Posts Tagged ‘Jungle’

Thomas’ university entrance score.

December 14, 2018
photo Thomas without tablet

without tablet (de)vice

The magic of the internet showed up again when our grandson, Thomas, managed to receive his HSC scores through the manipulation of his iPhone. The magic isn’t so remarkable while within range of civilisation, but in the middle of Sulawesi jungle? Mind you, once tourism rolls in, the www’s follows. We have both been able to ‘message’ each other which, as I have been told, is different from texting. I can never get my head around all that technical stuff. It is a penalty I am glad to pay. You won’t see the likes of us, old fogeys, heads bend over iPhones in one hand and cappuccino in the other, while crossing the street with giant semi-trailers roaring past, missing us by mere inches.

Thomas worked very hard. He is not a practical boy with two left hands unable to clean up or acknowledge a laundry basket even remotely. He used to visit us when things got too much back at home. His teenage years weren’t spared and as his grandparents we used to counsel him assiduously with pearls of wisdom coming from his mother more than me.  I still get admonished for not putting the butter back in the fridge in its predetermined space. I have watched Thomas doing the dishes at our place and had to smile at his awkwardness. I actually had to restrain myself in not encouraging his clumsiness. He put plates and cups standing up and would at times just walk away. He is somewhat of a dreamer and easily distracted by his own thoughts, whatever they might be. Thoughts are the stuff of life, and to be encouraged even if it doesn’t fit in with domestic chores or logic. Of course, our daughter does get fed up with her son’s chaotic habits and domestic clutter. Not that she is all that organised. Perhaps the reason of her annoyance! Thomas got his mother’s genes.

When Thomas was small around 5 or 6 years of age he used to wander around our farm’ paddock just reading. Helvi used to do the same when she was young, she told me.  His younger brother raced around the house on his bike which Thomas had difficulty mastering. He thought that by pushing the handlebars this would somehow propel the bike forward. It wasn’t till I took the trouble explaining the mechanics of pedalling with his feet activating  a chain for a wheel to turn that he finally got going on his bike. While his younger brother plays and watches sport, including soccer at 3am in the morning, Thomas could not get quick enough away from any sporting activity. It is amazing how the two grandsons are so different. You should see how organized his younger brother is. His room always spotless!

Thomas was over the moon and so were his mother and us. He scored 93 out of a top score of 99. For a complicated reason the top score is not 100.  The world of further study is now open. He tells us he might want to get a job for a years or so, save up, and see more of the world. His mum would have been happy with a score of 75 or so. You can just imagine her joy. (And ours) All credit to him though, he worked so hard.

 

 

Getting down to Earth

February 2, 2017

img_1059the-heat

With the heat of the last few days in retreat, I’ll try and revive a few more words. Words tend to wilt with anything over 26c. If not wilt, melt. Like butterfly into buterfy or wedding into bedding. Letters faint, drop off. In the meantime. Let me recall some of the last few days. Of course, the minimum requirements during heat are plenty of electric fans. The double glazing is fine when the nights cool off. Eventually everything gets hot and an itchiness develops to just survive breathing in and out.

One of the advantages of large shopping malls or even small ones is that they are air-conditioned. Dire warnings for elderly to stay well hydrated, avoid sun sugar seek shelter, stay calm. It wasn’t helped reading more people die of heat than drownings. We sought refuge in Aldi, just sauntering around the oranges and broccolini. It is amazing though that the the big ones such as Woolworth and Coles that advertise on the Telly, are losing custom. You won’t see Aldi on TV. Yet Aldi is taking away shoppers in droves from the big supermarkets. It are the Mercedes and BMW’s that now glide in and out of Aldi’s parking stations.

Svelte bouffant blonde ladies carefully going over the specials, bending over sweet potatoes, fingering the carrots that one is likely to encounter at Aldi now. Men in Country Road shirts, camouflaged shorts with many pockets lingering around the tool section, contemplating sets of spanners or paper shredders. It is so relaxing. An escape from heat. I wonder if taking a couple of easy fold-out chairs into the air-conditioned splendour of Aldi would be objected to? I mean a couple of oldies just taking it easy?

During one hot night. I took to extremes. A fold-out bed under the fan. Desperate measure.  The fold-out bed is about twenty centimetres above floor level. Pretty handy, I thought. A bit like going back to my camping days. But, again for each progressive move forward, a punitive counter move. With the much lower centre of gravity I could not get up when a call of nature beckoned. Let me tell you. Getting older is in direct proportion to toilet breaks. The less years ahead the more toilet breaks are engaged in. After a few attempts in trying to get up by using available leverage I found out my limitations.  Sitting up was achieved but not actually standing up. I felt helpless. I needed nurse. I considered just letting it just flow all out. Who cares?

The mind gets active in emergencies. I thought that if I rolled out onto the floor first I might just be able to get up by the help of the coffee table next to the bed. I managed to do just that. I first dropped my feet on the floor, followed by legs, than my torso, chest accompanied by neck and attached head. I rolled over and by arching my knees managed to get enough off myself  from the tiled floor to reach the top of the coffee table. The rest was easily managed. I felt so proud. Almost did a Tarzan’s jungle call but thought it would alarm Helvi. She slept well elevated above ground level in our communal bed. I went to the toilet triumphantly.

Another handy hint during the present heat-wave is for the elderly to seek shelter in the local hospital. We are living right next to not one but two hospitals.  A public hospital and a private one. The Public hospital use blue-tack and sticky -tape while the Private hospital  gives you a free pen to sign over your wallet.  One could just find some excuse or ailment and take a comfy chair in the emergency department. They often have lots of magazines. Many waiting patients can be engaged with comparing levels of ailments or the latest government pension cut backs. The wait for triage nurse always a thing to look forward to. Her soft caring hands wrapping the different bodily measurements equipment around your arms. I tell you, it is not a bad option.

Think about it!