Peas, Roses and Orange Blossom

Nationwide our youth unemployment is, according to a recent press release, in the region of 21%. As a nation we are on the horns of a major dilemma – actually a twin dilemma – youth unemployment and age pensions. About to be announced in the National Budget this month  is the decision to raise the pension age from 65 – 70, which will deffer the payment of pensions for five years, but will make the youth unemployment worse than it currently is. Well, yes, I have no doubt that the government will come up with all sorts of plans that their tame academics have devised to tackle the problem — More training and development – get them  ‘Job Ready”  not that there are many jobs around for them to be ‘ready’ for – but let’s not quibble over semantics.   ´South Australia is facing a generational crisis,” warned Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson. ”For young people caught up in this jobless spiral this can be a road to long term poverty and reliance on welfare.”  Raising the pension age from 65 – 70 might, in the short term, solve one problem but creates a whole lot of other problems.  As one person put it – in the event of a major fire – or indeed any fire – do you really want  someone 70+ trying to carry you out of a burning building? Do you really think a 70yo police officer is a running match for a 22 year old offender? Also the longer you keep older people in jobs the less opportunity for employment there is for younger people. We have had six years of a Socialist Government that spent money like it was going out of style. But all socialist government do likewise – borrow and spend – and to quote the late Baroness Thatcher – “The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s

Orange Blossom - Not my Photograph
Orange Blossom – Not my Photograph

money”.  Have you heard of the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain – all socialist  governments – all up to their little eyes in debt – and the UK is not all that far behind. Ireland is slowly starting to recover but it’s a long slow grind and not popular because the population have gotten used to “Let the good times roll” and if and when you threaten that – look out. That’s what’s happening here right at the moment. The Labor Party Government threw money at everything and anything and people liked it until their lies started to come home. This government wants to repair the damage but it’s having a hard time to do just that. The previous government promised billions  for programmes that we cannot afford and people still want them – even although we can’t afford to implement them.   I look at Europe and I really do wonder how much longer the European Union can continue to survive because it’s really only Germany that’s holding it together – well German money at any rate. But this is not a political thing and I don’t intend it ever to be,  so I will simply say that we are in a mess right now and it’s not going to get any better – well it will,  but later rather than sooner.

The flowers of the Desert Pea are really starting to take off now – just as they did last year, and in the same pattern  and I am more than happy to leave them alone and get on

My Sturt's Desert Pea
My Sturt’s Desert Pea

with what they want to do  :o) I am  happy about this because it’s my one of only two real success stories – the other being the Desert Rose, so it’s fair to say that I’m quite chuffed. Oddly enough the three pines I planted months age are as big now as they were when I planted them. In other words they haven’t grown an inch. I have a friend in another area who is going to get me  some cuttings from a frangipani plant, which should be nice  Out back,  the Mexican Orange Blossom is progressing well as is the Flamenco Hibiscus as well as the  new native Hibiscus, so it’s not all a dead loss. Two of the Bougainvillea have died – but I mentioned that before – but two have survived. What have also survived are the masses of weeds that the wet stuff produced.  I have a problem with them because  they just love the weed killer I  feed them with. It’s a worry  :o)

New plants, toxic plants and climbing plants

Sturt's Desert Rose
Sturt’s Desert Rose

Tuesday and I have Herself at the doctor this morning. I expect to bring her back home and let her lie down for a while.  Our appointment is at 9am, so we should be home by 10:30 and I’ll let her rest until lunch. If she is feeling up to it I may take her out for lunch.   Yesterday I  spent the day clearing the ground – covered it with fertilizer then a Blood and Bone  mix, dug all that through and watered it all in. I planted two new flowering bushes – a Lemon coloured Hibiscus and a new bush called  Mexican Orange Blossom (White flowers) AND I have fenced the area off. Unless they have mountaineering skills ( like some dogs I know)  they should be kept out of the area. Not that I am not thankful for the work in watering they have done, but  I feel this responsibility added to their extensive Guard Duties, is really too much to expect so, fencing it off is for their own good.  I feel that this is a good time to plant these things (black thumb notwithstanding) because whilst it does say  “Full Sun” I am not certain that it means South Australian Full Sun, so, now the bite has gone out of the sun and it is cooler, it might be better and give them time to get established. I have also planted Bougainvillea (Two) along the line of the fence in the hope that they might brighten up the place a bit.  I have two different colours at the moment but I may well get two more during the course of this week and provided they all survive, it should be a nice coloured wall

The doctor appointment well and I think we are clear for a couple of months. Still  waiting to see if we need to go visit the other specialist, 20131008_151606but at the moment, she is not too bad – tired but well.  She should be ok provided she does not overdo things.

