How 2019 might turn out.

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The house is in a scandalous way. The Hoover ‘Freedom’ will have to be re-charged and one of my first task will be to vacuum. I’ll start downstairs first.  My blood pressure this morning was a comfortable 109/73  with a reassuring beat of 82. With the relentless heatwave continuing, and our Government urging people to keep out an eye for dehydrated elderly, we have unlocked the front door in the forlorn hope someone younger will check on us. It would be a nice start of the new year getting my forehead wiped by a strapping young female athlete. With luck she might even do the vacuuming!

The certainties of 2019 will include the continuing march of China towards the new boy on the block of becoming the biggest economy. The poor US will dwindle in importance with an increasingly cranky blood thirsty President bullying the most vulnerable. Heaven knows what will happen. A dangerous country, and with that enormous arsenal of nuclear weapons too!

The remarkable thing of China is that they seem to continue growing in strength without resorting to warring everywhere or bombing the shit out of other countries. Australia would do well to swing over to Asia a bit more. After all, that’s were we are situated geographically. Perhaps teaching the Indonesian language to all school students would be a good move. Indonesia is closer to Australia than the distance between Sydney and Brisbane. Indonesia alone has a population almost the same as the US. And then there is China? Another super power on the rise is India.

We are fortunate of  being in the slipstream of those growing economies which could well rub off on our own economy.  I hold the forlorn dream that with a growing economy, a brave government will try to get more revenue in so that we can finally do something on a social level. Isn’t it finally time to increase the old age pension and the income for the unemployed? They are very low compared with most OECD countries. We can’t call ourselves a caring country if we can’t give the retired elderly a decent income.

Last but not least, it would be nice if those that kept refugee children and their parents in indefinite detention on hellish off-shore camps face an International Court of Justice. It is an international disgrace that hundreds of refugees are now facing their sixth year on Nauru and Manus islands in direct contradiction of international law that prohibits that.

Australia gets away with it because it is the only country that doesn’t have Bill of Rights.

Yes, it would be more than a bit of schadenfreude to see Dutton in front of a Court. I still get this nightmarish image of him each time I peel a potato.

Happy New Year again to all of you, my dear friends.

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41 Responses to “How 2019 might turn out.”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    Gerard…I was admiring that “cheeky” pic at the top of the article…tell me…is that an early Dutch religious icon, in the same vein as those Russian Orthodox icons they had in the early days of domestic bliss?…some of it looks a bit “unholy”!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jo. You are pretty close. It is one of my earlier efforts at a creative image of love and stuff. I used it to entice admirers to come up and see my etchings.
      My earlier pre-teen experiences was trying to get a hold of an above 18 years magazine. It was still in Holland. Of course I got whipped up in a sexual frenzy of what to day would be so mild. It would show at most an ankle or a top of a breast. Even so, thinking back I can still feel the excitement that made all of us very quiet. We somehow knew there was a lot still to come and be admired.
      Of course today, nothing is left anymore of that magic. One might as well look at Woollies raw chicken thighs.

      Liked by 4 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        I have to confess, Gerard, that you may be ontosomething with the chicken thighs…and going by some of the “arms, legs and WHOOPSY daisies” of the young ladies tattoos these days, coupled with a dres style that can best be described as : “Post-modern Brutal”…one is more inclined to find feminine sensuality amongst the poultry specials in the cold-fridge of the local supermarket.
        Even that once “go-to” for permissive viewing, the “Scandi-noir art-house movies”, the scenes of intense love-making there has me wincing and even closing my eyes at the hard, brittleness of the fake heavy-breathing scenes…now that we know that any male actor involved in such depictions just BETTER NOT let his hand wander to any “untouchable part” of the woman’s body…it all seems so plastic…so un-sexy..more like a wrestling match than eroticism..

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        So true, Jo.
        It is food for some deep thoughts. I have reached the stage of an age whereof a quiet contemplation giving an almost feeling relief of what used to be is. I mean, in comparison of sharing nice white peaches bought at Aldi ( they are superb this year) with partner and all.

        The Scandia-noir movies we like, and when those hot scenes come on we look at each other, shake our heads and give Milo an extra treat of dried liver. Eroticism is so rare and flighty, Jo, in totally unexpected ways.

