The paint job and appearing ‘beige.’

Bali (Ubud)

Bali (Ubud)

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.

And also:

gerard oosterman:

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.

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24 Responses to “The paint job and appearing ‘beige.’”

  1. bkpyett Says:

    Excellent post Gerard, though I’m feeling rather beige this morning.
    Let’s hope the LNP don’t hold Malcolm back too long… surely he can’t change his colours totally.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Oh dear. As I read this, I’m staring at a beige wall in front of me. I’m so passé…


  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Ah well, get a roller and some paint and get youre son to re-paint. I know he will be keen. 😉


  4. berlioz1935 Says:

    “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.”

    Despite having high wages they have a very “per unit” cost structure.
    The costs of electricity is coming down, due to renewables, and they are selling those machines to China that produce all those cheap goods appearing in our shops.

    Now they are welcoming the Syrian refugees because they are well educated and are needed to produce more German goods.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I tried The German paint and rollers yesterday and today and it worked like a charm.
      Croatia is now under siege from refugees while Australia is bombing Syria.
      It just took a couple of days to decide to bomb Syria, yet, with the same sex marriage (SSM) issue, it is now going to the people for a plebiscide next year, or even the year after. It seems that love takes longer to accept than going to war and bomb people to death.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. Lonia Scholvinck Says:

    The Syrian refugees are welcome, because they need help, not because they are well educated! The terrible war destroys there houses and lifes, Berlioz!

    Liked by 3 people

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      That is what you and I think. Business and the politicians see the potential of the refugees. They are not playing the race card as the Abbott government (and before that the Howard government) here did. The majority of the population indeed are welcoming them because they are in need. A very noisy minority is demonstrating and destroying refuges.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Master of Something Yet Says:

    As I write this I am surrounded to the sides and back of me with beige walls but in front of me is a rebellious crimson. Lulling them into a false sense of security….

    There are some excellent articles in the latest New Internationalist magazine about the situation in Syria. The Syrians actually want an international no-fly zone over the country so they can stop being bombed by Assad. We’re just adding to the problem.

    I did find it breathtaking that our pollies could almost in one breath claim compassion for accepting 12,000 refugees and announce an act that will just produce more of them. It’s madness and I’m not sure anyone in Canberra knows what they are doing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, to bomb does not need a plebiscite of the people but when it comes to love it is made so difficult. Where was the inclusion of people for input about bombing Syrians? It was decided very quickly and the next day it was announced they were bombing targets in Syria. Do those pilots actually know what and whom they are bombing?
      I would not worry about beige walls. It is the beige-ness of our government that is the big worry.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. elizabeth2560 Says:

    I love white compared to beige. Beige always seems ‘old’, even when it is new – and that was the colour in my house for many years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I have finished painting over the beige walls downstairs with the German paint. It is a water thinnable paint but not the usual acrlylic PVA paint. The white titanium is milled very coarsely and suspended in some kind of emulsion that gives it a chaulky feeling when applying it, unlike the acrylic paint that has more ‘glide’. It dried superbly flat white and covers very well.
      You are right, beige is a bit old looking. A bit like me, old and with a parchment like appearance. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  8. stuartbramhall Says:

    According to the BBC, US Sec of State John Kerry has expressed willingness to reopen negotiations with Assad. The whole world knows it’s mainly the US proxy war in Syria driving the refugee crisis. Some analysts are saying that the US is troubled by increased US military involvement in Syria. In any case, it’s good to see them acknowledge the solution in Syria has to be political rather than military.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Damn, now I am worried as to whether my wall is white or beige, even without the help of a bearded lady. I am going for off-white, Gerard, in hopes of salvaging at least a modicum of respectability. –Curt


  10. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    I was reading the German newspaper over the last days and I am applauding Germany for taking in all these refugees. They are getting work permits right away, what makes lots of sense to me. Many of them are indeed well educated and they must long to feel like a “normal” human being again. They interviewed some of the refugees and they all can’t wait to have a small paycheck again, so they can buy some things they need. They don’t want “hand outs” they want their life back..even if it is in a different country.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, So refreshing that Germany is leading in the compassion for helpless people because of wars forcing them to flee. Some months back, Italian people were throwing flowers to those that managed to make it to Italy.
      Here the refugees have stopped coming as they faced a hell even worse than what they left behind. A languishing for-ever on the hot and steamy off-shore islands of Manus and Nauru.

      Australia’s very own Guantanamo bay!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    No one would ever call you beige Gerard. I look around and see I’m OK because I’m all white walls. Whew! Much easier to patch. Nice post.


  12. sedwith Says:

    Personally I prefer cream. Always had a Billy Connolly distaste for beige. BEIGIST: A dull, dogmatic, unoriginal person who uses stale language and platitudes, and disregards the eccentric, daring, decadent, or unusual; a humorless bourgeois.
    ….Syria and lets not forget the 500k Palestinians who also had to leave a country that provided them refuge over many periods of forced removal in 48 and murder in 82. Thanks Nusra and IS and your proxy war funders.
    They were caught deliberately in the political Saudi Israeli crossfire. We in Aus were bombing by drone before the Abbott decision to bomb the Death Cult across the Iraqi border. Practicing no doubt for future death by stealth missions. We know the US military is here to use Xmas Island as a drone centre for hits on Pakistan.
    So I like cream.


  13. Andrew Says:

    If not beige perhaps camel or taupe. In the 70s everything was magnolia. I like white.


  14. happy go lucky Says:

    Talking of being beige as boring, one could be worse and be grey. Are these statements originally by the great comedian, Billy Connolly ?


  15. happy go lucky Says:

    Sorry Sedwith, you are wrong about Billy Connolly. He has great insight to every day life and is a master at making it funny. That’s not being bourgeois. Far from it he loves the working class best, has great dislike of the “Toffs”, politicians, Canberra, and beige golfers ! I suspect maybe even cricket.


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