Highways, by-ways and Mother Nature

I can still relate to this
I can still relate to this

Apart from a Football Match (Australian Rules) I have now discovered another reason for staying out of the City – International  OZ-Comi-Con is being held at the Showgrounds. This is annoying because I wanted to go to that this year. My son went last year and bought me a Warehouse 13 T Shirt and had photographs taken with Richard Dean Anderson. However, I have to be at a conference on Saturday morning and be back in time for a Barbecue. However, with these two events, the place will be packed and although I do have to do one thing in town, I might not be able to if I can’t get parked. I will probably drive into town, judge things and either try to park or drive back out again. I might get away with it on Friday morning but certainly not Saturday, although I wont be in town on Saturday anyway. I’ll be navigating the South Road. Joy! I was asked to go to Karrulta Park on Friday which works out good for me. I can pick up the ANZAC Highway which runs into West Terrace and puts me on the side of the road that I wanted to be in.  Well ok, Adelaide is not the world biggest metropolis,   but  coming into West Terrace from any other end means cutting across 10 lanes of traffic to get where I want to be –  South Terrace, North Terrace, ANZAC Highway and Sir Donald Bradman Drive all converge in West Terrace. From there I can head up to Salisbury. This is also a busy place, but far enough away from Adelaide to miss the crowds.

I do not really get irritated with many things but one of the things that does irritate me is the way comments (awaiting moderation) just vanish into cyberspace. This happens on a couple of sites so I’m not really sure if I should continue with these sites, or just go. Of course, this could be a roundabout way of telling me to go anyway  :o)

The drive to Adelaide was uneventful – thankfully. A lovely day and a good drive down. I  I did turn off the by-pass onto

 Sturt Desert Rose

Sturt Desert Rose

the South Road  and I have to say that I am impressed. No detours and the elevated roadway was all but completed – just some cosmetic finishing touches. A super road – but then it’s cost enough so it should be. Well,  that’s that section finished, now the fight starts about where the government is going to borrow the money to start work on the next section. My one criticism  is that because of the cosmetic work being undertaken, traffic on the new 8 lane (4×4) roadway was restricted to 60kph – less stress, no detours, but not all that faster in getting to Kurralta Park. I did manage to get the last photograph for my report at West Terrace before heading off to Salisbury. After the conference on Saturday I decided to make a detour that would see me back on the South Road and the

Lovely Day!! (38c)
Lovely Day!! (38c)

new highway again. This was amazing because the South Road Highway now blends into the Salisbury Highway, which then joins the  Port Wakefield Road and a direct run home on Highway 1. Bonus… I was home in plenty of time to feed the dogs and get us  over to my son’s place for the Barbecue.

Since I came back from Adelaide it’s been raining almost constantly. It’s been good in that my 22,500 ltr water is overflowing as is the 1350 ltr. water tank. The small  tank I use for watering plants – when they actually survive that is- which is not very often. The Hibiscus and the other bushes I planted have all died so we are slowly coming to the conclusion that the previous owners, who had a thing for concrete and gravel, may well have  made sure that nothing will grow on the little area of soil they left. What I am thinking about is weed matting and woodchips and give up this one-sided, unequal struggle. Mother nature is bigger than me  :o)

Road Trip, Adelaide and Fire Bans

The drive to Adelaide was uneventful. The temperature was about 35c, but I did leave at 7am so I avoided much of the heat. I arrived in Adelaide at 11;10am – from Adelaide out to where Alan is took me

This is me. Obese I am not. Just thought I would get that out of the way.
This is me. Obese I am not. Just thought I would get that out of the way.

