WHEN I began writing this I really didn’t know what I wanted to achieve. I joined the old My Place and wrote a blog on there for a few years. I didn’t have followers and in essence the weekly post was a way of talking to several friends who had moved away, keeping them up to date on what we were up to in town and at home. (I still sort of do this on Google+) So it was a sort of public/private letter. A few years ago MySpace changed hands and the blog feature was discontinued. I had an account with WordPress but never used it. Once MySpace closed down, I re-activated it and have been here ever since – well a year or so.
Our house, which we bought some years ago, is right on the very edge of the town. The garden was in a bit of a mess so I thought it would be an idea to write about what I’m doing in the garden. I have two dogs that I love dearly – Chienne and The Man (Angus)– and they would be included, as would comments about the family. I dismissed the notion of writing about church activities because I had this horrible feeling that all that would do for me is fill up my inbox with comments from would-be theologians. Once I started I began to look for other posts that I felt I would like and be of interest – gardens and dogs and some general interest. Some of the blogs I looked at were interesting, informative, funny and serious and I joined a few. Some people even joined me, which I thought (and still do) was great.
“Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses that you may the better judge.”
Lately, however, I am finding that some posts have become much too serious – almost taking on the dimension of a Dissertation on The Meaning of Life. My other, and perhaps the more serious concern, is that with all I have to do, one post every week, or even every couple of days – which is how many of these started – is quite acceptable – but three – or four – posts from a single site, almost one on top of the other, every single day, is too much and my inbox is just clogged up. Like everyone else they started out as a post every few days but this has changed to a post almost every few hours. So, having said all that, I may have to consider withdrawing from a number of places if only to unclog my inbox for a while. I just cannot handle nor process the volume of traffic. If any I have offended, I am sorry but my continued sanity ( which, to be honest, is not all it’s cracked up to be) demands that I make this change, and the crash gave me an opportunity to do so with the new system – which is still not fully functional as yet. I still have some bugs to iron out and get used to an “All-in-One” system.
The previous post was incorrect in that I forgot to remove the Wallabies part from the title. The Hospital part ran on (ok, so I’m long winded!!) more than I meant it to and I took the part about the Wallabies out. In essence it was that a friend who lives in Tasmania has Wallabies who are frequent visitor to her garden. Recently she noticed that one the regulars ( she named him Rufus) had been injured – probably an altercation with a car. She called the Wildlife Park who sent out two wardens. She assumed that they would tranquillise the animal and attend to his injuries. No so – under Tasmanian Law it is illegal to discharge a firearm (tranquilliser gun is a firearm) within 200 meters of any dwelling. Instead they tried to hand capture the the already stressed animal. I can think of many things I would like to do, but trying to capture a Wallaby (fully grown) by hand is most definitely not one of them :o) She sent me a number of photographs and I’m sure she wont mind if I pinch one of them.
I see Kangaroos from time to time and I keep a tight lead on the dogs. These silly things would take off after it or them And I would be unlikely to see them again. About 20 feet away from the end of the road a fence has been erected so we don’t see them as often as we used to – which is sad in one way, but in another it keeps them safe and away from any traffic since it can get busy at times when strange people think this is a through road out to the main highway some seven kilometres away. They stop at the end of the road and come back. I have redirected traffic several times when out with the dogs and pointed them in the direction where the road does go out to join up with the highway.
I think a lot of the problems we have here is that we lack imagination. Let me qualify that! When we leave Europe and come to the far flung fringes of the Southern Hemisphere, we tend to bring our ideas of gardening with us. So, we plant the flowers we are used to, we plant good old European Lawns – in essence we seem to make every attempt to recreate the kind of garden we left behind – the kind that our parents lovingly tended and we, their children, spent our youth in. So we plant our garden , watch things die and come to the conclusion that the problem is not enough water, so we water the plants and lawns with copious amounts of water morning and afternoon. However, with the drought of recent years and water restrictions the cost of continuing with this has become prohibitive. I have gotten rid of lawns and replaced it with weed matting and treated coloured pine bark (red) I have tried roses without much success and out of the dozens that I bought three are hanging on for dear life. I have planted other pants and watch them burn up and die in the sun – despite watering mulching and soil treatment that didn’t work. So, native plants it is. I have started with two Sturt’s Desert Roses and two Sturt’s Desert Peas. I have also planted four silver leaf Eremophila – two out front and two at the back. I will wait to see how these all survive before I do anything else. A neat European style garden and 40c heat just don’t go together.Not up in this little corner of the Commonwealth. And it’s only taken me 20 years to figure that out!
Oh what a joy! We had a major thunderstorm last night. It started about 1:30 am and I was up and trying to comfort a dog who believed that the sky was falling. The vet had given me medication (ACP 10 mil.) to calm her down so I gave one tablet to her. I also brought both dogs into my room so that herself would not be wakened. The little man curled up on my bed and went back to sleep. Chienna kept pacing up and down and stressing out. I really feel sorry for her and the combination of noise and pressure really gets to her. The way she stresses out and the constant panting, I am surprised she doesn’t have a heart attack. But she doesn’t want to be comforted or reassured because when we try to hold her she breaks free and continues her pacing and panting until the noise and the pressure stops- which it did around 4am but by then she had started to clam down. She settled down at the foot of my bed and we all went to sleep until my alarm went off at 6:30. I gave them their sticks, let them out and went back to bed for an hour.
