The impetus to change in advancing years.

Aspidistra

Aspidistra

Of course, while young we change our minds at a moments notice. The car is packed and off we go. We might just drive, stop and camp out willy-nilly anywhere.  True, that’s what the young do. You see them overlooking the sea, scanning for good waves. The surfboards strapped on the roof racks. The girl friends clambering out of the van, stretching themselves, ready for another day. Of course, at the same time, sharks are scanning the shores for those risking dangling legs suspended just above them. It must be so tempting. For them it is just another fish.

Can you imagine an elderly couple still adventurous enough to just drive off. Yes, they do, and by the thousands. The caravan is back in favour. You now see highways riddled with cars towing caravans. It is again popular as it was in the sixties and seventies. Of course, in those days camping out was possible. Now the available ‘real’ camp-sides have mostly gone. Many caravan travellers now stop over at designated caravan parks. Acres of caravans, neck on neck. A constant stream of retirees seeking out the available toilets sprinkled between the caravan sites. There are huge cars towing not just the caravan but another smaller car with bikes strapped on at the back, and a boat on top. You would think they are planning to travel down Niagara-Falls or across the plains of Mongolia instead of planning to see The Big Banana at Coffs Harbour or the performing dolphins at Mia Monkey.

Ever since our visit to Eco-village at Currumbin in Queensland, we are mulling over the experience. Should we or should we not? A village with like-wise people. Green minded individuals in common with working towards a sustainable earth.  Isn’t that a lofty goal for people still to nurture, and at the fag-ends of their lives too? You occasionally read of magic feats achieved by very old people. A man in his late eighties jumping from a plane above the Nevada dessert, strapped on the back of a formidable large woman in her late sixties wearing huge laced up military type boots. The whole episode filmed on youth-tube (going viral)

At the same time, I am now involved in a shemozzle with our town-house compound management. Out of the blue and without a word of information it has been decided to spend $40.000,- on an exterior paint job without following normal practise of consent nor of obtaining competing quotes from other contractors. We were overseas but coming back in time for the AGM, when it was decided to change the date to a day before our return. The rule to give no less than 31 days to change the date of an AGM was totally ignored like the decision to re-paint without even a single motion put to management by the committee. In short, a litany of violations of law and regulations. Of course, I submitted a complaint to the NSW Fair Trading.  We shall see!

You can see that Eco-Village is now beckoning stronger than ever before. Even so, at our age?

Should we move? Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Tags: , , ,

51 Responses to “The impetus to change in advancing years.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    “The rule to give no less than 31 days to change the date of an AGM was totally ignored like the decision to re-paint without even a single motion put to management by the committee.”
    This is outrages!
    How can you ever be sure that management is going to stick to the rules? I think probably the same would apply to the eco-village.
    “A village with like-wise people. Green minded individuals in common with working towards a sustainable earth.”
    This is exactly what I would like if I could afford the expense of moving and living there. I would make sure, I’d know what sort of management they have and that this management cannot be taking over by untrustworthy people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Uta, it has now created a hostile environment in contrast of what we looked forward to in our retirement. This town-house has a lot going for it. Against that is Bowral being arch- conservative. People hiding behind their curtains and blinds. A fortress of Abbott lovers, vehemently in favour of punishing refugees and forever genuflecting in front of a picture of the Queen and Prince Phillip before going to a dusty moth-eaten bed.
      Our compound is seething with discontent and all because I would like management to practise good governance and stick, by and large, to basic rules if not courtesy as well.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It’s funny how something happens to give us a push one way or another. One daughter is eager for us to pack up and move close to her. Probably a good idea in the long run, but weighing what we give up to what we gain leaves us in limbo. Much to be done to this big house if we leave, and so many years of history. But your new unannounced $40,000 paint job is a notable carrot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, a notable carrot if not a giant cabbage. It is now the enticement that I was looking for in order to win over my dear H. She needs more time and houses at the Eco village are not melting. Perhaps a move away might give us extra years. A late flush of omnipotence. A revival of flagging courage and excitement that life owes us if we dare to take it.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. M-R Says:

    Shit ! – do it, Gerard ! I’d bloody do it with you if (as previously whinged about) they offered assisted housing.
    Once your body corporate starts behaving outside the law, you know you’re done. They ain’t gonna change.
    Tell ’em **** ’em, and go seek a new adventure. My heart’s with the pair of you. And after all, you’re not going where you know not a soul !!!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. berlioz1935 Says:

    Two points I want to make. 1 The grey nomads are now everywhere. They are following the sun. And why not. Why freeze to death when you can be eaten by a shark or crocodile. On the other hand, the old will rather sit on the beach and not dangle their varicose veins as bait for the sharks in the water.