– via the South Road – from 11:10 – 12;27, which is when I parked the car. I had spoken to him fairly regularly – every few days – but I was unprepared on how frail he had become.  Having spent some time with him, I had a much better understanding of why the Medical staff were against him being in a car, without oxygen, in a 44c heat for nearly six hours. Anyway, I did spend some time with him chatting with him and bringing him up to date on herself and the boys, Trish and the girls (Trish is Andrew’s Partner and the girls are hers). He spends nearly all of his day in a chair, hooked up to the oxygen and watching television – which means, the conversation was fairly one sided. I wanted to get back into town and spend some time there, so I only stayed for about an hour or so. I should be going back down in early February so I’ll try and take a run out to see him again.  Certainly it’s a lovely place – I mean it REALLY is a lovely place and the staff are very helpful, but that being said – it is still a Nursing Home and he wont be coming out of there until …….

Making my way back into town I stopped off at the Garden Center and bought some new plants. I bought three new pencil pines for out the front and two new hibiscus for the back to compliment the native hibiscus. The colours should should provide a good contrast. I did some shopping in town and went into the Optus Shop and upgraded herself’s phone. Apart from other things, it was a long day but still not over yet. I made my way to the hotel, settled in and parked the car. I walked up to the main road and caught a bus into town and walked to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) – a fair distance. Considering I have been suffering from a condition called “Plantar Fasciitis” it was not a very pleasant walk. A friend of one of the elderly ladies in the church  had an accident and was flown to Adelaide. I said  I would go visit her when I was in Adelaide. I arrived at the RAH and asked where the lady was only to find that she has been flown back to the local hospital the previous afternoon. I was not really overjoyed at the walk back to the bus stop. I  am glad that she is back home ( well, sort of) so she can have visitors. That was good – the walk back to the bus stop was not. It was a hot sticky night so thank goodness for air

The Adelaide Cockroach
The Adelaide Cockroach

conditioners. How did I cause the damage to my foot – well I saw some jobs that needed to be done and went out to do them – “Wont take long ”  I thought. That being so I didn’t bother to put on work shoes but spent the day climbing up and down ladders   wearing sandals. Ok so it took longer than I anticipated, and whilst this may not be the exact cause, it certainly didn’t help. And if there is anyone who feels the urge to berate me for not wearing the correct footwear for the job, please don’t – my doctor has done it for you  :o)

This week in South Australia is one of extreme heat. It starts today with a temperature of 39c – 42c Tuesday – 44c  Wednesday – 43 Thursday – 44 Friday and then a cool change late Friday afternoon. Saturday we drop down to the high 20c/ low 30c. The Emergency Services and the hospitals are on stand-by as the sun bites and humour takes a back seat. There is a total fire ban across the State. One  person asked me today what I was going to do to keep cool and I said that I would probably  curl up with the dogs  on the ceramic tiles in the laundry. I don’t think it registered…

Cricket, Trekies and Roses

How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished.

Five wickets fallen for a total of 22 runs. That is abysmal in any language. England is down and Australia is slowly kicking the life out of it. Not good, not good at all – bad for England and bad for cricket in general. But the question has to be asked why England has performed so badly and my view is that they are burned out. They have come to Australia at the end of a fairly hectic tour in India and Sri Lanka whilst Australia haven’t been anywhere yet and are fresh and on fire. Just listening to the comments and no one seems able to believe how bad England are. They are coming up with all sorts of excuses and I feel they are just wandering around the problem – there is far too much cricket and too much is being asked of the players. India and Australia have a lot to answer for in this regard –

The strange people you meet in Adelaide  :o)
The strange people you meet in Adelaide :o)

Australia with the Big Bash League and India with its India Premier League = lots of money involved. And yes many of the  Test Cricketers in England don’t play for the IPL but they are still involved in International Tours and England has just finished a tour of India and Sri Lanka, so my feeling is they are burned out – too much cricket. There is no such thing as an “Off-Season” anymore and it’s less of a sport and more of a business venture with the potential for corruption with the serious on-line betting and betting on individual players and ball by ball results. This is already under investigation and corruption has already been  an ugly feature of the Indian Games. But that aside. England really has some serious soul searching to do. They didn’t lose the Ashes, they gave them away as a Christmas Gift. Oh and if anyone is thinking ‘Just Sour Grapes” please remember I am Scottish, not English – winning or loosing is not the issue, the game is and this was not a game, it was Play School on a Cricket Oval.

