2019 – Meet the New Year – Same as the Old Year :o)

See you next Year….

Well, time to think about taking down the tree and all the decorations. Once I’ve done that here, I’ll go down to the church, dismantle and put away the Christmas Tree there. Then after that I might take a drive down to the  supermarket and get myself some Hot Cross Buns – might even pick up an Easter Egg whilst I’m there. Sad, isn’t it?? I mean we  only just cleared Boxing Day and the Hot Cross Buns were in the shops already.  Don’t know about the Easter Eggs, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Things have been fairly quiet on all fronts – a heatwave followed by two serious thunderstorms, then back to more normal weather for this time of year. We will have one day ( Thursday) when the temp. is forecast to hit 42c but other that that fairly normal mid 30s,

The company John works for has just completed a multi-million dollar upgrade and a rebuild of part of the facility. Because of the disruption they are well behind on orders and need to catch up – so they have that as well as starting up new equipment and sorting out any problems that may arise with the new plant and equipment, so in order to bed in the new plant, and work on catching up with orders,  the company has gone on twelve hour shifts for the time being. John is on nightshift —- bit of a shock to the system :o)  Andrew is supposed to be on holiday but he was called out and t

Friends together.

here was a possibility that he would be called out again, so he stayed at home. And there you are – Annabell and I – for the first time ever – spent New Year’s Eve on our own – well  we did have Benji and Dougal – but no other uprights. Did get text messages from both boys so  that was good. Sam ( Dougal’s daddy) is still in hospital. It was thought that they had sorted the blood loss problem and he was  allowed to go and stay with his daughter for a bit before coming home, but after two days he was rushed back into hospital. This was just before Christmas and I haven’t heard how things are since. We could have Dougal for a bit longer. That’s ok – he is not a problem.

Got the dogs out early this morning before the temperature  builds up to the expected 42c today. This time next week I should be in Adelaide. I have some things that I need to do and I want to get the problems with Annabell’s  mobile (cell) phone sorted out. We do not have an Optus shop here, only an agent and they can’t do much other than sell you a phone. So, anyway, here we are in 2019 and I have to say that I haven’t really noticed much difference. I’ve gone back to an A5 Organiser rather than an A6 mainly because I was having difficulty getting A6 inserts and I am not really keen on Filofax Personal. Years ago David Jones used to be the place for Filofax and other Organisers  Years ago it was also so simple – not so now. Now if I want inserts for my organiser I have to order them from overseas – the UK or the USA – in the case of the USA $30 for the inserts and $26 for postage and that’s $US converted to $AU $87, which is  ridiculous. I could go into Officeworks  and buy a brand new Organiser with inserts for just about that. Ok so it wont be good quality leather, but chuck that  in a cupboard somewhere and  use the inserts that come with it.   So I have gone back to a larger size because, oddly enough, the inserts are easier to get and I can download them and print that size on my printer. Not so A6.

Monday Lisa

I’m not very good at joining things but I did join a  Filofax/Organiser site  and although I still follow it,  I find that there is very little that really interests me on there these days. I find  my self playing  Batman’s Joker – “Why so Serious?” There is also a regular round table Skype call but it’s always a Sunday and the family are here so I never take part. Oh and  to help me in  the joy I find in taking photographs I  attended the local Camera/ Photography Club. I did very well, I thought. I lasted  two meeting before I came to the conclusion that it was not really for me. and I left. I like taking photographs and I always have a camera with me everywhere I go. I have an old Nikon Coolpix L100, which I keep in my laptop bag. I bought this off some old fellow called Noah many years ago. I am not a great photographer but I like taking photographs. I have bought many books on photography, but I found them confusing even after the blurb says that they are targeted at beginners. I suppose one day they will come in handy as door stops.

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So begins another year.

On Thursday (28th.)  I took a trip down to Adelaide. I did not  think driving down and back was a great idea so I took the coach down – well, yes, good and bad. The good was that I arrived

Pipes and Drums for New Year

there stress free  however the bad was sitting for so long my knee froze and I had difficulty walking for a bit. Mind you, I get the same sitting at the computer for too long. I really must get this attended to sooner rather than later.  Part of the reason for going to Adelaide was to get Annabell’s new phone sorted out. We do not have an Optus Shop in town – we have an Optus reseller, which is not quite the same thing. They will sell phones and accessories and create contrtacts, but they  are not authorised to do repairs, these things have to be done at an Official Optus Shop, with trained staff and  resources. If your mobile ( cell) phone breaks down, you can take it to the place here and they will send it off to Adelaide for repair. From here the nearest Optus Shop is either Adelaide or Port Lincoln – Port Lincoln, well if you are going to travel that distance you might as well go to Adelaide and have the benefit of all the other shops.

