The End is nigh!

The End is nigh, the Clock is ticking.
I won’t go as far as carrying a sandwich board around Australian capitals decrying that the end is getting closer. I am more about a much closer and more intimate closure of being near ‘nigh’. In fact, as I am writing my right eye is closed already.
This has been happening over the last couple of months or so. Perhaps my left eye will follow soon. In any case I am getting the eye operated on by an expert Eye surgeon; the op is called ‘epiretinal macula membrane removal’. I was gob smacked watching the procedure and can’t wait.

Oh, for the music of Carl Orff. Heavenly!

My legs are alright and I can lift my arms upwards as well as sideways and around and around as well. I was practicing rotating my arms near the letterbox but stopped when I noticed a lady opposite our street staring at me.

When you think about Richard Branson’s ultimate dream to be shot into space, how modest most of us remain. Personally I would not mind just a continuation getting readers logging onto my blog. I can’t get too excited by space journeys. I experienced them more than sixty years ago reading Jules Verne. I read many of Jules V. underneath the blankets with rigged up torch and battery.

When I get a push on the ‘like’ of my blog button, my ambitions are fulfilled.

Just last night I watched a biographical movie on Paul Cox, a Dutch born Australian filmmaker to my heart. He resides in making movies his own way and blithely ignores critique, either good or bad. He never wavered.

Now, personally (again) I would have liked someone to have picked my little blog of “Oosterman Treats” word-order, resulting in receiving a nice little buff coloured A4 note (with matching envelope) from HarperCollins or Hachette Livre, or indeed Random House with:

Dear Gerard,
We really are taken in with your work. Would you like us to edit the best of your Oosterman snippets and pick perhaps the best of those you have written so far and produce a small edition of perhaps…let us say… about 100.000 copies?
The reason we are offering running this print is a result of a couple of our editors and manuscript scouts having read your blog and bringing it to our attention.
We are intending to also offer the book on-line as well. Depending on your acceptance we will send you our contract and will forward you an upfront payment for $5000. –after your signature and contract arrives back to us.
Kind regards, (let’s have a cup of tea over this)
Tim Hely Hutchinson
CEO-Hachette UK.

This is just a pipe-dream. Even so, since my foray into writing words in a certain order I am surprised to have written so many of them. It is not easy but the only way out of escaping from the cursed leaden blanket weighing me down. After many years trying to make it into a spineless feather dooner, mostly in vain, the getting out of words is the perfect answer. I wished I would have discovered this sooner. Even so, ‘better late than never’ my Aunty Agnes used to say.

Aunt Agnes was my mother’s sister. She remained a spinster and never ever thought she missed out on marital bliss (or conjugals.) She really was our second mother and spoiled us with Ice creams from Benjamin shops. Benjamin’s in Holland was the equivalent of Darryl Lea in Australia, a paradise for kids with Aunts who wanted to spoil kids. It wasn’t so much a visit from our Aunt, more what she would take out of her bag or out of her wallet that we kids looked forward to. Not unlike our Jack Russell “Milo”, who looks for goodies coming from our hands or out of the fridge rather than a look at his owner. Kids can be so cruel.

The leaden blanket came much later for no reason at all, at least not one that I can explain. It was just there! Why I hadn’t discovered the magical remedy of putting words down earlier is rather a useless form of introspection, a bit like regretting it rained last Saturday.

As my Aunt previously said, “better late than never.”
Putting words down remains always a happy event and hobby. Still, I would not mind a modest print run of a 100.000 books. An interview on TV with, “we welcome today a newly discovered writer Gerard”; “where do you normally find the inspiration for the words Gerard?” “I dunno”, I just start with a single word such as ‘The’ followed by ‘end’ or ‘is’ and take it from there. Perhaps a hesitant ‘nigh’! Who knows?

Here are another 800 words.

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17 Responses to “The End is nigh!”

