An interesting week and a Survivor.

Part of the Wetlands today (Monday)

After  our shopping trip this morning, (Monday) I helped Annabell get things sorted out them took Benji off to the Wetlands. It has been very cold here these last two days and this morning Benji  didn’t want to get out of bed and go for a walk in the cold at 6am. With the temperature at -2,  I can’t say I blame him, so we didn’t go and stayed in the room with the heater on. By the time I took him to the Wetlands

Benji at the Wetlands

it was a bit warmer and he was quite happy to  go out. We had a good walk  around the wetlands – bit of a breeze and cool, but not too bad. The Kiosk is closed down for alterations but it should be up and running again shortly. The rain the other week has helped to make the wetlands look a bit more visually pleasing – as you can see – but we do need a lot more rain. In our walks recently there have been a lot of Kangaroos wandering about looking for water again. They have even been seen in Nicolson Avenue, which is a fairly busy road. At the moment it is a fairly mild day in that the last few days have been mornings of  – degrees while today (Tuesday)  was 4c,  still a bit on the cold side but ok for a morning walk. Benji and I will be out and about most of this week as we endeavor to keep out of Annabell’s way. This weekend in the Ladies Brunch, so she will be busy baking in the kitchen. Apart from keeping out of the way,  Benji and I will be ‘gofers’ and drive to the various shops to get anything she needs, if and when she needs it.

Went for a walk to the Wetlands this afternoon and  had coffee in the Kiosk with Jennifer, Milan and Max.   The usual sniffs but at least  Benji didn’t snarl at Max and we had a peaceful time with coffee and scones. The day was warm and sunny and 21c but I can see that already the water  is starting to evaporate. There is supposed to be some rain on Saturday – in nice time for the cuttlefish and the Cake Stall – will not interfere with what Annabell and the ladies at the Ladies brunch but it could interfere with both the RFDS events.

Rejoice with me!  Today is Friday – the end of the week – an entire week without a single hospital visit nor a doctor visit. Is that something  to rejoice about or what! Next week is different, and will include an ECG for her,  but we’ll deal with that when it’s next week. In the meantime, it’s been a good week.  Saturday and it’s all happening. It’s 6:30am today is the Cuttlefish diving, the RFDS Catering out there, the RFDS Cake Stall at the Hardware store and the Ladies Brunch — and —- it’s chucking it down. Isn’t that fun. It will be ok for the Cuttlefish Divers, they are going to get wet anyway, the ladies Brunch will be indoors, but the Cake Stall and the Cuttlefish Catering are currently at risk. Right at the moment I am being hassled  but I am not taking him walking in the heavy rain, so he can just go

The last surviving Mandevilla.

back to his bed for a bit;.

The rain faded away by about 7:30 and it turned out a fine day – almost. Everything went well, the Cuttlefish Catering, The  Cake Stall and the Ladies Brunch. The cuttlefish catering we wont know until  the  end of today and we get the two days  and the cake stall calculated. The Ladies Brunch was good but not as good as it has been. We think there was just too much on this weekend – something the ladies are going to have consider if they decide to continue next year. I did say almost a fine day since the rain came back about 3pm but only in the form of a few quick showers. Not enough to cause much concern. The Cake Stall had sold everything by 11:30 and they had nearly three full tables of home baking – and it all went.

Taken at 10am as the heavy, wet mist was  slowly clearing.

Tomorrow (Monday 1st July) is the AGM of the RFDS here and my last  time as Secretary. There is some doubt as to whether or not  the  Secretary Elect will  go forward to election but either way, I will not. The Secretary elect was elected as Secretary but not without some controversial maneuvering. Members of the “In Group” wanted their man to be Secretary but the  Coordinator from Central Operations in Adelaide who was chairing the meeting, ruled this as Out Of Order, since the person concerned was not at the meeting and therefore unable to agree or not to his election.   Oh, yes, and we were told at the meeting that the RFDS Jet, which was to make a visit to each of the areas, will not be coming. Central Operations decided to  send the Jet to the properties of each of the major corporate sponsors instead and since it is now in operation, there is not time for any regional visits.

