My brother, Bernie, made contact with me early in January, stating that his youngest son, Nick, was interested in visiting us but was waiting on a new passport and an electronic visa. This was done by the 8th of January and he flew out straight away, losing a day in the transit of space across the International Date Line, arriving here on the 10th.
I did not want to go through the electronic body scans but at that juncture Judith walked forward and we were caught up in the queue. Body scanned, patted down, shoes off, wheelchair scanned and we were through! And then we missed Nick where the passengers come off the plane. So down in the lift we go and there was Nick. We had seen him last when he was 5 years of age and now he is 25.
We had a lovely week together. We learned about all the exciting things that he had done in his young life and his aspirations and we took him around where we lived and also some of the country towns and what they were known for. All too soon our time together came to an end when we dropped him of at the airport for his flight back to the USA.
I had to see an Opthalmologist when we were in the city and he has referred me on to an eye surgeon who will repair cataracts in my eyes. The swelling in my left leg has gone right down but the pain in my back still persists and I have new areas of numbness to my neck. Mobility is static.
The Eye Surgeon said that although there was a little increase of glaucoma it was not necessary to have an operation and to come back in 2 years time. He was willing to put a stent in my Macula but said it was not necessary at this point in time. We went home.
I was all clean and dressed up buzzing along Railway Terrace on Saturday, 29th February, 2020 when my wheelchair hit a hidden pot hole in the street and I was spat out on the tarmac landing on my face. I was very kindly taken to the hospital by a stranger. I did not need stitching but was patched up by the nurses and I was able to go home at 5pm. Two days later and I am still smarting.It took a month to recover and in the interim we bought an electric battery operated scooter. Soon after the time had come to sell the Datto and my young friend, Tim Froling, of Orroroo bought it for a song. And so, for the first time in 40 years I own no car nor 4×4. *Sigh*
Mid April and the Coronavirus is world wide. A Pandemic. We are all in virtual lock-down and under Martial Law although no one has mentioned those words yet. I have Self isolated since 5th March with the exceptions of about four tricycle rides. Judith goes to the shops once per week.
Australia is doing well with only 74 deaths in 6500 infections mainly brought in by Cruise Ships. Italy has recorded 20,000+ deaths and the USA more than 40,000. It looks like we will be in Self Isolation for a while! Like 180 days! We have to be vigilant.
Still going well but back is very weak and I cannot stand for more than 3 seconds.
6th June: I feel stronger. My weight seems to have dropped a couple of kilos as both Jude and I are attempting to eat less. BUT, it is hard. Various social media pages are trying to lay the blame for cancer on unknown entities and which only God can repair.
God is fiction. Invented by humans so that they can blame someone else for their own foibles. Man’s interference with the ecology of our planet and the burning of fossils fuels, driven by greed is the outcome. Our decadent way of life by interfering with a wholesome standard of living by eating meat and adding sugar to our food has resulted in the exponential growth of cancer. We are our own worst enemy!
Cooped up by Covid-19
Whatever else prickles my mind on some days, as I recall events over the years, most can be published but some must stay behind as we all travel the road of life.
It rained last night and I thought that we may had 20 or more millilitres. But no, only 11. We all be must be thankful to the southern oscillation in the south, the Indian Ocean currents in the northwest of the continent and El Nino over the Pacific and La Nina over the Indian Ocean. They are Trade Winds that control sea currents.
I am starting to forget things. Friday night I forgot to take my pills and the same for Saturday morning when we got up early to stand at our front gate in honour of those who gave their lives for us to live in freedom. We lit a candle and played The Last Post on the outside radio. The flagpole was too was too cold the bring the flag down to half mast. A lone bugler sounded his bugle somewhere in the town as everything is quiet with no traffic, or at least very little. Then we went inside for a coffee.
I slept most of the day feeling rotten as I had withdrawal from the lack of pills to which I seem addicted to. I watched the American version of SHAMELESS. An ongoing saga of the daily lives in a suburb close to the USA Border. Alcoholics, drug dealers and petty crims thrive. I watched the video chapter till 1am. Then I could not go to sleep as the rain pattered gently on the roof. Maybe we are coming up to a good wet year. Got stuck in to funny stuff on Facebook and got to bed and asleep soundly from 4am until Jude woke me at 5am for the morning coffee. Now I am jerking to sleep while playing WORDS with Friends on Facebook.
