Wetlands: Benji: Closed Church

Flinders Innovations Clinic

The modern way of thinking is that if something can be corrected or cured without the need to resort to major surgery, then that is what will happen. The major surgery then becomes a “fall-back:” option.  This is what Annabell is going through.  The Innovations Centre occupies a fairly new and large area in the Flinders Medical Centre..  It also,  has a very nice and well stocked cafeteria. When Annabell goes for her consultation and exam, I  go down there and wait for her. I let them know where I am and they bring her down to me Then we head back to the Lodge.

As you may know Benji was attacked by a large dog and required medical (Vet) attention.

Not  very long after that he jumped down from a chair and landed badly. We thought it was just a sprain because he was still walking and seemed to be in no pain. We expected that the sometimes limp would be gone in a short while. It was not, so an examination by the Vet showed that he had torn a ligament. I had to take Annabell to Adelaide and Flinders so Benji’s surgery was delayed. It was a couple of

weeks.  When we returned from Flinders I had some things to do with Annabell, so it was after that he underwent the surgery. With only a short break he has been in the stroller since after Easter, I have had him out a few times and walked with him, and when he has tired, lifted him and put him back in the stroller. However, he has been getting stronger and today was a great day.

It started off not too good. I was up and dressed as normal but he refused to move. No amount of cajoling would encourage him to move.. So I just went back to working on the computer and downloading the new Covid-19 Plan for the church and working through the implications of that.  I decided that I wanted to go for a walk,  so I got ready and I had no sooner reached the door than he was at my side. I thought “Oh now you want to go out” Anyway, out we went = harness on,  no stroller – and we walked a total of 2.17 miles and he was fine. I kept thinking that we would turn back any second now – any second now – but he kept on going and by the time we finished at home, we had covered 2.17 miles. and he never flinched. I was very impressed. Love my rascal so much. Between the two of them, Benji and Annabell,  I have been fairly busy since Easter.

Our borders remain closed to the other mainland states. Thus far South Australia has stayed clear of the new wave in

The Wetlands Island

NSW and Victoria. The church has been closed this week and I have the feeling that it will be closed until this outbreak in Victoria and NSW is contained. We have told the congregation ( by telephone) that we will let them know by Wednesday what is happening. However, with New South Wales recording 100 cases a day it is unlikely that there will be much change in restrictions for at least two weeks..

After yesterday I thought I would give the Wetlands a try and I drove  there  with Benji this morning  and I did not take the stroller.  We generally do two full rounds of the Wetlands but this morning with Benji walking and the rest of the AM gang delighted to see him walking, I cut it down to one and a half turns which was a total of 1.68 miles – which, to say the least, is impressive.  Not for me – but for Benji.!! He has really done well these last few days, so I think we can “retire” the stroller for a while.

I seriously dislike Blocks!

Seems about right.

I had already completed a post with over 800 words and several pictures but a malfunction in WordPress – or me – lost everything. It had gone back to blocks and I tried to get it and load again in Classic and lost everything. I  have no idea if this will survive. Anyway –  What I do remember from the lost post is that I  did recall on seeing an item in the news about a unit that is similar to a pacemaker only this unit is for the brain. Once activated it send signals to the brain and can reduce the trembling of hands as well as other aspects that are associated with Parkinson’s Disease. There was a demonstration on the news  and once activated the difference in the man’s hands and in his overall demeanor  was incredible. The reason I mentioned this was not really to highlight a breakthrough in Parkinson’s  but the fact that the Medical Scientists are looking further and feel with further investigation and development it could  be used to control and contain the effects of epilepsy. That would be some breakthrough.