Adelaide, Kangaroos and walkin’ the dog!

On Tuesday morning I set off for Adelaide. I was  not too far from Adelaide (less than 90klms) when my son contacted me and said that there had been a change of plans and that they were both arriving in Adelaide on Tuesday night and  heading home on Wednesday morning, so I didn’t need to come down after all.  I told him where I was and how impressed I was but I hope I shall be able to cancel  the second room at short notice. This is the hotel I use when Presbytery is in North Adelaide. I took a run out to the shopping center at Tea Tree Plaza and did some shopping for Annabell. I like TTP and am generally quite comfortable there. For  some reason I don’t like Marion Shopping Center. Can’t think why but I just don’t like it. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of character and I find it quite antiseptic. Later on in the afternoon I was at a place that has  an overload of character – The Central Market.  It’s one place I really enjoy wandering around.  Anyway, I  went to the hotel and booked in, explaining why I no longer need two rooms and why I need to cancel one. No problem. They were very understanding.  Once I booked in and put my case in the room,  I took the bus into town. I had some things I wanted for myself at Kikki.k and David Jones

For more years than I care to remember I have used a  Filofax but in recent years it has become ridiculously expensive to get inserts. I think I said before that I can, of course, get inserts from the

I see the moon, the moon sees me!!

UK and the USA  but the cost of shipping/postage is greater than the cost of the inserts.  Yes I can download but my printer cannot not cope with the size and I am not about to buy a printer that can so I can use it once a year. Anyway, there are several printing shops in Adelaide so at the last meeting of the year ( late November early December) I can download, save to a USB and have the inserts printed off for less than $10. For years it was so simple and there were two Filofax outlets in Rundle Mall, Adelaide –  Borders and David Jones. Borders has gone and David Jones don’t really stock much now.

It’s been ages since Benji and I were down at the wetlands. It’s really been too hot  and  sadly there is only a limited amount of shade there. This whole week the temperature will be around the mid 30c mark and still too hot to take him onto the concrete paths at the wetlands for any length of time. Interestingly, there is no shade at the Wetlands Kiosk. Not long after it opened I took Benji for a walk then stopped off for a coffee for me and a small Ice Cream for Benji. The cost was over what I anticipated which I thought was a bit much. I have not been back since. I also notice that it is closed for a number of days during the week, so perhaps it is not doing as well as was expected. Personally, I think the lack of shade might have something to do with that.  The forecast for next week is  for cooler temperatures, so perhaps we can get back down to afternoons at the lighthouse and the wetlands.

In the early evening.

This morning on my walk with Benji, the place was covered in Kangaroos – they were everywhere. Not just the odd one or two as normal, but mobs of them. Why no photographs – it’s 6am and it’s dark. In the early evening, I go around the park/ play area: I no longer go through it. There are quite a few Kangaroos there in the evening and I find that even although Benji is under control and does not offer a threat – he doesn’t even bark at them – they still take off when they see the dog, and that’s my problem. There is bushland across from the park and that’s where they make for, but it means crossing a road and they would just take off without  any concern for traffic. Hitting a Kangaroo is not  good –  it kills the Kangaroo, but  the car would be a write off and  depending on the angle of the hit – the driver could be too. So, I go around the park and leave them be – it’s safer that way

Heatwaves and temperature crashes.

The highest temperature recorded in the town’s history, was how the temperature of Port Augusta was described. The  “Official Temperature”was recorded as 48.9c but the temperature monitor in the center of the town recorded 52.6c. Here, my monitor recorded a temperature of 43c as did the monitor of a friend in another part of town, yet the “Official Temperature” only recorded 37c.

Well, Hi There, yáll.