Apart from an odd trike ride or two I have been cooped to our Half Acre block since 5th March. So that is 52 days now. I am an asthmatic so I have watch my health by staying warmly dressed and keeping out of draughts.
But there is lots to do. Gardening, fence repairs, tidy up the shed and tools and, and, and, playing music, watching foodie shows and Netflix at night.
My Mother had Alzheimer’s disease and I am now becoming very forgetful and I just hope I can stave off the dreaded thing. My Mother was a very clever person with an Honours Degree in Applied m Mathematics and English. She taught at Wellington High School, was instrumental in setting up Hottentots Holland High School and Pretoria Boys High School. Both she and my father were engaged to other people when they met at a dance at the Beacon Island Hotel New Years Eve 1941. they broke off their engagements and were married on 1st of August 1942 in Rondebosch, Cape Town. I came along in June of 43, ten months later.
I must have been a disappointment. A sickly child who had to be rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town 720 kilometres by road. I had Dyptheria. The Specialist stuck a huge needle in my back (I still have the scar) and injected whatever into my lumber muscles. I have seven years to go outlive my Mothers Age of 84′ I have lived a hard life, physically, doing anything that made money. A car crash is 81 damaged my spine and in 2018 I was forced in to a wheelchair where my life is taken up by. I have made do! Judith, my wife, best mate and best friend of nearly 51 years has probably suffered more that me as there is always the mental stretch with all the thing that could happen. But we have also had a lot of fun along the way!
I, for one, don’t trust any Government and eve less so the Covid-19 app. You would have to be really convincing to get me to download it. It may be OK for now but what happens after the ‘all clear’ is given. They may have cloned the app to listen in to your conversations. They probably do that now, anyway.
I saw the Podiatrist today who told me my feet were OK but suggested I see Govt. assisted Physiotherapist for exercise movements.
Now we wait for some restrictions to be lifted.
It rained a couple of days ago and 11mm fell. Today it drizzled all day. I caught up with my brother, Bernie, in California, for about half an hour via what’s-app. It was good to catch up with all his news.
After lunch Jude had a sleep and I painted the lower half of some walls and doors where the pain had been scraped off by the wheels of both my wheelchairs, but mostly the electric wheel-chair.
The outside temperature dropped dramatically. Jude put the chooks to bed and came inside. We watched something on TV and had a delicious chilled fresh pear and ice cream for dessert. That’s all we have at night. Just a light snack. The she declared that she wasn’t feeling too bright and went to bed. And I decamped to my room
Nearly 3 million people have downloaded this app the government has brought in to track the Covid-19 virus. If anything, it is keeping the media busy with conspiracy theories.
Last week there was a nice sunny day and we sat outside under the pergola chatting. Just Jude and me and Blaise. I decided to have a beer. One beer turned into three and by then my bladder was properly irritated and I suffered. I only came good the following afternoon after I had taken my pills which affect me most when I forget to take them. So now I am on the straight and narrow. Water only. Not even cool drinks.
More rain, 12mm this time. So 28mm all up for the month. Bitterly cold today
30th November 1961
I cannot remember what brought me to this piece but we were talking about school days and bullies. We had teachers who were bullies. In this case it was the Headmaster.
We were called into the Headmaster’s Office for disrupting the classrooms during year end festivities.
The headmaster, JH, stood there bristling whilst we were sniggering. There were four of us. Kierie Botha, Piet van der Westhuizen, Johan van Heerden(Bosaap) and me.
Now you have to remember that this was 1961 and corporal punishment in schools was allowed by law in those days.
JH pulled out his rottang whip and started bending it and running it trough his hands to get the feel of the leather.
Said Kierie “anyone in this room and including a teacher, think that they are going to use his whip to inflict pain to my body, then he better think again”. Kierie was by now six foot 5 inches tall and incredibly strong. I was six foot three inches, Piet was 5feet eleven inches and Johan around 5foot 9 the same size as JH.
“Are you threatening me?” JH screamed at us
“Put it this way Headmaster: you might need to discover wings when you go flying through the window” and then added “there are four of us”
JH was by now in a rage and shaking in anger. He slammed the rottang down on his desk ‘ GET OUT OF MY OFFICE, GET OUT !!!!’
