Posts Tagged ‘cricket’

Is Sport overrated?

July 9, 2017

 

7659422-3x2-340x227Child detention

Northern Territory detention centre for children

It wasn’t all that long ago when men and women were sometimes referred to as ‘sport’. Howyergoing ‘sport’? wasn’t all that an uncommon way of greeting. It sometimes still is used. Most countries enjoy playing sport but many if not most  men and women in this country hold the view that sport in Australia is absolutely sacrosanct and not to be fiddled with. Per capita we used to win more Olympic medals that most other countries. Thankfully that has come down somewhat lately.

In fact, going to the school halls of both public or private schools one gets the impression that schools are there mainly to teach students sport. Those large varnished boards nailed to the hallowed walls at school’s community entrances have the best of student’s sporting achievements all carefully emblazoned in gold-leaf lettering. One looks in vain for the best Math or English language students. The more prestigious the school, the more attention given to sport.

Perhaps the economy is impacting those expensive boarding schools now, but in the cinema we  get shorts in which schools advertise their academic menus which more often than not feature boys, and sometimes girls, scrumming around with balls or hockey sticks. I have yet to see school advertisements whereby a book features or a student is pensively looking at a painting.

This why it is so heartening to see that cricket is coming to its senses. Apparently some ‘tours’ are in doubt. There are payment disputes. It is all too complicated for some of us to get to the finer points of the ins and outs. I have always found it a baffling game of two teams wanting to get ‘in’ only to then, when finally ‘in’ ,wanting to get ‘out.’ With the dispute still not solved there is a good chance we will enjoy a nice Christmas without the tedious drone of cricket scores filtering through the vertical blinds.

But, the real bonus, nay, the icing on the cake, is one of our tennis players openly admitting he is ‘bored’ with hitting the tennis ball. What clear-sighted honesty. Such boldness in admitting that hitting a ball backwards and forwards isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Surely, the king is starkers underneath all that emphasis on sport. A footballer who hit another one out cold has now been banned for life playing his ball- sport and is charged by police. Sport is clearly overrated when belting each other on and off field is the norm. Look how often enraged tennis players chuck their rackets. They take it all too seriously. Calm down boys and girls, smell the roses!

In a previous post I suggested that winners should be those that come last. It would calm sport down to what it should be. A concern and care for the opponent rather than a selfish need to be a ‘winner.’ I know that we are all urged by our Government to be winners and not losers but a fact remains that per definition a winner is just a single person. It is a silly aim. How does that fit in with being a country that prides itself on being egalitarian and just?

Look at that sad spectacle of a previous female champion tennis player, reduced now to simpering loudly against those that want to get SSM married. She has lost love for her own kind and that just isn’t  good ‘sport.’ No matter what physical sport one pursues, it is all doomed to slacken with age. And then what?

Our attitude to the refugees on Manus and Nauru sits strangely in all this chest-beating of what it means to have true Australian values. It just isn’t good sport, is it?

What it means to support and stand up for Australia. Have those values been allowed to drift away? Are the values of an Italian or Pole so much different? It all smacks of a silly form of nationalism. I noticed Trudeau from Canada publicly and loudly telling the world Canada  welcomes all refugees.

What would I not give for our immigration minister Dutton or our leader Turnbull to come out strongly for the refugees and for once show what it means to be a ‘GOOD SPORT’ and allow them to live in Australia instead of all the horse trading with America.

