RFDS, the Man and Orchids (Triffids)

RFDS Aircraft
RFDS Aircraft

I only found out very recently that there is a Royal Flying Doctor Service – Support Group,  in Germany. They raise funds, just like we do – for the RFDS of Australia. To date the German Group have raised over $110,000.  I thought this was pretty amazing. In order for the group to be legally established, the Australian Ambassador in Berlin had to write to the German Financial Authorities confirming that the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and thus the support group, is a non-profit organization. Amazing – The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia – German Division. :o)

Put the car in for servicing and repairs today. Glad to note only minor repair, and usual oil and coolant change. All ready for  Adelaide on 26th. Once the Assembly is finished – probably late  Wednesday – I will stay over and  attend a training course to update my First Aid Certificate.I figured that  since I was in Adelaide  anyway, I might as well get that done at whilst I was there. All going well I should be heading home on the Friday.

My groomer informed me – reluctantly – that she would prefer not to  groom the Man. Not that he is a “problem” dog but  she is concerned about him. Because his back legs  are a bit of a concern she is frightened that she might hurt him and that makes her nervous.  She’s a young woman and I understand her concerns.  So, I either try to find a new groomer who has experience in working with a dog that has

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

unstable back legs or  I think about attempting to do it myself and really making a mess – and don’t say I wont because I know I will. I can leave him until I get back from Adelaide, by which time he will be just about ready for a groom again. He has some problems at time standing still to eat his dinner, so when that happens I stand behind him and support him with my hands underneath him. He’s only little, a slow eater and boy after a while it gets a bit painful on the back bending down., but we’ll think of something.  The good news is that I have found another groomer and I have made an appointment with her when I get back from Adelaide. – Chienne is short-haired and does not need grooming – just a bath and I can do that :o)

Like the song says “All my bags are packed, I’m  ready to go” and it is so. I did hope that I would be able to do some things in the city before the General Assembly begins, but I have been called to a meeting at Para Hills in the early afternoon. Anyway, first two days in North Adelaide then over to Norwood for the remainder.  I have no idea what the Para Hills thing is all about – most unusual to say the least, to call such a meeting only hours before the General Assembly. Very strange!!

Masses of flowers!
Masses of flowers!

The back is still a disaster area and the lovely weeds are thriving. The two Bougainvillea are still surviving (sorry CDL) as are the three other flowers. I am pleased that the  Native Hibiscus – which I really though had died, has sprung to life again and is growing like crazy. Have had salads – I know it’s nearly winter here but I like salad – and I am pleased to say that I  have been using the lettuce leaves from the raised  vegetable bed. In a day or so I should also start to use the parsley. But that’s no great feat – parsley will grow anywhere and good as I am, even I would have difficulty killing it. Brussels Sprouts -hmmmmm – early days.  So everything is not quite a total disaster out back. Front – no movement from the Fir Trees – still at the height they were when I planted them – Sturt’s  Desert Pea is going like wildfire. I want to take a few photographs of this and take it into the Arid Lands Botanic Garden on the way home – also the Sturt’s Desert Rose, which is also thriving. The weeds are too, but I am getting on top of them out there..  The big Shadehouse has been abandoned for the time being. With a limited  access to a good

Gives me the creeps  - like Orchids  :o)
Gives me the creeps – like Orchids :o)

garden shop, I can’t get  the shade plants that will survive. One “friend”suggested that I  give it over to Orchids. I couldn’t do that – I would freak out every time I looked at them – Triffids – miniature Triffids..

Peas, Roses and Orange Blossom

Nationwide our youth unemployment is, according to a recent press release, in the region of 21%. As a nation we are on the horns of a major dilemma – actually a twin dilemma – youth unemployment and age pensions. About to be announced in the National Budget this month  is the decision to raise the pension age from 65 – 70, which will deffer the payment of pensions for five years, but will make the youth unemployment worse than it currently is. Well, yes, I have no doubt that the government will come up with all sorts of plans that their tame academics have devised to tackle the problem — More training and development – get them  ‘Job Ready”  not that there are many jobs around for them to be ‘ready’ for – but let’s not quibble over semantics.   ´South Australia is facing a generational crisis,” warned Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson. ”For young people caught up in this jobless spiral this can be a road to long term poverty and reliance on welfare.”  Raising the pension age from 65 – 70 might, in the short term, solve one problem but creates a whole lot of other problems.  As one person put it – in the event of a major fire – or indeed any fire – do you really want  someone 70+ trying to carry you out of a burning building? Do you really think a 70yo police officer is a running match for a 22 year old offender? Also the longer you keep older people in jobs the less opportunity for employment there is for younger people. We have had six years of a Socialist Government that spent money like it was going out of style. But all socialist government do likewise – borrow and spend – and to quote the late Baroness Thatcher – “The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s

Orange Blossom - Not my Photograph
Orange Blossom – Not my Photograph

money”.  Have you heard of the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain – all socialist  governments – all up to their little eyes in debt – and the UK is not all that far behind. Ireland is slowly starting to recover but it’s a long slow grind and not popular because the population have gotten used to “Let the good times roll” and if and when you threaten that – look out. That’s what’s happening here right at the moment. The Labor Party Government threw money at everything and anything and people liked it until their lies started to come home. This government wants to repair the damage but it’s having a hard time to do just that. The previous government promised billions  for programmes that we cannot afford and people still want them – even although we can’t afford to implement them.   I look at Europe and I really do wonder how much longer the European Union can continue to survive because it’s really only Germany that’s holding it together – well German money at any rate. But this is not a political thing and I don’t intend it ever to be,  so I will simply say that we are in a mess right now and it’s not going to get any better – well it will,  but later rather than sooner.

