Traveling, Rain and a Mini-rant

Despite the fact that it’s been chucking it down all day I spent much of the afternoon, driving through the rain delivering mail for Annabell. She was the navigator and sorted the letters into

The Army are back again.

post codes so we didn’t keep wandering back and forth across town.  The church ladies are holding their Annual Brunch next week and she wanted the letters out now. It is a sad reflection on Australia Post that we could not be certain that the mail  would be delivered in time. The person who was going to attend to all this when Annabell was ill, didn’t – so hence the drive through the rain. Anyway, got them all delivered except the Letter for the Lutherans. They use a post box and the church does not have a letter box at the property. We did drive to the property but is was closed despite saying that the church office hours were 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday and it was only just after 2:45.  That was the last drop which gave me time to get to the Vet and make arrangements for the Benji ( who was in the car) to have a Parvovirus injection. As it happened, the Vet was fairly quiet so I got Benji out of the car and  the Vet gave him a check-up and the injection. Goodness he was a trooper and never flinched –  lol –  and the dog was pretty good too….

Considering what the weather was like the last two days, today is a beautiful day. Not all that warm, but nice and bright, limited cloud cover and  blue sky – a really nice day. Of course things are still wet and damp and it will probably take most of this sun for them to dry out. I think someone is  playing tricks on me. I told you how last week I did not set the alarm but I got up at the alarm time anyway – well last night I did set the alarm and was very surprised when I woke up and looked up at the skylight and saw daylight. I got up and found that the time was 7:35 – either I slept through the alarm or it did not go off. Either way I feel quite refreshed today.

Annabell is much better now and in the process of organising things for the Ladies Brunch at the church on Saturday. This is an annual event and generally well attended. We used to do this

Just Because..

kind of thing for a national charity but many people were unhappy with the money raised going out of town and the fact that after payments, wages, administration costs etc.,  only a small proportion of the funds raised actually goes to the charity. A decision was made to stop doing this and to start

Nice Day.

raising funds to donate to local organisations that we felt needed help – The  Breast Cancer Support Group / Men’s Prostate Cancer Support / Catholic Ladies Group (they supply meals to the needy and the homeless)  Isabell Smith ( a local lady who cooks and  supplies meals also to the needy and homeless ( she pays for all this on her own)). Hair to Help Wig Library, also a local Anglican Charity. It’s not that we are being parochial, we just came to the conclusion that with all the glitz and glamour and national and international TV and movie stars of the big national charities  competing for your Dollar, the small, local charities and organisations are ignored and left to struggle. We don’t talk in millions of dollars raised but we do what we can to keep our local people and organisations operational – because that’s what small towns like ours should do. Ok, I’ll be quiet and not rant any more.

The Computer Guru ( My Son) is coming over in a day or two to show me how to print off inserts for my A6 diary. Normally I have bought them from the USA but the little shop in Virginia  who did them, is not doing them anymore and other shops – large or small, now charge a fortune in postal costs to send to Australia. I tried this downloading years ago and was told to do this, this, this and this – easy.. So I did this, and this and this and what was that other thing again??? The sheer frustration, not to mention the amount of wasted paper and printer ink, and  I gave up and bought refills instead, I hope John (son) will help me sort it all out.

Home: For dreams of going to

She was overweight and I was bringing her weight down.

