Posts Tagged ‘Rin Tin Tin’

The kitchen of give and take and does it send you blind?

December 11, 2014
The kitchen of give and take.

The kitchen of give and take.

There is nothing like taking stock of one’s health. I seem to take more and more notice of the elderly of late. Especially those that seem more advanced in age than I. They look me back in the eye with a beady eyed wisdom as if to say. ‘Yes, we all get there in the end.’ ‘Put in your order for the walker or motorised wheelchair. Get practising to taking the packet of incontinent pads from Aldi’s shelf. Be brave and try do it in front of a young silken smoothed roseate angel. A maddening challenge and what a prospect to behold? Get used to it, cobber! Pay the price of the outrunning of the tide and watch the orange sinking sun. See it as a reward for having lived a life of sorts. And as Leonard Cohen used to sing there is still time to ‘the bitter searching of the heart.’

“From bitter searching of the heart,
Quickened with passion and with pain
We rise to play a greater part.
This is the faith from which we start:
Men shall know commonwealth again
From bitter searching of the heart.
We loved the easy and the smart,
But now, with keener hand and brain,
We rise to play a greater part.
The lesser loyalties depart,
And neither race nor creed remain
From bitter searching of the heart.
Not steering by the venal chart
That tricked the mass for private gain,
We rise to play a greater part.
Reshaping narrow law and art
Whose symbols are the millions slain,
From bitter searching of the heart
We rise to play a greater part.”

Well, that sets the tone for the day. Cheer up old man, smell the roses and pat your dog. Your genes are predicting a ripe old age well into the nineties if you stick to health and steer clear of the pork shoulder with crackling and those perniciously beckoning Slovenian Kranskies. Take a leaf out of your dearest H. who has lentil soup for breakfast! You gave up smoking but seem unable to give up addiction to secretly indulge in those strange dietary habits if not other bad habits as well. You are not taking other things in your own hands still, are you? Look me in the eye when I am talking! Ha, that quick downward looks says it all. What did your mother teach you? Keep your hands above the blankets and think of the Royal Family at the feet of India, read Rin Tin Tin, listen to Smokey Dawson or eat an apple instead.

It seems like yesterday I had my vitrectomy in right eye. It has been over a year and the sight hasn’t improved as promised. I now have to book some kind of operation to remove cataracts. Just great! Does it send you blind? Vasectomy, colonoscopy, polypectomy, vitrectomy what next? On the 14th of January an appointment with the Audiologist to get new hearing aids fitted. The old ones don’t zing anymore and it drives Helvi mad. Shouting matches mistaken by neighbours for marital incontinence and fisty cuffs, mishaps and mistakes, apologies with rewards of lunch with calamari and baked barramundi and chips. It is all sometimes a bit complicated but we are getting there.

We are all on a journey in the kitchen of give and take.

My First Picture Show

June 6, 2012

It would have been in the very early fifties. I was either in the first year of high-school or the last of primary. In any case, the school was giving film evenings in a hall that would hold perhaps sixty or seventy children. I remember that it wasn’t a big hall like many schools have now. A few years later me and mates would break into this hall and try and make pancakes on a fire made by burning old newspapers. I had taken some flour from the kitchen and someone else brought milk and a sauce-pan.  I have forgotten if golden syrup was involved.

The roof had a sky-light which we lifted and used to lower ourselves onto the floor below. The open sky-light acted as a primitive chimney letting out some of the smoke from the pan-cake fire. They were the years of so many discoveries including my first movie. Those pre-teen years were possibly the most dangerous. We were reckless and without fear, daring to do anything.

The coastal dune areas of The Hague where we lived still had very long underground tunnels buried in the sand of the dunes which linked the large concrete bunkers. Some of the bunkers still had enormous cannons which were aimed across the sea towards England to ward off any attempts to regain the Dutch territory from the German occupiers. I was so lucky to have as my playground those dunes, the sea and those underground tunnels.

They were pitch dark and we used small bottles filled with kerosene with a burning wick floating on top to give  light and guide us through them. No adventure land could have been designed better. We spent many hours and days crawling inside those underground tunnels and bunkers with the kerosene lights. I had four brothers and we all lived in a walk up apartment on the second floor.

Yet, my parents and perhaps most parents of these times did not seem to have been consumed by worry. Perhaps having gone through the terrors of war, bombing and famine, surviving parents took a well earned break from worry afterwards.

I often wonder about the different parental attitudes now and those of many years ago. Just witness all those modern anxious parents of today, scared stiff to even let the kids walk home by themselves. All activities now-a-days are strictly supervised and nothing left to chance or for kids to find their own adventures.

Perhaps the fact those families were bigger played a role. It was simply impossible to check on every child for every minute of the day. In any case, we were free. I felt that we never exceeded danger levels but as an eleven year old, perceptions of danger were somewhat arbitrary. When I jumped between frozen slippery timber beams at an open canal- lock letting boats through the different water levels, I fell down but managed to hold on to a beam. The lock-master saw it and pulled me up, gave me a belting and I never ever went back to that area again.

It could well be that adventure needs some danger. Perhaps adventure is the possibility of danger. Exclude all risk and danger and you stand risking inviting torpor with creative growth stunted. The one light on today’s horizon on bringing back adventure are the provision by so many councils of skate board ramps. If you are looking for kids on the street, forget it. They are all at home being locked up and looked after by parents flat out keeping danger at bay. But, for those that are not quite so protective of their broods, many are released from oppressive parental control and are found skate boarding.  There is still hope for kids risking bruising and breaking bones. At least it is something.

As for my first movie. It was in black and white and called Rin Tin Tin. From memory it involved a large German shepherd saving people from danger. We used to go wild afterwards, terrorizing the neighbourhood pretending we were all heroes, part of the Rin Tin Tin movie. I believe Rin Tin Tin saved the Warner movie industry in the thirties and forties. Twenty three Rin Tin Tin movies were made and countless radio plays based on this dog kept millions enthralled for decades.

Could it be true that Spiderman and Batman have replaced RinTinTin?