Adelaide, Home and a mini-reflection

Rundle Mall early evening

The drive to Adelaide was not too bad. The weather up in this little corner of the world was good, but  there was bands of rain and mist sweeping across from about Snowtown onward.  Annoying in that  you just switch on the wipers and then  within a minute switch them off again. Bright sun, then another band moves in and wipers on, then off, then….  until after Port Wakefield – about 100 klms. from Adelaide. I  spent much of Adelaide shopping and getting things for Annabell as well as  spending time in Bunnings for garden things and a new hammock. I also wanted to get  a  new canopy for the garden seat, but no luck there. I did buy one on line a while ago but Australian Garden seats  are smaller than a three seat and larger than a two seat – awkward – I may have to get one made. Friday is late night shopping in town and I like to wander through Rundle Mall. Surprisingly enough, it was not very busy although is was cold. From there I walked the half mile or so to the Central Market which was open until 9pm.  I didn’t do much at the market other than get some new cook books and a bag of mandarins,

Victoria Square, Adelaide

which I am fond of, but I did take what I thought was a  fairly reasonable shot of Victoria Square, which these days is well lit up. Before it was dull and dreary but in recent years Adelaide has started to look  much more interesting and welcoming at night – provided you don’t go wandering off the main areas. We still have a few problems in that regard and it’s still not a good idea to go wandering off on your own in less frequented areas – “safety in Numbers”still applies. One of the streets that was a major concern has mostly been “tamed” with most of the “nightclubs”having been moved on.

Built as a minesweeper and launched in 1942 HMAS Whyalla saw service mostly in the Pacific. She was one of 60 “Bathurst  Class” Minesweepers/ Corvettes and was awarded

HMAS Whyalla
Launched 1942

three Battle Honours for her service. She was decommissioned in 1947 and sold to the Victorian Government, renamed “Rip” and used as a Lighthouse supply ship  and various other civilian duties. In 1984 she was to be sold for scrap. HMAS Whyalla was the first ship built in the Whyalla Shipbuilding yard and rather then let it be scrapped and forgotten the Whyalla City Council negotiated with the Victorian Government to buy the ship. This was done and the ship was brought back to Whyalla with

a volunteer crew and under her own steam. She remained in the slipway until 1987 when she was -slowly- moved 2 kilms to her present landlocked position  as the centerpiece of the Whyalla Maritime Museum, which was opened in 1988. I have taken family and visitors to the Maritime Museum  but Annabell has stayed in the car or watched from the  ground – the stairs being too much for her. There are a number of seasonal things that attract people here not the least of which is the  diving to observe the giant cuttlefish. This has grown in size in the last few years and the RFDS (Whyalla) has been involved every year since it began. This year, this month, in fact,  it will be 40 years since Annabell and I, and the two boys moved to Australia. We had been married 10 years to the month when we left Scotland. Much has changed

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Lovely weather and visiting dogs.

I still miss this little face.

This is the photograph that I submitted for critique  and whilst they waxed lyrical about each other’s photographs they were not thrilled about my photograph – bad lighting, poor composition, were two of the  comments and when it came to scoring, it didn’t do well at all. I am not averse to criticism, even negative can be helpful, if done correctly, but they just didn’t like this and there was no constructive criticism. Anyway, I’m fairly comfortable with my photographs. I agree they could improve but not this way.

Got back from Adelaide last night. Was midnight before I got home and  close to 1am before I got to bed and then back up at 5;45 to take the dogs out. It took me a while to settle the dogs down when I got home – you would think I had been away for weeks instead of just one day.  I had to have everything done on the one day because I needed to be back for Annabell’s medical appointment. It was a fairly good trip – and I got everything that Annabell asked me to get for her but when it came to me – fail. David Jones has very little in the way of Organizers, or inserts these days, Kikki.K had nothing, Typo had nothing, same story at Officeworks, which I did find surprising. I have some things coming from the USA so I

Benji at the Port.

shall just have to exercise patience and wait until they arrive before I can finish the change-over.

I did, however, get Annabell a new cookbook.

We bought an air-fryer and although it has a small cookbook along with the instructions, Annabell wanted something more so I looked for an Ari-Fryer Cookbook for her. I got this at Dymocks in Rundle Mall. We have no book shops at home. The last one closed down years ago. Yes the newsagent sells a limited number of books and the library has not caught up with Air-Fryers yet. Come to that, neither has Dymocks and there were only four books to choose from. Even in Adelaide many of the bookshops have closed down -Dymocks, Borders, Angus & Robinson, were the main bookshops in Adelaide. By contrast, Dymocks, the remaining bookshop, was crowded and many of the customers were young people. Anyway, I got her a cookbook and she is quite happy with it.

