Posts Tagged ‘Red Cross’

Seniors, and the Art of Sand-bagging.

June 20, 2016

He often thought about his painting days. There were hundreds of them. In the past they were stored in the dairy at the back of their farmhouse “Rivendell.” They lived on this farm for just over fourteen years. It all seems so long ago now. He remembers taking many of his canvasses from their stretchers and making a huge roll of them. It saved space. This roll of canvasses needed two people to lift, and it too ended up in the dairy. The best of his work, chosen by his wife, were hung around the walls of their farm-house. Many of the paintings were very large. This artist’s work was always well hung. The colour yellow seemed to be dominant in most of his work, with blue the second favoured of the primary colours.

When the farm was sold and a move contemplated into a much smaller town-house, the issue of downsizing had to include the paintings as well as too many books, chairs, tables, and the flotsam that inevitably gets collected through the years, especially living on more than one hundred acres. While many of the items of furniture and books were given to family or Vinnies, Red Cross and Father Riley, the paintings had already saturated the ability of friends and family to soak up even more. In fact he was often very please to rediscover a forgotten painting hanging somewhere. Like lost friends, he often surmised!

It was decided that the best of his work would be preserved. Each time when family or friends came over, they would leave with yet another painting, a chair or table, books or other accoutrements superfluous to their new and smaller home. It is something that people growing older tend to engage in anyway. A kind of clearing up before the inevitable? Tidying up loose ends. Who knows? The stairway to heaven clearly signposts; ‘no tables, chairs or paintings inside allowed.’  ‘Please,take care of your wings going through the gate!’

When they finally moved to their new but smaller premises, those paintings that were picked out to keep, are now stored in the garage. With the deluge and flooding of the garage a few weeks ago, it was noticed to his dismay that water had crept up the canvasses. With yet another monster storm forecast, he went to try and stop a future flooding by quickly building another levy in front of the garage door.

To his great excitement, the levy would soon be tested. He keenly watched on his computer screen the blue mass, indicating heavy rain, predicted by Bureau of Meteorology (B.O.M), slowly creeping south towards his town-house with the now two levies in place (One he built some years back, soon after moving in). To really make sure, he had the backing of an extra eight sandbags in case of the levy malfunctioning. His wife had advised this action while watching ‘Follow the Money,'(Betrag) another one of those Danish dramas, totally spine tingling but nothing too esoteric. I find the complexities of British dramas, such as Midsommer and Silent Witness far too taxing now. Soon, I’ll be watching re-runs of Rin Tin Tin.

The storm came and went. The levies were holding. It was easy, because the storm was a bit of a fizzer. The paintings inside the garage have dried and everything is in order.

Ah well. There is still time to buy a good read;

Living in a Hell called Nauru.

October 26, 2014

untitled Nauru Detention Camp

Open letter: Living in the hell called Nauru.
Identity withheld

I am writing as a mother in Nauru house of detention. After 10 months of being detained on Christmas Island, my three-member family was brought here: myself and my husband and my son who is not yet three. As I knew we were going to be forcefully taken to Nauru, I felt sadness and spent all the night crying in misery. Any time I looked into face of my son, I asked myself, what is his sin to be punished harshly like this? What wrong we have done to receive such treatment? Just as I heard an officer saying that we were going to be transferred to Nauru, I suddenly felt all the miseries in the world. I kept crying all the time we were leaving.

We were put in isolation on Christmas Island. They checked us for nearly 10 hours with no break – they kept searching our bags and threw half of our items away. We were not allowed to wear shoes. They did not let us to tie our hair. They checked behind ears, inside nose, beneath tongue and hair. Big bully officers. My little son was scared and kept crying.

Do you know what the meaning of hopeless and helpless is? Do you know what is the meaning of I got tired of being alive?

After 10 hours of inspection, we were put into a bus accompanied by a large number of officers and then onto an airplane. The journey took eight hours. My son neither ate nor slept for 24 hours. You may not believe that my son really didn’t sleep for 24 hours, but he felt such anxiety.

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