Of Roses, driftwood and Christmas.

IMG_2878

A very good friend gave me the bunch of roses as shown above. It gave so much pleasure and the spontaneity of it all was overwhelming, and to think the roses came from the giver’s own garden made it so special. I can’t remember having received flowers of late or indeed ever. Normally the house has flowers which I buy often. It is really a habit formed by Helvi who could hardly live without flowers about. That beautiful vase is a typical example of Finnish art often strongly related to its culture and the National Finish epic, the Kalevala.ย  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevala

IMG_2888 Christmas wreath of driftwood

Of course, Christmas is now a bit over three weeks away and a nervous tension is palpable in shopping centers. A kind of annual frenzy which now is firmly controlled by the corporations rubbing hands together (in glee) in anticipation of fat profits. One would be wise not to look at commercial TV or read papers, listen to the news, especially with another variant of Covid rolling about. I am determined to load up the house with Christmas cheer and have started to put up some decorations, just for the sheer pleasure. The above cane wood wreath is hanging from my front door and it gives a nice welcome each time I come home from shopping or morn’s latte.ย  I remember Helvi seeing it years ago, and buying it immediately. It is real and so much more natural than those made of plastic, no matter how ‘real’ they might look. ( avoid doctors or hospitals with artificial plants)

IMG_2889 driftwood tree

And of course no real Christmas is without a Christmas tree. Most people by now would have taken the Christmas tree box out of storage and screwed on the branches on its stem, usually supported by a tripod keeping this tree upright when festooned with decorations and presents. The above photo takes some liberty with reflections but shows that this item too is made of natural things, bits of driftwood all glued together. It is hanging inside from my widow into the garden. One wonders where those bits of wood have come from? What tree, what country, what continent?ย 

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26 Responses to “Of Roses, driftwood and Christmas.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    A live changing bunch of roses? The spontaneity and pleasure quite overwhelming! Well, aren’t you the lucky guy? ๐Ÿ™‚
    It is amazing how sometimes your whole life can take a different direction in an instant. ๐Ÿ™‚
    A very good friend. Certainly good friends may become very special. At certain moments we definitely do need a very good friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good friend are important and so are good neighbours, Uta. I am not sure that receiving flowers are life changing or that lives will change directions. It sure was a nice gesture and it should be done more often.
      It is odd that all the roses that were planted we were never successful in getting the profusion of flowers that I see on my daily walks around where I live.
      My banksia rose is full of leaves but apart from two small roses lasting two days. Not a single rose since. Yes, I gave it potash and it certainly gets full sun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        It looks to me that this very good friend is a neighbour. And I bet this neighbour is a woman, for I cannot imagine a sraight man giving a straight man roses from his garden! Gerard, you do need some advice about how to grow roses, don’t you? How about asking this friendly neighbour for some advice? ๐Ÿ™‚

        For sure it is good to have good neighbours. I have about half a dozen extremely friendly neighbours, that are all well past 70. First of all there are two very friendly women who live with their very friendly partners of the opposite sex,! And then there are two single widowed women that have been widowed for ages, and both of them have been my very good friends for nearly twenty years! However, we visit each other on average only about once a week.

        Myself, having been widowed for close to one year now, I still often feel quite lonely. The other people in the rest of the houses I know only casually: One is a 92 year old woman, and all the others are much younger and out working every day of the week. Ayleen, this 92 year old very friendly woman, has her daughter living just around the corner.

        Ayleen and I, we are the only people in the complex who do not have a car, for we don’t drive. I usually get outside help when I need some shopping done or when I have to go somewhere, or I call a taxi.

        My two daughters are still full time workers and don’t live very close. However they are there, when I need them. My son, who lives in Victoria, is a lot of the time not available. So, I try to fend as much as possible on my own. Four hours help per week is provided by the government so that I can stay in my own home. Yes, I am lucky, that so far, being already 87, I have managed to stay in my own home and out of hospital. None the less, it is a rather lonely life, especially during lockdowns. And so far I have not been able to use public transport . . . .

        When my husband was still alive, we would usually go on a little holiday at least twice a year. I wished I could go on a holiday now. Who wants to come with me? . . . .

