Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Does it ever stop?

March 20, 2017
IMG_0827windflower

Japanese Windflower

The dream of retirement was always to be a time of reflection. You know, reap the fruits of love and labour. So far, it has mainly been the peelings. Life doesn’t really let up. You see those ads of elderly couples swirling about on huge opulent large multi-storeyed ocean liners. A magnificently gowned wife having a glass of wine in one hand and with the other hand holding a rambunctious ruddy faced husband.

The video then takes you to the liner’s cabin (with ocean views) where the same husband with spouse, retire to their enormous red rose petal strewn bed, leaving no doubt that even in retirement, their conjugal activities are still hale and hearty, not having shrivelled or waned at all. Apparently that is a misconception. The elderly are shown as keen and eager as ever to have  sex. Not true, it’s all fake!  It’s fake sex.  In advertising the winning technique is always to show the opposite of reality and truth. That’s how advertising works. That unobtainable and forever elusive search for ‘happiness’, brings in the customers. The truth is that the elderly are more likely to engage in naps, study Aldi’s catalogue, enjoy domestic bickering, but rarely engage in wild sex with rose petals. Their rusty limbs just don’t allow that anymore.

This all because we are now finally getting our air conditioning installed. We signed the agreement some weeks ago. And no sooner had we coughed up the 10% deposit  were told that during the extraordinary heatwave they had been swamped with request for installing coolers. Since the heat left and the weather cooler we did not mind waiting. That’s what is nice about retirement. One becomes time rich and easy does it. This Thursday it is to start and we are excited. It will be nice to have the house comfortable and those wild swings between heat and freezing somewhat controlled by the push of a button.

For some months now we have been tossing up about going and sail away over the horizon. Helvi is still not keen at all on sailing away somewhere. “You are dreaming and letting go of all reality,” she says, while looking at me with those large true-blue eyes of hers. “You will be the first to be bored shitless,” she adds. “Yes, Helvi, but they have libraries and lots of shops, “I tell her narrowing my eyes. “No, it will just be waiting for eating and swallowing food, endless meals and snacks,” she adds to a pile of previous objections.

“I always like travelling when we did not know where we would end up sleeping, that to me is travelling,” she said. “Yes, but we are now too old. I am not going to sit in a bus travelling in Turkey, having a bout of intestinal hurry and on top of that not knowing where we will sleep. We are too old now,” I say with some earnest vehemence.

“Let’s just get the air conditioning out of the way. Keep looking at your Ocean Liners videos”, she adds.

It never lets up.

 

 

Stocking up on Cabbages. The end is nigh!

July 15, 2016
Almost There

Almost There

Here in Australia and in the state of NSW, at least grey-hound racing is being stopped and outlawed. They call it a banning of a sport! Lots of people are up in arms about it and claim it is a livelihood for them. However, the livelihood is the betting of money. It is the same with horses and racing. Take away the gambling part and no one would give horse-racing a second look. People could well end up eating horses instead of racing them around.
We all will be lucky to get out of this mess alive. We are stocking up on cabbages and sauerkraut.

The financial tectonic plates are rumbling,scrambling yet again. The US treasure notes pared early gains. The thirty year rate dropped from 1,099% to 1.007% when news got around that Turkey is having a coup. Two bridges across the Bosporus have been closed to incoming traffic and Turkish Pide stall holders are nervously looking over their shoulders. They are getting ready for a run by the public on food items, especially yoghurt.

The German bund rate was just about getting back into the positive territory again, when first Nice and now Turkey shemozzle, it went back in giving investors a mouth-watering negative return.

Our Australian pension is means tested and subject to ‘deeming.’ It meant, when applying for the old-age pension the first time, we had to empty our pockets and show our savings accounts. We are supposed to inform the government whenever our financial situation changes. Even the value of our car and furniture is taken into account in determining the fortnightly pension. The total amount is ‘deemed’ to earn an interest which is then used to lower the pension accordingly. An exemption is the value of our house. We are allowed to have a house.