    2. Body-corporates suffer from too much democracy or dictatorship the same as states. They are run by people. There lives an Abbott in any body-cooperate. One must not elect them.

    How are the $40,000 are being raised? By levy or do you have enough in the funds? Our owners are very reluctant to spend any money. But then, there are those, who want everything in top conditions.

    Perhaps you have to investigate to whom the paint contract has been awarded.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    There is $19.000,- in the kitty. The only quote obtained is from a contractor in Melbourne who I found had been dragged in front of Court for underpaying its employees to the tune of $79.000,-
    I obtained a quote yesterday for more than $ 10.000,- less and am waiting for another two quotes. In the meantime I hope the Melbourne mob of contractors have been called off till the hearing by NSW Fair Trading.
    Here is the Court case I sniffed out about the Melbourne Painters ( Higgins) that were given the job unilaterally without any of the owners being aware.
    http://www.fwbc.gov.au/sites/default/files/Higgins%20Coatings%20Pty%20Ltd%20-%20EU%20(Media).pdf

    Liked by 3 people

  6. bkpyett Says:

    It’s good to hear you being pro-active and showing the body corporate that they haven’t done their job properly. As far as moving, it depends how strong you both are. Making another move not only takes energy, fortitude and determination, it may be that you’ve found your true northern haven surrounded by like-minded people. Wishing you contentment with whatever you decide!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We are warming up Barbara. A revival of aging migrants looking for fresh shores.
      Bowral is fine. People pat Milo and are friendly, but…get talking about refugees or Abbott and they morph into very pro Abbott, the love for the past, and the monarchy. They also wear knee socks and red jumpers with raglan sleeves. Of course it doesn’t mean they are bad, just totally out of synch with our world.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Lonia Scholvinck Says:

    Why shouldn,t you? Age does not exists, doen wat je fijn vindt!

    Like

  8. sedwith Says:

    Hi Gerard, Not sure about advice but it would seem it depends on what you really want. Cant see you hanging with ‘like minded people’. That might just be a tad boring, after all, variety is the spice of life!

    As for the fence! Well you may just know what I think about fences…. unbelievable! Good luck with that one ….persistance and clarity always helps with those disputes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The people at Eco-Village have varied points of views. Some believe in Labor values others in Liberal. All however are in favour of living sustainable lives without harming the world even further. It would be indeed boring if they were all like me. I could not think of anything worse than an Eco Village housed by Gerard clones .
      My remarks about red jumpers and knee socks have to be taken in context.
      Some are saying that those that are politically left are nothing but Chardonnay sippers living off hand-outs. They are leaners instead of leaders. So,….?

      Liked by 1 person

      • sedwith Says:

        I suppose Gerard I was relating to my own experience of living in a small village area where many inhabitants built eco friendly homes and seriously attempted sustainable living. It had, as most places do, a mix of people with differing views and approaches. The thing was, people had a greater propensity for an arrogance or righteousness than I had encountered before. It spread from ecological approaches where knowledge was often debated heatedly to challenges where the more controlling would ride those less sure.
        Chardonnay gluggers, tech wizzes, arty farties, ex ASIO and diplomats, old and new farmers, rich, poor… funnily I think I felt more exposed than in the anonymity of the city.
        Relationships and allegiances are always an issue.
        Would be an experience I would sign up for if they were Gerard clones thats for sure.
        I get what you say about Bowral though.
        There’s so much more to consider when we age but I guess I doubt the worth of bothering too much about things associated with my age health etc.
        My crazy husband says we (fortunate westerners with limited experience of insecurity of life) spend too much time considering our future (a luxury many can ill afford) and too little on realities of living day to day.
        The choice of Sustainable lifestyles or another lifestyle where you control how you live is therefore a luxury in his eyes.
        Think this is the stuff of conversation rather than text…I wish you well in any move you decide on and will stop waffling. 😉