  1. Adrian Oosterman Says:

    Dear Gerard,
    We really are taken in with your work. Would you like us to edit the best of your Oosterman snippets and pick perhaps the best of those you have written so far and produce a small edition of perhaps …let us say… about a 100,000 copies.
    Kind regards
    Adrian Carolus Oosterman
    CEO Collins Harper

    PS: Hope the other eye hasn’t closed otherwise you will not be able to read this.
    Look mate,I like reading your blogs, so you have one fan.


  2. auntyuta Says:

    Yes, Carmina Burana, heavenly. Thanks for the link. Also thanks for the link to Paul Cox. We saw the movie about this filmmaker too. He’s really very good. I also love your pipe-dream!
    When is the eye operation going to be?


  3. auntyuta Says:

    Well, Gerard, wishing you good luck with this operation. You are so well informed about it. It is really amazing how things like this are being done these days. Best wishes, Uta. 🙂


  4. berlioz Says:

    Sorry to hear about your eye operation, but it seems necessary. So, good luck with it. Carmina Burana is always good. We attended many life concerts of it and have CDs of various performances. It is indeed an uplifting piece of music not universally liked by critics I may add. But blast them.


  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Carmina Burana is one of my favourites as well. The eye operation I’m having is routine now but Australia is at the forefront of improving it andmany other innovations in surgery.
    Thank you Berlioz.


  6. Andrew Says:

    Whether you will be plucked from (semi) obscurity to become a star author, Gerard, is beyond my powers to know. You do however already give a great deal of pleasure to your followers. Maybe we should all be content with what we have achieved in our blogging and simply allow things to take their course. I click the Like button not simply because I enrolled as a Follower (Give us a sign , O Lord!!) but because I enjoy your pieces. Many times in the last 12 months I have contemplated winding down my blog but a few loyal Followers hang on and as long as they genuinely seem to like my ramblings and photos I will try to keep the blog going. I suspect we all hope our writing will be ‘noticed’ and we will be asked to write for financial gain, if only for the local rag. The South China Morning Post alas has not yet come knocking on my door to be greeted with frantic yelping by Lulu. I think we tend to resonate with readers of a certain age and/or outlook. Those of us who lament the passing of simpler times when copper wire ruled the world and a wireless came with valves (tubes) and took 15 minutes to warm up. If however your agent does manage to wangle you a deal with a publisher I promise I will buy 10 copies of your book to distribute to friends (and one for myself of course). The eye is however much more important in the short term. About 10 years ago a late aunt told me she was struggling with cataracts. The NHS in Britain would fix her up virtually for free. The waiting list was however 18 months minimum. I asked if she could go privately. She was very anti-private healthcare but at my insistence asked her local eye clinic. No problem they said. GBP2,500 for both eyes, waiting list….. you can come in on Thursday. I paid for her and she was ‘done’ two weeks later. You can’t put a price on sight. And who knows, you may write better still with 2 good eyes!!!!!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you again for your encouraging words Andrew. I was writing tongue in cheek. None-the-less (more none than less) it would be nice to get a printed version. Most publishers at the moment are doing it tough competing with E-books and self publishers. To be honest we rarely buy a new book and mainly get our books from Vinnies or markets and second hand.
      My dad always fiddled with valves and transistors making his own radios much to my mother’s despair with him trying to get radio stations far away. We had to be quiet!
      Health care in Australia must be a bit like in England. I was given the choice to have it done in the public eye hospital where the good Dr (prof) Van Ho also operates but a long waiting list,over a year waiting, so… am getting it done privately and by the same doctor at Macquary University on the 30th of July. Eye sight is wonderful but never much given it much thought. To be able to absorb all the colours and shapes surrounding us is a miracle. It is together with our other senses a way of making the world we live in so beautifully comprehensible.
      I look forward to your beautiful work and still in awe of the photo of that male beetle perched on those green stalks with that lovely purple hue and sheen on his body.


  7. petspeopleandlife Says:

    This post is a good one- funny but yet serious. I laughed as i read that the neighborhood dwellers were looking at you in an odd way as you waved your arms in the air.

