Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

The Author is going indoor bowling.

July 24, 2017
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Our kitchen of ‘give and take’

While sitting in front of the computer dispensing words of comfort if not wisdom, can be very fulfilling, there needs to be interaction with people in the flesh as well. We are not all islands on one’s own although with age, one gets the sneaking impression it might not be all that bad. Just reading this morning that my car is fitted with faulty airbags. In America a man was found dead in his car with his face so badly lacerated, police thought he had been shot at close range. It was a faulty airbag!

Of all the things that death might come to visit me one day, to have had life finished by a faulty airbag is about as futile and ineffectual as it can get. One can just imagine the grandchildren going through the Oosterman’s heritage finding out Grandpa died by an exploding airbag. A cunning one could well add, ‘he always was.’

It was with the insightfulness of not having enough real-life people around that I felt something should be done to meet more people.  H. said on a few occasions ‘You are cranky lately, and not easy to live with’, followed by  ‘you used to make me laugh.’ This last one bit me. I knew it was serious.

Some time ago I joined the local Labor Party, but it was held in one of those musty Halls of Women’s Christian Fellowship. The moment one stepped in, the wafting of aged doilies and stale biscuits, forlorn plastic bouquets fading in forgotten corners, Christian dust to dust photos and so much more would greet one inconsolably.  On top of it all are my hearing impairments, making the whispered minutes of the last meeting inaudible. I went twice and with all the support of keeping the refugees locked up by Labor as well, I quit and joined the Greens. It still did not really result in more people contact. It was too sporadic.

Of course, the daily walk with Milo often brought bystanders to stop and ask if they could pat him. Only last week, a man stopped who was wearing very thick gloves. I noticed them and thought it a good opportunity to talk about gloves; where are they from, what are they made off, where did you buy them? I wrought the conversation out as long as possible and went home wiser about gloves. I even bought a pair.

It was in the afterthought of H’s remark of getting about more, that I took the decision to join something of a more physical nature. In my foolish youth, so many decades ago, I was always amused to walk past the East-Balmain outdoor bowling club. The ridiculously white uniformed Bowlers, all bending over to bowl, showing bulging bums and possible medical devices compensating amputations or irritating bowel syndromes.

The sport seemed to attract the retirees who on a Sunday could combine all this bending over sport with a couple of beers with ham and cheese wedged-sandwiches ( no crusts). Later on, those sandwiches as a result of Slavic incursions could well contain garlic and gherkins. I even remember stalking past seeing platters of olives doing the rounds.  I swore never ever to reach an impasse in my life that involved becoming a member of this white uniformed bending over bowling fraternity.

And yet, it has come about, dear readers. I joined the Mittagong RSL and this Wednesday join the Moss-Vale RSL ( Returned Soldiers League)indoor bowling club. I have reached the age of Bending Down (or over) to Bowl. I loved my first bowling day yesterday and even took to the cubed sandwiches. Ham and cheese. It was all a rather casual affair. Vaughan, a wiry haired gentleman, explained to me the basics of the game. It included that the balls that one bowls with are weight-biased. Anything biased takes my attention. I took to it like a duck to water. I love how the game includes the bending over and how this bias can be used to advantage in order to get to the aimed destination. It is surprisingly skilful AND both sexes play together. Banter is the norm. No uniforms or protocols. Being mainly elderly players, there is no fuss.  Nice people.

I have reached the age of Bowling.

 

 

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The wandering again regained. ( Auto-biography)

August 17, 2015
Mantingerzand

Mantingerzand

The decision to return to Australia came unexpectedly. I was the last one to recognize its coming. As noted before; things were steaming along nicely. Painting was in full flight. Money was being earned as a fully fledged artist. I was teaching adults. Our children were growing and thriving. We lived in a lovely farm-house. The Shetlands were settled and  the  beady eyed Barneveldt chickens were very happy and laying generously. What more could one want?

There are several possible explanations that led to this decision. None are valid enough on their own but perhaps together and in total, might shed some light on this sudden and strange ‘out of the blue’ return to Australia. Let me start on just a couple of explanations of events that I remember as if from yesterday.

We decided to go swimming in a small lake popular for swimming during those rare warm days that even rainy Holland sometimes gets rewarded with. The province that our village was situated in is the least populated area in Holland.  At that time, one could still find small areas of wilderness to enjoy, without huge swarms of people crowding out all pleasurable activities. When we arrived there were some people and kids about but that only made it even more enjoyable. This little lake used to be a sand quarry in the past but had been surrendered to mother nature when the sand digging had ceased. It was a lovely spot surrounded by bushes seeking shelter under pine trees. Included in those bushes was a haze of purple heather, somewhat shy. There was laughter and joy about. The perfect day!

After arrival we all jumped in. It was a kind of jubilation, a celebration of unbridled joy and fun day. There was a large family also jumping about with a tribe of children skirmishing and splashing up and down in the shallow water mucking about with a large log that they had dragged into the water. They seemed to talk in a foreign language. Perhaps they were Turkish or Moroccan immigrants. In any case, they had a lot of fun. The parents were looking on. All were safe.

Out of the bushes and all of a sudden a person of some grey authority appeared almost like something out of a faded book of doom or The Treaty of Utrecht. He went to the edge of the water and ordered in no uncertain manner for the children to take that unauthorised log of wood out of the water. The kids looked somewhat frightened. The parents got up to find out the problem that this killjoy figure seemed to have. They understood that the log had to be taken out of the water. An argument ensued after the parents wanted to find out the reason why this log seemed to be so difficult to accept in the water. They wanted to know what the problem was. At this stage, the man of authority could have just shrugged his shoulders and walk away. He did not. He started on a long prologue and explanation on what would happen if everyone would take a log into the water. “What then, he demanded?”  “Suppose we all take a log?”   “What then, he added again?”  A cloud came over the event. The kids dragged the log out of the water and back into the bushes. The parents said something in their own language and gave in, not wanting to risk a fine or Court appearance for non-compliance of an order. Order in Holland has to be maintained at all cost.

A similar event  occurred a few months after the unauthorized log event. There exists a lovely and unspoilt piece of original nature. It is called Mantingerzand. It was within a twenty minute drive from were we lived and a very beautiful, original and unique nature reserve.

https://www.google.com.au/#q=Mantingerzand .

We decided to go for a pick-nick and had packed sandwiches to take with us for a lunch. Throughout this nature reserve are walking paths which one has to follow. Of course, in order to not disturb the uniqueness of this original piece of nature it is pointed out and fully understandable, to stay within the pathways.  As we were walking along, absorbing the beauty of the place, we all were getting hungry. The fresh air in nature does that, doesn’t it?  And decided to just stop, sit down on the pathway and eat our cheese and peanut sandwiches.  Within a few minutes and within the time-frame of having swallowed the first vigorous bites into our  sandwich, the faded and dreaded figure of authority turned up on his bike. “What do you think you are doing NOW?, he said?”  We turned pale and the kids looked frightened. We are eating sandwiches, I stated with some hesitancy, in case we were doing something else, considered to be so dreadful, it wasn’t worth thinking about.

“Now just think a bit”, the grey man stated! We immediately started thinking feverishly but obediently. Our sandwiches were patiently waiting to be chewed into further. But we had all gotten strangely un-hungry.  “Just imagine, just imagine”, the grey figure was now warming up to his favourite phrase. (He had honed the wording in front of his proud wife the very night before). “Just imagine if all of us would sit down and eat sandwiches in nature, just like that, he said.”   “What would happen then, he asked”. He looked at us in turn. We gave in, got up and resumed our walk. We put the patient sandwiches and thermos back in the bag and silently walked on.

Order was maintained.