Byron Bay 2.

The readers

The readers

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The timing of trip was perfect. An opportunity to get away from the politics of Abbott and cohorts with his threat to pensioners and the disabled having to lift the country above its fiscal disaster and imminent collapse. The nightmare of us being forced to work in salt-mines or hacking at rocks for road-base was upsetting H and I even though we are still fairly fit and hale.

Have we reached a phase were our passivity is now permanent? A country so beset by materialism that the formal structures of social and political life offer no hope? If there is anything positive to be found, one must turn elsewhere? The thought often passes of pitching a tent somewhere. ( perhaps behind the big banana). A recluse or hermit have often been given respite to torments not of their choosing. Some individuals, have managed to survive the horrors of past governments without succumbing to the sterility of the present, but how?

Our trip to Byron Bay has given us a shot in the arm. Time to renew the fight. I have again re-joined the Labor Party which I left a few years after the demise of the Whitlam Government. The ‘remain the rage curry’ had finally collapsed and gone sour at Michael Hourihan’s abode. He left to live in Italy after learning 400 Italian words which he reckoned would get him through. We don’t know what happened to the tormented soul of Michael. Pray he found his pane di casa in Umbria. I am going to the first meeting this coming Monday at the YWA hall here in Moss Vale.

At Byron Bay we sat many hours at the front of the Beach Hotel sipping beer and eating insanely delicious salt and pepper calamari on copious beds of fragrant rice. The time gave us ample musings, to read, ponder and talk. It seems that with age, orifices get plugged more and more. I am not only wear hearing aids but am also now getting used to wearing …’euphemistically… called’, ‘partials’. Partial of what?

It never stops…what next?

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33 Responses to “Byron Bay 2.”

  1. M-R Says:

    I cannot. I am not convinced the ALP really means to change. Shorten is useless. Give me Chris Bowen and I’ll think again …

    Like

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    M-R. Yes, we hoped against everything Chris Bowen would have been the leader. Still, sometimes a leader with loads of ennui gets there…eventually…as the Portuguese waiter from Fawlty would say.
    I mean…Abbott got voted in, hardly Mr Torrid Excitement.
    John Howard got there over 3 terms. A man whose cultural heights were Pat Boone’s music and portraits judged excellent if the eyes would follow you around the room.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. auntyuta Says:

    Glad you and H enjoyed some time away from home.
    “The nightmare of us being forced to work in salt-mines or hacking at rocks for road-base . . . ” This is out of the question for me, mate!
    I am pushing 80!

    I do have a few of my own teeth left! The gaps I can fill with my partial dentures. (I take them out at night time and sometimes during the day when the silly gums start aching again.)

    I can still hear what I want to hear. But of course I wear glasses when I want to see a bit better. I purchased the other day at ALDI’s a proper walking stick, a collapsible one. I may carry this in my handbag for an emergency. Sometimes it is hard for me to keep the right balance while walking!

    I hope your meeting on Monday is a good one!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks Auntyuta,

      We had a great time. I suppose part of the holiday was ‘running in’ my partials. I find it difficult. Rotten pain putting them in but even worse taking them out. H reckons I should bear a few children!

      I left that opportunity too late.

      Getting the flu shots two weeks ago, the broad accented Canadian nurse told us the brute macho men sauntering in, all with tattoos and multiple nose rings, are mainly the ones sometimes wanting to lie down while getting the needle.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rosie Says:

    I realise your trip away was also to get away from the politics of the moment – but were you tempted to travel a few miles off course when in the Ballina area – inland to Bentley to experience the Bentley Blockade? For many weeks there have been hundreds and possibly thousands of people camped there ready to stop Metagasco from trial drilling for CSG gas. Bentley is a beautiful farming valley. Apparently, the story around Lismore is that quotes have been called for 3 meals a day for a week for 500 people. That will be the NSW Police who apparently are going to close the blockade down on May 19. I don’t think mainstream media is covering the story – although I do have a block on my computer which does not allow Murdoch press to be opened. I also have the Stop Tony Meow extension installed which makes every image of Abbott into a picture of a kitten – much better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No, we did not travel except to Bangalow and left the car alone for a few days. That App turning every image of T.Abbott into a meow sound impressive. Can I buy it and in what colours does it come?
      Yes, around here the anti CSG gas lobby is strong and most gates have their stop the gas sign on it.
      I do hope that the local ALP is keen on changing the course on Asylum seekers, if not I’ll resign pronto and join the Greens.

