Posts Tagged ‘RSL’

New Year’s ( but happy?)

December 30, 2019

IMG_0225The Hydrangia

We are again at the doorstep of another year rolling over. I thought to-night was the fireworks at Sydney’s harbour bridge, but I was mistaken. It is tomorrow night. Fire now seems to be associated with the breaking of the new year, but the traditional fireworks are on the cusp of being cancelled. There are so many fires burning now, it is difficult to find something that is not burning at the moment. To celebrate the New Year with fire-works seems insulting, especially to those that have given their time fighting fires all over the joint. I noticed that one fire out of control is now approaching our area. People are a bit tense, huddling in groups and talking in hushed tones to each other, no doubt advising on possible escape routes. The quickest way to a lake or pond with a view to immerse oneself in case the firestorm approaches. There are also designated safe areas for people to evacuate to, including the Returned Soldier’s Clubs where I play my bowls.

https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/about-us/our-districts/southern-highlands

“Alpine, Aylmerton, Willow Vale, Braemar, Balaclava, Mittagong and Mt Gibraltar areas

  • Monitor the changing conditions. Strong north westerly winds may push embers into the area.
  • Stay alert for embers and spot fires.
  • Embers can be blown well ahead of the main fire front, and start spot fires that can threaten homes”.

The above is copied from the latest warning on a fire approaching the Southern Highlands. It is out of control and covers over 227 000 ha. It is large enough to create its own climate and cause dry lightning to strike for fires to spread even more. Tomorrow is going to be very critical with predicted temperatures in the 40’s C. The nation is on high alert.

I was given a couple of nice bottles of wine at Christmas time. It included a ten year old tawny Port. I am actually considering to cut down on my alcohol consumption. I noticed that my appetite is languishing and lessening. I have a banana and pear for breakfast and that seems to carry me over lunch as well. And then in the evening I force myself to eat a salad with a salmon cutlet. Of course, I had the lamb curry on Christmas Eve, but on the whole I seem to eat a lot less. But…I still had my few glasses of alcohol, I suppose to carry me through the evening when my new sole-ness makes itself felt so keenly. It helps to make me go to sleep. But I noticed that in the morning on wakening I feel parched and often suffering a grey mood.

I decided two nights ago to cut down and just have at most two glasses of wine over about a five hour period. I started last evening and it helped, I woke up feeling better and put on my socks with quickened pace.

I am also considering giving up some of my bowling in exchange for doing the U3A  https://sohiu3a.org.au/course. The bowling is a nice exercise but in between, while having a cup of tea, the players segregate into one table for the women and at a separate table the men. It seems so anachronistic. On top of that, at the men’s table they have a ‘swearing tin’. This is a tin in which the men are supposed to put in money if they swear. It seems that swearing is the domain of men.  And then the remarks about ‘Muslims are bad, Lebanese, Chinese are bad, etc. Before I could cope but now I am too fragile to just put up with it.

What do you all think about that?,

 

The Tent.

February 8, 2019
Image result for Tents

In our efforts to become leaner and not willing to burden our family with the washed-up flotsam of our earthly but temporary stay, we undertook to try and ditch some possessions we no longer use. The clutter of our third bedroom, used as an office is where we started some time ago. All those papers stored, ‘just in case’ but never looked at again. Do we really want to look at old gas bills, or Water & Sewage rates and taxation notices? Out they went.

We had stacks of photo albums. Hundreds of camping trips when our children were small. Holidays on the South Coast dating back to the sixties and seventies. Many recorded by my Agfa Clack camera bought from my savings while delivering fruit and vegetables to embassies in The Hague just prior to my parents’ adventure migrating to Australia. That camera was indestructible. Colour films at that time were sent to Melbourne for developing and it wasn’t cheap. Later on a new camera was bought and recorded our overseas trips to France, Holland, South America and a still lovely Bali, with some of our best memories from Santiago de Chile post Pinochet, and Argentina. We kept the best of those photos now stored in a blue Dutch Verkade biscuit tin and chucked the  empty faded albums in the recycle bin.

