The ‘Bespoke’ permanent Australian residency test



With our daughter being on the ‘cusp’ of buying a three bedroom unit closer to Sydney town, I was intrigued by a new word that seems to have caught the world by storm. It is the word ‘BESPOKE.’ Readers might well remember we were all on the edge of our seats some years ago, when our Government was urging their ministers to find  ‘new paradigms’. This soon spilled over to the voters. As is the wont of most Governments, the task and responsibility of finding the new paradigms was shifted to us. It wasn’t finding just any old paradigm, no it had to be the latest version. It made us all a bit nervous at first, but soon put shoulders under the task looking for our special new paradigm.

During or perhaps shortly after those revelational urgings many also took to forever being on the ‘cusp’ of something. It did not really matter what it was. As long as we were on the ‘cusp’ of something we were on solid ground. Helvi and I used to sit around sipping our coffee while looking for new paradigms, and hovering around being on the ‘cusp’ of something or other. I remember distinctly being on the cusp of buying our new lithium battery powered cordless vacuum cleaner an hour or so before we actually took off to buy one. We deliberately waited in order to prove our ‘cusping.’ Of course, naming our newly acquired vacuum machine a new paradigm might be pushing credibility a bit too far.

Getting back to the business of ‘bespoke’. It all came about when reading the Real Estate Agents’ lofty appraisal of trying to sell this home-unit to our daughter. They provided a lengthy list of the usual mouth watering morsels to attract the potential and often gullible buyer. It had three bedrooms, all with blinds and insect screens, a ‘media’ room and ‘European’ appliances. The word European is like honey to those on the hunt for living space.  It seems at odds with our Prime Minister’s urging us to stand firm on our national identity and hail all that is uniquely Australian. Are we all at risk of losing our permanent residency status if we buy a European stove?

But, what really floored me was that the European 5 burner cooktop had a ‘bespoke’ wok. A bespoke wok? Of course some decades ago Dad was most circumspect of real estate agents. Why are they called ‘real’ he mused, while blowing out his Douwe Egbert’s tobacco infused ringlets of smoke. ‘Infused’ is now on the wane, folks. We are getting some respite. You can all take a rest. None too late. It is hard work keeping up.

Nice dad, he was. I remember him well. He would never look for paradigms or bespoke woks.



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13 Responses to “The ‘Bespoke’ permanent Australian residency test”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    I didn’t know quite how to speak about “bespoke,” so off to the Online Etymology Dictionary I went. This is what I found:

    “bespoke (adj.)
    “custom or custom-made, made to order,” of goods, as distinguished from ready-made, 1755, the same sense found earlier in bespoken (c. 1600), past participle of bespeak, in a sense of “to speak for, to arrange beforehand,” a sense attested in bespeak from 1580s.

    Now, usually of tailored suits.”

    Well. I’m almost tempted to let the good folks at the OED know that woks should be included in their entry. I think I’ve come across — and perhaps even used — “bespeak,” but “bespoke” is a new one. Language is interesting, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The English language is so alive and changes often. Some words come and go. Much of it is fashionable and not really an indication of words changing their meanings.
      Even so, I am perplexed by some young people going on how ‘gross’ things are, sometimes meaning it is great and good but at other times it is bad and not good.
      I think it is the latter that is right.
      When people hang up on the phone they often repeat ‘goodbye’ several times now, by saying bye,bye followed by another bye. Is that the same in Texas?


      • shoreacres Says:

        Hmmmm… multiple “byes” aren’t the custom, at least as far as I know. I’d say that’s more an affectation of young’uns. I don’t reckon we talk different on the phone than anybody else, but when we meet on the street or at the post office we say, “Howdy,” and when we take our leave, we say, “Y’all take care now, y’hear?” This is appropriate even if only two people are involved.

        The very best Texas expression? It’s used to express great surprise — even astonishment. In such situations, it’s perfectly fine to say, “Well, butter my butt, and call me a biscuit!”


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yesterday I had a fast talking ‘bye, bye,goodbye, bye’ with some speed included. It is a form of goodbyes practiced by hurried people on the move and always on the cell-phone.

        I like your last Texan expression. Here in Australia one could get, after a hard day’s work, ‘well I am totally buggered.’ or, ‘I feel knackered’.


  2. leggypeggy Says:

    I hope we don’t have to bespeak about this again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Big M Says:

    Academics used to speak of paradigms and metaparadigms, in an effort to obfuscate and confuse. We’ve moved to a fully cordless vacuuming paradigm at home, with our Bosch lithium ion upright. It’s a good feeling, having a paradigm!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I lost my paradigm some time ago, and got terribly depressed. Helvi told me to get over it; ‘just do some good vacuuming, Gerard, she said.’

      Guess what ended up in my cordless lithium vacuum cleaner ? My paradigm. I cried a little after that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    always something to keep us on our bespoke toes. BTW, love the bottle painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. algernon1 Says:

    Ah Gerard, the house across the road sold at Auction three weeks ago. The owners made a tidy sum after purchasing 18 month earlier. Standing on the block was a 1950’s 3 bed brick and tile with a lock up garage. It also has a DA approval for a duplex.

    This is how the house salesfolk marketed the property.

    DA approved for 2 massive 4 bedroom homes (semi detached I might add)
    Huge open plan living and Kitchen area
    Brilliant outdoor living area
    Large Kitchen with butler’s pantry (seriously a Butler!)
    Superb northerly aspect
    Each block will measure 422sqm
    Each duplex will measure 230sqm internally
    Total land area 844sqm 20.1metre frontage (approx)
    Existing 3 bedroom home – neat and tidy ready to occupy.

    Well the first line and the last two are accurate. The rest only if they build. The invitation shows a house unlike what is actually standing there. The reality is they were marketing heavily what was aspirational rather than what was really there, a bog standard 50’s home.

    Still it sold with two people buying. A successful bidders a young Asian couple with small kids who were driving a brand new top of the line Range Rover the vanquished were cashed up bogans with two out of control children driving a new 7 series BMW.

    The house salesfolk went beyond bespoke to aspirational complete with a Butler, but in reality they were selling a piece of paper, oh and an ordinary house.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Algy.

    The government is supposed to crack down on Estate Agents who at auctions deliberately give a lower estimation to attract more potential buyers. One has to be so careful. Measurements are also fiddled with often giving larger liveable space than in reality.

    A run-down house is sold as unique down-town pad for the hip hop sleuth, keen on a bargain in which to park their bicycle when in town.

    To show the potential instead of what is there is another trick of their trade. You often see a lady languidly sipping a Griglio-semillon while wishfully looking out over an expanse of water while husband is seated on a deckchair tapping away on his laptock making lucrative deals on the forex market.

    The reality is a ploy to sell ‘off-the-plan’ tiny 2bedr units next tot a tyre factory in Mascot.


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