“Could we start again, please?”

The moon in the morning

It’s been a kind of hectic time this last few weeks between getting ready for Christmas and organising fundraising events for the RFDS – the last one being on 23rd December. I was not able to help out at the Carols in the Park event because we were holding a Carol Service at the church at the same time.. Nor was I available for the Pageant. Still and all it was still hectic. Annabell was not the best and she was feeling a bit unwell, but she brightened up somewhat over the Christmas days – particularly Christmas Lunch with the family and, of course, the grandson. The boys organised Christmas Lunch this year. I  attended to the Watchnight Service on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day and we were at Andrew’s and as I said, Annabell was not too well, but for all that she had a good time with  her boys. She did well for gifts and we have always made a point of two sets of gifts and two sets on cards. Her birthday is on 24th December so we have always given her one card and one gift for her birthday and a card and gift for Christmas. We have always made certain she has never missed out and that the two things are always kept separate. On the subject of separate, I had a telephone call from a member of the congregation who  has offered to  take over as State Newsletter Correspondent. This is good and one less thing I have to be concerned with.

We were back home by 4:00 and as she was very tired I made her go and lay down for a few hours. I fed the dogs.  I didn’t take the dogs out as I didn’t want to leave her home alone – even for the hour it would take me to walk the dogs.  When she did wake up a few hours later she was feeling a little better, so I made her some tea and a sandwich. She has been a lot better today. Andrew was supposed to be on holiday this week, but he is still on call

Also, during the week I made a trip to Adelaide. There were some things I needed and wanted and could only be bought in Adelaide. I did, however, go through to Victoria Square

Part of Victoria Square

and took a photograph, or two , of part of the square. Victoria Square is quite large so I was only able to photograph a small part of it. The square started a $24 Million upgrade but after half was completed, the Adelaide City Council had funding issues and the rest will have to wait for the moment..

Sam and Ina ( Dougal’s people) are still in Adelaide. Sam,as I mentioned before, was quite ill and is still having a blood loss so it is unlikely we will see them back for a little while yet. Ina did telephone during the week to let us know what is happening. Dougal has now been with us for  five weeks. It doesn’t seem like that  and as things are we will have him for a little while longer. That’s ok – he’s fine – needs a haircut, but otherwise, fine. The weather has been hot to very hot with a fire ban declared throughout the area for the next few days- Tuesday 36c / Wednesday 41c / Thursday (today) 45c / Friday 46c and then down to the mid 30s for next week. Dogs out very early in the morning and late at night – if it’s not too hot during the day and by late I mean after 8pm.  There have been lots of Kangaroos around the place and this morning was no exception – all of them looking for water and food. I have a bucket of water out in the garden and I top it up every few days. I also  make sure the bird

Next stop – Cowell – 96 miles away and nothing in between.

bath also has water in it – although not today – today I was the “plant” that was watered as the fixture of the hose blew apart and I was soaked. Fortunately it was at the end of the walk. For those who have not seen it – this is my “back Yard”. Thousands of square miles of nothingness but wild animals and  saltbush. The photograph is looking West – north of us  are salt lakes and desert. I want to drive up there sometime but at the moment it is waaaay too hot.

One more week and things can start to get back to what passes for normal – a new week – a new year.  So until  I am back on line again, I wish everyone a Happy and Joyful New Year.

Have a great New Year.


Boxing Day and it’s raining again !!

38:35:40:41:32 – No that’s not some secret number code – it’s not even  Bingo numbers – it is the local temperature for the next five days. After the second 40c on Sunday it drops to 32c with rain and possible thunderstorms for the next two days. The boys and I were out early (5:30am)  for our walk this morning before it got warm and we will be out late tonight – after the sun goes down Generally these figures are fairly conservative and the  possibility is that it could change quite quickly as the cyclone of the Coast of West Australia makes landfall – flooding rather than heat.

Interesting Sky last night
Interesting Sky last night

The one think I dislike about this weather is the fact that I get such a pained look from Benji when I go out without him and I feel bad at not taking him with me, but I can’t. In this heat I cannot.  If I were to go into the supermarket and leave him in the car – even with the windows cracked open – he could go into heat distress very quickly – I know this, but he does not and I get the “why are you abandoning me daddy?”  look.  He always comes out to get the mail with me and I don’t let him do that in this weather because the ground is hot and could be too much for his paws. However, in a few hours that will all be academic since the storm clouds are gathering and there has been a drop or two.  But as far as I can see we are still on track for 40c on Christmas Day. – Actually – it was 40c today and it’s not Christmas Day – yet.