We sauntered out, leaving the door open, letting him to boil over in his anger.
Nothing happened but a week later in a classroom JH made veiled threats against us.
It was about at this time that I was introduced into the world of News and Fake News.
30th April 2020
Length, Breadth, Height and width but what about the 5th Dimension. Below, for starters are two tales of 5th dimension experiences:
It was late afternoon in July of 1994 when we crossed Savory Creek, just to the west of Lake Disappointment in the Little Sandy Desert. The crossing had some wetness to it but it hardly required four wheel drive mode.
Not long after the crossing and after some cross country driving to find the Canning Stock Route Track again, we were making our way towards a small peninsula which juts out into the vast expanse of the dry salt of Lake Disappointment. A convoy of vehicles approached us from the east and we were advised by them via radio that there was no wood at the end of the road for a camp fire. We pressed on regardless as we had a small amount of wood with us.
We arrived at the edge of the lake and looked out over this vast white expanse, shimmering in the late afternoon sun. Soon we had our swag and chairs and paraphernalia rolled out that one needs for a restful camp. We built our meagre wood supplies into a fire mound and then went for a walk to look for more. We were about to walk over the first sand hill to the south when we heard the noise of a vehicle approaching.
Now one has to bear in mind that the places mentioned are iconic names along the famous Canning Stock Route which runs in a north-easterly direction from the town of Wiluna in the Goldfields of Western Australia to Halls Creek in the sub-tropical north. The distance is around 2000 kilometres with the first 700 kilometres without a chance to refuel. Vehicles contend with a range of obstacles such as washouts and sand hills. When it rains it can become very muddy. So whatever you are doing along endless dusty tracks, your vehicle is going to get dirty.
This late model beige coloured Toyota Troopcarrier trundled into our camp. The first thing I noticed was that it was spotlessly clean. No dust, no mud and no foliage scratches. There was only the male driver in the vehicle. The bloke got out and said “G’day”. He was quite tall and was wearing embroidered RM Williams cowboy boots, cream moleskin trousers, a white western style shirt with fringing and an a black Akubra hat. He had a neatly clipped beard and a long pony-tail of hair. He was very out of place amongst we dishevelled looking desert travellers!
We were so dumbstruck that we could hardly say anything. But the conversation went into chit chat mode and we said that we were surprised that he was travelling alone. “Oh no!” he said, “my girlfriend is following me in her four wheel drive. She should be along soon”. Without trying to be too obvious I started looking at the Toyota making comments about it and so was able to look in the back of the vehicle where I saw only a small suitcase, a swag and a small esky. He had no recovery gear, no camping gear, no chairs, no radio, and no food supplies from what I could see. This was very puzzling.
Soon enough his girlfriend’s vehicle came into view and stopped beside his. This was a white Toyota Troop-carrier of similar vintage as the other, also in spotless condition. This young lady alighted from the vehicle. She was very attractive with full make-up on and could have been a model on a catwalk. She wore full length embroidered white high heel boots, white jeans, a white western style shirt with and embroidered top and a white Akubra hat! She was very friendly and pleasant and spoke with a cultured voice. After some chit chat we said that they would be welcome to camp close by if they so wished. The bloke then said that he had symptoms of Agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces) and that he was going back to west to camp amongst the trees. And without much else to say he shook our hands, got into his vehicle and drove off. His girlfriend was rather disappointed and she confided in us as she would have loved to camp with us. But she was following her friend and had to leave. Just before she departed she stated that we might as well have the logs of wood she had found along the way and promptly gave us all of her wood. After cleaning out the wood scraps from the back of her vehicle I saw that there was no other luggage or camping gear. And with that she hurriedly shook our hands and was off, following the dust trail of the other vehicle.
We stood there dumbfounded. How? What? Who? There were no answers. It still puzzles us to this day.
We had a roaring campfire that night!
In 2007 a mate and I took a slow journey from our place in South Australia to Darwin, driving all the dirt roads heading north until we hit the bitumen near the Roper River in the Northern Territory. My mate had flown down from his home in Darwin to accompany me on this journey.
We departed from the Flinders Ranges in mid-July and set off on a leisurely pace north along the Birdsville Track. We turned off that iconic road and crossed over at the Warburton Crossing to enter the eastern section of the Simpson Desert. Our journey took us further towards Poeppel Corner and along the French Line. Along the way we met up with a group from the City of Geelong in Victoria who were doing a similar zig-zag trek through the desert. In fact we caught up with them three times before the incident happened.
