Posts Tagged ‘Donald Bradman’

Walking is good.

September 3, 2019

 

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Apart from admiring cyclamen we are now trying to go for our daily walks again. Over the last couple of months we were either busy getting dressed or trying to get undressed. In between we have had an  unrelenting regime, meeting with doctors, nurses, home-carers and physiotherapists. And that is apart from keeping up with provisions, paying gas bills and doing what my mother used to call ‘in between’ jobs. I have learnt so much about fashion. Believe you me, there are a perplexing variety of female  clothes with incomprehensible ways of putting them on. ( and off) Where is the neck or what are the arm openings and what are all those hanging bits about? And despite all that loose-ness in their clothes, why are the leg openings so tight and why also do the sleeves end up inside out?

So this morning it came about that we went for a walk. Not too far, as Helvi is still not as sure footed as she used to be before her crash downwards towards a concrete drive-way. We sauntered past our common drive-way where are neighbour was snipping away at the garden. He likes doing that but we wished he would allow things to grow instead of manicuring every bit of greenery in this place. But, live and let live with tolerance is the answer to cheerfulness and optimism. I am trying to stay away from grumpiness, so I greeted the neighbour with ‘doing a bit of a spring cleaning?’

We ended our walk at Bradman Cricket Oval. In the world of cricket, this oval is the equivalent in Australia of the Egyptian Pyramid of Cheops or The Great Chinese Wall. It holds The International Great Hall of Cricket.https://internationalcrickethall.com/the-bradman-museum-is-now-the-international-cricket-hall-of-fame/

Lots of buses with hordes of people all the way from India, Pakistan, Fiji, Shri Lanka and many other cricket loving countries visit this famous cricket mausoleum, and file teary eyed, past Lenin like tombs of expired cricketers. Donald Bradman is the most famous of cricketers, and new comers to Australia have been threatened to lose their visas if not sufficiently versed in Bradman cricket matches with correct dates, number of runs and Ducks mandatory.

We found a nice seat in the sun and Helvi and I really appreciated this nice park. The children and their mums were playing in a playground but noticed that the iPhone now seems to have morphed into some kind of umbilical cord. Most mothers allowed their kids to break legs or fall off slippery dips without even a flicker away from their iPhones. I would love to know what the urgency is. Should I ask?

Anyway, we walked slowly back home and our neighbour had slunk inside, happy with the day’s snipping and shortening of bushes.

We had a nice walk and had some yoghurt afterwards.

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.)

‘Normal’, There is no such thing. (only Abnormal Taps and Park Benches.)

November 1, 2011

There is no such thing as ‘normal’, even amongst the world of public toilets and taps. I thought I had seen the end of abnormal taps when leaving Goulburn and moving to the Bowral environs. No such luck. Abnormal public toilet accessories might be rare but they still exist, even here in Bowral. I first encountered those strange taps in Goulburn and opposite the Court House. Perhaps as a reminder that punishment will be meted out to you no matter where you are or indeed, can be applied without a Judge or Court, as a result of merely washing your hands. Justice has many mysterious ways.

The fore mentioned abnormal taps are of the kind that are totally useless for those with a single arm or one hand disabled or in a sling, broken, smashed or even without fingers. Those taps stubbornly refuse to give water as soon as you want to feel the wetness of it. There is some kind of mechanism that shuts the water off as soon as you need it. No matter how fast you move your hands under the tap, not a drop will the tap surrender. I don’t know the hydrological engineer responsible for this wonder but it must have been his or hers life’s work. The Michael Angelo of taps.

You can only get water from the tap by one hand turning the tap and holding on to it for dear life and wet the other hand under its stream. You can’t rub hands together. You can only kind of rub fingers and rotate the wrist a bit. You can then do the same with the other hand. But the whole job becomes frustrating and it leaves the job of cleansing of hands almost hardly worth going on with it. You give up and hope the next public toilet will be less punishing.

Then there are those park benches, made to torture at best but more likely to have been designed not to be sat upon, ever. You still see them sometimes, especially at railway stations or bus stops and again as with the taps, outside Court Houses. They are made of two pre-cast concrete upright structures, bolted down (who would steal those?) which support sturdy wooden joists across. The hardwood timber supports are spaced too wide apart and it takes only those with generous bottoms to glean any comfort from them. For those with normal bums, those seats are best negotiated by constantly moving or shuffling backwards and forwards, relieving the cutting of blood supplies to thighs or vital organs including of course the male conjugal part(s). I am glad to say though, that they are now being replaced with far more ergonomically designed wooden structures that are comfortable and good looking as well.

One should always look out for the good things in life!