On 29th April I wrote about the WaWa escaping from her harness and how she thought my chasing her around Fairclough/ Busch  Streets at 6am was a great game. I also mentioned that when I got them both home I adjusted her harness. Well,  I caused the hurt and the cut that needed to be seen by the vet.  I adjusted the harness and  inserting my fingers at the  top I thought it was just right – not too tight. I was so wrong. For over ten days the harness was over tight and cutting into her skin underneath her right leg. Of course, I happened to be away for much of that time and Annabell never noticed as the WaWa never complained nor gave any indication that she was hurting. It was only on Friday, after I had been home for a few days that I noticed how very subdued she was and went down on the floor to look at her. That’s when I discovered what had happened. You have no idea how shocked I was when I looked at the damage. I wrapped her in a towel and with Annabell holding her, I drove to the vet only to discover that he was closed. I then went to the other vet and she said she was  busy and wouldn’t even look at her. I brought her home and Annabell and I looked after the WaWa until I was able to get to our own vet ( who was back)  first thing this morning. Advised to gently wash the area, dry it and administer some cream. Keep the harness off ( of course) and keep her inside for a few days. Felt really bad knowing that it was my fault but she is very forgiving and I still get licks and snuggles. Wearing the collar means that she can’t get into her food too well, so I sit on the floor and hand feed her. Last night, after I fed her she came over and sat on my lap, so I was on the floor for a bit. But I think that means I am forgiven  and that makes me feel better – not less stupid – just better.

The “Lady Nelson”at Mount Gambier

A little while ago there was several peals of thunder and now the wet stuff is coming down like it’s in a hurry to get to ground. This is good and it will save me watering the plants later on today. It will also be good for the farmers and allow them to get the seeds into the ground. A few more extended showers and that will set everything off to a good start.

Still no indication  about the fate of Arrium, so there is still a great deal of uncertainty in town. There are many houses for sale – seven within the area I walk the dogs and about 40% of the shops in the Mall are closed up and empty. I understand there a few businesses interested but not willing to commit until the decision regarding Arrium is made. This is just dragging on and on. A decision was promised for April and here we are – almost June already and still no decision, which is not helping the town move forward.

At David Jones, Adelaide

But it seems to me that we have this  head in the sand, good news week kind of mentality. What I mean is “Bonga Bonga Manufacturing Something Co. is closing down with the loss of 150 jobs.  Arrium employs 10 new  people ”  What the paper leads with is , “Whyalla turns the corner as Arrium starts hiring again.” Somewhere on page 4 is the report on  Bonga Bonga. – Good news week.    Don’t tell them what they need to know – Tell them what they want to hear.

The  first of the Bronzes I saw a year or more ago was the Rabbit and the Dog having tea. Then there was another one ( which I seem to have lost) of a photographer standing, then the recent one of the Dog as photographer. I find now  that I go wandering and looking for more when I visit Adelaide and I must find the missing Bronze when I am next in the city

Could we start again, please?

The first creditors meeting was held the other day and the term “Business as usual” was challenged with one supplier suggesting that  means  he keeps suppling to
Arrium and Arrium continue  not to pay him. Already he is owed $700,000 and on these figures he wont survive for much longer. He was only one  creditor and there are many that are owed a lot of money by Arrium and if the company is to survive the suppliers have to keep up with supplies, but still not get paid – yet.  One supplier has said that he will supply until he reaches the stage where he has to borrow money to pay his people – then he will pull out because he is not going to allow his business to go under for Arrium.  On the other side there is  a suggestion that with  profits of over $35 billion a year, the Robber Barons could write off the $1.8 Billion owed by Arrium. However,  taking into consideration the  Bank love of money ( we only made $6 billion this half year ; we’ll have to increase charges and close down a branch or three), this is unlikely to happen.  There will be another Creditor Meeting in four weeks and that will be the crucial one – at least that’s what the  talk is.  There is still a great deal of uncertainty and some people have lost jobs due to a downturn in sales as people are restricting their spending.

The WaWa we are looking after for a few months
The WaWa we are looking after for a few months

This is our last weekend with three dogs. Friends return on Tuesday so we hand Yogi back. It’s been a good two weeks and after a bit of initial territory disputes, Benji and Yogi have got on very well together. It has been interesting to take them out walking and watch them walk side by side – like brothers  :o) We had Benji at the Vet the other day. Nothing serious;  just that I noticed him limping when we were out walking so I wanted it checked out. I  sort of knew what the problem was and really I just wanted it confirmed. He’s fine but we believe at some stage  a toe on his back right paw was damaged or broken and this has caused the nail/claw to  grow at an odd angle, which, as he fills out is causing a bit of discomfort when he’s walking. We will keep a close watch on that nail/claw and ensure that it is cut often and if it gets too much then we can think about surgery and have the claw/nail removed. And yes, he is a tad overweight – 600gm. With Yogi gone, this will bring us back to two dogs. If anyone has any ideas about  what to do about a  constantly yapping  wawa, my nerves and I would welcome your suggestions.