Part of the local legend and conspiracy theory is that  in the early days of the town, the temperature of the area was “adjusted”  so as not to discourage people from coming here. It was advertised as having a “Mediterranean Climate” although off-hand I can’t think of many places in that area that experience temperatures of 40+C. Anyway, the higher temperatures meant  lower and sometimes, no wind. I  thought this was great and suitably attired,  I managed to get almost all of the leaves swept up. Didn’t bode well for my plants despite the  daily watering and monitoring. It’s also been a busy week in that I have had three medical appointment that were  unplanned. What I mean by that is that doctor called and said he wanted certain tests for Annabell and I  took her for these. And a call that he wanted to see her – that’s later on this morning.

Still and Calm

Last night it was suddenly quite mild and Benji and me visited the Wetlands  and had a good walk around the place. The thing I found surprising is that despite the coolness of the evening, there were not very many people about. I was, however, disappointed to discover that the Wetlands Kiosk was closed. I would have thought it would have remained open late, which would attract more people to the area in the mild evenings. There was not a breath of  wind in the air. The water of the ponds were still and calm – sort of like me, really – still and calm — Yeah in my dreams!

Today – Friday – the wind came back, the temperature fell to the low 20s and we had a few spots of rain – so few spots I think it was scared to show its face after being away for so long.  The heat, is some parts of the state and the country, only served to exacerbate the drought, pushing our farmers further into depression. Many of my plants did not survive and I did have concerns with my young Mulberry Tree, but it seems to come through ok – as far as I can tell.

Walk at 6:10am.

I was hoping to go through to the Port this week and then on to Quorn Hospital but all these doctor dates with Annabell kind of knocked that on the head. She is ok otherwise. She coped reasonably well with the high temperatures this last week and we are going to look at replacing the Air Conditioner in her room with a reverse cycle Air Conditioner. It will give her more control to regulate the temperature to what is comfortable for her. I took Benji out for a walk this morning and it was – as they say -“Fresh”. In fact it was so fresh that I was sorry I had put on only a light jacket – and yes, that’s how far the temperatures have fallen. Sort of giving us a breather before the heatwave forecast for next week. Today, and tomorrow  I have  fundraising days for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This will take up much of the day. Fortunately it’s not a hot day – I think about 24c. We should be ok today and the team out tomorrow should have about the same,

Beds, flowers and Kangaroos.

Daddy wasn’t using it so I was protecting it for him…

There have been a few days over the last two weeks when it has not been cold, wet and windy – always windy!  Yesterday was no exception with 70kph winds causing  concern with dust storms and damage to powerlines and trees in Adelaide. I had concern for two trees but they survived – again. They cause me concern every time the wind blows stronger than usual but they have always survived – for which I am most thankful. The few days I did get out and about we were able to get down to the wetlands and sample the coffee at the new Kiosk. I actually went back down to the wetlands recently but the kiosk was crowded but then it was a nice day with only a limited amount of wind i.e. it was not blowing a gale. The only blessing – if you can call it that – of the wind right at the moment is that it keeps the flies away.

I have been busy with RFDS things this last few weeks. The major thing being organising  the catering with the Model Railway Club. This year is their 50th Anniversary and they have organised a big  Model Railway Exhibition to celebrate,  with clubs and displays coming in from inter-state for the two days. Two funerals and  guests at a wedding and I have had myself removed from  the RFDS Social Media page.  Benji has not been neglected. We still go out for our walks. There is a bit of progress with Benji. I did mention some time ago that  for some reason being lifted on to a shoulder drove him crazy and he fought to get down, even to the extent of risking injury. I have never had a dog that didn’t like being carried on the shoulder at times. Annabell and I discussed this and since we really know nothing of his background before I adopted him, we surmised that perhaps he had been abused when in that  position. Anyway, I worked on it – and treats helped.

