Lazy Spring Days.

Benji at the deserted Long Beach

I have not written for a while, mainly because I was reluctant to do so until such time as I knew what was happening with this account. Well that can be summed up in a single word – nothing. I have written twice to WordPress without reply so I have – for the time being – decided to treat my spam folder as an alternate inbox. A sort of halfway house really since posts and comments do appear for a few seconds in the inbox and then dissapear

White Sands

into the spam folder. Why is it so?? I have no idea!

A few weeks ago  Benji and I went out to the garden. It was a lovely, warm spring day – about 28c -. I put up the umberella, brought out my laptop and my Filofax and intended to do some work. I had papers to sort out and a couple of emails to write for the RFDS. Benji plonked himself down on the padded bench until it became too warm for him so he slid under the table where the tablecloth and the umbrella protected him from the sun. It

Lovely Day!

was such a lovely day and I was sorry that spring and summer could not remain as this was. It will, however get hotter as the weeks go on, so I just enjoyed the day as it was.  In the time since writing, we have been back to the Port, but, sadly, not the Arid Lands Botanic Garden, we have spent quite a few afternoons at the Wetlands and a couple of afternoons out at the lighthouse.  I found some interesting birds at the Wetlands and put a photograph on line. I thought them to be pretty birds and at another part of the walk one of these birds approached me, then Benji moved and the bird walked away. I have since found out that these very pretty white birds are Feral Geese, and (so I am told) very aggresive. They seemed harmless enough to me.  The Kiosk has been opened for an afternoon, selling coffee only and trying to get some feedback before official opening, which is the 10th. October. The above photograph of Benji was taken at what used to be a very popular beach on the way to the lighthouse. It was one of the areas we used to  take all the children to fish and play – my sister’s children and my boys. Then it was decided that the point would be just right for the Santos Liquids Processing plant so much of the area was closed off for a long while. Now it is very rarely visited and even then only by people on the way to and from the lighthouse who see the expanse of white sand from the road, or people, like me, who remember it from  ages past.

Hello. What’s your name?

At the Wetlands the birds are slowly returning and we now have two pair of Black Swans. I hope the third pair will return. I did mention the Wild

The Wild Geese

(Feral) Geese and then there is this fellow and I have no idea who he is, but I have seen him a couple of times at different parts of the  area.

I have also been doing some work in the garden. There is an area that has not been neglected but it seemed that whatever I planted there – died. I decided it must be the soil, so I dug it all out, removed it and replaced it with fresh soil toppoed by potting mis and  fertilizer. Watered it all in and planted some  flowers. They lasted for two days until the next door  87,000 cats dug them up. Kind of them, I thought.. I am not giving up and have bought new plants, posts and chicken wire. We’ll see how that does.

Looking Back – Looking Forward

New Planner/Binder
New Planner/Binder (2015/6)

For more years than I care to remember I have used ring planners. For a period I went through the Palm Pilot craze but in the end I came back to paper and ringed planners – mainly Filofax. Of course my planners did not survive the move from Scotland to South Australia being limited in what we could bring (weight) However,  like much of our things they were packed in Tea Chests and stored in my Father-in-law’s cellar. The idea was that once we were settled we have the teachests sealed and shipped out to South Australia. Sadly after we had been here a few months and were starting to settle down,  my in-laws house was broken into and most of the things from the cellar were destroyed or stolen, that also included all my photography equipment and the photograph

albums. The photographs were of no use or importance so we suspect they were dumped in the  nearest safe trash bin. Very little of the crystal and none of the silver we had been given as gifts remained. None of my  planners remained. The thing that upset us the
most was not the glass or silver or photograph equipment, but rather the photographs themselves. We have no photographs of the
boys as babies or little children other than what we have  taken in Australia. Before we left Scotland Annabell and I took the boys all over the country and took photographs of them at various places, Fort William, Loch Ness, Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle and Mons Meg, Sweetheart Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, St. Giles Cathedral, Elgin Cathedral,
scandaDornoch Cathedral and Dunblane Cathedral, Paisley Abbey and Dunfermline Abbey,  Bannockburn and Robert Bruce, Duart Castle, Loch Earn, The Rannoch Moor, Glencoe and, of course, Glasgow Cathedral and other places too numerous to mention.   Photograph of Annabell’s family and my family – all gone.

Here in Australia the Palm Pilot was the thing so I went through a Palm Pilot phase and I think I still have a couple hanging around somewhere. But I tired of that and went back to  Ring Binders again. I have been there ever since. Generally I used a Filofax and did so up until a few years ago when I  started to use  an Organizer from a Dutch company called Van der Spek. Generally I change my Organizers/Planners every two years and I have just ordered my third  Van der Spek and for the very first time ever, I have chosen something that is neither black nor brown. I have chosen a colour called  French Blue. People thought I was being silly when I asked what colour/shade French Blue is as there are so many shades of Blue. All I got in reply was “Blue” which didn’t really help.  It should be here in a few weeks and I am anxious to see what it looks

Been a long day. Need rest!
Been a long day. Need rest!

like.

