Past, Present, and Future.

I think both here and overseas, one of the major talking points is the weather and how strange it has been – we expect winter snow – and we get none / we expect summer heat – and it’s limited to a couple of days.  We had a heatwave a few weeks ago when the temperature topped 44c. Last week, and this week we were warned of another heatwave and possible power cuts – neither of which happened. I took Benji out this morning, turned round and came back inside and changed into a heavier jacket. True it was still dark, but it was cold – not winter cold, but cold enough for a different jacket. Temperatures have been warm to very warm. Using the term “Hot” would be – for us here anyway – a slight exaggeration.  I look on the weather people as I look on the South Australian Government – take everything they tell you with a large pinch of salt.

Michaela Denis

When I was growing up in the 60s there was a pioneer couple appeared on Television – black and white, of course, we didn’t have colour until the mid 70s – anyway,  this pioneering couple were Armand  and Michaela Denis. As far as I know they retired in 1961,  but their films and the Wildlife TV Programs were shown well into the  1960s because they were pioneers in Wildlife Filming, setting man of the standards. If I remember correctly I think one of their  TV programmes was “On Safari”   Interesting in that the  Denis couple were closing their career just as another broadcaster was starting his – David Attenborough.

Took Benji and the WaWa down to the Foreshore for a Beachie. There is a small problem here – in order to have a beachie you needs a beach. Today was not a good day with about 10% beach and 90% seaweed. Oh  a Beachie is South Australian for a romp around the beach. Depending on the weather we might go North sometime this

A Seagrass Beach

week. This morning we didn’t go anywhere. Generally I get up with the alarm, get dressed and the Boy and I go out for our morning walk. Well, I got up and I got dressed and I got ready to go out, but he refused. I don’t know what was wrong with him, but he just didn’t want to go out. In fact when I produced the leash, he looked and went back to bed. Going back to yesterday, it’s not really seaweed on the beach –  it is seagrass, which is a different thing altogether. The area of sand in the photograph is all there was and the photograph makes it look much larger an area that it really was.

Tanks for the Memory.

Lots of rumbling – like thunder – the army is back playing in the Play-Pen again. Apparently  there are some War Games going on. No idea how long this will go on  or how long they are here for. I have not seen any  army people around the place. The photograph is from when they were here last year and conducted Operation Hamel. —- Sorry about the caption, I couldn’t resist it. I’ll try harder next time  :o)

This morning I sent yet another email over to Korea (South) and at the moment it has not bounced back. Of course this is not to say that it wont during the course of today, but at the moment it’s looking fairly good.  The Coffee Ladies are here this morning and they were here last night. They are lovely ladies and many of them have dogs so they don’t mind Benji and the WaWa wandering around – which is good. They pay the host a few dollars each for coffee, tea and cookies, but what remains they save and bank  for the year and  this is donated to several charities. Last year they presented me with a cheque for $1000 donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service,  $1000 to Riding for the Disabled and $1000 to help with the medical bills of a young boy who was involved in a serious accident and requires a number of operations. So, they do good and sometimes someone brings scones, or Annabell makes them – I likes scones……. I can be bribed so easily  :o)

This morning (Friday) I opened my mail box when I came back from our walk and there was an Email from Sooah. She is doing well and loves the photographs I have sent her. She says that it looks like Kongsoon ( WaWa to us) and Benji are good friends and she is pleased. ( Shush – our little secret!) She says she hope to see us soon – but that could just be politeness with no

Somewhere, underneath this is a WaWa

indication if and when she is returning. However, the note did sound positive so that was good. I will keep sending and even although things bounce back from time to time, I wont give up. At the moment no one is really sure what is going on – there is still major uncertainty in the town and our Shopping Mall – Which was once billed as the largest outside of Adelaide – has 19 empty shops. There are so many houses up for sale it’s unreal – there is an offer ( two I believe) for Arrium and the Feds have made it clear that if the buyer is not willing to commit to a long term future for Arrium and the Steelworks and upgrade the outdated equipment, then they would not be inclined to give approval to the sale. At the moment there is still some hope that things will settle soon and we can get on with life.  ==== Past, Present and Future / The Past was exciting / Present full of uncertainty / Future has limited hope – but still hope)

Adelaide, Trusts and Operation.

