John’s wheels, Benji and the WaWa

Took the dogs to the Wetlands this afternoon. The rain we have had over the last week has had  a reasonable effect but it still needs more to bring the ponds back to capacity. The boys were very good and walked well – like old pals, in fact. Pity they could not behave like that at home.  Still to be fair, it’s not the fault of Max – Benji is the culprit here and as I said, for some reason he does not like Max. On Sunday, Max went home.

I have just returned from a trip to Adelaide. My son’s car has “given up the ghost”so he needs a new car. He asked me to take him to Adelaide since there was nothing here that he liked.  There is only one car dealer here and private buys are a bit “dodgy”  I took him to a decent dealer, “Adelaide Auto Sales”at Mawson Lakes. We spent some time there looking at various SUV models and he finally settled on a Ford Territory. Personally I preferred the

John’s new Wheels

Sliver-Blue one, but he settled on the Black.  The reason for the SUV is the high clearance which on the back roads could get him out of any trouble a lot easier.  I had booked two hotel rooms but having got his vehicle, he decided he wanted to go home, so I led him back to the Port Wakefield Road and after a stop at Bolivar when I asked him to call me from Wakefield,  any other stop and to call me when he gets home. I went back into town and did some shopping before heading off to the hotel for the night. John called me from Wakefield, Tin Man and when he got home. I had intended to head out to Bunnings this morning but decided I would follow John and head for home. I started out at 6am expecting to be in Wakefield by  sunrise and continue the rest of the way in the daylight.  I did, of course, but it was not without its interesting moments. There is a lot of reconstruction and road works  at the bridge where the Northern Express branches off. It was dark, I was unaware of  the situation so I followed what I thought was the right traffic cone-lined lane and ended up on the Northern Expressway. My GPS, which I had programmed for home led me off the Express to the Penfield Road, exit then to Virginia and back to Highway A1 – The Port Wakefield Road,  and all of this was done in the dark and I don’t like driving at night. Still the Port Wakefield Road if a fairly large, well divided  four lane highway from Gepps Cross in Adelaide all the way to Port Wakefield and I generally  drive this in the dark to be in Wakefield for the sunrise  so that I can  continue by daylight. Wildlife on the Port Wakefield Road is unusual.

After my unscheduled  detour I drove directly to Port Wakefield and stayed there for  breakfast before heading off to the Tin Man.  I decided, since I had sufficient fuel,  not to stop and drove

Benji and Bowtie

directly to Port Augusta, did some shopping there and headed for home.  Crazy Benji went gaga and I eventually had to sit on the floor with him for a bit until he settled down. You would think I had been away for weeks instead of just a day and a half,.  After I emptied the car and sorted out my case, I took Benji out for a walk. That made him happy, just him and me together.  I actually do miss him when I am away. However, all being well, I wont be away again until August and then only for a day and a half.

I have been looking through some old photographs and I came across photographs of Kongsoon ( the WaWa) and oddly enough, I do miss her and wonder how she is. We never hear from them

The WaWa

so we’ll probably never know. Sad, but there you are.

The May Travels

I miss my dog when I am away.

Sunday: Annabell is much better today. The antibiotic kicked in and she is a lot better than she was last night. She has to take the second antibiotic this evening and we will go see the doctor tomorrow. I am feeling much more relaxed than I was  yesterday. When we returned from the hospital I called the boys and asked them not to come over on Sunday as normal. They were concerned but agreed. Sadly this means that we didn’t get to see the Grandson this week Annabell has been having a  difficult time of late but hopefully this infection has been the underlying cause and, with a treatment of antibiotics,  we should be able to get on top of that fairly  quickly – or so I am told.

Thursday: I headed off to Naracoorte to the quarterly  conference. The boys kept an eye on Annabell whilst I was away. I was very late in leaving mainly because I had appointment with my cardiologist at 10am and I  could not afford to miss that. This was a long  appointment in that it lasted a whole 15 minutes when it normally lasts 10 minutes. I am well and everything is as it should be so really it was just an ECG and then a quick chat about how things were and the fact that he continues to be pleased. I don’t see him again for a year. By the time I reached Adelaide it was late in the afternoon and it took me some time to get clear of bank business before I got into town. I did get some shopping done for Annabell but by and large I  booked into my hotel and stayed there. It was a cold, wet and miserable trip down – rained most of the way, and it was Thursday – no late night shopping in the city. I slept well enough and after booking out set off to the South-Eastern Freeway towards Murray Bridge and then Tailem Bend. Cold, and miserable and the weather was not great either!!  I bought the car in the summer and was more concerned with the A/C – never thought much about the heating — well, you don’t when the outside temperature is 41c.  I practically  froze  on the drive from Adelaide to Tailem Bend. I did have some hot food there before continuing on to my next overnight stay. Here I really had problems in that I was not, for reasons unknown, booked in. Every cabin was taken and I was offered the bunkhouse which consisted of a