This time last year I had great hopes for the coming 2016. I had lost both Chienne and The Man and there was still much sadness there but there was Benji and I looked forward to life with him.  I  suspect one day I will get out of the habit of referring to him sometimes as Chienne. There has been much sadness in 2016 but there has also been joy and I will see the year go with mixed feelings. My one shining light has been Benji – as it should be. I have lost friends this year, some fur-friends, some human friends, some who have passed and some I have just lost and they are the saddest of all. But I have also found new friends and that helps with the sadness of loss.  Again I look forward to the coming year and hope that 2017 will be a better year, but like all years there will be a mixture of joy and sadness, laughter and tears,  but we need them both, one to balance the other,  and all we can really hope for is that the joy will be more than the sadness and the laughter greater than the tears.

I have no doubt that there will be other posts between now and the end of the year, but for now, I want to say thank you to all of you for being here and for your lovely comments and conversations. I hope we can share 2017 together.

Laptops and Travelling people

John continues his holiday which is sounding more like General Patton’s March through Europe in 1944/45. Just reading his posts is tiring in itself  :o) He starts his last tour now which is a twelve day tour of Northern Europe.

I am still in Adelaide at this very moment but I leave for home in the morning.  The funeral went well, as funerals go. I was very pleased that there were more people there than had been expected. Several members of

Can't you let me sleep in peace??
Can’t you let me sleep in peace??

his family from New South Wales had come over, which was very pleasing. I had a coffee and  a biscuit then started back up the Main South Road onto the South Road Superway, which is the reconstructed new roadway, and directly to Salisbury/Elizabeth. to do some shopping for herself. I will be home for the remainder of this week and then heading out of town again, one to  fulfill  a contract and the other to come back down to Adelaide  and pick up John from Adelaide Airport. He has been sending photographs back and some of them are really quite interesting, while some really need some explanation. Someone suggested that I just stay down in Adelaide, go to the conference and then pick up John on the Monday save money on fuel. Arguably true, but the hotel bill would be a lot more than the fuel costs – and, as I have already commented, I do not stay with people

Scanda Personal Filofax
Scanda Personal Filofax

I have an AppleMac laptop, which comes to Adelaide with me, but I also have  another “laptop” that travels everywhere with me, buses, trains, car, hospital, doctors and shopping. It’s the first thing I lift when I go out and it’s the last thing I fill in at night. It’s called a Filofax and I would be lost without it. It is more important to me than any electronic device. When herself makes an appointment for either hospital or the doctor, she tells me and I  note the time and date in my Scanda and can then make  arrangements to get her there by making sure that I am free on these days. My Filofax went with me to Geelong and Drysdale and has been all around the Bellarine Peninsula. It traveled to Ballarat, Gundagia. Yaas  and Canberra. Well, yes, it has not been overseas but if I did go overseas, it would be with me. So, I am a great  believer in simple pen and paper, and whilst I – at times – rant and rave about computers, there is always my Filofax to bring sanity back to things. Unlike the  AppleMac., my Filofax is a very personal thing and stuffed full of things that are important to me – for the moment. At the end of the year, all will be removed, a new set of inserts put in and I start with a clean slate all ready for what the year might bring and if past years are anything to go by, it will end up being stuffed to the gills. However, I also record everything from my Filofax into the computer and print off so that i have a bound hard copy. Give me a date and time five years back and I will tell you where I was and what I was doing  :o)

I came back home on Wednesday and I am home until Monday Morning then I am away again for the week – coming back on Thursday and heading off to Adelaide on Friday. I come home on the Saturday afternoon, have all day Sunday at home, then head off for Adelaide on Monday morning to collect  John from Adelaide Airport. Presently  he is on his last  days of touring Northern Europe. At the moment I think he is in Prague.  On the last week in September I head out of town again for a week and that will be it for the year.   Joyful!!  I did hope

not a well girl
not a well girl

that we could get some more of that vine chopped down but it has been raining and power tools and rain do not go together. Oh well. soon – soon!!

 

Adelaide, Driving and Bushfires

Friday Adelaide:

They grow them BIG in Scotland.
They grow them BIG in Scotland.

The run down to Adelaide was quiet and uneventful. The temperature was  38c and it was hard to get out of the air – conditioned car at times  :o) I managed to get all the things I wanted done and was able to get repairs to my Filofax. It’s close to 25 years old and with TLC it should be still going in another 25 years.

Rundle Mall was  most entertaining, despite the heat. I always like the buskers in the Mall.  I had been asked to get a couple of things but in that I failed – out of stock. Of course it was crush room only – half the Mall is being dug up again so there were narrow walkways at either side of the construction areas.  The fellow in the photograph is quite real, I had to crane  my neck just to talk to him. Lots of people were taking photographs with their children standing next to him. Actually, If you really look at the hands, they don’t really match up with the size of the person, so, although I was not about to ask, the person was real enough, but I don’t think the height was. But regardless, he was walking well and it really was well done – however it’s done.

