue people so what we decided is to leave him for the moment and in a few months we will give him the five-in-one injection. Overall his health is very good although I did get a bit of a slap on the wrist because he has put on weight since his first visit in November of last year. I find this difficult because he is well exercised – walks close to 60 miles a week – with me – is not overfed and does not get a lot of treats. And it’s a walk, not a casual stroll – with a few stops along the way. Anyway, I’ll have to cut down his food intake a little and get his weight down. Today (Wednesday) is not helping since it has been chucking it down for most of the night and it’s still raining.
Our major employer – Arrium Mining – has gone into Voluntary Administration with debts of over $4 Billion, $3 Billion of which is owed to the banks, over $1 Billion owed to other creditors and $500 million owed to the Staff. Things are not looking good and trading has been suspended. But what gets me is that the management have run the place into the ground, it owes money everywhere, but somehow it’s the Government’s fault. And the reason it’s suddenly the government’s fault is that the Federal Treasures and the Prime Minister didn’t visit with their cheque book and hand over a free of any interest cheque for $5 billion and bail the company and its management out right there and then. Well it probably is the government’s fault and I just don’t understand how these things work. Things are not looking so good and there is now open talk of a break-up of the group and parts being sold off. It is a very worrying time for everyone and $5 Billion is a lot to make up and in order to save the company and 8,000 jobs, the major loss making steelworks may have to be sacrificed. On the news tonight the government pleaded with Arrium management not to put the company into Administration, but the banks put pressure on the management and they caved in and appointed an approved Administrator. In these last few days I have met some of the people who were with Link Engineering and have lost their jobs. One family was the son of one of our families at church.
The new lady dog will arrive tomorrow at 8am. Sooah and her husband have to clear out the house this weekend so she is bringing me the lady tomorrow. Her name is Kongsoon, which is not too bad. The name, I found out means “Little Bean” Sooah is of the opinion that she is coming back so really we are only fostering her dog for a while – at least that’s the plan. We’ll see – I hope she is right but I have my doubts at least for the present. Well, there you are! I thought we were safe since my son didn’t work for Arrium however, he is a Systems Engineer with Logicamms and now that Arrium is in Receivership all contracts have been suspended until further notice. Arrium cannot pay the contractors until the Receiver has completed his investigation and authorities the money to be paid. Andrew is still being paid, of course, but the company now has someone sitting around doing nothing – and getting paid. This being the case, they want him to go down to Adelaide and assist with some of the projects they have down there – at least until Arrium is up and running again and authorized to pay out the cash to its contractors. However, the company have asked him to consider re-locating to Adelaide. So the Arrium crisis is having an effect on us.
I suppose all countries are strange in their own way but Australia seems to be strange in every way. South Australia is scorching, Victoria is burning, parts of New South Wales are burning, Western Australia is wet and Queensland, battered by cyclones and a couple of tornadoes is flooding, battered and bruised. At the Australia Day celebrations yesterday we were running a fundraising barbecue for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and just after 6pm, my son went home and got a pullover. I’m not silly, I already had one in my car so I just went and got that, and by 6:30 people were donning jackets and pullovers as the wind became stronger and colder and by the time the fireworks were set off (9pm) it was very cold. Despite that, it was a good and very busy day which stared at 1:30pm and finished at 8:30pm and everything we had was sold. I think somewhere around $900 will be added to the funds. Our small group has contributed $100,000 over four years whilst places like Roxby Downs in the far north contributes $100,000+ every year. Mind you, it is one of the largest mining areas in Australia and they have a much greater need of the service than we have..
My brother-in-law is back in hospital again and not very well so I will be going back down to the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide to see him. I would like to go down now but it will be chaos on the roads as this is a long weekend and school starts back on Tuesday so there will be families returning from holidays, students going back to University and school and people returning home at the end of a long weekend. Not a good time to be ravelling. Tuesday should be much quieter. On the way home I will most probably call into the big Garden Centre at Two Wells and see what’s available. I know — self-inflicted punishment – but I have this weird theory that sooner or later, something will take and my efforts will be rewarded, then I can sit back and relax and count the pigs as they fly past.
Things seem to be going from bad to worse in Queensland and the State Government have asked the Feds. to give Army assistance because the state emergency services can no longer cope. It’s not quite of the scale of two years ago, but getting pretty close. We are lucky in South Australia – we get hot and the temperature goes up and down like a yoyo at times, but really, we don’t get the extreme weather conditions coming in from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. ——–A White Poinsettia – never seen one before so I bought it.