Posts Tagged ‘Bendalong’

The Sting is in the Tail.

November 12, 2016
Stingray

Stingray

The week was difficult enough without the US election. The only light was that the shivers down my spine proved right. Calamitous is a word that got much used. We decided to do a practise run and booked a cabin all secluded. We are fully expecting the possibilities, that once again, town-hall sirens will blare and warn the people of an impending disaster.
People will be urged to seek shelter and safety from the coming of carnage. Again the running and shouting of people on the streets. The thuds of boots finding home on falling bodies

It wasn’t just the Trump tragedy but also Leonard Cohen passing. To mention both in one breath is a bit of an insult to Cohen. Like comparing acrid acid with the tasting of the finest of first-press olive oil. But Cohen is at peace and we are still here!

The three lily- white blondie livery daughters of Trump are primed to fill important roles and he is backing down from undoing Obamacare. His mascara has come off and paleness replaced brashness and red-necked bully-boy. The markets are going wild and gyrating madly opposite of all expectations. The biggest rally for years. All topsy-turvy. Yet, Hillary Clinton all pale and sad. What has America done? Protests on the streets. Cars are burning. People shouting. Contorted faces. Rage is rising.

Our cabin was just a short down-hill clamber from a rocky yet sandy beach, waiting for the tumult of hordes of Christmas crowds to arrive. I decided to check up on an aboriginal midden that I knew existed when Helvi and I used to visit this same spot with our young children so many memorable years ago. It amazed me already then that this sacred site hadn’t been protected. People walked over it, unaware it was a midden and sacred site
https://www.google.com.au/#q=Aboriginal+middens+at+Bendalong

As I was walking along the beach I noticed a dark shape in the water. Getting closer I was amazed to see a large stingray. Steve Irwin, the Australian naturalist was killed by a stingray while swimming above one. The barbed tail whipped up, went through his wet-suit and penetrated his heart. He died almost instantly.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2006/sep/04/broadcasting.travelnews

I had boots on and did not want to get into the water to get a closer look. I did not have to. He came to me. It swam in very shallow water and was just a couple of metres away from the sandy beach on this expanse of the Tasman sea. Its bulbous watery eyes was looking at me as if expecting something. Its eyes seemed sad and carried a reproach. I was astounded. What had I done to receive his attention? Apart from a small packet of peanuts I had nothing to give him. I spoke some kind words but wasn’t sure it could hear under the water. Did he expect me to have a herring on me? I never carry fish on me as I never feed fish in oceans. I felt guilty for not ever having fed fish. Instead, I often I eat them. ( I did not tell the stingray that.)

It was a somewhat helpless situation but I took some more pictures with my IPhone. What else would anyone do? But what followed was remarkable. As I continued my walk, the stingray followed me for some twenty metres or so along the edge of the sea. Had I been accepted as his friend? I again took some pictures.
He then had enough and swam away.

img_0995stingray

The aboriginal midden was still there and in good condition. I suppose all the seashells and cockles are just not worth digging up or scooping away as most people might not even be aware of its significance and aboriginal heritage. For thousands of years this was the site were the original owners of this land would congregate look out over the sea and consume their catch of sea-food.

Sacred aboriginal sites are to be respected and not to be photographed.

The Funeral Insurance scam and camping.

November 29, 2015
camping

camping

Isn’t it amazing that the latest scam involves getting children to sign up for funeral insurance with the weekly payments automatically deducted from welfare entitlements?

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/financial-scams-target-remote-nsw-aboriginal-towns-20141220-12bdme.html

Anyone who¬†worries about what happens after you die, is lacking imagination. Gloria Jeans will not sell you anymore espressos nor will you have to worry about putting your socks on. It is baffling why anyone takes on funereal insurance. You can get buried for as little as $1000.-. I know that most advertise a funeral costing anything up from $ 3000.- to ‘the sky is the limit’, ūüėȬ†¬†but let me give you that no one ever, was not buried. So, why people worry or even take out a¬† funeral/burial insurance is baffling. I bet people that persevered with the premiums have paid enough for a burial¬†at Moscow’s Red Square with 110 canons.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jun/28/funeral-die-low-cost-options

Last Monday my brother had travelled with his VW tracker camping van to the South Coast at Bendalong. This is the place of some significance to the Oosterman clan. After our arrival in Australia, then¬†growing up in Revesby, getting married (to the opposites sex.) We all¬†subsequently ended up having children and then¬†started to take our holidays at this¬†Bendalong. No sooner could the babies breath and burb we would pack tents and head off to this idyllic unknown¬†fishing village.¬†¬†For years on end. We stopped when the area became a well known spot and the trickle of campers became a flood, especially at Christmas and Easter. Soon, the lawn mowers arrived and concreted lions appeared in front of the colour bond aluminium¬†annexes. Open fires were banned. The camping had lost much of its charm but the kids also grew up and started to make their own lives, do their own camping. We haven’t camped since. It was a special era though! So many lovely memories.

Last Wednesday we met up with my brother who had his van parked inside the Bendalong¬†camping ground. The grounds have many cottages and vans that can be rented from the shire. A manager runs the camp. There are still camping sites as well with water and power available. On arrival you have to get a special¬† permit¬†number from the office¬†that allows the boom-gate to be opened after entering the number into the electronic devise on a post,¬†accessible through the car’s window. It did not work. Helvi went back¬†to the office and was told to enter the hash tag. I had entered the hash-tag. It did not work! The manager came out and entered the number and hash-tags many times. It did not work. She then over-rode the device and the boom-gate finally¬†opened. Such a relief and it was so hot.

We drove around and were pleased that the area is still green with many advanced eucalypts and she-oaks giving lovely shade. The Lantana has gone. There has been an upgrade in facilities, good flushing toilets and showers and no more need to  hand dig pits. My brother was waving from a distance  and we parked our car, took out our canvas folding chairs and in the shade just talked. One could still hear our children shouting but it was also quiet. So many years ago. A glass of wine in reflection.

After a few hours we said goodbye. The boom-gate would not let us out. Again the entering of the number followed by the hash-tag. Again the failure. The manager came out and she beeped the electronic device (again). The gate opened. We drove home through the Kangaroo Valley. It was lovely.

It is funny how quick life goes. Between burping babies and burial is life.