Tomorrow the temperature will be 42c and I will be driving in the hottest part of the day. By the time the meeting finishes, I do not stay for lunch, and I get on the road again, it will be well after 1pm. Of course that’s depending on several people  not talking for as long as they generally do.

Saturday -Adelaide

got bigger as I got closer.
got bigger as I got closer.

Head off to the conference this morning. It’s only 7:10 am and already there is a bit of heat in the air. As I said yesterday, I hope the “hot air” is kept to a minimum and I can get away at a reasonable time. All very good and I was on my way home by 12:40.  From Port Wakefield onward there were constant warnings about the fires off the Main Highway. I was concerned when I saw the smoke cloud from far off and knew that I was heading in that general direction.  Beyond the Tin Man there were police cars and emergency vehicles and several ambulances. We were safe, but that is the

Now out of control
Now out of control

nearest I have ever been to a bushfire. The emergency services on the car radio were informing people to be ready for evacuation and that the fire had breached the containment lines and was now out of control and the flames were now visible as it sweeps towards the National Highway.

Sunday – Home.

This is now the worst fire since Black Tuesday when the Mount Remarkable National Forest went up in flames and threatened the towns of Wilmington and Melrose  not to mention the fuel depot at Mambray Creek. Unfortunately Wilmington as well as Warnertown are both in the firing line.  The fire can now be seen from here  as it lights up the horizon on the other side of the Gulf.

Coffee Clubs and Medication…

Herself was called in to see the doctor today and will have to go back again next week. .  A few years ago she had a mammogram and they found a suspicious lump. That led  to weeks of trauma  as we went from one set of tests and biopsy  to a another and different set of tests and a biopsy. They finally came to the conclusion that it was a benign cyst – which, to say the least – was something of a relief. Well she went for another mammogram last month and they now want to see her again and that’s why we went today. However,  with the new rules there needs to be a female nurse present  and she was not available so we have to go back again next week. I know you will wonder why I keep saying “we” but herself is slightly disabled and does not drive, thus I have to take her.   More than likely that it will be the cyst showing up again and they want to check it out – at least that’s what we hope it is.

We’ve put the lounge back together again and I’ve moved out the extra chairs back to garage until next time. I generally cover them in plastic sheeting to keep  most of the dust out. Now the coffee group has moved on to a new venue for July and it will be some time before they are back here again.  However, not as long as one would imagine since a few of the ladies are in nursing homes, or  retirement villages and don’t have the facilities to be able to hold the group where they live.Actually when you think about it, it’s not so bad and supper is always interesting- some of the ladies are really good bakers.

Have completed the Agenda for the Ordinary  Meeting  and the Agenda for the Annual General Meeting. We have an Ordinary Meeting to tidy up any outstanding business before  we  hold the AGM with  the Rep.from Central Operations in Adelaide assuming the chair as all positions are declared vacant. I really don’t know how I would manage all this without my Filofax –  between that and work and medical appointments,  it helps to keep me to keep track of everything and I have it synchronised with my computer. It keeps me sane — Well we won’t go too deeply into that!  The only problem is that I have to send either to the UK or the USA (mostly USA) for refills.Well, it’s cheaper to buy the inserts from the USA and pay postage costs than it is to buy them and have them posted from Sydney.  Strange, but true…

Coffee Clubs and Medication?????  I thought coffee was medication  :o)

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…

In Sickness and in Health.

I finally manage to get three Standard Roses and over the next day or so I will get them planted. I say this because the weather, whilst still not great, has picked up a little and we seem to be having less rain. I have bot been working because I have been ill.  I managed to stay clear of colds and flu for a couple of years, but it caught up with me and I have had the runny eyes and nose as well as the cough. It has been going round the town at the moment and I guess it was really only a question of time before it knocked at my door.  I have not been the best and have generally felt sorry for myself.   However, I have done the  “right thing” and stayed away from other people whilst I have been at my sickest. I have also tried to keep well away from “herself” so she doesn’t get infected.

It’s not a particularly bad flu it just seems to be a particularly long lasting one – which is annoying. However it has been a quiet week at work, or so I am told, so I probably would not have been needed anyway, but all going well, I should be well enough to say that I am available again if required.

I bought three standard roses and I have yet to get them planted. However, I thought it best to get them whilst they were available. I would like to get them in over this weekend, if possible. If not, then certainly during the week on a day that I am not working.  The dogs have spent a lot of time indoors because of the cold and the rain. It is starting to clear a little and although we still have a fair amount of rain, it’s not the record breaking falls that we had a month or so ago.

Since I stared this post there have been a number of developments. I was quite sick for a while but I am now on the road to recovery.  My blood tests were not as good as they should have been but that is now improving. By the start of next week I should be able to call in and say that I am available again – at least I hope that’s what happens. My computer room looks like a tip and I have just taken things out and never put them away. I have heard a rumour that there is a desk around here, somewhere  :o) I was trying to do Filofax inserts using 5 paper and they didn’t turn out as I had hoped, but I’ll work on it.