Posts Tagged ‘Milo’

Soccer between France and Australia.

June 17, 2018

 

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe.

There is always a first time. Helvi scanned the TV programme for Saturday evening and as the pickings were a bit slim, surprised me by saying; ‘why don’t we watch the soccer?’ We never watch any sport. When sport comes on the TV, we slink away to clear the table or use the time to put the dishes in the sink, feed Milo, only to return when the weather forecast comes on. We are not against sport. There is just too much of it. At my social bowling-club I am often embarrassed when I am asked what I thought of the latest rugby or AFL match. I don’t understand the game or the scoring and so often read players being up for drug charges, glassing girlfriends, sexual misconduct, drunkenness etc. I always though that playing with an oblong ball must result in a warped personality and deviousness

.

You can imagine my surprise when Helvi suggested to watch the world soccer match beamed live on the TV. I always felt that if sport was anywhere on her radar, it would be soccer. I agreed that to settle down to watch Australia play soccer against France it would be a first in our long term marriage or relationship. People are in relationships rather than marriages. Does it have a tinge of sophistication now?

The weather outside was atrocious. The wind was howling and the forecast was for snow down to 700 metres. We are at 500 metres above the sea on the cusp of snow or at least a bucketing of sleet. Helvi had already packed up the Kalanchoes who don’t like cold. The cyclamen were jubilant in eager anticipation of a nice cyclonic frost. The violets are more indifferent and like extremes of weather, cold or heat. Those brave little souls.

The TV was put on the right soccer channel, the shiraz uncorked. I threw all caution to the wind. The cheese, olives and other delicacies on the coffee table. I turned the thermostat to 25C.  I thought it so typical and lovely for Helvi so often to make the best of things, and in such a surprising and creative way. The thing with soccer is that the ball is round and generally goes towards its intended destination. The ball is also used to kick it instead of being (Illegally) carried around under the arm as in rugby. No-one in soccer will ever grapple with each other either. In a rugby scrum one could be forgiven in thinking that maybe it isn’t only the ball they are trying to grapple with. Who knows what goes on between all those legs, arms and bums?

We enjoyed the soccer immensely and so badly wanted Australia to win. As it turned out there were some dodgy calls and hints of video evidence being ignored favouring France. They finished up winning 2-1. Australia played very well, and even though they lost on a faulty technicality, can walk proud into the future.

Helvi and I had a great evening. Who could have thought that so late in life we watched soccer game?

It is never too late!

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Tribulations of Treatments.

May 8, 2018

images Loving Couple

You know winter is near when the wood-smoke greets early morning’s walking our dog, Milo. This is now done each morning before the trip to Campbelltown hospital for radiation. It falls on me while Helvi gets ready. It includes her dressing and make-up. A woman takes much  more time with those rituals. She needs patient husband. After coming home from radiation in late afternoon, we both take Milo for another walk. Milo is very fit and so are we.

Yesterday’s treatment involved as usual the same batch of patients. We sit together in the waiting rooms. A kind of conviviality has developed. We are all in the same boat. Life is precarious enough without cancer. We become even more tenacious by hanging together sharing our plights. The man with the prostate cancer confessed he had become impotent. ‘This treatment did it’, he told the room. The wife looked annoyed. ‘Is that all you ever think of’, she said?  He looked to be in his late seventies. ‘No, it is not all, but I always enjoyed it’. ‘It’s a major part of me;’ the husband said proudly.

‘There is more to life than just that’, his wife replied. ‘Just think of the nice holiday we will have when going up north to the sandy beaches of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. ‘I am not talking about a holiday’, he said. ‘I can’t crack it anymore’, he added. This time he was miffed. Perhaps the wife did not give enough credit or importance to his masculine side. I too thought the wife might have handled it a bit more diplomatically.

