Travels And Breakdowns

The Adelaide Hills
The Adelaide Hills

I was going to quote Robert Burns again about the best laid plans and such like, but decided not to. You probably know it anyway. My plan was to drive to Adelaide, stay two nights in Adelaide then drive to Mount Gambier, visit the sailing ship The Lady Nelson, then  out to the Umpherston Sink Hole Gardens, then the Englebrecht Caves. Busy day planned, but none of that happened.  Left home on Wednesday morning and drove to the Tin Man and the stop for fuel and food. From there I drove to Lochiel. The reason for Lochiel was simply that I had been up since 5:00 to take Benji for his walk before driving off at 7am, so by Lochiel I was a tad weary and wanted some air (rain) and some coffee . Got back to the car and it wouldn’t start. I had brought the charger with me so after a bit I was able to get the car started and continue on my way. A short while later, at Port Wakefield I had a similar problem. By this time I was getting a bit concerned and began to notice things, like the way the car surged when I put on the lights. I decided not to go shopping as I had planned but drive directly to the hotel. Driving through the city of Adelaide was a nightmare for me and I was scared that the car would suddenly stop at one of the many sets of traffic lights. Booked into the hotel then came back out to get my cases. I called Annabell to let her know what was happening and that the battery had really cut out and I could not get the car open – pressed button – boot would not open – pressed button – car door would not open, so I could not even get to the charger. Was talking about things when Annabell cut through my rant with the words “have you tried using the key?”  You can imagine how disappointed I was when the ground below my  feet did not open up and swallow me to hide my embarrassment  nor protect me from the hysterical laughter that could be clearly heard coming from my phone.  You can bet your very last penny that she wont let me forget this in a hurry.

In the mid afternoon I walked into town and did some shopping.  The evening was fairly quiet and I spent much of it watching a movie. Thursday I left the car and took the train and bus to Norwood – most of the storm damage had been cleared. I spent  a few hours there, had lunch and  made my way back to the city center. Friday and the car refused to start so I was forced to call out the RAA again.  The mechanic examined the battery and that was good and the alternator seemed to be good, but something was draining the battery and we had no idea what. I did have a battery charger with me and  decided that if the need arose I would use that, but driving through the center of Adelaide was again scary and I feared at every set of traffic lights. I was glad to reach Gepps Cross, which is the northern boundary of the city and leave the traffic lights behind. Fortunately I had enough fuel to get back to Port Wakefield where I knew there was a good garage if I needed it. I expect there are good garages in Adelaide but I have no idea where. All that surrounded me were FFOs – Fuel and Food Outlets.  I used the charger at Lochiel and Port Wakefield on the way down but I did something wrong in Adelaide and drained it, hence the RAA call. I telephoned Annabell to let her know that I was coming

Showers creeping over the Adelaide Hills
Showers creeping over the Adelaide Hills

home. She suggested that Benji would be pleased because he had been sulking and hiding for the last two and a half days – poor thing.  I was disappointed  because there were things I wanted to do on the way to Mount Gambier and in Mount Gambier itself but I felt if I was going to break down it was better to break down on the way home than to break down on the South Eastern Freeway. As it happened the car drove quite well and I was able to stop for a little while in Port Augusta.  Tomorrow I will take the car to the garage and book it in for a complete service and find out what the power draining problem is. – Hopefully it’s something simple.

The Best Laid Plans………….

12th January 2016

It had been my intention to depart quietly and without fuss, but in the words of Robert Burns “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley ( go often astray) and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy” Close enough I guess. I  believed that after four years this wasn’t really going anywhere so the sands of time had brought it to the end of its road. Well, that was what I intended but it didn’t quite work out that way. Unlike ID4 I was going to go quietly into the night, but someone whom I greatly respect convinced me otherwise. Even if no one responds, it’s still

New Planner/Binder
New Planner/Organiser

worth doing

Since December the weather has been very mixed with hot days – very hot days, fry an egg on the roof of the car days and days when it has been cold and windy. At the moment it’s  up around the low 40c with a  high fire danger tomorrow and strong Southerly winds and total fire bans in 11 of the 15 fire districts.  So far we have been  fire free for the time being – not so Western Australia and a deadly fire  which is still burning. With the strange – hot-cold-hot-dry – weather we have been having  lately I think most fire controls areas are on edge. We are not really in a fire prone area but part of our district is so we come under the extreme fire danger / fire bans.   Temperature today 44.3. A fire on Kangaroo Island and another smaller fire in the south

Since I have been home Benji and I spend some of our evenings either at the Wetlands or at the beach. The last few nights have been windy and the water choppy so no splashing about. Today the weather was hot and calm so we could have gone to the beach and into the water but the boys and I have been clearing out the lounge  in preparation for the  new carpet to be delivered and laid. Herself picked out the carpeting four years ago and it was an off white colour. Was fine for a while until The Man took ill and then Chienne became ill- so,  we need new carpeting. And yes, we did clear out all the furniture and brought in a professional cleaner, but whilst it did clean it some, it did illustrate that off white was a bad choice  :o)

IMAG0776At the start of last week I ordered a new  Planner/Organiser from a company in the Netherlands. A day or so after ordering and paying I was notified that it had been sent on Wednesday 6th Jan. The package – all the way from Rotterdam – arrived this afternoon. I have had packages that have taken longer to come from Melbourne, so I have to say that I am very impressed. I have been fairly busy today and I’m a bit squashed up until the furniture gets put back, so I have to contain myself and open it in the morning. I bought two new Coffee Mugs. Didn’t come up too well on the photograph, but you should get the idea; the Text is “Benji the Wonder Dog”

This week I will call the yard clean-up people back again and have the whole of the front cleared. I have decided that the woodchips cannot be saved, so we will clear the lot. Once that’s done I’ll give thought to what I am going to replace it with once I have put in new edging. Will take a while but I hope it will be worth it. Last year I made mention of weeds – everywhere and there are reports that the Flinders Ranges National Park and surrounding areas are infested with weeds. The wet then dry and hot have created conditions for an upsurge in weeds – even around here. This week has been a good example of this in that the temperature rose to 44c then collapsed and it has been cold and windy ever since. This morning I had track pants and a jacket ( should have had a heavier one) when I took Benji out for his morning walk. The wind was very cold. Almost like mid-winter.  A few spot fires – mostly deliberately lit – which is concerning when we do get hot weather again.

Current Binder
Current Binder