It is all too confusing

April 30, 2017
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garden

It is all so confusing.
 Our Prime Minister Turnbull, while waving his hands up and down, waxes on the TV endlessly how on the world stage, we take prime position in being the  biggest and most successful MULTI Cultural nation in the world. We are a blend of many cultures, it seems. I knew when garlic made its entry into the Australian kitchen back in the late fifties and sixties,  Anglo-Australia would be in for an irreversible change if not doomed as well. Blame the Italians and Greeks for that.
Yet, at the same time but on a different day, Mr Turnbull is urging us to turn into a more nationalistic focussed citizen. A good and special type of Australian not found anywhere except perhaps in the bars of Kuta’s Bali… (Totally drunk and disorderly!) A unique Australian. We are urged to become aware and stand up for a more mono cultural identity.
In fact ‘Unique Australian Values’ is what we should be sticking up for. Migrants will have to do a test on those unique Australian values with a good knowledge and sound understanding of these.  There is no more mucking about with those that don’t want to blend in. I thought this new requirement was obliquely, but none the less pointedly aimed at the foreign Islamic migrants.
Mr Turnbull, our Prime minister is brutally resolute in trying to pick up those voters that have left the Liberal party and who have drifted into the warm bosom of Pauline Hanson’s  far right anti-Aboriginal, anti- Chinese and now anti- Muslim ‘One Nation Party.’ There is nothing wrong with Mr Turnbull also adding the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘Isis’ to his plea for us to become more Aussie.  It is not direct Muslim bashing, is it? It goes down well with some, who think that a bit of xenophobia thrown in this multi cultural soup, it can’t do any harm.
Turnbull talked about ‘respect for the law, tolerance, giving everybody a fair go.’ The aspiring migrant is given 4 years to brush up on Unique Australian Values in order to get permanent residency status. ‘It is something one has to ‘earn’, he said, looking a bit shifty. I am asking if there are many other countries that don’t have respect for the law or respect, treating people disrespectfully? Are we the sole owners of those traits? Is that what makes us so unique?
People that were first looking for their lost new paradigms are now herded into finding Unique Australian Values. I have taken up to shouting Oi,oi,oi late in the afternoon, and trying out my waltzing techniques listening to Waltzing Mathilda. I tell, you when it comes to waltzing around the joint, Helvi reckons I am a formidable maelstrom. Would smearing vegemite around this town help?  I have picked up a couple of good Australian traits from watching ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with that big knife many times. I would be most grateful if someone can show me other Australian Values that I can add.

A previous prime minister, John Howard felt that we should all be interested in cricket and a good intimate grounding in a famous race horse ‘Phar-Lap’, and learn English. While many managed to learn English and dutifully viewed Phar-lap’s pickled heart in a jar, it was the reverse with cricket. It is a game that for many remains a mystery. I must admit, I fall under that category and am surprised I haven’t been kicked out. Even so, during John Howards reign as a PM, it was all so simple and sweet. Thinking back it was much easier to become an Australian with Unique Values.

It is all so confusing now!

True blue Australian Values; What are they?

April 20, 2017

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It used to be a thorough understanding of cricket together with compulsory viewing by all migrants of Phar Lap’s ( a famous race horse) pickled heart in a glass jar and Bradman’s cricket paraphernalia. Together with a clear understanding and pronunciation of ‘My Bloody oath.’

This has now changed! These are our new Australian Values!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-20/australian-politician-property-ownership-details/8453782

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-20/housing-affordability-decisions-made-by-big-property-investors/8454978

GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW commercial/investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Randwick, NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie, NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie (unit), NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie (unit), NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie (unit), NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie (unit), NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Port Macquarie (unit), NSW investment
GILLESPIE, David Nationals Wauchope, NSW residential
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Townsville, QLD investment Owned by family trust
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Kingston, ACT investment
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Moreton Island, QLD investment
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Palm Beach (unit), QLD investment
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Spring Hill, QLD investment
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Spring Hill, QLD investment
DUTTON, Peter Liberal Camp Mountain, QLD residential
BILYK, Catryna Labor South Hobart (unit), TAS investment
BILYK, Catryna Labor South Hobart (unit), TAS investment
BILYK, Catryna Labor Kingston, TAS investment
BILYK, Catryna Labor Griffith, ACT residential
BILYK, Catryna Labor Kingston, TAS residential
BANKS, Julia Liberal Malvern, VIC investment
BANKS, Julia Liberal Braeside, VIC investment
BANKS, Julia Liberal Bealiba, VIC investment
BANKS, Julia Liberal Malvern, VIC residential
BANKS, Julia Liberal Mornington Pensinsula, VIC residential
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Mudgeeraba, QLD investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Palm Beach (unit), QLD investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Ayr, QLD investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Deniliquin (unit), NSW investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Deniliquin (unit), NSW investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Deniliquin (unit), NSW investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Forbes (unit), NSW investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Forbes (unit), NSW investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Kalgoorlie (unit), WA investment
ANDREWS, Karen Liberal Clear Island Waters, QLD residential

The mysterious disappearance of Flies.

