Jam berapa? ( what time) and the Mexican Fuchsia.

IMG_0848 fuchsias

Fuchsia Splendens

There is nothing like the expiration date on food labels that makes one focus on the possibility of getting oneself a bit expired or stale, let alone going off altogether. One really ought to consider going for a practice run to the funeral parlour, lay across the counter and yell ‘shop’! Perhaps glance through the casket catalogue, pick a suitable comfy softly lined coffin. These are terrible times!

Of course, the other alternative to this gloomy and somewhat negative reflection on this otherwise sunny morning is the thought of yet a lifetime of years beckoning ahead. There is nothing unusual of centenarians still whooping it up. I watched a short video of an elderly couple in their nineties jiving around the place. It doesn’t do me much good and I generally stay clear of those kind of depressing prompts to go and jig around the place. There is nothing more discouraging than old people pretending to be younger. People should be their age and I love the sound of tapping sticks and whirring by of mobility scooters. I am on the cusp of turning eighty and now too part of this brave lot of people. I always though old was someone being fifteen years older than me. Now am  fifteen years older than me and have arrived!

Also, have reached the age when people might start saying,  ‘you are looking well today’! The emphasis on ‘today’ would be a worry but they mean well. I certainly don’t think of any age but that might be a common refrain used by those sad men who cling to the wish of taut midriffs and bulging biceps. Getting out of the shower with open eyes is really as good as going to those earlier confession with Father Murphy, but not advisable for any octogenarian irrespective of spiritual bends, unless one takes the mirror down. Any idea of romance or dalliance gets instantly a drooping down and was a waste of the previous caressing, encouraging and soothing warm waters.  I must re-read Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’.

It is no good reflecting on time or years. Remembering a wise Balinese man telling us that time (jam) is of little use in Bali. Indeed, at the many  times we were there, it baffled me that the Balinese were totally free of time constrictions. They had no clocks, or wore watches. Tourists were running about all tense, tapping their watches, with faces contorted in case they were missing out on something. Festivals are a big part of daily life in Bali. In fact their life is celebrated without apparent time constraints. When asked what time?  (berapa jam) a Balinese dance performance would start, the inevitable answer would be ‘perhaps soon’.

As for the Mexican Fuchsias. (Fuchsia Splendens). A frost had decimated a lot of plants at one of Australia’s major hardware stores named ‘Bunnings’. I love this store and could easily spend whole week-ends there. It is a treasure trove of tools, gadgets, shelves of locks and wooden things, including rolls of totally unrecognisable materials and many over-excited customers.  I saw a woman once with a large spanner wearing a T-shirt with, ‘I’ll do you’. Going through Bunnings is as good a mental aphrodisiac as a  stroll around Amsterdam. Bunnings is a Nirvana for the insatiable curious. On top of that they have barbequed sausages on Saturdays to raise funds for Police clubs or the Elderly (That’s us).

Well, through the frost and plant damaged stock, I managed to rescue the half frozen Mexican Fuchsias that are not only very beautiful when fully grown, but also provide the worlds best tasting and most desirable berries. I was so lucky to get them and the above photo shows how well they have fared since I bought and nursed them back to robust health. It is also nice and reassuring that the flowers are bi-sexual and with axillary, pendulous armpits in the distal armpits.

I’ll think of that next time I eat their berries.

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25 Responses to “Jam berapa? ( what time) and the Mexican Fuchsia.”

  1. berlioz1935 Says:

    I reflected today at an age I would most likely to be right now. I thought fifty would suit me. Being called ”elderly” doesn’t suit me at all. One of my doctors told me to go home and bring my affairs in order, another advised me to let nature takes its course. Meaning, of course, nothing can be done for me to become twice fifty.

    Do you reckon they are selling and consume sausages at Bunnings to assist the elderlies? I have yet to become the beneficiary of such sausages consumption. I have myself bought the odd sausage there.

    I must confess, that Bunnings is not my kind of heaven. I’m more a devote to Officeworks. I noticed that at Aldi men are looking and touching tools with loving care and appreciation.
    That you are nearing eighty makes me wish you the best of health so you can for the plants in your garden for many more years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Berlioz. I will be 80 tomorrow, the seventh of August and my brother posted me a fine bottle of wine which is now destined to be cellared to bring the taste to even greater heights.

      The Bunnings sausages have been put on hold because of the corona lockdown. I heard rumours they were going to be reinstated at the end of July so I’ll go this Saturday to check it out and combine it with bags of potting mix for the garden.

      I have also booked a table for ten at the Stumps cricket café this Saturday with my friends. They promise rain but it will be held indoors and I have ordered the cook to make a fine cake.

      I like Bunnings because of their extensive range of plants and garden accessories. I was fortunate to get those exotic fuchsias and they seem to thrive indoors but in a sunny position. I seem to have inherited the European habit of growing indoor plants and Helvi too loved greenery both inside and outside.

      Stay well, Berlioz and love to you and Uta.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Dad, it's Liam Says:

    I hope I’m not at my expiry 😀although it’s up for debate if I’m no longer best before

    Liked by 3 people

  3. leggypeggy Says:

    Glad you saved the plants. Nice to know about the berries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alien Resort Says:

    My definition of a good day is: “Things are okay right now.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    HA! You crack me up, Gerard! 😀 😛

    Thank you for saving the plants/ fuchsia! Fuchsia are so beautiful! And I will definitely view those berries differently next time I eat some. 😀

    I remember when I turned 36 years old and realized a man half my age was legal. Ha! 😉 😛 I felt no longer young, somehow! 😉 Ha! Just teasin’!

    Jam (time) and Jam (fruit preserves) are both precious to me! 🙂

    I always wondered if we are born with an expiration date stamped on our butts in invisible ink. ???
    HA! 😀

    HUGS!!! to you! 🙂
    PATS and RUBS to Milo! 🙂
    PS…Life is like a big canvas…so let’s have fun painting on every inch! 🙂
    PSS…Keep your brilliant sense of humour! Makes each day a joy! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are so right, Carolyn. Life is a big canvass and we owe it to ourselves to make a nice painting.I just love finding empty bits on which I can still doodle a bit.

      A Chinese saying is; If you want to be happy forever, take up gardening.

      Others say; What’s the us of happiness, it can’t buy you any money.

      I am sure your expiry date is still many years ahead, Carolyn.

      I personally think of my own death as cutting down on expenses. I think that is a good thing to keep in mind.
      Hugs to you from

      Liked by 2 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        Happy Birthday, Gerard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Make it a fun fun FUN day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, well…just celebrate through the weekend! And celebrate next week, too!!! 😀
        I will do something to celebrate YOU!
        I’m so glad your mother birth-ed you…you bring so much joy to the world!
        I hope this next year is wonderful for you!
        Birthday (((HUGS))) 🙂
        PS I was gonna’ say 80 hugs but that might wear us both out! 😮 😀 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Ah well, I can do with 80 hugs, just divide them to about 2 hugs for every week, and that will see me through almost for one year.
        My mother birthed me but I was so ugly the doctor smacked my mother instead of me.
        My father just looked away.

        Liked by 1 person

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        HA! on the hugs!!! 😀
        HAHAHAHA! on your mom and dad! 😛

        Hope you and Milo are doing well this week!
        HUGS!!! 🙂 PATS and RUBS!!! 🙂


  6. auntyuta Says:

    Enjoy your gardening, Gerard, in the coming months and years ahead. And enjoy the upcoming celebration with your friends! To be 80 is a good reason to celebrate and have some cake. Enjoy! 🙂
    Hugs from Uta and Peter 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. shoreacres Says:

    One of my best friends is in her early 80s, and as soon as she recovers from shoulder surgery, she’ll be back in full action — just like you! Happy birthday, Gerard, and every good wish for the coming year: bowling and plants and even the occasional sip of whatever, should you like.

    I’m one who doesn’t much think of time, or years. I haven’t worn a watch since 1990, and I work according to the weather, so one day/week/year passes easily and without the time anxiety that seems to afflict so many. Like anyone else, I sometimes feel I need more time for this or that, but in the end, deciding how to spend the time we have is the issue. As Annie Dillard once said: “Spend the day. You can’t take it with you.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that is true. There is nothing more exciting than to have had a good day on reflection before turning in.

      Just now a young man in a bright yellow fluoro jacket knocked on the door and presented me with a large bunch of flowers. I thought it came from him and I thanked him profusely and asked him to come in. He looked puzzled and corrected me by saying ‘they are not from me’. I realised I made a gaffe and that the flowers must have come for my birthday and he was a delivery man. I never, not in my wildest dreams, expected to receive flowers. How wonderful.

      What threw me was that he had a Dutch name ‘Van Till’, written on his Jacket. I thought a long lost kind of relative or friend had turned up.,in my confused brain-addled state I thought he was a visitor instead of the florist. Many florists in Australia seem to attract Dutch people.

      It’s turning out to be a nice day and I am busy responding to my well wishers. It is raining cats and dogs which I am sure the farmers are welcoming.

      Thank you, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. freefall852 Says:

    Happy birthday, Gerard… 80 eh?….

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, 80. I am not exaggerating. It happened when I wasn’t looking.
      Thank you Jo.


      • freefall852 Says:

        Yeah…similar thing happened to my grown kids…”When are you thirty?” I asked one….”THIRTY!!…..I’m nearer to forty now!” they replied….it’s always been a bit tricksy that aritmetry…you gotta watch it….it sneaks up on you..


  9. algernon1 Says:

    Jam berapa? Jam Karat! Happy Birthday Gerard.

    My grandfather would have been 129 today, he died in 1966 though.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Big M Says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, old mate. 80?? You don’t look a day over 79.


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