Most of today (Saturday) I was involved in a fund raising event for the RFDS. We did fairly well I thought. No idea how much we raised but

The front just about finished
The front just about finished


The toy at the bottom of the steps behind the wawa is the hand puppet
The toy at the bottom of the steps behind the wawa is the hand puppet

it was a reasonable day and I was glad to see that people are still supporting us.  However we were steady but not as busy as we have been in the past.  My son is still continuing with the Local Office and at the moment things are being sent up to him, but the long term outlook is that he will have to move to Adelaide, although the major problem will be his house. The chances of getting it sold are remote at the moment – and probably for some time, so Adelaide could be problematic.

I have been “playing”with the wawa – sort of. Sooha left a whole bunch of toys, one of which was a hand puppet. I was able to put that on and play with the wawa for a while until Benji thought  enough was enough and I was paying too much attention to this female “it’s my daddy – not yours” She is still yappy but she is starting to settle down a bit more now but still very  “protective”of Annabell, and that’s probably a good thing. I can touch her and scratch her ears, ( the dog, that is!!)  but I am still very wary of her.

I have just about completed the front area with the 20mm Tregalana stone and the two raised flower  beds. There is an area behind me (where I took the photograph) that is under the shade of a tree and I’m thinking it might be a good place to put in  a third raised bed with ferns. I think there is enough shade for them to survive. I need to be sure because ferns are expensive here. Going through my very strange mind  this last little while has been a song from J.C. Superstar and the words:-
“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
Or could we start again, please?

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, Vets and Adelaide again.

Guard Duty is exhausting
Guard Duty is exhausting

I took the Man to the vet this afternoon because his behaviour was causing me problems. I have not said anything on line because y áll had enough problems but I have been exhausted when I get out of bed in the morning and The Man is the reason for this exhaustion and also the reason why I extended my Sabbatical. I have been wakened two, three and four times a night – most nights – with The Man just yelping – I investigate and he is standing facing a blank wall and just yelping, or he is staring off into space and bark/yelping. He calms down and a couple of hours later, he starts again Its ‘been a concern and after a while I do get tired and sleep deprived.     Ok what I know, –  his arthritis is “progressing” he is going blind, he is loosing his hearing and we suspect there is something akin to a Dog form of  Dementia. Mustapha  (The Vet) believes that he wakens up in the dark, declining eyesight, scared, not knowing where he  is, goes outside to have a wee, and forgets how to get back in  – poor eyesight in the dark – gets scared, barks for help,  not a lot we can do really other than comfort him and make him feel safe. Well, no! On the way home I stopped off at a hardware store and left him in the car with herself comforting him, and bought two fairly bright night-lights.  One I will power on tonight and the other is an outside motion sensor light. I really do know what else I can do. He has a bit of a cough so some medication for that, 10ml of Fish Oil and his arthritis medication. So we’ll see how we go from here. And no, nothing will happen to him. It is not being cruel – he is still much loved and It is my responsibility and my opportunity to repay him for some of the fun we have had together over the last 13 years. Well not strictly true, to say that there is nothing we can do Instead of wheels I have ordered a “Dogger”a stroller for dogs. It should arrive sometime in the next week or so and I will introduce him to it when I get back from Adelaide this coming weekend.  Ok, I know I did say that I was staying home until the end of September and generally that’s true, but I need to go be in Adelaide this Friday and Saturday, so back to my little park bench in South Terrace.