        I remember climbing on a chair when I was about 12 trying to get a book belonging to my parents that had a page that mentioned the word ‘breast’ in a sentence of love. I kept climbing on that chair and reading that sentence over and over. I am sure my parents must have noticed that page getting earmarked.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. shoreacres Says:

    Ahem. Cough, cough. There is that little matter of China’s “re-education camps” for Muslims and destruction of Christian churches and congregations. This is a pretty even-handed article. The willingness of American tech companies to build censor-friendly search engines for China’s internet has become enough of a cause that Google backed off after its own employees complained. I’ll stick that link in another comment, so I don’t go into spam again!

    China might not be bombing other countries, but what they’re doing internally is cause for concern. Just something else to put on the list. After our President’s New Year’s tweets… well, let’s just say things ought to get interesting tomorrow when Congress gets back in session.

    I do have to tell you my blood pressure story. I take it sporadically: maybe a couple of times a week. Two days ago, I was a little concerned to see it at about 160/80. So, I took it again. 190/60. Then, 180/80, and 200/80. But, I kept getting errors of various sorts. I thought about it, and realized the machine is at least fifteen years old, and maybe more, since I bought it originally for my mother.

    Being a smart cookie, I got on Amazon and ordered a spiffy new one. It arrived in only a day, and sure enough: 120/60, with a pulse 60. That’s the ticket! I’ll watch it for consistency for a week or so, and then declare all back in order. I’m glad it was the macine that wore out, and not me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. shoreacres Says:

    Here’s that other article.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. I read it, but here in Australia too, more and more surveillance is taken out. The fear of terrorism is whipping up xenophobia and as soon as someone is committing a crime, the worst thing is having a foreign name especially if an Islamic or Arabic.

      Often, murders are committed by the mentally ill because we fail to look and house them.

      The most dangerous situation to be in, is… in a relationship. At least once a week a partner, mainly women, gets murdered. DV in Australia is at very high levels.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, you say “The remarkable thing of China is that they seem to continue growing in strength without resorting to warring everywhere or bombing the shit out of other countries.”

    It looks to me that this is so. However if I were a Muslim I would not want to live in Xinjiang since “The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is one of the most tightly controlled areas in China.

    I tell myself so far we in Australia are not in danger because “Human rights activists accuse the Chinese government of carrying out a full scale crackdown on ethnic Uygurs and other Muslim minorities ….”

    Of course as a human rights activist you would not like the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities. But the Chinese government claims that these crackdowns are necessary ‘to keep the country safe’.

    Maybe most governments all over the world carry out some kind of ‘crackdowns’ to ‘keep their country safe’. It would be a nice world if every country would voluntarily secure ‘human rights’ for every one!

    ” . . . . authorities say the sweeping security measures are to fight terrorist threats to keep the country safe. . . . “

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    As I read and hear it, Uta, China fears the separatist’s movements by the minority Muslims in China. They too fear an Al-Qaida led incursion. But to get to the truth is difficult. One has to try and remain neutral which is difficult.

    The US and its allies, including Australia, fear the loss of their dominance, economic and culturally. It is not surprising that the focus is on what is bad in China.

    The way China expands is by flooding third world countries with money for infrastructures, such as harbours, hospitals, energy supplies. China doesn’t do that out of pure compassion, but for influence in the regions. Remember, that is what the US did as well but now seeks to retreat. The President is putting ‘America First’.

    In the meantime we have been flooded with MacDonald’s, KFC’s, Gloria Jeans, Coca C with six spoons of sugar in each cup, and the scourge of inequality topped by malnutrition and obesity.

    I was hoping this piece would be about love and how 2019 might pan out. Right now we are blessed with a nice thunderstorm and glorious rain.

    Rain, rain come again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    And the rain did come again. The prayers were answered getting another big water deluge. There will be naked dancing in the streets!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Julia Lund Says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Gerard. I can only imagine how sapping the heat is. We had a heatwave in the UK last summer and that was draining enough for me. As for vacuuming, my mother taught me that a dust-free home is the sign of a dull woman and I must admit to have taken her at her word throughout my life when it comes to prioritising housework (though I saw an article yesterday that likened cleaning to meditation for some people …).