We have a Nursing Home here  but the beds are very limited and it is not unusual for people to be sent to care  in other places where a bed is available. This could mean they are sent over 100 miles away. If you remember I did visit one of our congregation who had been sent to a nursing home in Quorn which is about 90 miles from here. We have another person who has been sent there and I am going to visit him early next week.

Ferry at Tailem Bend – River Murray

The four Test Cricket matches against India have ended with a well deserved win for India. There’s no question of the fact that India really dominated the entire series and in all honesty should have ended 3 1 instead of 2 1. India dominated the last Test Match from start to finish and should have come away with a win, but bad light and  bad conditions means that the match was abandoned and it became a draw. Be interesting to see how they do with a different set of skills in the ODI (One Day Internationals) ( Not very well, I fear!!)

In ten days from now we would have had Dougal for three months in what was to be a week to ten days visit. Anyway, he went home today. I took him round to Sam this afternoon. I think Dougal was glad to be home and glad to see his people. I’ll miss him but it’s nice to be back to me and Benji again. I think Benji will be quite happy and we had a good walk – just the two of us – this evening. We should be clear now until sometime in December when we get Yogi back for a bit. You never know, we could have Dougal back for a few visits if Sam has to go back to Adelaide for tests.

Warmish Day in old SA

Tomorrow I head off to Adelaide and a wonderful 42c, so shopping should be a load of fun.  When the arrangements were made there was no indication of this kind of temperature but regardless, my son ( with whom I am hitching a ride) has to go down anyway, so I didn’t want to appear as a wimp by not going :o) Still the drive down will be in an AC car and the shops will have the

The TDU Village

AC on, so really it’s only going between the shops that I want and Annabell asked me to go to that will be a little bit of a problem – only a little bit. Andrew is heading to Port Adelaide for an appointment. He will be staying overnight but I have an appointment on Friday morning, so I will catch the late coach home. I also want to get my traveling modem recharged and I  could do that here, but they make such a song and dance about it that I generally wait until I am in Adelaide to get it recharged for the year.

The drive down was uneventful and the A/C was kept going all the way. I generally stop at the Tin Man, but Andrew prefers to drive directly to Port Wakefield and then have his stop. We arrived in Port Adelaide early for his appointment so we went and had an early lunch. He went for his appointment and I sat and read  the magazines. Back into the city and shopping – I had my modem recharged and then went and bought some new clothes, as did Andrew, but for his son  rather than for himself. We had coffee in Rundle Mall and then walked ( 42c) to the central market. Normally we would have taken the tram, but they were out of service so It was a nice, pleasant walk.  We spent some time at the Tour Down Under  (TDU) Village. After this Andrew walked with me to the Coach Terminal and  we parted. I caught the late coach home, getting in at midnight. We did drive down together but he was staying the night whilst I had to be back for a

TDU Displays

meeting Friday Morning (Today) Stateliner have a new coach which was impressive in that along the side of the coach were UBS sockets for charging phones and music players or even laptops/tablets.

Today has been another scorcher with the temperature hitting 46c – at least that’s the official temperature – in real life, it’s actually hotter. Interesting though, after three  hot days we are in line for a thunderstorm. I took Benji out a little while ago and I could see some clouds starting to gather.

Saturday: As it transpired, nothing (as yet) came from the Gathering of the Clouds but the weekend is yet young.  I have sat next to the AC, drinking  Iced Water and listening to John Denver / Frank Sinatra. I think everyone of a certain age has a favourite John Denver – mine is Poems, Prayers and

Benji and Bowtie

Promises. As for Sinatra – it doesn’t matter  what Sinatra sings, I like them all, but if I had to pick just one, I think it would be a choice between  My Funny Valentine / It was a very good year. I think everyone has a favourite Sinatra and every one would probably be different. Driving down to Adelaide on Thursday I was subjected to heavy rock – my son’s car/ his music. Same rule – as in my car/my music.