A Man and his  Teddy Bear
A Man and his Teddy Bears

The Man has an abscess on his bottom and we have been looking after that. This was also a visit to the vet. We have antibiotics and a saline wash twice a day and rather than diminishing  it seems to be slightly larger if anything. I will go on for another few days with the medical treatment, then I will make another trip to the vet.  I don’t know what can be done, but the fact that he is old and in decline regarding his health, in not an issue,  he still needs good quality vet treatment and I want him to have just that – he deserves it. But somethings are working – he has been sleeping a lot better since the night light. He is sleeping through the night and – importantly – I am too!!  Such a little thing, like a night light,  has made an enormous difference.

When I get back from Adelaide I will spend all next week running back and forth from hospital with Herself. We have appointments every day, except Friday. On Tuesday she is going for an Ultrasound on her kidney and perhaps from all this we can finally discover why she is loosing blood. I took her to hospital last week and she recorded a BP of 235/90, which she thought was quite ok. She worries me at times.
The drive down to Adelaide was, thankfully, quiet and uneventful and I am now safely in  my little Park Bench in South Terrace. Ron was a piper in the Black Watch, Highland Regiment. He was one of the  Black Watch Pipers that   Mrs. Kennedy asked to play at her  husband’s funeral in 1963. Her husband, of course, was JFK. This is an interesting story of itself and sometime I will relay it – perhaps in the next post. As far as we know, there is only one piper remaining of the

Wilpena in the Flinders Ranges
Wilpena in the Flinders Ranges

pipers who were chosen for the funeral.

Oh, the Dog Stroller arrived on Saturday morning but since herself was out with one of the boys. I was still driving back from Adelaide but the postal people left a note on the door saying that it could be collected on Monday. I will do that and I  really do hope this will help. At least it will get him out and about in safety and pain free.


The Vet, The Man and Medication

This is the "Younger" Man
This is the “Younger” Man

Well, back from Adelaide, glad to be back home ,  although I have to go back next week.. I got up this morning to find that Outlook Express strikes again and the mail I was reading over the last two days had simply vanished. It’s not in the trash box, it’s not in the junk box = it’s just gone. I don’t about this happening to anyone else, so I have to believe that it’s something I’m doing – or not doing. What that is, I have not a clue. I know there are a lot of faults with Windows 8 and perhaps this is just another one. So, please, I am not ignoring your posts, I am just having problems with my mail server again. It’s been a couple of months since this happened so perhaps I was getting complacent. But I think the problem with vanishing emails has gotten worse since the change from an AppleMac back to a PC. Having said that I think it is possible that the missing emails could be in the AppleMac so I might set that up and see. It is very frustrating. It was suggested that I move to Google+ and although I have an account there moving over could cause more problems than it would solve.

The Man is not getting any better and apart from problems with arthritis, we now know that he is loosing his sight.  I have been hand feeding him and he  bumps into things more and more. I have an appointment with the Vet tomorrow so I will see what he has to say, but I don’t think it will be all that encouraging. There is only so much we can do.  I really am not ready to let him go if there is any way I can make him less scared and more comfortable. He squeals a lot – not barking –  but we can’t figure out why. I noticed changes in him when I did come back home. A week is a long time in a dog’s life – but you know that.

out and about
out and about

Had the Man at the Vet yesterday afternoon. Struth it was a trying time. He was very distressed and cried (loudly) all the way into town in the car. He cried and screamed in the vet and once I checked in and let them know I was here, I went back outside to walk up and down with him and tried to calm him down. He was in pain and he was afraid. Mustafa (the Vet) is very good and we did manage to calm him down. Yes, he is loosing coordination of his back legs which slip away from him and cause him to fall a lot – yes there  is arthritis and yes he is starting to lose his sight. He is on 10 mil of Carprofen, which should help. I did ask about  Adequan, which he had not heard of, but he has asked his staff to look for it and he will get back to me.  I also talked to him about the wheels and he gave a qualified approval provided that the measurements are correct and it does not put any additional stress on the dog. I told him that the wheels I am about to order – once I have all his measurements – will be made to his specifications and shipped over from the United States.  Mustafa seemed a  bit more relaxed about that.


The other dogs that I take walking at times.
The other dogs that I take walking at times.

