Spring has Sprung..

The Wetlands towards the bridge.

Spring be here! With the warmer weather and there being no restrictions, the wetlands has become a busy wee place. There are a number of reasons for this, the weather is nice, it’s quiet and peaceful and the kiosk is very popular. The food is good, well cooked, tasty and reasonable priced. Benji likes his Ice-Cream so when it’s been warm  and we have completed our walk I have taken him to the kiosk, bought a dog portion in a  cup for him and a cone for me. I get Rum and Raisin, he gets Vanilla. We have not been around to the ducks and geese for a little while. Benji has been having a bit of a problem with his paw so I thought it best to keep him off the gravel path.  The serious gravel at the back of the Wetlands going down to where the geese are, I generally carry him over.  Irrespective of the weather, the Wetlands has become the  ïn” place at the moment and although the walking areas are  fairly quiet, the kiosk is always active – and the Ice-Cream is nice.

Yesterday  was a lovely day, hardly a breeze and 24c – really nice and yes, the Wetlands was packed. There was not a parking space to be had. I drove through drove to the foreshore and

Looking up the hill instead of down.

we spent the afternoon there. There was more seagrass than there was sand but what sand there was Benji enjoyed. We left just before schools ended for the day and were able to miss the traffic through town. Today – another nice day – the Wetlands was busy but there were spaces in the carpark so I parked there and took Benji for a walk, doing our figure of eight (8) We start off at the bridge and go around until we reach the other side of the bridge, – we cross the bridge and walk in the same direction, returning to the bridge and  completing a circuit of the area. I took a few photographs and we went home. At home I removed the disk from the camera to load

The New Jetty – still not complete yet. Should be open in a few weeks.

the photographs onto the computer and had lunch. After lunch the boy and I took off to  Hummock Hill and the Foreshore. I tried to take a photograph and could not – I had forgotten to get the disc out of the computer. I  drove up to  the Electrical Retailers and bought a new disc – I needed a spare anyway. From there we drove back to the foreshore and Hummock Hill and spent the afternoon there. It was a lovely afternoon and the place was quite busy with a good number of people around.

This week was the AGM of the  local  Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and I was asked to resume the role of Secretary- which I did. Annabell wasn’t terribly happy, but although I have had concerns I feel that the organisation and its goal is bigger than petty differences. Anyway, due to Covid  the group has not been operational for  four months so it was a fair break. Time to get back to work. Having said that, we have had three funerals in the last four weeks (the latest this afternoon). We hadn’t even started this funeral today when we were told that another of our friends had died. Sad, yes, but we wont be involved with that.

It’s only Wednesday and already I want the weekend to hurry up and get here. It’s been a very strange week – funerals aside –  and up to a point Benji has not been given as much

Spring Gazinias

attention as I would like. Sunday, sometime  after the boys had left, I ended up taking Annabell to the hospital; Monday the RFDS AGM: Tuesday, Ladies Coffee evening: tonight just

We will have Yogi back for a few days next week.

too tired to do much and Annabell wasn’t feeling the best.  The funeral today took a lot out of her. The Church Newslletter/|Magazine is due out next week. Well, that’s not going to happen! I would like it to but I am less than halfway through it. I do want our magazine to end up like the State Magazine to which very few contribute – which is very sad.

I had Annabell at hospital at 1am this morning and I have to take her back at 8:15 this morning when the two doctors are on duty. She is not a well lady and I am concerned about her. Acording to the nurse this morning she may require a whole bank of tests to determine the problem, so we will just have to look after her and support her. I need to be at church, but other than that I will cancel all my activities for this weekend – Annabell is more important.

Sands of Time..

Me in my Daddy's car
Me in my Daddy’s car
A Gazinia by my early walk
A Gazinia by my early walk

Yes it did rain and we did have some high wind but not quite as bad as was expected. However, it looks like  two good driving days to and from Adelaide this weekend. I have had to explain to people why an “Urgent Meeting” takes two weeks to organize. Firstly the rule states that seven days notice must be given and secondly people have to gather not only from across the State but also the representatives from  Queensland. The actual meeting is less than a month away but this is business that is too important to be left to that meeting therefore  this extraordinary meeting had been called. However, that’s good because it gives me a day in Adelaide to do any shopping that either I want or Annabell wants. The meetings are always on a Saturday and always at 9 am so in order to be there on time, I need to be down a day before, which gives me the day in  the city to do what I want.  People generally don’t understand that these rules and regulations were written  mainly for a European style urban organization with large gatherings of people – suited to the United States, Canada and the Eastern States of Australia. It falls apart somewhat when you have a small and scattered population such as we have in South Australia

Saturday was a glorious day and I was down at the beach as I said. The  day was organised by the director of the Whyalla Players and was a promotion for the play (Musical) Mary Poppins. People were just asked to be at the foreshore about 1pm and bring an umbrella with them. I

Umbrella people
Umbrella people

enjoyed the photo shoot but I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of people.  Yes there were enough people to make it worthwhile, but the lack of numbers saddened me, considering the  outstanding success of their last production “The Phantom of the Opera” They have been rehearsing  for about seven months now and it’s a big production with many singers. After the photo shoot, which was covered by the local paper and the area television station, I drove up Hummock Hill and took some photographs of the area, including one of part of Arrium. The State-wide blackout and the loss of power has cost Arrium dearly. The employees have taken a further 10% pay cut so it’s getting close to the bone and there is not a lot more the workforce can accommodate and still survive. The reason that this was accepted was that  it’s better to take a hit and try to manage with less, than try to manage with nothing at all.

