Ron Cairns was a soldier with the 42 Highland Regiment – The Black Watch. He spent time in Malta and Cyprus. As a piper he traveled much of the world with the Pipe Band. In 1963 the band were touring the USA and Canada when they were invited to play on the White House Lawns where they met JFK and the Kennedy family. The President jokingly remarked that he was glad this was a friendly visit because the last time the Black Watch were here they burned the place down. Three weeks later whilst the band was performing in Kentucky, came news of the Assassination of the President. Mrs. Kennedy asked that nine pipers from the regiment play at her husbands funeral in Washington. Ron was one of the men who were chosen. There is, as far as we know, only one of the nine pipers remaining.
So, I have had a fun end to what has been a stressful week. Telephone call this morning at 8am to ask me who is doing the fundraiser for the RFDS. I had forgotten about this and I spent the early morning organizing and making telephone calls – getting people out of bed (popularity- zilch!!) To make matters worse, I was actually down for this one. Emmm – I have a wedding this morning at 11:30 – but I spent from 8:30 to 10:15 running around getting things and people organized. My son is always good value and stepped in to take my place. No excuses, this was my responsibility and I didn’t get on top of it when I should have. Anyway, I left the wedding fairly early, came home, got changed and lay down for a while. I was just so tired. On Friday we were given three more medical appointments- one on Monday two on Tuesday and we ended up with three on Tuesday because she was called back to the surgery late in the afternoon. Her doctor had been in touch with the Kidney Specialist in Adelaide and they are giving her new medication. However, it can have a lot of side effects so she she has to be carefully monitored for the next few days, at least until the medication settles in — My Job! However, they are now certain that the problem is not the kidney but the blood vessels leading into the kidney which causes a whole range of issues. However, once the new medication settles in she should start to feel a great deal better ( Plan A)
I have not been out with the dogs these last few days and very little work had been done outside. The Man is very strange – at times he cries and falls down and at other times he runs around the place like a mad thing. He is still eating well enough although sometimes I have to lift him and place him down next to his food and I hand feed him his stick in the morning by breaking it in small pieces and letting him eat it out of my hand. It’s also sort of sneaky because I slip his medication into one of the pieces.
Since starting this I have been back down to Adelaide and the remainder of the week out of town. I did manage to get the dogs out for a walk before I left and The Man is walking – not well and very slow – but walking. He still sleeps a lot and he is still eating well enough.. Subsequently I have not used the stroller much. Odd thing happened when I was in Adelaide. I was in Rundle Plaza (shopping mall) and a lady stumbled and dropped her bag. Several of us went over to help her and pick up the things that fell out of her bag. I picked up a large, glass enclosed candle, which I did see come from her bag – and handed it to her. She wanted to know why I was handing her this thing because, she claimed, it was not hers and she refused to take it from me. I said it did come from her bag, but she just turned and walked away leaving me holding this glass enclosed candle. No one seemed interested and I spoke to the security people who just shrugged and handed it back to me – so, I brought it home with me. Herself thinks that she had been shoplfting and the candle was part of her haul. Very strange, but I got a Jasmine scented glass enclosed candle out of it all :o) But it just seems very odd – who steals a candle and why? and it did come from her bag.
There is really not a lot (continual wind not withstanding) of things that frustrate me, but twice now I have had someone visit but I have no idea how to return the courtesy. Work Press tells me that Fred Bloggs thought etc. but there is nothing else – no place for me to go and return the visit, nothing other than a profile containing only a name. That’s frustrating. – so, hello and thank you for visiting!
Took the dogs out walking last night (Wednesday) and only had to carry the Man once I think the head wind was a bit too much for him. He is still eating, which has to be a good sign, but we only have a few days of his medication left. Herself suggests that the Vet knew this so perhaps this is the full course and he does not need the medication after this. I hope that’s the case, but now I have another small problem – how to cure his addiction for cheese. My fault.. In order to give him his medication I enclosed it in a small amount of cheese – now he’s looking for it at night.Still it is only a small piece so I don’t suppose it will do him too much harm. I will keep a close eye on him when the medication is finished and watch for any changes. We wont be out tonight because as I said earlier, I’ll be at the Carols in the Park with the RFDS. Looking forward to this tonight, partly because it’s a fun night and partly because it’s the last fundraising event until 26th January. It’s getting to the time when we go walking with a back pack containing water and a bowl- early morning and mid-evening, we can stop and have a drink – all three of us.
