After the week out and about with Benji it rained most of the day Sunday and almost all day Monday. Today (Tuesday) wasn’t too bad and we were able to get out to the beach this afternoon. I love this since it’s a school day and the beach is empty – not a soul – well a few teenagers in cars but no one walking along the beach and I discovered that the Benji doesn’t like the sand – He Loves It ! He loves running on it and he loves exploring the seaweed. Once we got away to the very far end of the area where there are never any people, because it’s too far away from children play areas, I took him off lead (leash) and let him romp around on his own for a little while. Playtime over we made our way back to the main area again and went to the
Foreshore Cafe for some Ice -Cream. After the cafe we drove to the Wetlands and had a short wander mainly to get to the cold water fountains – the Boy had a drink and I had a drink from the peeps fountain. By then I felt that it was starting to get a bit warm so we cut over the bridge and back to the car and home. I did notice on the bridge that some people have started this French thing about locking padlocks on the bridge sides. I wonder how long that will be allowed before the Council get out the Bolt Cutters. I also took some photographs of the Black Swans and what I thought was a baby swan. However, when I looked at the photograph later you can clearly see the markings that it is a small black duck who just happened to be close to the black swans.
The next week is not going to be a great week and I don’t think the Boy and I will be doing a lot of wandering and I think the picnic is out for the moment:
Wednesday 43 / Thursday 44 / Friday / 43 / Saturday 41 / Sunday 39 (Subject to change)- that being so I don’t think we will be out much. In the morning I will bring all the pot plants under the extended carport and at least give them some shade and make sure that have water as soon as we get back from our 5:40am walk.
I did just that, gave the plants some water and carried them to a spot under the pergola. At least I have tried to keep them from being burned by direct sunlight. Friday and I have to drive to Adelaide. Tomorrow (Thursday) I will check oil and water and make sure I have extra water with me for the car – and for me. At the moment the Benji is unhappy because we had to go out and we left him at home. I had to go to the optician for my new glasses and to leave Benji in the car in this heat (42c) would have been a death sentence – but of course, he doesn’t understand that – he just knows that I am going out without him.
The drive to Adelaide was interesting in that I took a couple of photographs of some unlikely visitors to this part of the world. Yes, they are common the further north you go but not so much in this corner of the planet. It was interesting that so many people – me included – pulled up and got out of the car to take photographs. There was quite a herd of them scattered across the paddock. But that wasn’t the only interesting things this weekend. The highway passes through the small town of Lochiel then continues on to Port Wakefield. The industry of Lochiel is the salt lake. Normally these are covered in water but this time, perhaps because of the extreme heat, as I passed through there were people walking out on what was lake but now was dry land. The remainder of the lake was a bright pink – which does not show up too well. Some of the
photographs are not so good because a cool change was starting to push through and the wind was fairly high. I tried to steady myself against a tree so some of them were not too bad. The lake, incidentally,is called Bumbunga and was part of the Micronation “Province of Bumbunga” – which is a long story of recent South Australian History.
When the meetings are over I am always happy to get back in the car and head from home. After this meeting I couldn’t wait to get back in the car and get the A/C on full – the A/C in the church wasn’t working and it was pretty hot and sticky. By the time I reached Lochiel and Lake Bumbunga, the cold change was sweeping in and there was a fair wind. The temperature crashed from 40 – 21 and it will stay down for most of this week.
The drive down from home was uneventful and quite pleasant until I reached the Tin Man. I still had the best part of half a tank of fuel but I wanted coffee as well as fuel. Fortunately I went into the service station before I did anything or I would have really been in strife. Their computer system was down
and they could only take cash for fuel and food and I didn’t have more than $10 on me. It is over 150k to Port Wakefield but I felt I had enough fuel to get there. Besides there were a couple of fuel stations between the Tin Man and Pt. Wakefield if I should feel it was not going too well. As it happened, I had more than enough to make the distance so I was able to fill up with food and fuel.
Up until then the drive was pleasant enough but after Wakefield the rain started, a few light to medium showers with a couple of heavy showers in between. Nothing too difficult but it made for an interesting drive to Bolivar. I did some wandering around Adelaide and visited several camera shops looking for an item that I discovered in the very first stop ( Camera House ) is no longer made by Sony and thus no longer in stock. My old Sony camera will probably be put out to grass because the memory card is falling apart and I cannot find a replacement. Probably find something on line – ebay – but I feel when you have to do that and get something sent from China, it’s time to move on. Of course I have my Canon Canon but that’s too big to just shove into my laptop bag and wander around with, so I need a camera to replace the Sony. I did have a look at a couple of Nikon models in Adelaide and I will have a think about
them. I could, of course, stay with Canon, but I want an alternative and Nikon will probably fill that bill. Adelaide in between showers was not my favourite place to be over the weekend and I was glad to get out to Para Hills, attend the meeting, and then head home. I was home for two days and
then drove back down to Adelaide for another meeting – and these should be the last until November. This was the West Terrace Committee Meeting, which only occurs twice a year and unfortunately it occurred when it did.
