Plant Dutch Irises or perish.



Milo in self isolation


The news is so horrific, it begs one to forego listening to the media and instead I get up and wash hands again or open the fridge for inspiration. And that’s apart from living isolated, a law that forbids leaving the front door except for essentials or work, and a handwashing mania that is supposed to lower a peak of infections. Even lovers are supposed to stay a metre and half away but this hasn’t passed legislation/laws yet. At my age and in my own case, all I have to do is wash my hands.

We must all work towards flattening the curve. Hospital beds are at a premium. In Holland elderly people are now volunteering to give their place for a high emergency care (H I C) hospital bed to those that have a much better chance of survival and instead will be cared for at home…I know Holland sorry, The Netherlands,  is progressive but I am buggered if I would be so keen to volunteer.

The 30 days of staying at home has now been extended to 90 days and billions are being spent on welfare and helping the rising army of unemployed. All of a sudden our Prime Minister has mellowed towards social softness and kindness. He was even a bit teary last night! No more talk of ‘dole bludgers’, or single mothers ‘rorting the system’ by having conveyer belt babies, or demonising acid laced drug users unwilling to look for work. No more pep talks of boat people climbing over our dunes, taking our women and jobs. Illegal dark foreigners etc.

No, now it is all empathy and benevolence towards everyone. Renters can get rent relief and land lords are being threatened with severe punishment if they dare to kick out non-paying tenants.  Banks have been ordered to give at least six months grace to those that can’t pay their mortgage. Businesses that have closed are entitled to get hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep employing staff that have been made redundant and I believe the unemployed staff will get $1500 fortnightly to be able to pay their bills.

I am now so immune to all that gloom that I have taken to the only sensible thing to do, and that is to buy bulbs and plant them now while facing the coming winter. It is the only thing to do. I noticed Aldi is selling a variety of bulbs together with a bevy of different citrus trees. I went the whole hog and bought the Dutch Iris bulbs and two small trees, a lemon and a lime tree. I have planted them already at my other place. I drove through quiet streets, hoping I wouldn’t be stopped by police for being outside my home. The police have already given ticket to those disobeying the new laws. They are supposed to use discretion, but I believe an elderly gent caught with bulbs and small citrus trees inside his car would be spared a fine.

Still, we live in strange times. Who would have thought that even a few weeks ago that people would end up fighting over toilet paper in a super market? People now look tense and I get the feeling it would not take much to get a fight going. I am careful to keep a distance in the shopping aisle and wait obediently behind the strip of tape on the floor. I pay by card and once I paid, step quickly away from the cashier and go outside.

On the other hand, while walking with our dog, Milo, I have a good smile on my face and with my dentures in place, it seems to work like magic. Many, many people smile back. That gives me great pleasure and is encouraging for the future of this pandemic suffering world, don’t you think? A smile goes a long way when on your own and in isolation. I live off a smile almost all day. In the evening I start my glass of red wine and get on the ‘Facebook and ‘Messaging’ which is a Godsend.

I can’t wait to see my citrus trees bear fruit. It will be something to look forward to.

It all helps.

Love to you all,


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36 Responses to “Plant Dutch Irises or perish.”

  1. berlioz1935 Says:

    Keep up what you are doing now and you will come out of this nightmarish situation on top. Next spring your Irises will blossom and brighten your outlook. Milo is a philosopher and knows instinctively when to self isolate himself from human madness.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I hope they will all come to flowering and that the trees will give me some fruit.
      How are you going Peter? I hope you have a good doctor. Never go to doctors whose office has dead plants, or worse, plastic plants.
      My cataract operation has been cancelled.
      The last eye operation made my eye worse, so I am happy to not get another failure. ( and pay big money for it)

      Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        My cancer has spread to my bones and my doctor told me to go home and bring my affairs in order. He specifically mentioned making a will. My immune system is on its own.

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I am sorry to hear that, Peter. I went through will making several times and now I don’t even know where the bloody thing is. Anyway. I know I did not leave anything to myself, so, what’s the worry.?
        Glad you are home. A hospital is no place to be sick.

        Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        In hospital they looked after me. The staff were all wonderful. I once fell and in no time I was surrounded by a dozen people. But I wasn’t hurt.

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Helvi was fond of the nurses at the chemo-hospital. They were very caring. But the hospital during her broken arms period was a horror, She could not get home quick enough. It was a different hospital.
        I remember a joke; ‘If your time hasn’t come, not even a doctor can kill you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. auntyuta Says:

    This is a great summary of all that is happening in our lives right now, Gerard. I think you are doing very well taken the time to plant new things. And smiles, yes smiles are very important to keep on top of things! 🙂 Thanks for this new Milo picture: Milo in self isolation! Has he gained a bit of weight? It looks like he loves his food very much!
    Because this blog of yours is such a great summary of present living conditions, I would like to reblog it, so maybe some more people are going to read it. I hope this is alright?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. auntyuta Says:

    Reblogged this on AuntyUta.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sandie Harvey Says:

    It is frustration galore. One never knows when and what rule to follow today. For me, staying at home is the easiest thing to do and then I don’t have to worry about broken rules. Nice to have a 4 legged loved one with you, which will help to make smiles for you and passer-by’s. Keep you with the happy planting. Sent your blog on to Dot and Doby

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the best rule is to follow your heart, Sandie. And I know you’ve got a good one.
      My doctor last time told me to bring a specimen of my money.
      I keep smiling and it is surprising how many people smile back. Of course, everything that used to be enjoyable is now against the law, next they will ban colonic irrigation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Milo is obedient and intelligent! We should all follow his lead. 🙂
    Keep doing what you are doing, Gerard!
    Keep smiling!
    Keep safe!
    I love that you planted irises (a fav flower of mine!) and fruit trees! It is always wonderful to have such beauty and goodness to look forward to as we watch them grow!
    Seeing new growth in nature brings hope and joy in these trying times.
    (((HUGS))) and ❤ for you!
    PATS and RUBS for Milo!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn. At my new place I’ll put a lot of effort into gardening and this is an area that prides itself on gardening. The soil is very good and it also has different seasons so, lots of deciduous trees.

      I hope they find a vaccine soon but even the optimists say it will take at least another year. The more reason to grow things.

      I noticed that seeds are sold out at many garden centres. I suppose, people might be thinking of growing their own food,
      Hugs too, Gerard

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Yvonne Says:

    I’ll find your post on dear old Facebook, and share it there, Gez. The streets in my little town are very quiet these days. I live a little out of town, so have quiet places to walk. My cat just sleeps! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  7. leggypeggy Says:

    We are living in very strange times. Glad you can walk Milo.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. GP Cox Says:

    After two weeks of quarantine my house is like Las Vegas – we’re losing money by the day, cocktails are good at any hour and no body knows what day or time it is!
    Just joking, want you to keep smilin’ (plus Trump is giving each of us $1200 each !!)
    AND stay safe!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. christopherdouglas48 Says:

    Hi Gerard, It’s been a while since I read your blog, even WordPress had to be renewed. I was saddened to realize what has transpired, so my sincere condolences.

    However, I seem to have caught you in a period of change and activity, which is good. Your dry humour is as infectious as ever, in fact, it seems the natural enemy of the virus, perhaps you could mention this to the CSIRO? Anyway, I’m inoculated by it and will endeavor to visit more often.

    Cheers, Chris Hunter SA

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Hello Chris. Long time but happy you are still around. Welcome.
      I was wondering why ABC insiders wasn’t on this morning till about 11 am when I looked at the iPhone which told me it was 10am.

      Thank you for the condolence and compliment!

      Helvi is gone and it is hard. However, the change to a new place has given me a new lease and I hope a fresh start, making friends with neighbours.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. freefall852 Says:

    Sorry to hear of the illnesses here of those I am aquainted with…yes, interesting times wishes to all.

    In each of us there is that twist,
    That in the end will come to this.
    No matter the culture, the mother, the art,
    Each to each,
    Heart to heart.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. shoreacres Says:

    I’m thrilled to death (uh–bad idiom there) to hear about your bulbs and citrus. A little duranta hanging basket I picked up on the cheap and repotted is beginning to show signs of life. This is what a good one looks like. Mine has a way to go, but at least it has buds, and the sun has moved enough now that it’s getting at least a bit of direct sunlight, so I’m hopeful.