December 9, 2016

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Are the flies being courteous? Just when many of us decided to bunker down underground to avoid flies, they have now just as suddenly gone. Not a fly to be seen. I looked underneath the budding Hydrangeas. Apart from lounging around our worm-farm, this used to be their most favourite spot to congregate, plan their next course of action. Only this morning I still noticed a large black one, head down, still spinning around maniacally on the tiled sitting-room floor. He was obviously in their species well known and peculiar death-rite so common in the Australian fly.

There is only so much flies can put up with, not least getting doused with the much feared ‘knock-down’ spray. Forgive me giving the masculine version. I wonder if flies too have multi genders? I would not be surprised. They certainly are heading towards euthanasia. That is for sure. One can tell by the way they line up around my hand held ‘knock down’ weapon. Mortein Fly Spray, the fast loading Adler shotgun of the fly spray. Flies get depressed in Australia. Is it the Turnbull factor?

The real reason for their sudden disappearance goes deeper than love of fly spray or fly-lust for Mrs Euthanasia. We had a great change of weather last night. A Southerly Change. It is the Australia’s version of manna from heaven during relentless heat waves. Just when all hope is gone, despair seeped in, and all energy sapped by heat, that salvation is at hand; The Southerly Change. People regain the spring in their steps, tentative shopping at Aldi gets renewed, some even walk around at random, fly-sprays put back in the cupboard. Can you believe it?

There was Carol singing at our local Bradman Cricket Park. At the end of the singing they promised to let off fire-works. What fireworks have to do with Christmas escapes me. Perhaps a lure for people to turn up! In any case, it was very loud, and Milo, our Jack Russell went berserk. I don’t know what he thought of it all. On one hand he wanted to protect us but on the other hand he was so scared. He ran inside cowering near our feet. Poor thing, so brave. The last thing any Jack Russell needs, is to be thought of as being afraid.

An hour later while I was listlessly watching some incomprehensible movie on TV, named ‘Doctor Foster,’ it was thankfully interrupted by ‘no signal.’ The Southerly Change came about. Within minutes the remaining flies went underground. What is the secret of the flies withdrawal? Can someone give an explanation?

After waking this morning, watching the spinning of the last of the flies, we ventured to go outside again. A miracle, a miracle. Not a single fly! Where and why have they now gone? Perhaps it is wise not to contemplate on those sort of minor issues. Surely, the Christmas spirit should exclude ruminating endlessly about the plight of flies. They have a right to live and I am sure fulfil some kind of need the same as other creatures. Theirs must be of some benefit to mankind, even if just to clean up the mess of others. Many years ago, I heard that for Australia to get rid of flies we should all be eagerly breeding dung beetles. Apparently, they consume dung like no one else. Does anyone know where one can buy dung beetles?
They might make a good Christmas present

The tandem Mobility Scooter and the Cordless Vacuum cleaner

October 18, 2016
Mum in Holland with a Hoover electric vacuum cleaner. (not cordless)

Mum in Holland with a Hoover electric vacuum cleaner. (not cordless)

Sorry  talking about the weather. But, after last week’s balmy summer days it has turned winter again. I had packed away the flannel summer pyjamas only to suffer a cold sleep last night. ( three toilet visits) It was 3C this morning at 6 o’clock. I should have closed the windows.

I spoke yesterday with a man riding his mobility scooter near the Bradman Cricket oval. It looked brand new. I asked him, and he confirmed it was only three months old. He obviously took pride in it. He also told that the range of the battery (lithium) allowed him three trips up and down to the shopping- centre arcade. ‘Nine kilometres in total,’ he added proudly. ‘It gives me mobility and independence which I would not have otherwise.’ ‘My wife has one too.’

This made me think if there are any of those scooters in tandem for two people to use. He did not think there were. I am sure there would be a market for them. You could have one person sitting behind the other or, even cosier, next to each other. That would of course mean the tandem mobility scooter not able to go through normal doorways. I am sure that there are couples who both need mobility, and independence, when walking or driving becomes impossible. Hence my idea of tandem Mobility Scooters. The same could be said about those Zimmer frames and rollators. Why can’t they make them for dual use? It would be a rather touching sight to see elderly happy couples going about their ways sharing them in an intimate fashion.

