Thank Goodness Its Friday

Once Dougal went home, the times walking were a little more comfortable and less frustrating. Dougal is a barker  and tends to go gaga if he hears another bark or, indeed, any noise. It does not make for a really enjoyable  walk with him dragging and pulling. Benji, on the other hand is sort of like a  modern teenager – some other dog barks  –  ” meh whatever!”. Although we never had any concerns, because our fences are secure, I am told by other people that Dougal tends to be something of an escape artist and Sam has had to go searching for him more than once.

The empty bird area at the back pond

I took Benji to the Wetlands this afternoon and it really is starting to look quite sad. The birds have deserted the back pond where they generally hang out.

I am told they are Wild Geese.

The four wild Geese have taken to wandering around the area of the main pond, the ducks and swans have gone and the back pond – what’s left of it – has become the haunt of seagulls. Thursday week – 9th May – I set off to Narracourte for the quarterly conference.  There will be one overnight stay in Adelaide and a second overnight stay at Padthaway. The meeting does not begin until 12:30 so it is likely to last for most of the afternoon since each of the churches has to bring their  Books for inspection, stamping and cleared  by Presbytery. That wont take five minutes so it is unlikely that I will get much farther than back to Padthaway since I will not drive on the Riddoch  Highway and the Dukes Highway  at night. There has been several accidents recently on that stretch of the road recently. Apart from which,  I like staying in Padthaway since it is one of the few places that are dog friendly.

The flood waters from Queensland continue to pour down the Diamantina River  into  South  Australia and then drain into Lake Eyre. Having said that I have also to

say that it has been raining for a good part of the late evening and into the night. It was not the soft, silent rain that really doesn’t do much but a decent rainfall for several hours.  I must try and get down to the Wetlands and see what difference – if any – it might have made. Wednesday:  Never got out to the Wetlands, had a bit of a wetlands in the back garden. It’s chucking it down here again and I I was surprised to learn that despite the widespread rainstorms, some parts of the State missed out – bummer. Looks as if we wont be going out for our walk tonight again.  Well, as it happens, the rain went off and we did get out for our walk. I went directly to the water catchment area at the end of the street and although there was a good amount of water in there, I  did believe that there was less than I thought there would be.

I thought that I would be able to go to the Wetlands tomorrow (Thursday) after the 10 am  Hospital appointment with Annabell, but as of this afternoon,(Wednesday) we have a further appointment on Thursday at 2:30pm. However, at this stage, Friday is looking good  :o) Talk about ‘Things Fall Apart” – I take Annabell and another lady to the  Tuesday coffee evening and she and the other lady get picked up on a Wednesday. This same lady picks up Annabell for visits and other meetings. Well, this lady now has a new car and guess what?????   Annabell cannot get into this new car, so I have more driving around to do. Oh well, I do believe it’s part of the job description.

Dougal and Benji together.

I think it comes under the heading of “Sickness and Health ” :o) And, since the Universe is not altogether finished with me for the moment, Dougal came back this afternoon – right after we came back from the dentist.   Sam is heading off to Adelaide to be with Ina for a little while – then when he comes back he is going into hospital himself, so I have no idea how long we might have Dougal this time. He’s not a really concern, just the fact that he has never learned to ignore  barking and other sounds without going gaga, I’ll have to put on the harness again if I take him out walking but  we have had a fair belt of rain here the last few days, so we’ll see how things go. I didn’t expect to have Dougal back quite so quickly but at least Sam knows that he can go  visit his wife in Adelaide safe in the knowledge that his dog is being looked after and taken care of.  It’s Friday – no doctors, no hospital visits – FREE…  Woo Hoo

Weather and Hospital Visit

Extent of the water loss at the wetlands

It’s been a very odd week – odd in that we had rain for a whole two hours and the two hours were in the wee small hours. That’s the first rain we have had since last winter. And it was very selective – some areas got wet, some didn’t. Farmers in the  farming areas watched the clouds ( as they do) and yes, the lightening flashed and the thunder crashed and that’s all that happened. There is some concern about planting seeds in the dry ground and hope that rain will come to begin germination. It’s risky but that is what some of the farmers have started to do.  In  the last few days we have had a drop in temperatures. Not enough to consider going out walking with a heavy jacket just yet, but it would seem to be heading in that general direction.