The husband looked around the room hoping for support. I could only mumble;  ‘they are different types of enjoyment.’ ‘A holiday and sex are different things’, I added optimistically.  Another supporting male lifted the spirit of the husband. He seemed pleased and continued, warming up to the subject. ‘For my whole life I woke up each time with a ‘morning’s glory’, he enthused, followed by a more sombre;  ‘not anymore now though.’ For the uninitiated, the morning glory refers to erection. It reminded me of another expression. A rather coarse one; ‘cracking a fat.’ This was a popular expression between trade plumbers or sewerage specialists. In the US they refer those sort of remarks to; ‘locker room talk’.

 

The waiting room’s atmosphere really warmed up now. Almost like a locker room. The husband looked somewhat triumphant having brazenly confessed his declining state of morning’s tumescence. The wife sighed, shrugged her shoulders.  I subtracted that she might well have endured her husband’s libido for peace sake more than for her own joy. Sex is often overrated. It doesn’t get you anywhere. I often prefer a good book or a herring.

A younger female patient joined in and  gave a much needed supporting sigh to the wife. ‘Those men.’ she said defiantly, ‘they are always banging on about their own things’, she said. She told the room that she has a brain tumour which had spread to her lungs and liver. She has two boys of seven and nine. After finishing her story of plight and worry, the previous issue of erections and cracking, seemed trite. ‘That’s life’, she said. She seemed happy and was accompanied by her mother. I thought, at least she will have her mother to look after the boys if she doesn’t beat her cancer. It seems such an unfair business.  The room became quiet again. One hears miraculous stories of beating the worst diseases and ailments against all odds.

Let’s hope the mother of the little boys survives.

 

A Place of Repose

April 14, 2018

From Wiki.

“Repose is a formal or literary term used to mean the act of resting, or the state of being at rest. Repose is also a state of mind: freedom from worry. As a verb, repose means to rest or relax, or to rest on something for support: There he was, reposing on the front porch.”

IMG_0039a place to repose

In the renewed effort to reclaim a more balanced and benign view of the present world there could hardly be a better place to achieve it than shown above. The cushion that our Jack Russell ‘Milo’ is resting on is the reversed soft cotton side. The other side is deemed by him too rough. It is actually a piece of worn Afghan rug made into a large cushion cover we bought somewhere on our travels up North near Brisbane some years ago. You can see how low we have sunk to cater for his every whim. Sometimes I feel Milo is the owner and we mere yeomen, just renting, cap in hand!

The reason for the need of a place to repose is that the bleached bones of some of my past were getting to poke out of storm’s dust, causing anxiety to well up far too frequently and making me feel the fate as unnecessary fickle and punishing. We all know the black-dog’s friendship with darker moods. It is thought and I agree, that the search of man’s obsession for everlasting happiness is futile, unnecessary and might also be very boring. However, the opposite of accepting a pervasive gloom is not really all that popular either. So, what about a bit of each?  Could that be the answer?

Medicine is often prescribed as an answer to shadowy moods, but apart from an aspirin and thyroxine I have never taken any mood changing stimulants, excluding the sharing of coffee in morning and Shiraz at the evening. The capriciousness of fate is hopefully teaching me in accepting the past what can’t be changed. We might as well accept. You would have thought that a man in his late seventies could have come to that insight a bit earlier, but…better late than never. I might just be a late learner and having migrated at fifteen did something.

From now on I will take up residence for a couple of hours each day in the chair where I took the photo from, just behind Milo on his claimed cushion and ‘repose’. The beauty of those few square metres is sublime. Helvi made this Nirvana and paradise. It is just perfect, especially after about four pm when the sun is starting to take a rest and slowly goes down making a mood for respite of heavy thoughts perfect for a change into something lighter and positive. Is it in the opposites, the Wu Wei of life that there might be an answer?

What do you think and looking at Milo, does he give an answer?

 

 

Should ‘Milo’s droppings be picked up?

November 28, 2017
IMG_0688

Milo at peace with the world

Many no doubt remember the days when dogs roamed free around suburban circuits and their shopping strips. In our own suburb of Balmain it became very fashionable to have dogs as pets, and there even seemed to be a correlation between the size of the house and the size of the dog. Generally, the smaller the house, the bigger the dog.