Apart from a  few days here and there, we didn’t have much of a summer. However, this early weeks in Autumn  have been glorious, mild to warm and sunny – warm and sunny during the day, still warm in the early evening and cool to cold at night and in the morning. Yesterday Benji and I  went for a drive in the car out to Fitzgerald Bay and the Shingle Ridge, from there to the Lighthouse. From there we drove to the Foreshore – which was busy so we went to the Wetlands and had a good walk there. This was followed by Ice Cream , Vanilla for him and Almond for me ( but don’t tell  Annabell)

During the week  I attended a Memorial Service at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Brian, a member of St. Mark’s, was also a good friend to us when we needed help. He died last year but because of Covid-19  nothing could take place.  As of Midnight Tuesday  most of the restrictions in South Australia were lifted and, with some assistance, I have put all the pews back to their positions and removed the seating tags.

Had a telephone call from Flinders yesterday and  the reports from our last visit and not great but not bad. The cancer is still there but not moved nor enlarged. However, we will go back down to Adelaide in about six weeks and spend a few days there,   There will be an investigation of what is happening and  day surgery to replace the units. They will be left in place for six weeks and  if there is no progress  then they will consider chemotherapy.

The weather since the beginning of Autumn has been great – this is the weather that we should have had over summer. Yes we had a couple of heatwaves that lasted a few days each time, but other than that it was not all that great. This weather coupled with the Easter Holidays has people swarming to the beaches and

Part of the Shingle Ridge from the roadway.
The Lighthouse – again.

holiday spots. After church today (Friday) I made sure Annabell was ok then took Benji for a drive in the car. We had a great time and went to Fitzgerald Bay, the Shingle Ridge, the Lighthouse and back to  the Wetlands ( no ice cream) – a pretty busy afternoon and since we went much further along the coast road, this time, slightly different from last time. I drove to the end of the bitumen and  went on the gravel until I was able to turn around and head back. When I go out I always make sure I have my  phone with me. When the hands free speaker tells me I am “disconnected” I will turn back and get my phone. It does this about 100 yards away from the house and out of range. If Annabell were to call me I am only about 40 minutes away from home and can soon be back.

Saltire, Birds and strange “gifts”

I came across this yesterday. Do you think the someone is trying to tell me something?

I took Max home on Thursday morning after special arrangements were made. I did say that we used the garage and I did not come into contact with anyone in the process. Of course we talked over a distance. I have to admit that I kind of miss him although, to be fair, Benji does not. Friday morning, nice day and Benji and I went out on our morning walk. First time in four weeks we have done so. In was good to be able to get out and be able to walk at a reasonable pace.. In the past weeks with, rain, sun, heat, cold, rain, rain and then sun again, the weeds at the church have grown something shocking. Thankfully the gardener, who has been kept very busy, will be with us this morning. I’ll go down presently and open the gates for him to get in.   The weeding will cover two days. Today he will spray weed killer on the area. In a day or so he will come back and check and  clear up.

Strange thing happened the other day. I took Benji to the wetlands and had a good walk – also  photographed the Black Swans and their young. Got back to the car and headed for home.  On the main road I noticed something red on the windscreen, I thought it was just the Remembrance Day Poppy that I keep there, but that’s on the inside not the outside of the windscreen so no idea what it was.

The Cockatoo at the Ada Ryan Aviary

Since it was not obstructing my view I didn’t bother with it until I got home. When I examined it I found that some unknown person had placed a large Kabana  (Polish Sausage) under the windscreen wiper. I took it inside and discussed the issue with Annabell – where and when I discovered it. We believed that it was meant for Benji but  with no indication from where and from whom it came, the safest course of action was simply to dump it in the bin – which we did. We also discovered that  the package had been slightly opened so that was a concern. It had to have been done at the Wetlands, not here since Benji would have been barking and I would have investigated. Anyway, it’s done now.

We had a telephone call from Jim yesterday and we will not be having Yogi to look after. Jim is still going to Western Australia but he is now going for three months and he will be taking Yogi with him. Actually I am  glad about that. Yogi is old, has medical problems, is deaf and partly blind. I hope to be proved wrong, but I don’t think Yogi will be with us for very much longer and I would hate for that to happen whilst he is in my care. Selfish – perhaps – but I have enough to do worrying about Annabell without also worrying about a visitor dog.  However, in March, after the Flinders Medical visit, we will have Dougal staying with us for 10 days. Dougal is a very lively Maltese Terrorist and we can go out on walks as normal.

