Travelling, Easter and a great escape

I made an interesting discovery today – the WaWa is not a good  distance traveller. The Beach or the Wetlands are ok but travelling the 20 miles to the lighthouse are not so good and after a while

Out at the lighthouse area. Wawa wont look at the camera..

she starts to get a bit unsettled and fractious.  Perhaps if we  persevere and extend the distance a little at  a time, she might settle down over the longer  drive. At the moment the Beach and the Wetlands are her limit.  We drove out to the Lighthouse and spent some time around there.  It was fairly busy with  quite a lot of tourists and shack people there for the Easter break. That being so we did not spend a lot of time there – although there were no dogs, which was good.     We did go down onto the rocks and I carried the WaWa over some of the area – I mean, she does have wee legs :o) She is getting as bad as Benji and will not look at the camera. However, Benji seems to blend in with the surrounding rocks, so it’s not a good place to photograph him. On Tuesday we went down to the

A stark reminder who owns this land.

beach, which was surprisingly quiet. There were some people there but I expected a lot more since it was a warm, sunny day and it is the school holidays. Today, on the other hand, (Wednesday/Thursday night/morning) it has been chucking it down all night. No dogs out  today and I think they are so upset about that  they have just stayed in bed. I seem to be the only one of the three that is in any way concerned about not getting out.

This Saturday STRATCO, our local hardware store, are holding a Barbecue and Cake Stall. We (RFDS) have been asked to do the Cake Stall. It’s not our usual thing, but we did this some months ago and it was very successful and STRATCO  negotiated with the car club who brought some vintage cars along inspection. There were  games and face-painting for the children – so all up, a fun day. I missed the last one since I was out of town.  Annabell  is doing a load of baking for this and   I’ll take her stuff down on Saturday morning. Some of it has already been pre-sold. Annabell is a good cake maker.

I think an engineer has bought the house over the road. I saw him out most of this week rebuilding the front garden and planting flowers. The reason I noticed this is that wherever he went and whatever he did he used a tape measure – I mean  the distance between the plants  was precisely  measured. I thought it was bit overmuch but who knows.

I have the WaWa on a diet and I really didn’t realise how much weight she had lost. 6am this morning, at the corner of Busch and Fairclough Streets, chasing a WaWa who escaped from her harness and thought my trying to catch her was a game, was interesting! I had to tie Benji up to the fence and go after her on my own. Took a while, but she came to me and I was able to get her home – making sure I didn’t tug her in any way until we did get home- and I did adjust the harness.

Benji & The WaWa

In a discussion with Annabell I used the term “my dogs”. She responded with “you don’t have dogs – you have a dog”.  She is, of course correct, the WaWa is really not mine. It certainly feels like it and the WaWa is acting like it is, but  it is still Sooah’s dog. I was asked to look after it for three months – over a year ago now. It’s a very frustrating situation and the best we can do is simply to act and treat the WaWa as if she is part of the family but keeping at the back of my mind that if Sooah returns we will  have to give  the WaWa back to her. Neither of us are too happy about that after this time, but that was the arrangement, however, the general consensus within the church is that she may not be coming back. Struth, it’s like a Norwegian Saga – it’s never ending.

Traffic Comments and Walking with WaWa

I think daddy set up this bed for me. Isn’t he kind..

A long weekend has just concluded and things will get back to normal. Anyone with any degree of intelligence, stays away from Adelaide at this time – unless there happens to be a specific reason for going – conference, Adele Concert, International Cricket Match, and so forth. Even at the best of time Adelaide traffic is heavy, but then as I keep saying, 15% of the land mass is occupied by 85% of the population – give or take the odd percentage and South Australia  is bigger than most European countries and bigger than Alaska. We are fortunate in that we do not

Oh that’s what these things do!?!

have the traffic problems experienced by other places – mind you there is only one other place in South Australia- Adelaide, so generally our drivers here in the north  are still largely courteous and considerate, although we do find with younger drivers that no one has really impressed on them what that lever on the right of the steering wheel is for. That’s the one that goes backwards and forwards and makes a strange clicking sound. Other drivers find the sound soothing,  strangely comforting  and just leave it on. Other than these little quirks, driving here is  good.  I find the drivers in Adelaide, rude and impatient and very intolerant – but then, I suppose that’s no different from any other major city.  However, the roads into Adelaide get so congested that it doesn’t take much to bring traffic to a halt and create a  major back-up. An event – whatever – and half the city is closed down. I’ve been caught up in that once. Never made that mistake again. On a long weekend like this everyman, woman and their dogs head north and the generally quiet Port Wakefield becomes a major bottleneck since all traffic – coming or going – has to pass through it. One slight problem and the traffic can be banked up either way for quite some distance.  But to compare our traffic to  the USA or any other major European City, is just plain silly. The entire population of South Australia would probably  fit into one of the Boroughs of New York.

