Cool Benji washing the Lighthouse !!

Not quite, but close

Been a

The Entrance to the A L B G

good week – really. Annabell is hosting the ladies coffee on a Tuesday evening and the ladies coffee morning on the Wednesday morning.  That said, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this month, are tied up:  Monday and Tuesday I help her clean, polish and set things up – Wednesday afternoon I help her put things away. This week – of course – is her last week. I think I have mentioned this before that they each pay a small fee, some of which is used for tea, coffee and so forth, but the bulk of it – other than a couple of dollars,  (to keep the account open) goes to charity and last year they gave three thousand dollars – a thousand of which went, via me, to the RFDS. The other two thousand went to two other support groups.

Now, I wanted some more native plants so I decided that on Thursday I would take a run through to the Arid Lands Botanic Garden (ALBG) and take Benji with me.  I expect you have heard the saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley (often go astray)” and that’s what happened here. Decided to help Annabell with the washing before I left. Got the washing in the machine, it filled up with water – then died. It’s been acting strange for a while now ;  we decided there and then to get rid of it and buy a new machine. So we went out to look for a new machine, but she has this thing about front loaders because she can’t reach down into a top loading machine to get the washing out at the bottom. Anyway, bought the machine, they delivered and installed it and took away the old machine that same afternoon, and by the time they did that, it was much to late to go to the ALBG. Might try again for this coming Thursday :o)

On our way.

Today (Sunday) was a bit cool. Sun was shining and it looked nice outside. The reality is that you can’t see the wind, but we took a drive out to the

The Lighthouse

lighthouse (30 klm away)  and had a wander  around – back to town and then a trip to the beach before driving home. Benji loves being in the car but he is not a “stick your head out of the window” dog and he is happy to curl up on the front seat. I have never been able to take a photograph of Benji sitting at the lighthouse. He will sit down no

This is so true.

bother, but as soon as I move away, he follows. I tell him to “stay” but he wont. However, not knowing his background before I adopted him, perhaps there is some abandonment issues there somewhere. He is much the same in the house – I move, he follows and if I really have to leave him and go out, I get a look that haunts me  right up until I get home again. However, to be fair I do take him with me most times and he so loves going out in the car.

Friday sees the Official First Day of Spring. The weather over the last few days has been fairly good, so if this keeps up and I get away, it should be a nice day for me and my Associate to drive to the ALBG and Better Homes and Gardens. If I do get to go over to the ALBG I will see how close I can get to the main buildings and decide if I can leave the man in the car or if it’s too warm to do so even with the windows open.

It’s been a long week.

This weekend – or at least part of it – will be a busy time for the RFDS. On Friday we will be involved in the “Meet and Greet” Barbecue for the new owner of Arrium and on Saturday we have a Barbecue at Stratco Hardware Store.  I’ve had “fun” this week organising teams for both functions – a double team for Friday since this is expected to be big and busy, and the usual four team for Stratco on the Saturday. Since the AGM in June and the handing over of our cheque for $37,000 to Central Operations, we have been fairly busy and have accumulated a healthy balance.

Travelling, Easter and a great escape

I made an interesting discovery today – the WaWa is not a good  distance traveller. The Beach or the Wetlands are ok but travelling the 20 miles to the lighthouse are not so good and after a while

Out at the lighthouse area. Wawa wont look at the camera..

she starts to get a bit unsettled and fractious.  Perhaps if we  persevere and extend the distance a little at  a time, she might settle down over the longer  drive. At the moment the Beach and the Wetlands are her limit.  We drove out to the Lighthouse and spent some time around there.  It was fairly busy with  quite a lot of tourists and shack people there for the Easter break. That being so we did not spend a lot of time there – although there were no dogs, which was good.     We did go down onto the rocks and I carried the WaWa over some of the area – I mean, she does have wee legs :o) She is getting as bad as Benji and will not look at the camera. However, Benji seems to blend in with the surrounding rocks, so it’s not a good place to photograph him. On Tuesday we went down to the

A stark reminder who owns this land.

beach, which was surprisingly quiet. There were some people there but I expected a lot more since it was a warm, sunny day and it is the school holidays. Today, on the other hand, (Wednesday/Thursday night/morning) it has been chucking it down all night. No dogs out  today and I think they are so upset about that  they have just stayed in bed. I seem to be the only one of the three that is in any way concerned about not getting out.

This Saturday STRATCO, our local hardware store, are holding a Barbecue and Cake Stall. We (RFDS) have been asked to do the Cake Stall. It’s not our usual thing, but we did this some months ago and it was very successful and STRATCO  negotiated with the car club who brought some vintage cars along inspection. There were  games and face-painting for the children – so all up, a fun day. I missed the last one since I was out of town.  Annabell  is doing a load of baking for this and   I’ll take her stuff down on Saturday morning. Some of it has already been pre-sold. Annabell is a good cake maker.