We catered for a function yesterday at Civic Park and I was called from the people working  that some forms had been handed to them by the Council and  could I come down and collect them. I decided to take Benji with me. This  Civic Park function is the culmination of a week in which we celebrate pride in our community and in the park all sorts of things happen with activities for the  children. Anyway, what I didn’t know was that this year there was to be a demonstration  by the Dog Obedience Group – lots of dogs. Benji was not a happy  boy. He gets on well with dogs that come into the house – dogs that I look after –  although where the WaWa was concerned that was a sort of armed neutrality. However, back to the park and he started

Early morning walk.
I have a flower – a Rose, no less.

getting anxious and he jumped up on me, and I bent down and lifted him up onto my shoulder and he stayed, quite happily. Definitely progress.

Yesterday the Pride in the Park function was  held in a warm and sunny 26c. I  took Benji down to the Wetlands and had a good walk round. I was going to have coffee at the kiosk, but it was crowded and busy – which is good, so I gave it a miss this time.   Today when I took him out at 6:16 am there was not a breeze and not a cloud in the sky, which wont last. The expected temperature for today is 34c with wind, -as I said in the first line – always with the wind.. I realise that I am probably a pain in the butt with this wind thing, but in all the years I have been here I have never known it to be like this. Yes we have had a bit of wild weather and high winds from time to time, but this constant wind  was never a feature of past years.

This coming weekend we are out again catering at the Model Railway Exhibition. his is over two days and I can help at one but not at the second since we have a Special Service at Church and  I will be there for much of the day – lunch afterwards for members and guests.

Around the area.

Benji relaxing – which he is good at :o)

I mentioned before that the day I was outside was a lovely warm, sunny day. The contrast is that yesterday afternoon it started raining, was cold and Adelaide had a major thunderstorm. We got a little bit of a side swipe, some lightening, bit of thunder and some rain. Today it’s dry but cold and overcast – very much back in winter mode although not quite as cold, but still cold. The army has now left  their Cultana Playpen so we have a military free month until the next  group come over from Canberra. The next group will be the Officer Cadets from the Military College in Canberra who will come here for their final exercise before returning to the College to undertake their final exams. This group will not be out at the PlayPen, but will be under canvas at the  showground – same as last time – and they don’t have tanks. Not that we saw much of the tanks this time round. Interesting in that we were told to expect live-fire shooting from tanks and artillery. We heard nothing, but then the Training Ground ( Playpen) is over 2500 Square Kilometers in size.

Much of the last  week has been cold and miserable with rain off and on. Also it is now dark again in the mornings since the clocks went forward an hour.  My  6am walk with the dog  is dark with the light not happening until close to the end of our walk at 7am. The forecast for the week is dull and overcast with possibly some rain. The weekend, however, should be warm  and sunny.  Today and tomorrow  the RFDS Local Group are guests at the new On The Run (OTR) Service Station. Apparently the  billionaire  owner of the OTR is now a sponsor of the RFDS so we have been invited to the pre-opening tonight and the official opening tomorrow.

The problems and concerns with WordPress are not getting any better and I have to rescue more and more posts and comments from the Spam Folder. In fact most of the posts from  Tales around the Ranch,   Glasgow Galavanter, Spoon you, My Golden life (sort off because they do vanish and I have no idea where to). These are the main ones but there are others – Scotland with the Wee White Dug, is a frequent visitor to the Spam Folder. I am  really thinking of adding a new  comment when I reply to people  – RFS – Rescued from Spam   :o) Always providing that I find them in the first place. Others have either stopped writing or they are somewhere else and I have not found them yet. – but I will. This is only recent and I have no idea why it is happening.

The pre-opening of the OTR Service Station was interesting and attended by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, The State MP for the area, the Federal MP for the Region, councillors, and business

Wetlands Kiosk
New OTR Service Station

leaders and the RFDS. It was quite an evening, lots of food, some speeches and some presentations. The  Regional Manager of OTR will attend the RFDS Meeting in November and explain to the members how the sponsorship works and how the  charity money is distributed by OTR. The RFDS is their preferred sponsor but they have a few other charities that they  contribute to.