I must also share with you the joy of having bought a cordless vacuum cleaner. With our rough coated Jack Russell, there are hairs everywhere. He sheds his own weight in hair almost daily. It is embarrassing. If visitors are expected, I am forced to vacuum. I am generally not shy of domesticity and enjoy very much shopping and cooking. Vacuuming is not on my list of pastimes that enhances or gives satisfaction. The noise of it and the tethered cord of the machine irritates. We have a Danish made one and it does a good job, but it still gets hooked at corners and bangs around the book shelves. I show the JRT ‘Milo’ the bulging dust bag but he turns away. He needs a shrink, really. What arrogance. Helvi doesn’t vacuum. She reckons the vacuum cleaner is too complicated. All that ‘on and off’ button pushing must be so challenging.

My brother said: ‘why don’t you get a cordless one?’ It hit me like a bolt from the sky. ‘Are there any that really work,’ I asked enthusiastically. ‘Of course, we have had one for years,’ he said. We got very excited and next day went to Godfrey’s Emporium for vacuum retailers. They are a Mecca for vacuum cleaners and always give good deals. I have often looked in their windows and noticed a huge change in vacuum cleaners. The more expensive ones seem to mimic a kind of rocket with all sorts of fuel chambers on the side. It would not surprise me if they double as an anti domestic violence weapon or mobility escape device.

The salesman showed us a much cheaper demonstration model, slightly used but with two year warranty. It looked nice, was bag-free and came with attachments for cleaning corners and around window ledges. It has a belt driven brush. The Danish corded vacuum cleaner has a brush at its foot but it doesn’t rotate. When the salesman noticed a bit of wavering he stated; ‘it comes with lithium battery.’ This was the card that the salesman played at the very end. He knows his customers.

The word ‘lithium’ has transformed the battery world. Everyone talks about their gadgets having ‘lithium.’ Our Vacuum cordless is the Hoover and its name is ‘Freedom.’ ‘How’s your lithium going today?’ Often overheard at street corners.

The ‘running of the fools’! Stressing.

September 9, 2015
Our home

Our home

It used to be a popular expression, ” you are stressing me out.” It was often used to escape scrutiny by those that are intent on seeking the truth from those who are a bit shifty in coping with the truth. The twisting and turning finally surrenders to that expression. It gives relief for the escape artists in truth.

With the issue about our Strata Title management now in full swing I decided last week-end to get to the bottom of this strange quarrel. I approached the slasher owner and his committee secretary cohort while they were busy slashing. ” Could you show me in these minutes where and how you decided to spent forty thousand dollars on re-painting”, I asked? I put the two pages of the last AGM in front of the slasher. It would be a futile and useless exercise. In the past it was almost impossible to get coherence from him. His usual way in giving an answer would be by starting to walk away. He would use it effectively and might well have been his modus operandi during his entre life. I decided to reverse by walking with him while waving the minutes in front of him. “Where is any painting mentioned, I asked again.”

He increased his walking speed. So did I. I have a feeling that playing cricket might well have been his favourite sport. He walks ramrod straight. The walk of an Army General or a sports master at a girl’s exclusive high school. Of course in cricket, walking in when you are out or walking out when you are in, seems to be the essence of a sport I never got a handle on. In any case, on the news channels cricket is a sport shown where people whack at balls and walk a lot while wearing white uniforms and sloppy caps.

He had no chance of getting rid of me. I noticed the secretary woman cohort stopped her electric slashing tool. With the noise gone it turned all to seeing how this strange walk would turn out. Of course, if the walk would have continued it might well have ended in crossing the road, passing shopping centres with  perhaps finally ending up on the six lane expressway towards our capital, Sydney.

He abruptly stopped; “Look Gerard, your minutes are not the real minutes, there are other ‘special’ minutes on the AGM.” “Oh, I see!”  “Have you got a copy of those special minutes of that meeting”? “No, that’s why they are ‘special,’ he answered.” He was by now very nervous and stopped walking. The cohort started revving up her Electric slasher.

I would be amazed if the Department of Fair Trading that oversees Strata Title regulations would be impressed by ‘special’ minutes.

We shall see. I will keep you all informed.

Post 655. Methuselah.

March 19, 2015
My paternal grandparents

My paternal grandparents

 

One of my granddad's art works.

One of my granddad’s art works.