Out last night

The family were here at the weekend and they were amazed at the changes that have taken place with the WaWa.  John came in and she started by barking at him then

Bit better – not much, but a bit

jumping at him, so I told him that she wanted him to pick her up. He was reluctant to do so, but then he bent down, put his hand under her and lifted her up into his arms. He was amazed at how she was. Andrew came in later and she did the same thing to him, barked then jumped at him and I told him to pick her up. Andrew thought it was a bit of a joke, but on  assurances from John and I he bent down and picked her up. She snuggled into his shoulder and he wandered about the house for the next half hour with the WaWa on  his shoulder. The boys just could not believe the changes in her in a week. I am very pleased that all our patience is starting to pay off and she is becoming what she really is – a friendly, lovable and playful little thing. First few days of our walks I carried her part of the way, now I don’t and she walks the whole distance. We generally walk within the bike lane. I pick up her leash and her tail is going fit to create a hurricane  I have to admit though in the early morning when I have Benji out on his own I don’t mind his stopping at every tree, bush and clump of grass  to have a sniff – it’s  the almost forever NCIS investigation of every blade of grass in that clump that gets me.

We are hearing from Sooah a bit more frequently now and she has responded several times to the photographs I put on line, which is very good and I am well pleased. I think she  must have been reading from the start and was upset by the fact that the initial behavior of her dog was causing me problems. There are still problems with Benji when they are in the house, but outside of the house they are more like Big Brother and Little (adopted) Sister and the play and walk well together. Something we need to work on. I have to say that the changes have been quite remarkable, but very welcome. Now if I could just get her to stop ambushing Benji ……………………….

 

The Sands of Time

The WaWa
The WaWa

April – a month that will live in infamy  – well not quite. After all some wonderful people were born in April – like me for example. However, April was when we acquired the WaWa, or rather, when we (I) agreed to look after the WaWa for a limited period. It’s almost January – nine months later –  and she’s still here. We have not heard a word from Sooha since she went back to South Korea. We have written to her and sent emails to the address she gave – all of which have bounced back. I do not know what we are going to do. WaWa is a playful, friendly and loyal little thing and  now that I have made contact with the new vet I will talk to her and see what we can do with regard to her attacking Benji and whether a .oo soft muzzle will help – at least it will stop her nipping at his back legs. And I really can’t understand this- I mean it has been eight months. I would really have thought that things would have settled down by now and she would have gotten used to Benji being around. Jealousness continues to be the main problem   She can be a real pain in the tuchus, but she has to stay – anything else, however well meaning , would be unconscionably cruel. I have no regrets about taking her –  I am being honest when I say she is a lovely dog, friendly, playful, loyal – I just wish we could sort out her jealous attacks on Benji and stop her barking at the least little shadow.

Aside from dogs, 2017 will be a year of change – changes that will be generated by me. There are some things I have let slide and I intend to change them. However, as the Rachel Hunter add

Mandevillia ( not mine - sadly)
Mandevillia ( not mine – sadly)

once said – “it wont happen overnight, but it will happen”. And here   I mention that  after months of pretending to be just a stick stuck in dirt (potting mix) the two Frangipani have started to grow. There are leaves and other bits sprouting – which I am very pleased about.  The four Mandevillia  are also growing well and the Poinsettia is still a vibrant Red. My Almond tree is good and I would like a Mulberry  Tree, which I will look for when I am down in Adelaide soon. This afternoon, the dogs and I, Benji and Yogi, went to the garden shop and bought new plants – two South Australian Natives and six Geraniums. I will plant them this evening when it is a bit cooler. I use raised planted beds and potting mix because my soil here is not good. When we moved here and I looked at an area with horrible black bark on it, I decided to clear it all off and turn it into a Rose Garden. I did all the things, prepared the soil, bought rose fertilizer  and spent a fortune on rose bushes at the garden shop. Every single one of them died. I tried other things and they died too. The soil, it seems had been poisoned – or sterilized – same thing really.  The White Ceder tree has taken off again, so this time I will really have it sorted out – no more being nice.

I’m still  having problems with the aftermath of the knee operation and have difficulty kneeling on the ground – or indeed kneeling at all. Still,  as a famous Australian politician once said,  “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”. And on that note it must be said that our current crop of  “fly by night” politicians are doing everything they possibly can to make certain that is how Australia will be under their watch – claw $2.5 Billion out of pensions – a crisis with Centrelink and millions $$  being demanded in repayments , which no one understands, but the good thing is a pay rise for politicians and government staff and the $2.5 Billion they ripped out of our Seniors’ Pensions should help to fund the  pensions, lurks and perks for politicians.

