Holiday Concludes: Sunday, 23rd March, 1975

My seven weeks’ holiday draws to a close today. I awoke from a surprisingly peaceful sleep, especially when it is considered that my ‘mattress’ consisted of nothing more than newspapers placed on the floor. The only moment in which I was disturbed was when Kevin had opened the door briefly and turned on the light, upon his return from the pub.

It was overcast and it had been raining, for when I looked out of the loungeroom’s window there was probably the most vivid of rainbows I had ever witnessed.

Harvey’s name is really Martin, but he is addressed as such because his father is of that name. If that makes sense?

I read in the newspaper of ‘Apollo Eleven’s’ win in yesterday’s running of the Chipping Norton Stakes, which was run under weight-for-age conditions at Sydney’s Warwick Farm Racecourse. Prize money for the race totals $10,000. ‘Jandel’ finished in second place and ‘Kia Maia’, third.

Nick, Marilyn and I were perusing sections of ‘The Sunday Times’. Nick turned his attention to yesterday’s edition of ‘The Christchurch Star’ and espied a photograph of Harvey, Steve, Wayne and himself at the start of the footrace. He drew a circle around the whole picture and each signed their name underneath it. They are going to visit the newspaper’s office on Tuesday to order enlarged copies of the photo. The four, as they put it, “wore skin” — that is, ran shirtless.

Nick pinned the photograph on the wall prior to stating, “You don’t need wallpaper.” New Zealanders appear to have somewhat of an obsession with wallpaper. They even defy gravity by covering their ceilings with it!

Marilyn walked to the shop for milk and butter. I had Weet-Bix, followed by toast and Vegemite which is something that I rarely consume.

I packed my belongings and walked out to the clothesline in the backyard to say goodbye to Nick and cautioned him to “go easy on the horses”. He, along with Marilyn, Shirley, Steve and Harvey bade me farewell at the front door. Nick commented on how relatively small my knapsack is and queried me as to why I was wearing it so low on my back.

I told him that I would write to him and inform him of my new address, when I obtain one.

My intention was to board a public bus to Cathedral Square, only to reach the bus stop at a quarter to eleven and note that the next arrival was not going to be until 12.14. This prompted me to walk on in the hope of being able to hitch a ride. When this proved to be unsuccessful I continued on foot via Selwyn Street, Moorhouse Street, in the direction of the railway station. I turned into Colombo Street and in Tuan Street, entered the depot of the company, Midland Buses.

Despite having entered its office at half past eleven, I learned that the next bus to the airport was not scheduled to depart until a quarter to one.

Leaving my belongings at the terminus, I walked down Colombo Street and entered Cathedral Square where I was to purchase an egg burger and a chocolate milkshake for a total cost of seventy cents at ‘Krispy Chip’, which I had previously noted displays red flashing lines on a neon sign at night. I wandered down High Street, having consumed my food in the Square. There, I located the ‘Copper Lounge’ where Sue, whom I met last night, works.

Upon my return to the terminus at ten past twelve, I waited for the remaining thirty-five minutes to pass and the bus’s  arrival. The young driver only had three passengers to convey. “At fifty cents each, I can’t see how they can make a profit?” the woman commented, as we were entering the terminal via a pair of automatic doors.

I wandered about somewhat prior to my location of the ‘Quick Service Snack Bar’, which tended to belie its name to some degree. There I consumed a porterhouse steak, at a cost of one dollar and eighty-five cents, and a large glass of milk (fifteen cents). This meant that I only had sixty-four cents left, in local currency, in addition to the two dollars required to cover the cost of my departure from the country.

There were quite a number of personnel present from the American Air Force when the call finally came to board QF 333 at a quarter to five. The majority of passengers performed what I can only describe as a charge, as if they were not in possession of a ticket after all. A hostess could be seen conversing with a gentleman who stood out on the tarmac and beneath the aeroplane, via means of a walkie-talkie, in order to receive confirmation of the moment when it was permissible to enplane.

My seat was numbered 2A, which was located at the front of the plane and next to the window. A couple, whom I had firstly noticed some hours before in the departure lounge, was seated next to me.

The view over the Canterbury Plains was quite magnificent, what with its bluish green rivers wending their way through the broad river beds on their journey towards the coast. Alas, a covering of cloud prevented the sighting of the Southern Alps, as the airliner climbed to a height of thirty-one thousand feet and, in accordance to the pilot passed over the town of Hokitika on the South Island’s west coast.