I hope Christmas is fairly quite in the air. What I mean by that is that  we have a small but busy airport and I would like not to look up and see the Red and Blue of the RFDS coming in because there is no base here so they come here for  emergency reasons. Last year there were over 572 landing of the RFDS here making it among the highest number of landings in Australia. It would be really nice if  the RFDS didn’t have to come here at all over Christmas and New Year. Although, having said that, it’s not all bad – sometimes they are bringing a patient back home, or at least for on-going  treatment at the local hospital. I think I mentioned before that we do not have any Therapy Dogs here and  only in Adelaide. However, having said that I do remember they there was a Golden Retriever in one of the nursing homes many years ago

Christmas Day and we had a short service in the morning.  The Watchnight Service last night was well attended but the Service this morning was not. Still although short it was an enjoyable service

Didn't have enough cash for the Boxing Day sales
Didn’t have enough cash for the Boxing Day sales

none the less and  no  coffee after since people were going home to  prepare for family  arriving or to get ready to go out to family.  Annabell and I went over to my  younger  Son’s house and we had all the family there for Christmas Dinner and drinks afterwards. It was a really nice meal and  getting together of the family. Annabell and I didn’t  stay too long since we had to get back to feed the dogs and let them out for a bit. After the sun went down the rain started and continued on for a while. There was also rain and high winds during the night and it was starting to rain again when we were out for our walk this morning – a short walk but at least we did get some done. It was over 42c here on Christmas Day and  pretty hot but a cool change for the next couple of days. The Church Magazine is ready so over the next few days I will get that printed, collated and ready for distribution, so other than shopping with Annabell, this should keep me occupied for the next few days. It should have been completed last week but one of the contributors was late and since I had reserved two pages for her article, I couldn’t finish  until  that was in. Anyway, it’s done now.

Our friend is still hanging in and has defied the dire predictions of his doctor and a week after he was expected to depart from us, he is still here.  A special meeting will be held in Mount Gambier on the 19th January, so I will be away for  a few days and unable to help if anything happens. I can’t put this off – it is a Special Meeting that I need to attend in Mount Gambier.  I thought I would put in the photograph I tool this morning of the ATM – even in our little backward place, we have our share of drama. And it’s raining again and has been for most of the day.

Computers and Bushfires

Hmm.. As I suspected my BSL was  much higher than it should be. I got a lecture about health and chocolate so he upped my medication to give the insulin a better chance of controlling things.

The new Office Suite
The new Office Suite

That’s how it will be for the next six weeks then back again to ensure that I have behaved and the medication is doing its job. Provided both issues are  in sync I can drop back to maintenance level.   Finally, I have a full email system back in action. I  bit the bullet and installed Office 365. Cost me the office 2016 that was already installed, but there you are, if I wanted Outlook and a mail system, it had to be done. Everything seems to be up and running up to a point – the point being the recreation of my address book, which I will do tonight.

You load 365 and what do you get

An Office Suite and deeper in debt

Oh St. Peter  don’t you call me

I can’t log off

I owe my soul to Microsoft

Ok, being silly but all is done and everything is up and running again, so I no longer have any excuses. Hopefully this new system will stabilise everything and I wont have the problems I had in the past – like mail vanishing into cyberspace.

The Vet is closed down until  Monday 4th January.  If we do have any problems there is another Vet in town that we could go to, but I always think that is fraught with danger in that once you go

Never doubted it Mr. Vader - Sir.....
Never doubted it Mr. Vader – Sir…..

there you might not come back. Mustafa has been closed since 11th   December. I went up to see the Grooms at Fussy Dogs and explained that Benji is a rescue dog and I have no idea how he would react around other dogs – I can only go by how he reacts around me and the family. She said she would accept him and see how he went. I took him up yesterday and, well,  chuffed ( means really proud/happy)  just about says it all and he related well to the other dogs. The girls were quite fond of him and said he was a  lovely pup easy to work with.

We had Christmas Dinner at my younger son’s place and all the family were there. It was a great day and I allowed myself one small glass of wine – since I was driving. Don’t like Coke-Cola much so drank lots of iced water. It was a long, hot,  day and by the time I got home I could barely keep my eyes open. West to the Watchnight Service, then home then up at 5:30  mainly  because someone  felt that since it was light it was time  for walking – so we did.  I am still having problems with the Victorian Registration people and I still have not received any paperwork from them with regard to Benji. However, I have been in to see our Council and  I will fill in the forms for them and for the Victorian Registration people and they will deal with it. In the meantime I need a Statutory  Declaration signed by a J.P. and  they will register the Benji with a note of his registration re the  address on his microchip. If no success,  we may have to think about a second Microchip.

Just thought I would mention that it has always been our tradition that the Christmas Offering is a  Retiring Offering, people decide to leave something or not. We did announce that the retiring offering this year would go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and a respectable amount was handed over to the RFDS Treasurer.

A devastating fire along the Great Ocean Road has caused widespread damage with over 110 homes destroyed. A difficult area to get into and a major tourist attraction. I have only traveled a short distance along the GOR when I was in Drysdale and it is a beautiful area. This main fire and some other fires are still burning in Victoria but New South Wales and Victoria are working together on  containing them. There are over 500 firefighters trying to control the major fire on the Great Ocean Road I think this is going to be a difficult  fire season.