Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool’

Using Global Positioning System to the Doctor.

April 10, 2017

Almost There

The arrival of the driverless car can’t come quick enough. There are far too many drivers on the road that should never be allowed near any car, let alone inside a car.  I don’t actually like most other drivers. There can be no greater joy than driving past a car parked along the highway with a flashing police car stationed behind it. The police car has special investigation equipment to know the history of the car and its driver.  The driver in the car just has to wait in the knowledge the policeman will soon come out of their car and present a fine, or worse. The best of those cases are when the driver is asked to get out of the car and told he or she is not allowed to continue driving because of a lost license, levels of inebriation, methamphetamine use, unroadworthiness of the vehicle or heaven knows what else.

This happened to us many years ago when living in Holland. I was a hippy had a perm done, smoked bongs. Helvi did tie-dying and wore long skirts. Both of us listened to Carly Simon and were ardent admirer’s of the late Trotsky without knowing much about it. We converted a Kombi van in which we took trips to Paris. It eventually needed new tyres but were suitably lax in buying them in time. The police in Holland are sharp and  pulled me over. They inspected the tyres and without further ado slashed one of them with a special knife. We bought four new tyres very promptly.

The Pro-Office remind calendar told us that last Saturday a yearly appointment with a specialist  doctor was due in Liverpool. I felt confident enough to take the journey without plugging in our Tomtom GPS. We had done the trip several times before.

Liverpool is one of those chaotic cities that are so common in Australia. Residential homes, factories, commercial unidentifiable building all thrown about as if by a demented architect out on revenge. In between many vacant overgrown with weeds are allotments littered by abandoned trolley or empty baby prams. The inevitable yawning car yard appears in between all the chaos. The words ‘special’ or ‘closing down’ are strewn about like confetti at a drunken Russian wedding with the groom sprawled out on top of a plate of borscht. The Norwegian Edvart Munch’s The Scream pops up as well.

This visual assault is something we struggle with whenever or wherever we travel by car. The soothing voice of the GPS commentator a much needed anchor to keep me grounded within borders of acceptable sanity. It soothes me; ” turn right after 400 metres.” Or, “take the next second exit after the round-a-bout.” It is so becalming and reassuring.

However, as noted I had not put on the GPS. In a moment of inattention I had forgotten to take a turn to the left. A disastrous mistake. On Toll-ways, a mistake can have dire consequences. Helvi remained silent. She knows my limited boundaries in the area of remaining calm and collected. There were no signs of left turns anywhere. A buzzer in my car went off indication a toll charge had been collected. We finally managed to get off this Toll way and soon found the road to Liverpool again. Helvi took me to task and bluntly told me not to go anywhere without plugging in the Tomtom. “Why do you have one?”, she asked not unreasonably.  Followed up by; ” why do you have it in the car?”

We still made it in time to the doctor and were out of his surgery within twenty minutes. “No worries,” Helvi smiled.  To get back on harmonious levels, I made a point of sticking on the GPS and clicked on our ‘home’ address. It guided us back seamlessly. The soothing voice taking me into my previous conviviality.  We stopped on the way home in a nice pub and shared a Napoli pizza. Helvi had an Italian Pinot Gris and I had a nice schooner of stout.

It all came good, but only just.


The Underbelly of Bowral on Saturday 19th of Jan 2013

January 19, 2013

Bowral 1

The Underbelly of Bowral on Sat. 19th of Jan, 2013

Things were a bit quiet in Bowral this morning. Small groups of decent people talked in hushed tones and gave furtive glances directed at kerbs, guttering and errant shopping trolleys. There was an eerie aura of foreboding in the otherwise very public ramrod private moral stance and confidence of this town. This upright Bradman cricket emporium of the world’ Bowral’. Things were different today. Even our dog Milo seemed somewhat subdued and given to an introspective way of walking. He took unusual short and hesitant steps forward and kept looking sideways too. He kept his tail down, most unusual for a Jack Russell.

Someone had been shot and at 7am too. Incredible, at the very time I had sliced the top of my three minute egg but before I had taken the toast out of its electric implement. I did not want to say ‘toaster’. Toast out of toaster sound silly. My domestic breakfast organizational skills are bad at that time. It would have been better to have taken the slice out before beheading the egg, but there you have it, change at this stage of my life seems unlikely.

On my way to the toaster, across from the table where I had just capped my egg, H shouted from upstairs computer engine room that the bush fires had calmed down and if I could close the windows. I followed H’s instructions with the piece of toast firmly gripped in my hand. I was determined not to lose my goal of eating the capped egg with strips of toasted bread dipped into the dripping yolk. It is one of those simple delights that add to life.

As it was seven in the morning, the TV was on SBS as I am fond of foreign news, no matter in what language. At my age, it is all I can do to retain my Euro-centric connection of the past before even those might well be swallowed up by a possible clouding over of future and past events. You just never know how things will pan out and I could well end up dithering with egg on my bib at the ‘Anglican Eventide Rest Home’.


It was after breakfast that I went upstairs to have a quick reconnoiter around the news when I read about the shooting at Bowral. “Police remain tight-lipped” it ended its article, but not before it gave the address where the shooting had taken place. There is nothing more that arouses curiosity than when something is sealed within ‘tight lips’, we all know that!

We quickly donned our gabardine overcoats with sunglasses and with Milo on the lead when we set off on an investigative journey to Short Street, where the early morning Police shooting had take place.  Short street just happens to be a couple of hundred metres past St Judes Anglican Church, adding greatly to the mystery of this shooting. Even more enthralling was that Short Street happens to be a hop and a skip from the Police station. What intriguing circumstances? Had the police station itself been under siege? Of course with all the excitement of the Ned Kelly festival and re-burial the day before, things were already at fever pitch.

After arriving in Short Street, we were not disappointed. There was tape stretched around the whole street and cars with flashing lights were everywhere, even a police car with ‘street is now closed for traffic’ sign attached to its roof with special brackets and a solar panel. There were lots of police and white shirted men standing around with clenched mouths, showing their sealed-lips intentions. Not a word would be allowed to escape, no matter what. The media was there and so was someone serving coffee in those paper beakers. I overheard someone asking for ‘sugar’, momentarily unsealing lips…

We stood around but became none the wiser. The shot man had to go to Liverpool hospital by ambulance and is in a serious condition according to an ambulance spoke person, but… the police maintain strictly ‘tight-lipped.

Bowral remains very subdued.