The lure of the past and a bed pan.

There might be nothing more exciting or upsetting when visiting the past. Over the last three days it happened almost by accident of an emergency. You know that when all has been so settled, quiet and serene for a long while, a suspicion seems to well up that this peace can’t last.


Our street and house in Balmain where we lived 1976-1996

Sure enough, I received a message that told me in a few crisp lines, that text messages always seem to excel in, but none the less almost always are disconcerting, that my daughter had deposited herself in an Hospital emergency room. ‘Chest pain’, was part of this short text! Of course, the reaction was a trip to Sydney the day after. I had organised the house in such a way to leave our dog Milo an exit in case of toilet visits by placing a stick behind the sliding door, leaving an opening big enough for Milo but not for a robber, no matter how agile or elastic he or she might be.

My daughter after arrival was in the emergency ward and suitable wired up to all sorts of equipment, occasionally a beep would be expelled from one of those machines. I noticed with pride that some of that equipment had Philips as the manufacturer. It is still a Dutch company that originally started out by making light bulbs. It is now a multinational conglomerate employing 80 000 people world-wide


A closer look at the house.

After visiting my daughter and consuming a delicious toasted cheese and ham sandwich for my breakfast and getting the daughter to keep asking the doctor for more information, I left when her son visited her as well.  She had chest pain but a quick scan and blood pressure test, proved that her heart was alright. A great relief. The bed allows only limited number of people to sit on and the chair was nowhere to be seen or perhaps used in the bed next to my daughter, which was screened off. I saw a bedpan being carried away covered by a cloth. Always a sign one is in good hands. I remember them well from my occasional forays in hospital.

I decided to visit our old house and street where we live so happily for twenty years.  After all, I was back in Sydney. They were really the years that our three children grew up from toddlers to adults. The street has lost none of its charms. The suburb of Balmain is now a millionaires’ nest, hounded by big time foreign currency option dealers,  lawyers and well heeled liberal provocateurs.


The entrance to our old house.

Amazingly one of my friends that I met here recently in Bowral lived in the same street at the same time when we lived there. Another friend in the same group grew up just around the corner as well. Such coincidences that are so baffling.


Our veranda with me and the red heeler cattle dog, around 1990 or so.


This picture is of the street taken yesterday, still charming.

I visited my Daughter again today, and all is well. She might be coming home tomorrow.She was worried about her cats more than about me. But then, I am just a dad.

What an amazing life this has been so far, and still ongoing!




Tags: , , , , , , , ,

22 Responses to “The lure of the past and a bed pan.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    Hope your daughter is soon totally alright again. You are a good dad!
    Our best wishes to your daughter and all your family!
    HUGS and lots of love, Uta and Peter 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sandie Harvry Says:

    So glad for your family that the heart is okay. She is so young also to be having heart problems. Enjoy your posts. Thanks for keeping us up to date. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, she was in a lot of pain just breathing. It appears to be the lining between heart and ribs that was inflamed with a viral infection.
      How is your heart, Sandy? Apart from you being good-hearted.


  3. catterel Says:

    Thank goodness it isn’t anything life-threatening. Always fun to revisit old haunts – or almost!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I enjoyed going back to our old place. It has been 24years since we left the old house.
      I noticed a pool had been put in. It falls under protection of historical homes. It also seemed a bit with mixed feeling to linger too much over things that have passed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I hope your daughter is completely well soon! So glad her heart is fine! You are a great Dad to her!

    I blogged about this recently…but I was in and out of the ER for years with chest pain. It was never my heart. Could have been stress. But finally they discovered it was Costochondritis. When it flares up I take an arthritis medicine that does not need a prescription…and it helps with the inflammation and pain.

    Just wondering if this could be what your daughter went through. ???

    Love the photos! What was your cattle dog’s name? Good to revisit the places we once lived and roamed…and to remember the good memories in those places. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you for your very kind remarks. The dog’s name was Sam. A red heeler. A terrific dog, very protective and would always let visitors know to behave by gently holding and grabbing their heel.
      The doctor’s prognoses was a viral infection of the lining or soft tissue between heart and rib cage. It was very painful for my daughter and had trouble breathing. It has some complicated name starting with a P
      We did have some wonderful memories and now I, and my surviving daughter share them.
      Hugs to you too,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Big M Says:

    It sounds like pericarditis which is usually viral and resolves in time. I believe it is quite painful, mimicking a heart attack. Anyhoo, sounds like she is on the mend and needs to take it easy for a while.

    I haven’t been to Balmain for years, although it was already heading towards being an affluent suburb in the eighties. those workman’s houses were tiny and already fetching more than a few bob back then. I did catch the Milson’s Point, Balmain, Barrangeroo ferry last year. Balmain wharf has been rebuilt in Sydney sandstone. The masons must have been rubbing their hands together!

    Great pics, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that’s the one Big M. She was in agonising pain and thought it was her heart, exactly as you described it. You have an amazing ability to diagnose all the way across the state.
      I wonder if she got the virus from her cats of which she has two.

      Did I tell you that I finally parked the car in a spot that was for the midwife. The carpark was full and on the previous day it did not accept my credit card, no matter how I tapped and tapped.
      I was going to say I was a midhusband, or are males delivering babies midwifes too?


      • Big M Says:

        The term midwife comes from the German, ‘to be with a woman’ so a mid husband would be with a man! I have just transferred from being a Registered Midwife to a ‘Non- Practicing Midwife’. I don’t know what the benefits are for me. I’m glad your little girl is OK but I’m serious about taking it easy. All of that inflammation isn’t good for the ticker (I guess that’s why it hurts so bloody much!).


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I have always said that it is better to be safe than sorry (an old adage). It is good to know that your daughter appears to be doing well and that a suspected heart problem proved to be of no major concern. And, you got to see your old neighborhood again which surely brought back happy memories but that also filled you with nostalgia of varying degrees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, she is doing alright and needs to take it easy. Yes, going back to those earlier times seems like fun. What struck me was how narrow the streets have become. Of course, the streets are still of the same width but having lived on the farm and in smaller towns, space is of short supplies in big cities and the number of cars are making things very tight in cities.
      Nostalgia has two sides. You are so right. My family of five once, is now just two, but with three lovely grandsons.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Forestwood Says:

    It is a strange feeling to visit one’s old house but yours was gorgeous. Shame they put the pool in, as it doesn’t seem to suit the house’s character.I wish your daughter a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres Says:

    I’m so glad to hear that serious heart problems weren’t the issue for your daughter. She’s so lucky to have you. Even we adult children sometimes long for a parent — mine have been gone for such a long time now that I’ve adjusted to not being able to call on them, but still…

    Isn’t it funny to go back to a former house? Sometimes it’s good, but when the changes are too substantial, it can be disorienting. When I went back to my grandparents’ home after a couple of decades, the only thing I really recognized was the old water pump in the yard. There still was the fruit cellar, and the front porch with the swing, but it just wan’t the same. Of course, neither was I.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Never knew you had children, Linda. My grandchildren now tower over me and I can sense that soon they too will make and follow their own paths. I was lucky I could still drive to Sydney but right now am in the process to get doctor and optician to sign papers allowing my driver’s license to be renewed. It seems my cataract threw a spanner in the works.

      You are so right, memories are best served intact and without alterations. The veranda of the old house had the shutters renewed and it all looked so clean and clinical. Immaculate and it was also well provided with electronic spyware, no doubt bristling with cameras.

      I can still see my son Nicholas, flat out hurtling down the hill on his billy-cart. No more carts now-a-days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: