Going Danish in Queensland.


When I tried to make an attempt to increase my social life by joining an indoor carpet bowling club, I never expected friendship to grow so quickly. From a mere first timer, the progress of bowling, rapidly went to competition bowling. It still is social and not at all serious. We drive around now to other venues whereby we meet new groups just as keen on the game. Most are elderly and so am I. We might well all have reached the age where social intercourse is better.

Before the idea grew of getting about between more people, I considered taking up ballroom dancing. You know how it is. You see those elderly couples keenly trying to keep their marbles about them, (and so am I.) The music’s urging gliding along the parquetry floor taking slowly tango’s rapid littles steps, turning their heads this way or that way, taking care their interlocking legs and noses don’t collide inappropriately. It was the fear of collisions that I feared most.

In a way, the game of bowling does or can appear to resemble dancing as well. The experts seem to almost force the bowl to go to its intended journey by slow body movements alone.  A keen observer might well notice a form of ballet in action. Of course, with  ageing the ballet becomes less agile. Even so, by squinting eyes, some of us could easily have been performing Swanlake if not the dance of the Valkyries.

The friendship was further enhanced today by a lunch invitation held at the Scottish Arms Hotel. We arrived spot on at 12. I ordered my favourite salt and pepper calamari. Helvi had the flat-head fish. The price included a schooner of beer or a glass of wine. We both had a schooner of beer. The group consisted of about twenty five all seated around a long table. I think the women outnumbered the males.  Half the males were bald, but most of the women generously bouffant.

I am still battling to remember names. I suspect that I have reached a stage whereby names seem to get stuck into a colander without going through. A Kevin becomes an Eric and Jill became Joan. I am going to suggest people should wear name tags. It is funny but at clubs one needs proof of identity but not in pubs. Both serve drinks and food,  people play games, especially poker-machines. Yet, the clubs insist on proof of identity. It is something to do with liquor- license laws. I suspect there is a lot of money involved in all that.

It all came to a head when the Danish Crown-Prince Frederik tried to enter a club in Brisbane and was stopped because he could not produce proof of identity even though the  accompanying security police vouched for his identity.


You can just imagine how this piece of news went viral around the world. It is true though. There are some things that seem impossible to change and that includes outdated and archaic license laws.

The prince was let through, but…there were ramification. It appeared the club had made an erroneous exception for the Prince. The police ended up apologizing for not insisting that Prince showed proof of identity. He just did not have it on him.

Australia at times can appear very quaint. The High Court at some distant date will have to decide if Australia is being governed by rogue foreigners. Row after row of parliamentarians are queuing up having discovered they have another nationality, which according to the present constitution is strictly outlawed.

What with bowling and all this, how could life not be fascinating? I can’t wait to get up early and welcome the day.

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28 Responses to “Going Danish in Queensland.”

  1. berlioz1935 Says:

    I love your writing, Gerard. It has become something I’m looking forward to every day. It gives me the reason to get up in the morning to the world that is not very encouraging to get up to otherwise.

    You always point out the quirkiness of Australia. We are indeed a “weird mob”! We have, for instance, a Prime Minister of whom we think he is not the bastard he is masquerading at.

    Section 44 of our constitution turns out to be of a discriminate nature as it makes half the population unable to stand for election.

    Liked by 5 people

    • DisandDat Says:

      Quirkiness ok, weird mob OK and quant too but it’s long overdue that we should be mature enough to get a non Royal head of state. Signing in at clubs but not at pubs is weird but not so important and I have yet to hear what the philosophy is behind this bizarre formality. Is it linked to wearing long socks in the 40 degrees plus and 90% humidity summers??
      What about Westminster style meetings where minutes of last meeting, apologiseses and motions are of paramount concern. All so strange and frivolise to the me.

      Liked by 3 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        One thing at a time, DisandDat.

        Let’s first see if the High Court can gobble together the rule on dual nationals still being able to be parliamentarians able to govern, providing of course they have the Australian nationality as well.

        Most Australians with another nationality are able to participate in all things Australian, so why not as politicians as well.

        If the rule persists in Australians only, we can then perhaps advance on ditching the Royals. After all they are not Australians and can’t possible be our rulers or head of state.

        We were the first country to have plain packaging of cigarettes in the WORLD and thereby showed we can be progressive. The RSL clubs will have to move with the times. Did I hear the average age of their members is 69? No wonder they have trouble changing. No foreign riff raff interfering with the bingo or bowling! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you berlioz. I am chuffed to get such kindly praise. It does make a difference.!

      I am pretty sure I was Returning Officer for the Balmain Branch of the ALP when I still had the Dutch Nationality. I thought many foreigners signed up in the days when the right wing of the ALP was taken over by the left during the days of very tumultuous inner city political battles.

      Heaven knows, what else I am guilty off. Will I get my day in Court?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Big M Says:

      Gez is the only person in Australia who can make a colonoscopy, or a haircut, interesting.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Glad to see your bowling game is approving, Gerard. Sounds like you have found something that provides a new challenge. And new friends. At our age, both are invaluable. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Curt. I really like it and on some days I play well. I particularly like the mixed bowling with men and women.
      We have a swear tin on the table. Anyone who swears is obliged to tip $2 in the tin.
      The swear words are not graded, so a ‘f#@k’ cost the some as ‘bloody’. I think that rule ought to change! Surely, the f@&ck should have a higher value and price?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I am not quite understanding the inability to vote if you are of another nationality. Isn’t everyone from somewhere else”? Or do you mean that a good many folks are not citizens of Australia? One has to be a citizen here in the states in order to vote. That is one thing that Model T has been yelling about as he claims that Clinton won the popular vote because 3 millions folks who were aliens voted illegally. Politicians it seems after all, have an ego to maintain, and Model T must prove himself everyday by making various claims about how good he is at this and that.