At the moment he is curled up asleep in my office – with me –  in front of the fire. He likes his comfort.    I was worried about the fact that he was not eating too well and I was going to mention that until to Mustafa.  Herself suggested that perhaps he does not like cooked chicken (horror!!!)  Hey it was  chicken breasts from the butcher that I cooked and chopped up for him. Anyway, I put the chicken into Chienne’s bowl and she scoffed the lot. I  sorted out some other stuff for him, chopped it up finely and he scoffed that, and there was me thinking I was doing the right thing by buying expensive chicken breasts and he turns up his wee nose at it. The photograph is of  Izzy and Spike -Izzy is the light coloured one – and these are the dogs I take out walking a couple of times – when I can.

Fire, Floods – it’s a weird place!

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous  in 36 hours.
From the Sublime to the Ridiculous in 36 hours.

The temperature shot up to 44c again and is expected to stay high until the weekend. The dogs are  curled up asleep  under the air-conditioner. I said that I had gone into a stationery shop called Kikki.k to get some things for a friend but what I didn’t say is that I left my Scanda Filofax on the counter. They telephoned herself who contacted me on my mobile (cell) phone. I was  way too far away to be able to turn around so I asked her to contact them and ask if they would post it to me and I would pay the postage. They said they would and told her not to bother with the postage. I was very thankful that they were really good people and sent my Filofax back to me.

Even a mere five days without it was a trial since I use it for just about everything, and all the medical appointment dates for herself were in there. I always keep it close to me but I believe I know what happened. I had written what I needed to get  in my FF and I laid it down on the counter. When I got what I had asked for the assistant put it in a bag — and – I think she put it down on top of my Filofax and I lifted the bag but not the Filofax underneath it. Still, all good and I have it back again. I will not forget this when I go back to Adelaide in a few weeks. Kikki.K is a Swedish design stationery Shop. TeeHee – when herself took the call she thought the girl was saying “This is KKK” which sort of scared her a little  :o)

The heatwave broke last night and since about 1am we have had heavy and constant rain. Fortunately no thunder – just rain. I just hope all this is being repeated

Trying to save the Festival
Trying to save the Festival

across the gulf and if it persists it should bring relief to the firefighters at the Bangor blaze. It was still hot and sticky when I took the dogs out last night and even with the rain it will take a while for the place to cool down.  Well, that was nice, but it’s still hot and sticky and everything has dried up very quickly. The Bangor Fire is still not out but the rain did help to give the firefighters a slight break and gave them the opportunity to  strengthen containment lines.

Things, however, are different in Adelaide, which has just gone from record heat to record rain in 30 hours – and the rain is still falling. Sections of the city are impassable due to flooding. Yes it has hardly stopped here since it began two days ago. but it is much heavier in the lower areas of the  State – Adelaide and the metropolitan district. It has put the Adelaide Festival, this weekend, on alert and already some of the parklands, where the show is held, in under water, as the underground car park of St. Andrew’s Hospital.. Still, our floods are small scale in relation to the floods in London and other parts of England. But, it is still raining. It should be interesting when I take Chienne to the vet. this afternoon.

Chienne relaxing
Chienne relaxing

I have always meant to say, but forgot,  that our Vet.  is Mustafa Bozkurt who was born in Adapazari, Turkey. He was invited to be part of a movie being partly short here because of his Turkish background. The film, starring Russell Crowe, is called “The Water Diviner”and is being filmed in the far north of the State before it moves to complete filming in Turkey – the area close to Gallipoli.  It’s only a little to do with the battle, more of a father trying to find his sons after the battle.

OK – Just got back  from the vet and there is flooding on the roads – large puddles – but the rain was pounding down and at one point I really couldn’t see ahead of me and I simply put on my orange hazard lights – it was a bit scarey. Even herself said that she can’t remember ever seeing rain like this here. Neither can I. Made it back but Chienne was a scared little dog.

