Out and about – again.

Part of the Wetlands

Well, that’s one task almost completed. I have finished writing the Church Newsletter and have now sent it off to my two proof readers, one of which is Annabell. Once they come back to me and I make the corrections, I will send out the Newsletter by email to those who have it and by snail mail to those who do not and a general after service distribution to the congregation. There is no charge for the newsletter and we pay for this  ourselves.   It takes a lot of work but I enjoy doing it ( mostly). Next task is an article for the State Newsletter, the minutes of the RFDS

Wetlands Bridge

Meeting and a letter of resignation from the West Terrace Consultative Committee. My  church are unhappy with my membership of this committee in that, due to increased costs in fuel and accommodation, it is no longer a cost that the church is willing to continue to meet. It’s costing about $800 a year and it’s high time someone from Adelaide started doing their share of the work and being part of Adelaide committees. At first it was acceptable and I could travel down by coach, go to the meeting, walk back to Franklin St.  and get the coach back on the same day. With the downturn in employment and a decline in population and thus coach use, the timetable was changed and no longer meets our needs,  ( last coach leaves Adelaide at 4pm. – Meeting starts at 3:30 ) so it requires a drive down and an overnight stay, and that’s bumping up the costs,  and hotel charges change with the season or what’s happening in Adelaide. I think it is a great pity but fully understandable and it is an amount  we could put to better use.

We have not been wandering this week – other than the wetlands – and I have spent much of the time trying to catch up on  cleaning up.  After the windy conditions over much of the week, the place is covered in leaves.  The morning we head to the wetlands and the afternoon I clean up around the place. Weather has been odd – to say the very least – and we have now experienced the warmest April on record with  10 consecutive days with temperatures over 30c. This week it is going to drop down to the mid 20c but then it’s going to build up again. According to what I read part of the problem is that the Ocean is warm and that’s helping to drive up temperatures and as far as I have been reading the warmth of the ocean is causing problems for the coral on the Great Barrier Reef.

RFDS over water

Tomorrow (Monday) and the RFDS will be flying into town for a meeting to discuss the arrangements for the function on 3rd May, to see what facilities there are, where things will be set up  and the catering arrangements for all the guests. I will also discover if it is the responsibility of the RFDS to notify the newspaper or if it is my responsibility to do so. I kind of suspect that will be my job.

We have an organization here called RICE – Remote and Isolated Children’s Exercise. Three ladies – a Nurse/Midwife ; A Health Care/ Social Worker:  A Child Care Professional. They go out from their base and visit outback and isolated properties. They announce their dates in advance so other families have the opportunity to join them at the designated property. The Land Rover is filled to the brim with toys and games.. The Nurse/Midwife Practitioner talks to the  moms and  discusses health and children related matters- the Health Care person talks to any Aboriginal women that may be there and feel more comfortable talking to an Aboriginal person and the child care person, sets up the games and toys and spends the day playing and looking after the children. Other than toys and medical equipment, there is also bottles of water and baskets of fruit. The base is at the Port and their “Clinic” covers  covers 620,000 square klms. The Nurse Practitioner  ( Marg. MacDonald-Ashe)  racks up some 50,000 klms a year in her Land Rover. I was going to put an outback photograph here, but they are all copyrighted

Winter and a Baby Due.

It would seem at times that I lead a very busy life. Generally this is far from the truth – my life is  quiet and peaceful. However, having said that, this year has been different and because of things that have happened, here and elsewhere, I have had to to a lot of travelling. There are four conferences a year, two in Adelaide, two in Mount Gambier. These take place every three months – although having said that, this is the third time I have been to Mount Gambier since January.  The West Terrace Committee, of which I am a member, generally meets twice a year – or as required. This time it came right after Mount Gambier, so I was only just home for less than a full day and then away again for another two days. This is where it becomes slightly bizarre. Because of a fear campaign, many young mothers are refusing to have their children vaccinated and as a result many things we thought were eradicated are making a comeback – one of these is Whooping Cough. This has increased to the extent that  if a woman is about to have a baby, the adults associated with that baby –  Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts etc. – are “Advised” to have a Whooping Cough Injection. My son and his partner are about to have a baby so Annabell and I, along with my other son,  need to have this Whooping Cough injection. All of this travelling over May really told on me and I was tired and somewhat rundown. Our injections were scheduled for the day after I got back from Adelaide. I should have delayed them, but time is running out and we needed them now, so we had them. Annabell and son John are fine.  I ended up with Flu-like symptoms and am in bed sick. I was concerned but I am assured that this is not uncommon and I just have to see it out. Normally it would have been ok but my  body turned gangster on me and forced me to bed. Annabell is very good and feeds me hot Lemon and Honey drinks. It has already started to dry up and I should be fine in a day or so.