The married couple is from Launceston, Tasmania. The pair had travelled for fifteen thousand miles within Australia, via their own mode of transport and had spent twenty-three days in New Zealand, travelling in rental cars. They informed me that their Tasman rental car had been a ‘Valiant’ on the North Island, whereas on the South Island their rental from Avis was a Holden of some kind, which they pronounced to have been “most uncomfortable”.

We talked of Launceston and the pair informed me that a plaza is under construction in Brisbane Street. A new bridge of four lanes has also been built across the Cataract Gorge. The pair lives next to the racecourse, in the suburb of Mowbray, and has no children.

I took a photograph of the aeroplane’s engines for her after she had handed me her small Kodak ‘Instamatic’ camera. He is averse to flying, but realises that if he is to see such places he has to bear it. He took a copious amount of footage with his movie camera after I had relinquished my seat to him prior to our arrival in Sydney. Our flight from Christchurch passed over the Northern Beaches’ suburb of Curl Curl and inland over Ryde. When asked for suggestions on where they should spend their time, in Australia’s largest city, I nominated West Head, the Spit Bridge and Palm Beach. They appeared keen to visit the Royal Easter Show, as he is particularly interested in machinery.

We entered the airport at 6.30 p.m. and I waited beside the luggage roundabout for my rucksack to appear. When it did it was covered in a tawny orange liquid, for my container of anti-dandruff shampoo had burst open during the flight. Everyone was pointing to it as it passed by.

Having passed directly through customs, I learned that the bus to the city was waiting. “Cicular Quay, please”, I replied when the driver enquired as to where I was headed. The gentleman seated next to me commented, “I hope you have insurance?” as he claimed that the driver possessed a “wild” demeanour.

This, I had not experienced for upon boarding I had inadvertently given the large gentleman two one-dollar notes instead of one. He immediately returned my overpayment, as he remarked that there were “… not many of us left” — a reference to his honesty.

Prior to our departure he asked me to move to a single seat, that was adjacent to his own. He informed me that he had been driving cabs for twenty years and buses for five.

We headed for Kings Cross, having left one of the twenty-two passengers at Central Railway Station. A woman alighted at the Boulevard Hotel, which prompted him to then remark: “I hope she brought plenty of money!”

The Koala Motor Inn came next, thence the Florida and Manhattan hotels and, lastly, the Menzies, in Carrington Street, where a gentleman of Indian appearance complained about how long it had taken for him to be delivered. Upon his departure the driver turned to me and exclaimed, “What does he expect for one dollar!”

I waved him goodbye and was just in time to board the ferry to Manly, at eight o’clock. The ‘Royal Viking “Sky”‘ was berthed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and, in passing, my eyes became transfixed on its acutely angled prow.

A small flock of seagulls flew close to the ferry’s port side, as if to guide me home. It was something that I had not witnessed before at such close quarters. Three men began to skylark around as the vessel passed The Heads and, hence, began to rock somewhat, as these lead to the open ocean. One wore a light orange, South African tee-shirt.

Having boarded the bus on the route, ‘132’, I arrived home at ten minutes to nine and found Bob and Ron to be watching their new colour television. Transmission in colour had only officially begun while I was away, on the first of March. Presumably, this country’s relatively small population has prevented us from receiving it prior to this, literally decades after some others.

Doug arrived afterwards, in a partially drunken state. He is in possession of a beard and a moustache, unlike prior to my departure, and confided in me that he had been so drunk on a couple of occasions that he’d been unable to remember just where his car was parked. He had even enlisted the assistance of the police in one such occurrence.

The Top 40 Fantasies No.4

1. Hound Dog (1956)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Elvis Presley

2. Marguerita Time (1983)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Status Quo

3. Runaround Sue (1961)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dion

4. Hound Dog (1953)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton

5. Good Lovin’ (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Young Rascals

6. The Way It Used To Be (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Englebert Humperdinck

7. Eleanor Rigby (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Beatles

8. Buzz Me (1946)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five

9. There Stands The Glass (1953)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Webb Pierce

10. I Get So Lonely (When I Dream About You) (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                  The Four Knights

11. (Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All (1972)                                                                                                                                                                                          The 5th Dimension

