Benji, Walks and Photographs

Benji – bright eyed and bushy tailed.

One week today since Benji was injured in an attack.  He is recovered fairly well and we are out walking again, but on a different route. Actually we are back on the original route which is in the opposite direction from the  area where  we were injured. He still has antibiotics to take twice daily  and I will take him back to the Vet on Tuesday as a follow up when the antibiotics finish. Apart from the surface wounds there seems to be no internal damage, for which I am most thankful. After three days in the stroller, he was ready for walking. He was glad to get out again and enjoying the walks and the fresh air. We stick mainly to the Ada Ryan Gardens, the Wetlands, the lighthouse and Stoney Point during the day when there are  very few people with dogs around. Since we are surrounded by National Parks and Conservation parks, there is not many places we can go to.  There are a number of places further down the coast that are pet friendly and the nearest of them is 70 miles away so just going there and then coming back again seems to me very wasteful. In order to justify travelling that distance it is necessary to make a day of it. At the moment I am not happy  going off and leaving Annabell. Yes the boys are here and that’s fine when I have to go to Adelaide for Presbytery, but leaving her on her own while I go off on an unnecessary  road trip with my dog is a different matter altogether,  I think the term self Indulgent kind of fits the bill.  When we have to go Adelaide and the Clinic, John usually looks after Benji, makes sure he is ok and feeds him. With the dog door, Benji can get in and out as he needs.

The weather over the last week has been great and the boy and I have got out and about. However, with the cyclone in Western Australia and the  effects  reaching to us, this will change over the next few days with forecast rain and high winds. Well yes, it was a bit on the  windy to very windy when we were out walking this morning but we didn’t get blown away and made it back to the house safe and sound. Sitting hear I can hear the wind rushing through the carport. It’s not constant and comes in waves.  Anyway, a very warm welcome to  Bogie. He is lovely and I did reply to the post but it seems to have vanished into  some void. I am finding this with a lot of things recently.

There is a photograph exhibition in May and I have been thinking of  submitting photographs to it. I like my photographs but I’m not so sure  others will. I was at  the photograph club

No idea what they are but I liked them

last night and photographs that I thought were good were  criticized  by the judge who found many faults with them. I guess the idea is that the criticizing and pointing out the faults – as the judge sees them –  is supposed to  assist you in  doing better, grow and mature, so to speak, in all the aspects of photography. I shall never succeed in this because I found many of the  comments, pointless and excessively picky. Just as well I had no photographs there or he would have had a field-day,  What I have is an excellent camera but I don’t know how to use it to get the best out of it. This group is  “Competition Based” with only some minor practical nights. They are really very nice people but this is not what I want and really not helping me much. Many years ago the TAFE (Technical and Further Education) ran  a number of Community Courses. A course on Photography – a Basic Computer course, the wife of one of the local doctors, ran a course on Indian Cooking, another lady ran a course on Italian Cooking. The fees were reasonable, cooking people brought the ingredients as required each week, and so forth. There were no Diplomas nor Certificates at the end, but they were well attended. But the Government of the day spent money on other things and when it needed money, it started closing down TAFE Campuses. It tore the heart out of the TAFE system and it never really recovered – it still has not.

Hospital, Fires and Dog Problems.

Benji and Max walking – before the heatwave,

Friends, Jennifer and Milan,  have left to go to Western Australia (Perth)  Because of the covid-19 and border restrictions, they have not seen their children and grandchildren since Christmas 2019. They asked  me if we would look after Max – the Pug –  for a couple of weeks and I reluctantly agreed. Max is a lovely, calm and very placid dog, but last time Max was here  he and Benji did not get along too well. I was concerned for Max because all terriers can get very nasty if threatened, or think they are being threatened.  It’s only been a few days but Benji is older and wiser and the dog-door helps because Max spends much of time wandering in and out of the house and  just wandering around the back. I have been out walking with them and for the moment Max needs to stop and smell everything .That aside, they walk well together and  they are getting along fairly well. However, and here I delve into history. Many moons ago in the UK there was a Ballroom Orchestra led by a man called “Victor Silvester” –  you may remember (Galivanter) that he had a catch phrase associated to him – “slow, slow -quick, quick – slow”  Well being out with Max is like – “Slow, slow – slow, slow – slow. At night Benji and I generally go on a : Block Walk:  from the house to the end of town i.e. the end of the street. This distance takes Benji  and me about 8/ 10 minutes  about 20 mins there and back. With Max, it’s 20+ minutes just to get there- and that’s when  he’s not stopping every three feet. He is the most unflappable , placid dog you could imagine. He’s a Pug – a very overweight Pug – calm, quiet and peaceful. Sort of reminds me of me, really – except for the overweight bit!!  :o)

Annabell has not been too great this week and tiredness is only part of her problem but we are getting there. The Ultrasound should give us more information in what is happening. Annabell says it’s like being a teenager again only with the “Month” happening every few days. Poor thing!  The Ladies Coffee Group starts back tomorrow (Tuesday) so  she is quite looking forward to that.  I have to remember to remove the dog seat cover tomorrow since I will be picking up two other ladies. I’ll give the car a clean out and a spray so it will be nice and fresh for the ladies.