The meeting with the RFDS, the  Airport Management and  the catering organiser went very well. I had last moment panic attacks as  members of

our group telephoned me to tell me that they had not had an invitation to the  function. Calls to Adelaide to be told that Adelaide didn’t have these people on our data base. I sent Adelaide all the necessary information and they were sent their invitations by email rather than send them

by Australia Post. The reason for the stuff up in this instance was simple. The coordinator  retired and in the fullness of time a new coordinator was appointed.  After a short time in the job ( months) she decided that it was not for her so she left. We don’t know what was done and what was undone, so I ended up with membership badges for people who already had them- mostly, of course, new members. We think this is the  cause that the data base in Adelaide was incomplete. Or again – it could well have been our fault – I don’t keep our data base – but it’s sorted now

RFDS Aircraft on the tarmac ( My Photograph)

– or at least, I think it is…

The main entrance to the Hospital
*copyright unknown*

Tuesday: We have been in the ED of the hospital for most of the day. Annabell had a slight fall and was taken by ambulance to hospital. We were there for most of the day while she had examinations and x-rays to make sure everything  was ok – which it was. She was well looked after by the Ambulance Para-medics and by the nurses at the E.D. Nothing damaged or broken, except perhaps her pride. We are home and she is resting. She will not be going to the coffee evening nor will she be going to the coffee morning tomorrow. I think she needs rest.  Just as well it was this week when her stint of hosting the ladies was over. The fall was a bit of a shock for her and she is a bit shaken and quite tired.  I will see how she is on Thursday, which is the RFDS Function at the Airport and decide if she is well enough to attend – although having said that it might be good if she does since I will be able to keep an eye on her.  Good start to May.

Home: For dreams of going to

She was overweight and I was bringing her weight down.

On 29th April I wrote about the WaWa escaping from her harness and how she thought my chasing her around Fairclough/ Busch  Streets at 6am was a great game. I also mentioned that when I got them both home I adjusted her harness. Well,  I caused the hurt and the cut that needed to be seen by the vet.  I adjusted the harness and  inserting my fingers at the  top I thought it was just right – not too tight. I was so wrong. For over ten days the harness was over tight and cutting into her skin underneath her right leg. Of course, I happened to be away for much of that time and Annabell never noticed as the WaWa never complained nor gave any indication that she was hurting. It was only on Friday, after I had been home for a few days that I noticed how very subdued she was and went down on the floor to look at her. That’s when I discovered what had happened. You have no idea how shocked I was when I looked at the damage. I wrapped her in a towel and with Annabell holding her, I drove to the vet only to discover that he was closed. I then went to the other vet and she said she was  busy and wouldn’t even look at her. I brought her home and Annabell and I looked after the WaWa until I was able to get to our own vet ( who was back)  first thing this morning. Advised to gently wash the area, dry it and administer some cream. Keep the harness off ( of course) and keep her inside for a few days. Felt really bad knowing that it was my fault but she is very forgiving and I still get licks and snuggles. Wearing the collar means that she can’t get into her food too well, so I sit on the floor and hand feed her. Last night, after I fed her she came over and sat on my lap, so I was on the floor for a bit. But I think that means I am forgiven  and that makes me feel better – not less stupid – just better.

The “Lady Nelson”at Mount Gambier

A little while ago there was several peals of thunder and now the wet stuff is coming down like it’s in a hurry to get to ground. This is good and it will save me watering the plants later on today. It will also be good for the farmers and allow them to get the seeds into the ground. A few more extended showers and that will set everything off to a good start.

Still no indication  about the fate of Arrium, so there is still a great deal of uncertainty in town. There are many houses for sale – seven within the area I walk the dogs and about 40% of the shops in the Mall are closed up and empty. I understand there a few businesses interested but not willing to commit until the decision regarding Arrium is made. This is just dragging on and on. A decision was promised for April and here we are – almost June already and still no decision, which is not helping the town move forward.

At David Jones, Adelaide

But it seems to me that we have this  head in the sand, good news week kind of mentality. What I mean is “Bonga Bonga Manufacturing Something Co. is closing down with the loss of 150 jobs.  Arrium employs 10 new  people ”  What the paper leads with is , “Whyalla turns the corner as Arrium starts hiring again.” Somewhere on page 4 is the report on  Bonga Bonga. – Good news week.    Don’t tell them what they need to know – Tell them what they want to hear.

The  first of the Bronzes I saw a year or more ago was the Rabbit and the Dog having tea. Then there was another one ( which I seem to have lost) of a photographer standing, then the recent one of the Dog as photographer. I find now  that I go wandering and looking for more when I visit Adelaide and I must find the missing Bronze when I am next in the city

Blizzards and Binders

We be in there somewhere..
We be in there somewhere..

The storm went on for the night and into the early hours of the morning. The WaWa slept as did Benji – Yogi not so good, so I ended up staying awake looking after the dogs – well at least my two –  until I finally fell asleep myself. This morning I was up and dressed and took Benji and Yogi out for a walk. It was quite strange – everything was as calm  and there wasn’t a sound to be heard. Normally I hear birds and in the distance a cock crowing, but not this morning for some odd reason. What I did hear – much to my annoyance – was flies buzzing around my head and face. One thing the tourist guides never tell you about outback Australia when they wax lyrical about the rugged beauty of the ancient landscape, is the three things common to outback Australia  – heat, dust and flies – lots of flies. I took Benji out at 5:30 am because it was quite, peaceful and dark with dark meaning no flies. Now as we move further and further into summer it is getting lighter and so  at 5:40 I have a baseball cap that is more of a fly swat than a hat. I may have to go back to the  fly -protection hat netting that I sometimes use when I took Benji down to the Wetlands. I hardly ever go there (the Wetlands)  now as it continues to be upgraded and become more and more popular with walkers, joggers, mothers with prams and dog  walkers – which is good for the wetlands and its acceptance as a recreation area. I was happy to see that there was no structural damage caused by the storm – at least not in this area – not even a tree down. There was also very little water around – some on the roadway and some in gardens, but not nearly as much as I expected. However, we do have very good stormwater drains here that can clear any flooding water quickly. However, at the very far end  of the area is the runoff area where the storm drains empty out – that’s not so good and it is fairly close to overflowing. I think they must have constructed  part of the runoff area, run out of money and then forgot about it. Another night last night and we could have problems

Another view of the VDS
Another view of the VDS
The colour is called French Blue and is the blue of the French Flag
The colour is called French Blue and is the blue of the French Flag

A couple of posts ago I talked about my use of Ringed Planners – Filofax and recently Van der Speck (VDS). I also mentioned that I had bought a new VDS but I don’t think I  put any pictures with that post. It is  Bleu de France and it the very first coloured binder/planner I have ever bought.  Now that the year is almost over I have activated my new Planner/Binder with 2017 inserts and it is already in use, although I will be glad when the year ends in a few days and I can stop carrying two planners/binders around with me as I have been for the last week. I was told that the French Blue was the same colour as the French Flag however, I thought the French Flag was a bit darker, but I could be wrong.

A year or so ago I featured an article over two issues of the Magazine and the article was a serious study by researchers at both Washington University in St. Louis  and Notre Dame University, led by Professor J.M. Zacks of Washington University,  which found that doors are sort of an event horizon  called “The Doorway Effect” – and that walking through doors can make you forget. Your mind collects all the extra information you need to function and do what you have to do in a room, but when you walk out of that room into another room, passing through a door,  your brain dumps (purges) much of the stuff because you will need the space for the new information that will come to you in the new room. In essence ( works for me!!) we’re not cracking up and it’s all perfectly normal.

I went out for a drive this morning and it was hot and sticky – humid. There were a lot clouds around not dark and heavy but white and heavy looking – if that kind of makes sense. Like most people I was surprised that despite the ferocity of the storm,  there was very little tree or structural damage.  I think we got off very lightly.  However, I don’t think Adelaide did so well. Anyway, it’s just after 6pm,  the sky has started to darken and there is a lot of thunder around and some rain. By the looks of things I think we might he heading for a second round.

All good here..
All good here..

Road Repairs, and Storm Damage

Patience is one thing – having to put up with this constant ache is something else. I do not intend to play at being Gregory House, living on pain killers and a cane. But according to what I am being told everything is progressing well and the residual pain is to be expected for a while. Good Grief, I’m a grumpy, impatient patient!!  I don’t know why Benji puts up with me. Annabell – she who follows Rugby – tells me that rugby players are out for a while with a knee injury and it will take a while  for the discomfort to fade completely.

I have been looking at Therapy Dogs, South Australia and from what I can see Therapy Dogs are not hospital visitors. I don’t think they go into Hospitals at all – more people confined to their homes,  Retirement Homes,  Aged Care Facilities plus a list of other activities but , not that I can see, hospitals. Bit sad if that is the case.  I found their web site slightly confusing, but perhaps that’s just me.

crackfill01Couple of days ago there was a fatal car crash on the Port Wakefield Road. It is believed that the car may have been thrown off balance by a pothole. I use that road fairly regularly and  was there on Wednesday going down and Thursday coming home and for a main road north, it’s not the best. It needs some serious upgrade. Traveling down on Wednesday there were places where it was like driving over corrugated iron. Some genius came up with a new idea to make bad roads last longer – fill in the cracks with bitumen. Yes, it may well help to make the road last a bit longer but it makes for a very uncomfortable ride. That’s what they have been doing on the Port Wakefield Road but it is now widespread and the Council have been doing it here in a number of our roads – not pretty. It’s like a very old British TV show “Never Mind the Quality – Feel the Width”. Why not repair it – don’t be silly, that would mean diverting money away from  the South Road – or even worse – the Money Pit AKA The New Royal Adelaide Hospital. Although, having said that, they did go out and fill in the potholes that caused the accident.

Wednesday: According to all the weather reporters and forecasters we are about to get hit with the worst storm since the 1940s and it starts this afternoon. At this moment it is 7:40 and it is blue skies and sunny – no sign of any storm – hardly even a cloud. At the moment, as far as I can see, the storm is still out on the  Great Australian Bight and just looking at its predicted movement, it’s still a long way off. Apart from about 100+mm of rain winds almost up to hurricane intensity are forecast, so that should be interesting.

9 am – It begins.  The sun has gone, dark overheads clouds, rolling thunder and in the last few seconds, the rain has started.  Nothing much to be concerned with right at the moment. Been looking at the weather map and I think this is all going to pass below us. As far as I can make out there are actually two storm fronts, one coming down from the north and one moving in from

Looks interesting
Looks interesting

the  Bight. I think we will get a fair bit of the rain from both but the major front, the one coming in from the Bight will pass below us and hit Adelaide, the South East, Victoria and New South Wales. The one from the north – seems to be heading above us and into Queensland.

9:50. The rain is crashing down now and the noise in incredible. The thunder seems to have  gone for the moment and there is no wind whatsoever. Everything stopped for a while then it started up again bringing hail stones and heavy, crashing rain

Thursday: Shortly after that comment on Wednesday  we lost power. This was just restored about 45 minutes ago, so 24, cold, dark hours without power. As far as I can see  our location protected us from the worst of the storm. Yes, we had rain, hail wind like I have never seen before but

pylons-down
pylons-down

not as much damage as in other parts of the State. I have two trees down and I managed to start clearing one before the power went out and the saw was useless.  Other areas such as Blyth, really took a beating with major damage to property.  The  massive storm front brought down some 24 electricity pylons and damaged the grid in three areas leading to a state-wide blackout. Power was restored to some parts of Adelaide last night , we came back on line at 4:30 this afternoon but there are still about 50,000 without power further north. The news is that this storm front is not over yet and there is a forecast for more rain and high winds late this afternoon and into tonight. Right at the moment I am concentrating on making sure everything is charged up – just in case  :o)

Latest:  Reports of suggested evacuations of parts of Port Pirie as the water rises and threatens to flood the town..

Raining Still (2)

I still  miss that little face
I still miss that little face

There has been some flooding but the rain seems have stopped for the moment. The RFDS function at Mitre 10 was a loss and our function at the church was reasonable. Not well attended but in the rain I never expected it to be and the fact that the carpark was closed off didn’t help. At the moment I have not seen any reports of property damage only  road flooding and the town cut off for a while. Both of my water tanks are overflowing so that’s good. * Diversion*  There used to be a saying “if you ever hear that the world is going to end come to South Australia – everything takes 50 years to get here”. Well not quite fifty years but three months at any rate – the time until Father’s Day in South Australia.  Sorry if I seem to have neglected to say anything but since Father’s Day does not happen here until September, I forgot. 

