Moments filled with nothingness and Homeless Man.

Homeless man at Byron Bay

Homeless man at Byron Bay

There are moments or even lots of moments that no matter how pensively I might stare out at the rain, I am devoid of being all there. A blankness in watching the patter of rain hitting the Manchurian pear tree just outside my window is hypnotic. It does beat watching the petrol bowser tick over at the local service station with the 4c discount being mentally calculated in the exact $50.-payment. A triumph of which I wrote already previously. You can now see how far I have sunk.

Even yesterday I stared at a blue spikey flowering plants that at the moment seems to be featured on nature’s top hit parade. I thought and thought, sweat under my armpits. What on earth is the name of this plant? I still knew it last Monday. Yet today, nothing but a hollow response echoing on and on. Is Mrs Alzheimer knocking on my door? If so; ‘be gone loose women and never darken my doorstep again.’ Here let me put a banana skin on my doorstep so you break your neck in a spectacular back flipping fashion. And then; a miracle, a miracle, it came! It is called the Agapanthus. Two handed hand clapping and the rain took a break in respect.

It is Helvi’s birthday today and coffee with pre-ordered Fruit tart from Gum-nut shop were ready at 8.30am. Both of us in pyjamas and the rain pelting it out again festively. The Gum-nut shop wins blue ribbons at the Sydney Royal Show each year on a variety of their products. The custard tart and vegetarian pie are our favourites when we go there with our JRT ‘Milo’. He usually gets the crusts from both and has no hesitation to also scrounge from other customers trying to enjoy their early coffee with pies or tarts unhindered by begging dogs. Milo’s charm usually breaks down their résistance and he get rewarded well above his owners. I have often thought of sitting outside Woolworth near the bags of potting mix with Milo. I could have sign ‘please give generously’ and look a bit hungry. In my case looking hungry comes naturally. Perhaps a box with some coins in the hope some might be touched and willing to give generously in exchange of Milo accepting a few pats. He is that popular.

This brings me back to our visit to Byron Bay a couple of weeks ago. One late afternoon and right in the middle of a busy throng of people I noticed a man sitting on the ground with a large sign blaming our PM Tony Abbott for being homeless. I gave generously but asked if I could take his photo. He accepted and here is the shot. I noticed someone had given him a wrap sandwich and some bananas.

It is all there and so much more. Be gone Tony Abbott, don’t darken my doorstep. You are not even a loose woman.


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29 Responses to “Moments filled with nothingness and Homeless Man.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    I’ve shared this on Facebook, Gerard


  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Nice of you to help this man. There are so many homeless around the world. If only we could help them all.


  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, I gave a bit of money but he gave me his story and the picture, so, generosity shared. (I suppose)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. la_lasciata Says:

    This isn’t a post to Like, Gerard – either on account of the senior moment or of the homeless bloke. But don’t lose sight of the fact that we all have ’em, those complete loss of word moments – and the harder we try to recall, the further off they go. I ususally recall the word 48 hours later, meself …


  5. algernon1 Says:

    There’s been an increase in homeless people Gerard and appears an acceleration under Abbott. Around where I work they are everywhere. A few under the western distributor and several in the parks. A block up the road is an old building serves them a meal helps them find digs and the like. Not may come up and ask for money though some sit in front of a sign.

    An older lady came to me with one of those pusher things with a seat with some story that I didn’t here apart from the need to get to Carlingford and $6 to get there (it doesn’t cost $6). I gave here $5.

    She was older than most. I’d say the majority are between 30-50 and I’d guess most have some sort of mental illness. A sad indictment on our society really.

    On a lighter note Happy Birthday Helvi, may there be many more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Algy from Helvi,
    There are more people living on the streets than I can remember. Our jails are still ware-housing the mentally ill. Soup kitchens will increase and we are following America’s footsteps so closely it is becoming scary.
    Our present government nibbling away at all those goodies obtained by clear-sighted governments of the past.
    We are having a nice birthday and booked a dinner at Josh’s at Berrima tomorrow. ****/half stars.


  7. auntyuta Says:

    Enjoy the birthday and the nice dinner tomorrow, Gerard. Many Happy Returns for Helvi!
    We hope we can see both of you sometime in the New Year!
    Cheers, Uta and Peter


  8. Andrew Says:

    All these folks have a story but most people are too busy to listen or talk. Well done Gerard. And many happy returns to Helvi. I hope Milo gave her a big birthday lick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Milo is having a great time eating bits of her cake. No matter how miniscule the crumbs, he will find them. He doesn’t actually lick.Wished he would gargle a bit more frequently. He kind of gives you an affectionate nudge in the face. How’s Lulu and above all how is the move going?


  9. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Happy Birthday to Helvi. Milo and Colin sound very similar, Colin is a great one for fluttering his lashes at random punters in the hopes of a hand out…he’s put on so much weight in the past year because he’s constantly round at the bar trying to wrangle bits of tapas off people’s plates. It was very kind of you to give to give to the homeless man, your Abbott sounds a lot like our Cameron – neither of them give a shit.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. rod Says:

    And I read that thanks to Abbott Australia has shot up the pollution league table again. Who voted this guy in?


  11. Silver in the Barn Says:

    We know that most of our homeless are, in fact, the mentally ill. We should hang our heads in shame over the way we treat this particularly vulnerable group of people. When the “agapanthus” won’t come to me, I find it’s best to just walk away and stop thinking about it. And then “pow!” it will emerge at a most unexpected time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. stuartbramhall Says:

    Yesterday I couldn’t remember the word for gorse and spent about 2 minutes trying to describe it to someone – because it was fundamental to the point I was making.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, we all get those moments. I sometimes think that by passing years and more experience we do increase our intake of facts to remember. I mean, should we be kinder to ourselves and not grab for the tag of memory loss or worse, Alzheimer, and instead consider an overload that needs purging of the irrelevant and some editing instead.


  13. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Re the plant names etc. I have been doing this for (30 plus) years, with very ordinary names or words. We built a knot-garden, but I could never remember what to call it. Agapanthus is one that comes and goes too. Cyclamen I have to imagine a bicycle. If it’s Mrs Alzheimer, she’s taking a heck of a long time to cross the threshold.
    Re your homeless man. I have no words. Our supermarket sprouted a food bank collection point a few months ago, they have now become a normal sight. We exit with a laden trolley dropping a few items into the bank and know that it is not enough.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the idea of joining similar sounding names is a good trick to use. The food banks here are short of items to share around and a recent TV docco showed the enormity of the problem. We have a reasonable climate, so that sleeping rough might be easier than in your neck of the woods.
      Oddly enough it was 11c this morning and we are flat out heating!


  14. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Best Wishes Helvi and many more to come!


  15. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I usually begin at the beginning of the alphabet when trying to dredge up a name. It helps when there are two of us trying at the same time!


  16. gerard oosterman Says:

    A real worry if I lose the first letter of the alphabet. What then? I better write it down. ‘A’ in case I forget.


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