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.

Adelaide, Trusts and Operation.

Just Because
Just Because

Wednesday:  Well the good(?) news is that there is damage to the right knee that will require some surgery – generally  overnight stay. On Friday I have to go for an ECG then go round to the Pre-Anaesthetic Clinic to do some things and fill out some forms and have some discussions with the Anaesthetist. What this means is that the operation will be carried out fairly soon – more than likely timed to coincide with  my Adelaide week.  Ho well these things happen. I was able to get the  clinic stuff done on Friday because my Cardiologist has been called to Adelaide and has changed  the date of my appointment. So that worked out very well.  Of course I want this done as soon as possible but after Adelaide would be kind of neat.

Still having problems with the WaWa but managing to control them a little better and I do tend to take Benji out with me as often as I can. In this cooler weather, it’s ok to have him in the car with a window partly open whilst I go into the hardware store.  Don’t know what I will do if the WaWa is still with us during summer and too hot in the car, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But then I should be able to get out back to the  Wetlands area.   The army are all gone and the place seems sort of quiet without them. Operation Hamel was a great success and having 8000+

Been a long day. Need rest!
Been a long day. Need rest!

military here was a breeze. They enjoyed being here – they were well treated and looked after by the local people who, in turn, enjoyed them being here.

Friday:  Had the ECG this morning and everything is ok. I am still able to walk in the land of the living. I had a discussion  with the clinic doctor, answered his questions – everything is well and I am fit and healthy, which is nice to know. From there Annabell and I went over to the Specialist/Surgeon’s  room and discussed with his Associate the possibility of dates. My best date was Monday  29th August, which is just over three weeks away. I had already decided that I would take whatever date was given and as it happens, I can still go to Adelaide and have the procedure when I get back. It’s all worked out well.  I  did not attend the Mount Gambier Presbytery because of car trouble so I really needed to be at Para Hills. Then the week after I go back down for the Trust Committee, then back and hospital. So, as I said, it all works in very well.

There’s a Dog Wash tomorrow at the Vet Clinic to raise funds for the RSPCA. I was thinking of taking Benji down and get him a bath and a Bandanna. Our Craft and Fabric shop closed down last week, which means no place here to get any material for anything and I have a garden umbrella that needs repairing. I may well have a look for some canvas when I’m in Adelaide. Years ago we had a few small country craft shops around the town, but then a  major chain shop moved in and we lost all the little craft shops. Now the chain is in trouble so it has closed down and moved out after about ten years – there is nothing to replace it. The nearest  member of the chain is in Rundle Mall,  Adelaide.

Raining Still (2)

I still  miss that little face
I still miss that little face

There has been some flooding but the rain seems have stopped for the moment. The RFDS function at Mitre 10 was a loss and our function at the church was reasonable. Not well attended but in the rain I never expected it to be and the fact that the carpark was closed off didn’t help. At the moment I have not seen any reports of property damage only  road flooding and the town cut off for a while. Both of my water tanks are overflowing so that’s good. * Diversion*  There used to be a saying “if you ever hear that the world is going to end come to South Australia – everything takes 50 years to get here”. Well not quite fifty years but three months at any rate – the time until Father’s Day in South Australia.  Sorry if I seem to have neglected to say anything but since Father’s Day does not happen here until September, I forgot. 

There is a doctor who writes an interesting blog and in a recent post she said that she is a terrible

nothing too bad and not in town - access roads.
nothing too bad and not in town – access roads.

single parent – the children go to bed when they feel like it, pizza every night, heaps of movies, no bath, no dishes done and sleep in street clothes. I thought  I would mention that I was available for adoption, but everyone seemed so serious in their comments and it was a tribute to her husband, that I decided just to select “like”and leave it at that. I thought my frivolous comment would be out of place. I felt like the Joker from Batman “Why so Serious?” or at the very least Frank Sinatra  “I tried being serious once, all I could get was construction work”.  But the interesting thing was that it was only in reading that  post that I discovered that today in Father’s Day in The United States. Yes, other posts came in too but that was the first. I understand holidays and special days that are specific to the USA  — 4th July or Thanksgiving — it’s the days we “share”that confuse me at times —  Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.   Mother’s Day in particular because you have a day in the USA, which is different from the Day in the United Kingdom, which is different from Australia.  It’s all very confusing – I feel like Paddington “I am a bear of very little brain and long words confuse me”.