There was no law on dog dropping and I remember hopping and skipping trying to avoid huge piles of dog shit on the footpath. People used to scrape their shoes on the concrete kerbs with the more fastidious and gymnastic pedestrians carefully picking the  groves in their shoes with a piece of stick specially taken for just such an occasion.

For a short while, councils introduced painted signs asking dogs to be kerbed. It showed a dog squatting with a nicely formed dropping suspended in mid-air between the dog’s arse and the kerb. Quite a creative bit of a sign really. After a few years a law was passed that all dogs had to be walked on a lead and the days of dogs shitting hither and dither with the resulting littering of footpaths disappeared. Most dog walkers take a plastic bag to take care of any impromptu dog defecating events. You sometimes see  a little plastic bag suspended from the dog’s lead proving the diligence of the dog walker in doing their civic duty and follow the law on dog droppings by picking it up. Some people even bought a special scoop to pick up dropping. It seemed too complicated and I think they have now disappeared. They turn the plastic bag inside out, pick the still warm dropping up  by hand, and turn the bag around to its original form, but now containing the dog’s product.

All this because a few days ago a man ambushed me from behind his garden fence to tell me to pick up Milo’s little turd. “You are not leaving your dog’s shit on the grass verge,” are you, he said? I immediately crouched down and picked up a small brown branch of a wild cherry tree. I answered and said, “I was only too happy to pick Milo’s little shit up but could not find it.” I showed him the little branch and took out my handkerchief. “If I can find it, I will put it in my hanky and in my pocked,” I said.

The man calmed by now. I showed him the branch and still on my knees poked around the grass trying to find Milo’s small and dry little turd. Apparently it was so small it just did not show up.  My eyesight is not he best. The man then relented and said; “no need to put it in your hanky and in your pocket.” “And what is in your hand is just a little cherry branch”. “I am sorry, he apologized.”

Perhaps he felt being a little too severe.

Milo looked up. He did sneak one in somewhere. Should I have looked better and more thoroughly?

What do the readers think of this etiquette of picking up dog shit? Milo’s toilet habits are perfect. He usually goes right underneath some bushes and never on the foot path. Never.

Another day another adventure.

August 7, 2017

IMG_1087Milo 2017

Each day is an adventure that we have to make happen. It’s not just a matter of jumping jauntily out of bed and hope it might come about.

Last night was one of many evenings when we did not watch TV. The choice was somewhat bleak. A woman told her story of surviving a forty meter jump off a Brisbane bridge and why she did that. We had already read the preambles of her story. She had a problem with a new IT system introduced at her job which she felt she could not cope with. It did not sound very convincing.

This was soon to be followed by a program investigating the dismal failure of our recycling of  glass and bottles. It is used as landfill or being warehoused in huge sheds. To make things worse, some shifty middlemen wearing raincoats and fedora hats, made deals where in order to avoid dumping fees, the mountains of glass got railed or trucked interstate where dumping fees were not charged.

There we were, thinking Australia is finally doing something good by recycling glass while all the time they were importing new glass because it was cheaper. Thousands of tonnes of recycled glass is being dumped or warehoused. What about using the recycled glass into making new bottles even though it does cost more? I thought our ecology was important. We did not really want to watch that program either. It was my birthday after all.

It is hard to make each day an adventure when on top of all that, the Same Sex Marriage act is back into the doldrums. A compulsory plebiscite is on the agenda again. Remember,  in Australia we have compulsory voting! It means we MUST vote on the issue with the threat of punishment if we don’t. The Government in all its ‘non action wisdom’ is now considering if the compulsory plebiscite does not pass the Senate to introduce a postal vote on this SSM issue.

Poll after poll shows, that the choice in allowing all people regardless of sexual preferences of the sexes to marry is overwhelmingly accepted and wanted by the general population.  There is no problem and we can also rest in peace knowing marriage in whatever form or shape won’t be compulsory.

To make the day an adventure regardless of what we get so inundated with by negative news, I feel like going to Luna Park and go around on a great Ferris wheel or go for a ride in the tunnel of ghosts again. Whoop it up with some fairy floss, or just stay put and seek pleasure in the adventure of the daisies, birds and our dog Milo…

What do you think?

The Paris daisy.

June 22, 2017

IMG_1105 Parisian Daisy

The Paris Daisy

There is just nothing more comforting than a single, little and insignificant flower. I say ‘insignificant’ in its beauty being so shy and modest. It’s not like a brutal rose for instance, with its hostile thorns and short flowering duration. The only rose daring to raise its head in the garden is our Iceberg,  bravely defying neglect and lack of attention. We do not like the rose, in spite of  Shakespeare. No, give us the sun of a Paris daisy.

It is strange how last year our Paris Daisy bush had hundreds of flowers lasting weeks. Their obstinacy in clinging to stay the top-flower in preference to the majestically towering Bay trees and Royal Hydrangeas is remarkable, surely worthy of lofty praise and curtsying  respect!

I mention their strangeness, because ever since their copious flower-show last year came to end, it all stopped. Not a single bud since its flower explosion six months ago. Was it some form of protest. Was it trying to tell us something? We raised it lovingly from a cutting we took from our next-door neighbour, Harley. We asked for it and he gladly gave his blessings. His Paris daisy fronts the street and gives passers-by so much beauty and pleasure. All free. All it might want in return are a few kind words, something in the order of; ‘oh, what a lovely plant,’ or even ‘great little yellow daisy, isn’t it?’  It doesn’t mind being called pretty or even described as a ‘pretty bush.’ It’s rarely insulted by people not really knowing it is a daisy. Milo lifting its hind led is even tolerated by this Paris Daisy. Isn’t that proof of symbiotic relations? No wonder its flowers so profusely.

We had a friend many years ago who named every flowering plant under the sun a pretty tulip. He knew I was Dutch and thought it safe to show some horticultural insights. He might also have thought he was witty. I prefer this last summation and showed my pleasure with accompanying laughter, which often takes me a considerable effort. There is nothing wrong with boosting the ego of another person. Things are often so frail and precarious amongst us, and an encouragement is the least I ought to practise and ‘share.’

Have we noticed that this verb ‘sharing’ has become very popular? We are knee-deep in the West with our ‘sharing’. It is particularly popular amongst those that practise psychology or hold alternative health certificates with a preponderance for prescribing herbal medications including Bach remedies to Gurdjieff followers and his teachings of The Fourth Way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff

The taking of the Paris Daisy photo above was irresistible. Isn’t it beautiful? It stopped me in my tracks. I have been watching its tiny bud over the last few weeks. This morning it opened. Is it trying to make amends? Helvi told me she had trimmed it last year, but that was at the very end of its flowering and should not have minded the daisy at all.

Nature has a way to do things on its own accord and we should just let it get on with giving us its beauty.

Isn’t that such an act of sublime generosity?

 

The torture of Dept. of Human Services

April 6, 2017

 

photoSalvia Nr 1

Salvia

Our day will involve getting our travel concession travels sorted out. I  felt so proud a few weeks ago. I finally managed to get our Opal travel cards. This is the card you need when catching trains, buses or even a ferry. You get to tap it on a metal pole at the beginning of the journey as well as at the end. The pole seems to recognize your unique profile and deducts the cost of your travel from this magic card. It seems rather lugubrious that we are now identifiable by plastic cards that we store in our wallets. What happens to my ‘profile’ after I am gone? Will I just be remembered by my Opal card?

It wasn’t an easy journey to finally get this card. A big problem with modernity is that no matter where one goes or what one intents to achieve, one needs to log on to something. The logging on is presented as a heaven on earth. ‘Just log on to some dot.com. and the world is your oyster.’ As if! What they don’t tell you is that as soon as one tries and ‘log on’ it asks for your profile. This is some kind of internet mug shot. To establish this profile one needs a password. This password needs to be well hidden and it is suggested to write it down. I had a booklet of those passwords but I have lost it. Almost all dotcoms tell you to never let anyone know your passwords.  As soon as I got yet another password I quickly used to write it down in my special red coloured password booklet. But this booklet was so well hidden, it is lost.

This in reference to a letter addressed to ‘Dear Gerard.’ from the Dept. of NSW transport. It seems  we are no longer eligible for the Gold Opal card. (because of a change in our circumstances.) We both need to act and cancel our Gold Opal card and change over to a different Opal card. If we don’t we will not only lose our Gold Opal card but also lose any credit that still exists on our present cards.

The sting is that to achieve the change you need to log on to opal.com.au. As my passwords are so well hidden they are lost I can’t log on. However we could also go to a real office and get it changed manually by a Government employee. In an effort to squeeze more money out of the taxpayer many departments are now bundled together into just one. It is called Department of Human Services. I have some experience with it. Human services my a*”se.

A while ago I was fined twice for illegal parking. I checked it out and both parking infringements posted out to me occurred on the same day and at the same time within the same second and minute. How could that be? However, in my gallant effort to get one of those fines cancelled, I just about lost the will to go on. I desperately tried to log on  to the Infringement department of the Motor Transport, even to the extend to request a new password. ( the old one was hidden, remember!)  It was hell, and I was reduced to just incoherently tapping over my computer. Milo looked up and knew something was terribly wrong too.  After recovering I ended up going to the Human Services and had the fine cancelled. The Human Services girls were dressed up in a cheery red uniform but were as difficult to contact as it was on the internet. One told me to stop shouting. I wasn’t shouting.

So, in about an hour or so and after a shower we will go to this Human Services office to try and sort out our Opal travel card. I will keep you informed. I do hope we won’t need our passwords.

 

Why is everything so much more complicated?

 

 

This Australia country is Crook as Rookwood

March 22, 2017

IMG_1087Milo 2017

There we go again. It seems that the refugee swap with the US is under some cloud. Australia claims it needs to cut back on spending. It could save billions by just finally accepting the refugees held on Manus and Nauru  on Australian soil. What seems more logical? The oft repeated mantra of keeping control of our borders is just ludicrous. Can someone point out which country borders us?

Our minister, Mr Dutton, for Torture and Unlawful Detention (TUD) should brush up on his geography. We are girthed by sea and in any case Facebook, Twitter etc. doesn’t respect national borders and makes a mockery of land borders. As it is, the world is becoming borderless. We are supposed to revel in being Australian and associate ourselves with ‘true Australian values’ but what are those values if not the same as those of most civilised countries?  What are Australian values that are so unique?

Treating asylum seekers as sub-human is a festering sore that will keep Australia on the international shame list while it lasts. I can’t possibly dance around a national Australian pride pole while refugees whose refugee status has been accepted are kept detained. They are not illegal and no charge has been levied against even a single person.  They are in their fourth year of unlawful detention.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-22/us-refugee-deal-architect-says-based-on-australia-doing-more/8375250

It seems  likely that the  trade in refugees between the US and Australia will at best limit itself to just a few of the seventeen hundred that are still locked on Nauru and Manus in exchange for perhaps fifty or so refugees from Central America. There are rumours that the refugees on Manus and Nauru have been fingerprinted by US officials. Heaven only knows what must go through those tormented souls? Fingerprinted once again!  The indignity of it all.

Many of the refugees are well educated and sometimes seem to have a better commend of English than their torturing privately funded interrogators. How could we have got it so wrong? I know the answer. We lack leaders that are decisive not divisive. There is our PM Turnbull, grandiosely  slapping himself on the back saying that Australia is the most tolerant, the most successful multi-cultural country in the world. Yes, but what about all that what happened within our child support detention camps. The people employed to look after the welfare of those children asking sexual favours. Suck my dick video has just turned up at the Royal Commission.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-20/don-dale-officer-filmed-himself-asking-children-for-oral-sex/8369284

How could things go so off the rail?

 

Milo seems to have an answer. Just look into his all-seeing eyes.

 

 

 

What price Freedom?

