Normal is back again.

This chair.

Already the second of January, 2016. It all went rather smoothly. There were no great dramas or upheavals. The threat of terrorism raised its head but only to turn out as false alarms. People in Munich wanting to catch a train were inconvenienced. A fire in Dubai with no-one seriously injured. A heavily armed anti- terrorist man carrying a fearsome gun in Paris was filmed yawning. The news was mainly about what had not happened.

Our large porker leg of double smoked ham I wrote about previously, has now been reduced enough for Milo to gnaw on to bare bone level.  Yesterday, I fried up the last of the ham  together with  pine-apple slices and some mushrooms. It was nice, but the wet towel in which I had wrapped the ham in, started to smell a bit sour. We are now ready to tackle the coming year, full of ham and resolve. Resolve of what? Get a book  ready and in print.

I have now got most of my pieces in some sort of order on M/soft Office Word, ready for a good re-read.  I have some doubts if it is in a fluid enough form . I wasn’t aware of this Office Word capability till a friend suggested I down-load the program. It is magic and allows me to insert pictures as well as correct spelling and make good other English language injustices. I also wonder at the size of the coming book. What is a normal book? Is a seventy thousand worded book reasonable? I suppose it is not really about the number of words but more about in what order the words have been written and…the quality of those words. They have to make sense and be uplifting to the reader in the sense he or she wants to continue on reading the words. It is such a huge task and it mustn’t be boring. There is nothing worse than boring the reader. It is criminal to bore a reader and an insult to well-meaning words. It is never their fault!

We went for an early walk yesterday. Being the first day of the New Year, we thought that the streets of Bowral would be awash with people celebrating this event. It was disappointing. The shops were mainly closed. The super-markets were open and some shoppers were seen to park their cars and stock up again on food. The coffee lounges and cafes were all locked up. Perhaps, the owners were hung-over and stayed in bed. We were disappointed that ‘Dinner for One’ wasn’t shown this year. It is the one thing I look forward to on New Year’s Eve. SBS Channel must have cut this comedy loose. A great pity. I watched it next morning. A blogger had put it on her post. It still makes me laugh. A great comedy.

I could be wrong, but New Year’s Day back in Holland was a day of exuberance and joy. People were out on the streets with the pavements crowded. Christmas Eve was always celebrated with dancing in the street at the local square. Can you imagine, people dancing in the streets?

Perhaps my memories are always rather colourful of yesteryears in Holland but Bowral on its first day was rather solemn and serious. Some coughed politely and held their hands in front of their mouths. Another made way for Milo to pass. Sedate and peaceful the day passed. I noticed a well-dressed man on a bench adjacent to the little river running at the back of the town. He was eating a sausage roll. Now, there was normal for you! We walked home somewhat reassured that things were alright…

Today is the second day and I expect ‘normal’ to have returned fully.



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35 Responses to “Normal is back again.”

  1. Dorothy brett Says:

    Gerard, another well written article. I’m sure it would make for good reading as a book. But I do wonder why people in Holland are so different than in Australia. After all the sun shines here which should make us feel more alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The cities and towns in Europe are places where people live in, while in Australia cities are mainly occupied by single story shops and offices with most people living around them, often needing to drive to get to the towns. This is changing now and many cities are coming to life.
      And then there is the issue of ‘privacy’. We have blinds and curtains and insist on privacy above all else.
      We often read when someone is murdered or found dead; “it was a close-knit comunity, but…he or she kept very much to themselves.”


  2. Master of Something Yet Says:

    A lovely recounting of recent seasonal events. In a way, here it was also about what didn’t happen as we tuned in to hear how the coast had fared in the fires. 116 houses lost but fortunately no lives. And as most houses in the area are holiday homes those who have lost everything will not be many. And Lorne was spared from the inferno at the last minute by a wind change for which the rich and trendy of Melbourne are no doubt relieved. (But also those of us with memories of childhood holidays when it was a sleepy fishing village.)

    I am sorry Bowral was so quiet for the celebration of a new year. Our little local shopping strip was full of people enjoying the sunshine and coffee.