The weather really warmed up very nicely and then, just as you were starting to welcome spring, it turned on you and it’s raining again. Was cold yesterday and rained for a good part of the evening and into the nighttime. The weather has stared to improve despite the drops in temperature and the rain, but at least it is no longer raining every other day. The sun has been out for the last two days and provided it stays good tomorrow I will make a start on the concrete work and start to get the area ready for her clothes line. Once the line is up I will start work on having the area levelled out so that she can walk on it with relative safety. The badly uneven surface of the crazy paved area is too much for her.
I went across town to the Brick and Paving supply place and had a look at bricks to slightly change the shape of the area but the bricks hat I wanted are no longer available, so I will have to come up with another idea. I have completed the cement and he unit is now in the round. With any reasonable luck I should be able to place the clothes hoist in the area and then it will be a simple matter of stringing it all together. I have not yet decided how I will smooth the area out but I’m working on it. am also doing the section outside my office, which I have never been happy with. So, as spring comes on and moves towards summer, there is a lot of work that I want to be done, some of which I would like finished before Christmas.
The dogs are well although the little man has started to slow down a little when I take him out for the evening walk. carry him for a little while to give him a bit of a break. He is nearly 12 years of age now.
Winter is slowly loosing its grip and we are starting to have a few warm days in the north of the state. I did, however, spend a few days in the city for a funeral. The funeral was of a dear friend of ours who helped our church look to the future when everything around us looked pretty bleak and people in Adelaide gave us three months (if we were lucky) before we would have to close the doors. That was twelve years ago and here we are, through God.s grace, still flourishing. Adelaide is a strange place and unlike the other major states, South Australia is a one city state – 77% (1.3 Million) of the population of 1.5 million, live in and around the City of Adelaide, so Adelaide people were not really not too concerned about a small, relatively unimportant, country church. They still are not – something that was brought home to me at the funeral judging by the remarks that were made.
Brian was one of the very few that were willing to travel the 400 klms from Adelaide to help us out. The current hierarchy are still not interested in travelling north and believe that having to come up here once a year for a meeting is an imposition that they can do without. We have people who, regrettably, tell you what hey think you want to hear which may not necessiraly be when you need to know. We will miss Brian and there are not many of the few left now and those of “The Old Guard” that are left are piling up the years. Brian was in his mid 80s.
With the warmer weather starting to come in I should be able to get back out and get some work done. The trial has been the back garden and the trees, which, because of the constant wind, has been a nightmare to keep tidy. I must also get the front finish off and the driveway water blasted clean. So, as the weather improves I have a lot of work ahead and “she who must be obeyed” has decided that the inside of the house could do with a lick of paint. I really don’t know how I ever found time to go to work.
Tuesday the bark was removed and it was my intention to go out and start the tidy up and levelling off. However, in the morning it was blowing a gale and in danger of creating a dust storm so I decided not to add to the problems by stirring my stuff up . I had to go out for a little while and when I came back I was horrified to see that the wind had blown open the gate. Chienna was still there but the little man, my Maltese, was gone. I secured the gate and took off in the car to drive around the area looking for him. Couldn’t find him so I came home, only to see him walking, unconcerned, up the driveway. I stopped the car on the roadway and went over and lifted him up. I was just so relieved to see him. I picked up herself from her meeting and took her to lunch – then the heavens opened up and we had a real good thunderstorm. Got back to the house and Chienna was going gaga. I had to medicate her to calm her down. The thunder terrifies her and the medication from the Vet is to relief the stress and calm her down. We find half a tablet is enough – poor thing. The thunder lasted well into the late evening.
The storm cleared and headed off to wreck havoc in Adelaide – or so the news tells us. Tomorrow is forecast to rain so I don’t know when I will get back into the garden and get things cleared up. A less than good summer and now an Autumn that seems to be headed in the same direction – cool and wet. I’m a simple person and I really don’t understand such things, but the weather institute tells us that the last two years are the coldest Australia has been in ten years – they also been the wettest, but overall we’re getting warmer. All very confusing. Interesting though that Wednesday lived up to its name ‘Wet Wednesday”
If it stays dry I should get the trailer filled this afternoon and get it ready to get off to the dump tomorrow morning – early – like opening at 8:30. I try to get in as early as possible when I am on my own because I am not really good at backing trailers. I’ll do the final measure for the edging shortly and order that for tomorrow after I clean the trailer. Should be another busy day.
Yesterday afternoon I started clearing the bark away and within an hour so so I had filled the trailer. What surprised me was the small amount of space cleared in relation to filling a 6×4 trailer. With dump fees at $15 per trailer load, this is going to be quite expensive. I am now considering the wisdom of doing the clearing myself and wonder if it will be just as cheap to get someone with a backhoe to come and do it for me. That being so, I have arranged for this to be done. So what’s the deal about the bark? Well, it’s not just bark that has fallen from trees, this is pine bark chips that have been used as a ground cover. It’s cheap, no maintenance and looks good until the weather takes its toll and leaches all the colour out of it. Then it turns black and looks really dirty. It’s not something I would consider using. In a small area it’s managable but this is in a good sized area and I think it really detracts from the house. I’ll edge the area off with treated Pine Logs and use a particular wood chip that has been treated not to lose its colour. It looks attractive and is created as a decorative feature. However at $90 per cubic metre it is not cheap. In the back section I will have the area slightly raised and plant Roses and in the centre, the bird bath. I think it will look quite good when it is finished.