However, the deeming rate set by the Government is getting tricky. Interest earned on savings is almost zero and getting lower. It will be interesting to see when banks in Australia will be giving negative rates on savings. It is already happening in Japan, Switzerland and Germany. Can one imagine paying the banks to keep our savings? Will the Government in deeming and ‘mean’testing of pensioners increase our pensions proportionally? After all, if interest earned lowers the pension, interest paid out ought to then result in getting compensated as well.

It is a complicated world. Who would have thought people are now investing in negative returns. Some are now shifting money into gold, works of art or old furniture. There are nervous hordes of financiers roaming the world, shifting currencies and doing their well practiced dodgy deals again. Of course, during a real crisis, food is what really counts. This is why we are keenly eyeing the food supply. Did you know that the red pickled cabbage sold out within the first day it appeared here in Bowral’s Aldi? We went back yesterday hoping to buy some more but it was all sold out. We bought the last few jars of sauerkraut.

Even so, the sun is out and Milo is on his favourite cushion. He occasionally looks at us, tries to stir us into getting dressed to go for our daily walk.

All is well in this household.

The age of Essentials.

February 21, 2014
Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde

No matter what, no matter who or whatever happens in Australia or elsewhere in this neck of the woods or deserts, we will never have a Christine Lagarde amongst our gaggle of politicians.

How refreshing to hear the IMF’s chief last night on the ABC’s Questions & Answers. “Health and education are NOT entitlements”, she reiterated several times.
Eighty individuals now own half the world’s wealth. How can that be right?

You wonder how the world can continue on with such gross inequity? There were always rich and poor. Just reading old Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace where it is taken for granted that footmen turn up at any given time, all dressed in finest livery, to take the rich and famous to the next dinner or party somewhere in St Petersburg.

One of his quotes still rings true: “Everything comes in time to him/her who knows how to wait.”

I reckon we will wait a long time before we have an admission from our leaders that Health and Education are the pinnacles that a good and just society is based upon. They are not entitlements, they are necessities that should be equally available to all.

Isn’t it telling that the IMF chief, fearlessly, appears on such a public program in Australia, and yet, our PM never. Such an incoherent bumbling coward. ” We will not listen to “Moral objections ” ,re the killing and maiming of Manus Island illegally detained prisoners of war.

The refugees on Manus Island were told they will never be allowed to settle in Australia, no matter what. There are 700.000 people having fled into Turkey, another 700.000 into Jordan, just over the last few months from Syria alone, and yet…Australia not generous enough to allow AT LEAST those that have been found wandering the ocean in leaky boats.

What sort of hell-hole did my parents migrate to?

At least I have my words that I can type out on my electric writing motor and, if that fails, I have my H and Milo in that order. 😉 Just making Spätzle. I have my H, than my putor and then Milo.

“You are a bit grumpy this morning” she told me. No real reason, “just pissed off with this government”. “No you are not,” “you are just naturally grumpy, regardless of anything”, she answered so brutally but with a fair crack of the whip. To be honest, grumpiness is the domain of men, I reckon. My H said, ” I was hoping that with your flagging testosterone diminishing that goodness and sweetness would come to the fore a bit more often.

I told H to again read Tolstoy’s quote.

An indecent Habit

February 17, 2013

13SQ_Mfood

An indecent Habit.

They say that the largest and biggest problem facing the world is the threat of over-population together with lack of food. Yet, this morning I watched a program whereby an eminent professor scientist had all the numbers and statistics at his side proving half the world’s food gets thrown out. That’s right; we chuck out half of our food. Searching for answers, the good professor put the blame squarely on the young, the baby boomers children, even grandchildren.  It must be right though.