We have as a matter of getting away from inside our house also made attempts at cleaning up our garden shed. It seems that order of things don’t last even without actually using tools from within the shed. Sooner or later things become disorderly again out of their own volution. We discovered a rather large and bulky bag that looked almost as if it held an assortment of cricket gear. Most unlikely. We are to cricket what a herring is to a seagull.

It was a tent!

The tent was used a lot on our previous life on the farm. We can still hear the echoes of laughter from our grandchildren who, with their mothers, slept in the tent on many occasions. They would take books and read with light from candles. Did we not all do that when young? We did. I had rigged up a battery with a small globe and read Jules Verne’s adventures under the blankets during winter’s nights with the windows all iced up with frost designed flowering shaped greetings in the morning. Dutch winters were still cold.

With our grandkids now almost young adults and us on life lengthening medications we are most unlikely to go camping again. How would we get up from the ground? I suppose by the help of a tent pole. Over the last few weeks we did leave useful items on the ‘nature strip’ at the front of our housing complex. The nature strip is a green grassy area reserved for Australian suburbs. It also sums up to me a kind of terrible dullness. The noise of the petrol lawnmower doesn’t liven it up either.  Anyway, it held our small enamelled barbeque and several still working electric fans. They were all soon taken. However, I did not want to abuse this nature strip too often, and decided on a different method for ditching the tent.

Last Wednesday morning I went to the Moss-Vale Returned Soldiers Club for my weekly indoor bowling event. I thought that leaving the tent in the parking area, no doubt someone will get the benefit of this still in very good condition tent. The tent is one of those spring loaded pole affairs and easily put up. It was also large, for six people and a shade sheet for over the top with a floor sown onto the sides. Years of designing this tent went into its production.

After arrival at 10am, I parked the car out of sight from other cars. I opened the door and gently lowered the tent on the bitumen next to our Peugeot. No one had seen me doing it. But…just before the start of bowling who would walk in with a large bag? It was Peter.

‘Guess what I found next to my car, Peter said’?  It was my tent. He had parked next to my car after arrival. Other bowling mates advised Peter to unzip the bag to see what it was. I acted just as surprised and even said; ‘perhaps it is a gun’! After unzipping, it was found to be a tent. I wasn’t surprised. He decided to hand it in to the office near the entrance where members are always asked to show their identification before being allowed in. When I left after the bowling was over, I noticed the bag with the tent at the back of the office counter.

It had found a good home.

Buffet.

August 13, 2018
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Grapes, strawberries and figs.

We sometimes like  to eat out.  This eating-out is usually a lunch. The winter cold keeps us inside more than is necessary. But, winter-cold and getting older seem to result in an increase in staying indoor. However, when we do take the courageous step to eat out we chose venues for value and lively atmosphere. This usually means either a pub or a well-run restaurant or café. There is nothing worse than eating in a place that is empty. So, a good lively crowd is part of our occasional lunch or dinner.

Our choice of eating out last week was a buffet dinner at a Returned Soldier’s League (RSL) club of which both of us are members. They do give exceptional value. I play my twice weekly indoor bowls at different soldier’s clubs. The value those clubs give are due, to no little part, to gambling and poker machines. The income from gambling gives discounted meals and cheap drinks to members and friends. I feel a bit ambiguous about that. No-one seems to care much about socials ills that gambling brings. The ‘free choice’ is often muttered. But many mums and dads go home to hungry children. How free is that?

Part of this generosity are discounted meals and drinks on member’s birthdays. Mine was last week. I received a letter congratulating me with an enclosed list of vouchers which gave free meals and discounted wine and something called ‘Tombola’. I don’t know what Tombola is. It might have something to do with winning a meat-tray or a chance at Karaoke gift.