I often wonder how she is.

room with two bunk beds, one on top of the other) a fridge and a small tv (that didn’t work) It was a broom cupboard with bunks.  The kitchen was about 200 yards in one direction and the facilities 150 in another direction. I discovered what a great thrill it was to walk two hundred yards, rugged up against the cold and the rain, plus the same distance back, to make a mug of coffee. The discussion of the facilities is not for gentlefolk, so we just wont go there I did not have a shower in the morning. I did have a rubdown with a cold, damp facecloth and when I drove the last distance to the conference I stopped off in town, bought myself a pair of gloves and  deodorant. I have to be truthful and say that yes it was a broom cupboard, but the bunkbed was comfortably and I slept well. Both meetings were poorly attended and only half of the commissioners were present. Still more than enough to hold the meetings. I got my books attested and signed fairly early on and I did the books of two other places. I had hoped to be clear by 3:30 but if not I would simply stay there in town and head for Adelaide in the morning. As it happened, the lack of numbers meant that we concluded business by 2:45 and I hit the road. I wanted to reach Tailem Bend before dark, and I did. I pulled into the River Edge Caravan Park and  I was allocated a lovely cabin overlooking the River Murray. On a really nice day it would be very pleasant to sit outside in one of the chairs  and watch the river and the birds – all very relaxing.

Visitor, Hospital and Cold, Wet Days.

Yogi and Benji on the Garden Swing

Well I survived the week and all the questions and on Monday I had the stitches removed. Next week we should have the report back from  Pathology and I will be a lot happier once that’s in. Overall, however, it has been a fairly busy week – apart from being cold, miserable and wet.  One of our friends has  suspected cancer in his liver and he and his wife are currently down in Adelaide for a biopsy. Annabell and I are looking after Yogi, their dog. They left on Monday and should be back tomorrow (Wednesday) Generally I am  happy to take Yogi and this time has been no exception, however I have not had a lot of sleep since Yogi is getting older, misses his people more and cries most of the night. He’s alright during the day, nights are not so good. He and Benji get on well except when Yogi forgets his place in the scheme of things and tries to take over the spot in the bed (next to me) that Benji occupies. Usually I have to intervene only once.   Anyway, this is the husband of the lady who picks up Annabell for the coffee evenings and morning. She, herself, has been unwell so I have been filling in for her and doing the taxi thing. Annabell herself is well, so that’s always good.

We still have Yogi – I think he is going home today (Friday) sometime, so instead of two days  ( Monday night & Tuesday night) we have had him for five. The reason for the extra days was simply that  the results at Adelaide were not so good and it has taken them a few days to come to terms with what has to happen now. Jim has Cancer of the Liver, which is not so great. I suggested to Annabell that we offer to keep Yogi over the weekend but, it would probably better for Jim if he has his dog with him. I know I would. But, Yogi has actually settled down these last couple of nights and slept through the night. Jim is now just waiting on the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Surgeon being free and then he will be down to Adelaide again. We will most probably look after Yogi while they are down in Adelaide and I expect for a little while once they come back – as Jim recovers. That’s not a problem – well not for us humans but it is a little bit of a problem for Yogi. He was a rescue dog and as far as we know he was shunted about the place, so he has a thing about getting put in a car. I discovered this when I took them both to the Wetlands last time he was here and he whimpered the whole time he was in the car.

Benji and The WaWa

It has been a year today since Sooah and her husband came back and collected Kongsoon (The WaWa) She has been back once for a brief visit and the WaWa was looking  well. Yes she she was a handful at times, but overall she was a lovable little character.  I think of her often and I miss her – don’t think Benji does though.

