Posts Tagged ‘Female’

Walk the Talk to Sydney’s State Library.

January 15, 2017

The cluster of cables united


After arrival by train we undertook a walk to the Library to deposit ten books as part of two literary competitions. We passed the first of the sky scrapers and after overcoming intestinal hiccups, the walk resumed with renewed vigour. We are now seated underneath large white canvas umbrellas enjoying a sandwich, a bagel and café lattes.

We noticed that despite the heat we were feeling remarkably chipper. We both enjoy watching people go by. It is interesting that we noticed far more cafés and eating places now in Sydney. Many tantalising plates of food were on display. Gone were the dreary lamington, devon and pie offering of years gone-by. No, all is good in the culinary world. A revolution certainly seems to have happened in edible food in contrast to the fare handed out by our rorting politicians.They still revel in showing abhorrence to even the slightest hint of public support for the dreadful treatment of refugees! But of that more later.

Souvlakis and the yeeros outlets seem to have been well established along Macquarie Street while Pitt Street now excels in Chinese wontons, oriental offerings, noodle dishes and even  sad-looking flattened smoked ducks hanging from inside shop windows. A man approached us pointing to his throat. We shook our heads. He walked on and went to the next customer. Was he hungry or mad?  Poor man, possibly both. After a good rest and drinking copious amounts of water, Helvi suggested to go on. Our next stop would be Martin Place. Martin place is to Sydney what the Left-Bank or Eifel-Tower is to Paris. It even has its own train station, all underground. This is where many people meet.

Years ago Martin Place had an expensive and fancy night-club restaurant.  I think it might have been called ‘Quo Vadis.’ The uber socialite and fund raiser of that time, Nola Dykevere, used to write up in the Sunday Telegraph about the  celebrities visiting this night club. It would feature photos identifying by name the diners and their guests. It was many a Sydney-sider’s lifelong dream to be featured in that paper.

I took one of my first dates there. It was a terrible night. The food was cut up sliced English ham and a salad without dressing, some pierced bits of English gherkin.  I threw all caution to the wind by ordering a glass of tepid insecure wine. My date had sparkling lemonade and we just kept saying to each other; “nice, oh how nice, and my spicy Dutch guttural English ‘you look so lovely’ was answered by ‘thank you.” ‘ I was wearing a too big a suit with a white shirt and tie. The brylcreme tried its best to give my mat hair a bit of a wave. The show had a chanteuse singing something from Tammy or possibly  the latest from that racist ‘ The Black and White Minstrel show.’ For dessert we had some sliced cheese and a pale jelly. I bet the cheese was ‘tasty cheese.’ Still a favourite today.

Of course, anyone on a rare first date would have felt a bit nervous and memories might be exaggerated or vague. My experience of the opposite sex were at that time very limited but my interest at pitch fever heights. A peak during the Scheyville migrant’s camp after our arrival, at the Polish taxi driver’s wife’s bush in the shower through a crack in the fibro  partition was as far as it went. Most of my fellow Dutch migrant boys at the Nissan Hut camp thought it a very fortuitous break and were jealous.

Today, Martin place is thankfully different. A busy bustling place with well designed open places where people can sit, enjoy a coffee and avoid talking to each other tinkering on the mobile phone.  Going up past the station we again met up with many of the homeless. A volunteer with entrepreneurial skills had set up a kitchen to feed those that were hungry. A cook was busy stirring and frying food. Many seemed to just be sleeping or perhaps the heat was having an effect. Many looked elderly. Were some pensioners? It all looked rather startling and unsettling to see so many. How could that be?

Right now our politicians are in the middle of a scandal with rorting their entitlements. One female minister for HEALTH just resigned when it came out she was using travel entitlement to scour the Gold Coast Auction market and had made a most lucrative investment in a high-rise unit on the cold Coast while purportedly being on Government paid health business. Where are their priorities? Certainly not on the home-less.

Another minister with a penchant for horses had used her travel entitlements to attend polo races with her boyfriend. She was shown in a photo wearing a hat and far too much eye blackener. Another scoundrel had travelled to the US attending a Prayer Breakfast, whatever that means. But the forgotten flotsam of the homeless are in Martin place and a few were even seen prostrate right in front of the reason of our walk and focus, the State Library. Again I won’t finish this tale of books and woes.

It seems, that I got stuck far too long on regaling  past memories with peaks at female bush. Is that what drives me?

Keep an eye out. More to come!


There weren’t as many as there were a while ago.

December 16, 2015
Friends and family of some years ago

Friends and family of some years ago

The yearly Balmain Christmas party has been. It was a good party. Probably one of the best ever. The party has been a tradition for well over two decades. Always in the same house and with the invitations sent to the same people who have known each other for many years. We all know each other’s triumphs as well as tribulations.

As the years go by, less men than women turn up. Men have either died or somehow got lost along the way in marital upheavals. You know how it is. Men get older but not wiser.  They are capable of imaginings that drive them to other pastures. Their flagging nether passions nagging them relentlessly till well into their eighties.  It is so in vain, isn’t it? Women, on the other hand, might not get any  younger either, but when difficult husbands have either died or gone somewhere else, many get a second life and thrive to even greater heights.  It has always astonished me how quickly some women overcome the passing of their husbands, either through a heart attack or another woman, (even another man in rare cases). It must be of a great consolation that they outlive erring or difficult husbands, even the good ones!  I am happy to be one of those still hanging around.

As the glass or two of fine wine established itself, and, within our intimate albeit a somewhat grey-haired group, worked its way, the excitement of seeing each other again  became audible if not visible as well. Heads nodded in benevolent agreement. The Christmas cheer was on its way. For some years now, no wild music is put on anymore. Many of us wear hearing aids and complicated dentistry equipment. No loud music and soft foods only. Heavy metal and chewy bones, pork crackling are out. The age of Aquarius has gone now. We are still going. Aging gently softly, but not as yet totally gummy or brick deaf. It might well come to that but meantime we whoop it up.

All too soon it came to an end. Some of us gave some presents. Someone remarked we seemed to be leaving earlier and questioned if getting older had something to do with it. Perhaps? The wine had started to wear off and some of us have afternoon rests. You know how it is. In any case, it is remarkable that we still have a party. I just read that 100 years ago, the average age of an adult was just 47. Look at us now.!

I counted 14 females and 4 males. One of the males looked a bit peeved. He told me (quietly) he had taken his top ‘partials’ out. ‘I was eating the lovely trifle and took them out and now I don’t know were I put them’, he said. I comforted him. I offered that he might find them on the plate holding the rest of the trifle. ‘Have a look I said, ‘before someone might take and eat more trifle and find them’.

They are just the sort of things that happen when you get older. I have as yet to experience losing my partials in trifle. Life can be unpredictable. It is what makes it worthwhile.

‘There might not be as many as there were a while ago’ but enough to keep on coming each year.