Posts Tagged ‘Ducks’

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.

A perfect 4 minute egg while reading ‘Almost There.’

May 26, 2016

Almost There

‘So, how many eggs do you want me to prepare?’ ‘Make it two for me too,’ she said. These are some of those normal bits of morning conversations that must go on and echo around many towns and villages. ‘Don’t make them too runny,’ was followed up by, ‘I like to put some anchovies on top of the eggs on toast, and don’t want it to run off.’ The original order now came with distinct specifications.

Of course, it is never too late to learn. I recently read that eggs should never kept boiling. Instead, the advice of a world renowned egg expert (Mr Heinrich von Knopfelmacher) stated; bring the egg(s) to the boil and then switch the heat off, and leave in the hot water for just 4 minutes to give you the right viscosity for the perfect egg. The egg-fluid will then resist the tendency to flow or run!

Of course, a clear sign of ageing is someone sitting on a park bench, still talking animatedly to ducks, and desperate to remain a life’s enthusiast, while wearing remnants of a runny egg on his shirt, or worse, on his chin. A sad spectacle indeed. How can this joy the vivre of the aged be kept intact with visible eggs remnants on him?

Still, this morning a newsflash announced that the number of people over a hundred years old will tenfold in the near future. One can imagine the egg wearing to go through the roof as well. Unless of course, the 4 minute egg boiling skill will be taught to the young and become more and more important. The ducks will just go on as ever, they are not judgemental, and have never shown any criticism of humans wearing a little egg. It might well have something to do with ducks sitting on eggs.

It reminds me that my own mother always used to feed scraps to ducks. Even in her nineties she used to slowly walk to the local pond and throw the scraps. I did have to tell her not to feed the ducks the remnants of fried chicken. I mean, how would ducks feel being thrown the feathered expired AND eaten related brothers and sisters? I think she just shrugged this off. I remember her feeling sorry for a duck being stuck in ice during a very cold snap.

The good news keep on coming. Aldi in Australia decided to stop selling caged eggs. However, Australia still allows eggs to be called ‘free range’ when eggs are produced by allowing 10 000 chicken per hectare of open space. One square metre per chicken! It is still cruel. In Europe the minimum is a required 4 sq. metres per chicken. The National Australian Egg-board has the largest egg producers ruling the roost. Unbelievable!

Anyway, far more satisfaction can be obtained by reading a book while dipping your toast in a 4 minute egg. May I humbly ask you to buy my book, the paper-back version preferably. Overseas buyers, you can do so through the following.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.de/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.es/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.it/dp/0994581033

I have now received the paper-back books of ‘Almost There,’ for direct distribution in Australia. Please contact me on;

oostermn@tpg.com.au

and for $17.- (including postage) you can be the proud owner of ‘Almost There.’ We are almost half way to Christmas and it would make a lovely present. A special two books for $ 30.-!
After contacting me, options for payment by cheque or direct deposit will be offered.
It would make for a happy man. A very happy man.
Many thanks for those that have bought my book already, also for the great reviews.

Enjoy your 4min.eggs.

No escape from Ducks and the ‘Book.’

May 19, 2016

BookCoverPreview

It now seems the latest version of the book ‘Almost There,’ is for sale, both in paper-back and electronic format, and has trickled down into many outlets, including Amazon, Lulu and our own Australian kindle format for Authors by ASA. (Australian Society for Authors)

There is no escape and one can live in Spain, Germany, Italy, France or the UK, sooner or later you will come across the chance to buy and read it. Don’t hold back.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.de/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.es/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0994581033
http://www.amazon.it/dp/0994581033

The US has also not escaped with; http://www.amazon.com/Almost-There-Fragments-Restless-Life/dp/0994581033/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1463626908&sr=1-4&keywords=Almost+There

Australia as far as I know doesn’t yet have ‘print on demand’ facility, so for those living in Australia I bought forty books from the CreatSpace in the US which will be here within a couple of weeks and can be bought direct from me even cheaper than from the US, including postage.

Bowral Ducks

Bowral Ducks

As for the ASA electronic book in Australia, it is for sale here: https://authors-unlimited.org/book-member/almost-there

Almost There

Almost There

It was a fine moment indeed to see the book in print and on the Kindle device. The hard part is to sell the book and for buyers to read it. I would be so pleased if some of you, after having perused a few chapters, write a review. (It doesn’t really give me much joy in asking) It might give the book a ‘leg-up.’

In the meantime I am somewhat pleased with the above photo of the ducks in the creek not far from our house. Consider that Milo was pulling me almost into the water. I really love that photo.

The ducks know: Bin liners rarely match kitchen tidies.

November 22, 2015
The flooded creek

The flooded creek

In five weeks time it will all be over folks. Don’t give in now. I know, I know, the running of the Christmas shoppers has started early this year. Santas are already in short supply. Some are now being lured away by Captains of Cash Registers (CCR’s) from underneath bridges and wheelie bins. I already noticed an abandoned trolley. Its owner sobbing (inconsolably) nearby. Her tears wetting the grass but some ducks were consoling her. Ducks are good at that. You can tell by their kind eyes. They always seem to be saying “It is never too late to reform”, repent, all will come good.”

There is hope growing eternally, especially along our creek at the back of our house. Each year and few weeks prior to Christmas, more and more elderly but still in revolutionary spirits, are to be found fondly looking into reflections of the creek’s water bubbling demurely over reeds and rushes. Some have, very wisely, taken the grandkids, to partake in the simple act of feeding wise ducks. For those with insight into the real spirit of Christmas it is the only thing left to do. Seek an answer in duck’s eyes and listen to flowing waters. Give generously to ducks.

We know the pull of materialism is strong and overwhelming. Most succumb to drop-dead shopping-malls, only to be taken by howling ambulance to hospital and hoisted into emergency beds, still warm from  previous shoppers still with laden trolley’s frozen turkeys oozing bags of Violent crumble and 2 kilos of acidly sweetened jute bags of Mars Bars. Jingle bells, jingle bells!

We are almost ready to go for our daily walk and meet up with the elderly but true believers at the creek. I know the ducks will be waiting and Milo is respectful, even considerate, seeing we are feeding the ducks food that he normally would receive. Good Boy!

We had a bad fish yesterday. The kitchen still smells even though I cooked the fish on the Webber outside. It wasn’t a good meal. The sauce was far too spicy. I had bought a jar of Sambal Oelek and even half a tea-spoon proved too much. Fortunately Helvi had also opened a jar of Hak’s sweet red cabbage that somehow diluted the chilli taste. Sundays are not good for fish buying. I should have known. Since buying the fish cook book I seem to want to try out recipes. Why are the pictures of food books so alluring? We ended up squabbling because the meal was almost inedible. Yet, the intention was so noble and good.

This morning I discovered the reason for the fish smell. The foil that the fish was baked in was doing its stinking job in the kitchen tidy. I had once again bought a large roll of those plastic tidy bags that never seem to fit the tidy. Either too big, too small or without handles. We even bought a large roll and then went shopping for the tidy so that both would match. Alas, even though they were matched, the bags did not have handles allowing it to be tightened into a bag without any spillage on the floor. The bags just had four flaps that somehow hung listlessly over the edge of the kitchen tidy. It is quite an art to then lift it out of its tidy without a nervous break-down.

We need the ducks this morning. They know and understand!

 

 

A life uncertain but ducks remain calm.

April 17, 2015
first'rickety' house in Balmain 1968.

first’rickety’ house in Balmain 1968.

So much seems to be in flux lately. My local bank branch and ATM machine have suddenly moved to the other side of town. Why is it that familiarity and permanency  of everyday life is rapidly disappearing, going away? There is so much nervous movements about. I still keep walking to the old ATM to try and get our daily bread in cash.  For the last two week I  have still walked to the old address and end up staring at a brick wall covered over with black plastic. That is where the old ATM used to be. A sign tells me where the bank and cash machine have moved to. I am not the only one to end up looking at the brick wall which is a great relief. I still marvel each time when the money comes out. If ever there was a bit of magic! The ATM at the new address is now in an alcove and has bits of electronics bolted on the ceiling. I know I am being watched and now make sure I wear my RM Williams instead of casually dressed in long black socks and open sandals. You just never know of being called to a police line-up after a large SUV has driven into the ATM and made a grab for cash. It does happen. My grandsons refuse to go with me when I wear those sandals.

I find the message  to cover the pin numbers with one hand while at the same time pinning in the numbers with other hand complicated. You would have thought that technology could improve on that  a bit better. Today there was a long queue at the ATM with an employee of the bank patiently explaining the ATM routine to an elderly client. Please note that the word customer is rapidly being replaced by ‘client’. Even a prisoner now is likely to be called a client. The elderly client had great difficulty with understanding ATM protocol and the queue was getting longer. The employee did her best and I overheard common terms being used that now is assumed everybody knows. I overheard the elderly lady asking what is a ‘pin’ number followed by the lengthy and patient explanations. However, the queue of other clients was getting  restless, brows were being raised , feet were shuffling and some words being uttered, albeit still muffled.