On Wednesday, as some of you may know, we had a visit from Sooah, her husband and The WaWa. Benji was not happy – not at all. I think it was a question of “Just when you thought it

My friends will save me

was safe to….” However, it was a short visit and absence has certainly not made the heart grow any fonder as far as Benji is concerned. Still it was fair karma for what he did to me causing the word “Adoption” to enter my head.  Well, I was singing, and he – my associate and companion –  got up out of his bed and left the room. I mean, that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think??  I was not all that impressed.  Anyway it was lovely to see Sooah and her family again – even the WaWa – and she was looking good –   ( the WaWa that is ) still agro,  but looking well.  And I did manage to get a cuddle from her and she perched on my shoulder and  neck. I could suggest she was looking for a good spot on my neck to sink her pointed teeth into, but that’s a bit on the mean side  :o)

Benji’s “Friend”

Annabell bought me a set of six  Bohemian Crystal Wine Glasses for Christmas and as we had Christmas Lunch and Dinner with my son, his family and all the family, at Andrew’s House, I never really had the opportunity to use them. I certainly will tonight and the wine will be single malt, 18 years old, made in Tain, Scotland.

Overall New Year here was fairly quiet. Annabell went to bed about 12:30  John James and I  sat chatting until about 01:30. At 6am I got up and took Benji out for his walk.  The days since New Year’s Eve have been busy in that one of our ladies ( in a nursing home) passed away and her funeral is on Thursday. I have had a busy few days getting  things ready for that  writing the Order of Service, printing, photocopy and collate. Well yes, not intensive work, but time consuming and a paper jam didn’t help. The family want to do a power point of highlights in their mother’s life  so I met the two sons and we set that up. The sad thing is that with all the new people in church today, most of the people who knew the lady, are gone.

All this stuff with Apple and the deliberate slowing down of iPhones,  I honestly can say that I have not noticed any difference in my iPhone and whilst I am not (like some) attached to my phone by an invisible umbilical cord, I do use it every day. One of my sons, for example, carries two phones around with him – his personal phone and the company phone, even at home when he is on call-out.

Well, hello there!

The temperature – apart from a couple of days – has not been too bad. Generally February is the hottest month, but  last year it was shown that the hottest month was Feb/April, so we’ll see this year. I really don’t have a lot of confidence in long term forecasts. I sometimes think they pull numbers out of a hat and use them. I was glad to see that the Kangeroos are starting to come back to the top area – and this is what can happen if you leave your gate open   :o)

Stormy Weather Continues.

Friday 30th September

Yesterday was an odd day in that I was able to post things and get most of the mail through. Today it is a different story. Today there is no mail, no internet and no telephone. I think the clean-up has started today in some areas. We still have 22 major electricity pylons down so that being so I  suppose that we should be considered fortunate that we have power for lighting and heating. The Broadband network and the mobile (Cell) phone network are both down. At the moment I am using MS Word and will transfer this to WordPress when the system becomes available again.

The storm may have eased in this area but it still continues in Adelaide and the South East . We  have TV and I just saw on the news that a man believed that warnings didn’t apply to him and he tried to drive through flood waters – and yes, he had to be rescued .   I think the amazing thing about all of this is the fact there has been no serious injuries or loss of life.

Port Pirie was saved in that the wind eased and the town was saved from flooding although just down the road in Port Broughton, they were not so fortunate and there was a lot of flooding in that little township. I also hear that the Barossa and the Clare areas are flooded. There is serious flooding in many parts of Adelaide – houses and properties inundated.

Optus went down on Wednesday and has still not come back on again. Telstra is on and off and on again, then off. I just wish they would make up their minds. At the moment, it’s off again so no internet and no telephone calls, either mobile (cell) or landline.

wakefield-river-3-hours-ago
wakefield-river-3-hours-ago

All afternoon the clouds have been dark and it has gotten progressively colder as the afternoon wore on. It’s just coming up to 5pm and it has now been raining for the best part of half an hour. It just refuses to give up. Even as little 20-25 mm will be enough, given all that has gone before, to send many small rivers and creeks into flood. There is concern about the flooding of the Port Wakefield river. Normally this is a creek that has very little water in it, but given this volume of rain it can quickly become fairly aggressive as it gathers water from the surrounding catchment areas. If this happens it can flood quite quickly and cut off the main highway at one end of the town.  (It’s happened!!)

In Port Augusta there was a fair amount of structural and environmental damage and the Joy Baluch Bridge – the main bridge across the Gulf was closed because of its height and the danger of the  high winds. There is another crossing further up the gulf but it is a serious detour to Yorkeys Crossing and round the top of the gulf and back to the main highway.

