Sen svingink arun 180 tekrees
henterink neuer code.
Putchink dooner mitten handen.
Rehenterink neuer code.
Putchink dooner mitten handen.
Tryung vunce moron 3 und 4 timen.
Tro dammin lockin thingun unt vastebaggit!
Some time ago a young woman talked to me about her recent Student Exchange.
June at about 19 was invited to be part of an exchange which involved her going to Melanesia …somewhere (she was unclear exactly where).
Anyway she boarded an aircraft in Sydney and arrived In New Guinea where her sponsers (don’t ask) told her to board another aircraft to (somewhere).
Upon arrival she was met by friendly smiling black people who took her down to a wharf.
There she was handed aboard a large canoe with smiling people all ready to row. June greeted the mouths full of gleaming white teeth with no real expectation that they would understand…and although there were smiling greeting talks…there was no other bridge of communication.
Four hours later the canoe arrived in total black darkness at a shelly beach.
Very tired, she welcomed the firm black hand that helped her from the canoe and led her up the beach and along what seemed in the enveloped blackness to be a sandy track.
By starlight and imagination she walked up into a ‘place’ …where the kindly people bade her by suggestive inference to lie down on what was a reed-type mat.
June retired gratefully on the reedy mat and spent four hours in exhausted sleep. The other hour was spent in wishing her padding was more appropriate.
Then with the grey of dawn she sat up and noticed all the activity…movement…the smoke of fires…the laughter…the…Activity!.
She lept out of…erm…bed…and went to look for the Activity. “This will be the first day of my exchange experience! It is so exciting!”
She went down out of the hut which was a long high communal living area, and approached some women sitting around a fire. They greeted her with big smiles and invited her by gestures to sit on the sand with them. She listened avidly to their conversation but was unable to understand it.
After a while she arose and went down to the beach where the men were leaving in their canoes. They had spears and what appeared to be fishing lines, and nets, and they set off to sea with a great commotion of shouts and merriment.
Then June sat on the beach while the mens’ canoes became specks where the beautiful greeny blue lagoon met the roaring waves on the reef.
After a while she went back and sat down again with the women. They were still chattering and clearly discussing the exciting things that were to happen today.
Three hours later they were still clearly discussing the exciting things that were to happen today.
Three hours later the men returned and the women went down to compliment the men on their skill and take the catch for tonight’s dinner. Ah, Fish Entresse or Delice perhaps? No? Oh alright, fish-whatever caught in a canoe thank God.
After dinner it was Sun Down WAP! Darkness…and to bed …Perchance to Dream.
Next morning June arose with the nimbleness you can only imagine from sleeping on a reed mat, and went to join the crowd. What’s going to happen today! It’s so exciting!
She went to the ladies’ group. She went to the Mens’ Launch. She went around gathering coconuts trying to be a good citizen.
She thought “tomorrow will be different.”
Even the warm wind was persistent. Day after day it blew from the sea across the coconut trees making them sway and rustle and occasionally drop coconuts.
One day, after a long time…it may have been days or was it weeks… June had learned enough to understand that the women were to confront the men about a matter that troubled them. The men “Wouldn’t eat enough to justify all the womens’ cooking time”! This was a terrible issue! It demanded a major round-table or round-fire confrontation!
Afterwards, it had been made clear that all must consume within their ability and peace was restored.
By this time June realised that leaping out of bed to look for the exciting activity would be to no avail.
So she adjusted her internal time-clock and settled back to “Island Time”.
She learned that the most important thing was …well, nothing really. Anyway she settled back.
Then after a period a man came and offered his hand and in respectful pidgin said “we must go”.
So she went sadly down to the beach followed by the crowd, and after tearful hugs all round she was settled in the bow where she looked back at the waving people on the beach until they became specks and were finally hidden by the sea.
To this day she wishes she had “Island Time”.
The first rule about eating a mango is that you don’t buy mangos when they first come on the market at the beginning of the season.