      Like

      • Rosie Says:

        Gerard – I am not sure if you are serious about the Stop Tony Meow App – can’t always tell if you are joking or serious. If you do want to know: Google “Stop Tony Meow” – down a few options is the Chrome Web Store (I am assuming you are using Chrome as your Browser?) Click on that and install in right hand top corner. Costs nothing. Doesn’t work every time but when it does its a joy – I cannot stand to see his face.

        I admire your decision to rejoin Labor – God knows they need all the help they can get. I agree with M-R and you re Chris Bowen – also think Anthony Albanese is very good value together with Tanya Plibersek and Tony Burke. Bill Shorten is not a popular choice. I heard that the rank and file of the Labor Party wanted Anthony Albanese but the heirachy chose Shorten. Might be worth checking with your local Branch members about that. Penny Wong is someone I really admire but she is in the Senate and cannot be leader. The Greens – now you are talking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I did not have google chrome. I have tried to download it on windows 8.1 and things look different. I guess I have it now. Tried to download the Abbott meow but can’t see it as yet.
        I get really thrown with IT issues. A while ago I had a tablet and almost lost the will to live😉 (not serious)
        Albanese was brilliant in a talk he gave on Howard. Very witty. I would put him above Chris Bowen, a real fighter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rosie Says:

        I think the “Stop Tony Meow” App did not start working till I had closed down the computer and restarted. Good luck with it – I cant really help unless I am in front of the computer. I can say if you look (top right hand corner, three vertical short lines) at the menu and choose “Extensions” and open it – it should show you if you have successfully enabled the App. Bloody computers – we can’t do without them but unlike the younger generation, we were not raised with them and mostly have to work things out ourselves – unless you have a grandchild handy.

        Yes, Albanese is an excellent speaker and he has fire in his belly. Shorten is too gentle.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        No, I do not have Chrome after all. I fall down with the registering of my e-mail address with pass word each time. I do my best and use the same address and password that I receive my e-mails from. My pass- word get rejected each time. I always fail with anything to do with IT or things that need passwords or authentication.
        A pity because I was almost swooning with delight over seeing, like true magic, Abbotts face morphing into a pussy face each time his awful countenance appeared on my computer.. Never mind Rosie. I’ll get a friend to fix it.

        Like

      • Rosie Says:

        Please do – its worth it.

        Like

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      Those people doing the drilling (not the workers- the companies) are not interested what they are doing or what damage they do. They’re only ever interested in drilling for money.

      Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, that’s right. They hide behind corporations and use smooth talk.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rosie Says:

        berlioz1935- so true.

        Like

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        On top they are getting tax deduction, investment allowances, rebates etc…

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      • Rosie Says:

        Yep – I am in full agreement with you. The fact that Gina Rinehardt and Twiggy Forrest get a diesel rebate sickens me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        There’s a lot more than diesel rebates that sickens me with both of those dreadful terminal materialists.
        Andrew Forrest is a man who started selling imported alpacas bought for next to nothing in the early nineties from dirt poor Peruvian farmers and selling them for hundreds of thousands of $s here in Australia. His main sales pitch was geared towards lawyers and other deviants as a lucrative tax dodge.
        Off course it finally failed, but he now is making his fortune out of digging up iron ore belonging to the indigenous who he fiddled out of ownership with the promise of mainly fried air and untold riches..

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      • Rosie Says:

        Well I never knew about the alpacas but this is something you would know about because you were involved with alpacas. Very interesting. Of course all the macadamia farms on the Far North Coast of NSW where you just visited were all tax dodges in the 70s and 80s – even Packer had at least one. And I know because I did my share of picking up macadamias for many years.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        “Picking up macadamia nuts for many years”. Now Rosie, that would have to be the quote of the year. It sounds as if you had a fascinating few years worthy of further details.
        How did you get to picking macadamia nuts? I would love to know that part of your history. Did you have a farm that grew those trees?
        Do you still have a connection to macadamia nuts growing or have fond memories? Sorry for my curiosity but am intrigued..

        Like

      • Rosie Says:

        I should have been more explicit and I really don’t mind explaining. When I left Sydney as a 25 year old with a 4 year old and a 1 year old, I did so thinking I could change/help my husband. He was a Merchant Seaman and a gambler and an alcoholic. I had not realised the extent of the gambling and alcoholism when I married at 18. Of course, the move did not change his habits – but the good things were: we were living in a beautiful part of the world and he was on overseas runs so we did not see him too often. I had been a legal secretary in Sydney but was not allowed to follow any career path when the kids went to school. As the gambling debts were mounting at an alarming rate I picked macadamias for some years (the kids joined me in school holidays) in order to pay off his debts. Macadamias drop from the tree starting in about May and before mechanical harvesters, the pickers had to crawl on the ground picking up the nuts, filling buckets then transferring them to sacks. The harvest goes on for many months – often till xmas.