I am just a tad frustrated in that this knee seems to be taking a lot longer to recover than I had anticipated.  It is still slightly swollen and I still have some residual pain at times and I am not the most patient of people. I am getting out and about and I will be driving to Adelaide, but I have come to accept that during my day in Rundle Mall, I think I may have to have that infernal cane with me and do my best to cope with this niggling pain.  Grrr ………

The Echocardiograph  was good and everything seems to be in order. I am told that there is a very tiny leak in one of the valves , but nothing to be concerned about. I wont be waiting in line for open heart surgery any time soon.

Two weeks after the blackout and power has finally been restored to most of industry – considering the millions lost by Arrium and the Steelmill, it’s small comfort. Even less of a comfort is the fact that not only is South Australia in decline and being run by a government that have no idea what they are doing, it wont take much more to send Whyalla into decline. The state of the economy, a government and organizations that  cannot think of anything further than Bolivar, the uncertainty of Arrium and associated industries and we have a shopping centre that was once promoted as the Largest Regional Shopping Center in South Australia – outside of Adelaide  – that is heading towards a tipping point with close to one third of the shops closed and empty. Now, comes the news that at the end of this month another large business will close its doors – more unemployment and an empty (Large) shop. The business – Radio Rentals. Unlike Dick Smith, RR is not going under, it’s just closing its store here through high rents and lack of business.

Disappointment, hospital and garden disasters

emailEmails are the strangest things. If you send a nasty message to an address you will have a reply with in the hour. If, however,  you send an email that requires a 10 second  “yes ” or “no ” response to the same address, the chances of a reply are fairly remote. Strange that!! I was waiting for an email that never came and I fear is unlikely to come now. Oh well, things happen – or in this case, don’t!  Disappointment aside, it has been a busy week visiting people in hospital and one in Palliative Care. Accident in town and elderly lady killed in a car collision. Actually as a passenger  she survived the collision but died in hospital. Car accidents and rushed to hospital are not great for an 85 year old. Don’t know if anything happened yesterday but the Royal Flying Doctor Service  flew in late at night.  There is still an air of – depression is too strong a word – but more a feeling of unease about the future.  Many people, despite the assurances in the press, don’t really trust what they are being told and although there seems to be more orders, four and a half billion dollars, is a lot to try and pay back. Also the company is up for sale and the fact that the good Arrium is be sold off first leaving the steelworks and the South Australian Mining Operations – which are the loss makers in the business – to bring up the rear and whoever thinks about buying the steelworks and the mining operations will have to consider the massive debt that goes with it. The administrator believes that the company will be on the market in July and that the steelmaker  could have a new owner by Christmas. There are interested parties – so we are told – but six months before we know anything.

For a number of reasons the back garden is not a place to wander in the dark. It is so overgrown now that I fear for my safety. I think there might be lions in there hiding in the undergrowth. Between a whole host of things I have let it become very neglected. I would show you photographs but I wont because it is so bad I am ashamed to let anyone see it. Even when I brought in the

How blue the water looks. This is the Spencer Gulf. Not my photograph
How blue the water looks. This is the Spencer Gulf.  Taken from the Hill.         Not my photograph

 

workman to give me a quote to clear it and  I explained to him what I wanted done.  Anyway he did give me a quote which I found quite reasonable, so, he is coming with his equipment to clear the  place and take everything back down to the bare earth. Once that’s done I will then decide what I want done with the area. I have plans – well ideas more than plans – but it will mean a trip to Adelaide (Bunnings) to get the things I want. Why not shop locally,  after all we have three big hardware stores here? Very simply they don’t have what I want, whereas I know Bunnings do. Ho yes they can order it but it takes ages and costs more and then they slap on a delivery charge. Much better to empty the trailer and go to Bunnings  – yes, it’s a 370 mile round trip, but worth it.

I have another funeral to prepare for but at least I have enough time to get things set up, printed and collated.  It will all have to be done on my printer again and I will have to charge for the ink – it’s too much otherwise. With any reasonable luck we should have the church photocopier repaired and returned by the end of this week. But once again almost an entire ream – 400  – printed sheets  and there was some wastage this time  – I printed some sheets in the wrong sequence –  oops. Busy few days with the workmen coming on the Tuesday and the funeral on the Wednesday.   The photograph is the Whyalla shore taken from the Lookout on the Hill. I think it was taken only a few days ago when we had some sun between the rain. I took some photographs down at the wetlands of the birds and the ducks. Haven’t sorted them out yet. Benji is having a hard time at the moment. We have not been out for a walk this morning. I will detail this in another post.