Just Because
Just Because

Wednesday:  Well the good(?) news is that there is damage to the right knee that will require some surgery – generally  overnight stay. On Friday I have to go for an ECG then go round to the Pre-Anaesthetic Clinic to do some things and fill out some forms and have some discussions with the Anaesthetist. What this means is that the operation will be carried out fairly soon – more than likely timed to coincide with  my Adelaide week.  Ho well these things happen. I was able to get the  clinic stuff done on Friday because my Cardiologist has been called to Adelaide and has changed  the date of my appointment. So that worked out very well.  Of course I want this done as soon as possible but after Adelaide would be kind of neat.

Still having problems with the WaWa but managing to control them a little better and I do tend to take Benji out with me as often as I can. In this cooler weather, it’s ok to have him in the car with a window partly open whilst I go into the hardware store.  Don’t know what I will do if the WaWa is still with us during summer and too hot in the car, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But then I should be able to get out back to the  Wetlands area.   The army are all gone and the place seems sort of quiet without them. Operation Hamel was a great success and having 8000+

Been a long day. Need rest!
Been a long day. Need rest!

military here was a breeze. They enjoyed being here – they were well treated and looked after by the local people who, in turn, enjoyed them being here.

Friday:  Had the ECG this morning and everything is ok. I am still able to walk in the land of the living. I had a discussion  with the clinic doctor, answered his questions – everything is well and I am fit and healthy, which is nice to know. From there Annabell and I went over to the Specialist/Surgeon’s  room and discussed with his Associate the possibility of dates. My best date was Monday  29th August, which is just over three weeks away. I had already decided that I would take whatever date was given and as it happens, I can still go to Adelaide and have the procedure when I get back. It’s all worked out well.  I  did not attend the Mount Gambier Presbytery because of car trouble so I really needed to be at Para Hills. Then the week after I go back down for the Trust Committee, then back and hospital. So, as I said, it all works in very well.

There’s a Dog Wash tomorrow at the Vet Clinic to raise funds for the RSPCA. I was thinking of taking Benji down and get him a bath and a Bandanna. Our Craft and Fabric shop closed down last week, which means no place here to get any material for anything and I have a garden umbrella that needs repairing. I may well have a look for some canvas when I’m in Adelaide. Years ago we had a few small country craft shops around the town, but then a  major chain shop moved in and we lost all the little craft shops. Now the chain is in trouble so it has closed down and moved out after about ten years – there is nothing to replace it. The nearest  member of the chain is in Rundle Mall,  Adelaide.

Cuttlefish and Cold Water

One of the Three Dives for the day.
One of the Three Dives for the day.

As I mentioned in another post,  the Royal Flying Doctors Service (Support) were catering for a three day diving course about 3 million miles out of town, in the middle of nowhere, right next to the sea and very little shelter. Man it was cold. Well, ok, a slight exaggeration on the millage, but it was a long way out of town. The dive was organised by the  “Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries  (EMS) Group” to view the  Giant Cuttlefish  in their

Giant Cuttlefish
Giant Cuttlefish

natural environment and to give people the opportunity to interact with them. The water in this part of the gulf is very clear and most people used a boogie board to allow them to get face down in the water  and a snorkel  for air. The more adventurous had weights and got down among the creatures – there were hundreds of them. They are a strange creature – weird looking with the ability to change colour at will to attract females.    The EMS Group kept trying to persuade  us to leave the catering Gazebo, don a wet suit and get into the freezing cold water. Oh did I ever mention that I do not have masochistic tendencies, plus the fact that it was quite cold enough where we were thank you. I actually would have  gone with them but not without any preparation – like very warm clothes to change into  and a cup of our own hot soup afterwards. They are going to run the course again next year so I may well take the opportunity to go out with them then. Also this is the first time we have been involved with this and we didn’t know what would be required. Next year we will be better organised. Like with the Operators- Advertising was not all that great and on the first day people bought their own food because they didn’t know we would be there. Apart from hot food we also provided, hot tea, coffee, chocolate and hot soup. There were three dives each day – 10am / 12 noon / 3pm. It was cold and colder when the wind

It was a very cold day at nowhere.
It was a very cold day at nowhere.

was coming off the water. The Cuttlefish mate in the cold water during winter.

The election goes on and will continue for some time yet. We still have no outcome although it is looking more likely that the government will survive – just – and that it may well have a workable majority although the wheeling and dealing with the independents continues.

I did say that the rain had passed and it has – sort of. It’s still wet but the rain has been reduced to a drizzle with the odd overnight shower, which means that garden work is mostly out for the moment. The army are still here and we have a group catering for them at their camp in Jubilee Park.  I don’t have  anything to do until Saturday week.