With South Australia in the midst of a heatwave (37 – 43C) the dogs and I are out only in the morning (05:40) and even then it’s only for a short walk, Yesterday the temperature was 38c and today it is expected to be around 42c and the same again tomorrow. The fire ban across the State came into effect at midnight last night. We have one large fire in Tasmania – contained but not

And it’s gone 8:30 already

controlled – and we had a fire at Salisbury. The Salisbury fire was believed to have been the work of an arsonist. Never mind, a severe look and a talking to by a Magistrate together with a good suspended sentence should sort things out – just like it did during the fire season last year. The favoured word by magistrates in South Australia is “naughty “, a term most  people would not use in reference to a 18/19 year old male. Well, a week of heat and back to  low to mid 20c for the next six days.

Annabell’s tests at the hospital here were  completed without any problem,  so that’s good. The results will be sent to  the  Clinic at Flinders Medical. At the moment  she is taking things fairly easy. My frustration is that I cannot go anywhere – no – not because of Annabell  – but because of having Max. Took a run out to the lighthouse on Sunday afternoon. Took four photographs and drove home.  I got Benji out and got his harness on, then lifted Max out.  I had foolishly left the front door open so Max moved to the door,  jumped in  plonked himself down in the seat well. and refused to move. I took a couple of photographs, got Benji back in the car and drove home, concerned about getting stopped by police and fined for having an unrestrained dog in the  car. As for other things – I have just about given up  making up the setps on my Fitbit and I don’t think I am going to get anywhere until Max goes home in two weeks.

 

 

Virus, Funeral and One Birthday Card.

Benji and Dougal

After a weekend that turned into seven weeks, Dougal will be going home on Friday – all being well! It’s been a long seven weeks not helped  by the government instructions to stay at home. We have gone out for walks but in the early morning. It hasn’t been a burden, really, except for going out walking and the fact that he goes ballistic if he hears another dog bark – just about  pulling my arm off. Also, in the morning Benji just stands still if I feed the Magpies whereas Dougal tries to have a go at them — no point in telling him that he would come off second best.

The cruise ship, Ruby Princess has been allowed to dock at Port Kembla. Kembla is an industrial port away well out of the way.  The ship will be allowed to stay there for 10 days to refuel and restock

Ruby Princess,

supplies, food and so forth for the 1050 crew remaining on board.  Those who are sick will be treated, and it is believed that about one fifth of the crew are showing symptoms of coronavirus. At the end of the ten days the ship will be ordered to leave and as far as we know she has been allowed to dock on that understanding.  The Home Port is Bermuda but it is unlikely that there will be a welcome mat waiting for it there. In Australia there is a Criminal Investigation into the decision to allow it to dock and disembark 2700 people into the general population in Sydney. At least 600 of the present cases in Australia, along with 12 deaths have been linked to the Ruby Princess. There a lot of people in and around Port Kembla who are very unhappy with the present decision to allow the ship to not only dock there, but remain there for 10 days.

Western Australia has closed its borders. I found it interesting that the W.A. State Government were comparing  the closure of their borders in less time than it took the UK to activate Brexit. On the subject of the UK, I watched the Queen’s Address and I noted that the Prime Minister ( Boris Johnson)  has been moved to hospital. Actually to update that, the latest news this morning ( Thursday ) is that he has been moved out of the ICU, which sounds good and quite encouraging.  Here in South Australia the spread of the virus is slowing down, which is s good sign. It does not mean that we have beaten the thing – far from it. The general prognosis from our medical people is that the virus is going to be in the population for a long time and the only way we can actually defeat it is to develop a vaccine.  I  genuinely believe that when this is over we really should  give serious thought to our trade and financial relations and arrangements with China and the Chinese Communist Party, who control every aspect of life in China  and however you look at it, no matter who you think you  are dealing with, the CCP is controlling the play.

One of our ladies died on Saturday (4th) and we are trying to organise a funeral on Wednesday 15th. But we don’t know what is happening. It was a sudden, unexpected death so there may be an inquest. Her son has managed to get out of Western Australia and the idea is to stream the service to WA.  Having said that we have no idea how or when Kenneth (son) is going to get back home with the WA Borders now closed. He will have to go into two weeks quarantine before he will be allowed to go back home. The funeral will be Wednesday 15th – private  funeral with only 8 invited people

Well, Benji wasn’t using it.

The number of new  cases in Australia is  declining- which is good. Our growth factor regarding the spread and new cases is 0.85 and provided it stay below 1.0 we are getting on top of the crisis. The growth factor for the UK, for example is 1.05 with the USA being 0.99 These figures are as 8th April. On the subject of  April,  I celebrated my  Birthday sitting right here – no outing – no visitors. Andrew was still in Roxby Downs and I did get a phone call from John. Andrew did phone last night when he got home. I got a card from  Annabell, which was lovely.It was my only card. Today is Friday and I took Dougal back home just after lunch. He was pleased to see his people as much as his people were pleased to see him. – Sam was looking and sounding well. I don’t think this can happen again. If things are back to what passes for normal and I head off to a Church Conference, Annabell is not able to look after two dogs on her own.