Posts Tagged ‘Fuchsia’

Jam berapa? ( what time) and the Mexican Fuchsia.

August 5, 2020

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Fuchsia Splendens

There is nothing like the expiration date on food labels that makes one focus on the possibility of getting oneself a bit expired or stale, let alone going off altogether. One really ought to consider going for a practice run to the funeral parlour, lay across the counter and yell ‘shop’! Perhaps glance through the casket catalogue, pick a suitable comfy softly lined coffin. These are terrible times!

Of course, the other alternative to this gloomy and somewhat negative reflection on this otherwise sunny morning is the thought of yet a lifetime of years beckoning ahead. There is nothing unusual of centenarians still whooping it up. I watched a short video of an elderly couple in their nineties jiving around the place. It doesn’t do me much good and I generally stay clear of those kind of depressing prompts to go and jig around the place. There is nothing more discouraging than old people pretending to be younger. People should be their age and I love the sound of tapping sticks and whirring by of mobility scooters. I am on the cusp of turning eighty and now too part of this brave lot of people. I always though old was someone being fifteen years older than me. Now am  fifteen years older than me and have arrived!

Also, have reached the age when people might start saying,  ‘you are looking well today’! The emphasis on ‘today’ would be a worry but they mean well. I certainly don’t think of any age but that might be a common refrain used by those sad men who cling to the wish of taut midriffs and bulging biceps. Getting out of the shower with open eyes is really as good as going to those earlier confession with Father Murphy, but not advisable for any octogenarian irrespective of spiritual bends, unless one takes the mirror down. Any idea of romance or dalliance gets instantly a drooping down and was a waste of the previous caressing, encouraging and soothing warm waters.  I must re-read Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’.

It is no good reflecting on time or years. Remembering a wise Balinese man telling us that time (jam) is of little use in Bali. Indeed, at the many  times we were there, it baffled me that the Balinese were totally free of time constrictions. They had no clocks, or wore watches. Tourists were running about all tense, tapping their watches, with faces contorted in case they were missing out on something. Festivals are a big part of daily life in Bali. In fact their life is celebrated without apparent time constraints. When asked what time?  (berapa jam) a Balinese dance performance would start, the inevitable answer would be ‘perhaps soon’.

As for the Mexican Fuchsias. (Fuchsia Splendens). A frost had decimated a lot of plants at one of Australia’s major hardware stores named ‘Bunnings’. I love this store and could easily spend whole week-ends there. It is a treasure trove of tools, gadgets, shelves of locks and wooden things, including rolls of totally unrecognisable materials and many over-excited customers.  I saw a woman once with a large spanner wearing a T-shirt with, ‘I’ll do you’. Going through Bunnings is as good a mental aphrodisiac as a  stroll around Amsterdam. Bunnings is a Nirvana for the insatiable curious. On top of that they have barbequed sausages on Saturdays to raise funds for Police clubs or the Elderly (That’s us).

Well, through the frost and plant damaged stock, I managed to rescue the half frozen Mexican Fuchsias that are not only very beautiful when fully grown, but also provide the worlds best tasting and most desirable berries. I was so lucky to get them and the above photo shows how well they have fared since I bought and nursed them back to robust health. It is also nice and reassuring that the flowers are bi-sexual and with axillary, pendulous armpits in the distal armpits.

I’ll think of that next time I eat their berries.

The dismal round trip to Centre-link.(unemployment office)

April 28, 2018

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The Fuchsia and Cyclamen giving us joy; just like that!

Some time ago we were kicked out of the Australian aged pension. There isn’t a universal aged pension here, but instead a pension only for those that have assets and income below a certain amount. It is called ‘deeming’. One is deemed to have less than what is regarded as acceptable to live in comfort in old age. Only then people get a pension so small one needs a torch to find it. Coming from a culture where pensions are a right for everyone, rich or poor and not a ‘hand-out’, this has always been a thorn in my side, no matter how often I eat meat pies or watch the Melbourne Cup.

We grew up rich in a frugal culture with nothing wasted.   That’s why all our three adult children were helped by us with an original deposit enabling them to buy their own places. That is the reward for not wasting and squandering. Squandering is easily done. Just look around the number of young people walking while ‘downloading’, either electronica or huge burgers with Coke. One can almost hear the cash registers at the Telcos and Dominoes running red-hot.  We hoped our example would set a standard but I am not sure young people really understand it.

The not squandering money stood us in good stead but the Government recently used it to not  pay pensions and instead now rely on the old to spend up the hard earned savings and then hopefully cark it before they are so poor they might just beg for the miserly and dismal pension from the Government’s tight wadded fists. They prefer to give away billions to large corporations in tax concessions so that they can whoop it up in Lichtenstein or the Cayman Isles.

Anyway, with this and that, our savings have now fallen below the amount whereby it might just be possible to creep back into the Australian Pension. Hence our walk, cap in hand, to The Centre-Link office. Centre-Link now is he Australian Federal Governmental Hub whereby all social welfare is handled, from child endowments to unemployment income (‘the dole’, what a dreadful demeaning expression!)  single parents subsidies and the Old Age pension and much more as well.

You know, something dreadful is forever happening here at Centre-link. One sometimes see the police trying to calm down a person driven to insanity. No wonder. The grey-blue fluorescent lights saps the spirit immediately on entering. There is just nowhere to rest your eyes.  There are painted steps on the carpet which one has to follow. It leads you to a battery of computers.  This in an attempt to foster self reliance in doing all the complicated and tortuous paperwork. One is expected to join ‘MY-GOV’ and follow all the prompts to its destination whereby, hopefully one receives whatever benefit is asked for.

Even joining the MY-GOV website is way too difficult and especially the elderly give up. What, with creating e-mail addresses, passwords and a host of identification proof. The atmosphere not only effects the clients but also the staff. It is all so grey and doomed. A ghoulish blanket settles over everybody within minutes. This is a Dracula snooping around in need of a blood top-up exercise.

We can’t wait to get out of the place. I did manage to fill in all the questions, even uploading all the bank statements and withdrawals, the drivers license, my passport and rate notices, proof of citizenship, so much more.  I did the same for Helvi. It doesn’t matter that she is my wife and that all banking, income is shared. This extra punishment is demanded. And of course, all that information they already have from earlier times.

We now can’t wait to go to our radiation hospital treatments, get a needed spiritual lift. Or go home and look at the garden.

I was so determined to get above it all.  I’ll seek council through the Fuchsias and Cyclamen instead.