A normal day.

After all the sardine excitement of a few days ago topped by the glorious rack of lamb yesterday, it was time to calm down, take a breather and try have a normal day. One ought to be on the guard of excessiveness, even if it involves sardines.  As I got up this morning I was so resolute. Before even the first coffee, I went to the front of our compound and picked up both garbage cans. Earlier on I had heard them getting emptied. I have seen those modern garbage trucks in action.

They are fitted with extendable hydraulic forks that clamp the garbage can, hoist them up while also tipping them upside- down. They disgorge their contents inside a covered truck.  All this is done flawlessly in one swoop by just a single person who also drives the truck. The empty can gets gently put back on the nature strip.

With a bit of squinting and fogging ones glasses one could just imagine it being a kind of ballet where the prima donna gets picked up, turned over and then gently put back on the stage. A kind of  modern Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet of The Sleeping Beauty. Other aficionados of watching garbage trucks in action might well prefer and dwell over his version of the Nut-Cracker suite.

In the old days, the garbage cans were made of zinc and it took a whole army of men to deal with them. I remember a kind of large heavy gate at the end of the truck compressing the garbage. It was the norm to leave a crate of brown ‘long necks’ for the garbos at Christmas time. This was a particular difficult period for garbage- men. Especially afterwards when all the remnants of the festivities would rank darkly inside those cans. The hot sun relentlessly cooking the prawn-shells and heaven knows what else that had putrefied. A  tough period. A cold beer was very welcome. That has now all gone. No more gifts for the garbo.

After I picked up the plastic lidded garbage cans, I dressed and made coffee. The plan was to tackle the snails in the garden for which we had to shop. We also had run out of garlic. Lately we have made the decision not to economise on garlic and get the Spanish variety. The Chinese garlic, with all respect for Mao, doesn’t cut the mustard. We make up to the Chinese by getting their Bok-Choy. There is just nothing like blanched fresh Bok-Choy glazed with some sesame oil. It really is the most delicious vegetable and at 99cents a bunch at Harris Farm Market, is a top buy. Go and get it.

I do hope farmers make good money. They deserve it. I can’t believe when dieticians complain that the poor get fat because they can’t afford good food. How cheap are vegetables, including carrots, potatoes,  beans. A packet of rice or pasta? Tinned sardines or tuna. Even fresh Australian salmon,  four fillets for $12.90? It is far more the intrusion of the Macdonald’s and their rotten food quarter pounder outlets, KFC is another one. Why are they still given development application approvals when Australia has one of the world’s highest numbers of those Fast food and take-outs Per Capita? It is Capitalism murder on a grand scale now. It is! How long before action is taken? It kills more than Isis. Far more.

Take it easy now, Gerard. remember a ‘normal’ day.


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28 Responses to “A normal day.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    It was a normal kind of day in the Oosterman household …


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We are having it very normal today. Just heating an Aldi Pizza with perhaps adding some extra toppings. How are you?. In Florence again? You pack a lot in your ‘normal life’!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yvonne Says:

        I’m in the countdown mode, with about 10 days to lift off for Italy. It’s 37 degrees right now, I haven’t gone outside very much. Nor has the cat.

        Hey, how were the sardines? Were they worth all the hard work?


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The sardines were nice but a lot of work. Still. working with food can be enjoyable. The sardines had been frozen which changes the structure of the flesh. Next time I will only buy sardines caught on the same day. Geez, ten days to lift-off. How glorious.
        Milo is a bit puffed as well. So hot!


  2. auntyuta Says:

    ” . . . Bok-Choy glazed with some sesame oil . . . ” Sounds great, Gerard. Thanks for the tip.
    We had a ‘normal’ day, except for the temperature reaching 37C.
    Tomorrow it may even be somewhat hotter, still!
    I looked up in Google the history of the Marseillaise. Tried to remember some of the words and catching up on the melody. Now it’s hard to get it out of my head again!
    I also reblogged what Likeitiz had written. Now I keep thinking about the meaning of Brotherhood. Maybe I should stop thinking so much and become more ‘normal’.
    Today, Berlioz (Peter) mentioned again this killing with drones. How it affects the ‘pilots’. A few years ago he already wrote a story about this, called “The Predator”.
    Well, just a normal day.
    Cheers, and have a nice evening! 🙂


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      37C? That is hot. Here it reached 34C and now is a cool 27C.
      Yes, ‘normal’ is what should be the aim.
      It is still a safer world now than when it was twenty or thirty years ago. Less car accidents resulting in deaths. Air travel is safer now than ever before. It just seems more because of all the media attention.
      You both have a nice evening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        Thanks, Gerard. I spent part of the evening inserting a few videos in the comment section of my page. French songs. The text can be followed in French and English. I really like to listen to these songs! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I’ll have a listen as soon as I can and answered the e-mails on all sorts of issues. Our house has cooled to 17C but by 11am the outside is going to be 34C, so…take it easy and plenty of water. Straighten the sheets early and do the dished now. Now vacuming…take it easy. Listen to French songs seems sensible on days like these or any day really.


  3. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    Oh I love Bok choy

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Intricate Knot Says:

    Good for you!

    By the way, this is my favourite paintings of all time. I want to live in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    What is normal? I forget; but then forgetting is getting to be normal too. The lamb sounded delicious. Trader Joe needs to get better boxes for their bok choy though. Very hard to open.


  6. rod Says:

    With you on this one. Recently an old hotel was demolished near us. (Not difficult, it was on the point of collapse anyway.) Then the men – they are always men, why s this? – moved in with diggers. Then walls began to appear and the outline of two buildings. What could they possibly be, the better half and I asked ourselves?

    It turns out that one is a KFC and the other a Burger King, the former being a ‘drive thru’. I am more pleased than ever that I don’t drive.

    I shall retire to the hills.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is so depressing. Why does Government give development approvals to all those take away joints.? Hosptals are installing hydrolic hoists to lift very large patients in beds. But, then again, hospitals here in Australia have Coke coin machines in the Emergency ward.
      There seems to be a vested interest in killing people.


  7. stuartbramhall Says:

    An excellent way to cut down on your grocery bill is to save your garden snails and eat them. They’re a really rich source of (free) protein and much more tasty than those served in restaurants.

    Here are Gordon Ramsay’s tips for preparing them (you have to clean them out like you do mussels):


  8. M-R Says:

    A very nice piece of Geraldry. 🙂


  9. Patti Kuche Says:

    Wishing you well with your normal!


  10. Andrew Says:

    I worked as a garbo one summer to earn money whilst at college. Hard work. Old style bins. They deserved a Christmas box of some sort then. Pak Choi is a favoured veggie in our house. Can you get it in Aldi?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Andrew. Bok choy is generally not available at Aldi. For that I go to an upmarket vegie, fruit, deli, fish shop. A three bunched bundle of Bok Choy for $0.99c. Enough for two days! A bargain.
      The gifting of boxes of long-necks beer were always a nice Christmas tradition for the garbos and dunnee men. (Toilet pan collectors)
      I suppose in the UK, sewerage was not lacking but in pionering Ayastralia, land parcels were sold without any of that modern ‘stuff’, hence the needs for the ‘dunnee man’. Europeans from all over the wolrd, would have experienced for the very first time, sitting on those bitumen coated containers acting as toilets. And yet, many a poignant poem evolved from those toilets.


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