Sooha and Kongsoon - now called The WaWa
Sooha and Kongsoon – now called The WaWa

Since I started this, we have heard from Sooah and although she is well and still working with the Immigration  Department to achieve a return to Australia, there is no indication when that will actually happen. What this means is that the WaWa will be here for the foreseeable future. Yogi will be going home shortly as the friends return from Perth in Western Australia on Friday week and I will pick them, up from the Airport. The week after I head off to Adelaide and then Mount Gambier and  an extra-ordinary meeting. Oh come now, what’s a 1300 mile journey and three hotels for a three hour meeting between friends?  Still it gets me time to have a wander in Adelaide and I have  a pile of Bunnings Gift Cards to use and a Mulberry bush to find.

And finally – we are in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures hovering around the high  30s to the low 40s – what joy..

Blizzards and Binders

We be in there somewhere..
We be in there somewhere..

The storm went on for the night and into the early hours of the morning. The WaWa slept as did Benji – Yogi not so good, so I ended up staying awake looking after the dogs – well at least my two –  until I finally fell asleep myself. This morning I was up and dressed and took Benji and Yogi out for a walk. It was quite strange – everything was as calm  and there wasn’t a sound to be heard. Normally I hear birds and in the distance a cock crowing, but not this morning for some odd reason. What I did hear – much to my annoyance – was flies buzzing around my head and face. One thing the tourist guides never tell you about outback Australia when they wax lyrical about the rugged beauty of the ancient landscape, is the three things common to outback Australia  – heat, dust and flies – lots of flies. I took Benji out at 5:30 am because it was quite, peaceful and dark with dark meaning no flies. Now as we move further and further into summer it is getting lighter and so  at 5:40 I have a baseball cap that is more of a fly swat than a hat. I may have to go back to the  fly -protection hat netting that I sometimes use when I took Benji down to the Wetlands. I hardly ever go there (the Wetlands)  now as it continues to be upgraded and become more and more popular with walkers, joggers, mothers with prams and dog  walkers – which is good for the wetlands and its acceptance as a recreation area. I was happy to see that there was no structural damage caused by the storm – at least not in this area – not even a tree down. There was also very little water around – some on the roadway and some in gardens, but not nearly as much as I expected. However, we do have very good stormwater drains here that can clear any flooding water quickly. However, at the very far end  of the area is the runoff area where the storm drains empty out – that’s not so good and it is fairly close to overflowing. I think they must have constructed  part of the runoff area, run out of money and then forgot about it. Another night last night and we could have problems

Another view of the VDS
Another view of the VDS
The colour is called French Blue and is the blue of the French Flag
The colour is called French Blue and is the blue of the French Flag

A couple of posts ago I talked about my use of Ringed Planners – Filofax and recently Van der Speck (VDS). I also mentioned that I had bought a new VDS but I don’t think I  put any pictures with that post. It is  Bleu de France and it the very first coloured binder/planner I have ever bought.  Now that the year is almost over I have activated my new Planner/Binder with 2017 inserts and it is already in use, although I will be glad when the year ends in a few days and I can stop carrying two planners/binders around with me as I have been for the last week. I was told that the French Blue was the same colour as the French Flag however, I thought the French Flag was a bit darker, but I could be wrong.

A year or so ago I featured an article over two issues of the Magazine and the article was a serious study by researchers at both Washington University in St. Louis  and Notre Dame University, led by Professor J.M. Zacks of Washington University,  which found that doors are sort of an event horizon  called “The Doorway Effect” – and that walking through doors can make you forget. Your mind collects all the extra information you need to function and do what you have to do in a room, but when you walk out of that room into another room, passing through a door,  your brain dumps (purges) much of the stuff because you will need the space for the new information that will come to you in the new room. In essence ( works for me!!) we’re not cracking up and it’s all perfectly normal.

I went out for a drive this morning and it was hot and sticky – humid. There were a lot clouds around not dark and heavy but white and heavy looking – if that kind of makes sense. Like most people I was surprised that despite the ferocity of the storm,  there was very little tree or structural damage.  I think we got off very lightly.  However, I don’t think Adelaide did so well. Anyway, it’s just after 6pm,  the sky has started to darken and there is a lot of thunder around and some rain. By the looks of things I think we might he heading for a second round.

All good here..
All good here..

