Posts Tagged ‘Thief’

Stealing cyclamen is almost an oxymoron. ( seniors)

September 2, 2016

IMG_0829The Salvia

Could a gardener have stolen these cyclamen?

One would not think that stealing cyclamen is common. It defies logic. Why steal something so beautiful and totally free to look at? Is it true that the temptation to steal a beautiful object is in some people very strong and so overpowering it overcomes their moral stance and honesty?

We woke up one morning and after a good coffee went outside. It is a rather nice exercise, and we often look for new buds or growth in the garden. Our garden at the front is small. Through the years, Helvi managed to make it a small piece of paradise. We also have a small white painted cane table outside under our two windows on which we had three beautiful cyclamen. One really deep red-purple, a pink and one glorious white one. All flowering profusely and some twenty centimetres is diameter each. They were resting on ceramic dishes from which they were free to quench a thirst. The plants themselves were also surrounded by ceramic bowls. All scrounged from second hand places. The bowls and saucers were somewhat rare and beautiful but not in a pretentious manner detracting from the beauty of the flowering plants, they always would have first ranking.

Note how I wrote ‘had’ three cyclamen. As we looked around, and as it was raining, Helvi asked me if I had put the cyclamen in the rain. We both looked at the cane table and all was gone. It seemed empty. No matter how hard we looked, they did not return. We were stunned. How could this be. We looked in the bins next to the garage. As if they would re-appear, and after apologizing, somehow get back on the white painted cane table.

Both of us felt almost sick. They had been stolen. Unbelievable. Who would go and steal flowering plants? I mean, we could understand vandals stealing and throwing them about. We walked around the block of our eight town-houses in the hope of finding them alive and intact. No. Our sadness turned into anger. Who would do such a thing? As I was casting around again and looking opposite to the garden of our neighbour I notice that her ceramic angel’s head was gone as well. The three cyclamen and an angel head in one hit would not have been the work of school kids or any young person. It would have to be the work of an adult. Did the thief drive by and loaded up his/her car? The neighbour opposite told us that the Angel head was a gift from her mother twenty years ago.

After overcoming our sadness including dejection we decided to take action. We went to the local police station. After a few questions the police woman was going to write a rapport. I showed proof of identity, and supplied all the information regarding size, colour and details about the plants and the ceramic items, including their monetary value. We ensured to the police, it was the horror of the theft more than the value. She was understanding and fully understood.

As we got back I printed five posters;

“Thief Alert.” “You have been reported to the police”. “Please, return the items.”

All in very large lettering. I stapled the notices around our compound with one at the front on the street near the letterboxes. I felt good having done this plea to the thief’s conscience. But… much to my surprise, I was angrily reprimanded by one of our less convivial neighbour last evening. She bailed me up driving to the shop to get a bottle of well-earned good Shiraz. All red in the face, she was. “Why do you put those posters up?” This was followed by, ” I am a single woman and live alone with my children.” “I know delinquents, and you are inviting them with your silly posters.” I was listening and gave her the time to vent her anger, but at the same time felt a reasonable response welling up. “Yes, I said, but what about the theft of our plants and your neighbours’ Angel head?” “What do you want to do about it then?” She dismissed it totally and ripped off one of my posters.

The question is; what do you, dear readers think the right action would be? Just cop it sweet, do nothing? Or, should I proceed in stapling up more posters on fences , telegraph poles around the place? Warn others and try and get our cyclamen back.

Even now thinking of making posters offering “Reward for stolen Cyclamen and Angel’s head.”

What do you think?

Receding years and fatal memories. ( For seniors)

August 2, 2016

IMG_20150519_0001

My Mother on the left, Aunt Agnes on right, her brother in the middle

Those with more receding years behind than advancing years in front, might still remember visiting Aunts and their endless talk about illnesses and ailments. As a child it made me almost sick having to accompany our parents to visit ancient Aunts. My hair would be duly roughly brushed up and my nails scraped clean. I had to wash my hands. For some reason, they were all called Aunts, even when not related. I think my parents underestimated my observation skill in detecting lies.

On top of everything else, we were forced to kiss them on arrival and again on departure. One Aunt had facial hairs sprouting, another a permanently dripping nose. I was bored shitless and had to sit still. I remember passing time staring at Aunts and listening to their litany of ailments with detailed frailties enthusiastically regaled in all its minutia. My mother told us a very old Aunt sat on a chair that held a toilet. We were strictly forbidden to stare at this. Of course we stared at nothing else. We never forgot anything to do with toilets.

We had one Aunt running a grocery shop in Eindhoven. A couple of lollies did relieve the visits somewhat, but only just. She had a very large and frightening nose. Another Aunt was better and used to send me cut-out copies of a very favourite Newspaper strip, ‘Erik de Noorsman’ or ‘Eric The Norseman.’ She was Aunt Agnes and very kind. No hairs that I remember!

It was when I turned twelve or so that those obligatory visits were finally done away with. I became stronger in my resistance but am sure it left permanent damage.
Of course, migrating to Australia when I turned fifteen, pushed all visits to Aunts permanently into the annals of our family, even though a couple of Aunts did visit us in Australia.

Seventy years later and the shoe now fits the other foot. However, even though I am still no Aunt, I have facial hair. No toilet built into my fauteuil as yet. I do consider my grandkids. I love seeing them, but leave them mainly to their own devices when here. I have taken to reading again those crime stories by Henning Mankell. I was a third down reading one, when the book just vanished. I turned the whole bedroom upside down. It got taken by someone, and I reckon the fifteen year old grandson snitched it. I am so proud if he did. Stealing books is to be encouraged. I don’t want to ask him. In fact, if the book is stolen, I will leave another Mankell (unobtrusively) again for next time.

This is what was lacking in those time long gone visits. Kids were expected to behave. Why did they not give books or toys to kids visiting aunts? Where were the uncles? I cannot remember a single uncle. Did the war claim them? Was it smoking related? Where did they go?. In jail perhaps? How odd.

It now reminds me of ‘The Book Thief.’ Life during those Aunt visit seems to have stood still. Yet, it is all so magically and reverently coming to the fore now. I read a book about the Death of a Moth and named our flower shop in Sydney’s Balmain, ‘Bloomsbury.’ Bloomsbury was a group of English¬†writers, philosophers, intellectuals and eccentrics that included amongst many, Virginia Woolf.

The simple and inevitability of life. How wonderful.