Children, tripping over and business. ( Auto-biography)

The flooded creek

The flooded creek

After we settled in King’s Cross there was a flurry of marriages in the Oosterman clan. My friend Bernard married a Japanese girl and went to live in Japan. I continued with the painting business on my own.  One of my brothers married a girl from Russia but born in Peru, another from Polish background, my sister married a man born in Germany with just one who married an Australian. I of course married a lovely Finn. Apart from my brother who married an Aussie and has died since, we all are still married to our first love.

They were busy times all racing to get home and hearth together as well as bonnie babies. There were nappies and the smell of them. Toys on the floor. A variety of bassinettes and other bouncing contraptions that we would easily trip over.  They were the years when tripping over was normal and totally safe. Of course now a fall could easily result in an ambulance racing over to lift you on a stretcher and to a hospital, nurse putting on the gloves and a worried doctor looking you over. I haven’t as yet reached that stage yet, but it will come about!  Helvi urges me to take a firm hold of the handrail coming down from the computer upstairs. It pays to be careful! I sometimes wish that recklessness could continue. It was such a part of being young. Reckless and foolish. Now we play it safe and pretend to be wise, but really just give in to ageing, play it secure, getting old, sip our coffee and remind each other to take medicine. We have learnt our lesson.

It seems odd that when we were young and had a life ahead, we were reckless, took our chances when at the same time so much was at stake. One fatal mistake could easily result in having to pay for it over the rest of your natural life. Yet, now that we (I am) are old and with our lives more behind than in front we have far more solid reasons to be reckless. Throw caution to the wind. What is there to lose? What is holding us back?  Do a bungy jump or fight a crocodile, live in Bali or Amsterdam. We might just, with luck,  squeeze in a couple of years more or so. Of course many of the old do amazing things still, but by and large we have become more cautious and play it safe. I never ever thought I would reach that stage. Yet it is has come about.  Even so, we still have no insurance of any kind except third party property car insurance which I suppose is proof of some lingering recklessness. harking back to youthful risk taking.  I mean, does one not get buried without having any money.  Does it matter? Mozart got buried in a pauper’s grave. Perhaps, that is just bundied about to encourage budding composers to keep on trying, regardless of fame or fortune.

But going back (to those years of recklessness),  and having settled down it came about that families were sprouting up all over the place. Our first was born within a couple of years after arrival in Sydney. Our second daughter two years after that, delivered by the same doctor named Holt. I renewed previous contacts and gained quickly new jobs. Some years later, I won some really substantial contracts including the painting of the extensions to the NSW Art Gallery and the International Flight kitchen at Sydney’s airport. I tried as well to keep on with painting pictures and even had, optimistically, bought a huge  fifty metres by two metres roll of raw cotton canvas together with varied sizes of stretchers on which to span and make canvasses ready to paint.

I was an optimist and Helvi the supporting wife and mother…They were very good years,

many good years were yet to come.

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25 Responses to “Children, tripping over and business. ( Auto-biography)”

  1. Carrie Rubin Says:

    So many international marriages among your family and friends. Must have made for wonderfully interesting gatherings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, we did have an international gathering of spouses and were often together while camping in the Australian bush. We loved it, making a fire to cook on, drink cheap wine. The kids running around. They were great times.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I call those the “derring-do” years. They dared and we did. Through it all, the fact that there is “health and wealth” are apparent. Stay healthy in order to enjoy whatever wealth there is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Healthy wealthy and wise. Thanks Kayti!
      Helvi keeps telling me to get and keep a good grip on the hand-rail going downstairs. Picked up an unbelievably expensive pair of ‘multi-focal’ glasses which seem to give a strange perspective on distances.
      There seems to be a divided opinion by multi focal spectacles wearers. In the meantime I’ll keep a good grip on handrails. I almost feel like taking a small bit of handrail with me on our walk-a-bouts. Just in case.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. berlioz1935 Says:

    “Now we play it safe and pretend to be wise”

    Only a few of us are wise and then only passing moments.

    When young one is reckless because we believe in our immortality. Now, at our advanced age, recklessness turns into foolishness, unless of course we play it safe. We have a choice.

    The grandchildren of my paternal grandparents, too, married partners from all over the world. We have become cosmopolitan.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We still have choice. Recklessness now might consist on having an extra spoonful of sugar in the tea, or yet another glass of wine.
      I am recklessly wearing my new multi-focal glasses without a handrail. I feel as if I am now going downhill on the road while in fact the street is perfectly level.

      Liked by 2 people

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        After my recent second eye operation, I got a new pair of glasses prescribed for middle distances. That was good for a month. It turned out, that that was too early. My eyes have undergone a further change and the glasses are now completely useless. I can see better without glasses.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Helvi is going for another eye test today at the optomotrist. God knows what the result will be. It seems to be the way now, endless tests and appointments. You are lucky to see better without glasses, Peter.
        I am getting used to my glasses.

