The perennial popularity of the colour crème has started to wane. One can tell when being accused of being ‘beige.’ It is not meant as a compliment. Waiting at the bus-stop, I overheard a bearded lady sniping,’ oh he is so boringly beige’. Of all the things one has to consider, who would have thought that being beige is now to be avoided. I gave up smoking. Isn’t that enough? What does it say about us when our lounge walls are painted beige. Does it hint at being uncaring, unresponsive, insensitive? Who would have thought?
In any case, beige is out and white is in. That’s why the decision was made to paint our lounge-dining-kitchen and bedroom all white. The white emulsion paint from Germany was on special at Aldi’s together with a paint roller with tray, assortment of brushes and even a stirring stick with holes in it to better stir the paint with. You can trust the Germans to outdo the rest of the world and despite paying some of the highest wages and absorbing hundreds of thousands of refugees, still competitive enough for their manufacturing business to out-trump China.
We hope that with all things in white we will avoid the tagging of being beige. I would not want a bearded lady at a bus-stop to refer to the Oostermans being beige. I know that painting walls and ceilings white is the external thing of beige-hood. It is really the soul that needs whitening. At our age though, it isn’t easy to move colours around within our character. So much of beige-hood has been gone through, that whitening at our age is going to be tricky. We stick to our opinions. It feels safe and solid. It seems that shifting around at this stage might have been left too late.
Helvi is resolute. “I don’t want to move again” . “I have just unpacked from our move from the farm” . “I am still chucking things out,” she added. Perhaps, unwillingness to move is the prerogative of getting older. You might notice my diplomatic ‘older’ not ‘old.’
The problem we face is that life after the NSW’s Fair Trading triumph hasn’t made for a more convivial community in our compound. There is clearly a divisive and opposing mood, darkly coloured in mauve or even purple. People now stalk hurriedly past our place, eyes downcast and hurried. That is apart from the communal gardens massacred on the altar of revenge and blossoming spite.
On a vacant bit of land, next to our town-house, there are some slatted timber seats and even a barbeque. It was meant for the residents of this compound to get together, exchange small talk and put prawns on the Barbie. Even a laugh or two. At least, that was our intention. I am not sure we will now ever reach that level of communal interaction. It seems that individual differences stick obstinately like sh#t to a wet blanket.
Logic, common sense, and accepting that life in the kitchen of give and take work the best, are becoming increasingly rare. It prevents benevolence and caring. At first there were a few tentative cup-o-teas and a hesitant couple of words. One mustn’t give too much away! I am sure that in suburbs of xenophobic and staunchly held opinions with preferences for the Abbotts, it would be a mammoth task to get some semblance of mutuality. Of course, it could also be that I am just incurable tainted a crème beige. The coup of finally getting rid of the Knighthoods giving Abbott did not go down well here. However, we don’t smirk or revel in the change of Government. We are considerate and wait till things have calmed down somewhat before starting any sentence that includes the dreaded P for politics.
I am having a good morning.
On the ABC Drum: Gerard Oosterman
We might feel relieved, hopeful, optimistic and so much more, but…staying on the same dismal trajectory as Abbott we might just as quickly swap towards feeling, dismal, disappointed, even outraged.
Come on Mr Turnbull, let’s hear about the Republic , SSM and above all do something about the urine soaked refugees on Nauru, the self harm of children in detention.
Show your mettle on the un-humanity of what Australia is doing to refugees on Manus and Nauru.
18 Sep 2015 7:34:38am
It seems absurd to bomb people who are fighting Assad’s regime when Australia is also fighting to get rid of Assad.
We ought to heed the Syrian foreign minster asking Australia to help Syria to defeat Isis. Russia and China are both far more logical in their approach.
Syria is a modern country with a well educated population. The Syrian refugees resulting from all the mayhem is a result of a terrible war which we seem to enhance and encourage by our bombing.