The WaWa has recovered and I have removed the Medical Collar. The only concern is that with me being in bed, the dogs are not getting out for exercise.  I dare say they will be fine for a few days. The family were here this evening and  the date for Trish is tomorrow (29th) anything after that and he’s late. – And yes, it is “him” but no name as yet, or if there is they are not telling anyone.

The Arrium Saga takes another twist as the Shareholders have formed a group “Arrium Shareholders United”which are opposed to the Administrator and are opposed to the company being sold. They maintain that Arrium today is a different company than it was fourteen months ago. They also maintain that the company is viable and trading well and that it should be taken out of Administration, re listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), a new Board of Management put into place and negotiations commenced for refinancing. The Administrator has considered the suggestions and  declared them as unworkable – the price for steel and the price for Iron Ore has decreased while the cost of power continues to increase, and there is the little matter of the $2+ Billion debt – and that the only viable option to ensure long term stability is to sell the company as a whole. The closing date for offers was 31st May at 5pm. There are two contenders – one South Korean the other British. The Administrator will consult with the stakeholders – Banks, Unions, State and Federal Governments and an announcement made in about three weeks.

Yesterday an old friend arrived with a “Hi. Remember me?” as he plunged the overnight temperatures down to -1c and it was cold taking Benji out for our morning walk. You notice I said Benji  not  “The Dogs” yes, she’s not silly and fails to see the point of getting out of a perfectly warm bed when it’s still cold and dark.  Actually I really don’t blame her. Our Old Friend has not been very friendly these last few days. No snow – of course – but lots of frost on the grass.  Hmmm – maybe the WaWa has the right idea………..

**newsflash**   The  Baby was born at 3:13 this afternoon (Friday 2nd June) and, would you believe, they still have not decided on a name. Anyway, until then as far as I am concerned, he is Andrew Junior and he was just over  seven pounds

Here, There and Home


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.

Clan gatherings, gardens and vacations

Sleepy time.
Sleepy time.

Today is a day of extreme fire danger – hot temperatures coupled with a high wind – gusting at 90-110 kph. It’s just gone 06:30 and already  can hear it outside. Yesterday I bought the material for the retaining wall along the back fence. There’s not a lot I can really do with this area so I thought  a two sleeper  high  retaining wall, fill the space with cheap gravel until about halfway up, then finish off the rest of the way with good quality, decorative   material. I will not be planting anything in there because the soil in this area is not the best, but I do have some nice, large pots that I will use with  good, hardy, full-sun plants – Geranium for starters, then probably some native plants. However, it being Sunday, it is unlikely that I will be doing anything today although there is a lunch at the church after the service this morning, which should be good. The family will be over for dinner this evening – sort of like a mini clan gathering.

Lovely day! Hot with a high wind. Adelaide has had serious trouble with wind speeds at 110k per hour – trees  bringing down power lines and  several houses have been damaged. The emergency services have responded to about 160 calls and  some 14,000houses are without power.  As far as I am aware, everything up here seems to be ok for the time being but there has been no let-up from the wind all day.  Took the dogs out for a walk but the Man got tired so I lifted him and carried him for a little while. He went back down and walked back home. Was not out for too long. I think it best to keep him walking while he still can, but the stroller is there all set up for him when we need it.

I will be in Adelaide on the 8th October at a Committee Meeting of the West Terrace Trust. Dr. Klee Benvenista, of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation was to make a presentation but it being the first day of the  Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot – she asked to be excused since she will be very busy and will not have the

Hmmmm.. :o)
Hmmmm.. :o)

time necessary to organize a presentation, but she will make one at the next meeting of the committee.  I come back from that and travel down a few days later for a Conference. I love Conference – it’s like being being mauled by a sheep in sheep’s clothing.  My son is coming down with me on that trip since there are things he wants to do in Adelaide and he can take the car after he drops me off. This coming week we have four fundraising activities for the RFDS – three of which require getting out of bed at 5am to be ready to serve breakfast for the 4 wheel drive adventure club. This is the October long weekend and they will be here for  four days. On the Monday, one group will do the 4 wheel club and the other group will do a second fundraiser at another venue.

The retaining wall uprights have been concreted into place and part of the sleepers put in to give some degree of stability whilst the concrete cures. In about three days I should be ready to install the remainder of the sleepers and start filling the space with old, tired gravel and I have already selected the pot plants – and the big red Geranium that I want.  In the meantime, whilst the concrete cures, I’ll  potter around in the garage for a bit. I was sent what I thought was a test – a one word test – and the word was “Vacation” I was unfamiliar with this word  so I asked herself ( no point in going to Google – herself knows everything) and she seems to think it’s a period where you leave where you normally live and travel to someplace else. I thought about this and it seems to me that since I travel to Adelaide – which is away from home – then that must be a “Vacation”.  Yup, that works —  I think…. :o)