The weather has been odd lately and when I have taken the dogs walking in the mornings I have been wearing a track suit. Same at night, it is decidedly chilly. At the moment it’s a case of half walk half carry with the Man. However, he’s still had full mobility wandering around the grounds and the house and I really don’t mind having to carry him sometimes. But it is getting to the point when I need to give serious thought to a set of wheels for him.  On Friday I

 Sturt Desert Rose
Sturt Desert Rose

head off to Adelaide, returning Saturday. I said I would go down and spend some time with Alan and this might be the last opportunity I get for a while, since the weather is starting to heat up again and should be in the mid to high 40s next week. It means navigation the vagaries of the South Road but it is starting to come together now so it’s perhaps not quite as bad as it used to be.

Dogs, Medication and the South Road

20130824_111434There is really not a lot (continual wind not withstanding) of things that frustrate me, but twice now I have had someone visit but I have no idea how to return the courtesy. Work Press tells me that  Fred Bloggs thought etc. but there is nothing else – no place for me to go and return the visit, nothing other than a profile containing only a name.  That’s frustrating.  – so, hello and thank you for visiting!

Took the dogs out walking last night (Wednesday) and only had to carry the Man once I think the head wind was a bit too much for him. He is still eating, which has to be a good sign, but we only have a few days of his medication left. Herself suggests that the Vet knew this so perhaps this is the full course and he does not need the medication after this. I hope that’s the case, but now I have another small problem – how to cure his addiction for cheese. My fault.. In order to give him his medication I enclosed it in a small amount of cheese – now he’s looking for it at night.Still it is only a small piece so I don’t suppose it will do him too much harm. I will keep a close eye on him when the medication is finished and watch for any changes. We wont be out tonight because as I said earlier, I’ll be at the Carols in the Park with the RFDS. Looking forward to this tonight, partly because it’s a fun night and partly because it’s the last fundraising event until 26th January. It’s getting to the time when we go walking with a back pack containing water and a bowl- early morning and  mid-evening, we can stop and have a drink – all three of us.

I don’t wish to start an International Debate but Cricket used to be a game played   at an international Level  by Gentlemen – What happened??

The Carols-in-the-Park were well and was attended by a very large crowd. We were kept very busy and had to phone out for someone to bring more food as we were starting to run out. After we did this twice, we decided that if we run out again then we pack up. We did run out but by then it was fairly close to the end of the night and we were quite satisfied with that. Within the next day or so I will probably be traveling to Adelaide  to collect Alan and bring him here for Christmas. This was not part of our plans but his “carers” are going off to another city for Christmas and he will be left on his own. Yes he is in a nursing home but that’s not the point- his candle05step-daughter and her husband are the only family, apart from me, that he has in South Australia. It’s a 4.5 hour drive to Adelaide and a further 1.5 hours from Adelaide to where he is and as you know, the South Road is not my favourite of places. And it will be fun because the temperature on Thursday, when I go down to collect him, will be 42c – lots of water for me and the car.

Adelaide – Again (2)

In a recent post I said that I had some Carpal Tunnel problems and seven hours behind the wheel of the car ( after I was geographically misplaced)  was just too much. Anyway, coming out of that Herself, ever the thoughtful person, was in the chemist and saw a pair of pressure gloves made from neoprene. She thought they would be helpful and bought them for me. OnWednesday, off  I set to Adelaide wearing the Neoprene gloves. I think I lasted about  30 klms. before The pain forced me to pull off the road onto the gravel and rip the things off.  I drove a further uncomfortable 170 klms and stopped for a good appleobreak, which helped. I was a  bit later getting into town but still in time for my appointment  with Apple and after that my meeting with the Moderator. The Apple Shop in Adelaide offers testing, advice and  a range of iPod, iPads and computers, laptops and phones, but no internal parts. For that I would have to go elsewhere – and I did – to an Apple agent in another part of the CBD. I wanted extra memory and was staggered at what they proposed to charge me for a mere 4 gig. I could just about buy a new Windows Computer with 500 gig for the price.  I  “reluctantly” declined. I didn’t even ask about the price of a new battery,.