We had some high winds and rain over the State – well, Adelaide and the lower Peninsula.  The storms passed beneath us and although it was a tad breezy and did rain  a fair bit, it was nothing like the storm damage in Adelaide and surrounding areas.  Mostly the storms and the like miss us. They come across the Great Australian Bight and cross the Eyre Peninsula beneath us.  So really it’s not too bad. Yes it’s cold but we don’t get the storms that Adelaide gets. The other side of that is that it gets a whole lot hotter here in summer than it does in Adelaide.

So begins another year.

On Thursday (28th.)  I took a trip down to Adelaide. I did not  think driving down and back was a great idea so I took the coach down – well, yes, good and bad. The good was that I arrived

Pipes and Drums for New Year

there stress free  however the bad was sitting for so long my knee froze and I had difficulty walking for a bit. Mind you, I get the same sitting at the computer for too long. I really must get this attended to sooner rather than later.  Part of the reason for going to Adelaide was to get Annabell’s new phone sorted out. We do not have an Optus Shop in town – we have an Optus reseller, which is not quite the same thing. They will sell phones and accessories and create contrtacts, but they  are not authorised to do repairs, these things have to be done at an Official Optus Shop, with trained staff and  resources. If your mobile ( cell) phone breaks down, you can take it to the place here and they will send it off to Adelaide for repair. From here the nearest Optus Shop is either Adelaide or Port Lincoln – Port Lincoln, well if you are going to travel that distance you might as well go to Adelaide and have the benefit of all the other shops.

On Wednesday, as some of you may know, we had a visit from Sooah, her husband and The WaWa. Benji was not happy – not at all. I think it was a question of “Just when you thought it

My friends will save me

was safe to….” However, it was a short visit and absence has certainly not made the heart grow any fonder as far as Benji is concerned. Still it was fair karma for what he did to me causing the word “Adoption” to enter my head.  Well, I was singing, and he – my associate and companion –  got up out of his bed and left the room. I mean, that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think??  I was not all that impressed.  Anyway it was lovely to see Sooah and her family again – even the WaWa – and she was looking good –   ( the WaWa that is ) still agro,  but looking well.  And I did manage to get a cuddle from her and she perched on my shoulder and  neck. I could suggest she was looking for a good spot on my neck to sink her pointed teeth into, but that’s a bit on the mean side  :o)

Benji’s “Friend”

Annabell bought me a set of six  Bohemian Crystal Wine Glasses for Christmas and as we had Christmas Lunch and Dinner with my son, his family and all the family, at Andrew’s House, I never really had the opportunity to use them. I certainly will tonight and the wine will be single malt, 18 years old, made in Tain, Scotland.

Overall New Year here was fairly quiet. Annabell went to bed about 12:30  John James and I  sat chatting until about 01:30. At 6am I got up and took Benji out for his walk.  The days since New Year’s Eve have been busy in that one of our ladies ( in a nursing home) passed away and her funeral is on Thursday. I have had a busy few days getting  things ready for that  writing the Order of Service, printing, photocopy and collate. Well yes, not intensive work, but time consuming and a paper jam didn’t help. The family want to do a power point of highlights in their mother’s life  so I met the two sons and we set that up. The sad thing is that with all the new people in church today, most of the people who knew the lady, are gone.

All this stuff with Apple and the deliberate slowing down of iPhones,  I honestly can say that I have not noticed any difference in my iPhone and whilst I am not (like some) attached to my phone by an invisible umbilical cord, I do use it every day. One of my sons, for example, carries two phones around with him – his personal phone and the company phone, even at home when he is on call-out.

Well, hello there!

The temperature – apart from a couple of days – has not been too bad. Generally February is the hottest month, but  last year it was shown that the hottest month was Feb/April, so we’ll see this year. I really don’t have a lot of confidence in long term forecasts. I sometimes think they pull numbers out of a hat and use them. I was glad to see that the Kangeroos are starting to come back to the top area – and this is what can happen if you leave your gate open   :o)

Road Trips, Lighthouse, and WaWa thoughts.

Just chillin’ Man..

For the last ten days or so I have been sick. It was brought home to me in no uncertain terms that I am not invincible and like everyone else, I can get laid down with the Flu. I have not had the Flu for a very long time and since I do eat a lot of fruit and veg – too many Oranges!! –  I figured I had built up a natural immunity. Yes, well, that clever idea went out the window. Actually, I felt so bad at one stage I thought of throwing myself out of the window, but seeing as how we don’t have a window that is more than two feel off the ground, it seemed like a wasted effort for no return – apart from which, it was raining again.

