Posts Tagged ‘VW’

The Funeral Insurance scam and camping.

November 29, 2015


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?

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’, ūüėȬ†¬†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.

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.


The Campervan. Are we there yet? Memoires.

October 6, 2015


When still in Holland we drove around in VW Campervan. Strictly speaking it was not but we made it a van that could be slept in. With some help from self-tapping screws, eyelets and wires, we fashioned curtains. We took the back seat out and with chipboard also made a bed-base of some 3/4 width, enough for both of us if sleeping in spoon fashion (or forks when amorous). We used the space underneath this bed for storage.

After our return to Australia I promptly bought another VW van but left it as it was with a backseat for the kids. What I forgot to check was the size of the engine. The one in Holland had a two litre engine, while the one in Australia that I bought was a 1600cc engine. A big difference, especially fully laden and towing a small trailer. The road that had to be turned left , to go to our favourite camping spot was still a dirt road and muddy after rain. During wet days it would almost take an hour to travel the 20km or so. There were some hills that were steep and it would not be difficult to find oneself almost unable to either go down or up those hills.

The adv. that had the young kid asking ‘are we there yet, daddy?’ must have been inspired by so many families travelling with children. The on-board DVD had yet to be discovered. Even that gadget has now been overtaken by I-Phones, pad and pods and heaven knows what else kids are now stooped over,¬† pushing buttons with a rapid-fire machine gun speed. Has anyone noticed how nimble the kids are with the gadget being manoeuvred with their two thumbs writing commands on that little key-board? Truly amazing. When I put my finger down, the whole keyboard follows or the English changes into Chinese.

We still try and engage our grandkids with the game of¬†‘ I spy, I spy,¬†with my little eye’ and as yet, and most times,¬†even the fifteen year old still respond during the trip to Sydney and back. Squabbling between young¬†siblings inside a moving car is the stuff of family punch ups at the rest-stop, which can never come quick enough. Dear H is an angel during car trips and the punch ups usually prevented. If it persists we threaten a sound¬†belting or an ejection from the car on an isolated bush-track. ūüėČ

The usual squabble with grand-kids¬†is the same as¬†it was with our own kids forty or more years ago with…”Mum, ..mum, he has taken over my space and has his hands near me”. H. “Move back and try and stay there, you are annoying your sister.”¬† After five minutes of peace. “Mum…mum, she is laughing at me now, again.” The ‘again’ doubles the annoyance. H.” stop laughing at your sister, were are nearly there”. Again, almost immediately (and I am white knuckled over the steering wheel) Mum…mum.. She is yucky looking again and has her foot on my foot”, H takes out the expendable steering lock and swings it threateningly towards the back seat. It stays quiet for more than a whole twelve minutes. It starts again. Mum…mum…dad…dad… are we there yet?

Of course, the real cruelty is for kids to be locked up in a small confined space.¬†Every time watching young kids, they hop and skip, move about constantly. They can’t even take one single straight step without doing gymnastics or somersaulting on the footpath. They are growing up and a car is not for kids. Even so, now there are electronic gadgets that seem to help somewhat.

Are we there yet?