Walking and talking at Alexandra.

IMG_1263lake Alexandra

Lake Alexandra at Mittagong

Apart from sitting while sipping a creamy latte at the cricket café called ,’The stumps’ at Bowral the next best place to strike up a conversation is Lake Alexandra at Mittagong where I live. It is an artificial lake whose water was used to cool down equipment used by the first steel making industry in the State of NSW. The industry failed after a few years. Australia could not compete with imported steel from England. I am talking about the 1890’s. The foundation of this steel factory is now preserved and is exposed in the carpark of a supermarket that includes the ‘Reject shop’. The reject shop is where I met again the lady whose husband passed away and was sobbing her heart out. But enough of that now.

Lake Alexandra Reserve – Mittagong | VisitNSW.com

This lake and through the decades has lost all its artificiality and looks as if it has been there for thousands of years, huge trees surround it and a plethora of wild life. It is now used to cool down walkers. I try and make it each day. This is not hard because it is only a 2 minute drive or ten minute walk to get there. Oddly enough, after living in this area for over ten years it is only now that I am getting the pleasure out of this lovely lake and the walk around it.

IMG_0874Bowral Ducks

With the move and trying to establish in a new house it took time and effort, and even though the previous house was in this area, too much else was going on. It is only through the calmness finding new friends and my  knitting that freed me up to look around and explore. I take Milo for two walks around it, (he is an old boy now), after which I take him home only to return and take a further five walks around the lake making a total of seven walks.


This is the first garment I knitted. I started with just thirty stitches but it grew and grew and finally was large enough for a primitive dress, so I made it a bedding for Milo. 

There are many people who also walk around this lake. Many do it for the sheer pleasure of seeing the ducks and water hens cavorting about. Ducks, particularly  drakes, expend a lot of energy chasing females, almost manically and then almost drown the females pushing the hapless girl under the water in their selfish quest for conjugal pleasure. I sometimes feel like shouting; ‘stop it’.

Most times I end up chatting to someone and I find that most fulfilling. We are all of the same mind and I suppose, those that are totally different would not seek the serenity of a lake with ducks, turtles and large fishes. ( grammatically correct)

IMG_1264Milo checking for ducks at Lake Alexandra

Milo too, finds it interesting. There is so much to sniff and explore.

16 Responses to “Walking and talking at Alexandra.”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    Down the Aisles.
    Your shopping correspondent.
    “ Work 8, * cast off 2 sts., work 8 (7) Sts.; rep. from * 3 times more (4 in all), cast off 2 sts., work to end. “
    Now some of you may recognise the above code, and no ; it is not derived from the German “Enigma” coding machine, but just a common knitting pattern from an old magazine..what they used to call ; “A woman’s magazine” back in the old days…There used to be similar magazines for men, I believe..but with different subject matter..but they must have also contained many tricky patterns as my big brother wouldn’t let me see his as he said I was too young to “comprehend” ..yes, that’s the word he used…I remember he stalled on that word..nodded and said ; “comprehend”… I used to see my mother index-finger under similar codes in her old “ Woman’s Day” mag’s when I was a child..and to this day I still cannot work the damn things out!
    But you would see many mothers carry those decorated, hollowed tubes made of cellophane and cross-stitched wool around the top and bottom with a circular lid and they contained an endless supply of the latest knitting project that could be taken into the picture theatre or where-ever and set to work…One can remember that tense moment in “The Gunfight at the OK Corral” where Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas fight it out together…the clicking of the size 12 needles poised in mid-flight at the zenith of the action . . . then to continue in softer more emotional, gentle strokes for the love scenes with Rhonda Fleming…(here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5cZK_KtriM )..like the most sensitive touch of Buddy Rich caressing a kettle-drum with a “brush”.. a sort of suburban domestic accompaniment along with the highs and lows of the musical score of the film.
    And it is much the same for those coded ingredients that one sees highlighted as a “SUPER ADDITIVE” on some products…like : “Now containing OMEGA 3!..FOR EXTRA VITALITY!!”…that sort of thing…and then you have something called the “Glycemic index” followed by a number that could or could not be “GREAT!!” ..and there is the ‘Glycemic Load” as well..there are others..One need not look far down the aisles to find them..secret ingredients or new “super-foods” just overflowing with coded letters and numbers that just ooze health and vitality..where once, the only coded label was the “V8 Tomato Juice” amongst the other juice bottles..The same sort of things can be found in “off-the-shelf” medicines in any chemist shop..it creates an air of cynical shopping experience I can tell you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Knitting was very popular on public transport many years ago, Jo. The men would spread out enormous newspapers and the whole carriage would be filled with cigarette smoke. On a Friday many women would wear curlers in anticipation of a night out with a boyfriend. I don’t know why having curled hair was so desirable.
      Now most people stare at their iPhones and it is not the same anymore.
      As for juices. There seems to be a fear of dehydration and many now cross streets or walk between destinations while tilting various drink containers to their mouths. It must be hard work checking up the latest message or spam on the iPhone. Even the word ‘spam’ had a lovely connection to a most desirable snack. All that has been corrupted.
      It’s just not the same anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    Way to go with your knitting. I still can’t get the hang of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Glad to hear about your hikes, Gerard. The lake does look beautiful and I bet Milo enjoys his sniffs. Even old dogs need to keep up on the news! 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    What a beautiful place for you and Milo to hike and walk! So good to see Milo! Yes, so much to sniff there…what fun! 😉 🙂
    The knitted bedding you made for Milo is wonderful…such great colors! 🙂
    HUGS, PATS, and RUBS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn,
      His bedding is now handknitted, He deserves a nice looking bed in his retirement.
      He is a good boy. Hugs and rubs to you and Cooper too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I am trying out a new computer, A Dell laptop. Very smart but a different keyboard. No mouse, just moving a curser around which takes some getting used to. My hand seems to fly off the keyboard to where my mouse used to be. It proves we are such creatures of habit.


  5. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Everyone should be so lucky to have a lake nearby. A reservoir of water is definitely an enticement to walk since is gives one different views of something other than concrete. Walking is great exercise for you and even two times a day would be fantastic. How old is Milo? He looks to be in very good condition even though he is older now.


  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, that lake sure is a gift for the residents .It has both local perennial native, and annual trees and greenery. Yes, it is ideal for walking with Milo being `16 years now he is starting to take it easy with lots of toilet breaks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres Says:

    I really enjoyed that last photo of Milo, although he looks comfortable as can be on his knitted bedding. There’s a project near me that involves turning an old golf course into retention and detention ponds, with paths for walking and such. I’m going to take you as my model and inspiration, and get with a walking program next week — work and travel have me off my routines just now.

    As for those ducks — you’re right about the males. More than a few times I’ve had to break up the party. They have an unfortunate tendency around here to carry on in the parking lot rather than in the water — wholly uncomfortable for the girls!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the odd thing was that I was unaware of this lovely lake for a number of months. Neighbors assumed that I knew.
      I now have taken to visit a gallery near me and proposed I show my etchings by hiring the space available for doing so.
      Each corner brings surprises and one has to take the risks.

      Those male ducks are a nuisance. I suppose in the past they had shooters teaching them lessons, but now there is only one day in the year that ducks can be hunted. I am not in favour of hunting ducks or any animal in flight or stationary. Drakes have a one tracked mind though, but they do protect their broods admirably well. I have seen them shoo away a large black snake prowling to take a chick.

      Milo is now still capable of sauntering downstairs during the night to go outside to the toilet, and come back up again even though he has a generous bed there as well. He still wants to sleep next to me on the floor upstairs.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dani Says:

    We have a lake nearby—not as close as yours, but close enough. My 4-year old loves to run the path around it and I love taking in its majesty, especially in Fall when the leaves turn shades of berry and gold. There is something so grounding about water. I think it reminds us, even when still, of the depths below the surface.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    You are right that the water’s surface hides its depth which the birds seem to want to get to the bottom of. The dive in and out and shake their feathers only to renew their antics.
    I re-read your article of your loss more than a year ago and I so felt the love and anguish.


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