        Sorry to disappoint you – its not quite as fascinating as you may have thought and, no, we certainly did not have a farm that grew macadamias. But, you know, that part of our lives has made the kids and I stronger people and more compassionate people – we realise that you never know how people have lived their lives. And I did get back to some sort of career eventually – my last full time job was in the Emergency Department of Lismore Base Hospital where I worked for a number of years. The only reason I have expanded this story so much is because you share so much of your life with we readers. Its also why I love reading about the conversations between Helvi and yourself – you often write them in a light-hearted manner – but I think they show what a beautiful marriage you have – and for that you both should be proud.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Thanks for the Kiri aria. I still remember being blown away when I first saw her as The Countess in Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Opera House in london.

    Like

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Kiri is one of the best. When she arrived in London first and enrolled for an audition she was thought of not having a suitable ‘singing technique’. That was in the sixties (I think).
    I choke up each time I hear the Bacchianas. Glad you liked it too.

    Like

  7. Rosie Says:

    Some of you readers may be interested in this link. Never thought I would suggest to anyone to listen to an Alan Jones interview but this is a stunner. Got this from the site “Dont blame me, I didnt vote for Tony Abbott”.http://www.2gb.com/audioplayer/43916?fb_action_ids=10203939263112534&fb_action_types=og.likes#.U27gfYHa6So

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Well Rosie,

      The macadamia adventure you described was totally unexpected. What a brave woman you are and you are right that one never knows the lives people have lived or indeed are still living.
      I do know that survival brings out the best in many. Our experience and travel through live has confirmed that behind each family is tragedy as well as joy. Next time we drive through an area with macadamia trees, we will remember your story of determination. I can see you on the ground picking those nuts. It must have been such a hard job. Thank you Rosie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rosie Says:

        Thank you Gerard. I feel very comfortable within the pages of your blog. Please try to listen to the link of the radio interview.

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      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, I did listen just now. Gee, has A.Jones turned a corner. Stunning critique of a Lib Premier.
        I put the link on Bob Ellis’ blog as well as Pig’s Arms. Thanks Rosie. You are gold.

        Like

      • Rosie Says:

        The more people who hear it the better although I still don’t trust Alan Jones after what he has said about Julia Gillard etc., but he has always been against CSG.

        Like

  8. petspeopleandlife Says:

    You have re-joined the labor party. What does that mean in political jargon? Loved the exchanges between you, Roise, and Berlioz. Interesting for sure.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The labor party in Australia is closest to the Democrats in your country. They are more for social change and support for the underdog, while the liberals, (your Republicans) support individual efforts and achievements based on ‘winning’. at all cost.
      At the moment the liberals are in power with predictable results of pushing for less tax and more pain for the poor, the unemployed, the pensioners so that the rich are free to greater riches and bigger cigars and 2 litre bottles of (tax fee) bourbon..

      Like

  9. ThePoliticalVagina Says:

    Byron has something magical about it doesn’t it? Glad you were able to gain some respite from our political woes. I have the Murdoch blocking app and I did have the kitty app because I too was so nauseated to see ‘he who shall not be named’s’ Gollum like moosh everywhere I looked. But something about the kitty bothered me and so I got rid of it eventually. Did you know that I hail from the land of the Big Banana? And actually I do kind of live behind it and over a hill or two. The view is fabulous and I can see a sliver of the sea from here. You and the Mrs could’ve popped in for a cuppa🙂
    I’m a bit worried about Bill Shorten, I read he was schooled by Jesuits (like Gollum). It was kind of heartening to see him get a bit fired up in his budget reply speech. I also read that he will not be blocking supply because of some age old Labor PSTD concerning double dissolution. I hope that’s not true and he does. It’s all beginning to get wee bit scary to be honest but we have to have faith that all will be well and surely Australia has more class than to let this dangerous clown get away with much more. It’s amazing he’s got this far, so outrageously blatant.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hello Politicalvagina;
    Politics is too depressing. I had words with my Politicalpenis and he is not happy as well. I told him to straighten up or he’ll lose out permanently. The nerve of Abbott and that scandal of the scholarship for his daughter. I can’t believe it.

    I somehow did get the image of Abbott morphing into a pussycat but I think that is due to dear Rosie more than my skills.

    The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting. I am very happy with those re-blogs you have put up.

    Liked by 1 person

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