Saturday, June 30, 2012

I May Be Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Saturday 30th June, 2012

I may be barking up the wrong tree but for what it's worth I'm going to put in my two cents worth.  These past two weeks all the talk has been about the "illegal boat people" coming from Indonesia and the unfortunate sinking of two boats and loss of life near Christmas Island.

I don't know where I stand on this subject.........I think I'm sitting on the fence.  My heart says let them into the country but my head says no, there are too many people now who are struggling just to survive in this country.   The government always seem to be able to find money to help out these illegal immigrants but when it comes to looking after their own, suddenly they don't have the funds.  Many rumours are out there as to how much it costs for these "illegals", but no-one from the government is prepared to come out and tell us how much they are actually given.

I believe that the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia should put a stop to these "asylum seekers" coming into their countries.  If they weren't allowed in they wouldn't be able to then pay untold amounts of money to these boat captains to pay for their passage to Australia.  I don't believe that they are all refugees either.  Can someone explain to me that if they are fleeing from their country for whatever reason, why then, can they go back to their homeland and visit family and friends once they have have been given permanent visas in this country? 

As of tomorrow we are going to be paying a Carbon Tax due to this so called climate change.  The government have given the pensioners money to compensate them for having to pay this tax but today we hear that it is nowhere near enough.  What with the rising cost of electricity, gas and water plus food costs you wonder as to how these low income earners survive.  

One air conditioning company has said that if your air conditioner needs regassing today it will cost you around $300, tomorrow the cost suddenly rises to around $1200.  That's just for an air conditioner, god knows what it is going to cost if you need gas in your fridge or car air conditioner.  This is just one example of the extra cost due to this Carbon Tax that was given earlier today.

Charities are even finding it hard to help the needy.  They are finding that it's not just the jobless, homeless or pensioners who are going to them for help.  People who have jobs and are trying to provide for their families are finding that they cannot keep up with the cost of living are also seeking help from charities.  People are not donating to charities like they used to.  No-one has spare cash any more.

Unfortunately wages do not go up 18% like the current price increase for electricity.  No wonder there has been a major increase in the number of people having their power disconnected.  Maybe it's the price we pay for having governments privatise the utilities.  All I can say is thank goodness we had solar panels installed.  Our electricity bill for this quarter is $64.

Once Australia used to be known as the "lucky country".  I'm afraid that tag is fast diminishing.  Yeah, maybe we do have it better than other countries in some things, but there is a widening divide between "the haves " and "the have nots".

Where will it end?  Time will tell and even though the Liberals say they will abolish this Carbon Tax if they are elected to govern, I wonder if they will, especially if it becomes a cash cow for the government.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Ready for The Olympics

Friday 29th June, 2012

I am all set to support the Aussies when the Olympics are on.........that's if Tony doesn't get to this first!    

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Government Does A Backflip

Thursday 28th June, 2012

The South Australian Government has done a backflip in regards to the Cadell ferry.  They have decided to keep it open.  Apparently too much pressure was put on them by the public so they had to reverse their decision.

I suppose it's good for the residents of Cadell and surrounding areas but I wonder what other ramifications will come out of this........some other ferry on the river being closed, a toll being charged for users of all the ferries in the state,  we will have to wait and see.  In all there are 11 ferries that operate along the River Murray and are open 24/7.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oh! To Be 8 Again

Wednesday 27th June, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday Taylor-Marie.  Wishing you a day of fun, love and laughter and hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends xxoooxxxx

For a winter's day, today is just beautiful.  We only have a maximum of 14C but the sun is shining, there is no wind and it is just lovely outside.  There is hardly a cloud in the sky, though there was this one and a few minutes later it had dispersed.  Apparently the rains return tomorrow  :(.
the only cloud in a perfect blue sky

within minutes the cloud was gone

Tonight we went to the Hotel Enfield to have a birthday dinner for Taylor's birthday.

She was a little disappointed that Katie couldn't be there, but she had fun with these friends that were there.
Blake, Taylor, Kristen, Braden and Mia

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Another Great Win For Black Caviar

Sunday 24th June, 2012

This morning we woke up bleary eyed.  All I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep but I couldn't as I was going to attend a card making class this morning.  While having breakfast Katie rang and asked if she could come and spend the day with us.  

Last night we sat up and watched Black Caviar win her 22nd consecutive race from Royal Ascot in England.  Our hearts were in our mouths when we saw the finish not knowing whether she had won or not, it was that close.  It soon became apparent that she had won by a (in horses talk) "nose".

I think being bleary eyed is going to be the norm for me when the Olympics are on.  By the end of them I will be a walking zombie.  

Yesterday we called into Port Adelaide on our way to Strathalbyn.   The Port had been yarn bombed in some areas. This seems to be the in thing, I remember Hahndorf did something similar last year.