I have decided that I am well and truly over walking in the morning dark and the sooner we get into summer the better. Apart from being dark, it is cold and windy and not really  the best time of the day.  It was fine until the clock change. If I leave it until later his biological clock gets put out of whack and there could be an “accident’. When the alarm goes off he’s up and ready to go but he has to wait for me getting dressed – “come on dad, hurry up” .  The Wetlands Kiosk has its opening today, so,  sometime during the morning I will get down with Benji and have a coffee and a walk – depending on the weather, of course and the length of time I am at the OTR Service Station.  I did drive  around that way going home from the Service Station last night and there were a few cars and light on in the Kiosk and the area around it getting everything ready for the opening today, I expect.

 

More wind – still annoying

Native Bush from the Arid Lands B.G.

Not counting today, only four days left until Spring is here. Not going to miss winter one little bit.  The days have been mild but the mornings and evenings have been very cold. This morning it was foggy and very cold – so cold that I really entertained thoughts of giving up the morning walk, turning round and heading for home and a heater. I didn’t!! However, as soon as I got in I went directly to my room and turned my heater on full. Benji has had his breakfast and is curled up in his bed. However, we can’t really complain too much since the weather this last week has been  mild and it has been  enjoyable walking around the Wetlands  with Benji during the day. It has also allowed my to get back out in the garden and start the process of cleaning up the 40 billion leaves.  Ok so I exaggerate  – there’s only 20 Billion. I also have an area out front that I have tried to grow things in without success. I had a think about this and finally decided this last week to dig it all out and remove all the soil and replace it with new material ( 3 x 70 ltrs of material) and finally, on Saturday, I bought new plants from the Garden Centre and planted them – we’ll see what happens. Oh and I also put down fertilizer. My stick was just that – a stick, so that’s gone.  With the lack of rain the Kangaroos have been wandering well into the  area looking for water and food. In another area, close to bushland, they have Emus wandering around. I see the Roos in the new area beyond me, but I haven’t seen any down near me—-yet.

The fact that we have a shortage of water is illustrated in the level of water at the Wetlands. There is still a fair volume of water in the pools but the drop in water

The new Kiosk at the Wetlands.

level is fairly obvious. The black Swans returned – briefly – but I hope that this is a sign of things to come and the swans and  big ducks will return.  The Kiosk is just about completed  and I believe it’s due to open sometime next week.  If the day is very warm to hot – and it will be in summer – I really think that if the opening hours are good,  the kiosk will do well. I do a full lap and a half when I am there, but if, after a full lap, I could have a drink and  relax, I could end up doing two full laps. A full lap is 3.5 Klms – so Benji and I, when we go to the Wetlands, do 5.35 klms. The front – across the bridge from the car park, is the barbecue areas, the exercise area, the flying fox, the grassed area for family play, and the children’s play area. There is also a barbecue area  just down from the carpark and just beyond that is where the kiosk is situated.

The Wawa (Kongsoon) back with her mun again.

All winter I have escaped colds and flu. There are two days of winter left and I have come down with a very heavy cold.  Seen out winter the cold, fog and wind and now this.  What happened to all this Vitamin C and all those Oranges and Mandarins that I have consumed by the bucket load?? I sort of feel cheated.  To add insult to injury the high winds have returned. So much for my leaves cleaning.       Don’t really know, some blame climate change whereas others ( and a growing number) blame stuffing around  with clock changes and daylight saving. We have always had strange weather up here but I really do not remember the continual and sustained wind that we are having presently causing concern to both country and city. Today (Wednesday) it’s warm, it’s overcast,  the temperature is 26c ,  yet we have high winds 42 – 65 km/h – battering the place again. It is now after 9pm and the wind is still going and no sign of letting up. Reports of dust storms across the mid north and pollen  is being blown arond as a result of the mild conditions.  And still not much rain. The little rain we did have was, according to the farmers, too little, too late.

