Pardon me Sir; your lack of paragraphs is showing.

Just glorious.

Just glorious.

The Salvation Army in Bowral has moved to the main shopping street. They used to be behind the railway line in an industrial area. Some shopkeepers are miffed. They feel it lowers the standard and tone of the main street. They are also scared many shoppers will get bargains in all sorts of fashionable up market brands for just a couple of dollars. A few days ago, we went there to check it out. Checking things out is what we often do. It passes the time and soothes pain.

I bought a two disc C-D of Pablo Casals’ suit of six suites ‘pour violoncelle by J.-S. Bach.’  They were in mint condition for $2.-.  Not even a finger print on them.  I now play the music while trying to find breaks in “Almost There.” and insert a new paragraph. Unfortunately, the Salvo’s are out of paragraphs but still have boxes of commas, and some semi-colons left.  Check it out!

You know, there is a lot of things to learn when writing. I am ashamed to admit that I was totally outside the loupe when it came to inserting all those exclamation marks. It gets worse. I did not even know that many of those marks come after full stops. The full stops must have felt so insulted, getting dragged behind. I do feel sorry. I am still unsure (unsicher) about a capital letter needed after the semi-colon or not. Is it legal to alternate and please both options? Consistency is what is required.

From “Almost There.”

As I motor-biked past a car sales yard, I noticed a large car for sale amongst many others. This car was a powder blue colour. Its chrome glimmered seductively. They say men fall in love with cars. Even the primates shown recently on TV, the male gets drawn to anything with wheels while the female ape cuddles dolls. What hope have we got? As a male homo sapient, men might as well do away with free choice when a car sales yard beckons us more than a bevy of dolls. I mean what could be nicer than cuddling a doll? Yet, it is the hot embrace of high revving steel pistons and killer speeds that men seem to be drawn to. The smarmy salesman saw me coming looking out from his little window inside his pigeon-hole office overlooking his domain of gaping cars. The perfect customer. A young man on the hunt for his first car.

‘Care to take a closer look,’ the man said while consolidating his opinion of me. He had seen so many come and go that day but not many young ones. He could tell, having honed his car salesmanship at his previous sales yard along Parramatta Rd called ‘Pacific cars is Terrific’. He had broken the back of many a customer’s reluctance. He knew the ropes and his cars, and was keenly sought after around the car-yard precincts of Sydney. The year would have been around 1961/62. I had gone through a Lambretta scooter after which I bought an ex-police bike with side-car in which I used to go rabbit and fox hunting with my brother John. John was very tall, over two metres. I don’t know how we fitted tent, two rifles and big John in the outfit but we must have. When one is young matters of comfort are hardly ever considered. When getting to my present age, comfort is all and sleeping in a tent gets a bit hazardous with serpents and crocodiles around, huge poisonous cane toads that can kill by leaving a slimy substance. After seventy, the inner spring mattress beckons like a nun waiting for her habit.



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23 Responses to “Pardon me Sir; your lack of paragraphs is showing.”

  1. elizabeth2560 Says:

    Your fine editing is going well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. auntyuta Says:

    You write very well about what you were like as a twenty year old. I feel I want to read a lot more of your memories. It is great that you want to make an effort to get your memories published and that Helvi is helping you a lot with the editing. Yes, editing can be hard work, but it is really worth it. You want to call your publication “Almost there”. Does that mean you do some editing and then, when you are “almost there”, you do not hesitate to get your writing published? I reckon, this is a very good plan. I can imagine that you want to publish as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Curt Mekemson Says:

    “After seventy, the inner spring mattress beckons like a nun waiting for her habit.” Mmm, was that a good habit or a bad habit. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      That depended very much on the religious conviction (or libido)of the nun. ‘She was draped in the cloth of her convictions.’ A good habit was the wearing of a cowl and tunic, with a veil. A bad habit was the torment of lascivious fantasies and given into, would offer only hell.


  4. shoreacres Says:

    I’ve just had one of those cross-cultural experiences people like to say the internet brings us. Years ago — decades ago, really — I lived on a street bearing a name I never had heard, and haven’t heard since, that I remember. The name of my street? Parramatta. I can’t remember if it was a Way or a Road or whatever, but here you are, mentioning it.

    I just found it’s a district in Sydney, as well as a road. Now I can’t help wondering if some civic engineer in Houston had a longing for his years in Australia, and named my street out of nostalgia.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      What a coincidence, Linda.
      The word ‘Parramatta’ comes from, and I quote Wiki; “The Darug people who lived in the area before European settlement regarded the area as rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta (‘Parramatta’) which means “head of waters”,[14] “the place where the eels lie down.”
      I think you are right, the engineer named your street out of nostalgia.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    Well, It sounds like you are having fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Cathleen Clark Says:

    There are a lot of good grammar books available out there. In my writing room, I have a complete shelf of books devoted to writing. A lot, I already knew, but had forgotten the finer points after high school. On thing that is irksome–grammar rules continue to evolve and change, especially in creative writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Cathy. I have several books and Helvi is also of great help. She encourages but is not too flamboyantly praising. She said. ” The road to publishing might well be paved in gold but also be prepared for bitter gravel.” I had to laugh.
      And then there is American and UK English.


  7. roughseasinthemed Says:

    No full stop after a semi colon. Nor, even these days after a colon. Out of the loop …

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Helvi tells me to avoid semi colons, use comma instead. It is funny, but when I read a ripping good tale, I am totally oblivious of semi colons or any punctuation marks. I devour the words. I do hope they are not used by publishers to sink writers in deep depressions.


  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    You are such a fine writer Gerard. I can identify with your humor. I can see you haven’t lost your love of speed. The car salesman knew a connoisseur of automobile superiority when he saw one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I love Sally Army shops and their like. You get quite a high quality of goods around where I live too. The book shelves behind me and several of my clothes are from ‘charity’ shops. I can get a whole new wardrobe for £10 and feel good too.
    Re capitals after colons and semi-colons: in England no, in America not after semi-colons, but yes after colons; in Australia, who can say?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Patti Küche Says:

    You are doing such a great job with putting all your wonderful memories together. Those grammar bits and pieces are like land mines that blow up in an editor’s face – so much for passive voice!


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