I don’t wish to start an International Debate but Cricket used to be a game played at an international Level by Gentlemen – What happened??
The Carols-in-the-Park were well and was attended by a very large crowd. We were kept very busy and had to phone out for someone to bring more food as we were starting to run out. After we did this twice, we decided that if we run out again then we pack up. We did run out but by then it was fairly close to the end of the night and we were quite satisfied with that. Within the next day or so I will probably be traveling to Adelaide to collect Alan and bring him here for Christmas. This was not part of our plans but his “carers” are going off to another city for Christmas and he will be left on his own. Yes he is in a nursing home but that’s not the point- his step-daughter and her husband are the only family, apart from me, that he has in South Australia. It’s a 4.5 hour drive to Adelaide and a further 1.5 hours from Adelaide to where he is and as you know, the South Road is not my favourite of places. And it will be fun because the temperature on Thursday, when I go down to collect him, will be 42c – lots of water for me and the car.
Some may remember this photograph I took some time ago. It was one of two eucalyptus trees outside. Part of this came down in the severe wind we had a week or so ago. This one came down over the road and part of the street was blocked off until the emergency services and the council were able to clear the area. In the background you can see another tree and this has been examined and found wanting – it’s not in good shape and may have to be cut down.
The medication seems to be working for the Man and he is eating a lot better now. I also find that he is a lot more active – when he is not sleeping that is. What I have been doing is feeding him smaller meals but more of them. It means having to isolate him from Chienne from time to time. However, she doesn’t miss out too much and she gets her share of the treats. I have started the little man on Puppy Food and that seems to be working, and the interesting thing is that it is mainly chicken and rice. Don’t really mind as long as he keeps eating and starts to put on a little weight.
The NSW Bushfires are finally under control although they are still the subject of a watching brief. It would be good to say that the fires were all caused by nature – lightening strikes – but sadly that’s not the case. Some of them were deliberately lit, and even sadder is that some were lit by children who are under age to be charged. Well, that may well be the case, but their parents are not!! If a dog attacks and seriously injures a person, we can charge the owner of the dog, so why don’t we charge the parents of the arsonists for failing in their parental duty of care. We talked a lot about charging people who deliberately light fires in bushfire areas with “Domestic Terrorism” but nothing much happened.
I started with a tree and I will finish with the same tree. This is what is left of the tree today. Now, all we have to do is wait and in the fullness of time, the council truck will arrive, cut out the roots and clean up the area. The trouble with being on the periphery – everything takes so long to get here. Not a great photograph. The tree was much bigger than it would appear here.
There is always a silver lining in everything – if you know where to look for it. I looked for it in “Revolution” no, not me – the TV Programme. Incapacitation has allowed me to start to catch up on series 1 of the programme, so I can look at Series 2 knowing what is happening. I remember years ago when the boys and I went to see “Patriot” and there were young people sitting in front of us who thought it was all stupid – “I mean, come on, lines of soldiers walking towards each other and standing fifty feet away and letting other soldiers fire guns at you – that’s just stupid, they never did that”. This should have surprised me, but it didn’t. Australian Students know very little of history, next to nothing about international history not all much more about Australian History. History is a dirty word that many schools have done their best to expunge.
There is no one like Mother Nature for putting things into perspective. Here am I in the Arid Lands, complaining and being grumpy about a few miserable trees that have fallen, made a mess that I have to clean up, whilst our neighbours in New South Wales are fighting a desperate battle to save lives and property. Only one killed, thankfully, but the homes lost will number in the hundreds. Already over 80 properties have been lost to the fires. One Hundred firefighters from the MFS (Metropolitan Fire Service) and the CFS (Country Fire Service) have set out from South Australia to take over part of the work from the exhausted NSW Fire Service. Units and people are also setting out from Victoria. Being in a non-fire area it is difficulty to imagine the terror of a bushfire. Of course we could have a grass fire but it’s not the sam thing and if the bush beyond us caught fire then the levy bank that was created for the once in a generation flood, would help to contain any fire that came even remotely close.