12. Live It Up (1985)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mental As Anything

13. As Time Goes By (1931)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Rudy Vallee

14. Teen Beat (1959)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sandy Nelson

15. What Am I Living For (1958)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chuck Willis

16. Pictures Of Lily (1967)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Who

17. The Minute You’re Gone (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cliff Richard

18. Eleanor Rigby (1971)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Zoot

19. Blame It On The Bossa Nova (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eydie Gorme

20. The Hustle (1975)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Van McCoy

21. Wonderful World, Beautiful People (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jimmy Cliff

22. Congratulations (1949)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jo Stafford

23. Keep On (1954)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shirley and Lee

24. Treaty! (1991)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Yothu Yindi

25. In My Little Corner Of The World (1960)                                                                                                                                                                                                         Anita Bryant

26. Run Bobby Run (1964)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Lesley Gore

27. Saturday Night (1975)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Bay City Rollers

28. Take A Long Line (1978)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Angels

29. The Afterglow Of Your Love (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Small Faces

30. Another Fool Like Me (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Ned Miller

31. Dancing In The Moonlight (1999)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Toploader

32. Security (1966)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thane Russal & Three

33. The Minute You’re Gone (1963)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sonny James

34. Poker Face (2008)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lady Gaga

35. Good Old Rock ‘N Roll (1969)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Dave Clark Five

36. Kiss Away (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ronnie Dove

37. Dancing In The Moonlight (1972)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         King Harvest

38. Woo-Hoo (1959)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Rock-A-Teens

39. L-O-N-E-L-Y (1965)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bobby Vinton

40. Ant Music (1980)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Adam Ant


Answers to ‘How Dinky-di Are You No.2’

1. Zed

2. Nappies

3. Skip, Skipping

4. Merry-go-round

5. Mudguard

6. Lollies

7. Capsicum

8. Sweet biscuits

9. Utility (Ute)

10. Cracker

11. Skipping rope

12. Plain biscuits



12 correct answers means that you are ‘Ridgy Didge Dinky-di’

10 or 11: almost ‘Ridgy Didge’

6 to 9: ‘Ridgy Didge’ impersonator

5 or less: Censored (sit for the test, again, next week)

N.B. No correspondence shall be entered into.

How Dinky-di Are You? No.2

Warning: The following test should not be attempted by non-Australians.

Can you provide the ‘dinky-di’  equivalents to the following?

1. Zee

2. Diapers

3. Jump rope (verb)

4. Roundabout, Carousel (Carrousel)

5. Fender

6. Candy

7. Bell pepper

8. Cookies

9. Pick-up truck

10. Fire cracker

11. Jump rope (noun)

12. Crackers

The answers, together with your rating, can be found at the end of ‘The Top 40 Fantasies No.4’.

Articulate English: Sentences

There are four types of sentences:

  1. The Statement. These sentences convey a fact and end with a full stop. For example: Wendy is taller than Sue. The Nile is the world’s longest river.
  2. The Question. Such sentences require an answer and end with a question mark. For example: How old is your dog? What is today’s date? When a question is asked in such a way as not to require an answer, it is known as a rhetorical question.
  3. The Command. As the name suggests these are orders to be obeyed and, therefore, they often end with an exclamation mark. For example: Halt! Wash your hands, at once!
  4. The Exclamation. Exclamations are spontaneous expressions that denote a sudden impulse. For example: Ouch! Help! Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Dobie Gray

Houston, Texas, was the birthplace of Dobie Gray in July of either 1940 or 1942. Even his exact name at birth, appears to be a matter of some conjecture. His father was a minister of the Baptist faith and it was in church that Dobie discovered a penchant for gospel.

Dobie moved to live in Los Angeles, in 1960. During the early part of his career, he reportedly recorded under a number of aliases and, it is said, that Sonny Bono was a mentor to him. His first release of significance came in 1965 when his original version of “The ‘In’ Crowd” reached No.13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and No.25 in Britain, as well as climbing to No.11 on the American rhythm and blues chart.

Lean years, as a recording artist, ensued and so Dodie turned to musical theatre. For more than two years he appeared in the production of ‘Hair’, in Los Angeles.

In 1972, Dobie was signed to record on the label, Decca Records. “Drift Away” became the biggest hit of his career when, in 1973, more than a million copies of it were sold. The single rose to sit at No.5 on the pop chart in the United States. I remember hearing at the time of how the staff at one American radio station became so enamoured of the recording that it was played continuously for a whole day!

