Adelaide, Flinders Ranges and the Man

Driving into Adelaide - what's not to love??
Driving into Adelaide – what’s not to love??
Just nice.
Just nice.

Heading down to Adelaide at the weekend. My son is taking his partner for some tests she has to have so they are driving down and I am going down with them. They will drop me off in the city and I’ll catch the coach home in the evening. I thought I would grab this last opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and see what I can get for Herself. Not too much for me – I’m easy to fix; a Bunnings Gift Card in an coloured envelope and I’m happy. This is not the scheduled trip that I spoke about – that has been cancelled – so this is the last until February. I have resigned from one of the State Committees and I  will not be going to the Assembly, so my runs to Adelaide will be considerably cut down. Between Assembly, Conference, Committee meetings, The Commission, Alan’s illness, Alan’s passing and Alan’s Funeral, the last year or so really took a lot out of me and I have no desire to repeat the exercise.

I’ve been trying to palm off The Man to my other son  :o) I said I would just keep a photograph because it will be cheaper than keeping him. He is well,  growing in strength and eating like a  horse. I can’t keep up with the amount he eats at the moment. I am forever filling his bowl with food and I still hand feed him his treat in the morning.    He has even been out on walks twice in the last week. He generally stays close to Chi but he does wander about until he finds his way back to her side.  I have to watch him like a hawk because he crosses in front of me at times and the idea of getting up close and personal with the roadway does not appeal to me.

My Filofax - Scanda Personal
My Filofax – Scanda Personal

I bought a friend a Pink Filofax for her birthday last year and she makes great use of it. So much so that she asked me to help her find an A4 Filofax for her study next year. Interesting because I have temporarily abandoned Filofax for a similar system but with a different maker – Van der Spek , a Dutch company , and unlike Filofax these binders ( planners/Organizers)  are hand made. It will be an interesting exercise and to be truthful I will not be surprised if I am back to my Filofax by Easter, but I will try to get used to the smaller A6 unit.

I read the interesting Road Trip by Uncle Spike and for me to travel on the kind of highway that he is using, I am looking at close to 1000 miles – Melbourne – Sydney – Canberra. Melbourne would be the closest at a mere 700 miles. Also the land around here is fairly flat, with a very small population – 350,000 in an area about 904,880 sq.klms  The Flinders Ranges is the largest Mountain Range in South Australia. It’s about 270 miles in length with the highest peak being St. Mary’s Peak at 3,780 feet. Have not been into the Flinders for ages. Must try and get up there for a couple of days before it gets too hot.


Groomers, Adelaide, Shopping and Conferences.

Really crazy pavingBecause of his many problems, I now have difficulty in getting a groomer to take the Man. One was recommended and I called her. I left a message on her answering machine and it took her six days to get back to me. In the meantime I went back to Fussy Dogs and had a conversation with Corenza and if I bring him in tomorrow morning before they open, she will wash and groom him for me. I am pleased about this because it will help to make him more comfortable and I’m all for that. I am down in Adelaide next weekend then one more and that will be me until mid-February. I can’t say that I am particularly unhappy about this – I mean,  even for a shopaholic, like me, there is just so many times you can get excited about Rundle Mall, Elizabeth or Tea Tree Plaza. Although, having said that, it will be slightly different because the places will be all decorated and that’s worth seeing. Anyway, once I get back from Adelaide I should be able to make a move on the work of at least one of the projects I started. I will move the Hills Hoist from the back of the house to the area at the side of the house – the area of the Crazy Paving. I have decided that it would be just too much to have the lot dug up, so I have  covered over the worst sections with concrete, so the next thing is to lay down plastic sheeting and/weed matting and put a decent level of topsoil, pack that down,  then artificial grass. That should make it a pleasant area for her washing line – and not so far for her to move things. Once I get this completed I will decide which of the remaining projects to tackle next. I’m not really thinking that far ahead at the moment – one

A Man and His(?) Offic
A Man and His(?) Office

thing at a time.

The Man is starting to wear down and  I have tried to make him as comfortable as I can and been on hand when he’s needed me – even at 3am – but he’s been washed and groomed and he is looking much better. In “The Old Days” Chienne used to attack him when I brought him back from the groomer, but, interestingly, not this time.

I would like not to be running back and forth to Adelaide every few weeks. It is something I could very well do without and it is tiring. However, it is not my choice – well yes I suppose it is since everything really is by choice – but at the moment I am doing the work of two people. Generally Helen shares the workload but Helen has Breast Cancer and is undergoing treatment for that, so I have to fill in and do the traveling she would normally do – hence all the running around this year. I am also a member of two Assembly Committees, which I have to attend. One of these I will resign from after Christmas. Only three people have the authority to attend to the Courts and do all the other things – Me, Helen and Annabell (Herself)  Helen is presently unwell, Herself is disabled so,  lille ole me it is! Believe me, CDL there is nothing I should like better than to sit down, put my feet up and close the door on the world for a while, but I can’t – not just yet. And yes, it is something of an ego boost, but sad at the same time,  when you call to book the hotel and the receptionist asks you how you are by name because she has recognized the voice. I have the 6th December and the  15th December and that should be me until mid-February. As for the shopping, well I have to be down there the day before for an early morning start and I have no intention whatsoever, of leaving here at 4am on the day of the conference and driving down – so I go down a day early and I have to do something to occupy my time  :o)  See, it’s not all bad…

Health and welfare, Man and Me.

There  is a song from the Musical(?) Jesus Christ, Superstar, called “Could We Start Again, Please” and for some unknown reason it came to mind recently and has decided to take up temporary residence. I remember a group of us went to the musical and not long after this  the family and I left Scotland to come to Australia. So, it’s about 30+ years since I had exposure to this particular piece of music but I think the

Traveling North

recent concerns with my health and the health and well-being of The Man seems to have triggered some kind of  response from the past that has some bearing on the present:

I’ve been very hopeful so far

Now for the first time I think we’re going wrong

Hurry up and tell me this is just a dream

Oh could we start again, please?

Between my health, the Man’s health a garden that looks more like a bomb site than anything else, half finished projects in several places, so, yes, I think, Could we start again, please?  Between today and the middle of December I have to be in Adelaide three times – this week the Sitting of the Commission, nine days later a two day conference and a week after that a one day session that I need to attend and I really have to get some work done on the projects I have started in the garden. So, basically, yes – Could we start again, Please?

The drive down to Adelaide in a 38C heat was “interesting”.  I met up with a friend in Adelaide and had coffee, which was really good. The same could not be said about much else. The temperature collapsed

The lower Ranges
The lower Ranges

overnight and the following day was rain storms and thunder. Fortunately I got out of Adelaide before the real heavy weather closed in. However I did run into a mini-storm on the way up north and the storm was not the only thing I ran into. The mini-storm brought  high winds which brought down a number of  tree branches. I came over the hill saw the branch on the road and hit the brakes.  I was lucky in that I hit  the foliage end rather than the wood end, so other than some minor damage and a bit of a scare, everything was fine, although I did not stop to inspect the damage for a while since I had no intention of coming to a halt on the road in the middle of a storm with heavy rain  and poor visibility. That, I felt could have been dangerous. Once I cleared the storm and could  pull off the road, I was able to inspect the damage, which, fortunately, was light. The remainder of the journey was completed in fairly reasonable weather. Surprisingly the two photographs were taken on that same journey and within an hour the blue had changed to almost black and the white to grey. However, it has to be said that my little mini-storm – violent thought it was – pales into insignificance  in comparison to the storms sweeping across the United States. That’s really scary.

I decided to change my diary system from Filofax to Van Der Speck and I am not altogether certain that I made a good decision. I didn’t realize at the time how difficult it would be to get A 6 inserts to operate the system. I have this feeling that it will look very nice  on  the shelve in my office whilst I continue to work with my old, worn and battered Scanda Filofax.  I blame myself, I should have given it a lot more thought and consideration rather than being swept along on a wave of euphoria . I have, however, ordered a set of inserts from Holland so perhaps once I use them and start to operate the system I might feel differently – but we’ll see.

The Man has recovered from his sojourn in the hospital and the Humidifier  Crib. He still bumps into things and I still have to rescue  him from these nasty corners, but he is sleeping well and eating well. His medication is kept up to date and as far as we can tell he is in no pain,  so I see him being with me for a little while yet.

