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.

It’s all happening……….

The fall-out over the sudden collapse of the South Australian  Construction/ Engineering company,  York Civil, continues with sub-contractors owed hundreds of thousands of dollars and projects in Adelaide, Western Australia and New South Wales now under threat. I was not being facetious the other day when I said that staff arrived at work on Monday morning and by lunch had all their things in cardboard boxes and were heading out the door – that is exactly how it happened. By  Monday evening there was some hope – by Tuesday it was gone and the company ceased trading. In the last few months we have lost two Engineering Companies here – Stassi Engineering and Ottaway Engineering, which is not helping. However, York Civil was not involved in any projects here. I thought the big City Council / GFG Alliance Joint Announcement was yesterday but I was wrong -it is today (Wednesday) The reason for today is that the

My Almond Tree in Blossom

State Premier, Steven Marshall, will be here today.

During my Adelaide trip Yogi went home.  Jim’s son came and collected him. We don’t mind looking after Yogi – he is no trouble and he and Benji get on well.  Jim is not allowed to drive and Fay is looking after him, so I have become the taxi driver for the Coffee Ladies ( well,  three ) until further notice. Jim’s son will be going home to Western Australia to his own family  today.  I have spent the last two days organising people for the  RFDS Stand at the Show this weekend. We have one and a half days to be on duty and I have managed to get everyone organised and ready to go. I will be there on Saturday covering two shifts from 1pm to 8pm and close. It’s really an information only stand. We can have donation tins and we can run a raffle but we are not allowed to sell anything. Still it should be an interesting day and a half and I would like to think that we get to talk to a lot of interesting – and interested – people. I spoke to the chairman of the Men’s Shed and they were offered a stand at the show, but couldn’t get any volunteers to help run it — which I thought was sad.

1st Announcement: The Premier has just announced that the State Government will commit $100 million to the building of a new 7

Lovely Day

-12 High School to replace the three  current, and declining  High Schools. The Senior High School, was a 1960s style school and it showed it. The students did not like it, mainly because  it was quite depressing and its facilities were old and worn.  The labor government did an assessment of the school and suggested that it was too big for the number of students, so they wanted two wings closed down and classes merged – and – they would no longer pay for the cleaning of these areas. Three teachers refused to move because of the disruption it would cause their students. They were told by admin. that their classrooms would no longer be cleaned. Fine!! The three “rebels”bought a decent  Hoover between them and undertook to clean the classrooms themselves. Their students decided that they would help out so some came in early to help their teachers clean up. Recently the School has spent a lot of money trying to brighten up the place. It’s not too bad looking now, but it’s still tired.

2nd Announcement: British Billionaire owner of GFG Alliance has announced the launching of a $1Billion energy program, the first phase of which will begin outside of Whyalla in early 2019. This will be a 280 Megawatt Solar Power Station capable of powering 100,000 homes and the larger part of the needs of the GFG Alliance Steel Plant. Initial creation of 350 new jobs.  The company said the 600 gigawatt hours of generation per year was enough to power 96,000 average homes, with its 780,000 solar panels spread across 11 square kilometres, an area 550 times larger than Adelaide Oval. It would offset 492,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Before the rain came today.

3rd Announcement: GFG Alliance will supply the steel for the construction of the  165 metre  Jetty. The Jetty was damaged in a storm surge over a year ago and has been out of commission since.  A public debate was held and suggestions made for the shape and size of the new jetty and the final plans will now go out for tender. Once approval is granted, the Council, State Government and GFG Alliance will each contribute to the funding of the project. Again, the creation of new employment

There were a few  minor announcements but these were the main three, so it is possible that things will start to look up and  I hope this will start to rebuild the confidence since it is now certain that the major players, the State Government and GFG Alliance have illustrated their commitment to the future of the area.

Walking the Wetlands

Benji at the Wetlands
Reduced water levels

Have been down to the wetlands the last few days and found the water level has really dropped. So much so that the bottom of the main pond is visible in one area. Still, walking around is not any different. Well it is a bit in that the Benji has a sore paw and walking on gravel hurts him, so I have to carry him over the gravel parts. Well, ok – I guess that’s part of the job description.  The work on the Cafe/Kiosk seems to have come to a halt for the moment and I am not really expecting much movement until next summer. See, I am optimistic! The Whyalla jetty was damaged in a storm last year and closed down for safety reasons. It was popular with  fishing people and people who just wanted a walk along its length. However,  it has taken council until now to decided to replace it. The new jetty will be twice the size of the old jetty and will have a circle in the middle. They say that this is the design that was voted on by public  consultation but I don’t remember being asked. I suspect that it is one of these things you never hear about unless you follow the daily “doings”of council.

The reason for us being down the wetlands these last few days has to do with Benji.  I normally set the alarm for 5:45 and by 6am we are on the road.  The last few days he has been very reluctant to go out in the morning and the other morning when we did go out, we had only gone about 100 yards when he came right to my side and sat down and his demeanor made it clear that he really didn’t want to go. So, I turned round and took him home. Later on in the morning he was a bit more lively so I  got him into the car and we drove to the wetlands. He was quite

The new cafe under construction.

walking and checking the p-mail – except with the gravel area. Age — well I was told he was about 5 when I adopted him and he has been with me for over two years so he’s about 7(ish) – not really old at all.

The little jetty behind Benji – in the photograph – is used for launching boats. No, not boats for people, since that’s not allowed, but radio controlled boats. While we were down there one of the boats that had been sailing suddenly stopped and refused to move. The radio controller having no effect. Since it was too far out to reach he had to telephone the council and explain and they reluctantly allowed him to put a real boat into the pond to retrieve the  radio controlled boat, which had now floated over to one of the islands. He was allowed to get the motorboat but to remove the real boat as soon as that had been done. The water is ‘run-off water” not suitable for animals nor humans and, of course, the lack of rain has meant no run-off water, or very little.

Our Wedding “a few years ago” Me. Annabell and Rev. James Currie

Recently I was reading a post about “How we met” which I found interesting. How we met… I had decided that I was not going to a retreat, since I had already been at several, and stay home. One of our Collegiate Ministers, decided  I must have made a mistake and picked me up in the morning.  It was there at the Church of Scotland Conference Center, Carberry Towers, that I met Annabell. The following August we were married with both ministers conducting the service – Alex Keith and James Currie. That was a wee while ago !! Can’t remember the piper’s name though. Actually if we want to be correct her name is not Annabell, it’s Annabella, named  after Queen Annabella,  Wife of Robert III, King of Scots.