A cup of coffee.

In 1967, I was transferred from one far west corner (Well not quite a corner) to another far west corner, of N.S.W..

While the kids, in that first location, were great and good fun, I have often (via www) described that experience as a combination of: Sunday, too far away and Wake in Fright, for me (Two Aussie movies) .
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my mother was quoted, at the time, as saying: How could they send a “boy” , straight out of Holland, that far out west??
The whole experience had been quite dramatic and so, in the spring holidays, (Was it September?), 1967, I packed my little light-green vw again. Filled it with petrol and headed for Bourke, turning right, at Bathurst. .
By now I was used to sleep-inducing-drives, out in western New South Wales, (like, on the Hay Plains, driving into dusk, and trying hard to stay awake.) but that road between Nyngan and Bourke, the last stretch after Dubbo, with just one slight bend in it, was still a new experience.
Late in the afternoon, I found the house where I would be staying, in Anson Street. Apprehensive, is an understatement.
And coming into a house, occupied by four young males who tended to go their own ways, except for taking turns cooking meals and hosing the rooms out, every soften, was a bit of a shock.
I’d spent the first 12 years of my life, in Gouda, The Netherlands, where the climate ensures that interiors of houses were as cosy and tidy as possible.
Gouda, where it was (in those days) an unspoken rule to have your curtains of the front room open, right beside the footpath, so that the neighbours could see how clean, tidy and well-behaved you were.
There was one fellow teacher in the house, in Anson Street, when I arrived that day, (Let’s admit it: ) distressed.
He offered me a cup of instant coffee and we became friends.

Today, I had an excuse to visit him, and the lady he met ( and married), in those years, in Bourke, and 41 years later he made me several mugs of instant coffee, again.
Couldn’t help telling him, as I was leaving: I have not laughed (and relaxed) as much, as in those few hours, for a long time.
He and his wife have been there during a couple of interesting parts of my life.
I particularly remember one discussion, ( with the help of a few glasses from the casks, ) discussing the Darwin v. the Bible’s explanation of the origins of life, which went far, far, into the night, when their daughter number one was being minded, while number two had just arrived and was still with mum, in the hospital.
But there were many other good memories, e.g., the long drives between Sydney and Bourke, when he only woke up, when the policeman, stopped me, as I was going through Dubbo.
The many games of 500, with him, his then wife-to-be and the (red-headed) lady that I was friends with, and the elderly gentleman, who liked to have us visit and play cards with him.
The drive to the B. & S. ball, in Walgett, when I had to negotiate the unfamiliar gears on the steering wheel, and the kangaroo decided to jump on the bonnet, and, as I didn’t drink then, I was the only one sober, who could drive us back to Bourke.
The time when we entertained the Bourke locals, with the Melodrama, in which he played the villain and I played the hero_, who sent him out, into the cold, cold snow. (_Performed on a VERY, very hot, night, in the Bourke High School assembly area.)

Many, many, good memories.
Thanks, Chasingsooz for the excuse to go and surprise my friends.

In recent years, I’ve done this,
once in a blue moon, and, today, surprised them, for the third time.
It took him, as he opened the door, a few seconds to see who this almost 65-year-old was, who had just knocked on his door.

The first time I’d done that, a few years ago was priceless.

On the spur of the moment, at Christmas-time, I decided to save a stamp and go and deliver the card, personally.

So I found their house, in all those streets, named after trees; knocked on the door and told him I was delivering his mail.
It took him a few seconds longer, at that time.

Thanks, again Chasingsooz, for the excuse to go for the drive, to Cherrybrook.

B.t.w., I am worried ~ a little ~ about my state of mind.

You know what they say about men and their sense of direction.

Of course, I did not check in a directory, or on the internet, which way to go, before leaving home.

I just headed, towards the Parramatta area. Then I remembered that that is not exactly the route to Cherrybrook.
So, drove in a big loop, to the Hills Dristrict.

Still did not stop the car to see if my directory was under the passenger seat.
Just hoped to recognise the area.
Still heading towards the Hills district, saw a sign pointing to Castle Hill. (Had bought my video camera there a few years ago.) and believed I was back on track.
Sure enough, was basically going in the right direction now.
Relief – when I saw a sgn that told me that I was in Cherrybrook. But I wasn’t.
Asked some nice people at the side of the road. ( I reckon that, as I’m turning 65, on the 8th of October Are you coming to my exhibition opening? that I look harmless enough! )
Sure enough, backtracked a bit and found my friends’ house.
I’ll admit it: Combination of getting older and gender, to assume that I’ll remember where to go, without checking first.
I did ask my friend, how to get out of Cherrybrook and (to my surprise) found myself on the route that I follow when I return from Newcastle and points further north.
O.K.! While I’m confessing, ( My friends, in this report are of that faith.) I’ve now joined the Bubble-group that highlights: masks.
As I drove home today, I realised that I’ve been missing some things. Namely these laughs, with like-minded friends, who’ve shared ups and downs.
Something which we hide behind a mask as we (I) go about our (my) daily lives, saying: I’m fine, thank you, when people greet you with: How are you?.

A cup of coffee.


Ramsgate, Australia

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

A once in a blue moon visit to old friends.

Artwork Comments

  • chasingsooz
  • Enivea
  • MrJoop
  • Enivea
  • MrJoop
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