Posts Tagged ‘Anglican’

He was as fit as a fiddle.

July 27, 2017
IMG_0659flowering garden

Just glorious.

‘As fit as a fiddle’ is often said by those who are missing the passing of a good friend. With the joining of indoor bowling, it seems likely that the dropping off by friends will not be all that rare. Of course, with just having played twice, this claim of ‘friends’ is still a bit premature. Still, in between, and even during bowling, I struck up conversations. The game started at 10 am at the Moss-Vale Returned Soldiers League and as I had to join the club first, I arrived at 9.45.

The club was still closed. There are still strict rules to opening clubs. I think it might be that alcohol can’t be sold before 10 am. Cafés can open up and so can supermarkets or petrol stations but not clubs. So, I stayed in my car listening to the radio till exactly 10am after which I was allowed in.

The joining of clubs now involves getting a plastic card with your face photographed and printed on this card. This is the id used each time you enter the club. Non-members can still enter clubs as well, provided they show an id with some corroborating evidence such as a driver’s license or passport, health card or pensioner card. This procedure is rigidly adhered to which I never quite understood. It is on that same rather quaint level at Aldi, selling alcoholic drinks at an approved designated cash register but not at a similar looking register in the next isle, apparently not approved. At least with buying a bottle of wine at Aldi’s you don’t need to show an id.

The age of those that engage in indoor bowling in my group is roughly between sixty and perhaps the nineties.  This is in reference to my opening line of; he/she ‘was as fit as a fiddle.’. This could well be said at times, as the file of relatives and grieving friends passes the black hearse at the United Anglican Church here in Bowral.  We could be saying goodbye to Bert or Muriel who died unexpectedly at 86 years of age. A  life-long member of the Indoor Bowling Club.

“He was one of the best, and bowled like a champion.”  “He even anticipated the slight canter of the floor when bowling”. “It will be the last we shall see of his kind ever again bowling at the Bowling floor at Mittagong RSL.”  And with that, a few tears would be hastened on its way.

The Indoor Bowling is my sort of sport. Both sexes are playing together and even though the winning teams are displayed on a board, not many seem to look at that. It is somewhat of an afterthought. When people feel isolated,  sociologists reckon that loneliness is the worst amongst the elderly. The Indoor Bowling sport seems to tick most requirements to solve this aching isolation. Some of the people I played with might well have lost partners. It is inescapable that that will happens. Good luck to those that go at the same time, but it is unlikely.

The Indoor Bowling sport gives excellent opportunity to find friendship, engage in physical activity with social intercourse perhaps the glue that binds people together with being the most important part. I can recommend anyone to join indoor bowling. Of course, eventually someone too in the future, might well say those very same words about any of us; “he was as fit as a fiddle, a bloody good sport.”

Autumn leaves

March 4, 2015



The first of the Manchurian trees are turning to a burnished copper. The possums have done with grunting and mating and Milo’s guard is now less vigilant. He knows all is well! Soon the first of the awesome petrol driven 4 stroke bazooka leaf blowers will hold their first ear splitting cacophonous concert strapped on the back of very large men or stout women wearing earmuffs and awesome rubber boots. Lawn-mowers will get a reprieve and get locked up in the shed again. Those with small yards will use a humble rake. As is the case every year, I’ll keep a close look out for those kind souls who will forego any kind of leaf removal. They are a rare breed, happy to let the leaf spiral undisturbed downwards towards their final journey, free to nourish soil and grasses and give back what was given to them.

What is it that seems to irk so many of us about those autumn leaves? We have watched the arrival of first spring leaf sprouting, getting larger by the day. Spring would give dappled light filtering through into our lounge-room. A cheer that is only equalled by a warm summer and the inevitable reflection on life in Autumn.

Why this hatred towards dying leaves? The council truck comes by with a huge leaf sucking machine going from tree to tree, leaving soil bare and hungry. Green bins are overflowing with leaves crying out for some respect and empathy. Another few weeks and ladders will be resting against upper story guttering. Men and some women will risk lives at worst or broken bones at best, reaching deep into gutters and downpipes, digging out recalcitrant leaves that were hoping to have escaped. It was not to be.

In the past, before the petrol leaf blowers, autumn and resultant obsessive removal of leaves were the domain of those faced with sad retirement and getting older. The suburbs with trees were often also the places of the well heeled with a rich colony of super-annuity retirees. The retired would spent autumnal days, raking leaves in little heaps on the kerb-side and when dry enough they would put a match to it. Burning autumn leaves with the obligatory handshakes of the rich with the good Rev after the Sunday Anglican service gave the whole of Sydney the smell of what I remember so well. It was called the smell of Sunday Afternoon gloom. Now, the burning of leaves is banned and the leaf blower/sucker has taken its place but the gloom is still hanging in there.