We had met the group again along the WAA Line where they came in from Lynnie Junction. I could tell it was them from their radio chatter. We let them go so as to wait for their dust to settle. We were within two kilometres from where we met the group and only minutes behind when we crested a dune and saw a brand new Nissan Patrol, spotlessly clean, and stationary on a claypan. The person must have seen our vehicle approaching as we crested the dunes in the late afternoon sun. The vehicle was seemingly waiting for us to pass. As mentioned, it was spotlessly clean. Even the wheels had no dust on them. We stopped as we drew alongside the vehicle and I spoke with the solo male driver who was immaculately dressed in denim clothes. He was well groomed and with his hair combed back into a pony-tail. I noticed that he did not have a dune flag nor any radio aerial on his bull-bar and asked him about that. He said that he had not had time to fit a dune flag to his vehicle. He also told us that he did not have any radios or for that matter a Satellite phone. He said that he was just out for a desert drive. I asked if he had spoken with the mob ahead of us. He said he had seen no one all day. I asked again and he stated emphatically that he had seen no one. We left it at that, said goodbye, and drove on. The following day I spoke with the group from Geelong at Purnie Bore, and they said that they had not seen the vehicle nor the driver at all. That would have been seemingly impossible as there was nowhere to turn off the track unless you ventured cross country. Strange. Very strange, indeed!
Maybe these people have been crossing over in a time warp from the 5th dimension. Maybe in the time-space continuum there are indeed parallel worlds and that we may cross over into one another’s dimension inadvertently. Maybe the man with the pony-tail is the same man crossing my path like a guardian angel. Who knows?
It’s all a mystery………………………
Is there a 5th dimension that we are connected to? From the internet:
The fifth dimension has two definitions: the first is that it’s a name of a 1969 pop-vocal group. The second, posited by Swedish physicist Oskar Klein, is that it is a dimension unseen by humans where the forces of gravity and electromagnetism unite to create a simple but graceful theory of the fundamental forces.
Lately my mind has been wandering. I fall asleep quite easily and I see imaginary people in my peripheral vision. Or I would see a movement. normally not far from me, mostly within the same room. Like I said, I can drop off to sleep at the drop of a hat. And the suddenly wake up again a within a split second of waking up, I see people.
O.K. So you might reckon that I am going nuts. But anyone who has similar feelings and seeing such events, please let me know.
1 May 2020
Still some rain showers around. Payday and Jude is shopping. Bitterly cold. I have my RC Air on. Had phone call from Sunboost Solar. I am looking but not buying.
I was watching a Netflix Serial movie yesterday afternoon and the people in that city (USA) were hit by a similar virus that killed many within hours. This flick was made in 2018 and was so similar to Covid-19. Slept in front of the TV and was woken for evening snack. Woke with a start not sure where I was.
Got a phone call from Sunboost Solar. What type of panels from where? Umm China Ummm..Not keen on China. It is best to pay more and buy good quality gear than Made in China!
I am not quite sure what I did but I lost my balance coming down the ramp from the lounge to the kitchen, but the wheelchair tipped forward, I tipped out and pulled the chair on top of me in the process. No damage apart from some skin pulled off my arm. That evening I put a Band Aid bandage on my had where there was a small pin-hole on my knuckle which kept on seeping blood. I pulled the bandage of slowly in the morning to get some sun on it to dry it out and I pulled a chunk of skin off my hand. My skin is paper-thin. I covered the wounds with anti inflammatory gel, which, when dry, puts a skin covering over the wound. It works.
I downloaded the Corona virus app as presented by the Federal Government but had a difficult time registering. I was told I had an old phone (2018) etc etc. Eventually I change my contact number and the App downloaded.
Now it is the 6th day of August and it is more than bloody cold.
The SECOND Wave of the Covid19 virus has hit the country. It has started in Melbourne and is moving quickly! Mostly north. It has spread into NSW where they are struggling to keep it at bay. It has crept over the Border into South Australia and we are bracing ourselves. other Sates are relatively free but are tightening their Hard Border Controls. It is a sort of a game. The news announces new border controls in three days time and then man the Border Crossings straight away and the escaping hordes get trickled through. We are doing OK in Peterborough, but businesses are struggling here and elsewhere. The Government is borrowing money to prop up businesses and wages which will only be repaid by 2035 or something like that. And confusion reigns! To wear a mask or not. That is the question? Mandatory wearing in public now, in Victoria.