Emails, Apple and the Guru…

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

Monday 20

This morning the email arrived. I answered two comments – one from Turkey and one from Manhattan – and started reading about dancing and traveling oop north then went off to do something else. When I came back the mail had gone – just vanished – and this is happening a lot. I have decided that I am not going to solve this conflict so I will go into town and order a new battery for the MacBook and put that back into service. Outlook for AppleMac is reliable. It may take a few days, cost more,  but I think it’s the best option. Not that I really need a new battery, but when I bought the MacBook three years ago I was getting nine hours from  a charge. I liked this because it meant that I could disconnect from the house here and go to work and not have to worry about taking a charger with me. I could also take it to Adelaide for the same reason.  Because it is one of the ‘early’ MacBook Pro the battery is not the best and these days I am lucky if I get four / five  hours out of it.

I’ve had the Guru  (No. 1 son) over and we have made some changes to Outlook that we hope will solve the problem and at the moment the mail seems to  be stable. This on-going problem with my mail system and the fact that Windows 8 and Outlook are not best friends has had me worried more than I can say.  I felt that people might think that I was using it as some sort of excuse to ignore them, and nothing could be further from the truth, because it’s all mail, family and friends,  not just posts and comments. I probably worry too much about things and people, neither of which, in this instance, I  have much control over.

The worst of the heat is now over for the moment, at least in South Australia and the dogs are getting out a lot more. I took them out last night  and where the Man is concerned, it’s  – one third walk – one third carry – one third walk. Still he’s a happy little soul and much loved by everyone, he’s just getting a bit slow.   More than Chienne, the girls want to play with him, but the problem is that he is old and he can be cranky and he does not like being  set upon by six and seven year old girls. I am so glad that he has no teeth, because he has snapped at  Rhianna a couple of times. Chienne wouldn’t mind in the least, but they want to play with the little cute and fluffy one  :o)

I have said before that I do not play the “stat”game but I expect,  like everyone else,  I like to have comments. I try and respond as soon as I can. I expect most

Not related to anything - I just like it.
Not related to anything – I just like it.

people do, but here is where my ‘paranoia’ sets in and I find that I make a comment and whilst there is replies to all the comments around it, mine stands out lost and alone. I go back in a few days, and it’s still there. I read it and re-read it and wonder if what I said has caused offense, or if the person does not consider it important enough to bother responding to, or it’s a stupid comment and ignores it. It’s a worry.

Tuesday 21

Went up to the Vet at 10 am this morning to get more medication for Chienne and to get the capsules of  “Frontline” which can only be issued by a Vet. Remembering that he closed down from 6th December to 6th January, I arrived at the surgery to be told that ” the Vet has an appointment so we’re closing down for the day. “. There is a new Vet in town and I am told she is very good with animals. Two of my friends go there and they tell me she really is a pleasure to work with.  Oh, I am so tempted!!

Heat, Fires and the RFDS

It’s 4:35am and I am sitting here hot and sticky. The temperature has been hovering around the 46c mark for the last few days and will continue for the next few days with a cool change coming in at the weekend. I was in bed at 11pm last night so I guess five hours or so in this heat is fairly good. I do not have an AC in my bedroom, only overhead fans – which I find are only really effective in moving the warm are around, not really cooling it. Still, it’s better than nothing. The Man finally crept out from under my bed at 10pm last night.  The  dry thunderstorm (no rain) sparked off a number of fires (200) in South Australia, one of which is only about 50 klm. east of the city. Water bombers have been brought over from  NSW and Victoria to assist. As the high temperatures continue the possibility for bushfires increases., but I have to say (although Chienne would not agree) the light show last night was quite spectacular.

This is not ours, but it gives you an example.
This is not ours, but it gives you an example.

I bought three Pencil Pines when I was in Adelaide, but because of the heat I have not planted them. They should be safe enough remaining in their pots under cover and well watered until I can get them out. Normally I would do it at the weekend once the cool change comes in, but this weekend I am busy with the Royal Flying Doctors and fundraising. On the subject of the RFDS, we are bringing a 10 meter simulator into town at the end of the month. It’s coming from Central Operations and we  will have it for four days, so we will make the best use of it we can. With 557 landings here in the last 12 months, I think many people would be interested to see what the inside of an RFDS aircraft looks like and what range of medical  equipment it carries. We can’t take an aircraft out of service, so the simulator is the next best thing.