The Black Swans at the Wetlands

In the morning I head off to Adelaide  for two days. This should be the AGM but with covid restrictions still in  place and some people still using Video Conferencing – particularly those from the South East –  it was decided to postpone the AGM until May when we hope all the restrictions will be lifted. At the moment we are meeting in two places, the south East people meeting in one location and the Adelaide and the North people meeting in another location, with the intention to re-join  sometime in the future..  Although in my view I don’t think it will make a difference in the long run. We were two separate bodies before and I think that’s the way we are heading again –   as the hymn says ” In this world of darkness, so we must shine, you in your small corner and I in mine”.  Our weather is now heading in the general direction of 45c. That’s ok just as long as we do not have a North Wind – like last week. At the moment it’s  37c with not a breath of wind. That’s  fairly tolerable.


Hospital, Fires and Dog Problems.

Benji and Max walking – before the heatwave,

Friends, Jennifer and Milan,  have left to go to Western Australia (Perth)  Because of the covid-19 and border restrictions, they have not seen their children and grandchildren since Christmas 2019. They asked  me if we would look after Max – the Pug –  for a couple of weeks and I reluctantly agreed. Max is a lovely, calm and very placid dog, but last time Max was here  he and Benji did not get along too well. I was concerned for Max because all terriers can get very nasty if threatened, or think they are being threatened.  It’s only been a few days but Benji is older and wiser and the dog-door helps because Max spends much of time wandering in and out of the house and  just wandering around the back. I have been out walking with them and for the moment Max needs to stop and smell everything .That aside, they walk well together and  they are getting along fairly well. However, and here I delve into history. Many moons ago in the UK there was a Ballroom Orchestra led by a man called “Victor Silvester” –  you may remember (Galivanter) that he had a catch phrase associated to him – “slow, slow -quick, quick – slow”  Well being out with Max is like – “Slow, slow – slow, slow – slow. At night Benji and I generally go on a : Block Walk:  from the house to the end of town i.e. the end of the street. This distance takes Benji  and me about 8/ 10 minutes  about 20 mins there and back. With Max, it’s 20+ minutes just to get there- and that’s when  he’s not stopping every three feet. He is the most unflappable , placid dog you could imagine. He’s a Pug – a very overweight Pug – calm, quiet and peaceful. Sort of reminds me of me, really – except for the overweight bit!!  :o)

Annabell has not been too great this week and tiredness is only part of her problem but we are getting there. The Ultrasound should give us more information in what is happening. Annabell says it’s like being a teenager again only with the “Month” happening every few days. Poor thing!  The Ladies Coffee Group starts back tomorrow (Tuesday) so  she is quite looking forward to that.  I have to remember to remove the dog seat cover tomorrow since I will be picking up two other ladies. I’ll give the car a clean out and a spray so it will be nice and fresh for the ladies.

With South Australia in the midst of a heatwave (37 – 43C) the dogs and I are out only in the morning (05:40) and even then it’s only for a short walk, Yesterday the temperature was 38c and today it is expected to be around 42c and the same again tomorrow. The fire ban across the State came into effect at midnight last night. We have one large fire in Tasmania – contained but not

And it’s gone 8:30 already

controlled – and we had a fire at Salisbury. The Salisbury fire was believed to have been the work of an arsonist. Never mind, a severe look and a talking to by a Magistrate together with a good suspended sentence should sort things out – just like it did during the fire season last year. The favoured word by magistrates in South Australia is “naughty “, a term most  people would not use in reference to a 18/19 year old male. Well, a week of heat and back to  low to mid 20c for the next six days.