Our birthdays came and went. All low key. Judith is now 73 and I am 77.
Winter, and I bought some warm clothes from Mensland in Port Pirie. We went to bed early and watched Netflix on our separate screens. This cost us and extra $4 per month. Cheap entertainment. I had a CT scan done in Port Pirie and phone consultations with the specialists in Adelaide. I am all clear of cancer!
Judith went out to change the gasbottle as we had run out of gas. She stumbled on a rodck and fell over breaking her arm at the wrist. I called 000 and the ambulance arrived within 10 minutes. An Xray at the hospital revealed a complex break and so she was taken to Adelaide by the Royal Flying Doctor Service RFDS in their new Pilatus Jet. This made possible as we now have a sealed airstrip and Pilot Activated Landing Lights at the airstrip. Despite the pain Jude was very chuffed flying in the jet. Two days later I drove down to Adelaide. Garry, a friend from Men’s Shed accompanied me, to assist with the driving.
September and the weather increased with heat and the days started getting nice. We had some good rains and the temperature took a dive but soon it was up in the high 20’s again.
Slowly but surely we as a nation are recovering from Covid-19’s second wave with Melbourne being the hardest hit by having a complete lock-down which was only lifted completely, today, 9th November 2020. But the virus is going to be with us for a long time to comer
By staying home and by keeping our travels to the city short, we have kept ourselves out of harms way and have stayed healthy. We decided to go back to the city as I had another appointment with the Opthalmologist, looking out for my Glaucoma in my eyes. I am taking eye-drops daily.
I had seen new Mobility Scooters advertised on social media and I found one that was suitable to replace the wheelchair. We bought a Pride Go-Go Sport, whatever all the ancillary words mean. The unit breaks down into 4 parts one of them being the batteries, for easier transportation. Around the house it is brilliant but I still tend to hit the door frames. However, I am training myself to be a better driver thereof.
Immediately battery problems arose. After some nagging the shop owner sent me another charger which seemed better but the battery life still wasn’t the best. We made a date to go to Adelaide, put the pups in the kennels and off we go went. Well they gave a lame excuse about the wobbly steering and told me that the two batteries had never been connected. I was also advised to charge the batteries every night. This seems to be working.
Jude had left word with Tracy at the Kennels at Yongala, to keep an eye open for Blue Heeler pure bred puppies. On the 9th September she let us know of a litter at the Orroroo Pub who were about 8 weeks old, and with all the injections and microchipped. And so we took on Pepper Spice, a pure bred female Blue Heeler cattle dog.
Pepper has taken on the role of Jude’s Protector
Seeing as I now needed a new Hobby, Jude pushed me gently into growing vegetables. We bought new metal garden beds and set them up with good soil, compost and ? We planted seedlings and in no time they had grown into mature plants and we were eating fresh vegetables.
Judith has also investing in new hanging pots and other ground based flowers and together with the grape vine extending itself towards the end of what I had built, it should be thickening up next year.
Our chooks, a random luster of Bantams have been broody and we had a number of chickens. Unfortunately one drowned in a water bowl, two managed to slip through the Chickenwire only to be gobbled up by the puppy. We rushed out and added finer wire to the existing wire and now they cannot escape. We have three teenagers and two babies and a hen is broody again so we shall see.
29th November 2020
Keeping to the Covid Rules we had a small party for old friends and we only amounted to 10 all up. Ian and We had planned more friends but a sudden Lockdown put that on hold. There were Ian and Chris, our Northern Neighbours, Bud and Lana, Des and Heather, Valma, Mary, and Judith and Moi. But we had a great lunch of pizza cooked by Judith and chicken wings and snags cooked by Ian. We ate and drank and told old tales from our yesteryear. All drifted to their individual homes again before sunset leaving me with a pile of dishes. But with teamwork we got through them in no time at all.
1st December 2020
We sold our beloved Off-road caravan as I was struggling to get up the steps. The time had come. We will still be travelling but now we only have the MUX and two scooters for transport.