The RSL, Bowling, and the gutters now get vacuumed.

IMG_0067the Manchurian tree

Manchurian Pear tree in front of our house (six weeks ago)

I love mid-winter. It gets cold here but the gardens are so quiet. No noises from lawnmowers, whipper-snippers, the edgers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, chain-saws. At no stage in world’s history has gardening become so noisy.  It reaches its zenith in mid-summer. I don’t like gardening noises. I get snappy and unfriendly. Milo too hates the noise. His ears hang down and looks frightened. Winters are for recovering from all that machinery. All machinery is hibernating and owners fiddle listlessly around the Television or, at best might tidy up the shed or do some vacuuming.

Together with my dislike for garden noises, I also hate the colour purple. Do I look like someone who likes purple? I just mention this as my Moss-vale Returned Soldiers Leagues/services bowling Club brought in purple bowling shirts. It was decided to give more credence to the sport of bowling by having members wearing shirts identifying the club and bowling. To see a group of elderly prancing about in short sleeved shirts is risqué but in bright purple it becomes circus clownery. I was asked about the purple colour before the choice was made. It was asked with such enthusiasm for the colour, I shrivelled up and acceded with the majority. I am not that brave in opposing. I only joined a year ago!

I am shirted in purple every Wednesday now. That’s when the Moss -vale club gets together. My long skinny arms don’t do anything at the best of times but in a short sleeved purple shirt I look ready for a long stint in a rehabilitation unit behind a high fence. I read on the label they are made in Bangladesh and are made of 100% acrylic. I paid an extra $10 to get a pocket stitched on it. I thought it might draw attention away from the rest of my body. I never though that in retirement and having a choice I would end up wearing purple shimmeringly shiny shirt. It also makes me sweat and smell after just a couple of bowling games.

It is different at the Mittagong Returned Soldier League Club. They wear a  green coloured shirt. It is made of 50% cotton and acrylic. It looks better. I don’t object to wearing it. I don’t understand to have two different coloured shirts. It has nothing to do with Returned Soldiers or the clubs. We are too old for two different uniforms even if it is just a shirt.

During the last AGM of our Townhouse compound, someone brought up that the gutters had not been cleaned. It is the same each year. Some have an obsession about gutter cleaning. Most trees have now been cut and any surviving leaves get annihilated by leaf-blowers. Not many end up in our gutters. And if they do, so what? Councils and many inhabitants of rural towns cut down the native trees years ago, in order to name streets after the trees they cut.

Anyway, the chairperson of our housing compound organised for the gutters to be cleaned. Within a week a huge truck appeared with a large pump. A very large stomached man clambered over the roofs and manipulated a large suction hose along the gutters. It was supposed to vacuum all the gutters clean. Looking around now. Many a truck now have signs advertising their prowess in vacuuming gutters and roofs. The world has come a long way.

And next Wednesday I will be wearing a purple acrylic bowling shirt with a stitched on pocket.

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18 Responses to “The RSL, Bowling, and the gutters now get vacuumed.”

  1. Robert Parker Says:

    Well these shiny, sweaty purple shirts sound great! You could call your team “The Acrylic Eggplants,” like a band from the ’60’s. “Moby Grape” was already taken. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Our group of bowlers are all into an age were people could be described as being ‘of advancing years’ which is better than a description of ‘diminishing years.’
      It’s funny Robert, but the reference to ‘The acrylic eggplants’ is spot on. I see clearly, especially when we bend over to bowl, purple eggplants. Of course, some of our faces through year’s battles also have turned perhaps more to a kind of Sauerkraut. (Sticking to vegetables)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Great self-depricating humor Gerard. I’m sure your look dashing in your purple shirt.

    Does the Mongolian pear tree drop leaves? It is really magnificent. Our handyman cleans our house gutters, but Dr. A has a non ending job sweeping the street gutters of leaves, most of which come from neighbors trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The Manchurian pear drops leaves. They are very fast growing but can drop branches unexpectedly as well. Not much good for sheltering under.
      I can’t remember that cleaning gutters happened in Holland. The farm we lived on had a huge thatched roof and the leaves just slid down on their own accord to reach the ground and helped the garden for the next season…
      What I do remember about Holland was the washing of windows. It was almost like a neighbourhood race who had the cleanest windows. A bit overdone, I reckon.


