Posts Tagged ‘Stumps’

The words just keep on moving.

August 14, 2020

IMG_0856French Sardines

French sardines and my birthday cards

There has been a spell between the last time I wrote down some words in a certain order. The times just keep on going and for every intention to get back to write, something came between the intention and the words. The birthday was a main event but reaching 80 has now passed and it feels the same. I keep a keen alert on moments of forgetfulness or lack of instant recall on names.  Many people of my age I noticed now are doing crosswords and even cryptograms to remain sharp and alert. In my Bradman Cricket café group called Stumps, we help each other out onto remaining alert by recalling movies we might have watched with details of actors’ names, or special events that were shared in times gone by.

We all nod in pleasurable contentment we still know the details of war battles or the Queen’s birthday, the capital of former Rhodesia or what it means to have fallen down a ha ha. When I go through my garden I try remember the names of the different plants that were put in, and at times I do struggle with the instant re-call, but when I let it go, through the sheer magic of my brain, the name will suddenly pop up. So, all is good and still in order.

However, a serious slip-up came to the fore this morning. My usual wake up routine, (as if this is of any importance to you, my dearest and most faithful followers), is to go downstairs and ignite the heating systems, before hopping back into bed to wait for the comfort of a warm and pre-heated wave of air to greet my face. This usually takes about half an hour which is spend, while still in-situ under the blankets, by checking any dire messages or the latest Covid-19 fatalities on my iPhone. It’s not exactly reassuring knowing that those of advanced years are by and large most likely to be locked within the latest fatalities.

So, to keep this short and reverting to the slip-up. As I finally got up, had a shower and got dressed, I noticed after carefully ambling downstairs, that I had left the milk outside the fridge. Can you believe this? I might have told you that instead of sipping Shiraz I now have taken to drinking warm milk with honey. I take one in the morning and one before going to bed. I hope it is not a sign of slipping. Perhaps giving up the Shiraz was not such a good thing. Mind you, I buy the top label of milk named A2, and is twice as expensive as normal milk. It is the best milk money can buy but of course it is not Shiraz. I don’t get a buzz out of this top-milk no matter how much honey is in it. (12%)

Was it a mistake and should I go back to Shiraz?

The compulsion to vote or the freedom not to?

July 21, 2020

Civic Culture Coalition: Entertainment Industry-Backed ...

On my morning’s coffee, tête-à-têtes (some with masks) with friends at Bowral Cricket Stumps cafe I was surprised to hear that many thought the law on compulsory voting was normal and mainly world-wide. I pointed out that the list of countries with compulsory voting on punishment made Australia mixed with some strange company.

Here a list of countries with compulsory voting enforceable by punishment.

Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Nauru, NORTH KOREA, Samoa, Singapore, Uruguay.

The rest of he world is free to vote or not. Some have compulsory voting but not enforced s a Egypt, Albania, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico.

While one of the freedoms of democracy is that we can eat and drink what we like, including copious Cokes, and kilos of sugar, fat, apples and much more. We have total freedom to take or leave it. We also have freedom of speech, press and so much more again. We are loaded with freedoms. Yet it strikes me as odd that we do not have that freedom when it comes to voting. We are not free not to vote.  Most of the world’s democratic countries leave voting to, hopefully a well informed population. America does not have compulsory voting , they have a ‘right’ to vote but also the freedom not to vote. They also have a ‘right’ to bear arms but no one is forced to use those arms. ( sometimes it seem like it with 40 000 killed annually by this ‘right’.)

Disgruntled Voter (@jasondulak) | Twitter

An argument against voluntary voting is that it makes people politically lazy and uninterested. That does not bear out either.

Here copied from ‘The Advocate’. During the (second) last federal election.

“New polling by Essential absolutely belled the cat on this phenomenon.

It asked respondents if they knew who the federal treasurer was, without looking it up.

More than one third (36 per cent) did not know it was Scott Morrison.

Thirteen per cent thought it was ex-treasurer Joe Hockey, 3 per cent thought it was Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and 20 per cent said they did not know.

With no disrespect to the 36 per cent, why should they be forced to the polling booth if they don’t  take enough interest to know who holds the second most important role in the government?”

I was surprised that at my café group most thought that compulsory voting was normal and all over the world, and fiercely opposed the idea that it perhaps ought to be choice. Patriotic feathers were ruffled. When asked if I thought it essential to have compulsory voting I said I did not believe it. My backgrounds and that of my dearest late Helvi, ( The Netherlands and Finland) are from very staunch democratic and liberal countries. We grew up with the freedom to vote or not.

To punish people for not voting strikes me as odd.

Of course, a disclaimer; I vote with passion at every possible election. Gerard.

 

The importance of Grape Hyacinths.

June 2, 2020

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Grape hyacinth.

Even though many of the restrictions on the Corona virus have been lifted I noticed still a kind of hesitance amongst people. There hangs a fear to getting close, and all those tape and red crosses on floors and grounds isn’t conducive to closeness. Park seats even have crosses on them. I still am afraid to stand or sit anywhere. A few times at the supermarket I noticed people backing away when I walk past them. There are sign still asking people to respect and consider each other and that we are all in the same position. Patience and consideration are being tested.

I took my daughter last night to the railway station and there too were sign to stay clear of each other. The public toilets were locked and so was the waiting room. There were solid padlocks on everything that had a door. It was freezing cold and we could not be further away from other people because she was the only person on the whole rail station. She told me she was also the only passenger in the rail wagon she had jumped in.

Isn’t it sad how the US is now tearing itself apart? China now does not have to do anything to show that democracies can fail miserably. This is why in order to keep sane we might have to move away from both political and human made failures. I can think of no better way than to concentrate on the good and honest earth;  The joy of making soils with cow, chicken, turkey, and mushroom compost, all of which I have been investing in. I wrote previously that I had planted a whole lot of grape hyacinths bulbs some weeks ago. And, even though we are just at the beginning of winter, the advice on planting bulbs was during late autumn, and they now have started, albeit very gingerly, rearing their little heads poking the soil. I risked pneumonia darting outside in my shirt and socks to take these pictures. It was freezing with a strong wind and just 8C.

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The irises have also reared up.

I had to add gas heating to my town house as the reverse cycle ducted aircon just wasn’t doing its job. I am not of such a stoical disposition to enjoy cold. Some do, though. It always surprises me that during these wintry gales and frosty morning I see some walking about in shorts, t-shirts and thongs. What’s wrong with them? Perhaps it is my old age which doesn’t really matter unless you are a cheese.

So, now that I am settled in my new place, I can look forward to a nice garden, good friends, (including the softer ones) and my Café meetings at the Bradman Cricket grounds called ‘Stumps’, world famous cricket grounds. Life is good.

I’ll leave you with this picture of my cyclamen.

 

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