Weather, Mice, Men and May Babies

Three and a half days – that’s how long I was away – three and a half days. The way Benji reacted you would think I have been away for three and a half years. He went absolutely ballistic – the WaWa wanted to say hello but he charged right at her and knocked her out of the way to get to me. I had to sit on the floor  and try to attend to both of them. It took us ages to get Benji to calm down and he ran around the house like a mad thing, and heaven help anyone – including a WaWa – that got in his way. This is the longest I have been away from him and Annabell tells me he was not a happy puppy. Since I came home, he has hardly left my side. Odd thing is that as soon as I go to bed he jumps down from the bed and goes into his own bed and no amount of coaxing will get him back up beside me again – although he does stay on his bed and watch me, which is odd – very.

"Just one Cornetto - Give it to me"...
“Just one Cornetto –
Give it to me”…

Generally I have taken Benji with me when I go out – provided I am not going to be too long – and leave the windows partly open and he enjoys the drive. He is not a 20160726_124554demonstrative dog so he is not up at the window or sticking his head out, but he just  curls up quietly on the seat. I mentioned this to Annabell and her comment was that he’s with his daddy, so he’s quite at peace curled up. However, as the weather gets hotter I can take him out less and less – example was Thursday when the temperature topped 37c. Much too hot to take him out and leave him in the car – even with windows open. Driving is ok – we have the A/C on when we are driving and we did go down to the beach for a walk and some Ice Cream. I am not sure if dogs are allowed Ice Cream, but he enjoys it  and I enjoy my  Cornetto.

Now that the weather is hotting up I hope to get outside more and get some work done. Sounds strange working in the hotter weather but up here that means very little wind and you can do a lot when there is no wind. I have plans for part of the area and although I have a picture of what it might look like in my head ( that’s a worry!) I just have to wait and see it it works out. I am part of the way into the plan in that I have cleared the area and laid down weed matting and ordered the artificial turf. But then as the poet ( Robert Burns) wrote,  “The best laid plans of mice and men go aft agley and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy”  and what all that means is that that’s the end of the hot to warm weather for at least the next ten days, back to rain, wind and cool days until at least early December.

Barbecue all readyGenerally the family all come over here for dinner on a Sunday. It has been this way for  years.   However this Sunday Andrew called and said that we were to come to his place for a Barbecue. We chatted around while everything was cooking and  when we sat down at the table Andrew got the wine, poured a glass for me, poured a glass for John and was going to pour a glass for Patrica (Trish)  when he  moved the glass away and said quite clearly “no you can’t wine – you’re pregnant”.  Talk about dropping a grenade on the table!! Annabell  was sitting next to Trish  and hugged her, Trishs’ mum  just burst into tears, my word but it was an interesting meal – and of course – at the end of the food we got to see the scans over coffee. The baby should be born late May, early June – we think she is about 12 weeks.   I never thought this would happen and I told people  “That ship has sailed” It seems that there is yet another tide.

 

Here, There and Home

MustafaAdelaide;

The Lower Flinders from, Port Wakefield Road
The Lower Flinders from, Port Wakefield Road

The drive down from home was uneventful and quite pleasant until I reached the Tin Man. I still had the best part of half a tank of fuel but I wanted coffee as well as fuel. Fortunately I went into the service station before I did anything or I would have really been in strife. Their  computer system was down

Going Home.
Going Home.

and they could only take cash for fuel and food and I didn’t have  more than $10 on me. It is over 150k to  Port Wakefield but I felt I had enough fuel to get there.  Besides there were a couple of fuel stations between  the Tin Man and Pt. Wakefield if I should feel it was not going too well. As it  happened, I had more than enough to make the distance so I was able to fill up with food and fuel.

Up until then the drive was pleasant enough but after Wakefield the rain started, a few light to medium showers with a couple of heavy showers in between. Nothing too  difficult but it made for an interesting drive to Bolivar. I did some wandering around Adelaide and visited several camera shops looking for an item that I discovered in the very  first stop    ( Camera House ) is no longer made by Sony and thus no longer in stock. My old Sony camera will probably be put out to grass because the memory card is falling apart and I cannot find a replacement. Probably find something on line – ebay – but I feel when you have to do that and get something sent from China,  it’s time to move on.  Of course I have my Canon Canon but that’s too big to just shove into  my  laptop bag and wander  around with, so I need a camera to replace the Sony. I did have a look at a couple of Nikon models in Adelaide and I will have a think about

The Lochiel Lakes
The Lochiel Lakes

them. I could, of course, stay with Canon, but I want an alternative and Nikon will probably fill that bill. Adelaide in between showers was not my favourite place to be over the weekend and I was glad to get out to Para Hills,  attend the meeting, and then head home. I was home for two days and

An Old Lady at Lochiel
An Old Lady at Lochiel

then drove back down to Adelaide for another meeting – and these should be the last until November. This was the West Terrace Committee Meeting, which only occurs twice a year and unfortunately it occurred when it did.

