The lady is wearing her blue dress

Friday /Saturday 14th Nov.

I am in Mount Gambier, which as I said before, is about 900+klm  South-West of home. I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a five and a half  hour drive from Adelaide,

Not enough sun to show its true Blue Colour
Not enough sun to show its true Blue Colour

where I stayed overnight. My accommodaying is quite pleasant and spacious so I  am comfortable enough. In the morning I will attend to Presbytery and in the early afternoon, head back to Adelaide. I’ll stay there overnight again and head home on Sunday morning. I will have been away for four days and although John has come over each night to take Benji our walking, I have to say that I miss my dog. Goodness I’ve hardly had him five weeks and I miss being away from him already.  Herself tells me that he gets excited when John comes to take him out but most of the time  he jumps up on my bed and stays there for much of the day.

I did get to see the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier and although it was quite blue, it needs the sun to bring out the full colour and we didn’t have much sun today. For most of the year it’s just a normal water colour but from mid-November it starts to change due to

The Rook Look-Out at the Blue Lake
The Rook Look-Out at the Blue Lake

some chemical reaction. It was a volcano. There were two other smaller lakes beside this and although there are viewing platforms for them, they have mostly dried up.  By the time I come back here – probably in May – the colour will have gone. We are not due back here again until May of 2016.

Adelaide 14th/15th

The meeting finished just before noon and I did not stay for lunch but headed back to Adelaide, arriving here  shortly after 5pm. stopping only briefly at Keith for fuel. The freeway was fairly quiet, so it was a good run through to Bolivar. I called home to let herself know where I was then had a fairly good sleep. I packed up and was on the Main Highway to Port Wakefield at 5:35 and with only one stop for fuel and food I was managed to catch  the after service coffee at the church before going home with herself to get attacked by an excited dog. I think it’s fair to say he was glad to see me. It was only four days for me, but that’s a long time for a dog.

The trip, however, was great and I  enjoyed passing the wineries and vinyards and although all the major  wine producers are there, there is a fair number of smaller boutique Wineries and the next time I come through here I  am going to make a point of stopping at some of the smaller wineries and perhaps doing a bit of a stock up  :o)

Home 16th. Nov.

In the meantime my computer is playing up something chronic. I cannot get into my mail server and I don’t know how much I have lost. I cannot get into other programs so

Hello!!
Hello, again, Hello!!

although I need to finish off the  Magazine, I cannot because I can’t get into MS Publisher — so, we are doing the best we can until Wednesday when John will come over and help me set up the new computer. I’ve just about had it with this one- it’s been an on-going battle for months now and although this is not the first time I have lost mail, this time it is serious and I cannot even get into the mail server.  and it’s only my good nature (??) that stops it from having an up-close and personal with a sledge hammer. However, it’s not a total loss and after we set up the new computer I will format this one and see what we can do with it. Use it as a spare with Windows 10. At the moment I seem to have no major concerns with the Internet and internet programs, but everything else is gone haywire. At the moment I still have no mail system but we are working on that. Part of the concern is the amount of stuff I have on Outlook Express – which is no longer available.  We are having problems setting up the Windows Mail system, but as I said, we are working on that.

Trip to the South East (pt. 2)

A small part of the many  fields of vines
A small part of the many fields of vines

As for the reason for the trip — well we are in serious decline across the state,  but what you have to remember is that when they talk about “The State” what they actually mean is “Adelaide”. We here are not in decline, we have increased and are continuing to do so, but we are not in Adelaide, so it doesn’t count. If the negotiations bear fruit – as far as the leadership is concerned –   we will lose our identity. Doubtless we will be assured that this will not be the case, but when you are managed by someone who  may well have a different outlook on things, we will come off second best especially if the  “Management”has the financial clout. However, I take heart from the poem by Dylan Thomas –
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

At the moment we are not included in their plans – which are all about Adelaide –  and although it would be nice if they just quietly forgot us, that’s not likely to happen. We may had differing views on things but one thing we do agree on is that we cannot continue on the way we are.  Things have to change and I have no doubt they  will have something  festering away in their collective minds.  However, this is not going to happen overnight – but it will happen before the year’s end.