One of granddad's (Jan Oosterman) artworks.

One of granddad’s (Jan Oosterman) artworks.

 

I haven’t a clue as what to say next. Perhaps just start with a word out of the dictionary opened at random; ‘Ohm’s law.’   ‘The principle that the electric current passing through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference. across it.’   Well, that’s that cleared up then. It is amazing though how the world of science is so clever to come up with definitions such as Ohm’s law.

My father knew about electricity and I still remember how he tried to explain to us, ohms, volts, amps and other terms relating to electric current.  I still don’t understand it thoroughly and am forever stunned by those who do. I can change light bulbs but even that is getting tricky with those two pinned ceiling light bulbs. They are supposed to last 6000 hours or more but I am sure that that is a commercial honey lure.  I don’t know how changing those modern light bulbs are experienced by those over ninety. It is frightening how old age is going through the roof. In ten years time most of us will be over ninety and thousands over one hundred. Has there been a survey or poll on how many of us actually want to get that old? Or has this endless obsession with longevity more to do with getting more money and more consumers over longer periods. Perhaps there are those that want to keep going. I am not sure but am happy for everyday that passes without bouts of intestinal hurry or too spontaneous outbursts of unwarranted optimism.

I see more and more battery operated carts zooming around with the options of shopping bags in front and underneath the occupant. Isles in shops are now wider allowing not only for bigger people to shop but also  accommodating the over hundred to shop in electrically driven  carts. Fork out the mullah will never stop.

We went for a walk but a heatwave made it shorter than normal. We took a break midway in one of those golden- amber stained timber slatted seats overlooking the vivid green of a local cricket field.  The seats have been carefully planned underneath giant oak and eucalypts surrounding the pitch. Cricket is like Ohms to me, forever doomed to inaccessibility but the lovely shade is crystal clear and instantly acceptable.  A lady all dressed in a loose white cotton dress walking with a same breed of dog as our Milo stopped and chatted while patting both dogs. Her dog Molly, was eleven and getting less energetic she told us, also one eye is drooping. A dog is the main lubricant for social interaction, far more so than just us.  Without Milo we could be sitting there till Methuselah got home before anyone would come and chat. I suppose, that’s why people have pets, not just for own pleasure but for others as well. There are those who will take the initiative and just about talk to anyone without waiting to be approached first. I am always in awe of that skill and have thought how it is that some can do that without any effort. Fortunately my Helvi has that and it comes naturally even though she is also somewhat shy. There is a laughter as well that comes without any intent or effort. Perhaps it is confidence!

I was lucky. Never mind the Ohms. I mean the definition ” is directly proportional to the potential difference, across it.”  I don’t get it!

A Country of strange Sports.

January 19, 2015

jvo-510330w1Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

It is no wonder soccer is the world’s most popular sport. Everyone understands it and it is played with a round ball. You can understand how I felt back in 1956 after arrival in Australia, finding that not all balls are perfectly round. How anyone could play a sport with an oblong ball that could not be kicked towards where you wanted it, was a blow that I still have trouble in accepting today.

How could a country hold a better future that played such a strange game? In Holland I had never heard of rugby and was only vaguely aware of cricket. No one had warned us. Soon after arrival I met up with an oblong ball. I thought it was a mistake and that the ball somehow was an aberration, a rejection from the ball factory. No, it wasn’t I was told and I was totally unprepared. I went to bed that night with feelings of dread for the future.

We arrived in January and the drone of cricket on the AWA radio was seeping through the suburban venetian blinds on my way to and form work, together with the suspended, dusty and forgotten Christmas cards. ‘All out and in for a duck’ were cricket terms I don’t understand till this day. But, at least the ball was round. It was of some soothing comfort during those difficult times.

Here is an explanation of cricket to a foreigner; ( From tea-towel cricket)
“You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game”

My first job was as a ‘process worker’. The definition of that skill was as incomprehensible as cricket. It mainly included holding broom and sweeping up remnants of worker’s lunches. I was amazed that a meat-pie in Australia could be so callously disregarded, being half eaten. At least, that was of some consolation. In Holland a half eaten pie on the floor would be swarming with kids fighting tooth and nails over ownership and I would win! The others would be out!