I did get The Man to the Vet and we adopted him 11 years ago but the Vet. thinks he is closer to 13 – perhaps older. Difficult to tell because of his background. However, he has lost weight – from 3.5kilo to 2.6 kilo. and there seems to be no reason for that. Yes he wobbly on his rear legs and his joints are pretty slack. There is some pain there but not a lot and apart from the weight loss, he’s in reasonable
shape for his age. When we closed the doors and put him on the floor he ran around without any signs of distress. However, I have to give him 10 ml of Carprofen per day and Pernaease Powder also daily. I have been out this morning and he has been running around with no discomfort, I will, however, take the “Dog Sling” out with me when we go for walks at night – which we have not been for a few days now, but I should be able to get out with them tonight.
Addition: So far reports are that 194 houses have been destroyed, 83 properties destroyed with a further 37 damaged – and it’s still goes on. And although they only took up the reigns of government last week, the Greens have blamed the government for this disaster. ” Don’t know how or what, or why, but let’s just blame the government anyway”.
I think a lot of the problems we have here is that we lack imagination. Let me qualify that! When we leave Europe and come to the far flung fringes of the Southern Hemisphere, we tend to bring our ideas of gardening with us. So, we plant the flowers we are used to, we plant good old European Lawns – in essence we seem to make every attempt to recreate the kind of garden we left behind – the kind that our parents lovingly tended and we, their children, spent our youth in. So we plant our garden , watch things die and come to the conclusion that the problem is not enough water, so we water the plants and lawns with copious amounts of water morning and afternoon. However, with the drought of recent years and water restrictions the cost of continuing with this has become prohibitive. I have gotten rid of lawns and replaced it with weed matting and treated coloured pine bark (red) I have tried roses without much success and out of the dozens that I bought three are hanging on for dear life. I have planted other pants and watch them burn up and die in the sun – despite watering mulching and soil treatment that didn’t work. So, native plants it is. I have started with two Sturt’s Desert Roses and two Sturt’s Desert Peas. I have also planted four silver leaf Eremophila – two out front and two at the back. I will wait to see how these all survive before I do anything else. A neat European style garden and 40c heat just don’t go together.Not up in this little corner of the Commonwealth. And it’s only taken me 20 years to figure that out!
Oh what a joy! We had a major thunderstorm last night. It started about 1:30 am and I was up and trying to comfort a dog who believed that the sky was falling. The vet had given me medication (ACP 10 mil.) to calm her down so I gave one tablet to her. I also brought both dogs into my room so that herself would not be wakened. The little man curled up on my bed and went back to sleep. Chienna kept pacing up and down and stressing out. I really feel sorry for her and the combination of noise and pressure really gets to her. The way she stresses out and the constant panting, I am surprised she doesn’t have a heart attack. But she doesn’t want to be comforted or reassured because when we try to hold her she breaks free and continues her pacing and panting until the noise and the pressure stops- which it did around 4am but by then she had started to clam down. She settled down at the foot of my bed and we all went to sleep until my alarm went off at 6:30. I gave them their sticks, let them out and went back to bed for an hour.
It had been forecast to rain all this week. Monday I was out at a meeting and we had a serious storm. The lightening was so intense that at times it was daylight. My wife brought the dogs inside to the laundry and set the bed up for them. The Maltese just went back to sleep but poor Chienna was going gaga. With her sensitive hearing the thunder really frightened her. She was so terrified that she attacked the ironing board – we have no idea why she did this since she has never done anything like that before. Annabell gave her half a tablet to try and calm her down. I think I will have to go back and see the Vet because we have had these tablets – from him – for a while now and she still gets seriously stressed out. The rain, by the way, was fairly heavy at times and I believe we received some 35mm overnight. It had been calm today – dull and overcast but no rain, although rain was part of the forecast.
I think the thing that is annoying me most at the moment is the aftermath of the rain – weeds – lots of weeds!! They seem to just appear out of nowhere and they are everywhere, growing almost overnight. There’s no point in using weed killer because it needs few dry days to do its work and at the moment we are not getting that. It looked clear so I went out for a rid on the bike. Was only halfway through the circuit when it started to rain. No point in turning back – just as quick to finish, so I did, and came home all nice and dripping wet and I swear even the dogs looked at me as if I was an idiot.