Posts Tagged ‘Storm’

From the Dentist Chair

May 3, 2017
IMG_20150516_0001

Rain

The second of May with the 2pm meeting with Craig was getting nearer. I kept looking at the Dental appointment reminder stuck on the fridge held by a magnet. There was no need really. The friendly secretary reminded me of this looming meeting by phone the day earlier. No escape! My internal mouth machinations had already been investigated a few weeks before. The dentist then (Craig) tried to keep up a cheerful demeanour but there was just that split second furrowed brow on his face that hinted at a serious dental journey ahead. At least, there wasn’t a; ‘dear oh dear,’ or a sudden catch of breath from him. The verdict was that all could be saved and an itemised quote would be mailed. It came promptly within a few days. I divided the amount by the number of years I had not visited the dentist. It softened the blow. After checking my savings account I bravely decided to go and front up with the remainder of my mouth, tormented teeth and savings account.

Has anyone noticed that doctors’ waiting rooms have chairs, yet dentists’ rooms have couches or settees? Craig’s waiting room has soft carpet, a kind of grey-beige colour, not unlike the colour of my teeth. It is nicely furnished with three and two seater settees. Not only that! The secretary is also in the same room, cosily seated behind a desk. You can hear her talking demurely in the phone or clicking on the computer. She occasionally threw a reassuring glance over the patient. I was the only patient, so it was nice to know I wasn’t alone. I would not want a stern secretary with all that is awaiting. No, you’ve got to give it to Craig. There is calm and serenity. But, is it before the oral storm yet to unleash its fury?

I have fainted only twice in my life. The first time was in church. Where else?  I was about eleven or twelve and hungry. I had not eaten because this church laid down a law that if you were to receive communion you could not eat. The church had lots of laws that forbade almost anything that was joyful or gave pleasure. Gloom and doom was installed at a very young age. It was winter and standing room only. The church was coal heated with the hot air welling up through steel grates on the floor at the back of the church. I was standing at the back of the church on top of this grate, ready to bolt as soon I received this wafer that promised I would be with angels in case I carked it. ( but only if I had not sinned in the meantime.) I fainted and remember coming around with a woman holding me up telling me to go home. I got hot chips with pickles instead from money mum had given me to put in the collection bag. It used to do the rounds in the church attached to a long wooden stick held by a sickly looking man. A bit like a fishing-rod. Since then I put buttons in and keep the money! A wise move.

While waiting to be called into the dentist’s surgery I was mulling over the fainting history of many years ago. My worst fear was that in my heightened state of a grinding dental infused anxiety, I would not be able to get up from the settee, and instead crumble and fall prostrate in front of the dentist. It would not be a good look in front of the nice reassuring secretary that I had previously given a list answering many questions including an answer to the question about my level of nervousness. I filled in that I had no nervousness at all.

Readers will be happy to know I made it to the dentist chair without much drama.

 

 

 

 

Sand-bagging for Seniors facing Climate Change

June 9, 2016
Snr Oosterman sand-bagging

Snr Oosterman sand-bagging

The rain came as predicted. It is amazing how the prophesy of weather has become so accurate. The art by holding up the index finger to guess future weather patterns has vanished, and has been replaced by satellite and bearded scientists peering at screens while sipping coffee out of a take away carton. We hear about El Nina and El Nino which I always get mixed up. In any case, climate change has thrown a spanner in weather forecasting.

We thought living about six hundred metres above sea-level would be safe. But this low pressure system was as predicted ‘a monster storm’. Warnings were flashed on our TVs to stay indoors and bunker down. The timing of this low moving south were precise to the hour. We stayed up and watched the sky turn an ashen grey. It started a bit light with the wind picking up. The northern part of Australia copped it first and footage was shown of palms and people bending in the wind. Umbrellas were turned-inside out, always a favourite by weather journalists who keep inside-out umbrellas in their cupboards together with sad looking teddy bears as props for future use.

We, by the time the monster storm reached our region, were dressed in our pyjamas and felt safe. We had some previous minor flooding in the garage but addressed it by building a concrete levy between a property higher up from us. It worked perfectly by diverting water to the road instead of our garden and garage. The Dutch always had a thing about staying above water, no matter what. The rain intensified and was lashing our area as never experienced before. The wind was howling, and was clearly out for revenge.

However, reports now came in of fatalities and angry rescue teams that people were still foolishly driving through rising water levies. It was now getting light and without having slept and still in pyjamas noticed the garage had flooded again. The water entered from the street which had become a raging river. Helvi took a measuring tape from her sewing basket and measured the depth of water in the garage. It was three centimetres. Our living quarters next to the garage is about fifteen centimetres above the garage floor.

Gerard was seen, heroically stepping to the fore, carrying sandbags in an effort to divert the flood to the stormwater drain in the middle of the road about six metres from our front door. He was in his pyjamas and it was so cold. Never mind, you do anything to prevent water entering your living-room and wet the Turkish carpet. Milo was nervous as well but cunningly stayed indoors. He, in the meantime noticed the storm water drain had had enough and could take no more. Helvi again went to the garage and measured the depth of the flooding. It was now six centimetres. She shouted out to him; ‘it is now six centimetres.’

He was still (heroically) battling the storm-water drain. He surrendered. It was beyond reason no matter how he cursed and swore. The rain was now a solid waterfall. ‘It is eight centimetres,’ she shouted anxiously. He went inside, worse for wear, as the cliché demanded, very wet, cold, and his partials-teeth rattling. He, in a mighty last effort carried sodden bags to the front door. The water was three centimetres from entering our living quarters.

We were amazed seeing footage of properties tumbling into the sea. One property even lost an entire swimming pool. We wondered why, when living so close to the water, a swimming pool was put in. Did they not know the sea-water was just metres away?

Bowral Ducks

Bowral Ducks

We were so close to getting water inside. One man here in Bowral drowned inside his car being swept away by rising water in the creek that flow behind our property. The same shallow murmuring creek that we almost daily take Milo to.

The ducks were none the worse for wear.

My book is for sale; ‘Almost There,’ by Gerard Oosterman. ( Amazon, Lulu and other outlets.)