I remember the owner of the factory having a wooden leg which used to creak as he walked around. He could well have been a soldier and casualty of WW2, he was a slave driver and everyone would be at his machine when the dreaded creaking came near. I gradually progressed and taught to work on lathes and milling machines. I quite liked being able to turn a piece of steel into an object of use. A new migrant boy would become the holder of a broom and baptised ‘process worker’. He too would be surprised at the half eaten meat pies. Such blatant show of wealth! It had to be a good country, even with oblong balls.

That’s how it was.

The dreaded C…..t word.( or, how I became an ambassador for Cricket.)

February 22, 2012

Just walking the dog past a group of young cricket players here in Bowral, I wonder why we do not know any fifteenth century runners, swimmers or even sword fighters. Perhaps cricket hadn’t been invented then, so let’s just come to that sport later. Perhaps calling cricket a ‘sport’ might be stretching it a bit anyway.

We have all heard of Michaelangelo di Lodovico, Tintoretto, Dostoevsky, Mozart, Rembrandt Van Rijn, Shakespeare, Erasmus, Aristotle, Johannes Bach and so many more. They are all immortal and have passed the passage of time.  Yet, when it comes to sport fame, the heroes all seem to fade away. Why is that?

Some no doubt will vehemently protest and will immediately mention Emil Zatopek, Fanny Blankers- Koen and a few others, but… name a swimmer or athlete from more than a hundred years ago and…nothing much. This is why it was so baffling that one of our previous prime ministers, John Howard, contemplated asking intending migrants to have some understanding of Australian history and that that history should include an understanding of cricket and Donald Bradman. He must have assumed that Bradman would forever be part of Australia and its history, optimistically defying all previous sportsmen and women throughout the entire world that have sunk into oblivion.

Now, many would question cricket as a world sport. Indeed some assert it is more akin to ballet or pantomime with its strange exotic gestures, complicated numerals, and leaping around the grass. But even accepting it is a legitimate sport, will Donald Bradman also not slide into oblivion as all other champion sportspeople inevitably seem to do? It is a vexing question. Sportspeople just don’t make it into immortality as creative artists do. Perhaps, there is just not much that sports people leave behind. We can’t really re-live those achievements that are just purely physical. So what, many might ask, is the magic of running a bit faster than before, or hurling a steel ball further away than ever?

Sure, with modern technology, especially the camera, we can now play back interesting bits of sport history and once again watch the magic of a 1932 Olympic game. We can also saunter past an arrangement of sporting cups, caps, and medals but only if they have been donated to a specially designated museum and only if family members had the foresight to do so. I suspect many just get lost in backyard garages amongst rusty spades, jars of lonely nails, tired lawnmowers or remain utterly forgotten in dusty attics.

One can re- read a Shakespeare poem or Emile Zola’s books, gaze over the beauty of Pierre Bonnard’s spread eagled nude L’indolente or listen to the magic of a Bach’s cantata, but how does one re-live the excitement of Bradman’s magic swing of the bat or the fifty meter swim of John Konrad, having taken off another split second? Perhaps we have hit the nail here. Sport records are never the end, someone always has the temerity to shave off another split second of the swim or run. Inevitably, the ball or discus will land just another millimeter further in the grass. All records are forever being broken, thereby stealing the thunder away from the previous record holder. There is just no respite from this extreme form of vicious competitiveness.

I would have hated to have run the fifty metres in 10 minutes or less, only to watch it beaten by a kid in a pram. Sport and I never made it. I love a steady walk but only if broken up by a nice latte or a park bench. I just never really got into all that sweating and leaping around the grass. If a ball happened to come my way, I would either pretend to be a surprised onlooker or just pick up the ball to see if it needed pumping up. Being tall, I was enticed to join basketball. During the break between Bronte and Scarborough Park, I was spotted listening in to the opposite team and their coach, conspiring on what violent tactics to use next, when the game resumed. I did not even notice the difference in uniform. I was sacked immediately but was so happy on the train home.

It’s a story too long for this discourse on the fleetingness of sporting fame, of how I came to be an official ambassador for cricket. I am as amazed as my next wife, but in my wallet I have a card with my name on it describing me as “Bradman Experience Ambassador”. It proves there is hope for everyone. Never give up, is my advice to all of you.