The Man

The Young Man
The Young Man

I have renewed my WordPress Account for a further year even although I am not sure why. I have, for the most part, recovered from my illness although I am having a little bit of a breathing problem, which, I am told, will  sort itself out. I also get tired easily and I find that I am quite lethargic and not in the mood for doing much.  I missed the last meeting of the RFDS and organized someone to take the minutes. I would prefer not to be going to Adelaide this week, but I have to be there for the Sitting of  the  Commission. To make matters worse,  the Man is not having such a great time. One night I was particularly worried about him and I thought  I was going to loose him, but he seemed to settle down and  slept peacefully. He did not have a great night last night although he not only had his dinner, we wanted more food, so, I fed him again and he scoffed that too. Here again he settled down and is again sleeping peacefully – well, he snores, so as peacefully as that allows. /////   I was out and Herself telephoned me because she was concerned about the Man, who seemed to be fighting for breath and was in some distress. I left and came home and agreed with her – he was not good and his mouth was blue. I called the Vet and he agreed to meet us at the surgery.  He is in some trouble, his heart is not good, his lungs are not good. He was given an injection to try and calm him down and put into a humidifier crib and oxygen pumped in to help his breathing. At the moment it is touch and go and he will be in the crib overnight.  Mustapha (the Vet – he’s Turkish) will have another look at him in the morning.   It’s not looking good and even if he comes through this episode, it’s only a question of a short time before it will be time -a few months at the most.

We went after lunch and collected him from the Vet. Not a clean bill of health but not too bad for his age. He had a wander around, did some sniffing and settled down in his bed, where he has been all afternoon. He is sleeping very peacefully now – not even snoring. We may only have him for a little while longer but we will try to make it as comfortable for him as possible.

The Man, me and sleepy-time.

The first  “real” fire of the season and it claimed a life. A major fire burning north of Port Wakefield was  brought under control but at the cost of a life. Is not a good start to the fire season and despite the odd rain, if has been very dry, so it’s not looking all that good. I  almost had the best sleep in weeks – almost. He finally settled down just after midnight and I went to bed. I went to sleep and was sound asleep when he decided to start yelping at 6:33 and woke me up.” I could have been a contender – I could have been somebody”- I could have slept until at least 7:15. But no! Duty, in the shape of the Man, called at precisely 6:33am.

Here, in the North, we may not experience the problems that  the south has – we don’t have floods and we don’t have serious gale force winds all that often, but we do have major fluctuation in temperature more rapidly here than in the  South of the State. A few days ago it was 34c but up here the temperature can drop as much as  12-15c overnight, which means that you go to bed with a light sheet covering and wake up in the wee small hours just about freezing and scrabbling frantically for quilts or blankets. No – it does not happen the opposite way. Temperature rises are gradual – it can drop from 39c – 24c overnight but it wont rise from 26c – 39c overnight – if that makes sense!! At the height of summer the temperature rises to 42+c and can stay there for days at a time- then the major problem for fire-fighters is a  wind blowing in off the desert and swinging back and forth in different directions. Arizona would know all about fighting fire and changing wind direJohn's Posterction. However, I also have to say that there is nothing in this area that even remotely resembles a  forest – or even a large area of trees and the closest I have ever come to a forest fire was when I drove back from Adelaide last year. In Scotland the North wind came screaming in off the Ice-Cap bring cold, ice and snow. Here the North wind is a hot wind blowing in off the desert.

The Man is not having a good day. I fed him his treat and medication this morning ( at 6:33) but he’s crying as if he was in some pain. I understand that he is a bit scared and has no idea what is happening to him, he is blind and can’t see what is happening around him. There is nothing in this  world that I want more than to be able to lift him, cuddle him, comfort him and somehow let him know that I will never abandon or desert him and be always here for him. I touch him, and he tries to bite me – I lift him and he screams and struggles until I put him down. He fights and resists every attempt to help or comfort him and at times I just don’t know what to do. The closest I get to him is when I hand feed him his treat in the morning. My recovery is not helped by him yelping at 3am and I have to get out of bed to attend to him and  get him back to his bed again.  Poor wee thing…

It seems like weeks since I last wrote anything here and I suspect the reason it feels like weeks is because it is. The  “Bug” turned out to be a little more serious that we thought and the swabs threw up a few “nasties” – interesting but not  dangerous.  I am still tired and unable to do much, but I am recovering and I should have recovered sufficiently to be in Adelaide on 19th & 20th November. I will be down for the Commission – which I have to attend. I also have to attend a conference on 6th December and that should be me until mid-February next year. Because of the lack of energy I have not been able to keep up with much of what’s been happening  around the place and with the other members of WordPress. I really must try and get on top of things. In the meantime all I can do is quote the words of the Great Mark Twain “The reports of my demise are grossly  exaggerated”


Hospitals, doctors and Chienne the attack dog.