I have some sympathy for the elderly though. I mean, how far will this go? The technology is mainly to cut out employing people and save the bank money. It is not designed to improve service. It is all so faceless and impersonal. I mean that mindless electronic message at the end of having scanned all the shopping through, after money has been pushed in that slot, change given, you get that inane message ‘Thank you for shopping at Woolworth, the Fresh food people.’  Don’t you feel like hitting the machine? Where is the warm smile, and personal contact or exchange of pleasantry?

Creek

Creek

We now try and compensate and get warm contact with many uncritical ducks in the small creek that never stops flowing over muddy pebbles at the back of our house. Some of them know us and expect a crust of bread, especially a large white duck. Milo understands and behaves with a degree of decorum by not barking madly. Often similar people, seeking a smile or greeting, take that walk too and escape from the wiles of ATMs and overhead rotating sinister black eyes, electronic blinded thanks from shops and the IPhonic cluttered up youth in holey Diesel jeans, with some so iced up, hurling trolleys into creeks or around telegraph poles.

We should be so thankful for calm ducks.

Introduction of a strolling slow speed cable…is in your street now.

November 24, 2013

North-Idaho-Waterways1_3

The next dug-up in our street will be the uprooting of super-fast broadband cabling, giving superfast internet. I really didn’t want super speed. I am not into fibre optic cabling into my home right and up and into the bowels of my computer. What next, an internet colonoscopy?

I want a dug-up for slow-lane life introduction cable, you know a kind of strolling along speed. Is that still around? Is there an underground cable for just strolling?

I imagine a bulldozer waiting around the corner and a friendly man dressed in a green jacket dropping leaflets in post boxes. In the leaflet there will be a kind reminder that super fast living will be closed down. “please make sure you have enough milk and a sufficient supply of potatoes for at least a day or two” adding that a supply of AA and AAA batteries will be freely available from all post offices. Electricity will be available between 8pm and 5 am only. This will ensure that the elderly will be safe from stumbling in the dark in any urgent ablution needs. “Please, keep torches with batteries under your pillows”, the notice further exhorts the residents.

Next day, men in fluorescent jackets and mobile phones get to work early. The bulldozer eats it way digging up all the superfast living cables installed over the last few years and dumping it in large double bogey trucks. When the trucks are full of this superfast speed debris, large tarpaulin covers are hydraulically drawn over the useless rubble before they drive off to a large hole just outside town. No superfast-lifestyle was allowed to escape and cause a blimp into the slower living mode, now so desperately sought by many, especially those of advancing years with facial stubble and worry lines.

They now have drawers full of phone chargers, speed cables, retired routers, hard-drives and lonely looking memory sticks. The owners have long gone past memorising idle websites or E-Bay bargains and are on the cusp of dumping them at Father Riley or the Salvation Army. They are thirsty for slow speed and strolling about on the verge of a bubbling creek. They want so desperately to feed ducks and watch clouds go by.

The dumping by trucks of the superfast life styles into a disused superfast mine was accompanied by police on Triumph 650cc twin cylinder motorbikes. Children were waving little flags along the way. Ice-cream vans selling soft ice creams while chiming ‘Greensleeves’ had long queues. The superfast mine quarry was abandoned years ago leaving a large tailings sludge next to a toxic arsenic-green putrid smelling lake in which nothing moved. Not a single mosquito dared to land there. The surrounding trees were naked for miles around, even in summer. People living eighteen kilometres away claim that at some nights sobbing can be heard from the direction of this steaming acrid dump.

Meanwhile, the residents being released from the superfast cabling are just relishing peace and slowness having returned. Neighbours were seen to lend and borrow items from each other. A small boat of butter passed over the fence at Nr 23 Ascot Road, Bradford. Peals of laughter were heard across the privet fence of Mrs Kensington who only recently had lost her dear husband Dennis to a mishap while plugging in his router underneath the computer desk. He never got up again. She found him near the multi power point lead which was still flashing. “I found him still warm,” she kept repeating.

With this sudden leap into the strolling mode , thanks to the new slow speed cabling, she realised she still might have years ahead of her. Her memory of Dennis was fast fading and in any case he had the foresight to have signed a good funeral plan and left her with enough for years of future milk and potatoes. No wonder she managed a loud laugh. Things are inevitable, she realised. The slow speed gave her insight she might have missed with the fibre optic super fast life style. .

As the evening arrived, so did a new era.All people welcomed slow speed cabling. The Lord Mayer was given an ovation for his foresight as well.

The new dawn of strolling about, feeding ducks and barking dogs had arrived.