Most mornings on my walk I am tempted to pick up the throw outs of food. This morning’s takings; a bag clearly identifiable with a Big M and gold arch and a carton of a Domino Pizza box with a half eaten mozzarella ‘family size’ morsel still in its box. The food would have been eaten direct from the bag or box, perhaps while driving, and heaved out when the opportunity arose and the look in the back mirror revealed no one was watching.

After I opened the Big Golden Arch bag, there was a complete bun in it with soft ochre coloured cheese and some green leaves still neatly tucked in between. The owner of this bag must have just taken the beef minced patties out and chucked the rest. The domino pizza was decorated with grey pieces of mushroom, some red coloured stuff, perhaps beet-root or tomato but, apart from one previously mentioned half eaten morsel, no mozzarella. It seems that the meat gets targeted for the gaping mouths and masticating jaws, but the rest abandoned. What wealth, what moral abandonment of food ethics.

I placed the bags and carton in a bin and noticed the bin had lots of pizza pieces with boxes and other throw away food items discarded. The smell predominantly was a mixture of pizza, gravy ladled chips and acidy pungent stale slushy remnants soft drinks looking to slake thirsts. Take away, throw away.

Dear mother, stay where you are. The world has changed since the potato peeling soup you saved for us in your green enameled bucket of the 1945 soup kitchen in Rotterdam! Did that bucket not have a ceramic holder in the middle of the handle, allowing the bucket to swing freely? Since those days, no food was ever wasted by us, scraps always used for compost or for the ducks along river’s edge.

Of course, food thrown out in the public arena might pale in what gets chucked out privately. What I would not give to take a peek inside the kitchen disposal bins of our societal neighbours, friends or foes. It would be too rude to saunter over to your friends’ disposal bins in the kitchen while you and friend have just arrived, but, perhaps after a couple of shiraz’, and as your host goes to the bathroom, go and be brave and opportune and have a quick glance. You might be surprised.

Who knows those kinds of intimate food preparations or dietary secrets about each other?  We take for granted certain aspects of our friends, s a, they are not murderers or likely to self-immolate in front of an embassy or airport, nor rife through the pockets of your jacket hanging from the coat-hanger in the hallway.

Yet, when it comes to food, who knows what dastardly deeds are performed and on so many kitchens Caesar-stone bench tops? If half the food gets thrown out, it can’t just be only our kids. Who goes still hungry, surely no one? Put up hands that only slice and use the white bits of the leeks or chives, jettison the rest in the bin? Who throws away stale bread or the odd spouting spud? That’s just penny pinching stuff, what about the Christmas Turkey or half eaten but double smoked 6 kilo ham?

Mumbai Slums

As the plane sliced through the clouds an enormous rubbish tip came into view directly below the passengers. Over that ocean of rubbish crawled an ant like colony of human waves, all looking for scraps of food as the convoy of trucks spewed out their fresh loads onto the hordes of the hungry.

The Boeing captain announced; we will be landing in Bombay shortly; please keep your seat belts on and remain seated. At the airport the air-conditioning was humming while the Coke machine was being reloaded. A pale looking woman was unfolding a pram and her husband lowered a young sleepy child into it and gave the bottle of milk, the luck of the right birth.

A couple of miles away, the rubbish tip was getting busy, being clambered over, scraps of food were being prised out of the steaming morass and eaten on the spot. The things we miss out on while travelling.

Human rights lessons from Turkey?

August 26, 2012

Learning human rights lessons from Turkey?

105 Comments

Gerard Oosterman

Turkey promised to keep its borders open for the people fleeing the violence in Syria. Many thousands of Syrians have crossed into Turkey and footage shows men and women, children walking into that country.

Even though Turkey is a country with a large population of over seventy million and already coping with an overflow of many other nationalities, it has not lost its humanity in doing the right thing by extending its hospitality to those so much worse off. They are quickly opening disused buildings and building camps, constructing a temporary hospital.

If Turkey can do it, where is our compassion?

Lack of ‘humaneness’ is what seems to doggedly divide Australia from most of the rest of the world with a deeply engrained hostility towards others. It is especially directed to those hapless victims of endless wars that somehow managed to make it anywhere near our shores.

Our present minister and previous Government ministers have exalted in, ‘we must make conditions here as harsh as possible as a deterrent’. The general gist of the messages from our ‘Leaders’ has been very constant, ‘No-one, we repeat, no-one should come here under the understanding they will be treated with compassion or care if they jump the ‘queue’ or come ‘illegal’ by boat,’  is what they mainly are saying. The political leaders are well aware that those sentiments will be well rewarded with the approval of thousand of voters.

The latest threat of sending at least 800 refugees to Malaysia just about takes the cake in the manoeuvring of our desperate Government keen to further whip up our xenophobia. The fact that this whipping might be translated to a caning in Malaysia was just seen as a mere bagatelle, easily overcome with a few soothing words of a promise that that would most likely not happen. The UNHCR seems less convinced.

While the conversation is continuing and a flurry of visits to New Guinea and Nauru intending to underline our tough stance once again, some might question where this dreadful fear comes from. Is there something in our history that gives us clues?

We couldn’t do much wrong by visiting our most recent history of how we treated children, both in our mother country of the UK and in our own.

Just having seen the film Oranges and Sunshine and previously read David Hill’s, The Forgotten Children, I wonder if  one day we might admit there was something rotten going on in our culture dating back perhaps hundreds of years. I know of no other country that exported and deported over 130,000 children in recent times. I also know of no other country that then allowed the further destruction of those children in the institutions they arrived at.

Is it is the history of bullying children and sending them into the hierarchical system of the English Boarding Schools, the Public (Private) Schools with its whipping masters and the degrading of all those coming into contact with the ‘British system’ of parenting and educating?

This seems to go to the very heart of why Australia has never managed to shake of that bullying that defined us from the very start.

Yet, when it comes to cattle or suicidal whales we all get teary eyed, ban the export of cattle or stand in the sea for days stroking dying whales. Where is the stroking for the flotsam of humans cast on our shores?

Last Monday’s Four Corners: again ‘bullying and degrading’ at the very core of our armed forces. It is totally ‘us’ and not just the isolated few of ‘them’. Howard, Ruddock, Abbott, Gillard, Morrison, Bowen. What chance did they all have growing up and indoctrinated into a system of bullying? No Government except the British conduct parliament so appallingly and again, bullying is at the very heart of it.

In the meantime we should take a leaf out of Turkey’s book. We will not turn them away, is what the Turkish Minister for Immigration is reported as saying. They are human beings in distress.

I can’t even imagine one of our politicians saying that.

Gerard Oosterman blogs here.

Woman Rape.

June 21, 2011

Posted on June 22, 2011 by gerard oosterman

There have been some strange News items today. One was about an Irish Lady being freed from jail after an alleged rape by her on a woman in a toilet. The mind boggles but here is the item:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/21/3249367.htm?section=justin

I was lucky to get the article about the hospitable Turks up and running on the Drum but, gee, it was gone in a flash together with MacCullum’s piece. Many of the answers seemed to draw comfort from the fact that Turkey and Syria are neighbours and as Australia hasn’t got that problem it is therefore not a good comparison. I thought my piece was more about how Turkey declared to accept all those fleeing violence. Their minister from immigration declared. “They are human being in distress; we will not turn them away”. I might be wrong but I have yet to hear any Australian minister declare any empathy, a warm welcome or understanding of the plight of refugees.

In the face of this refugee flow, Turkey has taken action without involving international institutions in the process. However, international cooperation will be inevitable if the number grows. Large camps, mobile hospitals and residential areas have been created in response to the fundamental needs of the refugees; thanks to preliminary preparations, Turkey is now able to host 800,000 refugees. International human rights organizations welcome Turkey’s generous attitude. Despite the fact its stance will further encourage others to flee and take refugee, Turkey’s preference not to close the border is extremely humane. At this point, the people of Güveççi village deserve particular credit and thanks; they have been mobilized to help out the refugees and given away everything they had to extend support for even those who stayed on the other side of the border, teaching humanity a lesson.

http://www.news.az/articles/turkey/38741

It seems amazing how the issue of so few numbers of refugees in Australia have excited so many. It still remains unanswered why Australia is getting so worked up about so few that end up on our shores. We are really slack and lacking in our humanity. Perhaps it is due to our education. So many, despite many nationalities having settled here, seem ignorant of the world’s geography or different cultures.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/21/3249679.htm?section=justin

Is Turkey showing us the Way?

June 18, 2011

Turkey promised to keep their borders open for the people fleeing the violence in Syria. Many thousands of Syrians have crossed into Turkey and footage shows men and women, children walking into that country.
Even though Turkey is a country with a large population of over seventy million and already coping with an overflow of many other nationalities, it has not lost its humanity in doing the right thing by extending its hospitality to those so much worse off. They are quickly opening disused buildings and building camps, constructing a temporary hospital.

If Turkey can do it, where is our compassion?

Lack of ‘humaneness’ is what seems to doggedly divide Australia from most of the rest of the world with a deeply engrained hostility towards others. It is especially directed to those hapless victims of endless wars that somehow managed to make it anywhere near our shores.

Our present minister and previous Government ministers have exalted in, ‘we must make conditions here as harsh as possible as a deterrent’. The general gist of the messages from our Governments has been very constant., “No-one, we repeat, no-one should come here under the understanding they will be treated with compassion or care if they jump the ‘queue’ or come ‘illegal’ by boat,” is what they mainly are saying. The political leaders are well aware that those sentiments will be well rewarded with the approval of thousand of voters.

The latest threat of sending at least 800 refugees to Malaysia just about takes the cake in the manoeuvring of our desperate Government keen to further whip up our xenophobia. The fact that this whipping might be translated to a caning in Malaysia was just seen as a mere bagatelle, easily overcome with a few soothing words of a promise that that would most likely not happen. The UNHCR seems less convinced.

While the conversation is continuing and a flurry of visits to New Guinea and Nauru intending to underline our tough stance once again, some might question where this dreadful fear comes from. Is there something in our history that gives us clues?

We couldn’t do much wrong by visiting our most recent history of how we treated children, both in our mother country of the UK and in our own.
Just having seen the film “Oranges and Sunshine” and previously read D.Hill’s, “The forgotten Children”, I wonder if one day we might admit there was something rotten going on in our culture dating back perhaps hundreds of years. I know of no other country that exported and deported over a 130 000 children in recent times. I also know of no other country that then allowed the further destruction of those children in the institutions they arrived at.

Is it is the history of bullying children and sending them into the hierarchical system of the English Boarding Schools, the Public ( Private) Schools with its whipping masters and the degrading of all those coming into contact with the ‘British system’ of parenting and educating?

This seems to go to the very heart of why Australia has never managed to shake of that bullying that defined us from the very start.

Yet, when it comes to cattle or suicidal whales we all get teary eyed, ban the export of cattle or stand in the sea for days stroking dying whales. Where is the stroking for the flotsam of humans cast on our shores?

Last Monday’s ABC’s 4 corners, again ‘bullying and degrading’ at the very core of our armed forces. It is totally ‘us’ and not just the isolated few of ‘them’. Howard, Ruddock, Abbott, Gillard, Morrison, Bowen. What chance did they all have growing up and indoctrinated into a system of bullying? No Government except the British, conduct parliament so appallingly and again, bullying is at the very heart of it.

In the meantime we should take a leaf out of Turkey’s book. We will not turn them away, is what the Turkish Minister for Immigration is reported as saying. They are human beings in distress.

I can’t even imagine one of our politicians saying that.