The kitchen of give and take and does it send you blind?

The kitchen of give and take.

The kitchen of give and take.

There is nothing like taking stock of one’s health. I seem to take more and more notice of the elderly of late. Especially those that seem more advanced in age than I. They look me back in the eye with a beady eyed wisdom as if to say. ‘Yes, we all get there in the end.’ ‘Put in your order for the walker or motorised wheelchair. Get practising to taking the packet of incontinent pads from Aldi’s shelf. Be brave and try do it in front of a young silken smoothed roseate angel. A maddening challenge and what a prospect to behold? Get used to it, cobber! Pay the price of the outrunning of the tide and watch the orange sinking sun. See it as a reward for having lived a life of sorts. And as Leonard Cohen used to sing there is still time to ‘the bitter searching of the heart.’

“From bitter searching of the heart,
Quickened with passion and with pain
We rise to play a greater part.
This is the faith from which we start:
Men shall know commonwealth again
From bitter searching of the heart.
We loved the easy and the smart,
But now, with keener hand and brain,
We rise to play a greater part.
The lesser loyalties depart,
And neither race nor creed remain
From bitter searching of the heart.
Not steering by the venal chart
That tricked the mass for private gain,
We rise to play a greater part.
Reshaping narrow law and art
Whose symbols are the millions slain,
From bitter searching of the heart
We rise to play a greater part.”

Well, that sets the tone for the day. Cheer up old man, smell the roses and pat your dog. Your genes are predicting a ripe old age well into the nineties if you stick to health and steer clear of the pork shoulder with crackling and those perniciously beckoning Slovenian Kranskies. Take a leaf out of your dearest H. who has lentil soup for breakfast! You gave up smoking but seem unable to give up addiction to secretly indulge in those strange dietary habits if not other bad habits as well. You are not taking other things in your own hands still, are you? Look me in the eye when I am talking! Ha, that quick downward looks says it all. What did your mother teach you? Keep your hands above the blankets and think of the Royal Family at the feet of India, read Rin Tin Tin, listen to Smokey Dawson or eat an apple instead.

It seems like yesterday I had my vitrectomy in right eye. It has been over a year and the sight hasn’t improved as promised. I now have to book some kind of operation to remove cataracts. Just great! Does it send you blind? Vasectomy, colonoscopy, polypectomy, vitrectomy what next? On the 14th of January an appointment with the Audiologist to get new hearing aids fitted. The old ones don’t zing anymore and it drives Helvi mad. Shouting matches mistaken by neighbours for marital incontinence and fisty cuffs, mishaps and mistakes, apologies with rewards of lunch with calamari and baked barramundi and chips. It is all sometimes a bit complicated but we are getting there.

We are all on a journey in the kitchen of give and take.

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37 Responses to “The kitchen of give and take and does it send you blind?”

  1. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I am on your same page Gerard! I guess we should all be grateful we are still vertical. Certainly the type and quantity of food must have an influence on health, and this time of year was always good for a few calories extra. It isn’t as much fun as it used to be before they excavated my mouth a few years ago, but it’s amazing how much you can consume by just gumming it. I made it back to 100 pounds, so I can still have a merry kitchen Christmas.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I was listening to an audiobook on aging a couple days ago during my 11-hour car drive, and I heard an interesting factoid. While normally, 30% of how well we’ll age is predicted by genetics and 70% by environment (personal behavior, freak accidents, etc.), for those who have ancestors who lived past ninety, 70% of how well they’ll age is predicted by genetics and 30% by environment. So that bodes well for you!


  3. berlioz1935 Says:

    I think you reached an age where you should start living it up. It is now much too late to abstain from eating crackle. Lentils are only tasty with some smoked pork.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Andrew Says:

    Very interesting as it begs the question in mind – at what age do you stop worrying about how you live and how you might die? My worry is currently how long the money will last. Sadly the state pension won’t keep us in any state of great contentment. I am not sure which I fear more, physical or mental infirmity. My father got it right. Was fighting fit until the moment he dropped dead. Gardening is very, very dangerous. Terminal in his case. Perhaps he should have eaten more crackling. He was only 65.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Don’t fear Andrew. It all comes to pass but…in the meantime ‘a day at a time’! Crackling is unhealthy. I just get it on my birthday. There is a fast food take away where they sell crackling by the polystyrene container.Can you believe it?