I had been thinking of the WaWa recently and surprisingly, I actually miss her. In the last three or four months she became my friend and wanted to be lifted up to sit with me on the chair, with Benji. Then she left, but these last months made up for everything.

PS All night. The wind died at 10:30 Thursday – for a whole two hours before starting up again.

 

 

Things Fall Apart

I have to be honest and say that Benji and I have not really done very much of late. This is the coldest winter period we have had in many years  with the overnight temperature and the early morning  down to 1c. The Port was down to 0c and over the last few days this has been the morning temperature and just too cold to go wandering  around in the dark, and to be honest I sense a lack of keenness  in Benji to go wandering in the cold morning. Like me, he sticks close to the heater.  Daytime temperature is around 13c / 14c, which,  for us is cold. However, the winter sun sees us wandering abound the Wetlands and observing the progress – or lack thereof – of the new kiosk. I don’t wish to be negative about these things, but can you come back next year. The local council own and run the wetlands and the local council are building the kiosk. I mean, it might be very nice when  it’s finally finished but at the moment it looks like two side by side shipping containers.

The Ferry today with the Tall Ship in the background

I recently read a post  that, apart from the mention of a place I had never heard of, wandered around Glasgow to places I remember, yet don’t remember. The

Now this is a ferry !!

places and things I remember have gone or have changed beyond recognition. One example of this was the Govan Ferry, which today, I think,  is a smart boat that crosses the River Clyde in next to no time unlike the BIG Govan Ferry I remember, which was slow and ponderous.   I worked for HM Customs and Excise. I was stationed at the White Horse Distillery in Port Dundas. Part of the Bonded Warehouses had been built by Prisoners of War  – French POW who fought for the Emperor Napoleon. You felt that the place had been there forever and would never change – yet it is gone – flattened, the Distillery and the Bonded Warehouses – I have no idea when but it’s all gone. “Things fall apart” to be sure. On of the men in the church took his two daughters back to Scotland  and when they came home he wrote a piece for the “New Voice” the church magazine which I edit. In it he talked of his holiday and the places he and his daughters visited. Before he left Jennifer, one of his daughters,  asked if there was anything I would like from Scotland. I asked if she could bring me back a few postcards from Glasgow. Anybody asks me, that’s what I always suggest. I use them as monthly dividers for my Filofax. Anyway, they travelled across the British Isles and finally came back to Glasgow – Govan, where John was brought up. It was mostly about Govan he wrote and expressed his sadness that the places of his childhood were gone. He tried to find the houses he and his wife lived in when they were first married, but they too have gone. Certainly the official buildings are still there, but other places are  destroyed and built over. Some of the places he talked about I knew, particularly the Cinemas – none of which remain. The Govan he remembers has gone forever.

I miss  the Dear Green Place, and I really do believe it is true ‘You can take the man from Glasgow, but Glasgow from the man” I get irritated with people who bag Glasgow, particularly a Minister, who I will not name,  who bagged the city just before the Commonwealth Games. Which, I understand , was an outstanding success for the games and the city.

Not a lot of progress on the Kiosk

But things do change – even here. As I said before, when we moved here this was the last house in the town. There was only bushland beyond us. The Mining Boom happened and what was empty land became a private housing estate and places I walked the dogs, were now gardens. I don’t see the Kangaroos as much.  But the mining boom has been and gone and went, and so has the big pay packets. They can no longer afford the big boat, or the Jeep or even the five bedroom house – so the jeep’s gone, the boat’s gone and the house is up for sale. Sad but no one thought to put money away it was just earn and spend. And they borrowed – so what they get for the boat, vehicle and house will mostly go to pay debts. That is the sad aftermath of the mining boom for some.