February 27, 2017
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Mum in Holland with a Hoover electric vacuum cleaner. (not cordless)

We are all not so sure anymore if it is safe to visit the US. A pity. We have never been there. Perhaps it might be possible take a cruise and visit New York without getting off board and risk going through Border Control and be detained. When Ali Jr hardly got through how about anyone with a non-Anglo name? I visited Egypt back in 1961. This might well come to punish me. No doubt the FBI or secret service have kept a tab on that visit.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/02/25/customs-alis-son-wasnt-detained-because-hes-muslim/98419924/

While ‘Oosterman’ doesn’t sound Arabic, it does smack of something sinister. Oost is easily an East, and we all know what that means, don’t we? And what about that ‘man’ at the end?  A man from East? Say no more; detain him.

All kidding aside, and with all respect to my US based friends rest assured that the same is going on here in Australia. We don’t detain for a few hours, our prime minster Turnbull detains people for years if not life on Manus and Nauru. Woe those daring to enter Australia and not having drowned. You will be punished.

When I visited Egypt so long ago it was still allowed and possible to get right inside the Pyramid of Cheops. There was a tunnel that led one right up into the Queen’s chamber. It was quite a hike up and then down with a never ending stream of tourists doing the same. Afterwards there was the obligatory camel ride. I took a bit of stone from the pyramid and kept it for years together with a fez that I had bought in Port Said on our migration trip to Australia in 1956. So, our involvement with the middle East started early. The fez and pyramid piece of stone have long gone, possibly pinched by our children when young, showing off to their friends how well travelled their parents were!

http://www.guardians.net/egypt/gp4.htm

Rumblings of Turnbull’s demise and Trumps impeachment are growing fatter and gets richly fertilized as time goes by. We shall see. In the meantime I am still kept busy with another type of freedom; the Hoover cordless ‘Freedom.’ I have just done ( vacuumed) our whole house with one charge. What do you think of that? Of course, the battery is a lithium. It is now the new catch word in electronic jargon. People ask ; How are your lithiums going?

We were in Sydney yesterday having a lunch with daughter and one grandson. The other one is fighting with his mother over not being home ‘on time’ as promised. We know that problem well. However, it is their turn now. We are old and beyond feeling guilty about grandchildren behaviour, especially teen-grandchildren. There are lots of books about teen problems now. Just don’t read them.

Ever since we started brushing Milo, the hair load on our floor has eased. We brush him twice daily. He likes it and actually leans against the steel rubber tipped hairbrush. I then have the job of unpicking Milo’s hair from the brush. It is quite a job. (twice a day) I was surprised therefore that even with all that brushing I had to empty the ‘Freedom’ cordless twice as the canister was chock-a-block with Milo’s dust and hair. Milo just studies my vacuuming and then yawns.

That’s freedom for you.

 

And now for the good News

February 24, 2017

 

Almost ThereThe last few posts have been the work of the curmudgeon supreme. Jerimiah seems to have  reached a new level in delight and joy, highlighting the never ending stream of all that is going wrong. Sorry for the bleakness, but somebody had to do it. I don’t know why I watch the news. Relentless Trump and Turnbull. Neck on neck trying to outdo each other in a race to the bottoms-up, dehumanising their patch. Surely, there is something more cheerful to write about. Those grim purple faced bishops fronting the Royal Commission. Footage of one eminent church leader dipping a large feathered brush in Holy water sprinkling the congregation. Oh, such folly of voodoo and chicken feathers dressed with mitres and in flowing robes. Are there Technical tafe courses in becoming agnostic?  I am sure many are now queuing up.We need many more doubting Thomas’s.

 

The good news came from our National Library of Australia in Canberra.  ” Dear Gerard Oosterman.” “We would be DELIGHTED to receive a print copy of your book  ‘Almost there.’ Our records showed that this title is now published.”

Can you believe it? All this apart from both my books also having been entered in two of the State Library literary competitions. I am so happy that, after I posted the book at the Post office, I promptly shouted myself a nice  micro-wave heated up sausage roll. The word ‘delighted’ really did it. It was about time somebody got delighted.

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I walked with my fat sausage roll to a park bench in Corbett Gardens, Bowral. The same park where the three elderly sisters were hit by  lightning  last week.  I sat down with Milo. He looked keenly at my poly-styrene package holding the sausage roll. It was a mini celebration. I would like you all to share in my joy.

I gave Milo about half my treat.

It was so lovely and good.