Posts Tagged ‘Garbage’

A normal day

April 18, 2017

photoflooded river

If I ever become a Turkish-like president with total power, the first thing on the agenda would be to ban religious Easter and Christmas holidays, and replace those with having ‘normal days’.  I have never understood that the birth of a baby in the manger surrounded by poor unemployed people while breathed over by animals with the nailing and crucifixion of that same grown-up baby years later should be cause for holidaying and partying. No wonder the  world is so mixed up. When or why did those fondants, chocolate eggs make their entrée? Why not rye-bread or herrings? We would all be so much healthier!

You can always tell when those events come close. Shoppers get nervous and stock up on Nuroven pain relief tablets, chocolate, different stripy sugar sticks, and stool softening medications. Kids sky-high on chocolate-eggs and slushies, go on a skate-boarding rampage. I was nearly killed by a skate-board riding kid yesterday while walking along with Milo. He could not have seen me. His vision obscured by such a voluminous hair jungle, I wondered if it held monkeys. How could he find his way around?  Our grandsons too have skate-boards. They go to town carrying them about. It signals that they too are part of this group and to be reckoned with. I gave them a talk-to, be careful around the elderly, not to try and kill them. The elderly  have a right to a life and footpath too. They did try and listen but I noticed their thoughts going off at a tangent. That’s normal too.

Here in Bowral, autumn is mid-way and at its best. Busloads of Chinese tourists disgorge themselves, and were seen to take selfies with a Liquid Amber or a Claret Ash in the back ground. The ochre-coloured massive Oak trees near our place groaning under the weight of dying foliage. Its raining with leaves, soon to get picked up by giant Council vacuuming machines. Tons of leaves will return in mulch and used in spring when the cycle starts all over again. This is what I like about ‘normal’ days.  Time doesn’t stand still. It goes on.

Perhaps after all those years, I have come to accepts the noise of those mechanical gardening devices. Gutters are being sucked out, pavements are being blown free of leaves, the lawnmowers on their last mow now. Edges trimmed once more. The much beloved nature strip will soon become quiet and its grass asleep. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn, the garbage trucks will rattle along picking up the bins. It is normal and so life affirming.

On the advice of my dentist to get a yearly check-up I made an appointment with a doctor at 3pm. I wonder what they will find wrong? The dentist (Craig) reckons a yearly blood test should be performed regularly when getting older. Helvi admonished me and said; “You go to get a check-up because of the dentist? Yet I have told you repeatedly to get a check-up. What is wrong with you?”

It is all so normal.

A normal day.

November 19, 2015

After all the sardine excitement of a few days ago topped by the glorious rack of lamb yesterday, it was time to calm down, take a breather and try have a normal day. One ought to be on the guard of excessiveness, even if it involves sardines.  As I got up this morning I was so resolute. Before even the first coffee, I went to the front of our compound and picked up both garbage cans. Earlier on I had heard them getting emptied. I have seen those modern garbage trucks in action.

They are fitted with extendable hydraulic forks that clamp the garbage can, hoist them up while also tipping them upside- down. They disgorge their contents inside a covered truck.  All this is done flawlessly in one swoop by just a single person who also drives the truck. The empty can gets gently put back on the nature strip.

With a bit of squinting and fogging ones glasses one could just imagine it being a kind of ballet where the prima donna gets picked up, turned over and then gently put back on the stage. A kind of  modern Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet of The Sleeping Beauty. Other aficionados of watching garbage trucks in action might well prefer and dwell over his version of the Nut-Cracker suite.

In the old days, the garbage cans were made of zinc and it took a whole army of men to deal with them. I remember a kind of large heavy gate at the end of the truck compressing the garbage. It was the norm to leave a crate of brown ‘long necks’ for the garbos at Christmas time. This was a particular difficult period for garbage- men. Especially afterwards when all the remnants of the festivities would rank darkly inside those cans. The hot sun relentlessly cooking the prawn-shells and heaven knows what else that had putrefied. A  tough period. A cold beer was very welcome. That has now all gone. No more gifts for the garbo.

After I picked up the plastic lidded garbage cans, I dressed and made coffee. The plan was to tackle the snails in the garden for which we had to shop. We also had run out of garlic. Lately we have made the decision not to economise on garlic and get the Spanish variety. The Chinese garlic, with all respect for Mao, doesn’t cut the mustard. We make up to the Chinese by getting their Bok-Choy. There is just nothing like blanched fresh Bok-Choy glazed with some sesame oil. It really is the most delicious vegetable and at 99cents a bunch at Harris Farm Market, is a top buy. Go and get it.

I do hope farmers make good money. They deserve it. I can’t believe when dieticians complain that the poor get fat because they can’t afford good food. How cheap are vegetables, including carrots, potatoes,  beans. A packet of rice or pasta? Tinned sardines or tuna. Even fresh Australian salmon,  four fillets for $12.90? It is far more the intrusion of the Macdonald’s and their rotten food quarter pounder outlets, KFC is another one. Why are they still given development application approvals when Australia has one of the world’s highest numbers of those Fast food and take-outs Per Capita? It is Capitalism murder on a grand scale now. It is! How long before action is taken? It kills more than Isis. Far more.

Take it easy now, Gerard. remember a ‘normal’ day.


From 1976 onwards. Memoires!

September 30, 2015


Now that the medical investigations of physical health and other possible upcoming frailties in the future have been dealt with I can perhaps go back to my earlier musings about the past.  They were all bundled under the somewhat pretentious title of ‘Auto-biography’, towards the end morphed into autobiography’ or perhaps were even  referred to as ‘memoires’. Perhaps memoires is the most suitable. Who knows? It has a hint of someone getting ready for the softness of blissful forgetfulness but would still like to leave behind a story of when that was not so. A kind of evidence based of the purpose that life once might have held.

Not that life is totally without a purpose now. The garbage bin has to be put out, not forgetting the alternative weeks (fortnightly pension day) that the yellow lidded  recycle bin has to be put outside but the red bin always weekly. A routine that is now well established and I never forget. There is something very endearing about those bits of routine. It beds us down, makes us feel secure. One can imagine the millions of refugees on the run from bombs and terror. All routine of daily life stolen at a moments notice. You can see it in their eyes. Frightened of what the future holds. How fortunate we are. It is only the luck of our birth that separates us from those running the gauntlet of many borders, clambering over train windows, desperate to escape from the uncertainty. Nothing more than that.

As I remembered, after our family’s return from Holland in 1976 we  moved into our house back in Sydney’s Balmain and had taken delivery of our furniture and all other remnants of our previous three years in Holland. I enjoyed the artists salary, had some exhibitions, sold some paintings but also missed our large extended family. The Australian bush as well as the disorder of rusted roofs and the chaos of Parramatta Rd beckoned. Those yawning second-hand car sales yard seemed so attractive. A funny thing. The Dutch sense of order and discipline had taken its toll. The breathing space that we have in Australia is not to be underestimated.

When life got back to ‘normal’ the children back to school and a smooth transition into work and paying bills, life resumed its path with routine getting established once more. The garage was transformed in a place to make the stretchers for paintings. Part of it was made into a darkroom. I suddenly developed a keenness for taking photographs and with my brother used to develop our own black and white shots of people and city/ landscapes. A very prolific period of paintings followed. I entered many in local art competitions which many councils annually held all over Australia. Balmain was attractive to artists and in our street alone there was a group of them all beavering away inside their studios. Some of the artists were very ‘arty’ and used to delve into mysticism or were very esoteric to the extreme. Bach remedy was used for everything, even giving birth or a dog’s broken leg. Dreadlocks and smoking dope was very popular and so were music of a kind sung by the massively curled Carly Simon,  especially ‘You are so Vain’. Of course, we were united all against war, especially nuclear war and used to march in rallies together with Patrick White, whose popularity as a Noble Price winning writer of fame seems now to have waned.