Had a good night and made an early start in the morning. I had been asked to go out to Kurralta Park again and I said I would even although it meant, not once, but twice, travelling my  favourite road in all the world – The South Road. Still more detours but I didn’t get misplaced this time and I returned by a different route that I had just learned, which was good.  Ok for a direct return but difficult in getting there because of the twists and turns and the crossing traffic lanes, so I can’t give up the South Road just yet.

The journey home was interesting in that there were high winds all the way and at times I was having a “difference of opinion” with the steering wheel regarding directions. The gusts, I learned later, were up to 60kph which accounts for the car being pushed about a bit. Did my hands a power of good!!  I have to make a confession in that I got home and Chienne really made a fuss of me. I think she must have realised I had a bit of a hard time and was all over me.  My Man did lift his head from his bed to sort of

 The Maltese Terrorist in "our"Chair
The Maltese Terrorist in “our” Chair

acknowledge that I was back. I understand –  he is getting quite old for a Maltese and I love him dearly — except when he starts barking at 2am for no earthly reason that we can see.  — “Excuse me, Daddy, I’m awake why are you not??”

I was saddened to hear that Schoep, the arthritic dog that his owner took to lake Superior every night because the temperature and buoyancy of the water, eased his pain and allowed him to sleep, passed on 19th July – a few days ago According to John Unger, his owner, Schoep passed peacefully at 20 years of age.

I have no idea if the computer or my settings are at fault but some posts I get some I just don’t. Odd, very..

South Road and the carpal tunnel

I have been away for the last few days. When I am in Adelaide  I can access the mail server through a portable modem, but for reasons which are totally unknown, I cannot reply to anything. I have been to see Apple and Telstra, but we can find nothing wrong.  Telstra checked the settings on the modem and Apple checked out my laptop and  there is no reason why I cannot send out, but I just can’t.  This is by way of explanation to a little friend, The Grey Wolf, reborn, that I was not ignoring you – I just could not send you a message of support. You will get through this, I know you will – I have faith in you.

South Road
The Exciting South Road

In my hotel room I wrote a post about Misty, one of my dogs. In the light of recent events I decided it was not appropriate at this time and  did a cut and paste on to another document to be used some time in the future. Adelaide was exciting in that I went to see Alan and managed to navigate through the  vagaries of the South Road to where I needed to be. On the return journey, which is even more fraught with delays and detours, I became  ” Geographically Misplaced” and instead of arriving back in the city  arrived some 15 miles away in  Port Adelaide. That’s kool – I had never been there before so that was good. However by the time I did get into the city I had been driving with only a short bread for over seven hours and did my hand hurt!! One of these fine days I will get this seen to, but I think driving all the way down to see Alan and then the drive back, including the “Geographically Misplaced” section,  was just too much and I suffered for it. Four hours or thereabouts I can accommodate, but driving for most  of the day was just a kilometre too far.  The GPS is a very handy tool, but it can have its limitations. I know the way to all the places I have to go, but this is new and the South Road is not the place to  go looking for new things because the detours and routes change from week to week – sometimes, so I am told, from day to day. And the GPS wants to take you into roads that are blocked off, or just no longer exist because of the reconstruction. The South Road is a good example of what happens with a metrocentric government – it will quite happily borrow and spend million and tens of millions on roads and freeways in Adelaide,

The exciting South Road
The exciting South Road

but there is nothing available to upgrade or even repair roads in the country.

Until recently I had never heard of Valley Fever, so in order to find out what it was I had to look it up. I now know and understand – well as much as anyone who may never have any exposure to the sickness can understand.