“Sole Manure”: Saturday, 1st October, 1977

It has been a humid day with a maximum temperature of twenty-seven degrees Celsius. This afternoon we transported Tiki’s birthday cake to Bernardi’s Restaurant, which is located on the Prince’s Highway at Kirrawee. The owner gave her the choice of having the party inside the restaurant proper or ‘outside’ in the enclosed patio. At first she opted for the former, but I helped to change her mind. She wrote out the seating arrangements on a brown paper bag and left them with the gentleman.

“Belmura Lad”, trained by Bart Cummings, won the A.J.C. Derby, which was run at Randwick Racecourse this afternoon. The Epsom Handicap appeared on the same card and was won, in record time, by the imported English grey, “Raffindale”, trained and ridden respectively by the South Australian combination of David Whitney and John Letts.

My sisters drew our attention to three large privet trees, which are growing in our backyard, and, to our complete surprise, a fully matured macadamia! Its leaves are particularly spiky.

We sat in the kitchen and consumed tea and biscuits while Tiki began to open her presents. In her excitement she knocked over her cup and I instinctively tried to arrest the hot, flowing liquid with my hands.

Channel Seven’s News, at 6.00 p.m., was read by Barry Freedman, and, it was during “The Muppet Show”, which followed, that we dressed for the party. Tiki and her mother had led me to believe that her new dress was purple, but it is, in fact a black one with tiers and comes with a pink artificial rose attached.

We arrived at the restaurant by seven o’clock. I began the night by consuming two glasses of Bacardi and coke while Tiki had two gin and orange. Everyone was asked to sign a twenty-first autograph book.

As we were perusing the menu, Tiki yelled out to everyone that I had referred to sole manierre as “sole manure”. We both ordered the delicious seafood pancake for entree, and, for the main course, a huge Neptune platter to share. It came with lobster, oysters, calamari, prawn cutlets and scallops, and made us the envy of the others.

Those seated near to us helped us to eat it but, even then, it was necessary to call upon guests seated beyond them to finish what still remained. Of course, we still found room to accommodate dessert and for this we selected crepe suzette for two. In all, we each consumed approximately six glasses of asti spumante. Most of the others preferred white burgundy.

The band, and a group of young people, sang “21 Today” to Tiki, before the band dedicated “Killing Me Softly With His Song” to her.

‘Hardie-Ferodo 1000’: Sunday, 2nd October, 1977

I watched short periods of the ‘Hardie-Ferodo 1000’, which was telecast live via Channel Seven, from the demanding Mount Panorama circuit near Bathurst. The eventual winners, Allan Moffat and Jacky Ickx, were leading. Allan Moffat is an Australian racing driver who was born in Canada and the Belgian, Jacky Ickz, formerly drove at the level of Formula One.

Two years ago, Tiki took me for a spin — almost the operative word — in our small sedan around this very circuit. At times I nearly pushed my imaginary brake pedal through the floor, especially when she traversed ‘The Top Of The Mountain’ and negotiated the resultant downhill ess-bends.

“Ask The Leyland Brothers”, at 5.30 p.m., transports the viewer to Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland, before also having a segment on cicadas and another on the marble that is being extracted at Gundagai. We also began to watch the film, “Scorpio”, that bears the copyright of 1973 and features the veteran actor, Burt Lancaster, the French actor, Alain Delon, and Gayle Hunnicutt.

When I began to doze off at ten past nine, we decided that it was time to go to bed.

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