        Like

  4. bkpyett Says:

    Such diversity must have brought such a rich cultural life to your family. Enjoyed reading your fond memories.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Barbara.
      The parents from foreign countries still speak at least one other language, apart from English. The kids generally seem not to be taught any extra language, which is a pity. But that’s how it is.

      Like

  5. auntyuta Says:

    I have had multi-focal glassed for many years. I was told to wear them all the time. But I wear them only for reading and writing and watching TV. I just cannot get used to wearing them while I am walking. You say that they seem to give a strange perspective on distances. Well, this is exactly how I feel!🙂

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Uta,
      Only this morning I went back to the optometrist to adjust the hight of the glasses on my nose. But now the street seems to be a bit further away than before. Holding onto my piece of handrail on the street, plus stepping high makes it all a bit silly. I will persevere.
      I wish someone can tell me they love multi-focal but so far most seem to not wear them including my Helvi. It cost me $420.- without the frame! They were fitted in my existing frame.
      I will keep wearing them and thanks for your information. What about Peter, does he wear them? I am clinging to some hope here!

      Like

  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard you were fortunate the day you met Helvi, It has been a good match and I bet you have thanked your lucky stars a number of times.

    You were also fortunate to have become a painting contractor which has enabled you to live a good life.

    As far as ageing is concerned, I never thought I’d live to see 78 years but here I am with some health problems but I’m fortunate that these are managed with meds,- so far.

    We do need to be careful and try not to fall. That is the one biggie where caution prevails. So having to watch our step matters and it’s all about taking care of ourselves to the best of our ability.

    ~yvonne

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Goodness me, that is a great age, I always thought somehow you were in the sixties or so. I hope you will have some many more years still, Yvonne.
      I haven’t fallen seriously lately. The last one was a couple of years ago when one foot got caught in the other leg’s pyjama leg. It was a strange feeling when my forward motion was put on hold and I fell.
      I hope taking good care and with some medication will keep both of us going for some time yet.
      The multifocal glasses are tricky and needs a good handrail when going up or down. Even on a level surface one seems to be further away than before so it makes for treading somewhat gingerly. Is that why people have walking sticks to gauge the proper distance between footpath and eye?

      Goodness me. What next?

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        I wear bifocals by choice and these of course have just one line. But you do need to use intense judgment in order not to misstep or misjudge your footing. When walking outdoors at night I have to remove my glasses for somehow everything is thrown out of perspective and I get very dizzy if I use my glasses.

        Yes, I am 78 years old but my cardio MD says I could pass for being in my 50’s. I suppose I have good genes but I have remained active physically active and weigh arounf 117 pounds so I have worked hard not to let myself gain unnecessary weight. I eat a very healthy diet and don’t drink alcohol; and almost never eat anything with added sugar.

        But with all of that, it is still an uphill battle to try to stay on this earth and remain productive as well as active.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Well Yvonne, Your heart is good in more ways than just one. We are trying to stay healthy and have just about given up on meat and are now more and more shifting into fish. I particularly have taken to raw herring on toast. They are called ‘matjes herrings’. They are a bit salty but I rinse them and then soak up the salt as much as possible in tissue paper. Both our weights are reasonable and through lots of walking, try and stay fit. We do like wine, but that seems to be good for the hearts. Or, so they say!
        We are fortunate also in not really having a sweet tooth and rarely eat cake, no soft drinks either.

        Like

  7. Julia Lund Says:

    I switched to vari focals around 6 or 7 years ago. They do take some getting used to – the trick is to move your whole head ro view what you want rathercthan just your eyes. Or is it the other way round? Whuchever, I still take them off for teadind and the computer. And when I’m feeling vain …

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I have had the multi focals now for the second day after getting them fine tuned. I have yet to fall over or bump into a train. You are so right Julia. One has to move the head directly into the line of vision. But at a different angle, dependant on the distance.
      In any case, I will continue on and report back in a couple of weeks..
      I wonder what might pop up next!
      I suppose people will get up and offer their seats on public transport. Have I reached that level now?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    My AMD has advanced to the degree I have another new pair of bifocals and have jumped the text size to 200%. I just found out yesterday that I need to reverse it each time I write a blog as it is too large to display the necessary part. At 87 years, I think I am lucky to have gone this long.

    Like

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, spectacles are now all the latest. Sorry to hear about AMD. I too blow up the lettering but it slows things down when sending and receiving on the internet.
    There was something on TV about AMD involving an implant, very expensive.

    Like

  10. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I saw that too. I think it was a retinal implant in the UK. I seem to remember $100,000. It will probably be some time before they become popular. But think of the millions of people it will help.

    Like

  11. greenwritingroom.com Says:

    They do sound like good years. I remember being very content with my lot, as I tripped over toys and wondered if I would ever have time to visit the loo without attendants, or get enough sleep. It’s pretty good now too.

    Like

  12. Patti Kuche Says:

    And wishing you many more good years to come, wherever you decide to go, recklessly or otherwise!

    Like

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