Assembled. This is the easy part  :o)
Assembled. This is the easy part :o)
Another view

Monday: First hospital visit this morning. This is to her  Diabetic Clinic and some tests. Hope we don’t have the same results as last time round BP 235/90. After the clinic we go shopping and I can pick up the Stroller for the Man.  – We brought the shopping inside and put everything away then I got down on the floor and assembled the Stroller. It was fairly easy since everything was clip-on and nothing to screw or tighten. No tools required. It’s blowing a gale here at the moment so I wont be taking them out for a little while – at least until the wind dies down a bit. North of South Australia – generally a windy place and going into spring increases the strength of the wind until  summer takes it by the throat and strangles it, then roasts us for the next three months or so  :o)

The wind died down at about 8:40 so  put on a Jacket, put a leash on Chienne and put the Man into the stroller. We only did a short walk and he was pretty good although he did want out at one point and I did bring a second leach with me so that was ok. He needed to pee,  but I left him out and walking for a while. It was a bit odd for him but I think he will get used to being wheeled around.

Something I did a while ago was get three inches of foam to place under their bed so that the dogs have something springy and soft underneath their bed. I did this several months ago, so you can imagine my surprise, not to mention my utter dismay, to find the foam had been ripped apart and was scattered  across the room.  Who is responsible?  Hmm, let me think…. The man is weak and sleeps much of the time; he has not the strength in his present condition to do this; he has NO teeth; it certainly wasn’t me, I was visiting friends in the Land of Nod,  and it wasn’t Herself, who couldn’t bend down that far anyway – so by process of elimination – Chienne!!   Why?? I have no idea. I am not altogether impressed – this week I have so much to do – looking after herself and the dogs, the foam thing was not something I really needed this week. Never mind, worse things happen at Sea – or so I am told  :o)

Today – Tuesday – we have two hospital appointments, the first one being for the Kidney Ultrasound in about an hour from now. In a little while I will take her to hospital and then sit and wait and read – I’m doing a lot of reading this week  :o). Lunch then back to hospital in the afternoon. The morning session took longer than expected. They did the UltraSound then decided to do a CT Scan as well and they injected some dye into her so now she has to go for a blood test on Thursday afternoon to ensure that the dye has cleared and it has not caused any complications (remote) Two more appointments to go and that’s us  for the week. Phew, it’s been a busy week. Actually I dozed off in the waiting room this morning.

Chienne (Chi for short)  - The Foam Destroyer
Chienne (Chi for short) – The Foam Destroyer

One appointment today and since it’s fairly early on in the morning we might actually get some time at home.  That would be nice. ( Not long after I wrote this we were “Blessed”with two more appointment) The wind, although high, didn’t cause too much damage here but I believe that was not the case in other areas – namely Adelaide and Melbourne  – with gusts up up to 130 kph. Nice, interesting start to Spring. Herself came up with a great idea ( knew I kept her for a reason)  Cut what is left of the foam to the size of the inside of the Dog Stroller, put it inside a pillowcase and there you have it – his very own foam mattress  :o) Gosh, she’s good!!!


I have actually managed to do some work in the garden this afternoon. A sort of quiet before the storm. I have emptied out one of the sheds and moved it (struggle but got there) to a new location- now I am about to go out and put everything back in to it. Had me coffee, back to work !


Field Days. Shows and Hospitals

 Royal Adelaide Show

royal Adelaide Show

Mid-July and August are the traditional “Show or Field Days” period.  I think for America it would be about equal to the State / Local Fair. The Royal Adelaide Show is about on the same par as your State Fair.  We have just completed the Eyre Peninsula Field days in which we exhibited the  RFDS Aircraft Simulator. This  brought a lot of interest and has really proved a great way to bring the work of the RFDS closer to the people. It helps to give them more understanding and adds to what they already know about the RFDS and how it operates. We have had people come into the simulator and tell us that they have been in an aircraft but didn’t know much about it at the time.  I had one lady who pointed to the  Humidicrib and told her daughter that she spent the first hours of her life in one very similar. Not that the last weeks or jaunts out of town have been associated with the RFDS but I just thought I would mention it since they are just about over and  the simulator is on its way back to Adelaide. I Believe it will be a feature at the Royal Adelaide Show.

After a long hard look at the little we have managed to do regarding the vine and associated garbage, we came to the conclusion that our little brush cutters are not really making much of an impression. That being so we called in the services of a gardener  and with his better tools, he believes he can have it all out and the ground cleared within half a day. His price to do the job was fairly reasonable.