Annabell’s tests at the hospital here were  completed without any problem,  so that’s good. The results will be sent to  the  Clinic at Flinders Medical. At the moment  she is taking things fairly easy. My frustration is that I cannot go anywhere – no – not because of Annabell  – but because of having Max. Took a run out to the lighthouse on Sunday afternoon. Took four photographs and drove home.  I got Benji out and got his harness on, then lifted Max out.  I had foolishly left the front door open so Max moved to the door,  jumped in  plonked himself down in the seat well. and refused to move. I took a couple of photographs, got Benji back in the car and drove home, concerned about getting stopped by police and fined for having an unrestrained dog in the  car. As for other things – I have just about given up  making up the setps on my Fitbit and I don’t think I am going to get anywhere until Max goes home in two weeks.



Adelaide, Games and the Man

Glasgow of the Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow of the Commonwealth Games.

I had been telephoning Alan every couple of days to have a quick chat and see how he was. I tried to call him last week without success. This worried me a bit so I called my niece and was informed that he had had a major stroke and was moved to the  HDU at the Flinders  Medical Center. I called the Flinders a little while and was told that he is not good. I  think I might be heading to Adelaide soon. If he is still with us, I will drive down on Friday anyway and see him. I cannot get away before that because I am contracted for the week and will be out of town – not out of touch, just out of town – until Thursday afternoon. Herself cannot travel –  John is in Florence so it will be Andrew and I that will attend when necessary. He’s had such a poor time over these last few years, not being able to do anything , hooked up to oxygen and watching TV all day. He’s six hours  and over 530 klms away so getting to see him is not easy, but I have been calling him and chatting to him a couple of times each week.  On Monday night I got the call that I had been  expecting, but not quite so soon. Alan died on Monday evening. The remains wont be released until tomorrow (Thursday) and the funeral will be organized for Monday early afternoon. It will only be a small funeral for family and Monday afternoon is to give Andrew and I time to drive down. Also we have to get back on Monday night because I have to take herself to her doctor on Tuesday. I will be home all of next week then I’m out of town again, then down to Adelaide to collect John from the Airport. At the moment he is in Florence and will be heading off to Berlin and Munich next week to start a tour of Northern Europe, a cruise on the Danube and then home.

The first two days away were fairly good but today the weather closed in again and it rained for much of the day. As far as I can see, tomorrow wont be much better, but at least that’s the last day for the moment.

Hmmmm.. :o)
Hmmmm.. :o)

Thankfully, home but getting ready to head off to Adelaide for a funeral. The day and time has been changed, which rules  out Andrew. Herself has had to change her hospital appointment.  This means I will be going down on my own, and it’s at Hackham West, an hour+ out of Adelaide. Of course I have been offered a bed for the night but I am yer aktual weirdo who dislikes staying with people. Going down to Adelaide people offered me  a bed for the conferences, but I never took up any of the offers so they understood and stopped offering to put me up.

Tomorrow I head off to Adelaide for Alan’s Funeral. I believe it is going to be a quiet, private family funeral – which is probably best. I’ll  stay overnight in South Terrace, I think there’s a nice park bench there, and  travel through to the funeral on Tuesday. I have booked two nights so I’ll leave early Wednesday morning and be home just after lunch. So far the weather looks like – Monday dry and sunny – Tuesday, Wet – Wednesday, dry and sunny. If it’s a nice day on Thursday I might go over and attack some more of that vine. I can see the main roots now, so once I cut away more of the actual vine I should be able to get to the roots of the thing. That would be good and probably help.

I have not seen a lot of the Commonwealth Games and when I did turn on the TV all I did see was talking heads and repeats of repeats, so I kind of gave up. I think Australian Television works on the theory that if it’s worth showing once, it’s worth showing forty times.

The Man is  well and as soon as I get back from Adelaide we are going to order the wheels for him. I took them out the other night and I carried him most of the way. I asked about his medication and the Vet says 1 half tablet per day is enough for his weight. He sleeps a lot and when hes awake, he eats – boy does he eat, but he never seems to gain any weight. I sort of envy that  :o) Chienne is fine and doing well. She came in and slept with me a couple of times, but like the Man she prefers her own bed. John is heading to Berlin and Munich. Was not impressed with either Rome or Venice.