    Otherwise, all is well here, or as well as can be. The number of clusters of disease in nursing homes and assisted living places is skyrocketing. I’ve never been so glad to live in my own little apartment. There’s a certain irony in the fact that one of the worst-hit places is also one of the most expensive around — something like US$3,500 per month! They’re on total shutdown at this point. All that communal dining and community-based activity spread the disease quite nicely. The last I heard, people either could leave the place entirely for the duration or stay, but if they stayed, they would be confined to their rooms. You get what you pay for, people say, but those who decided to pay the freight for that expensive living got a little more than they bargained for.

    Our stores are well supplied at this point, and it’s relatively easy to get enough good food to survive. Even the basics like eggs, milk, cheese, and meat are back on the shelves. Sometimes a second trip’s required, but the hoarding seems to have stopped.

    Now, if our wind and rain will strip the last of the pollen from the trees this weekend, things will improve even more.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, here too, clusters of the virus are in Aged Care homes. They too can cost fortunes, one more reason for us to stay at our own place. I just had my driver’s license renewed for 5 years, so that will take me to almost 85. By then I should be able to garnish my food with own lemons and limes.

    That’s how I look at life now, Linda, and I think you might too. I hope you will be able to wander the wilds of Texas, lumbering your cameras for years to come and give us the pleasure of your work.

    This morning I went for a quick shop, and again saw many leaving triumphantly with huge rolls of toilet paper tucked under their arms. Are some fashioning face masks out of them? It doesn’t make sense.

    I had run out of tinned Italian tomatoes and coconut milk which for me are essential for cooking most meals. Also some sour cream. My daughter is coming over and I am making a chicken curry. She comes from Sydney which has most corona victims.

    Even so, Australia is doing fine, which is encouraging, with the whole of Australia just numbering 5500 infections with just 30 dead.
    Most of them also became infected from cruise ship travellers who at one stage were allowed to saunter off the ships and spread corona to hundreds of others.

    It is a strange world now.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. rangewriter Says:

    It is indeed a strange world, Gerard. This is probably something Helvi would not have enjoyed. I’ve been meaning to research ol’ Boris J. I could have sworn that about 3 weeks ago he (and the Humpster) were both poo-pooing physical distancing and insisted on shaking hands. Look where that got ol’ Borey Boy. But rats. He’s out already. If only our Humpster could share the same fate…I digress. Your Prime Minister seems far more humbled by circumstances than our Humpster.

    I agree that a smile goes a long way. I feel that way all the time, actually. I find that strangers often spontaneously smile at me. First I wonder if my zipper is flapping open or my dinner is dangling from my teeth. Then I calm down and remember that I smile a lot and I think a smile begets a smile.

    I know what you mean about those tense/ferocious looks in the grocery store. My local store has started monitoring the number of shoppers allowed inside. That seems to mitigate some of the tenseness. Outside of the grocery, when I’m walking around the ‘hood, I find people to be very friendly. Even if the mouth is hidden by a mask, there are other ways of acknowledging each other and it’s kind of fun to explore those different ways of greeting, from a minor head nod, to a boisterous wave, and everything in between.

    By the way, could you explain to this poorly educated soul the naming protocols of Holland, the Netherlands, and the Dutch people? How did such a small land base snag so many names?


  14. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Thinking of you and Milo! I hope you are both well!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂


  15. freefall852 Says:

    A Summer Evening Walk.

    A melodious whistle serenades
    The Summer evening air,
    A gentler light falls tonight
    Upon the buildings where
    I walk a solitary walk,
    Down the empty street,
    In company to the tune I whistle,
    My foot falls to the beat.
    And I murmur simple flattery
    To the prism of the sky,
    It’s strata’d colours ascending
    In layered symmetry.
    My eye is caught by a flutter
    Of geraniums upon a wall,
    A host of colour trembling,
    A sight to be enthralled!
    A woman appears, a laughing toss
    Of golden, long-tressed hair,
    Her laughter balanced the moment caught,
    . . . I stop whistling to admire.
    You know…treasures can be stolen
    From life’s relentless drudge,
    That would sweep our eyes, our ears, our heart
    Ever over its fidgeting edge.
    Then…I continue my melodious whistle
    Serenading the evening Summer air,
    A gentler light…I feel…falls tonight,
    Upon these buildings here.


  16. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    How are you and Milo doing?!
    Hope all is well!
    Thinking of both of you!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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