Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Walk the Talk to Sydney’s State Library.

January 15, 2017
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The cluster of cables united

recap.

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!

 

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Dear Gerard; your Annual Health Assessment is due

October 5, 2016

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I rarely get letters addressed to Dear Gerard. Yet, it happened. It was yesterday. I could not believe my eyes. And it was followed up by my address too. The postman could have read it through its clear-plastic address window. The ‘Dear Gerard’ letter is urging me for a yearly Health Assessment. An Australian Government initiative to keep the elderly at home as long as possible. In my previous post I pointed out the dreadful risks taken when housed in a Private or Government ‘care’ facility. It would give Kurt Wallander unlimited material for spine chilling TV crime busters. The dreaded mid-night nurse approaching with the needle!

The world wide problem of aged-care is finding strange solutions. In The Netherlands some relatives have found solutions for their ageing parents by secreting them away in the Ukraine and Slovenia. Are the Polish salt mines being converted to aged care facilities next? One old Dutchman was even found wandering round a Thai Airport. In the US, the aged are simply being dumped along highways or heaved over the border-fence in Canada. Ungrateful children found out their keenly awaited inheritance had been (wisely) spent, or worse, they now were lumbered with a debt. Grandpa was very fond of the casino.

This Government too will stop at nothing to avoid having to fork out money to care for its long suffering former tax paying elderly citizens. Hence the invitation for the Health Assessment. I went through the same thing last year. I came through with flying colours. I managed to fold a piece of paper, bend over and put it on the floor in front of my feet. Nurse commented on my still supreme mental agility in following an order. I thought, but did not say, I had still far more interesting facilities still in order as well.

The invitation to this Government supported Health Assessment Party this year includes a few more mouth-watering options. The outstanding ones are levels of continence and my fall status. Can you believe it? The assessments of moods and memory will also get judged by the Practise Nurse. From memory, I remember having filled in a form last year that included not wanting to stay alive if it meant artificial feeding or breathing.

I wonder if I could get a bracelet “No resuscitation, please.” An exception might be made if resuscitated by a woman! Would I need an extra bracelet for that option? I would not like a mouth to mouth performed by a bloke. But, who knows? I haven’t yet thoroughly contemplated and reached that option.

But there is still time.

Senior moments of Australia steeped in political morass.

July 5, 2016

photoThe eight weeks of electioneering in Australia had finally come to an end. The voting had finished at 6pm on the second of July. The counting had started right on cue at all the scrutineering posts. Helvi and I had settled down on the claret coloured settee. Milo had been fed. The wine decanted and breathing heavily. It was all-ready-set-and-go. The TV was switched on soon followed by the sound bar. It is one of those electrifying evenings that one might still talk about for years to come. Forget about Dr Who or God of Thrones. Election night hasn’t been missed for at least thirty years.

The Government funded advertisement free TV station, the ABC, has always been our favoured channel to watch. As the early figures started to come in we were heartened by a swing towards the left. We are left of the centre but not so left as to drop into the stormwater drain of rioting unions or brick throwing bakers. That might be so because of our age. Our brick throwing days are over. If anything could still be thrown it would be a marsh-mellow. We do believe that the rich get smoked salmon and the poor mainly Salvation Army soup. The gap is increasing and the people getting restless.

As the evening wore on and with the wine taking its effect, the two person party in our household was swinging. All caution to the wind. The power of our multi millionaire Prime Minister was drooping. Seat by seat Labor was winning at the expense of the Liberal & Nationals. At the same time it also became clear that the Duopoly of both major parties was being curtailed. Both parties were losing out on the primary vote which went to a bewildering number of smaller parties. Pauline Hanson’s ‘One Nation Party’ did a Lazarus after almost twenty years in the never never wilderness. She sucked in the anti-immigration, anti Muslim, and anti halal certification vote. She made sure that at the election barbeques around her area, all her admiring xenophobes were provided with non-halal sausages. Her prime attraction for voters was to pass a law that would insist on CCTV cameras be installed in all mosques.

At the end of the evening ( and it was now 1.30am) the experts on elections announced the most likely scenario would be another ‘hung government.’ This election was supposed to be to strengthen the Government of the LNP PM’s Malcolm Turnbull grip on the future of Australia. It might take days if not weeks to get a final result. It is likely, another election will be held before Christmas. The reflections by Mr and Mrs Oosterman are, that our PM just did not follow up on the image that we had of an innovative progressive leader. He did not pass legislation on the SSM that the nation overwhelmingly wanted, and instead went for a $150 million plebiscite at the end of this year. The other promise of lowering taxation for businesses at the expense of health and education was also seen as a hand out to the ‘big-end’ of town.

Australia is now faced with uncertainty, yet life goes on. We had a terrific evening. The sun came up, darkness lifted. At least, the LNP are now in a downward spiral. Exciting times ahead. I do hope that the prospects for the refugees on Nauru and Manus Islands will get resolved soon.