  3. rangewriter Says:

    I wish we had some of those big bellied trucks for vacuuming leaves out of our gutters. Maybe we do, but I’m to cheap to hire them. I climb my rickety ladder and stretch to my limits with my trowel and my gloved hands and do the deed myself. Uck. I hate it. But it’s quieter than your gutter truck. At least until my ladder bucks me off and I lie screaming on the ground with a broken whatamacallit.

    I’m sure you look quite dashing and debonair in your shimmeringly shiny shirt.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, ladders against gutters is still popular. Autumn often feature silhouettes (against the sinking sun) of people on ladders scraping out those naughty leaves. I don’t see women doing that. You must be special, Range writer.
      Don’t fall, but if you do, you might give the downpipe a bit of a wipe. 😉
      I am not sure about my debonair more like ordinaire.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Okay…let’s get the BALL rolling! I bet you are STRIKE-ing in your purple shirt! 😉 You may not like that color, but it’s right up my ALLEY! 😛 Purple is how I ROLL! 🙂 Sorry for all the bowling PINS…er…I mean…PUNS! I bet you are saying, “Please SPARE me this pun agony! Stop!” Okay, I’ll go now and get back in the GUTTER where I belong! 😛

    Great post, Gerard! You made me laugh! 😀 What is your favorite color?

    Your pear tree is beautiful!

    Vacuuming gutters and roofs! The world HAS come a long way!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Our gutters have all been cleaned. It is a ritual that is insisted upon by our Chairperson of the Body Corporate. They represent people who share ownership of communal type of housing.

      There is a Chairperson, a Treasurer and Secretary . All three are elderly divorced women who at times swagger around the place drunk with power.

      They look for trouble and leaves in gutters seem to get the brunt of their anger. I think a good psychiatrist probably would surmise that those leaves in gutters replace errant husbands of the past.

      Who knows? Hugs forever, Carolyne.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Nice piece Gez.

    Other side of gardening noise coin – time poor working saps need to get hedge clipped and lawn mown quickly- hence power tools.

    But like you, I like winter in the garden because all I need to do is chop a bit of wood and sit inside and sip a glass of rum or a single malt and read in front of the fire.

    The roses are pruned – despite still having the occasional leaf and flower and now it’s time to await the return of aphids, rust and black spot. The eternal cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I miss the chopping of wood, Trouserzoff.

      Towards the end I had a 22 ton hydraulic log splitter driven by a Honda petrol motor.

      We would go through 6 tonnes a year. The Goulburn area gets a bitter wind in winter and -7C was morning’s greetings. The farm was great but a lot of work. Retirement is indeed for some serious sipping.

      This year so far we have both reverse air-con and 2 gas-heaters going. Each morning brings a frost and we have taken to wearing socks to bed.

      Right now the power tools are being sharpened and soon the mowers will be out again. Proof of life.


  6. jennypellett Says:

    Ugh, acrylic! You made me laugh. I’m imagining you behind a high fence. Hahahaha 😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres Says:

    Oh, my. Acrylic shirts? I haven’t worn one of those since about 1990. Cotton’s the best — the better-living-through-chemistry shirts are just so hot. It’s easy to spot a tourist around here. They’re the only ones wearing polyester.

    I hate those noisy gardening tools, too. For one thing, electric clippers “chew’ off leaves, leaving the remainder damaged and unsightly. A pair of manual clippers does a much better job. At the various botanical gardens and nature centers around here, any clipping or shaping is done by hand, and would be even if there weren’t environmental concerns. The worst are the blowers. They’re efficient, I’ll grant them that. But the annoyance level is about 14 on a scale of 1 to 10.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. Cotton breathes while acrylic acts like a thermos. It is so hot and I don’t understand that sports people wear them.

      In Australia the luridly coloured fluoro fashion seems to dominate.
      The most hideously coloured shirts and jackets are now everywhere and it used to be worn by traffic wardens or road workers to avoid being run over. Now so many look like traffic wardens or labourers.

      Leaf blowers are often used by women who strap them on as if ready to wage war, almost bazooka like. It scares me and I go and take a wide arch around anyone ,men or women, who are on the footpath with a blower.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Forestwood Says:

    It always brightens my moment to read your blog and some of the talented witty commenters. Purple indeed. Redolent of Caligula, perhaps?


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