We drove down towards McLaren Vale and then headed to Meadows.  There was a lot of water laying around in the fields, all the dams looked filled to capacity and the little streams had water gushing through them.  A lot of rain has fallen in this area over the last few days.  While there we had a browse in a couple of the Antique shops (I saw a couple of items that I would like) and of course coffee.

When I was ready to go to my card making class Tony dropped me off and went on to pick Katie up and then came back to wait for me.  While waiting they got to watch the basketball, there were plenty of games going on in the Recreation centre.  When I was finished we went and had some lunch and did some browsing in the shops.

I can't believe how much these trees have grown.  The Playford Council has got quite a few growing in their area.  These are outside the Council Chambers.  They are the Baobab tree or more commonly known as the bottle tree.

We headed back into the city and to the playground until it was time to take Katie to meet Kahra.  She was due to come and stay this coming weekend, but said she won't now as she saw us today but will come in 4 weeks when we go to Disney on Ice.  

Beyblades..... a new twist on the old fashioned spinning discs

I wonder if she will hold out till then.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

Thursday 21st June, 2012

For some, today is the first day of Winter.  If this is the case it has come with a vengeance, we have had the most rainfall for a June day in 7 years.  So far our rain gauge has shown us to have had over 50 mm.

For me I also know this day as being the shortest day of the year.  From this day forward the days start getting longer, not as in more hours, I know I could do with more of them, but as in more daylight. In a couple of months we'll be going into Spring and then Summer.  

I'm counting the days............71 to be exact!!!

 Waterfall Gully
                                                               Photo taken from Adelaide Now

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back To School

Wednesday 20th June, 2012

Today Tony and I were invited to Katie's school to watch her do a power point presentation in relation to her life, her dreams, her heroes, and things she likes and doesn't like.  Her whole class have been learning Power Point on the computers.

I picked Tony up from work on the way through and he was lucky enough to be given the rest of the day off.  Apart from Katie we also saw 7 other students present their presentation.  Next Wednesday the rest of her class present theirs to their respective families.

It was interesting to see their perspective on life.  Some made us laugh, others we really wondered about.  Katie had listed, among others, Tony and I as her heroes.  One of her dreams was to become a famous dancer and travel the world, but then in things she doesn't like she said how she didn't like dancing in front of people.  She wanted to see a cure for cancer and also for there to be no bullying.

Katie's school was built back in the 1960's and when I walked into it it was like going back to my days at school.  The buildings were very similar to what I remember and built out of the same materials.  The inside of the classrooms were totally different though.  Today they have a lot of mixed classes, as in Year 5 and 6 together.

After the presentation was finished we went with Kahra and Darrin and Kerrie and her daughter Ella, to the Noarlunga Shopping Centre to have some lunch.  Ella, who is 3, was so funny.  I kept calling it dinner and she kept correcting me saying "No, this is lunch".  She loves Nursery Rhymes and one she wanted Kahra to do was "This little Piggy".   

Kahra was doing it to her on her fingers, "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home".  "That's not right," said Ella.  
"Yes it is", said Kahra.  
"No", said Ella. "It's this little piggy went to market, This little piggy went too".  Too cute!!!
Miss Ella

Soon it was time for Katie to be picked up from school, so Tony and I headed off  home and to go and do some grocery shopping and banking.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Get My Sunday And Monday Nights Back

Monday 18th June, 2012

Up to 3.5 million people tuned in to see the the finale of Australia's "The Voice" tonight.  This show has captured everyone's imagination with the fantastic talent that has been on show since this show began.  Each week the ratings have been phenomenal.

The four finalists all deserved to be there.  Karise Eden from Team Seal, Darren Percival from Team Keith Urban, Rachael Leahcar from Team Delta Goodrem and Sarah DeBono from Team Joel Madden.  Tonight each artist performed with their coach.  What wonderful performances!  I especially liked Rachael and Delta who performed "The Prayer".
Finalists L to R:  Rachael, Darren, Karise and Sarah

Team Coaches L to R: Seal, Keith, Delta and Joel

The eventual winner was Karise Eden.  As Seal said of her, "she is Australia's new queen of soul".  She was not particularly my favourite but you still had to admire her voice, at times it was magical.  A lot of people compared her voice to Adele or Janis Joplin.  Each week she would top the downloads at ITunes for her performances.

Last night was also the finale of another of my favourite shows, "Dancing with The Stars".  The winner of that show was Johnny Ruffo.  He was a hot favourite with all the teenagers.  Admittedly he might not have been the most technical dancer but he had so much charm.  

The other two finalists were Zoe Cramond, an actress in "Packed to the Rafters" and Danielle Spencer, a singer songwriter and also married to Russsell Crowe. 

Johnny Ruffo

Johnny and his dancing partner Luda Kroitor

The winner

With my two favourite shows finished for another year I now have to find something else to watch.  I'm not into cooking shows (Master Chef) or watching teams renovate houses (The Block).  

