Repetition always results in ennui. ( Auto-biography)

Family living in Holland

Family living in Holland

 

It seems that repetition is always present no matter where or how we live. I find myself queuing at the supermarket almost daily. I still hold out hope for something to happen there. It never does. I scan other peoples shopping lists and so wish for some answers. I can see by shoppers’ eyes, they too want something more than the repetitiousness of life. A kind of unexpected surprise. The cashiers put a positive spin on things. They were told to ask for the well being of the shopper. “How are you?” And I answer, “great, thank you”. I encourage and nurture the repeating of a stupefying routine. We are all in cahoots. Yet, the sun is shining and the croissants are on special. Three for $1.99.

Was it therefore inevitable that the painting of clock dials would come to an end sooner than anticipated? Even the move to another farm to the East of Holland could only hold off the end of my clock painting career for just a while. My tolerance for routine I never mastered. Some people thrive on knowing exactly what to expect next day, next year, next decade and get nervous when they don’t. Of course, we all accept some routine. We shop and pay bills. We fill the car with petrol and stare at the bowser with keen intent. At the super market I play a silly game with Helvi and tell her the amount that our shopping will come to. I just scan all the goods on the conveyer belt and make a guess. I tell Helvi and the cashier the amount before the scanning takes place. Helvi rolls her eyes. When I get close, it makes my morning and I smile. It helps to pass the time! The cashier gives a smile too. They are all so brave.

One morning when I had set up the clock dials all in a row on the work-table, I could not get to paint another seagull. Helvi and I had done at least six months of clock faces at fifty a week. That is at least twelve hundred clock faces and at roughly four seagulls a piece, amounted to 4800 hundred seagulls, give and take a few. ( I had reduced seagulls of late. A clear sign that the end was nigh.) I packed the box of dials and drove back to the clock factory to give notice. I was jubilant and had put on the car radio. The manager understood. He too suffered the same lethargy and had a large family. He took satisfaction from being a good provider putting food on the table. He also used to go fishing in the week-ends. “It brings me peace,” he said smiling a bit. Lots of Dutch people go fishing and also like doing cross-word puzzles.  It helps and makes life bearable.

We are all so brave.

Tags: , , ,

24 Responses to “Repetition always results in ennui. ( Auto-biography)”

  1. elizabeth2560 Says:

    I thrive on routine and yet those breaks from routine are the stuff of life. A seeming paradox.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yvonne Says:

    Now that the seagulls fade into the past, let’s see what happens next to the Oosterman ménage!

    Like

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes Elizabeth, it is inevitable. Finally, we try and steer towards what we feel happy with. A kind of equilibrium. We might stir the pot, create a storm in a teacup, squeeze it a bit but end up chucking the teabag.

    Like

  4. ninamishkin Says:

    We are brave. Unsung bravery. On the other hand, adrift at sea on uncharted waters is no picnic either. An exceptionally well written piece, Gerard!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. auntyuta Says:

    It’s a shame, Gerard, that you did not think of keeping one of these Granfather clocks as a souvenir! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I doubt those clock would have lasted that long. No grandfather should have to endure imitations of any kind. They, now more than ever, need the real thing. It is bad enough to put up with false teeth in a glass jar next to the conjugal bed. Of course, so do Grandmothers. ( need the real thing)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lottie Nevin Says:

    The clock’s ticking, time is rolling on and not a seagull in sight. So what’s next Gerard? I’m really enjoying your memoirs and yes, I think that you are very brave, and it seems that you always have been. What a wonderful, courageous writer you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It seems you have always trusted your instincts Gerard. When the book gets boring, turn the page or buy a new book. It’s the artist in you.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you Kayti,
      A boring book ends up back with the charity shop of Father Riley. Of course, Milo is the master of following instincts. Look where he ended up! His ever whim is obeyed. The world his oyster.

      Like

  8. greenwritingroom.com Says:

    Gerard, you clearly need to become the organiser of flash mobs. This will spice up the supermarket visits and create variation in life. One of my favourites

    And here’s one in a supermarket

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Great! Thank you Hilary. Supermarkets are great places to be in. We go almost daily, often to get fresh fish, mainly salmon cutlets and a bunch of bok choy. There are those who seem to study ever item before finally deciding. Others run through on the go, grabbing willy- nilly anything they fancy. ( I like those the most)
    Yesterday I saw a man who wanted a leg of lamb. He looked and studied it from every angle, reading the date of expiry and all other items of interest such as weight, contents, nutrition information etc. He walked to the cash register, queued up and then decided at the last moment not to buy it and left it behind with the batteries and headache tablets. Some very strange shopping habits but fascinating just the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. bkpyett Says:

    I’m so glad Hilary added her uTubes of interrupting the boredom of shopping. I do love how these are happening around the globe. Also enjoyed your post, Gerard! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Of course going to the supermarket is hardly a trip deep inside the pyramid of Cheops or viewing Iguazu water falls.. .But it is always helpful to make the best of a boring situation. It is therefore helpful that sometimes a young person sits there in front of the entrance and plays a cello or guitar and even sings.
      It is to be admired.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. sedwith Says:

    Am putting off going….but could never do the on-line buy and deliver so I suppose I’d better just not think about it and be brave!

    Like

  12. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    It is stutifying. I have a husband who loves routine and it bores me to tears…. but on occasions is comforting. I think routine gives people a sense of control. Others relish spontaneity. The supermarket is definitely not the place to find spontaneity unless it is at Sunday afternoon just before closing time and the are clearing all the persishables…..

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I do try and make the best of supermarket shopping. At Aldi’s there are now so many objects and aids for the infirm it is a worry. I am from a continental background, European through and through. Yet, the pads and pull-ups for the (in)continent are looming on the shelves. How does Aldi know?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Forestwoodfolkart Says:

        It is like when one is trying to fall pregnant, one sees pregnant women everywhere. I haven’t noticed these at Aldi myself, but I hope I am a few years away from needing them!!!!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: