Posts Tagged ‘E.Kant’

Holiday Planning

August 30, 2013

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Holiday planning.

Lately we have got an urge to visit foreign shores again. It has been years since we last packed our bags, checked the passport and counted the travel cheques. Things have changed though. We have had more birthdays and things aren’t the same as they used to. For a start, I have reached the age where I need to be geographically acquainted to the nearest available toilet at all times. Is there a mobile App for that and does it work in Turkey?

I still remember that they have some strange public facilities/toilets elsewhere and even though the saying urges tourists; “do in Rome like the Romans,” I still have trepidations of unknown public bowel& bladder facilities and habits in foreign places. I believe there are places in some tropical paradises where one is advised to avoid the right hand of strangers. Perhaps it was the left hand? I have forgotten! I remember squatting really low down in gay Paris, keen as mustard for paper, any paper, and in howling desperation used unsigned travel cheques.

There is something very reassuring to the idea of combining both, to visit foreign shores and to always be within a couple of meters or shouting distance of a toilet. The answer, ‘the world cruise’. Can you just imagine the joy of peering over the QE 2 railing watching the African coast glide by, dream of Dr David Livingstone and at the first intestinal rumble be seated on gleaming lavender scented porcelain within seconds? Can you imagine?

Helvi is more circumspect about world cruising and even though she danced with the ship’s captain on a previous trip from Italy to Australia in 1966, ( our honeymoon) she suggested that one could be locked into spending weeks sailing around the world with some dreadfully boring people. Food for thought, she added. Can you imagine sitting around some couple at the dining table who keep going on talking about their superannuation or Camellias? 😉

People might think the same of us, I suggested. Speak for yourself was her quick and needle sharp retort. Have I been boring you, I asked her with my guilt on post-war automatic? Well, sometimes you can be, (never to let an opportunity like that one to get past), she answers with brutish honesty, but with a smile I know so well and love. Anyway, most of those cruises are by old fogeys and probably have intestinal problems like yours, she added.

What makes you think you are the sole owner of QE2 toilets? There is most likely a flurry of elderly people toing and froing to the toilets 24 hours each day and night, probably even queues, she added.

Remember that cruise boat laying idle mid-ocean a few weeks ago? All the generators had died, no power to flush the toilets with passengers laid out on the decks in heat of 40C with nappies and all sorts of other medical emergencies. After a few days they were towed into a harbour and met by ambulances. A nightmare.

Yes, but of the hundreds of thousands on cruises, that was just an exception. Come darling, let me decide on this holiday. There are gyms, libraries, swimming pools and lots of shops on board. We will probably meet new friends, like-minded and fascinating people who like Woody Allan, Kant and Chomsky. We could escape next winter, visit Finland and Venice, Dubrovnik and Messina, New York. That sound nice Gerard, why don’t you get some brochures?

Oh, I have downloaded them already darling. Here are just some.

The plight of a Camellia hater.

August 28, 2013

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We all know that as a general rule, nature is just about perfect. I tend to go along with the notion that the more I get to know about mankind the more I tend to look at the growing grass for salvation and nurture. I like nature and dislike wars and camellias. Oops…sorry, but camellias I did remove from my list of nature some years ago when I discovered to my horror the people who associate intimately with camellias.

I always had a feeling of unease when walking past heaps of brown rotting flowers littering the concrete footpaths along stretches of my first Australian taste of suburbs. I finally mustered up enough will, courage and asked what those flowers were. Camellias was the answer.

Many know that I often touch upon my personal blight of having lived in a suburb. It dates back to my teen years of isolation many decades ago after arrival from Holland. I narrowly escaped by moving into a room in the inner city area of Paddington. What a relief, finally understanding there was life after all. This all happened some years before the most fortuitous event of them all, even outdoing my escape from Australian suburb, meeting up in Europe with my future wife from Finland. Camellias have come, gone and rotted but we are still together all those years.

I hope I don’t tread on the toes of lovers of Australian suburbs nor on camellia fans. I understand that having a back yard for the kiddies is important. I fully understand and acknowledge that this is as ingrained in our national psyche as prawns on the barbeque with frozen peas. However, does that have to include growing camellias as well?

My dad used to shake his head in amazement when the neighbours’ camellias used to shed their flowers in our garden. It was good mulch. He also detested those flowers. So maybe my aversion is genetic based rather than just personal prejudice. It is all so complicated and one spends a lifetime trying to figure out other peoples foibles instead of trying to sort out own problems and silly idiosyncrasies.

Let me confess at least (before my time is up) to admitting my camellia phobia is illogical and very limiting in experiencing more joys than just relying on growing grass for sustenance. Perhaps a good psychiatrist or reading Emmanuel Kant might throw light on this camellia phobia of mine. He did say:
He who is cruel to camellias becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of camellias.
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/i/immanuelka390204.html#EFzSyyoRLeYw2Poo.99

Who really cares?

They look so plastic. Those shiny leaves? I know of no other plant that so readily takes to looking artificial. In my suburb of before mentioned sad teen years, a neighbour higher up, belonged to a camellia society. He also was forever mowing his lawn with one of the first Victa’s lawnmower that used to never start except when he got close to going berserk in his backyard. He used branches of his beloved camellias to thrash his Victa lawnmower into submission. I used to watch his lawn mowing efforts through our venetian blinds. It is perhaps now easier to understand for you readers how low I had sunk in my spiritual suburb dehydration.

If there is one thing that I still have a burning ambition for, is; please never leave plastic flowers on my headstone nor any camellia, even within my very limited sight.
Thank you.