In the last ten days I have been away for five of them and to say My Man is not happy is something of an understatement. From the time I arrived home yesterday right up until this morning he has hardly ever left my side. At the moment he is not in his bed but underneath the desk at my feet. Perhaps he thinks I am going to take off and leave him again. We did go out for a walk last night so that kind of settled him down a bit. I think he might have some sort of separation anxiety but not knowing his background we can never really be sure. He was five years old when I adopted him last year so what happened to him in these years is unknown. We still have no idea what will happen regards the WaWa in October, and we have heard nothing from Sooah. I feel in a bit of a bind because in all conscience we cannot just get rid of her. Apart from being wrong it would be unconscionably cruel just to dump her somewhere, either with someone or with the RSPCA for Adoption. When Mustafa, our vet returns from Turkey (his mother has been ill) I’l have a good talk with him and see if we can come up with a solution. I haven’t really did anything because it was only until October, but I think that’s a bit of a dream now. The Arrium problems and the State Unemployment problems make it unlikely that they will be back in October – or, indeed, any time soon.
I was going to quote Robert Burns again about the best laid plans and such like, but decided not to. You probably know it anyway. My plan was to drive to Adelaide, stay two nights in Adelaide then drive to Mount Gambier, visit the sailing ship The Lady Nelson, then out to the Umpherston Sink Hole Gardens, then the Englebrecht Caves. Busy day planned, but none of that happened. Left home on Wednesday morning and drove to the Tin Man and the stop for fuel and food. From there I drove to Lochiel. The reason for Lochiel was simply that I had been up since 5:00 to take Benji for his walk before driving off at 7am, so by Lochiel I was a tad weary and wanted some air (rain) and some coffee . Got back to the car and it wouldn’t start. I had brought the charger with me so after a bit I was able to get the car started and continue on my way. A short while later, at Port Wakefield I had a similar problem. By this time I was getting a bit concerned and began to notice things, like the way the car surged when I put on the lights. I decided not to go shopping as I had planned but drive directly to the hotel. Driving through the city of Adelaide was a nightmare for me and I was scared that the car would suddenly stop at one of the many sets of traffic lights. Booked into the hotel then came back out to get my cases. I called Annabell to let her know what was happening and that the battery had really cut out and I could not get the car open – pressed button – boot would not open – pressed button – car door would not open, so I could not even get to the charger. Was talking about things when Annabell cut through my rant with the words “have you tried using the key?” You can imagine how disappointed I was when the ground below my feet did not open up and swallow me to hide my embarrassment nor protect me from the hysterical laughter that could be clearly heard coming from my phone. You can bet your very last penny that she wont let me forget this in a hurry.
In the mid afternoon I walked into town and did some shopping. The evening was fairly quiet and I spent much of it watching a movie. Thursday I left the car and took the train and bus to Norwood – most of the storm damage had been cleared. I spent a few hours there, had lunch and made my way back to the city center. Friday and the car refused to start so I was forced to call out the RAA again. The mechanic examined the battery and that was good and the alternator seemed to be good, but something was draining the battery and we had no idea what. I did have a battery charger with me and decided that if the need arose I would use that, but driving through the center of Adelaide was again scary and I feared at every set of traffic lights. I was glad to reach Gepps Cross, which is the northern boundary of the city and leave the traffic lights behind. Fortunately I had enough fuel to get back to Port Wakefield where I knew there was a good garage if I needed it. I expect there are good garages in Adelaide but I have no idea where. All that surrounded me were FFOs – Fuel and Food Outlets. I used the charger at Lochiel and Port Wakefield on the way down but I did something wrong in Adelaide and drained it, hence the RAA call. I telephoned Annabell to let her know that I was coming
home. She suggested that Benji would be pleased because he had been sulking and hiding for the last two and a half days – poor thing. I was disappointed because there were things I wanted to do on the way to Mount Gambier and in Mount Gambier itself but I felt if I was going to break down it was better to break down on the way home than to break down on the South Eastern Freeway. As it happened the car drove quite well and I was able to stop for a little while in Port Augusta. Tomorrow I will take the car to the garage and book it in for a complete service and find out what the power draining problem is. – Hopefully it’s something simple.