The flowers of the Desert Pea are really starting to take off now – just as they did last year, and in the same pattern  and I am more than happy to leave them alone and get on

My Sturt's Desert Pea
My Sturt’s Desert Pea

with what they want to do  :o) I am  happy about this because it’s my one of only two real success stories – the other being the Desert Rose, so it’s fair to say that I’m quite chuffed. Oddly enough the three pines I planted months age are as big now as they were when I planted them. In other words they haven’t grown an inch. I have a friend in another area who is going to get me  some cuttings from a frangipani plant, which should be nice  Out back,  the Mexican Orange Blossom is progressing well as is the Flamenco Hibiscus as well as the  new native Hibiscus, so it’s not all a dead loss. Two of the Bougainvillea have died – but I mentioned that before – but two have survived. What have also survived are the masses of weeds that the wet stuff produced.  I have a problem with them because  they just love the weed killer I  feed them with. It’s a worry  :o)

Hospital, flowers and space invaders

The Lower Flinders Ranges
The Lower Flinders Ranges

First of all, the good news is that the tests Annabell (herself) underwent were clear and the doctors are pleased with her. We still have to live with other things but she is doing well and we don’t have to go back again until March of 2015 – which is great. The weather in Adelaide was cold and  added to the fact that she does not travel well, it was a difficult two days for her. It was a difficult day to be down in Adelaide and there being no parking available at the hospital I had to drop her off and then go find a parking place – which I did – about a kilometer away.  I parked then walked back to the hospital, then reversed the process when she was finished.  The time  was not all that crash hot for me either – five trips  in four week at 760 klm per trip is 3800 klms, and it’s  about time I had a break  from travelling.  Apart from the Sturt’s Desert Pea, my garden is suffering because the weeds have started to take over and I have not had a weekend nor time during the week to get it sorted out. I’ve done some but I need to spend some serious time in there over the next week or so. We stopped into the Arid Lands Botanic Garden on the way through, but there was nothing ready yet and the Desert Pea  they had was smaller than a seedling so it needs some more time. I’ll  be heading back to town on the 26th, so the travelling is not quite over yet for a little while.

The drive home was fun and we joked, when passing Bolivar (the Extreme end of Adelaide),  that we were leaving civilisation behind us and heading into the ” Badlands” – “Bandit Country”. Too many people have the idea in their heads that they just about need a helicopter gunship as an escort if  they leave the security of the Metropolitan District and head north .  It was also interesting for in that when we were at the start of the journey she realised, for the first time, that all the pastureland she could see on either side of the road to the horizon on either side,  was now military property. That aside, she slept most of the journey down and back, which was good.

I was up to my wee eyeballs over the weekend with RFDS Fundraising and other things and on Monday I was asked to

Some people call them 'Top-Notch" pigeons.
You invading my space, Bird.

work – which I did. I have this weekend free ( at the moment) and I should be able to get into the garden and attend to these weeds. I miss my little associates when I am away. I even miss him standing,  staring off into space and barking. He’s silly! I have even watched him barking at birds that have the cheek to invade his air space. I didn’t have a photograph of a bird on the fence, but I thought this would sort of give you the idea. It’s a Crested Pigeon – cute – but still a pigeon.

The sun has got his hat on.

A few minutes walk from the house
A few minutes walk from the house

The weather has warmed up again and I have been back out in the garden. I am working on  the Crazy Paved  area and trying to decide what to do with it. The blemishes make it unusable for herself. It had been my intention to make this her clothes line area but the  ground is so uneven that I really cannot expect herself to walk on it in safety – but I have already gone through all this. I have started the re-edging and am halfway through that. Once I have that completed I will make a decision on what to do, but I rather suspect I am leaning towards having it concreted over – it would be just too much to  big a job and much too time-consuming to dig it out and start again – not that I would anyway.  It looks  fairly reasonable from a distance but up close it is badly done and very uneven. It’s the devil to try and keep clean  because the dust and leaves get into the cracks and the uneven divisions between the stones and make it a hard job to sweep.   I started by saying that the weather was warming, but in this little corner of the Commonwealth, it can heat up to a point where it really is silly to go out and work (unless you have an occupation that requires outside work) because the temperature can really do nasty thing to you. I personally believe that working outside in the garden in temperatures of 46c  (115f) is pointless because it is exhausing and draining, and that’s what the temperature climbed up to on Monday and despite being watered, fed and mulched, many plants died. I have questioned the  contents of plant information tickets – they say the plant can be full sun, but what does that mean? Does it mean full sun in the highlands of Victoria or full sun on the edge of the desert in northern South Australia. I rather suspect they are  created in Victorian and New South Wales temperatures and not for  40+ of  country South Australia, so “Full Sun” does not really relate to this little corner of the world. Our ‘ Full Sun”  kills them off. I was told that they should survive if I  ensure that the ground is mulched to protect the roots and that they are well watered, but it really didn’t make a lot of difference and the only two plants that survived the extreme heat of  last week were the two “Sturt’s Desert Pea” – which is not really all that surprising since it is a plant well adapted to desert life. However, they are short lived plants and will really only last the season, but at least I might have some colour.

A “feature” of our part of the world is a North Wind. In many parts of the world, particularly in the UK, a North Wind is a very cold wind – they even have a poem about it ” The North Wind doth blow and we shall have snow” Well here, the North Wind is a  hot wind that blows off the hot desert and pushes temperatures up as well as being draining, making the heat worse than it is already. The dogs have been inside in the cool.