The WaWa continues to attack Benji and Benji will not defend himself. Annabell and I have decided that  if Sooah does not return to Australia, then we cannot keep the WaWa. It would not be fair on BJ. The WaWa is a friendly, playful little thing and is all over me when I come home after being out for a few hours. I can play with her and I can “fight”with her, but she hates BJ with a passion. I also have a fear that BJ will snap and retaliate and really cause some serious injury – and that bothers me more than a little because a snap and injury could well change the whole nature of Benji and I really don’t want that to happen. And to make matters worse, Sooah has not been in contact with us so we really don’t know what is happening.

Since writing this Sooah has been in contact with us and we now know what is happening. Her husband is still working on brushing up his English and should be good enough to get through

Benji & The WaWa
Benji & The WaWa

the English Test and all being well she hopes to be back in Australia by October of this year – or very shortly afterwards.  That’s fine and gives us something to work towards. I have also been to see the Vet and sometimes next week  we will get the WaWa up there and perhaps see if we can get a muzzle small enough as a temporary measure and protect Benji. Meanwhile we have a  water spray bottle to use, also as a temporary measure. We have tried that already and she definitely does not like that.

 

Elections and 4th July

Well the rain finally stopped and although it’s been dry it has been cold. How cold? well an escaped prisoner in New South Wales telephoned the police, told them where he was and asked them to come and collect him and take him back to prison because he was freezing cold and worried about hypothermia. Of course, it does not ever get that cold in South Australia – at worst about 2c overnight and about 11c during the day,which is quite cold enough for me. It has rained a little bit – nothing quite exciting, but wet enough to soak the ground to a slight mud area. There’s really not a lot I can do about this at the moment. I really need a few days of completely dry weather to be able to work in the area.

We can see you!!
We can see you!!

The largest military exercise ( Operation Hamel) in South Australian history and one of the largest ever staged in Australia has started with almost 10,000 military taking part. The fictional Country of Cultania  is under attack by heavily armed terrorists and the Government of East Cultania have asked for assistance.  A task force of  Australian, New Zealand, British and American troops  are currently evacuating expats and other nationals to the now military secured Whyalla Airport. I believe 5 RAR have moved into the city center and more evacuations are underway. Annoying that the main camp at Jubilee Park and the Airport are not to far away, but the most I have ever seen was the  troops and equipment at the “Show and Tell” last Friday. I have not even seen any of their patrols day or night. Of course  the exercise has really only started and it will go on for a while yet.

So sorry to hear that a freak major storm seems to have paid a visit to the area around Denver Colorado. Not fun for poor Sam and some damage to the roof of the house – which is a worry. I think our wild weather has passed for the time being. Probably just as well or we would have a lot of soggy soldiers.   As I have said before, really serious storm are a rarity here. Generally storms pass above us and head into New South Wales, or below us and go visit Victoria. Now we seem to have settled down to our normal winter – cold to colder and dry.

Friend said the other day that he was all electioned out and he would be glad when this election is over. Well, it’s not over and wont be for a while yet

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday USA

We are starting to look like Italy  and some of the other European countries with a multiplicity of political parties. Everybody wants to have their own political party and we are getting to the stage where neither of the major parties can govern without making deals for support from  independents. The Senate paper with all the independents looked very much like a Ancient Scroll  rolled up at the ends. I’m convinced half of them are  British Monster Raving Loony Party ( real registered party – honestly) in disguise. I don’t know why we don’t have a “Destabilize the Governance of the Nation”Party  According to  what I can find,  there are 57 “Parties” that contested this election. Hey I just figured it out – we’re a Heinz Country –  57 Varieties. However, not all of these parties or groups are contesting in every state. Some are purely state based but the fact remains that  taking so many votes has ensured that we have a hung parliament for the second time in six years and more chaos and possibly an early election. Wheeling and dealing and souls being sold for a financial advantage – irrespective of what excuse they give for accepting. What – me  Cynical? Never.

What will happen – whoever wins – is that we will have three years of no government. Well, yes we will have a government in name but a government unable to get any of its legislation through – a government that will run in the name of its political party but not a government that can function  for the benefit of the nation – a government that will be at the mercy of independents,who could change at any time. There are still seats that are not yet declared and at the moment the government party is ahead, but that will still not give them enough seats to govern in their own right. There are still over two million votes to be yet counted.  Interesting times…

PS: All the pundits are predicting that we will have a new election within 12 months.