There is a doctor who writes an interesting blog and in a recent post she said that she is a terrible

nothing too bad and not in town - access roads.
nothing too bad and not in town – access roads.

single parent – the children go to bed when they feel like it, pizza every night, heaps of movies, no bath, no dishes done and sleep in street clothes. I thought  I would mention that I was available for adoption, but everyone seemed so serious in their comments and it was a tribute to her husband, that I decided just to select “like”and leave it at that. I thought my frivolous comment would be out of place. I felt like the Joker from Batman “Why so Serious?” or at the very least Frank Sinatra  “I tried being serious once, all I could get was construction work”.  But the interesting thing was that it was only in reading that  post that I discovered that today in Father’s Day in The United States. Yes, other posts came in too but that was the first. I understand holidays and special days that are specific to the USA  — 4th July or Thanksgiving — it’s the days we “share”that confuse me at times —  Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.   Mother’s Day in particular because you have a day in the USA, which is different from the Day in the United Kingdom, which is different from Australia.  It’s all very confusing – I feel like Paddington “I am a bear of very little brain and long words confuse me”.

Most of the flooding has subsided and the rain has finally stopped. The sun is shining and the ground is starting to dry out. The forecast is for no rain at least for most of this week, but then I believe weather forecasters make things up   :o)  If the new concrete path at the church is to be done, the concreter will have to clean out the  channel and get rid of the water before anything can be done and once it is done it will take at least a week to cure.

The WaWa is still attacking Benji and I  believe that  none of what is currently happening was ever taken into consideration. With BJ being such a placid and lovable dog we made the assumption that he and the WaWa would get on well together. On that premise I made the promise that I would look after the WaWa for Sooah until she returned. However, the WaWa has been a one girl dog was treated her like a baby, who has now bonded herself to Annabell and sees Benji as a threat. Bj is paying a high prise for my promise.

I have started to put my ideas for the back garden onto paper and I still think they will work. I don’t accept  John’s comment that some of my ideas are too big for the available space and I wont accept that until such time as I get to Bunnings and see the things I want for myself.

And as I leave I have to say that it is Tuesday and it is raining again. If people want the rain, please come and collect it. We’ll give it to you free of charge. I would be delighted to swap you for some of your snow, but people in this area would probably kill me if I did   :o) By the time summer gets around we shall all be nice and brown – not suntan – rust!!

Where is Noah when you need him?

 Supermarket Carpark
Supermarket Carpark

I haven’t the foggiest idea who said  “be careful what you wish for – you might actually get it” Four serious thunderstorms in less than three days. That was fun!!  A fair amount of  property damage, serious damage to crops and structural damage all across the peninsula. Port Lincoln,  at the bottom of the Peninsula,  took the brunt of the damage but we took a fair hit ourselves with damage in the city center and the major shopping center. There was  flooding all around the place – not the damage to houses and sandbag kind of flooding, but the streets and carparks were flooded with the storm drains unable to cope with the volume of water. There was also a lot of leaks in the roof of the new  supermarket and several of the new shops were partly flooded with one still closed for repair.  The

Taken at the Garden Center - Not my photograph
Taken at the Garden Center – Not my photograph

thunder abated and the lightening faded and the rain stopped and we thought it was all over. Poured again an hour after that and kept going until after midnight. That’s when much of the flooding took place. The morning was quite but by lunch it started again – another cloudburst and thunderstorm. That stopped about 3pm and we had a break until about 5pm when we got hit yet again. We had a shorter, smaller storm the following morning and according to reports we had over 63mm of rain in two and a half days. Eveything is still damp and wet but the good thing – the thing we should be thankful for – is that it was thunderstorms and rain – THERE WAS NO WIND. With that amount of rain a high wind would have been a disaster –  these  gum trees would have come down like they did  some years ago. That was only light rain then but a very high wind and enough rain to loosen the soil. That would have been really serious.  So it’s all been fun and games these last few days and like me, even people who have lived here their entire life said they had never seen anything like it. Makes you thankful that we don’t have a river anywhere near here.

That's What Port Lincoln looked like - not my photograph -
That’s What Port Lincoln looked like – not my photograph –

Up here at my end of the town no flooding to speak of but the road and the gardens of the new houses are awash in water and mud. With only bare earth the workmen driving in and out – when they can – as well as people who have done nothing to the earth in the front of their houses, the area is like a giant mudbath. However it will dry out in time. At the moment when I have managed to get out with Benji, I have had to change shoes and wash his paws when we come back  for our  between storms walk.  At the moment the damage to crops is still being assessed but reports are that it could run into $$millions.