Our local hardware store also sells a limited number of plants. Once upon a time we had three Garden Shops – now we have but one. I bought two Bougainvillea  at the hardware store at a cost of $9:50 each. That was the last two they had.  The two I bought yesterday at the Garden shop cost me $16:95 each. This is part of a big chain and since it’s the only place in town they can charge what they like – mainly because the nearest Garden Shop is over 100 miles away. Although— having said that –  I do know a young couple who  had a house built then took a trailer to that particular Garden Shop and filled the trailer with plants for the garden they had started to lay out. In a few weeks I will be going to Adelaide and be there for a week. On the way home I will stop off at Bunnings on Main North Road and have a look to see if I want anything in the way of plants. I’ll probably stop at the Arid Lands B.G. on the way through.  Oh, I did buy one plant the other day and I am unsure what to do with it. I liked the flowers and thought they would look nice. But I decided to look it up on Google and was horrified to learn that it is toxic to dogs, cats, horses sheep and cattle. It also gives off a perfume that  destroys other species of plants around it and encourages the spread of its seeds. It is called Lantana Camara and, I think I may have to be careful where I put it.

We had a little bit of precipitation (not using the other word – don’t want to cause upset)  this afternoon so that helped to get  things settled in – I hope.  In another section I have the trailer parked and I am  digging out the gravel from that area. It is unlikely that I will be able to plant anything there but I will put down weed matting and refresh  the area. There is also a very large area that’s covered in gravel but it’s the cheapest stuff you can get so it does not look all that nice. I will, over time clear all that away and again refresh it  with some decent gravel – granite chips perhaps.

It's a hard life
It’s a hard life

I have never had any problem feeding my associates. Well, not strictly true in that I have to have a gate between them –  one on one side of the gate – one on the other. Chienne  gets right into the food dish as soon as it is put in front of her. She raises her head only when her bowl is empty. The Man, on the other hand, herself calls O.C.D. He has a ritual he has to go through – sniff, walk away – sniff, walk around daddy’s legs, –  sniff, walk around daddy”s legs – sniff, walk away, return, eat. If I fed them together after the first walk away, Chienne would be in there and finished before he came back. Ok, so he’s weird, but I guess he fits in quite nicely. He sleeps a lot and I still carry him when we go for “walks”.

I am still undecided  about accommodation in Adelaide for the State Assembly and I’m leaning towards a hotel closer to town and about equal distance between the two places I have to go. I think that might be the place.

Coaches, Meetings and Rundle Mall

The Hibiscus that I planted the other week is doing well although I suspect the cooler weather has a lot to do with it.  Still, it’s all good and I look forward to some flowers. I was informed that the Sturt’s

Stateliner Coach
Stateliner Coach

Desert Pea has to  be replanted each year – howeffer – it seems that my plant has re-seeded itself and after cutting all the dead wood away, it’s looking pretty healthy. I hope to get another display of flowers out of that this year.  The three pines I planted out front are still very small but I hope that will develop and grow soon. They still look healthy enough. I have another bag of sand so I will probably take a run over to the Garden Center and see what I can find.—————- Goodness me ( or words to that effect) this sand has set like concrete. Very nice, it’s crushing the poor plant to death. In the morning I may have to dig it out and attempt to rescue it – if it’s not too late. That was unexpected and it worked in the video – but perhaps I missed something or perhaps it’s the wrong sand – who knows?

I have decided that I really need to go to Adelaide on Wednesday, but since I need to be back for a medical appointment for Herself on Thursday, I will go down and back by coach. Not my favourite mode of travel but needs must. We used to enjoy coach travel many years ago when Interstate Highway 1 was realigned and  practically rebuilt as the Federal Government Bi-Centenary Project,   but the coach company, in its infinite wisdom decided to desert the new highway, and  moved to the alternate Highway with all its ups and downs, twists, turns and ruts as well and going in and out of every small town on the way down – and back. So to drive down by car  takes just over four hours;  the coach takes  five and a half = leaves at 6am arrives Adelaide 11:30am. Once the 5am (now 6am) coach was the “Express Coach”  that  went directly down Highway 1, arriving in town at 10:00. There was also, once, an overnight coach that left at midnight, which was good for an early morning meeting – arrive in town, walk along North Terrace to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and have a good breakfast in the  Canteen. The return journey will get me home just after midnight. Anyway the meeting is not until 2:30pm so I will have a couple of hours to spare to hit Rundle Mall  :o) – It’s not all doom and gloom.