I think an engineer has bought the house over the road. I saw him out most of this week rebuilding the front garden and planting flowers. The reason I noticed this is that wherever he went and whatever he did he used a tape measure – I mean  the distance between the plants  was precisely  measured. I thought it was bit overmuch but who knows.

I have the WaWa on a diet and I really didn’t realise how much weight she had lost. 6am this morning, at the corner of Busch and Fairclough Streets, chasing a WaWa who escaped from her harness and thought my trying to catch her was a game, was interesting! I had to tie Benji up to the fence and go after her on my own. Took a while, but she came to me and I was able to get her home – making sure I didn’t tug her in any way until we did get home- and I did adjust the harness.

Benji & The WaWa

In a discussion with Annabell I used the term “my dogs”. She responded with “you don’t have dogs – you have a dog”.  She is, of course correct, the WaWa is really not mine. It certainly feels like it and the WaWa is acting like it is, but  it is still Sooah’s dog. I was asked to look after it for three months – over a year ago now. It’s a very frustrating situation and the best we can do is simply to act and treat the WaWa as if she is part of the family but keeping at the back of my mind that if Sooah returns we will  have to give  the WaWa back to her. Neither of us are too happy about that after this time, but that was the arrangement, however, the general consensus within the church is that she may not be coming back. Struth, it’s like a Norwegian Saga – it’s never ending.

Driving with Benji.

The other side of the hilols is where we are bound.
The other side of the distant  hills is where we are bound.
Ok! Let's go.
Ok! Let’s go.

Tuesday of this week was not such a bad day with regard to the weather – warm, humid and overcast at times, but nice for a drive with the Benji. Trying to think of someplace new around here is difficult, but I realised that we had not been out to the lighthouse – about 23 miles away, so that’s where we headed. When we came to Australia my brother in law took me fishing and we drove along this road in his   Jeep. Mind you, this wasn’t a road then, merely a dirt and gravel track that only an SUV could negotiate. A lot has changed since then – as you can see. The reason for the change is  that the road is the main highway out to the Santos Processing plant ( should have taken a photograph!!) at Point Lowly. It is the end of a 660 kilometer pipeline from the Moomba Gas Fields and from here is is shipped to places  across the Asia-Pacific region as well as supplying the gas requirements for South Australia. An important plant, so it requires a good quality road – and it is!!  However, it is like most roads in and around this area, flat land;  not a lot to see. Anything that was worth driving out to is now out of bounds and part of the restricted army playpen.  An access road was constructed during the building stage and then rebuilt when the plant came on line. We drove past the processing plant out to Point Lowly and the Lowly Lighthouse. By then the boy was anxious to get out and do his business – then we went wandering. It was quiet and peaceful and there were no flies around, which was a bonus. I did see three

Point Lowly Lighthouse
Point Lowly Lighthouse

people – a family out for the same reasons I was, but no dog, thankfully. We spent  quite a while just wandering about the place. The lighthouse is, of course,

securely locked up. However wandering around the area I had a thought and it was that I could put the camp two burner stove in the boot, pack some food for

Benji by the Sea
Benji by the Sea

him and me, a small metal kettle, a container of water, coffee – and we could have ourselves a little picnic. Ransacked the garage  – when I got home – and found that we had an old metal kettle from years ago that we never use. It’s a heat on the stove kettle, not an electric one. I also found a small pot and a small frying pan, so, in essence, we are ready to

Still at Sea
Still at Sea

go whenever the mood takes us. Probably go back to the lighthouse   so we are still within striking distance of home  in case of any mishap.  My next meeting is in Adelaide next week so  we will see what we will do after I get back from Adelaide.

It was a reasonable day today so I decided to make up for Sunday and take Benji and I back down to the beach to wander along the sand – and have the Ice-Cream that we missed. It was a bit on the windy side so there were a few wind surfers out on the water. We walked for a fair bit along the beach then came back and had our ice-cream, sitting under the cafe umbrella.

Benji at the Beach
Benji at the Beach
The Wetlands main pond
The Wetlands main pond
The Black Swans
The Black Swans

That was Thursday,-today Friday we went  back to the wetlands and had a good wander around there. However it was starting to get a bit on the warm side and the Boy was panting a bit – even after a drink of cool water, so I decided not  to go back to the beach but to go home. I was going to take him over the new bridge but after I put my hand, palm down, on the  metal base of the bridge I decided that it was too hot for dog paws, and went around the pond to the car and then home with the A/C on full. At the moment he is curled up beside my chair. TeeHee, it’s been a busy few days for the boy.