Home: (Finally)

In the last ten days I have been away for five of them and to say My Man is not happy is something of an understatement. From the time I arrived home yesterday right up until this morning he has hardly ever left my side. At the moment he is not in his bed but underneath the desk at my feet.  Perhaps he thinks I am going to take off and leave him again. We did go out for a walk last night so that  kind of settled him down a bit. I think he might have some sort of separation anxiety but not knowing his background we can never really be sure.  He was five years old when I adopted him last year so what happened to him in these years is unknown. We still have no idea what will happen regards the WaWa in October, and we have heard nothing from Sooah. I feel in a bit of a bind because in all conscience we cannot just get rid of her. Apart from being wrong it would be unconscionably cruel just to dump her somewhere, either with someone or with the RSPCA for Adoption. When Mustafa, our vet returns from Turkey  (his mother has been ill) I’l have a good talk with him and see if we can come up with a solution. I haven’t really did anything because it was only until October, but I think that’s a bit of a dream now. The Arrium problems and the State Unemployment problems make it  unlikely that  they will be back in October – or, indeed,  any time soon.

Hospital, Benji and assorted hackers

The dog fountain at the wetlands
The dog fountain at the wetlands

The weather over the last few days has been fairly mild – 19c – 21c which means that I have been able to get down to the wetlands. We  normally do two circuits of the wetlands before we head for home. The foundations of the new bridge across the main pond have been constructed and if the foundations are anything to go by the bridge may well be unnecessarily elaborate and enormously expensive. But then again perhaps the two concrete structures are for something different and not for the bridge at all.  Photographs when it’s finally built.   Anyway, the wetlands was fairly quiet today.

I have been waiting for it to happen and today it did – Benji turned on the WaWa and she went screaming  off in fright. Since then she has stayed away from him. I don’t want harm to come to either of them but I hope this stand off continues for a while. The WaWa has adopted Annabell and she just sees everyone as a potential threat to her and it is unlikely that she will abandon that. This means that the respite is probably only a  temporary thing.

Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall, Adelaide
Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall, Adelaide

I will be going into hospital on Monday 29th August and back home by Wednesday 31st August. Probably spend a few days with my feet up and relaxing, do a few exercises and then start to get back out again. I should be driving within three days. I just don’t know how I’ll manage! Me and  Benji, dinosaurs and lions, lying on the bed watching the television. It will be a hard couple of days,  but we will certainly try our best. I will be taking a break from all fundraising and other work for the RFDS for a few weeks until  the repairs to my knee have settled down and I’m walking easily again.

It’s amazing ;  a mere 19 million people trying to get on to the web site and it crashed – how unexpected!  Who would have thought that would happen? Now the Government are blaming the crash of the Census Web Site on over-seas hackers. But it’s like everything else this government does to save a few dollars.  Go murder someone, plead guilty and you can get up to a 40% reduction in sentence for pleading guilty and saving the government the cost of a trial. And this, by the way, overrides the mandatory life sentence for murder and if you look contrite and even cry and say how sorry you are, there is every chance that a good part of your sentence will be  suspended – you might even be home in time for dinner.  It used to be that you could be fined for making comments that would bring the law into disrepute, but the judges and lawyers are doing a very good job of that on their own without any assistance from members of the public. Man found guilty of abusing an elderly patient in a nursing home. Judge did not  apply a  heavy custodial sentence because  he felt the young man had been punished enough by having his details in public and having lost his job and reputation, so he sentenced him to six months – five months suspended and the remainder

RFDS Aircraft
RFDS Aircraft

subject to time served in custody, so he was about ten days to two weeks in jail. This is justice, South Australia. The Attorney General has the legal right to challenge a sentence, but rarely does,  and even when he does, nothing much comes of it.

Anyway, back to the census – it is believed that hackers disrupted the web site and denied access. Was unable to get on line last night nor again this morning (Wednesday) The whole thing was a shamble. Whoever came up with the idea of trying to get the entire population of Australia on line in the one night and on a single web site, really needs talking to.  Oh and BTW, we have a government with a single seat majority  – could be an interesting period. The leader of the party and Primer Minister,  is detested by a number of his party so it remains to be seen if they can get over that or if their dislike is so great they will bring down the government. I’m betting on the latter.