There are still fires burning out of control across parts  of  South Australia as the temperature shows no signs of letting up at the moment. Some places further north have recorded  temperatures of 50c – and – would you believe – 11 incidents of  people leaving children in a car and 4 of a dog left in a car. True one of my dogs will be in a car today, but the Man will be with me and you may be certain that the AC is on at full. We will only be driving for about ten minutes – to the groomer – and a further ten minutes when I collect him.

When I was a boy I went camping, fishing and hiking in the Scottish Highlands with my Dad. After my Dad died, I went off hiking on my own and an kept up the fishing. No. 3 GF came hiking with me but we are talking about the late  1960s in Scotland, so camping was out and we stayed in B&B – separate rooms, of course and if I went in to see her, the room door had to remain open.  Even better – she liked Sinatra!! I get slightly amused with the term “relationships”because we never had “relationships” which seems to me to be a fairly modern term. You either had  Boyfriend or you had a Girlfriend – there was no relationship – or what moderns would consider a relationship. Yeah, but what about the 60s, Woodstock, Hippie Generation, Free Love and all that – yes certainly in America, possibly even to a small extent in England, but  in Presbyterian,  Conservative Scotland – I think not!?! After  herself and I were married we went back to the Highlands and the mountains for a few carefree years before the twin adventure dampeners  of mortgage and family.  After the first son was born we did spend some time in the North and my family looked after the child. When he was about four, we introduced him to Loch Earn. We even took him out to Rannoch Moor for a walk. Not really knowing much about Australia I assumed that I could go for long walks and to off fishing. The bulk of Australians fish from the Jetty and that really didn’t appeal to me. The nearest river was the Murray – about 100 miles away and the nearest trout fishing was in the Australian Grampians which are cold enough for trout. I didn’t get used to the flies and still have not, but I missed my highlands so at weekend for the first year or so we were here I very selfishly took off to the upper Flinders Ranges. It wasn’t too bad walking through the SA High Country because we seemed to be out of the way of flies. I don’t think I will ever get used to them.

Fire, Dogs, Vets and Clothing

In a recent post I made mention of the major fluctuation of temperatures in this area. This week is a perfect example of what I was talking about. At the start of this week the temperature started to climb up and by Thursday it had reached 39+c. I had some friends that were about to go North and delayed their departure because of the  “Catestrophic” fire risk for the area. By lunch time yesterday, the temperature started to drop as a cool change came in from the  Great Australian Bight and the Southern Ocean. By late Thursday the temperature dropped to 26 and the rain started. Today is Friday, the temperaure outside is 22c and it’s still raining. I put the heavy quilt back on my bed.  Fires still continue in NSW and Queensland.

This afternoon I take The Man back to the Vet. He still concerns me – he seems healthy enough, sleeps a lot but is not eating as much nor as often as I would like. He is still active and although we have not been out since Wednesday evening but he walks well, if a bit slow at times. Chienne gets impatient. However,  if the rain stops I will have them both out tonight. We have had a lot of rain over the last 24 hours so what we don’t need is any high winds until the soil dries out otherwise we will have trees down again.

So after scaring the living daylights out of me and keeping me worried for a fortnight, I was told that there was a scale malfunction and that the Man’s weight was quite normal – he hadn’t lost weight – well not a lot – at all. However, we keep with the medication and  remain with the puppy food – I still think twice a day because I would like to see him gain some extra weight. Still no real reason for the weakness in his back legs other than age and  damage years ago when he was dumped out in the bush. However, I did have them out tonight when the rain stopped and he walked without any problem at all. Difference — Chienne, being the lady she is, delicately jumps over puddles,  The Man just walks right through them. I have ordered a Thunder Shirt for Chienne, which should arrive sometime this coming week. I have heard and read a lot of information regarding these items of clothing, so I  really  want this to live up to what I have heard.