Benji has hardly been out and there have been a couple of accidents, but that’s ok, I know he has been a little  neglected due to my lack of attention, but we are almost back to normal so we can start getting out and about again. Not that he was abandoned since a lot of the time he jumped up and curled up on the bed beside me. I received notification that I have to be in Adelaide in a few weeks time and when I am down there I want to go and check out the new pet shop – well not a “pet” shop but rather a pet supply shop. It was only just opening last time I went down and I really didn’t get a lot of time to wander around but I did get a collapsible  silicon bowl that I can take with me and always have a water bowl that I can use when Benji and me are out and it’s a warm day and he needs a cool drink. I want to go back to that shop and have a good look around and see what they have in the way of accessories and toys.

The Lower Flinders Ranges from Matthew Flinders Lookout ( Arid Lands)
Warning Matthew Flinders Lookout

Tomorrow should be the Church Mini-Fete but due to illness it has had to be cancelled. I am supposed to be running a fundraising function for the Royal Flying Doctors next week, but that’s still a way off so we will see how things progress. There is no let up on this Flu Bug in South Australia.

This morning I picked up young John and we drove out to  Better Home Supplies, did some shopping for garden things and had lunch at the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. The weather was warm and, sadly, just a tad too warm to have Benji sitting in the car whilst we went shopping – and,  of course,  no dogs allowed at the Arid Lands. It would have been a nice trip for him. If it’s a nice day tomorrow  I’ll take him for a

Benji at the lighthouse

run out to the lighthouse and then the beach.

I wanted to take him a bit further and perhaps go away for the day and to that end I  looked for “Pet Friendly” places in South Australia, particularly the Eyre Peninsula. I found one but their idea of “pet friendly”was to supply  a lockable  dog house that can be placed outside the accommodation. So, I can sit in the cool comfort of the accommodation whilst Benji stays outside in the heat in a dog kennel —— I don’t think so!!  We did take a run out to the lighthouse and had a good afternoon. Two very nice ladies approached Benji and made a fuss of him, rubs and ear scratches and, of course, he lapped it all up. They also asked a lot of questions about him. Photograph of him at the lighthouse, but he kind of tends to blend in with the surrounding stones. At least the WaWa stood out against the stones. I often wonder how the WaWa is and how she is settling in to her new environment. I miss her a bit but I do not think Benji does. I don’t even have an address for Sooah so I can’t find out. Anyway, perhaps the best thing is simply to let it go.

From the Breakwater down from the lighthouse area.

Elsa, the Ninja is celebrating her first Anniversary and we send her, Sam and the family our very best wishes.

Arrium, winter and Sooah returns.

Sooah and the WaWa in May 2016

One of the things I dislike about this time of year is that it’s cold. Well, of course it’s cold. That’s why it’s called winter, you idiot.  Well, yes, I suppose so, but by the time it’s warm enough to actually go work outside it’s practically lunch and given another hour and the temperature starts to drop again.  Add to this is the fact that Annabell does not sleep very well, so,  the other reason for not going outside early is that I would have to put on lights and I would probably make noise, so I could waken her – and I’d rather not.  As I said, she doesn’t sleep too well so she needs her sleep. I can do some tidy up but I can’t attend to the leaves on the turf because that would require the Blower/Vac and that makes a noise. ** Well, a Newsflash**   Just had a message ( two minutes ago)  from Incheon, South Korea .   Sooah and her husband will be leaving South Korea on the third week in July to arrive back in South Australia. This is excellent news because it will mean that not too long afterwards the WaWa will be going home. There is no doubt that we will miss her – I will miss her –  but Annabell is pleased for Benji’s sake and I  agree with her.   He has spent much of this last year being confined with me in this room. He only is safe when he is with me either here or when we are out. It will be good that the Benji will have HIS  house and home back again.

Of course, all this is working on the assumption that she will want the dog back, but we will cross that bridge if we come to it. We have tried to make it

Seems

ok, but really, poor Benji has had a lot to put up with this last year. He is a loving, affectionate animal and he deserves better.  The WaWa has become my BFF and Sooah will have to deal with that just as I had to deal with the attacks, the blood and bandages for the first six or more months . But then, as Sooah is her long lost momma, it shouldn’t really be much of a problem.