“Drift Away” was recorded by Uncle Kracker, in duet with Dobie, in 2003 and, as a result, once again became a hit. Dobie Gray died in December of 2011 after he had fought a prolonged battle against cancer.

“Naughty Sex”: Thursday, 11th August, 1977

Once again it is a sunny, cold and smoggy morning which is accompanied by the light to very light breezes. I did some comparative shopping when I priced a pair of Adidas ‘Rome’ shoes at Myer, in Miranda Fair. There, the price was twenty-five dollars while at Williams and Grace Brothers it was $27.99. I did purchase a litre of Dulux ‘Tusk Ivory’, a large black spade and twenty metres of garden hose at Nock and Kirby, with each priced respectively at $5.15, $7.99 and thirteen dollars.

This evening we dined at the Black Stump Steak and Ale, which is located on the eastern side of the Princes Highway at Engadine. During our meal we consumed two glasses of lemon squash, two glasses of orange juice, two beef shish kebabs, an apple strudel — served cold, with cream — a slice of chocolate chip cheesecake, which was also served with cream, and received an after-dinner mint each with our coffee. The bill came to an extremely reasonable fifteen dollars and ten cents. We sat near to where we had sat when the restaurant was known as Lumbs.

We arrived home at ten to nine to find the cars of those attending our next-door neighbour’s Tupperware party parked everywhere. We watched the last forty minutes of the final episode of “Number 96”. The first of the serial’s one thousand two hundred and nineteen episodes was screened on the 30th of March, in 1972. Tiki and I have come to flippantly rename the series “Naughty Sex”.

Many of the actors and actresses — some of whom have been in the daringly explicit show since its commencement, for example Ron Shand (Herb), Pat McDonald (Dorrie) and Joe Hasham (Don) — said their goodbyes. ‘Dorrie’, quite understandably, shed a tear.

England, in the Fourth Test, had been 1-8, at 8.50 p.m., but at lunch had recovered to be one wicket down for seventy-six, at lunch, with Geoff Boycott on thirty-four and Bob Woolmer, thirty-three. Kerry Packer’s Channel Nine is providing a live telecast from Headingley, in Leeds.

A Century Of Centuries: Friday, 12th August, 1977

It was already eighteen degrees Celsius when I awoke at twenty past six. As the minimum had not descended below sixteen point four degrees, Sydney had experienced its mildest night, in August, since 1954. A maximum of twenty-seven is forecast.

England is in a strong position at the end of the first day’s play in the Fourth Test, which is being played at Headingley, in Leeds. Already leading the series by two wins to nil, England is 4-252 at stumps. The veteran opener, Geoffrey Boycott, remains not out on 110, having registered his one hundredth century in first-class cricket and his fourteenth in Tests.

Dark clouds emitted heavy rain from half past twelve. This was to continue, intermittently, throughout the afternoon. England was 5-339 when I turned off the television at eleven o’clock. Geoff Boycott remained not out on 149 — his highest score against Australia.

“Is Kerry Packer, At Least, Partly To Blame?”: Saturday, 13th August, 1977

England was dismissed overnight for 436, of which opener, Geoffrey Boycott, scored 191. He was also the last batsman to be dismissed. Australia, in reply, had crashed to be 5-67 at stumps. Rick McCosker is the top-scorer thus far, having been dismissed for twenty-seven.

“Gretel II” and the Swedish yacht, “Sverige”, are locked at one all in the pair’s Challengers’ semifinal of the America’s Cup.

At 9.00 a.m. “Mum” and “Dad” arrived for breakfast. While Tiki and her mother went shopping, “Dad” and I cut laminex to size and glued it at either end of the kitchen sink. After I had sawed some of the dead branches off the stump at the side of the drive, both of us crawled under the house to install a power point in the main bedroom. “Dad” placed it behind our bed but in doing so dirt from his shoes marked the new carpet.

Meanwhile, the pair returned bearing a blind and crossover curtains for our bedroom. The blind had cost twenty-five dollars and the curtains seventeen. “Dad” and I hung both of them before lunch. It wasn’t until we removed the old curtains that we found the power point for which we had earlier been searching.

After lunch we crawled on our stomachs until we were under the lower, rear end of the house. “Dad” drilled through the floor in order to put a power point in the second bedroom. I extended the coil of white conduit to the small black junction box and used a pair of pliers to sever it as “Dad” secured its length to a beam by bending over rusty nails that were already there. With me poking the other end of the conduit up through the floor, “Dad”, who was now in the second bedroom, fashioned a wire coat-hanger which then enabled him to pull it up through the cavity in the wall.

Unfortunately, the soles of his shoes again soiled the new carpet, only this time the mark is right in the centre of the room. Tiki’s parents departed at ten past five, leaving us to watch the remainder of “Jeopardy”, and “It’s Academic”, which are both hosted by Andrew Harwood. A corny “Julie Andrews: My Favourite Things”, with Peter Sellers, followed the news.

I was going to go for a walk, however, the sky held the promise of further rain and so I stood, instead, on our front fence to see what I could see of Tiki as she stood in our bedroom at varying distances from our new, drawn blind.

“The Searchers”, a western movie from 1956, screened at half past seven. It stars John Wayne, the late Jeffrey Hunter, and Natalie Wood. At twenty to ten I turned the dial to watch the live telecast of the Fourth Test. Australia was dismissed for just 103. Only David Hookes and Richie Robinson managed to join McCosker in double figures, having scored twenty-four and twenty respectively. At lunch, Australia, is 2-35 in its second innings. Without wanting to detract from England’s performances in this series, I cannot help but think that their signing to Kerry Packer’s breakaway troupe must be weighing on some players’ minds.

“Some Drivers!”: Sunday, 14th August, 1977

I awoke at twenty to seven and heard that Australia is 4-120 at stumps. Some radio commentators have gone as far as to say that the current side possesses the worst array of batsmen of any Australian side since the First World War.

I briefly vacuumed the new carpet in the spare bedroom before Tiki shampooed it with a recognised brand of carpet cleaner. We left it for an hour, however, when she vacuumed it, again, we noticed that the shampoo had not made any perceivable difference to the stains which harboured the dirt. Tiki, therefore, resorted to the use of dish-washing detergent and warm water to remove most of the mark that had been left there yesterday by her father.

I left at twenty past twelve to walk to her parents’, only to come upon the ‘Galant’ parked outside the corner store on Taren Road. I squatted behind the car with the intention of scaring Tiki, when she emerged from the shop. However, so much time elapsed that I decided, instead, to walk on and beat her to our destination.

Unsurprisingly, Tiki appeared at the crest of a hill as I was making my descent. Due to the fact that the street possessed no footpaths and there was no passing traffic, I was progressing along the road’s surface. Her realisation that I had seen her meant that she had been presented with the ideal opportunity to aim the vehicle straight at me. She did not waste it, sending me scrambling on to the nearer nature strip as two men looked on in horror.

Having mowed the expansive lawns for the in-laws, I later watched the last twenty-five minutes of the match between Australia and Iran, which was being telecast from Melbourne. Iran won this qualifier, for the next World Cup of soccer, by one goal to nil.

I had intended to walk home at eight o’clock, but “Mum” asked me to watch “Steptoe And Son” on Channel Seven. It was so cold by half past eight that I needed little persuasion to travel, instead, with Tiki and, from 8.40, we watched the British comedy, “Holiday On The Buses”. The film, which bears the copyright of 1973, includes in its cast Reg “The Rag Trade” Varney and Kate “Love Thy Neighbour” Williams. Tiki and I saw it on just our second date two years ago.


Death Of Perc Galea: Monday, 15th August, 1977

Perc Galea, a noted punter whose name was synonymous with the placement of large wagers, died last night in St. Vincent’s Hospital, in Darlinghurst. Mr. Galea’s cause of death has been attributed to a heart attack. He was sixty-seven years of age.

It was a cool five degrees Celsius at 6.30 a.m., but did not feel as cold as five degrees of, say, a month ago. The traffic was particularly congested and it took fifty minutes for us to reach St. Peters.

“Flashez”, at half past five, was followed thirty minutes later by the last offering in the repetition of Bill Peach’s “Holiday”. It includes a trip by bus to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point on the North Island of New Zealand. The whole of “Willesee” is devoted to its presenter, Mike Willesee, grilling the Deputy Leader of the Country Party, Ian Sinclair, about the operations of his personal company and the transactions of its business.

We later viewed the film, “The Seven Minutes”, from nine o’clock. It features Wayne “Custer”/”Lancer”/”Chase” Maunder and Edy Williams and was produced in 1971.



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