Maybe I'll just take a break for a few weeks, the Olympics are coming up towards the end of July, Wimbledon starts next Monday and then there is the Tour de France.  Yep, I've got plenty to watch over the coming weeks.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Think I'm With The Government On This

Saturday 16th June, 2012

Over the last couple of days we have been hearing that the State government wants to close the ferry that operates on the River Murray at Cadell.  They say that by doing this they can save some $400, 000 a year, I say get rid of some of their advisers and they could save a helluva lot more.

After doing some shopping this morning we decided to go and take a drive to Cadell.  It has been more than 30 years since we were last up that way.  Now, Tony and I weren't too sure where it was but thought if we headed towards Morgan we hopefully would find the place.

We decided to go up through Kapunda, Eudunda and then to Morgan. Kapunda  was also a mining town back in the late 1800's.  It was known for copper mining and also 'home' to "The Cattle King"....Sidney Kidman.  This whole area now is farming country.
"Map" the miner welcomes you to Kapunda

Maybe this is the highway we take come December 2012.......hasn't some one predicted the world's end then?

Gentle rolling hills between Kapunda and Eudunda

On the way to Kapunda we stopped off at Freeling.  This little town is well known in the Australian TV series "McLeod's Daughters" especially the Hotel, The Gungellan.  

Old unused shop fronts

We finally reached Morgan, which too is on the River Murray.  We had seen no signs pointing us in the direction of  Cadell.  Thinking that we may have to stop and ask some-one (that too would have been hard as there are not too many people out and about in these country towns) we finally saw a sign that said Cadell was 10 kms up the road.
Driving onto the Morgan ferry

I think the last time we were at Morgan was when we went camping with Tony's sister and brother in law.  My first and only time camping.  Not the life for me.  I prefer the luxury of a motel.

We had to cross the river via the ferry and soon came across Cadell.  It was even smaller than I imagined.  The only thing going for the town is that this is where a low security prison centre is located, Cadell Training Centre.

Can you believe we got lost?   Bwahahahahaha!!!  We were looking for the ferry and could not find the road that led to it.  Tony was taking all these side roads that led us nowhere.  We could see the river on the GPS and at times it showed us crossing water but Tony assured me we weren't floating.

Finally we took the right road that led us down to the river and the ferry.  We went across the river only to find that there was nothing on the other side, a little way up was a T junction where you could either go left to Morgan or right to Waikerie.  What!!! Waikerie, I didn't know Cadell was so close, only 38kms up the road.

Cadell ferry only capable of carrying 6 cars

The cliffs were magnificent on the opposite side of the river

I'm afraid I'm a little bit on the government's side here.  I can see no point in having a ferry at Cadell, it's not like there are houses and people living on the other side of the river, well not that we saw any.  Plus there's a very good bitumen road that goes to Morgan or to Waikerie.  On the other hand if you want to help the people of Cadell save their ferry you can "like" them on Facebook.

We ended up going to Waikerie, still a strong growing citrus area with lots of orchards on the Cadell - Waikerie road.  Geez that place has changed over the years too.  When my parents were alive and still living in Renmark and we would either go up to bring them down to our place or take them home we used to stop at the Waikerie Hotel for lunch.
When we went out for lunch a couple of weeks ago I thought that this is the kind of paddle steamer we would have been going on

It turned out to be a pleasant afternoon drive.  We headed for home down the highway stopping at Blanchetown for some thing to eat.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It Ended Up Being A Fizzer

Thursday 14th June, 2012

All day on the radio yesterday we had been hearing about this storm that was going to 'hit' Adelaide late last night.  It was due to come in around midnight and go through to the early hours of the morning with the winds abating during today.

"Expect winds around 105 kmh with the Hills fairing worse than down on the plains" was the message from the Weather Bureau.  They advised people to put away any items that could be blown around in the wind, put cars undercover and definitely don't park under trees.

The SES (State Emergency Services) were put on standby.  Apparently this storm was coming from the west and had caused considerable damage to Perth and country areas in West Australia, though they did say that the wind may not be as strong as what Perth had endured.

This morning when we woke we expected Adelaide and the Hills to have suffered some major damage. Instead there was none.  The storm that was predicted fizzled out to nothing.  Adelaide had some winds up to 60kmh while in the Hills they had winds up to 80 kmh.   We also had around 10 mil of rain and some lightning.

I am so happy that the predicted storm didn't eventuate, but we are hearing more and more frequently of these things happening but then they become non events.  We either hear we'll get strong damaging winds or we are going to have a  major downpour.

