Posts Tagged ‘Sough Coast’

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.

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The Funeral Insurance scam and camping.

November 29, 2015
camping

camping

Isn’t it amazing that the latest scam involves getting children to sign up for funeral insurance with the weekly payments automatically deducted from welfare entitlements?

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/financial-scams-target-remote-nsw-aboriginal-towns-20141220-12bdme.html

Anyone who worries about what happens after you die, is lacking imagination. Gloria Jeans will not sell you anymore espressos nor will you have to worry about putting your socks on. It is baffling why anyone takes on funereal insurance. You can get buried for as little as $1000.-. I know that most advertise a funeral costing anything up from $ 3000.- to ‘the sky is the limit’, 😉  but let me give you that no one ever, was not buried. So, why people worry or even take out a  funeral/burial insurance is baffling. I bet people that persevered with the premiums have paid enough for a burial at Moscow’s Red Square with 110 canons.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jun/28/funeral-die-low-cost-options

Last Monday my brother had travelled with his VW tracker camping van to the South Coast at Bendalong. This is the place of some significance to the Oosterman clan. After our arrival in Australia, then growing up in Revesby, getting married (to the opposites sex.) We all subsequently ended up having children and then started to take our holidays at this Bendalong. No sooner could the babies breath and burb we would pack tents and head off to this idyllic unknown fishing village.  For years on end. We stopped when the area became a well known spot and the trickle of campers became a flood, especially at Christmas and Easter. Soon, the lawn mowers arrived and concreted lions appeared in front of the colour bond aluminium annexes. Open fires were banned. The camping had lost much of its charm but the kids also grew up and started to make their own lives, do their own camping. We haven’t camped since. It was a special era though! So many lovely memories.

Last Wednesday we met up with my brother who had his van parked inside the Bendalong camping ground. The grounds have many cottages and vans that can be rented from the shire. A manager runs the camp. There are still camping sites as well with water and power available. On arrival you have to get a special  permit number from the office that allows the boom-gate to be opened after entering the number into the electronic devise on a post, accessible through the car’s window. It did not work. Helvi went back to the office and was told to enter the hash tag. I had entered the hash-tag. It did not work! The manager came out and entered the number and hash-tags many times. It did not work. She then over-rode the device and the boom-gate finally opened. Such a relief and it was so hot.

We drove around and were pleased that the area is still green with many advanced eucalypts and she-oaks giving lovely shade. The Lantana has gone. There has been an upgrade in facilities, good flushing toilets and showers and no more need to  hand dig pits. My brother was waving from a distance  and we parked our car, took out our canvas folding chairs and in the shade just talked. One could still hear our children shouting but it was also quiet. So many years ago. A glass of wine in reflection.

After a few hours we said goodbye. The boom-gate would not let us out. Again the entering of the number followed by the hash-tag. Again the failure. The manager came out and she beeped the electronic device (again). The gate opened. We drove home through the Kangaroo Valley. It was lovely.

It is funny how quick life goes. Between burping babies and burial is life.