I think the saddest thing for me is that in this hot weather I cannot take Benji out with me. I cannot take him into the supermarket and I cannot leave him in the car. And yet, hardly a week goes past without some report about police having to free dogs from a hot car and no windows open. And then this week a man went off and left the child in the car – she survived but only just. Even in relatively mild weather and I have Benji in the car, I check the time I get out the car and I carefully watch my watch when I am in a shop and make sure I don’t waste time. If I consider it too warm I wont take him and have to  accept – The Look – but it’s worth it to ensure that he stays ok.

Adelaide CBD and Home

Adelaide Christmas Tree in Victoria Square
Adelaide Christmas Tree in Victoria Square

Got me baffled!!  Monday, 39C Hot / Tuesday 40c Hot ( cool change expected in late afternoon) Wednesday ( Today) it’s chucking it down expected maximum 23c – wet and cool. No dogs out today.  No it was not a mistake, I did say dogs.  Every year our friends go off to Perth to be with their family for Christmas and New Year, and every year we have looked after Yogi, their dog. Like Benji, he’s a fairly placid dog so no problem. Last year Fay was ill and they stayed home.  This year, of course, we have the WaWa, so with THREE dogs the next month is going to be interesting.  No word from Sooah so we have no idea what is happening there, how things are going and when – or if – they will be back. They did give me an email address and I have used it, but it keeps bouncing back. I looked through my  Organizer and the last time

Part of Victoria Square
Part of Victoria Square

we had Yogi was in early April of this year when Jim went into hospital – before we got the WaWa. We expected that by this time the WaWa would be gone and we would only have Benji and Yogi – Best laid plans and all that! However, as I said, Benji and Yogi get on well together, walk together and play together.

Friday I went down to Adelaide to do the last of the Bunnings things. Since I have a RFDS Fundraising event today ( Saturday 17th)  I went down and back by coach – a bad mistake as it turns out. I have had some problems with this leg and it has been playing up. Sitting in the one position for five hours, then trying to walk was not great. However it eased up a bit but by the end of the day I was tired and quite painful. I got the things I wanted at Bunnings although I have to admit that although it was the closest to the CBD it is also the smallest store in South Australia. In fact, this Bunnings is so small that it doesn’t even have a Cafeteria.  Once I had completed what I wanted to do there, I  got back into town and spent time at a number of shops, picking up a few things. I  decided not to walk and instead took the tram from Rundle Mall to the Law Courts, and then over to the Central; Market. From there it’s a short walk to the Bus Station. I like wandering through the Central Market. I always find it an exciting place and so full of life and it seems to be different each I go there. Next to the Central Market is Chinatown, which has its own atmosphere with Chinese shops, Supermarkets and Restaurants. The coach was due to leave at 4:30 but didn’t leave until almost 5pm, which, of course, made us

Taken from the Coach. Not too bad for a mobile (cell) phone.
Taken from the Coach. Not too bad for a mobile (cell) phone.

late arriving home.   Sitting in the same position on the way back – although I did get off at Port Wakefield for a walk, well,  I was not the best when my son picked me up and I finally got home. However, this morning I did take both dogs out for a morning walk although I did change our route and

Children's amusements in Rundle Mall
Children’s amusements in Rundle Mall

was a little bit short. I managed through the RFDS Funding event, took Annabell shopping, then sorted out all the fund raising equipment – now I is sitting down and intend to stay that way for the rest of the day. I did say to Annabell, that I will try very hard not to have to travel down to Adelaide by coach again. I can quite happily drive all day if needs be,  but sitting for five hours is painful. Oh it is a large and comfortable coach but it’s still a coach and it’s still a five hour trip. Last night, we had our Carol Service and a collection we took up was a donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Anyway, here I am and here I intend to stay. I don’t want to move again until such time as I have to – probably Saturday night. (dog walks allowed)

 

Playing Santa – Toys for Benji

Let me tell you that I lurve you and I think about you all the time  :o)
Let me tell you that I lurve you and I think about you all the time :o)

The reason I went to Adelaide by coach rather than driving down was that I wanted several things and  I believed that I only needed to go to one place, Muno Para Shopping Center,  and I could attend to them – Telstrashop (New Travel Modem) Bunnings ( Garden things) and  some things for the Benji. Well, I guess two out of three is not bad – although having said that, I could get these two things anywhere but not the Bunnings things. Well, I got the new Travel Modem – I got things for the Benji and discovered that  Bunnings Muno Para has closed down and moved to another area. I had been to this particular Bunnings in Muno Para several times before and now, it was gone. Here’s the rub, had I been in the car I could simply driven to another  store in another part of town, – Modbury, Mile End or Pooraka- but relying on public transport and having to watch my time for the coach home, kind of put paid to these notions. I suppose I came out ahead, but not really because I actually NEED the units that I was going to get in Bunnings. I did not have the time to go elsewhere and getting there was not all that crash hot on public transport. As I said, I have