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, there is much to consider. While there, we spoke briefly to a man who had lost his wife. He was walking around with binoculars trying to spot birds. According to my sister he had catalogued 140 different birds. Another woman was crouched on her garden weeding and seemed friendly.
        My sister who is in her mid sixties feels very happy there but told me also that not everyone is pro-left. In fact some actually like Abbott (who is our PM and delights in torturing refugees).
        He has an army of Border Control agents snooping around airports frightening the elderly into taking off shoes and belts in case a Syrian refugee is hidden somewhere within their wrinkling bodies.
        The good thing is that no matter what, nothing lasts forever. I can’t think of anything worse than a community so strict about what they believe in that the slightest deviation from their point of view is seen as treachery and deviancy.
        I don’t want to end up with people munching on grey pumpkin seeds while sipping yocult either. I like Shiraz and sometimes a good T-bone as well. We all have faults.
        We shall see Sedwith. Thank you for your wise and valuable input

        Liked by 1 person

  9. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    It sounds like you want to move to me.

    Like

  10. elizabeth2560 Says:

    Ah! This echoes of issues my mother had and we have now taken on. People can be so pedantic about the ‘rules’ in their little world – ie management committees of property complexes. .

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Elizabeth. I never thought I would get involved but, I have fired the bullet trough the church, and have now to cop the consequences. The town house complex is perfect and doesn’t need painting at all. But that is just my idea. Some reckon it is needed. We don’t have the money and no one was informed except those that schemed and plotted without informing others. Oh, it is petty but at $ 40.000,- it is no minor issue.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Charlotte Hoather Says:

    Can you stay in the new complex for a fortnight to see if you like it before a big move?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that idea has been canvasssed by a few people. Test the water first. Two days ago another shark attack in the same area. A bad omen.! Australia does depend on tourism conneceted to beaches and surfing. Shark attacks are increasingly putting a fear into tourists wanting to go swimming. Beaches are now deserted. Tourists are urged to get into the shade away from beaches and read a good book or to write a lovely poem, listen to music or whistle a tune into the breeze.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, that would be sensible especially since I have a sister living there already. We will go there after next week and test the water. I love hearing you sing.

    Like

  13. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I keep coming back to the possibility that you may not be able to take Milo! Merde! Didn’t you say they did not welcome pets?

    Like

  14. gerard oosterman Says:

    Get a load of this Mr Prime Minister, T. Abbott! That is if you can free yourself from hugging your inflatable woman. (The De-Luxe model with ‘real hair’)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/opinion/australias-brutal-treatment-of-migrants.html?_r=2

    Like

  15. stuartbramhall Says:

    I guess it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons – figuring out exactly what you have to lose by moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dorothy brett Says:

    Are you and Helvi the only residents who do not agree that your complex needs painting, if so that could be problematic. Best not to get too dragged down by it. This sort of thing is is par for the course I think in strata complex.
    I also think there are a lot of people who have a lot of disposable income, as well as those who have their own Agendas, and strong differing opinions, and those who just need to constantly “flex their muscles.” And from my own experience those suffering OCD who seem to feed on strata titles.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No, about half and half are for or against painting. That is not the issue though. This was all done without any knowledge or information. The last AGM has nothing about it the minutes. No motion was passed or submitted about painting. ‘We were just told and it was a done deal!

      We were in Bali and came back in time for the AGM, but the date had been changed a few days before the previously announced meeting. This meant we were out of the meeting and did not give proxy on our behalf. We planned to be at the meeting!

      The rules states that no less than 31 days has to be given if a date for the AGM is changed.

      It is a petty world out there, Dot. It is all so dreary.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. algernon1 Says:

    Gerard, you do know that the Gold Coast is just as arch conservative as Bowral. It also has a bit of a low life undercurrent. A friend of mine moved there a few years back. A Lawyer, tells me behind all the glitz is not that nice. Many a white shoe developer has made a motza there from the unsuspecting.