        Peter and I had often guests staying with us. Who wants to be my guest now for a bit more than a couple of hours or so? . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Sorry to hear you sometimes feel lonely, Uta.
        At least we can express somewhat of our feelings through the internet and blogging. You have a great way of writing and keeping others informed.

        We both lost our partners and that is sometimes hard to get through.
        .
        I don’t receive many visitors apart sometimes my daughter and grandsons. However, I was lucky to meet people at the local cafรฉ, a true gift from heaven.

        I also often go to the local supermarket just to be able to be near people and study the odds and ends of behavior.
        The dairy division especially always offers entertaining insights. You see shoppers studying the yoghurt selections as if of monumental importance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        What you say, Gerard, does make perfect sense to me.
        For instance, you say: “At least we can express somewhat of our feelings through the internet and blogging . . .”

        Of course, this is very true, but it does not mean that we can totally live without actually being surrounded by some human beings!

        So, if we are very lucky, we may have some sympathetic neighbours interested in our well being and listening to us when we feel maybe getting desperate about something or other.

        I am so lucky, that I always find people I can open up to. But with neighbours I always keep in mind the necessity of ‘Social Distancing’!! The threat of Covid variant infection is still very much with us even when fully vaccinated . . . .

        Being able to open up to someone can help a lot in overcoming severe feelings of sadness. We just cannot feel extremely sad all the time.

        I find a lot of praying can also be a good activity to cope with overwhelming feelings of sadness somewhat better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dora jahnes Says:

    Beautiful roses Gerard. Enjoy Christmas ๐ŸŽ…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. leggypeggy Says:

    Wish I could share some of my roses with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres Says:

    The flowers are beautiful, and so is your vase. It looks rather like some Kosta Boda candleholders I have. That company’s Swedish rather than Finnish, but art knows no boundaries. I have a wreath much like yours. It also is made of vines, but lacks the star in the center. I tuck various berries into it, and smile. I like more natural decorations; just yesterday I spotted some beautiful berries on a public right of way, and thought I ought to come back with clippers and gather a few for the wreath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. Go ahead and take the berries.
      I remember staying in Finland picking berries by he basket full. Wild blue berries from Finland are really pungent and so tasty
      The commercially grown ones available from stores now are unrecognizable and so bland. Still, they are healthy.
      Christmas in Australia means mangoes and prawns on the beach.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Hi Gez.

    Long time between posts and Iโ€™m always glad to find the notice in my inbox.

    Pretty weird season in our garden. The roses blasted out early, looked magnificent but now seem to be displaying a cool, black spotted indifference to their job of bringing beauty to our pile. Thankfully the gardenias are lifting their game.

    I want to thank you and Aunty Uta for lifting my spirits for Christmas is a difficult time for us. I miss my parents and my kids, as wonderful as they are, live in Tassie and up in New England, have families of their own and on the rare times they visit us we feel more like weโ€™re being used as a zero cost B&B for them to catch up with their Sydney mates. Same this Christmas.

    FMโ€™s Dad died on Christmas Day – which might have been a cause for celebration because he was an abusive bastard of a man, but her littlest brother disappeared the will, sold the farm, stole the estate and whisked her then demented Mum up to Queensland. A couple of years later he sent FM a message to the effect that her Mum had passed away and her funeral was a week previously.

    Christmas is apparently the time for families – including shit ones ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Iโ€™m so glad FM and I have each other. For the last ten years or so weโ€™ve picnicked on a beach on Christmas Day. Once at Waikiki in the faded hotel where they filmed Hawaii – Five -O.

    But back to your piece, Gez. I always find sparkling gems in there that stimulate my creative juices. Thank you for the driftwood. I have climbed aboard a piece of your driftwood and am setting off to sail the seven seas (submerged containers and plastic pollution permitting).

    I want to wish you and all our friends at Oosterman Treats, health, happiness and goodwill for the season.

    My gift to you is this โ€ฆ https://youtu.be/lPCinKhnAQc

    Unwrap it carefully ๐ŸŽ„
    Emmjay.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Hi Emm,

      Yes, we have a Ficus Lyrata inside that is so big it could well house a python or gliding monkey. Yet, a rose seems beyond my skills. There is still time though.
      Yes, kids leave homes in more ways than one.

      I have a grandson living in Melbourne who I last saw with Helvi perhaps 7 years ago in Port Macquarie. All three of my grandsons are studying at university. I hope they will have jobs because at the moment you try and get a plumber on a Sunday or a quote to paint the house!

      I seemed to have reached an age where I am pondering about last wills and estates. I rather like the Buddhist way of celebrating the fag-end of life and find the hysteria surrounding the Covid somewhat perplexing if not amusing.

      Even so, or because of my lack of concern about what is unescapable, I have taken up soccer. You might have read in my previous post. We play for an hour with a break in between and then celebrate with a glass of wine or three. Only for those over 65 and feeble enough.
      Thank you for the cello master, Trouserzoff.

      Season’s best wishes to you and FM too.
      Gez.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    What beautiful roses, Gerard! Fresh flowers always make a sweet and thoughtful gift…and home-grown-garden ones are THE bestest! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love your wreath! Helvi had good taste! I love the natural wreaths. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Christmas trees of all kinds really make it Christmas! And add few lights around and wowza! So beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Can’t believe Christmas will be here soon! I’m already listening to holiday music. ๐Ÿ˜€
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚
    PATS and RUBS for Bentley! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the roses were given by a good family friend who also often gives me home-grown vegies. One advantage of being skinny throughout my life is that people give me food. Of course, flowers is food for souls. I have yet to decorate the window with the driftwood tree with sparkling lights.

      We used to have always real Christmas trees in Holland with real little candles which my dad would light up as we sat around singing carols.
      At one stage the tree caught alight. Without a moments hesitation my dad opened the window of the room and chucked it down after which the burning tree landed in amongst the chooks on ground level.

      I bet not many chooks would experience a burning tree landing on them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        I had to laugh when I was imagining the burning tree landing among the chooks! ๐Ÿ™‚
        Every year during my childhood we had a fresh Tannenbaum, even in the worst of times a huge effort would be made to acquire a tree for Christmas. And of course, the candles on the tree would be real candles. I cannot recall though that in our place we ever had a fire breaking out. But of course the danger was always there.

        Like

  7. freefall852 Says:

    Not a rose, Gerard..but for those of us who grow “old” but thankfully not “up”…

    The Daisy Flower.
    A flower plucked from a daisy bush,
    I choose the best, being in no rush,
    And pondered upon while passing,
    Seeking there a favourable joss,
    That delightful feeling held in trust,
    As each petal I do pluck and toss,
    With plea of hope of a loverโ€™s lot :
    โ€œShe loves me, she loves me not.โ€
    Till the last is plucked with breathless gleeโ€ฆ
    A thrill I here exchange with theeโ€ฆ
    โ€œSHE LOVES ME!!…..ah!..she loves me.โ€

    Season’s greetings, fellow traveller..

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Joe, no greater compliment than being wooed by such a beautiful poem while carrying this simple daisy.

      You have a wonderful gift with words and poems. Right now the world can do with poems of love and petals.

      Parliamentary inquiry into abusive behavior doesn’t mention much in the way of love, petals or daisies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        Parliamentary abusive behavior here in Australia is beyond belief!! Maybe people like Joe should be voted into parliament for a change in behavior . . . .

        Like

      • freefall852 Says:

        Yes..better strap yourself in, Gerard, it’s gonna be one hellova ride!..or as Torqumada said : “There are no innocent, there’s just the depth of the sin”.
        No, Uta…it’s best I do not get political power…I have always suspected that Joe Stalin was too soft!

        Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        I know, Joe, you’re not out for political power. But I think it is sad, that we find hardly any people like you in politics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        JOE, I would think in our ‘enlightened’ society we can do without Grand Inquisitors! ๐Ÿ™‚ What the church regarded as being sinful, we might not have to regard any more as being ‘sinful’. How about it?
        Uta ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        Uta..I have a long history with “The Church” and all I’ll say on THAT subject is to quote from the last album of Leonard Cohen….:
        “I thought it was the truth,
        But it’s not the truth today.
        I better hold my tongue,
        I better know my place . . . “

        Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        Joe, maybe you’d find this of some interest:

        What does God want me to do?

        There are times when I have a definite need for prayer. Right now there is such a time again.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. auntyuta Says:

    Listening to these songs helps too:

    Leonard Cohen Greatest Hits 2018 II Top 30 Best Songs Of Leonard Cohen

    Liked by 1 person

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