The Lower Flinders Ranges from Highway 1
The Lower Flinders Ranges from Highway 1

driven to the Muno Para Shopping Center several times before, so when I went over to the train station in Adelaide I got a ticket to Muno Para – seems logical, yes?? Well no!  I got off at Muno Para Station in the middle of nowhere – almost. I happened to  see a  person and asked them where the Muno Para Shopping Center was and they informed me that the Muno Para Shopping Center is in Smithfield – which was the last stop. So I had to  go over to the other side of the station and wait for a train back to Smithfield. Agreed, not difficult to do – not rocket science – but time consuming.

After I  got the things I was looking for (except the Bunnings things) I went back to the train station and took the train back to Elizabeth and had a look for some things there. Did buy a second toy for Benji so that was good. I have this theory that a dog can’t have too many toys.  Also had a belated lunch.  I was back in town by 16:40 and spend  three quarters of an hour at the Central Market  where I finally found a collapsible  water bowl. Overall the trip wasn’t a complete loss but a lot of time spent  traveling and getting nothing done. I mean  11 hours in coach travel alone. Why Bunnings – why not get what I want elsewhere – because like Ryobi Tools in Australia,  there are things that are exclusive to Bunnings – what I wanted was part of that.

On the journey up as it got dark I was  puzzled by all the lights around us, then I realised that it was the farmers working into the night – under lights- to get the harvest in whilst it was still dry. This  was on both sides of the highway all the way up through the farming areas. After the wettest spring on record, you can hardly blame them working hard to get  their crops harvested in case the weather breaks.

Travelling to Adelaide by coach these days is  very much a waste of time. The coach leaves at 6 am – arrives in Adelaide at 11:30 am and departs again at 4 pm – not really a lot o

A dog and his toys
A dog and his toys

f time to do much other than wander around Rundle Mall. Thursday the departure time is 6 pm so  that certainly helps – although it used to be at 6:30. I can understand the coach company reducing services – last Thursday, for example, there were six people on the coach leaving Adelaide. Four left at Port Pirie, one left at Port Augusta, so for the last 80 klms I had a 44 seater coach all to myself. -With the driver, of course.  Still, two new toys and a water bowl for Benji – seems like a good day out to me  :o)

Rain,Wind and Lazy Days.

Last Friday I drove down to Adelaide in lovely weather. It was an excellent day for a drive and I enjoyed the journey. Well I did until  I reached the crossroads of the State ( The Tin Man) and discovered that I had left my  laptop bag at home – so an exciting two days ahead – no laptop, no modem and – more importantly – no diary. That’s the first time I have ever done that.  I completed the task I had to do at Elizabeth, then continued on to Adelaide and met up with a young friend who is currently continuing her studies at Adelaide .  We spent a few hours drinking coffee and catching up with each other’s news. I walked her back to the railway station then caught the tram to the Central Market.  My son had asked me to look at some computer things for him  and the computer store was  halfway down Franklin Street. The  walk to this store was something I had done many times before, but on this occasion it was a nightmare and I was in pain not long after I got off the tram. When I finally got to the computer place it was to find that the  store was closed down and empty – which – to say the very least – was a tad annoying! Anyway, got back to Rundle Mall,  rescued the car from the  Car Park and drove to the hotel. Once I unloaded the car I was in no mood for anything other than getting  my feet up.  I did buy a small notebook  so I was able to keep a note of things for my diary. I spent most of the evening propped up on the hotel bed with a good book.

The Saturday meeting didn’t last long since there was only one item on the agenda – what used to be called an “in hunc effectum” meeting before the use of  outdated Latin phrases was discontinued about four years ago.  Anyway, by 11:30 I was on the road home and called Annabell to let her know I was in Port Wakefield. The drive home was something else. Given the poor state of the highway, depressions, potholes, poorly repaired sections and a high wind into the bargain, it was not the relaxing drive it was the previous day. The Port Wakefield Road is part of Inter-State National Highway 1 and I believe the responsibility of the Federal Government.   I arrived in Port Augusta tired. I did some shopping there, had coffee and fuel and headed  out to the last 80 klms.

Since coming home the weather has been wild and windy and to round off a bad weather week,  it  has been raining heavily all night. There was an interesting report on the news the other night about the consequences of all this rain – things  are growing like wildfire – I know that by the continual battle against the weeds that we are all having –  but already the pollen count has been very high and starting to foreshadow what  could be the worst hay fever season on record.  I spend a small fortune on weed killer and by and large the weeds laugh at it,  have a ball and invite their friends to the party.

It now be official!  I went to my diet people this morning and was weighed at 82.7 kilo.Not good but a lot better that I had expected and a loss since I was last weighed a few weeks ago. I not only want to get back to where I was before the operation but to push further to about 77 kilo. I shall be happy then.  Anyway this bad weather has not been “all bad”and not going out at night means that my Associate (Benji) and I  had a few lazy evenings plonked on the bed, propped up watching season 6 of Downton Abbey.  I had a look and season 10 of Lewis is not out on DVD yet. I have all the others.

Sands of Time..

Me in my Daddy's car
Me in my Daddy’s car
A Gazinia by my early walk
A Gazinia by my early walk

Yes it did rain and we did have some high wind but not quite as bad as was expected. However, it looks like  two good driving days to and from Adelaide this weekend. I have had to explain to people why an “Urgent Meeting” takes two weeks to organize. Firstly the rule states that seven days notice must be given and secondly people have to gather not only from across the State but also the representatives from  Queensland. The actual meeting is less than a month away but this is business that is too important to be left to that meeting therefore  this extraordinary meeting had been called. However, that’s good because it gives me a day in Adelaide to do any shopping that either I want or Annabell wants. The meetings are always on a Saturday and always at 9 am so in order to be there on time, I need to be down a day before, which gives me the day in  the city to do what I want.  People generally don’t understand that these rules and regulations were written  mainly for a European style urban organization with large gatherings of people – suited to the United States, Canada and the Eastern States of Australia. It falls apart somewhat when you have a small and scattered population such as we have in South Australia

Saturday was a glorious day and I was down at the beach as I said. The  day was organised by the director of the Whyalla Players and was a promotion for the play (Musical) Mary Poppins. People were just asked to be at the foreshore about 1pm and bring an umbrella with them. I

Umbrella people
Umbrella people

enjoyed the photo shoot but I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of people.  Yes there were enough people to make it worthwhile, but the lack of numbers saddened me, considering the  outstanding success of their last production “The Phantom of the Opera” They have been rehearsing  for about seven months now and it’s a big production with many singers. After the photo shoot, which was covered by the local paper and the area television station, I drove up Hummock Hill and took some photographs of the area, including one of part of Arrium. The State-wide blackout and the loss of power has cost Arrium dearly. The employees have taken a further 10% pay cut so it’s getting close to the bone and there is not a lot more the workforce can accommodate and still survive. The reason that this was accepted was that  it’s better to take a hit and try to manage with less, than try to manage with nothing at all.

I am just a tad frustrated in that this knee seems to be taking a lot longer to recover than I had anticipated.  It is still slightly swollen and I still have some residual pain at times and I am not the most patient of people. I am getting out and about and I will be driving to Adelaide, but I have come to accept that during my day in Rundle Mall, I think I may have to have that infernal cane with me and do my best to cope with this niggling pain.  Grrr ………

The Echocardiograph  was good and everything seems to be in order. I am told that there is a very tiny leak in one of the valves , but nothing to be concerned about. I wont be waiting in line for open heart surgery any time soon.

Two weeks after the blackout and power has finally been restored to most of industry – considering the millions lost by Arrium and the Steelmill, it’s small comfort. Even less of a comfort is the fact that not only is South Australia in decline and being run by a government that have no idea what they are doing, it wont take much more to send Whyalla into decline. The state of the economy, a government and organizations that  cannot think of anything further than Bolivar, the uncertainty of Arrium and associated industries and we have a shopping centre that was once promoted as the Largest Regional Shopping Center in South Australia – outside of Adelaide  – that is heading towards a tipping point with close to one third of the shops closed and empty. Now, comes the news that at the end of this month another large business will close its doors – more unemployment and an empty (Large) shop. The business – Radio Rentals. Unlike Dick Smith, RR is not going under, it’s just closing its store here through high rents and lack of business.