Presently it is cold here. We did have a little bit of rain but not much here. Up north we had floods, swollen creeks (usually dry) and travelers and communities stranded. Of course it was not bad for everyone because the  farmers were quite happy.  This is always our problem – the rain bands pass north of us – so we miss out – or they pass across the bottom of the Peninsula and we miss out again. Sad really. I am always  amused when people come back from a holiday in the UK and tell me they went up to Scotland. They generally remark on how fresh and green things are and I just nod.  Things tend to be sort of fresh and green looking when you get as much rain as Scotland does.

The River Murray
The River Murray

The return journey from Naracoorte was a lot more relaxing than the journey out, but isn’t that always the case? On the outward leg everything is new and unfamiliar and you have no idea of the road conditions ahead, whereas coming back you are traveling back through familiar territory and you seem to get places faster and the South Eastern Freeway looks very different coming back than it did

Tree out back and Galah's
Tree out back and Galah’s

going out. I would loved to have taken photographs but stopping on the Freeway can mean a hefty fine. I did stay for a break at Tailem Bend and then drove through to Adelaide. It was my intention to drive directly to Bunnings but by the time I got to Adelaide I was starting to feel a little weary so Bolivar it was. I did get on the road at about 6:30 the following morning and  got all the things that Annabell wanted me to get for her. I was glad to be back home and glad to see Herself and Chienne. Chi is still fairly well. Not a lot we can do but I understand the tumor is very slow growing so we will have her for a good while yet and besides she is over 14 now.

Since I came home I have had a very busy time working in the garden and several days when I have been asked to come in to work.  I have decided – after all this time – that I am not going to get anything to grow here so a touch of landscaping with river stones is in order. Clean the area, put down weed matting, concrete

IMAG0503
The Office Area

paving stones and cover the area with river stones (20mm). Tomorrow I’ll go to the hardware shop and get a bunch of  interesting and colourful artificial flowers and put a flower pot on either side of the door – brighten the place up a bit. The place has changed a little since I took that photograph and I now have coloured solar in ground lights.

Motorways and a GPS

Was at the doctor yesterday and the Warfarin is playing up and  the  doctor required that I take him for blood tests. I think it’s all that iced tea that he’s drinking. We get the results in the morning.  On  Thursday I head off back to Adelaide and should be on my way home Thursday afternoon. If I get the opportunity I would like to stop off at Bunnings and look for some additional fencing as well as a few other odds and ends. I may stay overnight ( actually I probably will) and spend some time in town before starting off for home. I have done it in the past and  I am not so keen these days to drive almost 900 klms  in a day. I have seen the day when we drove to Adelaide, went shopping and drove back in the evening, but  these days, a trip to Adelaide is an overnight stay.

I have been doing some work outside and an almost finished with the area clearing. It has been neglected for a long time, including by me. It’s not a big area but if I can regenerate it and use native plants to do it, it should be a nice  area. With Alan being here and being at a doctor or hospital every other day  – Monday, Tuesday and today –  I really don’t feel like doing anything after sitting in a doctor’s surgery or a hospital waiting room. His INR has shot up to 5.2 (should be between 1.8 – 3.0)  He will have to see his own doctor as soon as he is back in Adelaide. His carers are aware of this – I telephoned them this afternoon.

Friday:

On the way back home I stopped off at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. Not a great success. The place was busy and there was only one lady to look after the shop and the plants and the shop seemed to have taken precedence. I know next to nothing about native plants – actually I know next to nothing about plants period and my sole reason for buying things is that they look nice.  Sorry but there you are. Anyway, I really needed help between the book on local native plants I had bought (“Plant me instead”) and what was available and/or close to what I wanted. So, I thought it best to try another day and  came on home. Excellent weather on both days, although my GPS wanted to take me places I didn’t want to go – like onto a Motorway that is not completed yet – or onto a freeway that changes traffic direction depending on the time of day. I finally found a road that looked like it knew where it was going and took that. Fortunate in that it brought me to the Main South Road, which is where I did want to be. It’s a worry  :o)