  5. la_lasciata Says:

    Gerard, you used not be like this; and I’ve only been blogging for a year. Surely you can’t, in that time, have passed some point that says “I shall, from now on, only talk about getting old !” ?


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Age is a state of mind. We know how old we are but you need not act as if you are 150 years old and walk with stooped shoulders and a shuffling gait. It is mind over matter sometimes. I strongly believe that.

    But if you live long enough I reckon you will have many more “ectomies.” I need cataract surgery and now the ablation thing. But there will be nothing removed. The MD just fries some of the electrical nodes that are “sick” and are causing my heart to be on a race track at times.

    Tonight I ate junk food for my supper and I seldom do that. And now the tips of my fingers itch so I’ll go swig some water mixed with apple cider vinegar and it will relieve the itching within the hour. Sometimes home remedies work better than “real” medicine.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      While my state of mind is permanent on kindergarten, my body is of a different opinion and prohibits me from doing anymore pole vaulting or doing wild wild Lambadas.
      So far my level of medication is mainly aspirin and red wine in moderation. I do stoop but that’s because of my obsession looking for money that might be on the footpath,
      Yes, Petspeople and life. A good idea sometimes to go for junk food. We are not destined to be abstemious forever.
      I sometimes, but only after dark, slice some salami.
      We are all like orphans in this word and need each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rod Says:

    Give and take works for you since you live with someone to give to and take from. Your strongest card is that you do not live alone and like the person you live with.


  8. auntyuta Says:

    Andrew says: “Gardening is very, very dangerous.”
    It made me very crook the other day. So far not terminal, but I realise now that I have to be more careful.
    Give me lentils for breakfast any time, but no meat in it, please, I am just not very fond of meat.
    Peter’s hearing aids drive me mad at times! πŸ™‚


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes Uta;
    Lentils are manna from heaven. Cheap nutritious and combined with herbs, delicious. I am sure the world would be a better place if lentils were appreciated more.
    Hearing aids are a difficult and at times a somewhat fragile issue in this family. I have given up on asking for a repeat of the spoken words. It causes friction. I prefer to guess now and answer according to my assumption of the words. It makes for either an utter astonishment or hilarity, both are preferable to having to ask for a repeat. I don’t expect this to be followed by other deaf people.
    I do hope my new hearing aids will improve the situation, especially for my dear Helvi.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Berlioz Says:

      Lentils are the oldest cultivated plants. Hearing aids take hours of my day to set up.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I use the hearing aids behind the ears as they are free for those on a pension or even part pension. They don’t always work and when they don’t, act as a plug making hearing worse.
        Helvi wants me to ask again if I don’t understand but she then shouts and I feel sorry. So I make up an answer by reading her mouth and somehow combine the words that I did understand and hopefully give her a coherent answer.
        She has an outrageous and sharp sense of humour and that is the best answer to the problem of hearing. Laughter is to be the araldite in future available yeras still together.

        Liked by 1 person

    • auntyuta Says:

      Dear Gerard,
      you say that you have given up on asking for a repeat of the spoken words. Peter thinks too that this solves all the problems. However I strongly disagree on this!
      I do love it when Peter’s hearing aids are in working order.
      Cheers, Uta


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The hearing aids in high humidity play up. H too wants me ask again if I don’t understand , but…it is sometimes a bit of struggle. I have a terrific pair of head phones specific for the hearing disabled and… of all places from Aldi. They work a dream and for TV is just perfect. Perhaps Helvi on the micra-phone and me on head phones could be one answer. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Silver in the Barn Says:

    As the giant tide of baby boomers heads into decrepitude, I rather agree with berlioz. We don’t have the infrastructure to care for this huge number of old people and while I have a way to go yet, I’m not looking forward to advanced old age. Perhaps at 70 I shall resume smoking? Fatty foods? How have you grown deaf, Gerard? Was it through disease or just natural progression? I am curious as I have a deaf family member and it’s been a mighty struggle.


  11. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    When my husband says beet lorry, I hear peat lorry etc etc. I think I better get started on my first form of aid.


  12. ThePoliticalVagina Says:

    Ah Gerard, your sense of humour is exquisite. I’m feeling my bones more than ever lately. Thank you for making it funny. You are blessed to have Helvi and Milo. I’ve got several failed batches of lentils in the freezer I can’t bear to throw out (can’t abide wastage).What’s her secret recipe?


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