One gift I received was a discount of $25.- on a buffet bought by at least two people costing $37.50 each. Last Thursday we braved a fierce evening’s arctic storm and drove to the RSL club at Mittagong. This buffet includes table settings on white linen with an impressive assortment of cutlery only outdone by a linen napkin the size of a bedsheet and in red. I suppose the red is to camouflage any wine stains.

It was a self-service which we both are very comfortable with. Nothing worse that a waiter hovering about like a drone on a flattening battery. The entree was impressive. Cooked prawns, Pepper Calamari, Potato and leek soup, chicken Vol au Vents etc.

The mains including Roasts; Glazed ham Yule, Penne Boscaiola, Peppered medallions of Steak, Curried Prawns & Rice. You name it and it was there.  Breasts of some poor Turkey. Pork and Crackling. All that with vegetables/salads.

But, the best was yet to come; Desserts! Being mid-year, Christmas was thrown into the mix. Christmas Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce& Custard. Pavlova with Fresh Fruit Salad including Figs. Triple Chocolate Torte, nut Tartlets and so it went on. And for those still standing up, Tea and coffee bread roll & White Christmas.

Now here comes something totally amazing and worth mulling about. A couple, both ruddy faced and corpulent did the same as everybody was doing. Getting the cooked Prawns, Calamari rings followed by generous helpings of many Roasts and Main courses. You could tell they enjoyed it all. He, I assume a husband, was very quiet till he had his fill. His wife looked at him waiting for the moment he would say something. And he did. His became animated and you could tell they were enjoying themselves.

After they had eaten all the choices and varieties of the food courses, both ambled towards the table with the Pavlova with Figs and Fruits and Cakes.  We too ate some dessert. We are not normally given much to desserts, but what the heck? We too enjoyed the eating out, and the size of the napkins really gave the experience a totality normally missing. Part of the table setting was a small dish of water and slice of lemon swimming. We could wash our hands in this. This is how I came to understand the size of those napkins. They seconded as towels.

At this stage and after the eating of the Pavlova we thought the evening was coming to an end. The couple near us seemed to also had their fill. The husband got up again. I thought perhaps a call of nature, after all that drink and food. No, I was wrong. He came back with a plate of prawns and rings of Calamari. We were flabbergasted. How could he? But, that’s not all. The wife got up, all shiny with mirth and pork crackling. She came back with a plate of curried Prawns and rice. They hoed into it with gusto, yet again.

Unbelievable.

 

 

The RSL, Bowling, and the gutters now get vacuumed.

July 13, 2018

IMG_0067the Manchurian tree

Manchurian Pear tree in front of our house (six weeks ago)

I love mid-winter. It gets cold here but the gardens are so quiet. No noises from lawnmowers, whipper-snippers, the edgers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, chain-saws. At no stage in world’s history has gardening become so noisy.  It reaches its zenith in mid-summer. I don’t like gardening noises. I get snappy and unfriendly. Milo too hates the noise. His ears hang down and looks frightened. Winters are for recovering from all that machinery. All machinery is hibernating and owners fiddle listlessly around the Television or, at best might tidy up the shed or do some vacuuming.

Together with my dislike for garden noises, I also hate the colour purple. Do I look like someone who likes purple? I just mention this as my Moss-vale Returned Soldiers Leagues/services bowling Club brought in purple bowling shirts. It was decided to give more credence to the sport of bowling by having members wearing shirts identifying the club and bowling. To see a group of elderly prancing about in short sleeved shirts is risqué but in bright purple it becomes circus clownery. I was asked about the purple colour before the choice was made. It was asked with such enthusiasm for the colour, I shrivelled up and acceded with the majority. I am not that brave in opposing. I only joined a year ago!

