Posts Tagged ‘Army’

The way forward to a more rounder and softer future.

May 8, 2020


Etching by G. Oosterman

It seems hard to believe but the past is so much larger than the future. Joining the army or the police force is now definitely off my agenda. From my previous abode in Bowral I used to see a large crane helping to build a new hospital. I could have been a crane driver, but that did never eventuate. Mind you, I did work on swinging stages on multi story buildings and was lucky not to suffer from fear of heights, and it paid well.

Each day that crane almost towers over me when meeting my new friends at the cricket park where we queue for a coffee first before sneaking round the back to sit in the grandstand. It is a very sunny grandstand. There are many chairs whose seats are spring-loaded and of a faded green that I think might well have something to do with the game of cricket. Perhaps it helps the patrons seated on those chairs to see the cricket ball clearer as that has a dark reddish-brown colour. A matter of contrasts perhaps to the chairs? The spring loaded part gets a bit snappy and for those with the male propagation equipment it calls for some caution when getting up. One doesn’t want to be tethered to the seat of a chair that is bolted to concrete.

Six months have passed. Living on my own has been painful but also rewarding in that I am still alive. It surprises me daily. If grief was capable of causing mortal wounds I would surely have died many times over. On the contrary, I am now having moments of great happiness and joy as well as those on the opposite scale of feelings. I feel, therefore I am, even sometimes catch the sound of laughter coming forth just like that. The miracle of friendship with others and especially during the lockdown has been a blessing and will be treasured. Overcoming has been successful, so grateful!

Not only laughter springing forward but thoughts about a friendship of the more intimate nature. Would that still be possible? Care has to be taken not to assume that things are still the same as before. It has been noticed for a while that the awakening in the mornings, and situated underneath the doona, are not so gloriously filled and swollen as used to be in the past.  I can hear a refrain from those from the so lovely and more softly endowed opposite or female gender; ‘It is not important, there is more to life or love than your stupid state of tumescence on your awakening.’ Yes, that is true, but even when faced with mortality getting closer, I am not totally sex-dead yet. I still get twinges and even suffer (at infrequent times) thoughts of a clearsighted sexual clarity and vividness that can be utterly mouth-watering. Perhaps I am bragging, in truth my sexual clarity would probably be pretty meek and limp towards the need for a hug and a kiss more than anything.

Even so, I am now giving vent to thoughts of romance and a possibility no matter how faint and ridiculous, in trying to find a person of the softer, rounder and more opposite, nubile sex that can forgive and put up with a less than mouth-watering male.  We shall see. I am no Ferrari with twelve cylinders, more of a smoky Goggomobil with worn out rings. You have to be attracted to the simple things in life. (like men)

Goggomobil 250 Limousine.jpg

Just in case!


Delights of King’s Ex-Army Disposals

May 8, 2012

Delights of King’s ex-Army Disposals.

There was nothing more encouraging for going bush than taking the train to Sydney’s Central and walk along Broadway towards Town-Hall. On a corner at George Street there was for many years a shop named King’s Disposals. It was advertised as an ex-army store selling used ex soldiers equipment but I was never so sure of that. They never sold guns or disused cannons or tanks. If you wanted a gun you had to walk on a few hundred meters towards the Town-Hall.  The gun shop was next to Pellegrini religious goods and gifts which I thought a rather strange combination of shops right next to each other. Although, history does tell us that one doesn’t preclude or exclude the other. In fact, often God and guns have been the best of buddies.

I bought my first gun in that shop next to the religious shop. It was a B.S.A 22mm rifle with a nicely polished wooden handle. It was graced with a sliding bolt action and five bullet cartridge. I remember buying it all wrapped up and then peering into the Pellegrini shop next door. The window was full of virtuous and holy looking virgins with many variations of Christ keeping an eye out for order…it must have been a difficult task with a wreath of thorns embedded into your head. Compared with the gun shop it all looked very unrealistic and somewhat silly, especially considering its situation. If ever there was a conflict of interest it was surely manifested there in George Street.

From memory there were also a few barber shops and perhaps a milk-bar called Stavros or maybe Mavros. Sooner or later your walk would then have taken you to the Trocadero Dance Hall where many of those Southern European migrants would be given their first of many refusals for a simple fox-trot. Later in the evening, many of those dark eyed lonely men would look for solace with East Sydney’s Chapel Street whores and go for a two-quid ‘short-time.’ No refusals  and there would be a busy and brisk trade in a different kind of fox-trot,  especially when the bus loads of Queensland cane cutters arrived. Pellegrini was fighting an uphill battle keeping those young men virtuous and from straying. Those brothels in Chapel Street now cost millions with many including ‘long time’ mortgages.

Going back to Kings Disposals there was a Chinese restaurant called the Tai-ping just around the corner. It was upstairs and specialized in Mongolian Lamb. I would sometimes be able to afford going there for a lunch before ending up at the markets a bit further on. Many times my brother John and I would buy young six weeks chicks guaranteed to be laying eggs within a couple of months. They always all turned out roosters. We finally decided to buy adult chickens which we took back to Revesby on the train all with their heads poking through the hessian bag staring bewildered at the fellow passengers. They often turned out to be old boilers but still managed to squeeze out the occasional egg or two. You had to look at their combs, we were finally taught by the more experienced chook buyers. We were on a long learning curve.

King’s Disposals have all disappeared. Soon after came the Clark Rubber shops selling rubber pool liners and above ground pools, inflatable rubber mattresses and other bedding goods imported from Turkey.  Many of our friends in the Inner West bought foam- rubber seating arrangements which came in ugly modules but thought of as quite ‘hip’ at the time. Clark Rubber never had that adventurous look about them as did King’s Disposals with huge knives and those massive lace-up genuine army boots…

As for my BSA rifle, I have a photo somewhere holding up a dead snake and also still remember the garbos coarse oaths early one morning dealing with a bin full of rabbits redolent with decay and maggots.

The era of adventurous shops seems to have disappeared.