The weather continues to be cold and today we have had our first rain  for  months. Not a great deal but enough and it is supposed to be raining again tomorrow. The Stan cartoon is from the local newspaper so the Copyright is the Whyalla News. I think I said already that the British Consortium have put in a counter bid, which is believed to be substantially higher than the Korean bid, but the administrators are continuing to negotiate with the preferred bidder – the Korean Consortium – who were the highest bidder when the bids closed.

My only excuse – if excuse it be – is that I experienced a sudden rush of blood to the head and instead of buying a new Samsung, as I normally would, I  took a brainstorm and bought an iPhone. I only hate it when I am feeling calm, generally the thought of bouncing it off a wall somewhere gets me through the day. On the 8th June we were changed over from ADSL to the NBN ( National Broadband Network) and since that date, we have not had a landline telephone. Thus I really need my mobile phone  ( That’s cell phone to you)  it’s the only communication I have and Annabell has to use it too, so all calls regardless of who they are for, has to come through this iphone. At the moment that keeps it from being bounced off the wall. People tell me that I will get used to the iphone system, and Apple and once I do I will wonder how I ever managed without it.Yes, well, I don’t see that anywhere on the horizon. Actually, with this heavy mist again, I don’t see much of anything really.

 

Arrium, Brunch and Misty Days

For much of last week and for what remains of this week, I have been playing gofer.

“Would you go to the supermarket and get me more flour”

“Why do you need so much flower? We’re supposed to feed ém not fatten ém!”

“Well if I don’t have flour I can’t make scones”

“Will that be one bag or two?”

Anyway,  think part of the reason this weekend went so quickly is that we had a function and I spent much of the week helping  and running back and forward to the supermarket for supplies. Then we had the function, and the  relaxation after that before reality crept in and we remembered we have a big function this coming weekend  (Sat. 17th) – This is the  Brunch Weekend! More running around.  Probably just as well, the mornings and evenings are cold -1 / -3 c  cold. This morning, for example, it was -1c but there was also a heavy mist – we don’t get fog – and visibility down to about 35 yards. We did go out for a walk this morning- despite the cold and the mist – and Benji seems to be turning into a ten feet dog – he is currently  incapable of walking for more than ten feet  and he stops, has a sniff and a pee. I keep telling him he’s wasting valuable coffee time, but it just doesn’t seem to make an impression. It was interesting walking in the mist – everything was so quiet. Haven’t done that in a long while.

Hello peeple..

The WaWa is not getting any better . Yes, I seem to have become her BFF but at the expense of Benji. Her Jealousy is such that she will go for Benji if he come near me when she is around. Benji has turned on her a few times and I once had to physically remove him as he had her pinned down. I would really like to say that it made a difference but almost as soon  I got him off her she went straight at him again. From time to time I muzzle her when it gets too much and that does make a difference, but it’s not ideal and I don’t enjoy doing it. And before you ask, yes it was from the Vet and it is fitted to her,  but the WaWa believes that this is her house and Benji is an intruder. I still have an insanely optimistic  view that it will settle down and they will become friends. Armed neutrality would be an improvement.

The preferred offer for the purchase of Arrium is the bid from South Korea but there are still some things to work through yet. They have said that they will spend the necessary funds to upgrade the operations and that could be good for employment in the town. They have a very different method of operation, which is also very successful and they may introduce this system here in a planned upgrade.  It could also assist in getting Sooah back if there are additional employment opportunities.

Relaxing in the car

I have come to the conclusion that although the WaWa is my new BFF, this last year has not been fair on Benji. The only times he is safe from her is when he’s out with me or when he’s here in the room with me. If it is a nice day Bernji and me will go outside with the  disc player and we will sit together on the garden swing and listen to Sinatra.  So, if Sooah did return  and wanted the dog back, I would hand her over, but I rather suspect she would have a difficult time with her, because she is certainly not the WaWa she left with us fourteen months ago.

Monday and another very  heavy mist morning with visibility reduced to about 20+ feet. These days I cut the walk short and do not go to the end because I dislike not being able to see the bush ( land) on either side of me once I have cleared the houses. However I make up for the lost area by doing a circle of the block before I start the morning walk, so he’s not getting short changed :o)

The Brunch on Saturday went very well and we catered for about 70 people. We ran out of sandwiches and I did offer to go to the shop and get bread, butter and things for sandwiches but we had plenty of cakes, scones and biscuits. Have no idea the final figure of what we raised but I expect I  will find out soon enough.