I was at a fundraiser for the RFDS last night and I have another one this morning and I have to honestly say that for the first time ever, I really don’t feel like it. I think all this running around is starting to catch up with me. That, plus the ton of paperwork that I need to catch up on. The paperwork can be done in fairly short order -it just needs time to get it done..

Can't you let me sleep in peace??
Can’t you let me sleep in peace??

It’s still cold so the dogs have been sleeping in my room at night. I came home from the fundraiser, put the fire on and brought the dogs in. The man curled up on the  second bed with foam underneath it and went to sleep. Chienne did her usual wandering about before she settled down. They slept through until 6am when I got up. They both had their sticks – I hand fed The Man – then  they went back to sleep. Half their luck!! Opps, he’s snoring. Never heard him snore before. Must be having a good sleep.

It’s been over a week since I last looked at this and I am pleased to say that the vine and the other stuff has been cleared – well the plant stuff that is.  What we discovered underneath everything is that the previous owner – or even before that – had used it as a rubbish deposit. There is just so much garbage behind the garage that he will need to fill a trailer and get it all to the dump – old tyres and metal of all descriptions.   It will take a trailer to clear it away before he can even start the new fence.

Most of the paperwork I have completed and have started to catch up on everything. I still think I will continue my “Sabbatical” for another week, or at least a couple of more days before  I allow myself to be out of the house. I have one more serious piece of paperwork to get done and I will do that over the next two nights. Actually I have written the paper just need to sort out a couple of things before I send it off.

Oh the joys of it all. Took Herself to the hospital to see her diabetes person and she recorded a blood pressure reading of 230/90. The Practitioner came   out to see me and suggested that we go from the hospital to see her doctor – the hospital will phone ahead. Well, did this and her BP was 235/90. Of course, Herself just can’t see what all the fuss is about because she feels perfectly well. Brought her home then took her to the hospital today and her BP was 156/90, which is fairly good. However, Dr. is concerned so he is sending

Says it all, really
Says it all, really

her for an ultrasound. So much for my quiet, recovering days. Oh well….




Travelling – Home and Away

This is what rain looks like...
This is what rain looks like…

Was down in Adelaide for two days and saw my son off at Adelaide Airport. He is flying Emirates to Glasgow, staying in Glasgow for a few days then to London and the Eurostar  to Paris.  He’s a week in Paris then on to Madrid, Granada, Fez, Marrakesh and Casablanca.  He will be touring Italy before ending up in Germany where he meets up with engineers – of course!  Last I heard – a few days ago – he’s having a ball. He can only message when he can get WiFi.  Anyway, he’ll probably bring me back a T Shirt  :o)   Ah the good lad did take some photographs of Napoleon’s Tomb for me  :o) Adelaide was cold, wet and miserable and driving through the rain on the Port Wakefield Road – in the Dark – was not my idea of fun. It has been cold the last week or so and I have had the fire on most nights.  The

A sledge-hammer would do the job just as well!!
A sledge-hammer would do the job just as well!!

Man sleeps a lot now but he still seems ok. When he is Awake, he eats well and runs around the house.  He falls a lot but he just gets up and carries on as if it’s normal. It hurts me more than it seems to bother him. I have built a little platform for his  food bowl so that he does not have to bend  down  too much to eat. I also went to the upholsterer and bought foam to put under his bed so he has a sort of cushion, which, we hope, will make tings a little more comfortable for him. Goodness, who knew that foam was so expensive, but  if it  helps him to get a bit more comfortable, that’s all that’s  important.  When he is sleeping in the evening, Chienne and I slip quietly out and go for a walk.

I have been helping to do more work along the back fence that I spoke of a while ago. The Bougainvillea is gone but the vines are proving to be a major problem. Some of these are so thick Tarzan would be proud of them. I head off back to Adelaide on Wednesday for a meeting Wednesday afternoon. If I drive down I would have to stay overnight and I would prefer not to, so I will do the same as I did last time – take the early morning coach. Still gives me time to do some shopping in town before heading home on the last coach.

I don’t know what the situation is in other places but here continual pop-ups are driving me to distraction. No matter what I do I cannot get rid of them. I have a pop-up blocker in Firefox and one in Windows 8 but they never stop. I have even had  pop-ups and a win lots of money sort of survey from a New York Lady, who likes Butterflies and  watches Cricket. In a little while I am going to shut this computer down and have it removed for a bit and put the AppleMac back in its place. I hope that Apple, with its different system, is not infested with these things because I am starting to get really annoyed.

Well,  here we are – returned  to  the Apple again. I’m starting to feel like Eve, can’t resist an Apple  :o) Actually not really true, I’m more of a Samsung person. But anyway, the AppleMac seems to be pop-up free.  I think the next desktop computer I get will be an Apple and not a PC

Have not heard from John for  nearly a week but he did say that this would happen once he crossed into Morocco. Not all that good with WiFi in Arab countries.  On Monday he will be in Seville, so I hope to hear from him then. As far as I know he is enjoying himself and he is with a good tour group.

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..

New plants, toxic plants and climbing plants

Sturt's Desert Rose
Sturt’s Desert Rose

Tuesday and I have Herself at the doctor this morning. I expect to bring her back home and let her lie down for a while.  Our appointment is at 9am, so we should be home by 10:30 and I’ll let her rest until lunch. If she is feeling up to it I may take her out for lunch.   Yesterday I  spent the day clearing the ground – covered it with fertilizer then a Blood and Bone  mix, dug all that through and watered it all in. I planted two new flowering bushes – a Lemon coloured Hibiscus and a new bush called  Mexican Orange Blossom (White flowers) AND I have fenced the area off. Unless they have mountaineering skills ( like some dogs I know)  they should be kept out of the area. Not that I am not thankful for the work in watering they have done, but  I feel this responsibility added to their extensive Guard Duties, is really too much to expect so, fencing it off is for their own good.  I feel that this is a good time to plant these things (black thumb notwithstanding) because whilst it does say  “Full Sun” I am not certain that it means South Australian Full Sun, so, now the bite has gone out of the sun and it is cooler, it might be better and give them time to get established. I have also planted Bougainvillea (Two) along the line of the fence in the hope that they might brighten up the place a bit.  I have two different colours at the moment but I may well get two more during the course of this week and provided they all survive, it should be a nice coloured wall

The doctor appointment well and I think we are clear for a couple of months. Still  waiting to see if we need to go visit the other specialist, 20131008_151606but at the moment, she is not too bad – tired but well.  She should be ok provided she does not overdo things.

Our local hardware store also sells a limited number of plants. Once upon a time we had three Garden Shops – now we have but one. I bought two Bougainvillea  at the hardware store at a cost of $9:50 each. That was the last two they had.  The two I bought yesterday at the Garden shop cost me $16:95 each. This is part of a big chain and since it’s the only place in town they can charge what they like – mainly because the nearest Garden Shop is over 100 miles away. Although— having said that –  I do know a young couple who  had a house built then took a trailer to that particular Garden Shop and filled the trailer with plants for the garden they had started to lay out. In a few weeks I will be going to Adelaide and be there for a week. On the way home I will stop off at Bunnings on Main North Road and have a look to see if I want anything in the way of plants. I’ll probably stop at the Arid Lands B.G. on the way through.  Oh, I did buy one plant the other day and I am unsure what to do with it. I liked the flowers and thought they would look nice. But I decided to look it up on Google and was horrified to learn that it is toxic to dogs, cats, horses sheep and cattle. It also gives off a perfume that  destroys other species of plants around it and encourages the spread of its seeds. It is called Lantana Camara and, I think I may have to be careful where I put it.

We had a little bit of precipitation (not using the other word – don’t want to cause upset)  this afternoon so that helped to get  things settled in – I hope.  In another section I have the trailer parked and I am  digging out the gravel from that area. It is unlikely that I will be able to plant anything there but I will put down weed matting and refresh  the area. There is also a very large area that’s covered in gravel but it’s the cheapest stuff you can get so it does not look all that nice. I will, over time clear all that away and again refresh it  with some decent gravel – granite chips perhaps.

It's a hard life
It’s a hard life

I have never had any problem feeding my associates. Well, not strictly true in that I have to have a gate between them –  one on one side of the gate – one on the other. Chienne  gets right into the food dish as soon as it is put in front of her. She raises her head only when her bowl is empty. The Man, on the other hand, herself calls O.C.D. He has a ritual he has to go through – sniff, walk away – sniff, walk around daddy’s legs, –  sniff, walk around daddy”s legs – sniff, walk away, return, eat. If I fed them together after the first walk away, Chienne would be in there and finished before he came back. Ok, so he’s weird, but I guess he fits in quite nicely. He sleeps a lot and I still carry him when we go for “walks”.

I am still undecided  about accommodation in Adelaide for the State Assembly and I’m leaning towards a hotel closer to town and about equal distance between the two places I have to go. I think that might be the place.