Sunset, Meerkats and a Memorial Arch

When the world was young
When the world was young

I began writing this some years ago and in essence I wrote it for myself. Actually, that’s not really true – I started off in My Space and I was writing it as a letter for one person. My Space changed and I no longer wrote there. I came on here but it was never the same.  I never really expected to have any “followers” – I felt that that’s something interesting people have. Of course I am thankful for any comment, advice or concern, and for the lovely people I have met but I’m not exactly setting the world on fire now, am I?  But as I said, I started this mainly for myself.  These last 12 months have been something of a revelation, that this is not really going anywhere, discovering personal limits, discovering I am not invincible as well as doing everything possible to wreck my health by living out of a suitcase for

The WWI Memorial Arch - Great Ocean Road
The WWI Memorial Arch – Great Ocean Road

much of the last eighteen months.  In looking back over the last 12 months I have to ask myself what, if anything,  I have achieved.  The answer is, regretfully,  nothing. I only retain  the West Terrace  Committee and that  mainly because it’s working with a wonderful group of people. A refreshing change, which is always welcome.

This next weekend – the weekend after Australia Day –  I will be in Adelaide for three days. I have organized this to make it as stress free as possible. I drive down on the Thursday, perhaps a bit of shopping – a visit to Bunnings –  Office Works – relaxed day; quite night at the hotel, good sleep. Friday, all day session – finish about 5:20, perhaps a bit of late night shopping and a meal in town, quite night at the hotel, good sleep. Saturday, breakfast, check out, drive home – simples!! (cue in cute Meerkat here) – On the way back I’ll try and get time to stop into the Arid Lands Gardens and if I leave early enough I might get there in time for lunch — they make very nice scones!!

Bells Beach where the Australian Surf Championships are held
Bells Beach where the Australian Surf Championships are held

When I visited Alan out at Drysdale we toured the Bellarine Peninsula. I am particularly pleased with this because it was among the last things he did before he before he became confined to a hospital room on oxygen. I only mentioned to Herself the other day that I did wonder if Alan might have still been alive if he had remained in Drysdale surrounded by his friends. Difficult to say.  I was also thinking that I would like to take a trip back to Drysdale and have a quiet trip around the place and tour the Bellarine Peninsula with herself, but I don’t know if

The Big Koala: a refreshing break on a long journey
The Big Koala: a refreshing break on a long journey

she would be well enough for such a long journey. If we did go, it would have to be in small, easy stages to give her a break. But the added concern is that this is Australia and not all than many places are Dog Welcome. I know there is one in Drysdale so we would probably stay there. However, that’s all speculation and quite unlikely. It’s impossible to get her to Adelaide let alone Geelong.

Paws for a moment!

Weather bureau warns SA could experience heaviest rainfall in 30 years

The above is the headlines that appeared the other day. There was minor flooding on the first day which caused a bit of traffic chaos and forced what was to be an outdoor funeral – indoors. I did not get to the first funeral because of medical appointments but I was able to go to the second, although given the volume of rain that was belting down, there was some doubt about it but the organizers managed to get it moved to an indoor venue. It was  – a celebration of her life rather than a traditional funeral.

Well it didn’t- or rather it has not as yet  – reached the 30 year record although there is serious flooding with roads and small townships cut off. Here it has just been raining. No major rain like the other day – just a continual steady rain with some minor road flooding. If you are in the flooded zone – well it is all bad – but if you are not there is a positive side to things. Lake Eyre in South Australia, is

Salt Lake Eyre ( not my photograph)
Salt Lake Eyre ( not my photograph)

the largest inland lake in Australia and the 18th largest in the world. However, it is 17 meters below sea level and generally a salt lake. Right now the flood waters are pouring into it and it is rapidly filling up. Reports are that birds and other wildlife are flocking to the area and the  “Lake Eyre Yacht Club” lives for times like this. What I cannot understand is that Pelicans are flocking to the area in their hundreds – But – how do they know?? Is there some kind of Bird Communication System that says “hey,  Lake Eyre in South Australia is flooded – pass it on” !! But it is amazing that such a transformation can take place in only a few days. How about the fires – was there

Wildlife Organization photograph.
Wildlife Organization photograph.

anything positive came out of them?? Actually, yes. A lot of the wildlife, particularly the Koalas, had been injured by the fire. The burns were mainly on paws. The RSPCA and other organizations went into the area and began to rescue the animals. With the Koala the RSPCA found that after the initial treatment and the application of burn cream, the best thing they had for helping the Koalas were mittens, but they soon ran out of them.       The asked if people could get some cotton ( old sheets , etc) and sew some mittens  and donate them. The hoped they would get enough to help the animals that were being brought in.  What they got was, not the hundred or so pairs they expected from South Australians, but over 16,000 pairs of cotton  mittens flooding in from Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Ireland the United Kingdom, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran  India and South Africa. Amazing – just amazing!

Andrew and Trish took me down to Adelaide and dropped me off in town. Coffee and scones then off

Still flocking in from hundreds of miles away. (not my photograph)
Still flocking in from hundreds of miles away. (not my photograph)

on a shopping expedition — well that was Plan A. Halfway between the Coffee Shop and my first shop was not good and by the time I reached Koorong I was just about all in. Fortunately the big bookshop also had a  coffee shop so that’s where I stayed until I felt good enough to make my way back to Rundle Mall. My main reason for going to Adelaide in the first place was to  look for a Dalek for Andrew’s Birthday Gift. I did get that and a few other things and decided that I didn’t think I could make it through to 6:30 and the evening coach so I took a taxi to the  terminal and caught the afternoon coach home.  Too soon to be a Happy Wanderer? Perhaps, but at least when I go down in February, I  will have the car and if I feel “tired” I can always  go to the hotel and relax for a while.