You’ll walk into Coles and see the first of them – thirty-nine dollars for two or twenty-eight dollars each. As a seasoned mango eater do you succumb to the temptation? Hoh no. you go home and enter your pantry where on the top shelf beside the Vacola Bottling Outfit you still have three of the two-dozen bottles of mangos you preserved last year.
Because as anyone who has had anything to do with mango trees knows – they grow huge and they are abundant. Abundantly over-abundant would not be exaggerating the situation for mango tree owners – or golfers trying to find their ball in the mess of mangos under the tree on the ninth.
“But I don’t want 40 mangos, I only want that one there. The price for forty doesn’t work out to nine dollars each!”
“Yes it does. You want to buy only one of my mangos, it’s going to cost you nine dollars.”
“Well what if I buy forty and then pick up that one I want and leave the others there?”
“Hoh no! I won’t let you do that. I don’t want to be stuck with your thirty-nine mangos! I got more mangos than I know what to do with, My wife and family gag at the thought of another mango season. We made a big mistake building our house inside the trunk of a mango tree. It’s a cow mate.”
“Oh all right, give me forty mangos.”
There you go. There’s your mangos. You enjoy the rest of your day now.”
So when the time is ripe and you bring home this year’s mangos it is a question of how to enjoy them.
Some like them cut in to dinky squares while still on the stone. Some manage to get them into slices. The danger with all this is of course that you can cut too close to that white stuff that covers the seed under the flesh…and you’re never sure that it isn’t deadly poisonous – probably used by the South American Indians to make Curare or something.
No; real mango eaters grasp them firmly, tear the skin off, stand preferably in a wet area out in the yard where they can be hosed-down afterand cleave their way through the juicy slippery suckers using primarily the two top front teeth rather like one would imagine a rabbit eating. Or perhaps a prairie dog.
Yes, one could imagine a prairie dog being a good mango eater.
You know it’s the mango season when you call on friends and neighbours and they say hello revealing yellow fibres stuck between their two front teeth.
The one small drawback in eating mangos is the minor panic attack you have when you are finding it difficult to hold on to the last of the slippery mango (why hasn’t someone come up with a mango-holder) and you think the seed might accidentally slip down your throat. You visualise yourself flapping around on the deck like a beached Tuna gasping desperately for air. (Or not, in the case of the Tuna…but meh).
After that, you are faced with days of trying to remember how to preserve the vast quantities of mangos littering your life. Although truth-be-known that preserving never really works the way you want it to. Even the experienced Mrs Perrin at Bolivia in 1956 used to not put enough sugar in the mix or something, and the fruit was never as good as you could get in a can. Although being twenty miles on a dirt road from the nearest store meant usually that it was preserves or nothing. Anyway Mrs Perrin didn’t preserve mangos because she had no mango tree on the farm. She preserved lots of other stuff…but I suppose there is no point in going into that. I’m sure she could have preserved mangos though…if she had any, which she didn’t.
I hope that helps.
Judy and I and the boys had finally settled in the old Police Station at Bungonia. Built in 1906 on the old trade route to Sydney and closed in 1932 for lack of business…it was a lovely old bluestone residence… hugely thick 15inch solid walls making you realise that life didn’t have to be insubstantial. It even had the original cell with a huge steel barred door…which became our dining room when I broke through the wall from the kitchen to add it’s space.
So life was great. We would sit on the old verandah looking at the pine trees all around the park, which had been planted in 1906 by a lady (name forgotten) who called in one day to tell us so.
Then one night we were ensconced in the lounge room with me learning painting by copying nudes from Playboy, and Judy weaving on the loom that I had built for her from the beams from the old Goulburn flour mill which was destroyed by fire. And I said:
“Maybe we should open a small shop here in this lounge room…sell local art to the tourists going to the Bungonia Gorge”
After two hours and another week of persuasion Judy finally relented, and we set up the lounge room with four tables and chairs…and with shelves for the local art work…and a counter to show that we were a serious business. And I made a sign which was hung out the front:
‘The Olde Coppe Shoppe’. (“Open …Closed…’ which was necessary in case there was an (ahem) domestic reason we wanted privacy).
Then we went looking for local art to sell on commission. There wasn’t much. So we decided we had to stock the shop with other stuff from Wholesalers. This was hard, because Wholesalers don’t just sell stuff to any Tom Dick or Harry…you have to be a registered Retailer. And the only way you can prove that you are is if you have an account with a Wholesaler.
So it took us some time to find a shonky Wholesaler in Surry Hills who was prepared to open an account for us and thus give us access to the NIRVANA of Wholesaling.
We found that as a customer of a Wholesaler you didn’t have to buy a ute load of stuff…you could buy 2 pies for lunch! Or in our case 15 bees made in China which “would be nice on our counter for people as they were walking out.” (Judy was very smart about this stuff).
And we realised that the dried flowers and plants the wholsalers were selling were growing all around Bungonia, so we dried heaps ourselves and people would walk over the herbs on their way in to buy our dried plants in the shop.
So we were set. However, I was still on the lookout for local crafts. Which led me to enquire in Moruya as I was on my way to a meeting in Bega as to whether there were any artisans around the traps?
“Oh, you’d be looking for Fordy then.”
So I did…and after a number of false starts and dead ends I came upon a huge round building which was surrounded by lots of bric a brac and ceramic bottles – all with thin necks and bulbous bottle shapes.
I walked up to the door and knocked. After a time of no response I pushed open the door to see a round room about 25 metres across with a sort of mezzanine built over it.
In time a figure appeared from the mezzanine.
“Sorry mate, I been up all night firing.” It was clear from his red-eyed appearance that he had been firing more than the kiln all night.
After introducing myself and ascertaining that this was indeed Fordy, he explained that he had just fired a new lot of pots, which he offered to show me. Eagerly I agreed and followed him down the hill to the big wood-fired kiln…which he opened to show me masses of thin-necked bulbous bottles very similar in colour to the hundreds littering our path.
No! I couldn’t bring myself to ask. But a young lady who appeared out of the house quietly explained in an aside to me that “Fordy’s gone a bit troppo out here. Been here too long.”
We chatted a bit about his graduation from East Sydney Tech …EAST SYDNEY TECH! I would have given my eye teeth for such an opportunity! Then I bought a bottle from him for $1.50 and went on my way.
Dear Sir or Madam (Although I suspect the glass ceiling is firmly in place in your organisation),
I am writing to express displeasure about the state of the roads on which I ride my bicycle to work each day. It’s hard enough to keep oneself dry in one’s best work dress, without having to negotiate the wretched conditions I encounter in my journey. It’s all very well for your Council to take credit for the Sustrans art trail along the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, but it’s time you owned up to your responsibility for maintaining an adequate state of pathway along my route. I am totally saturated by the time I arrive exhausted at work, and home, after negotiating the various unthought-out hills and dales you require me to endure… without the minimum level of acceptable cover over the bicycle pathway! Why don’t you do what is done elsewhere in the world and get rid of a lot of these useless old buildingsand level the ground to provide for us cyclists? Some proper planning might be in order?
I also wish to raise the issue of tourists leaving their rubbish outside their temporary residences in cardboard boxes and other unsuitable containers. These constitute an unusually difficult impediment to my daily journey, and it is totally inadequate for your collection to be made only once a week. The collection should be undertaken daily, and not with a lot of unnecessary noise! I suggest that you purchase a fleet of small vehicles with rubber tyres to undertake the process, personed by quiet timid people who are respectful of the neighbourhood.
I am happy to assist with the planning if you find yourselves unable to cope.
The thing is….Harry was a really nice guy. He was trusted by everyone. He was humorous. He was always interested in what you had to say, and always looked on the bright side. He was a nice guy.
He didn’t drink much. He smoked …which was to be the death of him in the end. He didn’t play cards for money, or gamble on racehorses or anything. He would try to save money by doing lots of things himself rather than paying to get stuff done.
Oh,…um…he played the poker machines. A lot. He was totally addicted to them. I have been with him in a club and literally tried to drag him out of the place while he still had some money left…and I was unsuccessful.
And also unfortunately, Harry was devoid of common sense and …well common…erm… sense? He wouldn’t be dislodged by argument or logic when he came upon one of his brilliant ideas. Because he was too trusting of the world. He thought the world was full of nice people like him. So he would accept what was told to him and not do the right amount of research. And Glady trusted his judgement and she trusted other people too. It was a fatal combination.
So he had some awkward moments…but the washing machines were not one.
Harry and Glady had bought the house at North Narrabeen with a War Service Homes Grant. I was there when it came about. I remember the excitement of it all. The house an asbestos-cement house high on the hill in North Narrabeen…it was wonderful! It had views all round. It had a three-quarter billiard table…it had space underneath for Harry’s Carter Brown novels with the blonde babes on the cover …which I would go down and look at and stuff.
It was wonderful. Harry would show me through the binoculars that the foliage down below at the point would have all sorts of activity…young babes and blokes ducking into the bushes for God Knows what activity…and all.
But unfortunately, Harry came upon a brilliant idea.
He spent a long time on calculations…but he was good with figures…and he reasoned that they could sell North Narrabeen and buy a place in Gladesville…and still have the 10 grand for the washing machines.
So they did.
Glady hated it. To have to leave the refinement of the North Shore where all the trendies lived and move to the mud flats of Gladesville was almost more than she could bear. It was only Harry’s enthusiasm for their potential income that saved the day.
The washing machines were 2 bob in the slot ones…and they were distributed all through the apartment houses in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.
They were brilliant! They kept taking money without anyone being present!. They were brilliant!
What, you ask, was wrong with that?
Alright…here’s the deal…the damned washing machines took 2 bob bits! Do you get it?
Then he’d drive home to Gladesville …past the North Ryde RSL club. No! he wouldn’t drive past. He would stop and go in with his cloth bag full of 2-bob bits. OH! I hear you groan! You’re right! He would leave later with an empty cloth bag and drive home.
Glady thought the washing machines were not very good.
But by then, he had come upon a new briiliant idea.
(To be continued)
“You have to have a vasectomy! I don’t want more children. And I can’t take the pill as you know. And we can’t keep using those awful condoms. And the surgical procedure is easier for men than for women. You have to have a vasectomy.”
“Oh. Ooer.” I said. I was unprepared for such a vehement assault. I felt that I had been out-manouevered and out-gunned before the battle lines had even been drawn!
“Oh…okay. I’ll go see my doctor tomorrow.”
“Are you sure?” My doctor asked. “you’re only 36, and you’re not married or anything. You may change your mind in the future …when it’s too late.”
“No, I’ve been instructed that I have to have it done.” I said.
“Alright.” My doctor was unconvinced. “I’ll refer you to a specialist.”
The Specialist in MacQuarie Street said: “Are you sure? You’re only 36 and you’re not married or anything. You may change your mind in the future…when it’s too late.”
“No, I’ve been instructed that I have to have it done.” I said.
“Okay…well when I do it, I make sure there is no possibility of it returning. It will mean that you have to spend a week in my private hospital in the Eastern Suburbs…but you can be sure that the job has well and truly been done!”
I went home that night and explained what was required.
“That doesn’t seem right! A week in a private hospital! That’s ridiculous! Go and ring the Family Planning Centre in Redfern!”
So I did.
The phone was answered by what sounded like this huge lesbian.
“Yes? What do you want?” She recognised immediately that I was part of the opposition.
I explained carefully my predicament… “The Specialist…a week in hospital…My lady didn’t think it seemed right…”
“But…but..” I tried to advance my innocence. Thankfully she was at the other end of the phone and not in my presence because I quickly gathered that she would be delighted to do the job herself…preferably with a rusty jam tin lid…if she could get hold of me.
“What is the name of this ‘Specialist’?!”
Anyway after a long period of self-castigation she finally said:
“Phone this number…and stop your whining!”
So I went home to the house I shared in Mosman with other rejects from the life of normality. And after a while I remembered that Maggie was a theatre sister in a big hospital. Maggie was my neighbour in the room next door in the shared house. She readily agreed to come with me to check out the address of the suspect Personal Parts Fragmentation clinic.
I couldn’t believe that I was going to trust my …erm… future to this dark stairwell. But Maggie pushed me forward. (It was about then that I started to wonder whether I was a victim of THE SISTERHOOD.)
“Look stop wimpering! You go up to the reception and distract them and I will duck into the surgery to check it out.” Maggie said.
So at the top of the stairs I stepped out into a brightly lit foyer, and saw at the other end a glamorous blonde receptionist. I marched up to her and bravely announced myself, as I noticed out of the corner of my eye, Maggie sneaking away.
After a short time both the receptionist and I saw Maggie re-appear and give me the thumbs up.
So I registerd my interest in having a ..um…a …you.know…
A week later it all happened with unseemly speed…with the surgeon saying “You should have no trouble just give it a week of…you know… and you’ll be fine. However if you ever want it reversed I have left it suitable.”
It’s worked ever since.
Aunty Glady was intrepid in a way.
She managed to convey an appearance of total control while those around her were ragged, to say the least. But I didn’t mind, she provided me with my devon and lettuce sandwiches on fresh crusty bread, which I would take for my 6pm lunch at SM Sydney’s office, and it sustained me until I caught the bus home to Narrabeen at 11.30pm.
I never understood a lot in those days. Glady and Harold had given me a room of my own, and their support, and allowed me to invade their lives – a fact that until recently I had not understood…but who does at 15.
However, I have since thought a lot about it.
Harold was a musician. A double-bass player. A very good bass player. He played at all the best gigs in Sydney : The Basement; The Hilton…with Tommy Dorsey. He knew them all. Because he told me that his job was to “Make them sound good”. And he did. I would listen in the audience and he would make them sound good.
Unfortunately, Harry had one small character flaw. NO! Not a character flaw…a tendency which others may have avoided and Pah! So what! Life is meant to be lived!
“That’s not a lot,” you might say. But sadly, I must inform you that it was a lot.
And poker machines depend for their existence on Harrys. Not just Harry , but people like Harry who are unable to pass a poker machine without believing that their life and future might depend on the pull of the next handle.
However in my conversations over the washing-up with Harry, I realised that he was a thinker. He told me about the brilliant PLAN he developed in New Guinea where he was stationed with the RAAF during the war.
The plan was developed around the fact that the Yanks were leaving New Guinea at the end of the war, and they didn’t want to take their equipment with them. So they bulldozed huge ditches into which they drove anything with wheels, threw in a grenade or two to blow up the equipment, then buried the lot. (I am unclear as to why they threw in the grenades…perhaps it was simply because they wanted to get rid of the grenades too?).
Harry and his mates would hide nearby until the Yanks’ knock-off time, knowing that the Yanks probably wouldn’t bother chucking the grenades in before they rushed off to the boozer, whereupon Harry and his mates would drag the undamaged vehicles out and hide them in the jungle to await delivery to Australia not long after…at a huge profit.
Unfortunately, an Aussie Captain got wind of the scheme and decided he wanted a piece of the action…or more correctly, all of the action… so he had Harry and his mates charged under some obscure Air Force regulation and they were sent back to Australia in disgrace.
Harry was always full of grand schemes…none of which quite worked out. Like the wire-mat making business he bought after seeing it advertised in the paper. The business depended primarily on two things : a wire-mat making machine, and a system of sales of the wire-mats.
Unfortunately, whilst the machine worked brilliantly, the system of sales had Harry signing a contract to sell all the wire mats he made to the man who sold him the business. He was not permitted to sell the mats independently (as he found out when he tried to do so, and had the fine-print in the contract pointed out to him). So sadly, the man dudded Harry by limiting his purchases of wire mats and Harry had to write the business off to experience.
Then Harry heard the advertising for Green Gold.
Green Gold was an organisation that offered shares in pine forests to sucke…erm…people. Everyone who bought a share was given a certificate indicating that they owned an acre of land containg pine trees, which would be sold when mature and the proceeds returned as a dividend to the shareholders.
They were so trusting of people. Being basically good people themselves they thought everyone was to be trusted. I tried to clarify their situation because I was working at the time in the Land Titles Branch of the Registrar General. But I couldn’t find any support for their ownership of “an acre of land on the Gold Coast”.
Not to be put-off by my unreliable attempts to straighten things out that didn’t need to be straightened out, they remained trusting of the outcome they believed in, until Green Gold was exposed as a rort in all the newspapers, and their dream of retirement on the Gold Coast was shattered.
(to be continued)
Why am I here?
I asked myself as I found what I thought was the building, and I walked through the front door a bit uncertainly holding the email with the address on it in my hand…perhaps hoping that it would magically direct me through the correct door as I wandered down the hall.
But it didn’t.
There were no signs on the doors…no “Room 1024 – Blogging101”, just the bareness of the brown linoleum stretching before me down the gloomy hall, lit only by the faint daylight coming through the frosted glass of the street door and one bare bulb high up in the ceiling. All down the sides of the hall were solid old brown varnished-long-ago doors, each with a pane of frosted glass and silence…rather like old doors in a railway station on a line long closed down and abandoned to its rusty rail lines and weeds. Morose and forgotten by the world.
I could sense no life behind any door. No happy chirping of Bloggers testing their limits. No excited impatience of Sara, Michelle, Erica, Cheri, et.al. as they mused about what idiots were likely to appear on their doorstep of #Blogging101.
With some trepidation I tried a door which squealed deeply and menacingly as it opened to revealed a group of startled people who had up to then been engrossed in what looked like a study of anatomy, but could have been a gathering of witches engaged in some unholy rite as far as I know. I didn’t allow time for gathering more intelligence in case I was sucked in and dismembered.
My pace slowed as in my panicked rush down the hall I realised that I was not being followed, and I tried once more to assess which door might hold my destination.
I stopped at another door…pushed it carefully open to see a sign ‘Welcome to Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice‘.
I pushed open the door and was met by a sign saying:
“WHY ARE YOU HERE?”
Don’t you wish you could hit your drives a lot further?
Yeah I know…”Drive for show and putt for dough” . But I’m a hopeless putter and haven’t improved over the years. Longer drives have to be the road to reducing my handicap.
I thought there must be a way…so I did some research into long drives.
I had a look at the Youtube Long-Driving competition where the average competitor hits it 350 yards, and found out something very interesting : – they all used Krank clubs!
So I went to the Krank site and ordered a Krank driver by entering my physical data : 6ft 4; 190lbs; lifts 140 (clean and jerk); Leaps tall buildings in a single bound. (Alright I exaggerated a little, the data should have read: 5ft8; 190lbs; Lifts toothbrush with help; Stumbles over door mats).
Anyway I got to checkout and reviewed my purchase: $446; 47inches; weight all-up 13lbs.
Thirteen pounds! Now I don’t know if you can recall bowling a 13lb bowling ball….but can you imagine swinging one around your head? If you can’t, go to the gym and try it with a 13lb dumbbell. I did. I could barely lift the thing over my head…and when in an uncontrolled fashion I swung it, I then had to spend ages trying to explain to the young lady whom I’d almost felled that I wasn’t molesting her – I was trying out a new …er…golf club. She looked at the dumbbell…rolled her eyes and turned away in disgust.
Sadly the golf club appeared to not be the answer.
Although I have had somewhat of a breakthrough. I noticed that one of my playing companions was hitting his driver off the fairway! So I tried it on Saturday and it worked (sort of). Once in every three hits I’d be able to whack the driver off the deck further than my 5 wood! Eureka! This could be it! Of course the other two out of three whacks were very marginal…but Hey.. every scientific advancement starts with small achievements!
I am so excited! (I wonder if I could putt better with it?).