It’s now been two days since the Windows 10 near disaster and everything has been restored. I did have to make a few changes but nothing too dramatic. So the lesson – for me anyway – is stay away from Win 10 for the time being. However it brought home the old saying “To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer” —Paul R Ehrlich
I did do a fair amount of work on the back area and have completed about half of the work I was doing. It is on the far side on Annabell’s washing line area so was not able to complete the work for the moment. This area – the crazy paving area – is also on the plan to be redone. Just to refresh: this crazy paving area looked good until you see it really close up – or you are partly disabled and have to hang a washing out on it. It was not well done and is very uneven, so uneven that Herself cannot walk on it. At the moment I have the area partly covered by outdoor underlay and that allows her to get the washing out. Still it’s not a permanent solution and once I finish this current job, I will probably make a start on her washing area before tackling weed central.
In ten days from now I go down to Adelaide and collect Catherine from Adelaide Airport. Both Herself and I are looking forward to her being here. It’s been eight years since we last had her with us, so apart from working
outside, I have also been doing a spot of redecorating in what will be her bedroom for the duration.
Chienne is well. I need to take her to the vet and get her nails done and have a quick check that everything is ok. At 14 she eats well, sleep well and we go out for walks most nights. The neighbour’s cats (2) seem to have adopted this area to sleep in, or to sit in the tree and supervise my work. This is not pleasing to Chienne, although it does give her the opportunity to exercise her vocal chords. Although that was not the case this afternoon when one of the cats made itself a little hiding place under the weed matting where I was working. I had to wait until she got out and wandered away before I could resume work
I went outside last night – camera and tripod – into the back garden( AKA Weed Central) and tried to take photographs of the moon. Why? you might ask. Well, I was reading this article about how to take photographs of the moon so I thought I would follow the instructions and try it. Had it worked there would be photographs here – there is not! We’ll just say no more on that.
Some weeks ago, on a trip back from Adelaide, I stopped again at Lochiel. I took some photographs of the lake and also of the Lakeview
Hotel. In the early years of the Province of SA there were little stop places where the bullock drivers stopped for the night. The wool was brought down from the north on bullock carts and little places like Lochiel were stopping places. The Pub/Hotel was 150 last year when it went up in flames and all that history lost, I wish they would either knock it down or do something because it is a sad sight when you drive through the area.
There is a distance of some 450k between Adelaide and home. In any other civilised country there would be a better than adequate rail service. Not here. When we came here the rail service had been terminated for a number of years and there was calls to have it back on again. It was put back on again but it was put back on to fail. The train
station was well out of town so it meant a taxi out. The train left at 6am and arrived at Keswick Station – well out of the city – at 11;30am so another taxi or wait for a bus. It could have gone into Central Station, which is only a five minute walk from the city centre, but no, it was sent out to Keswick. Then taxi back – to catch the train at 5pm arr 11pm, then taxi home. The private owned Greyhound/Stateliner bus service left at 5am and dropped off in the city centre at 10:30am after making a number of stops along the way, so most people, who didn’t want to drive, took the coach rather than the train. – faster, more efficient and got you right to the heart of the shopping district at a reasonable time. Coming back, the Bus Terminal is only a short walk from the city centre. The State Transport Dept could then point to this and say that since more people preferred to take the bus rather than the train, there was no need for the train service to continue. We have not had a train service for nearly 25 years.
I think this is how most governments in Australia work, they make things as awkward as possible and when people shun them, they point to lack of patronage and terminate the service because it’s running at a loss. The reason for this is that I was asked why not take the train instead of driving all the time. Don’t we have a decent rail service? This is why and the answer is no we don’t. I would love to have a train service. I went out to Geelong, from Adelaide, twice by train – it was new and it was exciting. I was able to get up and walk about , go to the dining car for a meal or a coffee. But the trains are slower than in the UK or the USA, mainly because of sped restrictions, small settlements and the tracks crossing roads. Keswick has been rebuilt and is now known as the Adelaide Parklands Terminal, which is nice, but doesn’t bring it any nearer to town.
About six/seven months ago the small settlement of Lochiel lost its hotel/pub. It was reported to have been some sort of electrical fault. The Hotel/Pub had just celebrated 150 years, so, when it burned down, 150 years of history went with it. Now it’s just a fenced off blackened shell. I have stopped twice now and found myself wishing that I had stopped more often on these Adelaide trips and perhaps taken more photographs. When we have any sort of function at the church I take photographs. Some people complained so I explained to them why I take photographs and how each photographs becomes part of the history of the church and its people and if you are in any of the photographs, then you become part of that history. At least, that’s how I see it. Not sure everyone else does though. And who knows – perhaps some kind benefactor will put up the cash to rebuild the Lochiel Hotel/Pub and we can look back in years to come and remember what it was before restoration.