    I see Tim Storrier’s house in Bowral is up for sale. Looks nice shame about the price tag. Something like $7m.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Algy. The escape from arch-conservatism is elusive. The Gold Coast is riddled with knee- socks wearing crooks and souteneurs. The white shoe brigade is rampant there together with high heeled golden earringed molls living off breast implants and plucked chicken-winged looking porno.
      Currumbin Village is not really part of that. But, at the same time, am I also not a bit too pre-judicial with my disdain for knee socks and red raglan jumper wearing Liberals? Should I also not give a bit more in the tolerant stakes?
      I saw an elderly man reading the Daily Telegraph today. I resisted the urge to chastise him. I am trying hard to be more tolerant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • algernon1 Says:

        I wouldn’t be too tough on the elderly man gerard, it’s often said that you only need the educational skills of your average 6 year old to read and understand the Daily Telegraph. Probably explains why its the newspaper of choice for the Prime Minister.

        Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        I am all for tolerance, Gerard. However, when I know people are being sent into gas-chambers (under Hitler) or when I know how refugees are being treated by our Australian Government (in secret behind closed doors!), I must say, then my tolerance has certain limits!
        On the other hand, who says the right cannot change for the good of a united nation and for the good of humanity? Where there is life there is hope!

        Like

  18. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    Oh my goodness, the townhouse treachery! What scheming megalomaniacs you have in that precinct? It is not hard to follow the rules so why have they done it ‘their way’ – presumably to catch sensible people unawares. My hubby and I have thought about townhouse complexes, but on balance, I think a small home on a small plot, near public transport might be a better option in our advancing years. $40,000 is a headache you don’t really need. I would be looking around to move. After all, you have moved many times before and you have made it work each time, haven’t you?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I think Strata-title can work alright. Our complex of eight town-houses is alright but it just takes one person to muck it all up. The management is weak and when rules are ignored it causes friction.
      We are supposed to get things done by consensus and by making sure all of us are in reasonable agreement. ‘Agreement’ is the sticking point together with oafish people who ride rough-shod over others.
      We now took action through a kind of ombudsman and wait to see what happens.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. Andrew Says:

    Management committees can be s nightmare. We eventually evicted ours constitutionally. They were obliged to open the books and account for all the expenditure. Don’t let them off the hook Gerard. If you can, throw the book at them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Andrew,
      I suspect there is a kick-back, notoriously common in Joint owned properties. Why would this $40.000.- job be given to a contractor a 1000 kms away. Our region has about 20 local painting contractors. The first local quote I received was $10.000,- cheaper. We will look into taking action to open the books. Yesterday I received an answer telling me that the quote of $40.000,- was announced in ‘a special minutes meeting’ of which only the executive received copies.

      In sheer spite against us, one of the owners who is in favour of going ahead without even single motion having been put regarding any painting , cut back to sticks the publicly owned green garden in front of his place. He does’n even live here.

      There is a fight loomimg here, Andrew. One suggestion is to put a caveat on the entire property, till the issue is resolved..

      Like

  20. rod Says:

    If possible, I would steer clear of anything involving a management committee. I recently pointed out to a board of trustees that they had acted unconstitutionally, so they began a redraft of the constitution to cover their actions retrospectively. Thus, too, was unconstitutional.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It seems so easy to get on with others. The reality is so perplexing. Our neighbour who is pushing to spend money that isn’t in our communal kitty for the re-paint, wants to foist a debt on others. Amazingly, it might well go ahead.

      Like

  21. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I can see only one drawback – Milo. You couldn’t part with him surely.

    Like

  22. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Go get ’em Gerard! Sounds appalling.

    A test run of the village sounds like a good idea if you can manage it.

    (BTW, I want to apologise for my extended absence. Life got busy and I got behind in reading your Autobiography posts and then I didn’t want to read the latest ones until I’d read the earlier ones and I just got further and further behind. School holidays coming up in a week so hoping to catch up on some reading.🙂 )

    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: