Posts Tagged ‘Woolworth’

Getting down to Earth

February 2, 2017


With the heat of the last few days in retreat, I’ll try and revive a few more words. Words tend to wilt with anything over 26c. If not wilt, melt. Like butterfly into buterfy or wedding into bedding. Letters faint, drop off. In the meantime. Let me recall some of the last few days. Of course, the minimum requirements during heat are plenty of electric fans. The double glazing is fine when the nights cool off. Eventually everything gets hot and an itchiness develops to just survive breathing in and out.

One of the advantages of large shopping malls or even small ones is that they are air-conditioned. Dire warnings for elderly to stay well hydrated, avoid sun sugar seek shelter, stay calm. It wasn’t helped reading more people die of heat than drownings. We sought refuge in Aldi, just sauntering around the oranges and broccolini. It is amazing though that the the big ones such as Woolworth and Coles that advertise on the Telly, are losing custom. You won’t see Aldi on TV. Yet Aldi is taking away shoppers in droves from the big supermarkets. It are the Mercedes and BMW’s that now glide in and out of Aldi’s parking stations.

Svelte bouffant blonde ladies carefully going over the specials, bending over sweet potatoes, fingering the carrots that one is likely to encounter at Aldi now. Men in Country Road shirts, camouflaged shorts with many pockets lingering around the tool section, contemplating sets of spanners or paper shredders. It is so relaxing. An escape from heat. I wonder if taking a couple of easy fold-out chairs into the air-conditioned splendour of Aldi would be objected to? I mean a couple of oldies just taking it easy?

During one hot night. I took to extremes. A fold-out bed under the fan. Desperate measure.  The fold-out bed is about twenty centimetres above floor level. Pretty handy, I thought. A bit like going back to my camping days. But, again for each progressive move forward, a punitive counter move. With the much lower centre of gravity I could not get up when a call of nature beckoned. Let me tell you. Getting older is in direct proportion to toilet breaks. The less years ahead the more toilet breaks are engaged in. After a few attempts in trying to get up by using available leverage I found out my limitations.  Sitting up was achieved but not actually standing up. I felt helpless. I needed nurse. I considered just letting it just flow all out. Who cares?

The mind gets active in emergencies. I thought that if I rolled out onto the floor first I might just be able to get up by the help of the coffee table next to the bed. I managed to do just that. I first dropped my feet on the floor, followed by legs, than my torso, chest accompanied by neck and attached head. I rolled over and by arching my knees managed to get enough off myself  from the tiled floor to reach the top of the coffee table. The rest was easily managed. I felt so proud. Almost did a Tarzan’s jungle call but thought it would alarm Helvi. She slept well elevated above ground level in our communal bed. I went to the toilet triumphantly.

Another handy hint during the present heat-wave is for the elderly to seek shelter in the local hospital. We are living right next to not one but two hospitals.  A public hospital and a private one. The Public hospital use blue-tack and sticky -tape while the Private hospital  gives you a free pen to sign over your wallet.  One could just find some excuse or ailment and take a comfy chair in the emergency department. They often have lots of magazines. Many waiting patients can be engaged with comparing levels of ailments or the latest government pension cut backs. The wait for triage nurse always a thing to look forward to. Her soft caring hands wrapping the different bodily measurements equipment around your arms. I tell you, it is not a bad option.

Think about it!

The Couple on the Train.

October 15, 2016

Almost There

Train travel is now almost done without rail employees. You can’t buy train tickets anymore. A few weeks ago we walked to the local train-station to try and travel to another station to pick up the grandsons. We hopefully went to the locket to order our tickets. The man behind the glass panel shook his head. ‘No way, tickets for the pensioners are now only available through ‘Opal’ ticketing system,’ he said. ‘If you don’t have Opal you have to pay full fare.’ ‘Fair enough,’ we answered. ‘Please, two returns to Campbelltown.’ ‘Oh, no again, you can’t buy tickets here.’ ‘You must buy from the machine near where you are standing.’ The full fare was $14.50 each. Normal pensioner tickets is $ 2.50 all day, no matter where you go to. The machine is complicated, at least for us, used to logic and straightforward paying with cash to a person and not a machine.

The really strange thing is that you can’t buy the Opal card at railway stations. You have to do that ‘on-line,’ or at certain News-agents or shops. I am proud to announce that I managed to achieve this electronic journey on-line without any assistance or nervous breakdown. Both Helvi and I now have an Opal Card tucked away in our wallets. We each have $20,- credit on it. The world is now our oyster and we can travel at any time by train. I wonder what happens to those credits when people cark it. I bet there are millions of dollars laying about from people whose last journey was the train to Rookwood. Feeling as ‘Crook as Rookwood’ is one of my most favourite expressions.

Using Opal requires a form of tapping a pole each time getting on and off the train. No-one really checks if you have ticket. The poles all over Australia must store your identity and synchronises it with this Opal card which is in your name and linked to pensioner number. It also comes with its own pin number and password. Each time you tap the pole with your Opal card, the travel cost is deducted from the money that one has credited the Opel-Card with. Amazing technology, but what happens if you travel by train and walk past those poles? Does the pole do something? Do they take a photo? How does the pole know you haven’t tapped it?

We have as yet to try it out. I have seen the system in action. We watched people tapping the pole. It looks hilarious. I mean, who would have thought that normal adults, totally sane people, would get a card out and tap it against a steel post? The post doesn’t say or do anything. At least in supermarkets, the automated scanning cash registers give you a receipt and even are polite enough to thank you for having done the shopping. I always wait for the announcement, ‘Thank you for shopping at Woolworth, the Fresh Food people.’
I even answer, ‘no worries.’

Overcoming the Sunday. (Handy hints)

September 27, 2015


Soon it will be dark.  It is reassuring that Monday always follows a Sunday. This is what we must cling too, no matter how slow the Sunday is passing. On our daily walk we noticed even nature was struggling  with a bad case of Sunday gloom. The tulips were a bit despondent with the Camellia buds rotting even better than normal. The morning is usually the least gloomy and for some the best part. Many get the Sunday paper, scan the adds for Fiji holidays or  three metre TVs with inbuilt DVD capability. After that, many will settle for sweaty rugby or tennis ball whacking. The rot sets in after that.

‘Don’t go to Australia my friends warned me back in 1956, there too is the dreaded English Sunday.’ No one ever went to England for a holiday. France, Spain or even Austria and Germany were preferred. As it was, each time we arrived back to Australia our first port of call was Fremantle, worse…  on a Sunday too. The English Sunday always held some notoriety as being very peaceful and dormant, and more than just quiet. Many Continental friends keen to spread bad tidings told us that you could not get a beer on Sunday. Can one imagine? The very day that one would go out with family ,visit a café and perhaps enjoy a beer or even a shifter of advocaat or jenever on the one day off, the Sunday in Australia forbade all that. It would be many years before a beer would be allowed on Sunday.

Of course, all that has changed. England rocks and as young people will is really cool there now. Australia is now being swamped with tourists looking for excitement and space to move around without having to wear oxygen masks or be shot at. Even so, I am still struggling with passing the Sunday. I try and remain optimistic and look for things to happen. The Bowral tulip festival is one good escape, even if just to watch all the tourists. Another one is to prepare for a really complicated dish needing lots of ingredients that you might have to go and shop at Aldi for. Aldi shopping is one of the greatest Sunday gloom escape diversions to engage in. I relish the chance and go each Sunday. Of course, some of you might prefer Woollies or Coles. Each to their own. It all helps and we have to stand together in overcoming a Sunday.

On Sunday many products get down-priced as the date of expiration gets closer. You can observe customers carefully weighing up the pros and cons of getting a discounted meat product against the risk of a bout of intestinal hurry. What to do with a pig’s trotter that is one day from extinction? Or what to make of a slightly discoloured packet of double smoked ham but for a mouth-watering $1.50? Or a suspiciously pale looking salmon cutlet, but for $3.99?  Should it be taken home and the discounted ticket peeled off with the suspicious husband left in the dark. What to do with your conscience, especially after he is doubled over the porcelain bowl heaving and wracked with dreadful diarrhoea? There has to be a limit. Be careful, don’t overdo escaping the Sunday. You would not want to be charged with manslaughter.

Many take to gardening in the Sunday afternoon. The lawnmower taken out. A bag of soil opened, a plant to be potted. Discussions about the state of this year’s Hellebores. Questioning the state of mites on up-coming roses. Is it too early yet for the white-oil? Should the shears be sharpened, the shed re-organised?  The ingenuity of the Sunday escapee knows no bounds. A good husband might offer help in the kitchen. ‘Would you like me to spin the lettuce, darling,’ I overheard our neighbour saying. It was a particularly bad and difficult Sunday but it helped him pull through.

All of a sudden it was 6.30 pm and we rushed to the SBS News. Then at 7,the ABC. A quick glance at e-mail and at 9.30 in bed.

It will soon be over…glorious Monday is knocking.

A life uncertain but ducks remain calm.

April 17, 2015
first'rickety' house in Balmain 1968.

first’rickety’ house in Balmain 1968.

So much seems to be in flux lately. My local bank branch and ATM machine have suddenly moved to the other side of town. Why is it that familiarity and permanency  of everyday life is rapidly disappearing, going away? There is so much nervous movements about. I still keep walking to the old ATM to try and get our daily bread in cash.  For the last two week I  have still walked to the old address and end up staring at a brick wall covered over with black plastic. That is where the old ATM used to be. A sign tells me where the bank and cash machine have moved to. I am not the only one to end up looking at the brick wall which is a great relief. I still marvel each time when the money comes out. If ever there was a bit of magic! The ATM at the new address is now in an alcove and has bits of electronics bolted on the ceiling. I know I am being watched and now make sure I wear my RM Williams instead of casually dressed in long black socks and open sandals. You just never know of being called to a police line-up after a large SUV has driven into the ATM and made a grab for cash. It does happen. My grandsons refuse to go with me when I wear those sandals.

I find the message  to cover the pin numbers with one hand while at the same time pinning in the numbers with other hand complicated. You would have thought that technology could improve on that  a bit better. Today there was a long queue at the ATM with an employee of the bank patiently explaining the ATM routine to an elderly client. Please note that the word customer is rapidly being replaced by ‘client’. Even a prisoner now is likely to be called a client. The elderly client had great difficulty with understanding ATM protocol and the queue was getting longer. The employee did her best and I overheard common terms being used that now is assumed everybody knows. I overheard the elderly lady asking what is a ‘pin’ number followed by the lengthy and patient explanations. However, the queue of other clients was getting  restless, brows were being raised , feet were shuffling and some words being uttered, albeit still muffled.

I have some sympathy for the elderly though. I mean, how far will this go? The technology is mainly to cut out employing people and save the bank money. It is not designed to improve service. It is all so faceless and impersonal. I mean that mindless electronic message at the end of having scanned all the shopping through, after money has been pushed in that slot, change given, you get that inane message ‘Thank you for shopping at Woolworth, the Fresh food people.’  Don’t you feel like hitting the machine? Where is the warm smile, and personal contact or exchange of pleasantry?



We now try and compensate and get warm contact with many uncritical ducks in the small creek that never stops flowing over muddy pebbles at the back of our house. Some of them know us and expect a crust of bread, especially a large white duck. Milo understands and behaves with a degree of decorum by not barking madly. Often similar people, seeking a smile or greeting, take that walk too and escape from the wiles of ATMs and overhead rotating sinister black eyes, electronic blinded thanks from shops and the IPhonic cluttered up youth in holey Diesel jeans, with some so iced up, hurling trolleys into creeks or around telegraph poles.

We should be so thankful for calm ducks.

Shopping (again)

March 18, 2015

imagesLoaves and fishes

It seems that the large super markets are getting less popular. None too late. By the time the car has found a parking spot, their owners are almost ready to give up an lie down somewhere behind a solid concrete column, between fading windswept catalogues and screaming shopping enticements. ‘Free this and Free that.’ Mothers  are wrenching giant triple story Syrian tank like prams out of the car, sobbing in tune with  children choking on  lollypops and angst inducing vibrating IPhone. A calamity waiting for a jovial funeral director! It is no wonder they are in decline. It was too much, too large and all too spread out. Too much choice, too little service and exhaustingly depressive.

A couple of German billionaires took on the huge super market domination of shopping and are now reaping the benefits. They call their shops ‘Aldi’. They are to be found all over the world but they remain in the hands of private owners and are not publicly listed. They generally are all of a modest size and do not provide, (the enemy of our ecology but much loved by the capitalist word,)   plastic shopping bags, nor do they allow their shopping trolleys to be skated around suburbia only to end up around telegraph poles or in the local creek. They ask for a deposit before being released. They had that system back in Holland decades ago when I was still a young man , brimming with optimism and joy de vivre but also with some early burgeoning signs of a clear-sighted despair as well. ( not totally unfounded.)

Most of their products are Aldi brands and have simple direct exterior packaging doubling as display as well as being the product. The stores themselves are small to walk around and one doesn’t have to go on a day-long hike, risking dehydration, to find the elusively shy toothpaste or the brazen Spanish salami.

The giant supermarkets in Australia, Woolworth and Coles are now rapidly losing market share with a sagging share price. Aldi is becoming the popular way of shopping. At least 20% cheaper on everything especially groceries.

Here an extract of the philosophy of Aldi, by Der Spiegel.

“It took until the end of the 1990s for the product lines to change, in line with society, gradually and subtly, but with remarkable consequences. Smoked salmon replaced broad beans, Montepulciano wine lined shelves previously crammed with standard German Schnapps. And even middle-class consumers or good earners felt pleased with themselves when they wheeled an Aldi PC out of the store.

Aldi’s firmly established presence in everyday German laugh contrasts with a dearth of information about its founders. The secrecy they shrouded themselves in at times seemed ridiculous. Questions to the management had to be submitted by fax. They rarely elicited an answer. This was generally attributed to the traumatic kidnapping of Theo Albrecht in 1971.

No entrepreneur and no company celebrated its own reclusiveness as rigidly as Aldi. The company would say that its founders had nothing to say because they were concentrating on the business. The company had grown because it did not feed a curious public with news, a close confidante once said, describing Theo’s creed.

Enthusiasm, Perfectionism and Absolute Thrift

In Aldi’s world, open communication was regarded as a mistake, or at least as a waste of time. Anyone who broke that code was a traitor. Almost everyone who provides information on the family or the company does so on condition of anonymity.

Enthusiasm for the product, perfectionism and absolute thrift — those were the secrets of success for the Albrecht brothers. High-ranking executives would dig old pencils out of their desk drawers whenever one of the brothers paid them a visit, just to avoid causing any suspicion that they were wasting office supplies.

For decades, the brothers have focused on what they consider to be the essentials: the best quality product at the lowest possible price.

In the process, Aldi’s product range has always remained relatively limited. The supermarket chain sells around 1,000 different articles. By comparison, the US retail giant Wal-Mart stocks up to 50,000 different products. But anyone who has ever stood looking at a supermarket shelf featuring 28 different kinds of fruit yogurt knows that sometimes less is more.

“From the beginning, Aldi has always focused on two, or a maximum three, varieties of a product, thereby helping the customer by making a useful pre-selection,” says Thomas Roeb, a retail expert and former Aldi manager.”

Those shadows.

August 13, 2014
Sparkling windows.

Sparkling windows.

Here a Song;

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

(Christina Rossetti 1830-1894)

A wise man knows nothing, a fool everything! It is to be hoped by many that gaining some insight and wisdom might be the final reward for getting old; apart from the inevitable final curtain call of dying 😉 There isn’t a great deal that can be done about that one, except be prepared and choose your own coffin in time. ( the laminated Mount Calvary with chrome handles might be a good choice) 😉 🙂

I usually welcome the coming of personal shadows and my advice to others; welcome them! I know there are Men’s sheds and Beyond Blue orgs to help out for those in serious downers. I take a different tack. I invite the blues and let it wash over me like a thick but reassuring fog and accept the challenge. It will dissipate as sure as the sun goes down behind the horizon. Who wants to be happy; happy all the time? It is badly overrated. The nurturing of Western forms of happiness is nothing more than terminal capitalistic Overlords wanting you to empty your wallets, doing shopping in huge shopping malls filled with truly depressed and oh so sad people seeking ‘happiness. Is that what I want? No, go and get fucked; give me a solid dose of clear sighted shadows at any time.

Lately I have been deeply immersed in cleaning windows. With the double glazing and carpenters fingerprints all showing, with the yellow afternoon sun at a certain angle, I decided to seek survival through a bout of window washing. I love dish washing and avoid dish-washers and not because of economics, no, more of enjoying swirling my hands around warm water. It satisfies. Don’t ask, why? There is a lot there, I know.

With windows I could not understand that using the clear blue tinted window washing liquid from that Mecca of cleaning detergents, Woolworth, and a good cloth, that the glass seemed keen on showing a film of milky white as soon as the afternoon sun hit it. I re-washed them again, this time with sparkling clean water and brand new cotton cloth, cut from my old pair of pyjamas. The same milky white again. I then remember my mother using a special cloth. Is it called a chamois? It was a kind of leathery cloth and made a squeaking sound when drying the windows. I bought one…and…victory. The windows are sparkling. I am so happy.

I know, I know, but it is probably a Dutch thing.

A house in Rio de Janeiro

December 14, 2013


In between getting older and being old, have I left living in Brazil a bit late? I have always felt that there must be places that offer more excitement than Australia. “Oh Gerard, have you not learnt enough yet. Excitement is what you make yourself?” This is what reasonable people have always told me. “You are out of your mind”, from the same reasonable people. Another favourite saying thrown as a morsel to keep me sated or even sedated. ” You will never find anything better than Australia”, “it is the best country.” Is this last bit an attempt to quell their own uncertainty?

Perhaps it is nothing more than my own wish to escape from getting old, pretending that moving about will stop ageing, I have a tendency to dream that a nirvana exists always somewhere else except at the present place. Another bout of useless dreaming of foreign countries. It could also be, that reasonable people are possessed with a lot of sangfroid but bereft of coping with anything much more exciting than a change of direction of stirring the tea and milk anti clockwise. Their major concession to adventure. I am surrounded by a sea of tea stirrers all in tandem. Round and round they stir.

I know, that Christmas always brings out in me a kind of melancholy. Contrary to what most people seem to want, my melancholy runs its course and doesn’t stop just because of a looming deadline. Perhaps unreal expectations are running rampant in others and I know and feel that too keenly. Does a certain date of 25th of December make necessary for a total mayhem of life? Is the 26th or 29th of Dec not very much like any other date? If the 25th is such a nice date, why is every day not like the 25th? Yes, I know it is Christmas and very special, but we still continue breathing, laughing, or not, like every other day. The sun comes up and goes down, just the same as any other day. It also often rains.

Today, it is still more than ten days till Christmas. Even so, in the shopping avenues there is a certain tension building up already. You can see an increase in tempo. Is time starting to run faster? Is the minute now getting shorter?

Brows are furrowed and people are nervously lugging huge trolleys laden with mountains of food. Today I saw a lady wearing a floral dress who would normally, (I assume somewhat brazenly) calmly go through the dairy division (small goods) of the super market to buy a small diet yoghurt. Today though, she threw all caution to the wind, loading 12 six packs of apricot smooth yoghurt with attached spoons in her groaning trolley.

Later on, while I was studying the different bags of garden potting mix outside, this same lady was ripping into one of the six packs apricot yoghurts with the spoon now unattached. After I bought and rolled my two bags of potting mix on my trolley to the footrest car and taking the trolley back, this same lady was on her third yoghurt. Is the Christmas spirit causing a hot fever resulting in an uncontrollable urge to slurp fruit laden yoghurt?

I remember last year finding a half eaten leg of ham in a bin just outside the Woolworth super market. It was in the full sun and would have gone off. In any case, flies were busy buzzing. It had teeth marks on it. Did some soul’s hunger get the better of him or her? Later on I speculated on who could possibly have partly eaten a leg of ham and then discard it in a bin. Did some people hold an impromptu ham eating party around the corner on the grass verge to celebrate the Christmas. Did they eat it late at night?

It is not unusual to see people buying food at the supermarket only to see them outside the door and start eating. They wrestle with the plastic wrapping. Their hands are shaking. This eating seems urgent and the need to satisfy hunger is immediate. Not a second to lose. One can assume that food had run out at home and that finally only hunger drove them to the shop…


It is therefore not surprising I started dreaming of how life would be in Brazil. An escape from the tedium. I can hardly believe that those sort of strange Woolworth eating cultural habits would exist there as well. I know that hunger thrives in Brazil. The slums of Rio have hordes of hungry kids going around for food. But they also laugh and play soccer. From my experience in Argentina, people do have different life habits. Hunger here seems lonely and suffered in isolation. In Brazil, I hope and speculate, hunger if it is still rampant there, is shared and communal. A shared hunger is preferred to an isolated one. Shared anything is better.

I found a house outside Rio de Janeiro with twenty five hectares and two waterfalls. Here it is.

Shopping trolleys and Kransky Fingers

July 17, 2012

Posted on May 29, 2009by

Shopping TrolleysShopping is not anymore what is used to be. Remember buying biscuits loose by the ounce and the shopkeeper knowing you by name? All gone now. A typical experience is now often bereft of contact with anyone, unless through a person with trolley rage. By the time one fights for parking with the usual hoons giving the two finger greeting, the tone is set and with grim determination one sets forth for the task ahead.

The wrenching of a trolley out of a long row of tightly jammed together stainless brothers is just the beginning. Of course after one goes through the one way electronic gates, the trolley decides to go off at a tangent when pushed, and as the return through the gates for another one has now been barred, one sadly tries to ‘shop’ with a dysfunctional trolley.

Silently one trundles through row after row of vegetables that are often now pre-peeled and mayonnaised, perhaps even pre-digested. Most meticulously sealed and ready to throw out. Lucky that the onions and carrots are still recognizable, so are beans and celery. On the left are the delicatessen and fish counters. By this time the trolley has been loaded with some items and now obstinately refuses to go straight at any cost and the hapless shopper is forced to counter this by pushing from the side and aiming for the next isle totally askew. This means that one side of the trolley is further away from the shopper than the other side. To compensate for this discrepancy, the pusher has to cross one foot over the other occasionally in order not to end up on floor.

With some basic maths and luck one might end up at  the delicatessen side. After waiting to be served, and being the only customer with a cramp in one leg, a large bearded lady tells you to get a ticket. Finally: three hundred grams of double smoked ham, please. The bearded lady rubs a plastic bag between kransky like fingers, blows in it, sticks her hand in it and turns bag inside out. Now, ( get a little closer to the screen now) this is silver platter stuff and ultimate platinum service. She grabs a fistful of double smoked ham and forces it in the inside out bag, kneading the item unconscious and to a pulp. Will four hundred fifty grams be ok? Meekly, yes ok. Anything is alright now, hoping Mental Health will not be necessary.

Next, the dairy products need to be bought and isle after isle of the most miserable items are limbed through, also traversing past acres of toilet papers called ‘symphony’ (with a hint of Ludwig’s 9th and oh so choral) and ‘confidence’, then through a puddle of spilled mock vanilla slush. One finally arrives at the butter, frozen foods and cheese section. Bedlam here. Why are the isles so full of shoppers? What is it that seems to draw and fascinate shoppers inexorably to all those frozen boxes? Do they come here for a good read like to a library? One shopper is deeply immersed in studying the instructions on a frozen instant lasagne box while her three year old is scooping violent crumble bars out of a huge sack.

The only way to put up with this punishment and unrelenting abuse is to take a leaf out of how I bravely try to get even with the abusers.

I want to share this with you.

Go for ‘specials’ that have been discounted. Not so long ago at a carnivorous Woollies store, I bought smoked salmon that was on special as well. Going through the counter I was charged the full price. Overcharged items incur full return and item given for free. Check small print near check out. Try and concentrate on items that you could get overcharged with! That is the secret. You will get them free. A win win!

So, free salmon after going to the customer desk. It is important NOT to tell cashier at check out about mistake but calmly pay up and get refund and free item from customer service after. As you have been overcharged, show some indignation.

So, back I went for another smoked salmon. Another refund and more free salmon. I did this until I collected 2 kilos. This is all legit. Oddly enough, Helvi is not impressed by my canny devices to balance the injustice heaped on shoppers. I have now exploited this many times with different items and pride myself as a modern Robin Hood  of the Shopping Mall. I always check for mistakes and the girls at the desk know me by now and are powerless, also don’t care.

Those trolleys of course are abused by hoodlums who skate them away for miles, across kerbs and open wastelands. Helicopters fly overhead, tracing them. Reward posters for errant trolley are on telegraph poles.

Suburbia and shopping malls have become war zones.

Calm down and look back.

February 27, 2012

The recent ballot taken as a result of a challenge to the leadership by the previous PM has turned out exactly as predicted. There was not a single opinion by anyone that was dissenting anywhere. Yet, the media went, just as predictable berserk. Headlines in Newspapers were screaming to the extent, that many elderly pedestrians fainted, some called for ambulances.

On TV, even the dulling powder puffs on the journo- cum- shock –jock’s faces were foregone adding greatly to the excitement not seen since the days of Princess Mary and Kylie Minogue. The sheen on their brilliantly lit faces was unequalled except perhaps during the interviews of those large mining magnates in Western Australia. The sheen on opulent faces is always in direct proportion to the billions in bulbous bullion ingots they have stashed away in secret Perth Bunkers. Come to think of it, so are their bodies, in size I mean, perhaps in sheen as well. I haven’t studied Palmer’s or Gina’s sheen below their collars.

We seem to have entered an era of instant politics that in the same vein respond to instant polls. We have just about got over that vile drink ‘euphemistically’ named Instant COFFEE. Instant, perhaps, but coffee, no way? There is now Instant cheese and it comes in a tube. Polls now come as regular as errant shopping trolleys discarded along nature strips. What do you think ‘nature strips’ are for, you old fogey fools? This is our world now, it’s our time, they are our nature strips, piss off, move over you pathetic grump.

Just fifty metres from our Woolies store in Bowral someone, very gifted, had lifted a trolley high up and managed, through herculean efforts, to impale it on one of those no-parking signs with the open ended flap of the trolley being used allowing the sign to enter it and the trolley to be dragged down the bottom on the nature strip with the traffic sign triumphantly sticking up in the middle of the trolley. Now, there is a creative boy about somewhere. I can’t imagine a lady pensioner doing that.

What goes on in the mind of someone walking past a trolley, abandoned in a nature strip? What mind would come up with the idea of going through the effort of wrestling it over and onto a traffic sign? In Singapore or Malaysia they would give him 120 lashes, his bum stripped bloody raw, but never a shopping trolley in danger again from him. Here, probably a reward for community services rendered. A Freudian trained psychiatrist would probably see a serial rapist in the making, ramming things all the way somewhere. He seems destined to become a rugby player instead.

Serves the trolley right. Why is it that the Aldi and European methods of an ordered trolley regime with small deposits on trolleys has not been made nationwide compulsory? It works well. Here though, there are rewards offered and helicopters are hovering above, trying to trace lost trolleys. It seems a strange and costly way to check up on trolleys.

Anyway, it’s not any stranger than the panic driven hysteria over the latest political stoush. Where was the calm and considerate looking back by the challenger? How could an experienced and ex PM not see, that the challenge would end in defeat. Did he not count those in caucus that would not support him?

Are they all driven by face-book emotions? Is the media ramping up politicians into a frenzy of self adoring that hides all logic and reason, a kind of endless tweeting ‘ The Emperor’s new clothes’ beautification? Are all politicians in the grip of a Stockholm syndrome whereby the enslavement to the captive image has become an insurmountable reality? Do they all look in the mirror and see a beautiful and glorious Tiberius Claudius Caesar with an admiring media all hooked on an intravenously administered Instant News hook up? It’s all now panic, hyped up internet face-book twittering raging media and political turmoil maelstrom.

Where has the calm gone, the looking back and taking time?