Is it January yet??

I have often said that some years ago my house was the last house in town – after me was empty bushland. Since the resources and mining boom new houses were built – so I am not the last house any more. Apart from two new private

Mother and Child Reunion

housing estates,  land has been bought and houses have sprung up making the end of the town just under a kilometer away. As one gets away from the main area – about 20 houses, the ground is still largely empty and we still get Kangaroos wandering around as I have shown by the photographs. The photograph to the right you will have to enlarge to see it but it gives you an idea of how they blend into the grassland. This photograph was taken last week, which was the last day I had Benji out walking. There are a number of reasons for this –  heavy torrential rains and thunderstorms and for the first time in many years my Hay Fever exploded and I have been out of action. I have not been like this for years. Even when I had the flu  I didn’t feel as bad as this. Anyway, it’s starting to clear up

A swinging Benji

and I think it was a case of ‘Remember Me?. I  should be fine by the weekend – which is the weekend of the Church Christmas Lunch.

Jim and Fay are going over to Western Australia – Margaret River region – in mid January and we have been asked to look after Yogi for three weeks. This is good because Benji and Yogi get along well and taking both of them out walking is not a problem.   I would like to see Dougal back again for a little while but, in the meantime,  I think it’s time Yogi was introduced to the Lighthouse and then the Beach. I don’t believe Jim has ever taken him to the beach. I think it will be a good three weeks and I am looking forward to the three of us getting out and about. Although, this goes into February and I will be away for two days in February at Para Hills (Adelaide) Still, look on the bright side – it could have been Mount Gambier – four days  :o)

The coffee ladies have had their Christmas Dinner / The Congregation have had Christmas Lunch and on Wednesday the coffee ladies will have

their  end of year Christmas Lunch. These last two days will be fairly busy for them because over the 12 months they have raised over $4000. On the Wednesday break-up the recipients of the donations will be invited to send a representative to share lunch with them and be presented with a cheque. I had that honour last year as Secretary of the  local Support Group of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and was presented with a Cheque for $1000.

I sort of came face to face with my short-comings in that I had to admit that I have never watched “Outlander” – which, for those who know these things, is tantamount to admitting that I have never watched the Game of Thrones. People get unfriended for less. However, in my defence I am watching the Shannara Chronicles, but then I have read much of Terry Brooks.

Here we are and still have no idea what’s happening at Christmas. For the last few years Christmas  Dinner has been at Andrew & Trish’s place, but we don’t know if that is happening this

Christmas Shopping……

year. Annabell is getting in touch with them today to get a decision : this impacts on her shopping because Christmas Dinner could be here and we need to get ready for that.

Road Trip, Benji and Baby

My Almond tree in blossom
Some Wetland Birds

I have just returned from two days in Adelaide. Conference this time was at Para Hills. The drive down was uneventful and the weather was excellent. The most frustrating part of the journey was the Main North Road and the roadworks that had the traffic banked up. Anyway, that was not so bad but I think watching snails overtake us was a bit depressing. Got cleared of that and was going well until King William Street and the roadworks outside the Festival Center, then more road works on the way to Bunnings at Parabanks. This is good because I know why there is never enough money to upgrade and repair country roads when everything is being spent in Adelaide. But as our Socialist Government keeps telling us “It’s good for South Australia” although how all this development in Adelaide and the million being spent on upgraded tram lines – in Adelaide – benefits a country town one thousand kilometers away from Adelaide in the far north of the state, is way beyond my comprehension. But then, not living in Adelaide, I don’t understand these things. But even at this conference – the first since the sale of Arrium –  and people asking me how things are in town now that Arrium is sold.  “Things will  be better and there will be more confidence in the community, you’ll be doing well now” – but what they think about is a sort of instant gratification and that’s not how it works. Many jobs were lost, those who survived had to accept 10 – 15% pay cuts, Westlands, the largest undercover  shopping area outside Adelaide still has over 30% of the shops empty and we still have over 600 houses up for sale and some of these are homes that were taken over by the banks when people could not pay their mortgage. Yes things will change, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Recovery will take time and the new owner will have to do something that helps to increase

Hello peeple..

the returning confidence, because, it is presently fragile and I believe it wont take a lot to damage it.  On 1st September there is a “Meet and Greet”rally to be held in the Ada Ryan Gardens. The RFDS will be doing the catering as part of our fundraising.  We hope to have the opportunity to meet the new owner, talk to him and have a photo opportunity.

Annabell kept telling me every time I called her that Benji was not a happy puppy. He hardly left my room except to go outside and come for his food. If the doorbell rang he would come charging through, stand looking at the door until it was open. Annabell said you could almost feel the disappointment  when he saw it wasn’t his daddy, so he turned and went back to the room. He really misses me when I am away from him. But it’s a two-way street and I miss him too.

Four Hours Old

On  2nd June of this year, our grandson (Connor Logan)  was born. I no longer feel quite as isolated from certain conversations as I did. However, it’s not all solved in that my grandson is a mere  three months old whereas most of the people in the church have grandchildren that are married, have children, or are out in the world carving out a life for themselves, some are serving in the armed forces. However, my grandson may still be a babe at his mother’s breast, but he has life ahead of him;   a world with all its new technology and wonders waiting for him to discover. In spite of the crazy people and events, the world is still an exciting and wonderful place. The chaos and events taking place in this era,  will, I believe, pass and by the time he is ready to go out into the world, it will be an even better place than it is now.

Part of the shopping center has been blocked off and a large new shop is under construction. I understand it will be a new variety store. I’m not really fussed but if it is big enough it will create employment and perhaps it will signal the  rebirth of the shopping center and fill many of the empty shops.  This is a development that I look forward to seeing.

Here, There and Home

MustafaAdelaide;

The Lower Flinders from, Port Wakefield Road
The Lower Flinders from, Port Wakefield Road

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

Going Home.
Going Home.

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

The Lochiel Lakes
The Lochiel Lakes

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

An Old Lady at Lochiel
An Old Lady at Lochiel

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.

Home: (Finally)

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.

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.