Most of the flooding has subsided and the rain has finally stopped. The sun is shining and the ground is starting to dry out. The forecast is for no rain at least for most of this week, but then I believe weather forecasters make things up   :o)  If the new concrete path at the church is to be done, the concreter will have to clean out the  channel and get rid of the water before anything can be done and once it is done it will take at least a week to cure.

The WaWa is still attacking Benji and I  believe that  none of what is currently happening was ever taken into consideration. With BJ being such a placid and lovable dog we made the assumption that he and the WaWa would get on well together. On that premise I made the promise that I would look after the WaWa for Sooah until she returned. However, the WaWa has been a one girl dog was treated her like a baby, who has now bonded herself to Annabell and sees Benji as a threat. Bj is paying a high prise for my promise.

I have started to put my ideas for the back garden onto paper and I still think they will work. I don’t accept  John’s comment that some of my ideas are too big for the available space and I wont accept that until such time as I get to Bunnings and see the things I want for myself.

And as I leave I have to say that it is Tuesday and it is raining again. If people want the rain, please come and collect it. We’ll give it to you free of charge. I would be delighted to swap you for some of your snow, but people in this area would probably kill me if I did   :o) By the time summer gets around we shall all be nice and brown – not suntan – rust!!

Benji, WaWa, Dump and Sons

Benji on the driveway
Benji on the driveway

First an update on Benji.  We have only recently realised that the WaWa does not attack Benji when they are outside. They wander around the  place together, they find good spots in the early winter sun and sit down together. They actually play together outside.  However, when they are back in the house all bets are off. The WaWa – as far as we can ascertain – is the defender of Annabell against everyone. When anyone comes near her the WaWa positions herself in the front and sits on Annabell’s foot – ready to attack anyone who threatens.  Take that a step further and the WaWa is the protector of the house – her mission if life is to protect the house and protect Annabell – even against me. If I go into the kitchen to talk, the WaWa will rush in,  position herself between me and Annabell, with her back paws on Annabell’s foot. If I go to Annabell’s room, the WaWa will come racing up the hall – barking all the way – run into the room and position herself between us. Thus, the WaWa sees Benji as a threat to her mistress. The difference between the inside and the outside WaWa is amazing. And we have only just  cottoned on to this.

The workmen came yesterday (Tuesday) and worked for a couple of hours. The reason it took so long was the “hidden obstacles”.  I knew there was a concrete slab at the back but what I didn’t know was how far it extended since the previous owners had covered  up that area with topsoil and gravel. It took a fair chunk of time to remove that. However, even the workmen were pleased with the result and I now have a “workable”area. I did say that I don’t have plans, but I do have ideas – whether they work or not is a moot point – but I think they are good ideas. However, the next task is to have the back fence repaired and I am not certain when that’s getting done.

My son wanted to borrow my trailer, which meant a trip to the dump to get it emptied then take it over to his place. On the way  I picked up my other son  who was going to help me. Well we did

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

that and drove to Andrew’s place to pass over the trailer. Instead we stayed there and helped him clean up. John and I loaded the trailer with all the green waste ( tree and bush cuttings) and was in the process of trying to tie it down when Andrew decided to tell us that he has a portable green waste shredder in the garage. We will draw a curtain on the next ten minutes but I understand a shearer passed by and blushed. We emptied the trailer and

The Foreshore - My Picture
The Foreshore – My Picture

used the shredder – much better. Took the trailer to the dump and guess who had not brought any money with him?? Guess who paid the dump fee?? Well I suppose fathers have to be useful for something :o)

Sunday 12th:   Benji was in a strange mood this morning. Don’t know what happened but he was covered in tattoos, smelled like a distillery and was reluctant to get out of bed. Finally got him out and the morning walk took twice as long because he kept stopping and was determined to water every tuft of grass.  He’s a worry.

Oh a quick PS.  I think we might have the WaWa for a tad “longer than the “few months”.  In the current economic climate it may take Sooah and her husband longer to get back to Australia.