I am shirted in purple every Wednesday now. That’s when the Moss -vale club gets together. My long skinny arms don’t do anything at the best of times but in a short sleeved purple shirt I look ready for a long stint in a rehabilitation unit behind a high fence. I read on the label they are made in Bangladesh and are made of 100% acrylic. I paid an extra $10 to get a pocket stitched on it. I thought it might draw attention away from the rest of my body. I never though that in retirement and having a choice I would end up wearing purple shimmeringly shiny shirt. It also makes me sweat and smell after just a couple of bowling games.

It is different at the Mittagong Returned Soldier League Club. They wear a  green coloured shirt. It is made of 50% cotton and acrylic. It looks better. I don’t object to wearing it. I don’t understand to have two different coloured shirts. It has nothing to do with Returned Soldiers or the clubs. We are too old for two different uniforms even if it is just a shirt.

During the last AGM of our Townhouse compound, someone brought up that the gutters had not been cleaned. It is the same each year. Some have an obsession about gutter cleaning. Most trees have now been cut and any surviving leaves get annihilated by leaf-blowers. Not many end up in our gutters. And if they do, so what? Councils and many inhabitants of rural towns cut down the native trees years ago, in order to name streets after the trees they cut.

Anyway, the chairperson of our housing compound organised for the gutters to be cleaned. Within a week a huge truck appeared with a large pump. A very large stomached man clambered over the roofs and manipulated a large suction hose along the gutters. It was supposed to vacuum all the gutters clean. Looking around now. Many a truck now have signs advertising their prowess in vacuuming gutters and roofs. The world has come a long way.

And next Wednesday I will be wearing a purple acrylic bowling shirt with a stitched on pocket.

Is the battery permanently flat?

November 10, 2017

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One of life’s more perplexing events took place last Wednesday. The day started positive. The toast was just perfect with no burnt edges but warm enough for the butter to melt within, allowing the cheese to nestle itself in all its hollows and grooves.

The previous couple of weeks, things were far from comfortable. I caught a nasty flu. If a good diet prevents getting colds or nasty flu, I am almost prepared to believe the contrary, eating fresh fruit and different vegetables daily might well be the reason for getting sick. I am just kidding, the reason probably is found in doctors’ waiting rooms often being warrens for the viruses. Helvi had a cataract removed and I had to renew my thyroid prescription. The multiple visits to waiting rooms was asking for trouble. I just knew it. Helvi just now is recovering as well.

Each Wednesday morning is one of my my  weekly bowling appointment. Perhaps the flu virus was caught there. You just don’t know through whose hands those bowls have travelled. Each Sunday evening is the other bowling event. Again, with both being played indoors at Returned Soldier’s Clubs. The flu viruses must be having a ball spreading havoc.

Last Wednesday I played well and on leaving the club was given a nice compliment by another player. I like compliments and somewhat jauntily jumped in the car ready to drive home and have lunch. But, as I turned the key, the engine remained eerily silent. It did not kick over. Modern cars have complicated electrical systems. I thought that perhaps I wasn’t following correct procedure. This car has a computer screen and usually gives written commands.  Nothing appeared on the screen.

I phoned up my National Road and Motor Association and within half an hour was helped out by a mechanic who told me that the battery was not only flat but finished and proceeded with giving me a print-out of the faulty battery’s output. He advised me to go to the nearest dealer and get a new battery. I did this and as the car is under warranty got a new battery for free. I got home at least two hours after my bowling event had finished and was ravenous for sustenance. I almost relented and succumbed to a Big Macdonald’s, but resisted heroically. Heaven only knows what germs thrive in those fast food establishments with snotty kids slobbering all over the joint.

Aren’t we fortunate though to replace the occasional battery? It is different in our Government. We seem to be in a permanent state of flat battery. Nothing gets done. The ennui of nothingness is paralysing Australia. The only thing happening is a permanent lurching from one crisis to another.  The refugees on Manus and the problem of their permanent detention seems unsolvable and intractable by this inert Government in finding a solution. And all those Parliamentarians popping up with dual Nationality? Each evening we watch the news to see who is next to having another nationality. Isn’t it a hoot?