It is true that simple things can give pleasure. I have not been able to use my camera recently (Sony) because the battery died and I cannot get a replacement here.

Stationery Shop of Choice
Stationery Shop of Choice

In under 30 minutes in Adelaide I had a replacement battery and my camera working again. The other pleasure was giving away a large box of Lindt chocolates to                       ” Strangers”. Why?? Well last time I was in Adelaide I left my Filofax in a stationery shop – Kikki.K  ( actually I think I mentioned this) Anyway, they were kind enough to post it to me, without charge, so, when I was down this time I bought a large box of chocolates and  gave it to the staff (three) to say ” Thank You”.  I managed to cram in a few other things before heading off to the meeting, but the battery and Kikki.K were my main concerns. I took a taxi to the meeting and at the conclusion, I still had a bit of time, and, since it was a nice day,  I decided to walk to the bus terminal — OK, not perhaps the brightest idea I have come up with recently. I thought  because I take the dogs out walking every night for over an hour that walking back to the bus terminal would be no problem but what I didn’t take into consideration was that with the dogs I have no timetable – not so when I have to navigate my way through the heart of the city and be on time to book in. If you have been reading you will know that not so very long ago I caused damage to the arch of my foot, (planter  fasciitis ) which is still not fully recovered – so,  walking back to the bus station was not my best idea. However, good me – I made it in time (barely but we wont go into that)  booked in, grabbed a bottle of water from the kiosk and staggered on to the coach – which,  fortunately was almost empty (12 people),  and I was able to stretch out in a double seat, and yes, I did take my shoes off  :o)

Hospitals. Canberra and Gooseberry Bushes

ANZAC Parade Memorial, Canberra
ANZAC Parade Memorial, Canberra

Over the last week or so  things have not been so well for some of the people I receive mail from – some of the posts I follow  – and this  distresses me because  I look on you all as extended friends and I find it all the more sad where animals, dogs or cats, are concerned. I have  parted with three dogs and two of them died in my arms. The little man still gets excited about going out but he spends a good bit of the time with me carrying him and I suppose it must look strange – me walking along with two dogs, one on a leash and one in my arm.  But he likes to see what’s going around him and he does enjoy his outings.

We were at a medical appointment yesterday and did not get home until after 6pm. At one point there was talk of admitting Annabell into hospital as her blood pressure was 210/70 – well that’s what they told me. But in the end it was decided to let her come home. Poor thing was tired and  rather than start to try and make something for dinner, I got a take-away on the way home. After dinner she went to bed and has been sleeping since – well almost, I did hear her get up once during the night. Of course, I did say that 2014 was fairly reasonable thus far, and that’s true but only because I am keeping things organised and can make sense of all the appointments, but having a blood pressure of 210/70 is, to say the very least, worrying. Also receptionists calling me and changing days and times  of appointments doesn’t help  :o) But we are fine – we can manage – me, herself, the dogs and a Filofax.

ANZAC Parade from the National Memorial

She needs to rest so I am chief cook and bottle washer for the time being. Goodness, it’s perhaps as well that I actually like to cook. There are some things she cannot eat so I have to be careful but this evening I made Omelette with cheese, onions , vegetables and a small side salad, a slice of  chocolate cake and cream. I fed the dogs after the dishes were washed and put away – oh yes I am very domesticated. I suppose that’s the price of growing up in a household of females. But she is able to cope fairly well and is still cheerful and things are not quite so bad and once they get to the bottom of this and perhaps the two appointments this coming week will help to do just that.

The garden, whilst not neglected, has had little more than merely maintenance – i.e. sweeping up leaves and keeping things tidy. Although I did plant a Hibiscus in a new (to me) and unusual way.  I cut the bottom off a planter and split it down the side. I dug the hole for the Hibiscus larger than necessary and put the planter in the hole. I then  put a good  amount of propagating sand in the bottom, put in the Hibiscus and filled up the rest of the planter with the sand – then watered it in. In a few days I will remove the container and hope that the plant takes. Surrounded by the sand I think it might. And the Gooseberry Bush is pushing out shoots, so the cooler weather is good for it.

The Man sleeps a lot, which I expect is good for him. He still gets excited about going out and now is actually sending me a summons when HE thinks it’s time to go  :o) I take them out at 7:30 because the sun has started to go and the flies are a lot less. At about 7:20 he starts barking and whining and it’s as if the little character can tell the time.

Whilst herself was sleeping today I wandered through my files to find some photographs of our trip to Canberra. I would like to back there and perhaps we will if and when herself is up to the travel.