Posts Tagged ‘Dutch Cream potatoes’

The ‘Greening’ of Australia

March 31, 2015
My grandparents house in Holland.

My grandparents house in Holland.

If greening means anything al  it should at least include the colour green. Gardens that are filled with concrete and pebblecrete are often seen as lacking in some growth of  an organic nature. The inner city suburbs that now exclude anyone without a spare couple of millions, were the first to be bought up by migrants from Italy ,Greece and later on from the  former war torn Yugoslavian countries. While many liked their houses to have some garden, many did not.  Some felt it was a sign of prosperity and of having ‘arrived’ not having to grow vegetables on every square inch of land anymore like back home. Concrete was easy and cheap and it would keep the car parked very nice and clean as well.  They did not migrate to Australia having to continue growing tomatoes, potatoes and zucchini like back home just to stave off hunger and bendy legs. They were now well beyond poverty that they had left behind. A clean start with a concrete yard was the aim of many.

With time passing and migration from Europe slowing down the inner city suburbs with the concreted-over yards became fashionable as the original migrants got old, and as is the norm, ended up below some green grass despite their fear of it. Fading plastic flowers now biding time and keeping watch over the many Luigi’s , Nestors, Marias and so many black cladded eternally mourning Donnas.  .It has come to pass even to the best of them, irrespective of a green or grey priority. We will all end up bleached boned and push up cheerful  nodding daisies. A new and far more moneyed class are buying up the inner city houses, pushing up prices to unbelievable levels. Two million dollars for a 2 bedr. worker’s cottage is now the norm. Those poor Sicilians leaving Messina for Leichhardt or Balmain could not have foreseen that the  $ 600.- back in 1950s would turn into a couple of million some sixty years later.

A different greening is now beholden of so many. No more apparent than at last Saturday’s voting for a state government. The same party did not get booted out as was hoped as they should have, but the Green party with future more in mind than all the others combined gave some hope for this voter. As a member I had volunteered to hand out how to vote for the Green party. After arrival at 8am sharp a Green member was unfolding a little table on which to spread out the literature of what they stand for; anti coal seam gas extraction (fracking), anti coal mining and anti selling the ‘poles and wires’ leases  for 49 years. And for me their main stand on humane handling of refugees.  ‘Fracking’ seems to give the game away just by sheer use of that unknown verb. It is not even in the dictionary. That says a lot already! I mean, how can a worker get home and tell his loving wife; I have done some good fracking today dear, while taking his boots off.

I had a very social time and all the volunteers seemed a happy lot, no matter what party or creed they stood for. We soon crossed over and started talking and…get this…a Liberal party member volunteered to get coffees from the local café just around the corner from where the voting took place. There was not a hint of animosity or rancour. We were all joking and laughing, bonhomie galore. It makes one think that on a level of just ‘normal’ people  getting together there are no problems that could not be solved over a friendly latte, but once they form into different and separate groups and parties, the rot seems to set in.

It might be too simplistic a notion but would banning political parties ( except the Greens)make things better or at least ban Prime Ministers like Abbott or Howard?

The ageing Greengrocer.

August 1, 2014


It seems unbelievable. I was hoping for a better and benign world. Only yesterday the sun seemed so happy and yellow. Temperatures above average. And the shopkeeper had a spring in his steps while putting out his cases of vine ripened cherry tomatoes outside on the sun-lit pavement. They were on special for $8.90 a kilo. It was going to be one of those days where he felt happy to be alive. It wasn’t like that yesterday when he was soaked in a gloom without reason. Most times the feelings he harboured, good or bad, had no real cause. They just came about irrespective of daily events, past or present. His wife thought her husband was a natural for gloom and doom but also seemed to have an inborn stubbornness whereby his good humour, by and large, overrode his charcoal gloom. He was his father’s son and as a bonus had inherited the Fruit and Vegie emporium on the High-way to Cronulla. Sometimes, especially when he was in a good mood, he joked ‘the Highway-to hell.’

For some reason he found much to be dark about. Almost everywhere he looked. His loving wife often thought he should stop looking so much and concentrate on the cases of fruit and above all; the cherry tomatoes. She cared deeply about his state of mind and often bought a nice colourful scarf to try and put more cheer behind the counter and also to compliment the roseate coloured pink ladies. Anyone who ever had a bite of a pink lady would remember the unforgettable taste and crispiness. She was out to make things look better, lighter, and spread cheer and sweetness. Her cheeks, especially around her eyes, had creases from decades of laughter and seemed ( to the initiated at least) to oppose his potato coloured frowns and rampant worry lines.

He did his best but also had to cope with the years passing by. The unloading of boxes of Dutch Creams or Desiree at the Flemington fruit market had taken their toll, as inevitably heavy physical work does. He had developed a stoop and a weary sighing. The latter more due to dark thoughts than ageing which his dear wife was sometimes at pains to point out to him. She cut a blood orange and showed him how lovely nature can be. Here,have one, she offered him like the good Eve she was. He smiled and took her offer.
All was not lost.