With all the modern technology available to the weather bureau wouldn't it be nice if they could get it right just once.  Then again people, especially the farmers, would have nothing to talk about.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Changing Your Mind Is A Girls' Prerogative

Sunday 10th June, 2012

I have finally figured out how to post photos.  I need Google Chrome.  Apparently Internet Explorer won't support the latest update to Blogger, (well that's the message I get across the top of my toolbar) and so I downloaded Google Chrome and hey presto, I can upload my photos.

This is the message it gives me when using IE 

"Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems. If you are having problems, try Google Chrome

With that sorted I am one happy girl!

Today was a day where no-one could decide what to do.  Firstly Katie wanted to catch the bus into the city and from there do what?  "I dunno" she said.  After thinking about it she said maybe we could go to the Zoo.  "OK, but we can't take your bag into town as we have nowhere to leave it and so you'll have to stay again tonight." I told her.  "Yeah, that's fine" she said.

Then she suggested perhaps we could go to the football, Port Power v Hawthorn.  As the game didn't start until 4.15pm I said that wasn't a good idea as it would be freezing  in the stadium and we didn't have coats as I had taken them to the dry cleaners only yesterday.

Later on she said that she wanted to go home tonight, "Nanna, I'm used to going home on a Sunday night" she said.  With that sorted I suggested  going to the Craft Fair.  We had seen the signs advertising it on the way home last night.  She was happy with that and then asked if we could also go GoKart Racing and if we had enough time could we go to a park so that she and Poppa could kick the footy.

Off we went to the Craft Fair first.  I expected her to say she was bored and wanted to go but she surprised us.  Maybe it was because there was lots of jewellery for her to look at.  She also had fun in creating some tags for herself.  

We spent longer than I thought we would at the Fair, and so we went to see about the GoKarts.  The minimum age to drive these things is 12 and so she missed out there, but they do have dual go karts and so Tony and her decided to have a go in one of them.
Oh dear, I didn't realise the speed these go karts can go.  Some of the guys really pushed them and took the racing seriously.  Tony and Katie drove theirs around rather tentatively at first but then got some speed up towards the end.  Tony was even managing to get his lap times down.

It looks like that's another activity to add to the list when she comes.  She said it was awesome and now wants her birthday party there.  I said that wouldn't be a good idea as none of your friends would be able to drive a go kart.  "Hmmm I will have to think about that," she said.

We had run out of time to go to the park.  Instead it was time to meet Kahra.  We ended up getting a pizza for dinner, coming home and settling down in front of the TV for the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow is a Public Holiday and we have nothing planned. Depending on the weather we may do some gardening.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Good News At Last!

Saturday 9th June, 2012

On Friday as I was going to have my nails done Tony rang to say that the car was ready.  Apparently it was just the battery that was at fault.  When they replaced it, everything went back to working normally.  Thank goodness!

So, after picking Katie up and then going to get Tony we went and picked up the car.  It was so good having our car back.  Even Katie wasn't impressed with the loan car.
  Mazda car
Yesterday morning Tony decided he needed a hair cut.  After having that done we ended up going back to Mintaro and taking Katie to the Maze and also to Martindale Hall.

The Coach House and Stables
She was very impressed with Martindale Hall.  She loved walking up and down the beautiful staircase.  I am sure she thought she was a movie star.  This is the house they used in making the movie "Picnic at Hanging Rock" back in 1975.

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any photos inside the Hall.  For her to get some semblance of the place I told her it was a bit like the house in Downton Abbey.  "Now I get it" she said.  The Hall is available for short stays but we decided we would prefer something more modern and warmer.  It was so cold in there.

She was horrified to think that there were no toilets back in the day (1880's) and that you had to use a potty or potty chair.  "Where's the toilet paper?" she asked.  "There was none".  "What!" she exclaimed.  "How did they have showers?" she wanted to know.  She also wasn't too sure about having fireplaces in all the rooms including the bedrooms.
Ghost gum
Our next stop was the Maze.  It was good to see that Katie enjoyed it and to make it even more enjoyable was the questionnaire that they give the kids to fill out.  It is a series of questions of things that they come across in the Maze and have to answer them, like how many gnomes live in the Maze, and what was the White Rabbit looking at, how many humps did the camel have and what was Hercules carrying on his shoulders.

Katie and Tony enjoyed a game of chess afterwards.  I think they bent the rules somewhat. 

From here we travelled onto Clare and then went to Burra.  Burra is a former copper mining town and always reminds me of a place in a western movie.  I expect to see the cowboys riding down from the hills.

We decided to go over to Port Wakefield for tea.  OMG where were the signposts?  We knew that we had to head for Balaclava but do you think we could find the road that led there. We ended up going back to Riverton, across to Stockport, Hamley Bridge and finally got on the road to Owen, Balaclava and Pt Wakefield.  Meanwhile it took us over an hour longer to get there.
After having something to eat we headed for home.   Once home it wasn't long before we were all in bed.  Katie remarked that with Poppa driving it's just one adventure after another.