Australia has a flat battery and that is not good.

He was as fit as a fiddle.

July 27, 2017
IMG_0659flowering garden

Just glorious.

‘As fit as a fiddle’ is often said by those who are missing the passing of a good friend. With the joining of indoor bowling, it seems likely that the dropping off by friends will not be all that rare. Of course, with just having played twice, this claim of ‘friends’ is still a bit premature. Still, in between, and even during bowling, I struck up conversations. The game started at 10 am at the Moss-Vale Returned Soldiers League and as I had to join the club first, I arrived at 9.45.

The club was still closed. There are still strict rules to opening clubs. I think it might be that alcohol can’t be sold before 10 am. Cafés can open up and so can supermarkets or petrol stations but not clubs. So, I stayed in my car listening to the radio till exactly 10am after which I was allowed in.

The joining of clubs now involves getting a plastic card with your face photographed and printed on this card. This is the id used each time you enter the club. Non-members can still enter clubs as well, provided they show an id with some corroborating evidence such as a driver’s license or passport, health card or pensioner card. This procedure is rigidly adhered to which I never quite understood. It is on that same rather quaint level at Aldi, selling alcoholic drinks at an approved designated cash register but not at a similar looking register in the next isle, apparently not approved. At least with buying a bottle of wine at Aldi’s you don’t need to show an id.

The age of those that engage in indoor bowling in my group is roughly between sixty and perhaps the nineties.  This is in reference to my opening line of; he/she ‘was as fit as a fiddle.’. This could well be said at times, as the file of relatives and grieving friends passes the black hearse at the United Anglican Church here in Bowral.  We could be saying goodbye to Bert or Muriel who died unexpectedly at 86 years of age. A  life-long member of the Indoor Bowling Club.

“He was one of the best, and bowled like a champion.”  “He even anticipated the slight canter of the floor when bowling”. “It will be the last we shall see of his kind ever again bowling at the Bowling floor at Mittagong RSL.”  And with that, a few tears would be hastened on its way.

The Indoor Bowling is my sort of sport. Both sexes are playing together and even though the winning teams are displayed on a board, not many seem to look at that. It is somewhat of an afterthought. When people feel isolated,  sociologists reckon that loneliness is the worst amongst the elderly. The Indoor Bowling sport seems to tick most requirements to solve this aching isolation. Some of the people I played with might well have lost partners. It is inescapable that that will happens. Good luck to those that go at the same time, but it is unlikely.

The Indoor Bowling sport gives excellent opportunity to find friendship, engage in physical activity with social intercourse perhaps the glue that binds people together with being the most important part. I can recommend anyone to join indoor bowling. Of course, eventually someone too in the future, might well say those very same words about any of us; “he was as fit as a fiddle, a bloody good sport.”

The Author is going indoor bowling.

July 24, 2017
DSCN2895 - Copy

Our kitchen of ‘give and take’

While sitting in front of the computer dispensing words of comfort if not wisdom, can be very fulfilling, there needs to be interaction with people in the flesh as well. We are not all islands on one’s own although with age, one gets the sneaking impression it might not be all that bad. Just reading this morning that my car is fitted with faulty airbags. In America a man was found dead in his car with his face so badly lacerated, police thought he had been shot at close range. It was a faulty airbag!

Of all the things that death might come to visit me one day, to have had life finished by a faulty airbag is about as futile and ineffectual as it can get. One can just imagine the grandchildren going through the Oosterman’s heritage finding out Grandpa died by an exploding airbag. A cunning one could well add, ‘he always was.’

It was with the insightfulness of not having enough real-life people around that I felt something should be done to meet more people.  H. said on a few occasions ‘You are cranky lately, and not easy to live with’, followed by  ‘you used to make me laugh.’ This last one bit me. I knew it was serious.

Some time ago I joined the local Labor Party, but it was held in one of those musty Halls of Women’s Christian Fellowship. The moment one stepped in, the wafting of aged doilies and stale biscuits, forlorn plastic bouquets fading in forgotten corners, Christian dust to dust photos and so much more would greet one inconsolably.  On top of it all are my hearing impairments, making the whispered minutes of the last meeting inaudible. I went twice and with all the support of keeping the refugees locked up by Labor as well, I quit and joined the Greens. It still did not really result in more people contact. It was too sporadic.

Of course, the daily walk with Milo often brought bystanders to stop and ask if they could pat him. Only last week, a man stopped who was wearing very thick gloves. I noticed them and thought it a good opportunity to talk about gloves; where are they from, what are they made off, where did you buy them? I wrought the conversation out as long as possible and went home wiser about gloves. I even bought a pair.

It was in the afterthought of H’s remark of getting about more, that I took the decision to join something of a more physical nature. In my foolish youth, so many decades ago, I was always amused to walk past the East-Balmain outdoor bowling club. The ridiculously white uniformed Bowlers, all bending over to bowl, showing bulging bums and possible medical devices compensating amputations or irritating bowel syndromes.

The sport seemed to attract the retirees who on a Sunday could combine all this bending over sport with a couple of beers with ham and cheese wedged-sandwiches ( no crusts). Later on, those sandwiches as a result of Slavic incursions could well contain garlic and gherkins. I even remember stalking past seeing platters of olives doing the rounds.  I swore never ever to reach an impasse in my life that involved becoming a member of this white uniformed bending over bowling fraternity.

And yet, it has come about, dear readers. I joined the Mittagong RSL and this Wednesday join the Moss-Vale RSL ( Returned Soldiers League)indoor bowling club. I have reached the age of Bending Down (or over) to Bowl. I loved my first bowling day yesterday and even took to the cubed sandwiches. Ham and cheese. It was all a rather casual affair. Vaughan, a wiry haired gentleman, explained to me the basics of the game. It included that the balls that one bowls with are weight-biased. Anything biased takes my attention. I took to it like a duck to water. I love how the game includes the bending over and how this bias can be used to advantage in order to get to the aimed destination. It is surprisingly skilful AND both sexes play together. Banter is the norm. No uniforms or protocols. Being mainly elderly players, there is no fuss.  Nice people.

I have reached the age of Bowling.

 

 

The proof is in the reading (not in the pudding.)

January 22, 2016

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Not very knowledgeable about books and the journey to getting them published, it is never too late to learn about it. While the story or message in the book is what readers are generally interested in, clarity of the story/message must be foremost.  But… there is so much more than just clarity!

I never really knew about all the commas, inverted or otherwise, nor exclamation marks, quotation, or question marks.  I did know a full stop comes at the end of a sentence. I do try and show off prowess by using many marks inappropriately. I hope that by using them profusely I might confuse or fool some readers. I don’t think so.

Only yesterday I learnt that exclamation marks came into being hundreds of years ago. “The exclamation mark was first introduced into English printing in the 15th century to show emphasis, and was called the “sign of admiration or exclamation”.

Hyphens  have a life on their own and worthy of a separate article. In re-reading my forthcoming book ‘Almost There,’  punctuation and exclamation marks are scattered around like confetti at a drunken RSL club wedding or oaths during a Welsh rugby match.

I have been busy with getting rid of many of those marks but have to keep referring to a handy little book, : my grammar and I (or should that be ‘me’?).  !Note the three marks of, 1 inverted comma,  2 the question mark and 3 the closing bracket after just one word!

So, in summing up. It is not just having reasonable word order. The order also has to be maintained in  Stops, Commas, Question marks, Exclamation marks, Colons, Semicolons, Dashes, Hyphens, Quotation marks,  Apostrophes Possessive or otherwise.

Here a bit previously written and posted and now in ‘Almost There.’

“A good friend left a message on our answering service yesterday congratulating us on 50 years of marriage. How did this come about? It only seems like yesterday. We had totally forgotten. We have never stood still reflecting much on wedding anniversaries. We do of course remember each other’s birthdays. Christmases too come and go. The important thing is to get up each day and celebrate that marvelous event more than the one yearly or one in fifty years event.

Here is how!

“How did you sleep?” “Very good, how about you?” “Oh, very good, just went to toilet just once, I think it was at 4.30, or no, it might have been a bit earlier, perhaps 3.30.” “I slept very deeply again afterwards, ‘like an angel’. “You don’t look like an angel, get a haircut today, you look wild, more like a Hottentot.” ” Yes, but then I have to wash my hair, take a shower too.” “So what?” “Have you got a problem, taking a shower?” “No, not that, but it is still too early.” “You are not too early with being banal.” “Yes, I know, feel free! It is not too late. Many would find you very attractive, and you’ve got lovely eyes.” “Get #u&&et.” “How’s the coffee dear?” “Strong enough?” “Yes, it is a nice one today.” “It’s Lavazza, ground. We are on the last kilo.” “OK, next when it is on special we get two kilo’s again.” “Yes, at Farmers Market.” “I had a stomach cramp during the night.” “I might have eaten too much of the hummus.” “Yes, I noticed you were hoeing into it last night with the crackers too. Were you hungry?” “You’re a very healthy girl, you eat more than me!” “Not as healthy as you will be, emptying the red again.” “Well, you know after the drive from Sydney, one needs a bit of a relaxation.” “You say that every night”. “Yes, I know, but we don’t take any medication, you’ve got to have something”! We don’t smoke, don’t take any medication, live frugally, still have most of our teeth. So what if we drink a bit?” “True, dear, especially if it is a good one”. “I might go upstairs and check the blogs. Have you looked yet?” “No, I haven’t. I am still tired.” “Oh, there you go again, meckering as usual. Cheer up.” “I am cheery, have you looked at the lilies, another one has opened up, there are now three open”. “Yes, I noticed, make another coffee and take it upstairs”. “Alright dear, I will.”

And that is the answer to how fifty years have passed. (And all too quickly).”

Australia’s Timeless Art and Blue Mosque of Istanbul

January 7, 2014

untitledblue mosque

And where are our monuments of tolerance of faith, acceptance of all? I suppose the few Mosques scattered around our cities would have to bear some witness to this. But the fanatical opposition to be seen to care about boat people’s arrivals, a miniscule problem amidst the murder of thousands in where they come from, somehow negates and demolishes our image of tolerance and acceptance.

The Christmas Islands, Manus and now the towing back of boats, demolishes any attempt of our bridging between the home brew of local Presbeterion Christianity and our understanding of mainly tolerant Islam.

Our temples still are the Workers Clubs with crossed hammer and plumbers wrench in Revesby, the RSL’s with their gaming machines and foaming Coopers brew, the cricket and footie stadiums still remain our pastiches of blue Mosques. Not Istanbul but in Parramatta and St Kilda. The Alhambra might well be seen in Canberra’s lake Griffin with a bike track for politicians in shorts and wearing pointy helmets. Who knows?

Our lasting temple wedded down as proof of eternity and timeless beauty is seen in the sails of our Opera House, but it was Danish design, somehow a smudge on our own creative genuineness.
No, the real temples of spiritual continuity giving us an anchor for Australia to cling to are these.

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=ancient+aboriginal+cave+painting&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=KMLLUuz1BcvhlAXUr4DYBA&ved=0CCkQsAQ&biw=1038&bih=503

They are as timeless as Chartres, St Peters, or Istanbul’s blue mosque. We still have to credit and acknowledge the real Australian indigenous more solidly. It is underway, a work in progress.

Unchain Kids and Headstone buffing at the cemetery.

February 23, 2013

Django Unchained movie still 

Unchain the Kids and Headstone buffing at the Cemetery

So many kids are confused with their attention being drawn to so many things, it’s a wonder they can put socks on.
Our movie watching today includes accepting that at a cinema most viewers are now multitasking and divided into part watching, part eating pop corn or masticating on something, slurping slushies, and full-on texting on cell phones including taking photos of the movie they are watching and forwarding it onto the their texting friends whom they have probably never even met.
It all very mysterious.
I think I’ll visit my cemetery plot at Rook-wood and buff up the headstone a bit, for a week-end of reflection and serenity restoration.

We decided to go and see ‘Django Unchained’.  We have always liked Tarantino’s movies and read enough of the movie to take the risk knowing we would be subjected to the usual habit of so many that don’t seem to be able to take a couple of hours off without risking expiring from  lack of sugar ,salt and fatty substances.

We were not disappointed. As soon as the movie started, there were those familiar rising halos of smells with chewing, swallowing and ingestion noises of the patrons. Why can’t the movie theatres introduce a special room for those that want to eat and swallow? I mean, IKEA have rooms with cubbies and slippery dips and lots of balls and balloons when mum and dad go for a new flat pack kitchen or 100 number tea-lights. Most pubs and hotels cater for eating hordes away from those that like peace and quiet. Why not do the same for those that can’t seem to get away from ingesting food. A special room for munchers, lickers and slushy slurping. Cinemas would make a fortune

After the movie, we decided to visit a brother at Dungog in combination with a drive- by and stay with friends at Ettalong. Next day we went for a walk along the waterfront promenade and perhaps also look for a place to enjoy a meal, all in the one hit. Right on the beach and just fifty centimeters above sea level we found the right place.

imagesettalong

Actually, the place found us. The building towers over everything at Ettalong. It’s the Eiffel Tower of the Central Coast. The building is huge and painted a shimmering white. The front of the building facing the sea and bay is a huge RSL club (returned soldiers league club). When we were there we didn’t see any uniformed soldiers having returned from wars, world-wide riots, revolutions or other disturbances. What we did see were many couples including their children going for a ‘Nosh-up’ which at the time we were there, had a mouth watering menu of many dishes at $9.- a plate, including a fifty percent discount on the first drink.

The curious tradition of non- club members having to sign-in still exists and it still gets up my gander/dander. Do non members steal the cutlery, perhaps secreting the forks and knives up their sleeves? I still don’t get the reason for this oddity,no matter how often it gets explained. A bit like cricket, I suppose. I can understand ‘members only’ or ‘members AND the public’, but why this ritual of signing up when they allow anyone to go and visit and then having to identify and give name and address? I would think foreign tourists would be loath to give information of that kind for just wanting to have a meal or dance the night away. What next, an FBI agent or rendition to Egypt, water-boarding?  Helvi would sorely miss me, for sure.

The fifty percent discount when ordering a meal applies to the first drink only. Fair enough, I thought and ordered a bottle of Lindeman’s merlot with utter confidence. It was very lovely to drink, unctuously rich Dutch cigar box with hints of Sunday school prune and ambitious towards the fruit loaded Pavlova on the middle palate.

I thought it better to wait for the 50% discount on the glass of wine after depletion of the bottle settled in. I dutifully went to the bar again, which there now was a long queue of 50% discount patrons waiting in a line which had a rope strung along a few stainless steel barriers. That 50 % must have really been a good business move, I thought. As I shuffled forward and it became my turn I asked for the three glasses of merlot with the discount.

The barmaid asked for my meal tickets as proof of having ordered three meals I did not have the receipts, but… and here comes the good bit. She said…”oh, you look like a NICE OLD Gentleman”, “don’t worry sir,” she added ever so kind and friendly. I was feeling a strange mixture of elation and mortification. I am now ‘nice and old’. A new era has heralded itself.

I think I might just leave the buffing of my headstone for a while yet. Too spooky!