Posts Tagged ‘Dr Spock’

Soon the first of Easter eggs will appear. Be prepared but not alarmed!

January 25, 2015
Celebrating Australia Day

Celebrating Australia Day

Today being Australia Day, I thought it prudent to start looking out for the first of Easter chocolate eggs to appear. I remember as if yesterday, going to a WW store last year and seeing a perfect synchronisation of dusty Christmas trees being taken down and replaced with Easter eggs. As I left WW store I noticed the first of children harassing Mum for a sugar chocolate Easter egg hit. One even kicked poor Mum in the shins. Well done Dr Spock!

H and I are both holed up behind computers but will brave the streets soon. Fortunately all Australian capitals are predicted to have torrential downpours. Many will stay indoors waving their little flags in front of the TV with one hand and a stubby in the other. Chips on the table and obstinate flies sprayed into banging their heads against the fly screen doors only to end insanely spinning around in their final death throe.

This makes it all worthwhile though;

“A thrilling burst of hitting by Andre Russell carried the West Indies to a one-wicket win over South Africa in the fourth one-day international at St George’s Park.

Half-centuries by Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy and Russell trumped a maiden international ton by South Africa’s David Miller as the tourists chased down a victory target of 263 with nine balls to spare.

The West Indies gained their first win in the five-match series after they several times looked doomed to defeat”.

Could it get any better? Oi,oi oi.Aussi aussi.

Waking up and having had our second coffee, we switched on ABC 24 and were in time to hear the glorious news of Prince Phillip being mad (made) an Australian Knight. Can you believe it? No, we can’t. What hope have we got for this poor country when Knighthoods are still thought of as relevant. Has Australia even got a round table for Knights to sit around, or anvils to sharpen swords? Does prince Phillip know about this? Has his wife gently broken him the news?

Perhaps all this is a devious Cadbury commercial attempt to make us a bit insane so that the Easter eggs will be passively and non questioningly accepted as normal, even in January.

It is the money you know!

German soldier Bread (Give it more stick Tomas).

January 28, 2013


They were billeted below ground level in our street. I used to walk past them and it was routine to see their helmeted heads poking up above the edge of the pavement from the basement of the apartments. I wasn’t aware why they were there nor did I question it. It was their helmets which I was most interested in. Why were they wearing them and not us? They are soldiers I was told. What is a soldier? They fight. Why? Ask your father. I am hungry.

Those helmets are back in vogue, especially in the skate board riding world although I have also seen some Harley- Davidson riders with the same sort of helmets. They were a bulbous sort of steel headgear with a lip at the front allowing for good all-round sight. I have never forgotten how they looked like and could not believe they were back in fashion.  When the grandkids were over at our place, one had forgotten his special skate board scooter helmet. We thought it best to buy him one.

Parents now-a-days are obsessively angst driven when it comes to children suffering consequences of falls. Our kids would be having broken limbs and proudly getting signatures of footballers signed on the plaster casts. Modern pedagogy seems to want to deny kids the pleasure of all that. Falling is strictly only allowed if all exposed limbs and body parts are covered in shin-knee-ankle pads with steel gloves for hands and heads protected by full face helmets. The manufacturers are rubbing hands in glee.

Anyway, having taken Tomas to Big W he soon found the helmet he wanted. You’ve guessed it, it had to be one of those brand new German style helmets all painted a somber flat charcoal and in my war eyes, very sinister looking. Still, that’s the fashion now and we were not going to argue. Especially since we had also promised that the only take away food allowed would be from the popular Japanese take-away sushi outlets that now seems too have proliferated around the country’s food halls. Our grandkids accepted that as a reasonable compromise if we accepted Tomas’ choice in the Nazi-helmet department. That’s how it is with children now. Everything has to be negotiated. There is no more ‘do as you are fucking told’, followed with a good smack from your loving Gran. 🙂  Doctor Spock and those Seuss books have a lot to answer for. It will take decades to rectify.

But, going back to those billeted German soldiers below street level with their poking guns and wearing the helmets. We were starved and, as this story has been re-told by my mother so often, I kept walking our street in Rotterdam. I remember those German men being friendly even though I could hardly talk, let alone would have understood their German.

I am hungry again, mum. Yes, but that is because of the war. Why does war make me hungry? I don’t know, ask your father.

It was in the last year and hunger was at its highest in Rotterdam during the winter of 1945. Over30 000 died of starvation including over 2000 children, there was simply no more food. Yet, a solitary act of kindness in a world of destruction with nightmarish Dante like inferno; one of those soldiers billeted below street level stuck his arm out and gave a hungry child a loaf of dark German rye bread. I was that child and I have never forgotten.

Soon after leaving BigW, Tomas was seen at the Bowral skate park wearing his Goth-like helmet. Up and down he went, getting more confident. Go on Tomas, give it some more stick downhill, you can do it. That’s it! Well done.

He comes home and has his lunch, all red faced and chucks the helmet on the chair next to the door. Bread now comes so easy.