At the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula, the city of Port Lincoln is still without electricity – or any power. Most of the food has gone and there are now concerns about potable water and there is also concern regarding the sewage systems. A modern Australian city and food relief packages are being flown in – like a third world country in crisis – bread, some package food, baby formula, milk, water etc.

The Smelter at Port Pirie took a hit and will be out of action for repairs for about two weeks. Arrium also took a hit and was forced to close down, at a cost of about six million a day. Andrew, my son, was called out to the mines at Middleback and he and a team were working frantically to avert a mining “catastrophe” (his words) – although what that was I have no idea – he did not

pylons-down
pylons-down

elaborate.

The clean-up and restoration will take weeks, if not months and there will be the usual “Blame Game” My own view is I don’t care about the politicians and their point scoring off each other, but I believe there should be an investigation into why these pylons came down as they did. Trees in the area were unaffected yet these steel pylons,  22 of them,  were bent in half as if they were child’s toys and not major carriers of high voltage electrical power lines.  I would also like to know, whether it’s good or bad, who supplied the steel for these things. But I think that might be something that we never get to know, but a state-wide failure that put 1.7 million people in darkness is something we should get to know.

Latest: As of 7am this morning the main highway north at Port Wakefield has been closed due to the flooding of the Wakefield River. There are major diversions in place through Two Wells and Virginia for cars, buses and light trucks. Heavy trucks are stuck.

Melbourne – Part 3

My first view of Ethiad Stadium
My first view of Ethiad Stadium

Edinburgh Military Tattoo Melbourne

Day three of our trip and today is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I think everyone was up and ready bright and early. The Tattoo was at 1pm but we had no idea where the Ethiad Stadium was, what the area was like and what kind of parking to expect. We  talked about this and made the decision to call a taxi, deciding that this was, by far, the easiest choice – probably expensive – but easier and less stressful. At about 12 we headed off to the Stadium. On the way there we passed what we were told was the largest Shopping Mall in the Southern Hemisphere – Chadstone Shopping Center. I decided that had to be a must if possible. We decided to hit the merchandise  area and this is where we had a major disappointment. As part of my birthday gift, Andrew and John had purchased a Tattoo Merchandise Voucher. We heard nothing from anyone so we assumed that this would be in the form of a kind of Tattoo Show bag

At the stadium concourse
At the stadium concourse

and I presented the Voucher at the Merchandise Area only to be told that this had nothing to do with them and that the Tattoo Administration should have contacted me and sent the goods to me directly. This never happened. (More on this) Also Andrew wanted a Tattoo Teddy Bear for  Trish, but they had run out of them.  I just bought the usual – a golf shirt, T shirt and a Baseball Cap. Our seats were  not too bad, but the best Andrew could get at such short notice. They didn’t know about it and it was something they dreamed up for my Birthday at almost the last

Aboriginal Fire Ceremony Welcome to country.
Aboriginal Fire Ceremony Welcome to country.

moment, but I have to say the seats were not bad at all and we had a fairly good view of things.  For anyone who has been to Edinburgh or seen the Tattoo on Television, the format is fairly standard and flows swiftly from one section to the next. I think over the years most people ( or perhaps just me) have   decided on their favourite.  I liked all things from the Governor’s Guard of Honour, Australian Defense Force Band,  Pacific Islanders, The New Zealand Maori the King of Norway’s Guard, the Scottish Country dancers, the South Australia Police Band, Massed Pipes and Drums, but my favourite over the years is the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland. They fascinate me.

The performances by all the cast ( 1200) was outstanding up to and very much including the closing performance and the Lone Piper. If I were to make one complaint it is that due to the roof being closed over the smoke from fires and guns took a long time to clear so a lot of the photographs have a smokey look about them,not as sharp as they should be – if that makes sense.. Would we go again – most certainly – I would even give up Celtic Thunder to go back to Melbourne.

Pipes and Drums
Pipes and Drums

At the end of the Tattoo we managed – after a while – to grab a taxi and make our way to  Chadstone Shopping Center  – and yes, it is a massive place but it was late in the afternoon so we really didn’t have much of an opportunity for a full exploration of the centre – perhaps next time – although I did need to get to Optus and have some adjustment made to my phone. Since the distance between Chadstone and Oakleigh wasn’t too far, we walked back to the hotel. We had  something to eat and drink in Chadstone, so no one really felt like dinner, so the boys read whilst I did some work on the computer – I carry a portable modem with me. An early night was in order for the drive home in the morning. – Confession – I went out to  the nearest KFC ( about five/six minutes walk away) and had a Cheeseburger.

Top Secret Drum Corps
Top Secret Drum Corps