    Happy New Year to you, Gerard. May it be full of publishing success. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Happy New year to you too, Master of Something Yet. Glad you got through the New Year’s event. Millions were spent on huge fireworks while I was in bed. In Dubai there were fire works everywhere, some thought the multi story apartment building fire was as spectacular as the real fire works.
    Let’s hope the news will continue to be a long list of what did not happen. A world where the morning news is about tulips and Mrs Lobelia in full flower with well fed goats and happy sparrows.
    I am grateful and so happy about you wishing me publishing success.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Quiet here as well, Gerard. Even the good old boys who get out their pistols and rifles and blunderbusses at midnight and shoot them off were quiet. Maybe they were sleeping in, like us. We had some neighbors over and cooked up a prime rib. A couple of glasses of wine later, plus a movie, and we were ready to call it a day. By 11 we were all snuggled in our bed. Good luck with your book this year. What I learned is that once it is written, the true work starts. 🙂 I will be starting on my second book which will be about my bicycling and backpacking adventures. I want to re-drive the route of my 10,000 mile bicycle trip in preparing to write about it and do a 250 mile backpack trip as a lead in for the backpack adventure part of the book. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Yes quiet here too as I worked through all the notes I had put on the 1st proof text of my manuscript. Best of luck with your book. 70,000 is a respectable length for a Memoir.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you, Hilary. I am right now up to 64,000 but going through 800 posts will have no trouble getting there. In a way most of them do have a Memoir’s touch about them. The annual report from WP also gives me the most read posts. That is at least something to go by.

    Many thanks for your help and input.


  7. Andrew Says:

    Dinner for one was an institution in Germany when I lived there. Same procedure as every year, Gerard?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yvonne Says:

    I was missing not seeing Dinner for One this New Year’s Eve, and then saw your comment. How dare they take that gem away from us! Did Helvi really rouse on you?

    It sounds like you’re making good progress with your book, good on ya! I’m reading one of Hilary’s books right now, I know some very important people, don’t I!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yvonne Says:

    It won’t be the same, but here it is on YouTube. We’ll have to get out our signs and march in front of SBS headquarters to return this tradition to us.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. berlioz1935 Says:

    Gerard, you wouldn’t know how to bore a reader. We still have guest at our place. “Normal” will arrive little bit later at our plate. The last ham went into a pasta dish. In the meantime we were in Melbourne. I’m sure Aunty Uta will write a blog about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. shoreacres Says:

    Well, goodness me. I’ve never heard of “Dinner for One,” let alone watched it. The Wiki entry tells me it never has been broadcast here, so that explains that.

    I did watch, although I have to confess that, by about 2:50, I was ready to skip to the ending, which I did. It was amusing enough, but I didn’t laugh once, although I did manage a faint smile a time or two. Still, I’m glad it’s available on YouTube for those who enjoy it. It may be one of those cultural institutions, like our film, “A Christmas Story.” I have it on DVD, watch it at least twice every year, and it runs in a 24 hour marathon on tv at Christmas.

    New Year’s Day here always is a quiet time. It’s one of my favorite days, because the traffic is light, and the pace is slow. The traditions tend toward concerts, college football, and leftovers at home. Some take down decorations; some don’t. The beauty of the day is the “no obligations” part. People can do as they please, and no one fusses at them. Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, “The dinner for one” always does it for me. I have never outgrown the Charley Chaplin level of humour. I suppose the Monty Python ‘fish slapping’ episode is in that same vein.
      Of course the Australian master of humour remains Barry Humphries who even managed to capture an American audience which was a much tougher task.
      Our leftovers are now finished and the ham still on the bone will be left to our Jack Russell, Milo.
      In a few days time we will be going up North for a six day holiday with our daughter and her two boys. All of us will be joined by our other grand-son from Melbourne. The place has three bedrooms and spacious.
      There is no Wi-Fi which I haven’t told the boys!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    It’s pretty quiet here too. We both don’t have to work until the 5th and we are enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. elizabeth2560 Says:

    Great news about your book!
    What a fantastic thing to aim for in 2016.
    Can’t wait to find out the details.


  14. rodhart (@roderick_hart) Says:

    I think 70,000 words is a good length especially as, I assume, the page count will be increased by some of your excellent photographs.


  15. Rosie Says:

    As long as Milo has the ham bone – then all is well with the world.


  16. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    Quiet on the streets of Bowral? They were all hung over perhaps from the previous night’s revelry?


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