OK, then, I’ll give you a synopsis of how this miracle came about. We were invited to a social fund raiser at…you’ve guessed right…The International CRICKET hall of Fame, here in Bowral. It was a very cheerful affair not the least with, as so often is the case in loosening wallets, copious quantities of fine wine and well malted ales. I was totally knocked out by all the historic cricket films swirling on every wall it was capable of being projected upon. Boy, did we see cricket bats in action. It was almost frightening.

At one stage, I noticed a couple of lovely, well groomed and high breasted ladies talking from a distance and at the same time throwing admiring glances. I sauntered past, holding forth with some elegance, my Shiraz between thumb and index finger. The taller lady asked: “What years did you play for Australia?” “Was it around 1963?”  “Oh, I am sorry, I never did “, I answered honestly. “I came close in basketball,” I added, while looking away.  I am not sure what happened or indeed, if this conversation added at all to being asked to promote this noble sport, but here you are. I am now a ‘Bradman Experience Ambassador.’

I did say; there is hope for all of us. (Cricket is a mighty fine Sport.)

Cricket, The art of a miraculous Mystery.

December 5, 2011

Posted on December 4, 2011 by gerard oosterman

I have shown my colours by the title already. I confess my bias. It’s not in my gene. Having had sixty years of watching, especially on the ABC, for hours, days, years of cricket news and footage, I am as far away now as I was at my youth in understanding cricket. The ABC news seems to always have had a special fondness for cricket reportage. When I arrived in Australia there was no TV as yet, no worries; the radio, especially towards the Christmas period would belt out cricket day and night.

On my walk home from Revesby rail station after work, I wondered what that steady radio drone was coming from behind those venetian blinded shuttered windows. Also at work, the radio would sometimes be on and the workers, if the boss was not near, would be standing around the radio, fixated by that same drone. When I had mustered enough courage and English, I finally asked. What are you all listening to? It is cricket, don’t you know, I was told.

Now some sixty years later and retired, not in my wildest most fantastical dream or nightmare could I ever have foreseen ending up living at the very epicenter, the Mecca and Nirvana of cricket; Bowral. It is where cricket has soared to heights where even the South American Anaconda or the wedge tail eagle in Australia would ever dare to venture. Fancy ending up being confronted almost daily with something that has steadfastly refused to become intelligible to me even after all those years?

Don’t you know, Bowral is not just home to the world’s most famous cricketer ‘Donald Bradman’, but also now houses The International Cricket Hall of Fame. I doubt that without Bradman there would have been this famous hall ( don’t dare you call it a ‘museum’, it is all very much interactive IT and so on) Click on a date and you’ll instantly get the cricket game of that date all the details, who was out and over, all the runs, ducks and no-balls.

A ‘cricket tragic’ I am definitely not. There are tragic ex cricketers though. There are seats that surround this famous cricket ‘pitch’; (I know a few terms) they are rather nice wooden seats bolted to small concrete slabs. Those seats surround the cricket field and are behind the white painted picket fence that seems to surround cricked fields everywhere.

Screwed on to the back-rest slat are modest brass signs displaying the names of people who have donated the seats with names of famous dead cricketers. One of those appeared to have died very young. In my quest for detailed trivia I asked an informed and true ‘cricket tragic,’ about this person and the reason for his early demise. “Quite shocked the cricket world was”, he replied to my question, “inexplicable it was, he was as happy as Larry at the time”, no one could have foreseen or predicted his death, he apparently had enough and opted out! I had heard the term ‘all out’ and left it at that, but not before I took some rest on that same seat to reflect on this sad bit of cricket history.

I am now on a steep learning curve. I have managed so far to kind of ward off any questions about the ins and outs of cricket. No one but no one living in Bowral would knowingly have bought into these hallowed cricket surrounds without some knowledge of this revered game. I know a pitch and have even muttered ‘Bradman was great, wasn’t he’? People nod sagely but look at me askance, just a hint of suspicion raising its head. I’ll buy a book or get lessons, but after so many years, have I left it too late? I understand the basics with knocking off that piece of wood. The trouble is all those numbers. If cricket scores were 2-1 or 5-0, I’d have no trouble. What to make of 20-131 to 13 with 380 runs.

I was always hopeless with math.

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Artist turned hobby farmer,now blogger and writer of tens of thousands of very wise and/or whimsical but hopefully amusing words. All in a certain order.
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