    Whatever the next twelve months brings on the world’s political stage, I pray that compassion, tolerance and empathy like yours continue to be the heartbeat and conscience of the majority.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The best part of vacuuming is the emptying of the dust bag. Vacuuming itself is mind bogglingly boring. Someone has to do it. ‘A houseman’s work is never finished’!
      Hopefully the recent flare-up by extreme right wing Government will reverse. I noticed the Hungarians are getting fed up with Orban at the helm.
      In Australia the labor team seems likely to get rid of the right wing party too, not too late either!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Julia Lund Says:

    P.S. I love your artwork.

    Liked by 2 people

    • auntyuta Says:

      “compassion, tolerance and empathy”, Julia, I reckon the world definitely needs more of that. Let’s hope there’s going to be much more of it during the coming year! 🙂
      As far as meditation and cleaning is concerned, to my mind cleaning can indeed be meditation, however perhaps not so much with the noise of a vacuum cleaner around! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Vacuuming by others used to make me nervous. It seemed to imply that one should get up and do something too. I had a robot but is never did it properly, always getting stuck on electrical cords or running out of battery power.
        I think we should be far more accepting of dust, dog hairs, and egg remnants on the floor.

        Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Julia.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. leggypeggy Says:

    Truly a Mr. Potato Head.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yvonne Says:

      When he did that spew about Mr Turnbull, he seemed to think it was an insult to say something like “He doesn’t have a political bone in his body.” And, that Mr Potato head is why Malcolm is a nice person, and you’re perhaps not!

      Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it was such a relief to see him (Dutton) in terms of spuds. The white Kerstal potato is the best one.
      I used to cut those in mere quarters before cooking them but now I cut them in 1/8th.
      Every little bit helps!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. rangewriter Says:

    Watch out for your blood pressure if that strapping young, female athlete shows up!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. freefall852 Says:

    On cleaning, Gerard…I would strongly reccomend Quentin Crisp’s advice..: “..He advises living in a single room and never cleaning it. “After four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse,” he says. “It’s a matter of not losing your nerve.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I know Jo, and finally the dust turns into looking like snow and collect in the corner of the room. He is a bit of my hero as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • freefall852 Says:

        What I want to know is.; Since when did it become common practice to MOVE articles and furniture rather than just sweep or wipe AROUND them……(asking for a friend!).

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I don’t move much, Jo. Even Milo got the measure of me and doesn’t even get out of the way. Helvi will lift her legs though when I vacuum along the settee.
        Tell your friend to make sure he moves something, anything, when the wife is nearby.

        Like

      • freefall852 Says:

        ” Tell your friend to make sure he moves something, anything, when the wife is nearby.” …..Yeah, I..I mean HE…does that but then it is claimed that just shifting one’s bottom isn’t enough!

        Like

  12. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Let’s hope that the US can move beyond Trump, Gerard, and return a bit to it’s more internationalist leanings. The Democrats scored big in this last election, and they have a very different perspective. Far right wing fanatics are gaining strength around the world. It is time to worry. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  13. freefall852 Says:

    The tragedy of your posts, Gerard..is that they..and the responses they encourage..from other people much of a similar age group as ourselves..is that they show that even having reached this “milestone” in one’s life, there is still so much uncertainty in one’s mind when a challenging thing arises…(be nice!)…I mean, you read such tomes by much younger folk..usually American..espousing all sorts of sage advice for solving the unsolvable and you think…”Gosh!..that’s clever..why didn’t I think of using a can opener rather than the tommahawk?”…that sort of stuff..or there in the bookshelf is that old classic : “The Golden Sayings of Epicurus” (sp?)..and you think..: “Gosh..he’s clever..why don’t I think of those things instead of just writing out a shopping list?”…and one starts to wonder on all these clever people around about that seem to have such a better clue at life than yourself…
    I don’t know…sometimes I feel I must be a bit thick.

    It makes one think…y’know…

    Like

  14. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I had to laugh loudly had your potato peelin’ reference. 😀
    And the artwork is intriguing! 🙂
    I hope the strappin’ young female athlete shows up to meet all of your needs! 😉
    And I hope (truly truly hope) that things might improve around the world this new year. The Pollyanna in me is always hopeful for people to wise up and do the right things.
    (((HUGS)))

    Like

  15. freefall852 Says:

    The working class Australia I grew up with is gone…dead..replaced with a younger, new class of risky-financed middle-class aspirants of part-time/casualised.. barely anybodies.. that I have to confess..I have never seen SO ambitious in their relentless striving toward such radical mediocrity.

    Like

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