    As for your bowling- I think is something to look forward to and its’s good exercise of a sort for the body. And after all, you do need to concentrate on how you throw the bowling ball so that it stays in the lane and doesn’t go in the gutter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You can vote even with owning other nationalities but you must have Australian nationality foremost. Many do have dual nationality and are not always obliged to renounce their former nationality.

      Being a citizen is different from being a permanent resident. People that are Australian residents but not have Australian Nationality or citizenship cannot vote.

      The bowling I do is a game whereby the bowl is weight-biased on one side. It does not roll in a straight line but curves. A bit like life really.

      This makes it tricky.
      It is not ten-pin bowling.

      Liked by 1 person

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      You can vote but you can’t be a candidate for a seat in Parliament. That knocks out all my children but not me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    YAY for bowling, new friends, and that you are excited to welcome a new day!
    I love hearing about all of this, Gerard.
    Name tags IS a good idea for any club or group. I always suggest that. And if I’m leading the group I just give everyone a name tag. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I suffer from a kind of mental laziness in not remembering names more thoroughly. I do practice repeating the name over and over again in my mind.

      The practice of using synonyms on the internet doesn’t help either.

      With time I am sure I will remember all the names. No good getting nervous about it.

      Tomorrow we are playing bowls in Goulburn which is about 80KMs from here. It will be a good opportunity to take the car for a spin.
      Hugs too.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. jennypellett Says:

    I’m so glad I followed your blog – your posts are always entertaining and thoughtful. It’s good to know that there are pastimes to pursue as we get older that can provide such mileage. Happy Days😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It is true that people of an advanced age need new stimulation to face the world. New friends, new activities etc. Your bowling league sounds just about right for that. How nice that you have met some new friends. It helps to get a different perspective on the world. Glad you decided to do this before you got REALLY old! The older you get, the less you want to get out and get going. Speaking for myself, it doesn’t matter as much since my sight is so bad and I can’t walk. But Dr. A at 91 has lost his enthusiasm , and that’s too bad. Fortunately he walks and has a great variety of dogs and people he checks in with twice a day. I guess that;s finding new friends in a way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Kayti. Facing the world is at times ‘challenging’. The asinine tweets of T and our own political desert, often makes me put my head under the pillow again.

      It is just as well that Milo is around to give balance.

      I am sorry to hear Dr A has lost some enthusiasm. I know the feeling only too well. That’s when Helvi tries to coach me into rigorous vacuuming.

      With all the Milo’s hairs matting the floors, vacuuming forms a great part of our daily life. There is nothing more life affirming than when I show Helvi the full container of dog hairs.

      She says; ‘Oh gerard, you have done such a great job’, followed by ‘amazing how much hair Milo sheds’.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Andrew Says:

    So there are pleasures ahead to look forward to. I think bowls and I would get on well. Are dogs allowed or do they chase the bowls?


  8. shoreacres Says:

    I was interesting in my own response to your comments about the quaintness of some Australian customs. “Quaint” is a quality I cherish. I suppose for some it implies stuffiness, or an old-fashioned outlook, or something else vaguely negative, but it always makes me think of customs like hand-written thank you notes, and saying “sir” and “ma’am” to people. I suppose you could say that’s just manners, or being polite, but those qualities have rather gone out of fashion, which I suppose contributes to their quaintness.

    Remembering names can be a challenge for me, too. After I accepted the position of secretary of our local native plant society, and began taking minutes at the board meetings, it took an embarassingly long time to sort out all those names. Of course, it was much like your new bowling friends. Meeting one new person and remembering a name is one thing. Meeting eighteen new people and sorting through the names is something else. It takes time, and a willingness to say, “I’m sorry, but my memory is terrible. Please tell me your name again, because I’d rather know it than not.” So far, it’s worked — and it leads to a little conversation, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The ‘quaintness’ of a dysfunctional government because of a constitution that hasn’t been upgraded to reflect our multi cultural population isn’t in the league of the good ‘quaint’, Linda. I know what you mean, and I too believe in the good things of the past that seemed to have gone.

      A good thing of our bowling club is that, perhaps of our age, no one is fiddling on iPhones or other electronic gadgets.


  9. Forestwoodfolk Says:

    The celebrity life – one can remain anonymous but not in Queensland if you want to visit the Jade Buddha. Apparently, a phone call meant the Prince could enter 15 minutes later. One can imagine how that conversation between the Prince’s entourage, the police and the Bouncer/Manager at the bar went….
    Enjoyed the comments re dual citizenship excluding parliamentarians. Isn’t it just so Australian to have a kiwi as a Deputy PM? On the other hand, it just magnifies their ignorance at signing forms without fully comprehending them. If some do it right, what are the others doing? If we were to go back in history one of the few authentic Australian parliamentarians might have been Neville Bonner. How many others would have been excluded?

    Liked by 1 person

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