    I can relate to the eye thing only mine is glaucoma which was diagnosed in my early 50’s. I’ve had one laser surgery on my bad left eye and it hurt like hell. The woman eye MD told me that it would not hurt- however, I’m afraid my little ole eye made her a liar. I white knuckled by grasping the chair arms all the way through the procedure which I swear was longer than 20 minutes.

    I care not to say how much older I am at this point in my life for eye problems and all sort of other problems are the most unwelcome part of being called old. In short, I hate being aged. There are so many things that I need and want to do before I leave this falling apart planet.

    I certainly hope and pray that the surgery on your eye reaps a postitive outcome. The surgery will go smooth I am sure.

    Now for getting a book deal. I can’t think of a better recipent than you Gerard. This blog is full of humor, insight, logic and, a call for social justice in some of your posts. And you are an excellent writer.

    I am either amused or upset ( in a positive way) as I read your
    posts. 🙂



    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yvonne, (petspeopleandlife)
      Thank you too for your kind and encouraging words. Age is no barrier to creativity, caring about people and the world we occupy. When I asked the doctor why my eye sight in just one eye was getting so rapidly bad, he answered diplomatically ” too many birthdays”.
      Yvonne, you do a lot of good work drawing attention to the plight of animals, surely a very useful and caring way of living.
      Someone wrote: the more I get to know people the more I like dogs.
      This a somewhat sombre and cynical vision on people but.. the way so many seem to allow the world and its ecology to deteriorate there is a kernel of truth about it.


      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        You are writing great posts for the better-ment of society with the call out for social justice and the improvement of living in a safe environment. I thank you for the nice reply. I have to agree about the the wise saying of “the more I know of people the more I like dogs. Those words are so true. I can definetly apply that to individuals that I have met and worked with for so many years. .


  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I trust your eye op will go well because otherwise you will not be able to read how many of us look forward to your delicious blogs Gerard! I Will henceforth order 99,000copies of the blog-brochure to distribute to everyone I know. Of course, I only know ab out 10 but they all know someone too. Seriously Gerard, good luck. eyes are important. I am experiencing AMD, so I can sympathize.


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Kaytiohsosweet,
    Yes, that’s what the good doctor told me; too many birthdays. One wonders what will go next? I always ate my greens!
    My good wife keeps urging me to get a bigger screen and will do that soon. I’ll make sure you will be first to have the 99.000 brochures of my upcoming book first together with ten of the tallest red roses. 🙂


  10. Rosie Says:

    Very best wishes for the eye operation. When will it be and how long will you be out of action?


  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thanks Rosie. The op will be 30th of July and should be in and out the same day. The operation I have seen on a video. It involves removing a membrane which is puckering or crimping the macula at the back of the eye infringing and destroying vision.. The good surgeon, as I understand, inserts needles in my eyeball right to the back of the eye and as they get withdrawn leave small canisters plugging the apertures made by the needles. Through the aperture of the canisters a small pair of pincers are introduced and also a needle that injects a dye onto the membrane.
    The pair of pincers or thongs then lift the green dyed membrane and slowly peels it away from the macula .It then withdraws the intruding pincers back through the aperture made by the needle.
    It is a fairly normal and common operation now but Australia stands at the foreground of having it improved to the extend that many come here to get it done.


  12. roughseasinthemed Says:

    Ah Carmina Burana. I loved singing that. Wonderful.

    I don’t know about lifting your arms but I can’t listen to it without lifting my arms.

    Very sexist recording mind. Reflects the whole idea of spring maidens with the long-haired shoulderless frocked women and the men in formal gear. A priest or a drinker or whatever might have been better imagery. But such is our society. I enjoyed the listen however, and now I have to disappear, having entertained myself reading you posts for a while or so.

    As for your eye. Partner went to the doctor with a knee problem in this THIRTIES (!!) and was told it was his age and to change his job. The knee is still there and so is the job. I was told last year that a cararact op would be on the cards at some point. I’m so not interested but best wishes for your op.


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