“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.

Royal National Park: Monday, 3rd October, 1977

We awoke at five past seven to a sunny sky and relative warmth. It was hard to believe that the airport, which is perhaps only twenty kilometres or so distant, as the crow flies, was closed due to fog.

I drove up to Miranda where Tiki and my brother-in-law, Roger, left my sister, Susan, and I in the car while they went to buy two half cartons of beer. The bar attendant must have presumed that they were husband and wife and took it upon himself to give the change to Tiki, as he pronounced, “This is the only opportunity you’ll get!”

Thirteen of us, in all, boarded “Dad’s” launch, “Ocean Swell”, which is thirty-one feet in length. We headed up the Port Hacking River to the causeway at Audley where I suddenly experienced the insuperable urge to announce that it was near there, on the river’s bank, that I had first told Tiki that I loved her.

From there we travelled back down the river and anchored near the old rusty shell of a small boat, which is located just off the eastern shoreline of South-West Arm in the Royal National Park. Declared to be a national park in 1879, it became only the second in the world, after Yellowstone.

After lunch some members of our party set off in what the family term the ‘Quintrex’ and later others went for a row in the dinghy. When everyone was accounted for we weighed anchor and, with Tiki and I seated at the bow, journeyed to Bate Bay at the Port Hacking’s mouth prior to our return to the in-laws’ via Burranear Bay, Dolan’s Bay and Great Turriell Bay.

It had been an appropriate day to be on the water as the mercury reached thirty-three degrees Celsius. This meant that it has been Sydney’s hottest day, in October, since 1969. In fact, the city recorded the highest maximum of any Australian capital, being one degree warmer than Darwin’s.

Roger and Susan packed their bags by six o’clock and left us with a map of Melbourne. We intend to spend Christmas Day with them.

At half past six on Channel Seven’s News, read by Roger Climpson, I learned that the late Perc Galea’s horse, “Sir Serene”, had won the prestigious Metropolitan Handicap, which was run at Randwick Racecourse this afternoon.

 

No Piano: Tuesday, 4th October, 1977

John Burles played Mark Holden’s current hit, “Reach Out For The One Who Loves You”, and the late Johnny Horton’s classic, “North To Alaska”, from the year of 1960. Today presented us with fine weather and a maximum temperature of twenty-two degrees Celsius.

“Country Road”, at 6.00 p.m. on Channel Two was hosted by the singer and pianist, Jade Hurley. It included footage of the Welsh singer, Bonnie Tyler, performing her recent hit, “Lost In France”. Jade even had Tiki voicing his praises when he performed Jerry Lee Lewis’s classic from 1957, “Great Balls Of Fire”.

I left at seven o’clock to walk to the house of Tiki’s grandparents, only to come upon the scene of a nasty accident at the intersection of Port Hacking and Burraneer Bay roads. The front of a yellow Datsun had been stoved in and a woman’s head was being bandaged. I reached the house by eight and stayed until a quarter to nine. Her grandmother gave Tiki, on this her actual birthday, the usual choice from a number of crocheted doilies while her grandfather, whose eighty-fifth birthday falls due at the end of the month, handed her an envelope that contained twenty-one dollars. Tiki had expected more, as her cousin for her corresponding birthday had been presented with a new piano. Although I walked home bearing a feeling of tiredness, I also, quite incongruously, felt very much alive.

Cook It Yourself, If You Can!: Wednesday, 5th October, 1977

It is supposed to reach thirty degrees Celsius today, but there is a heavy overcast and it is relatively cool. “Dad” surprised us with the news that “Mum” will have to enter hospital to have her troublesome neck manipulated.

This evening, we dined at the restaurant, The Golden Phoenix, in Miranda Fair. Having perused the large menu, we decided to have the special for two at a cost of nine dollars. We each received three dim sims, nasi goreng and sukiyaki.

The ingredients of the sukiyaki were served half cooked and we had to complete the process at our table by placing them in a solution of broth, which was supposed to be heated over a small stove that was fuelled by methylated spirits. The only problem being that the flame kept going out. This called upon the pleasant waitress to use matches to continually relight the stove. Finally, even she recognised the futility of her repetitious actions and replaced the stove with another. The bill totalled ten dollars and ninety cents.

We watched the televised film, “The Virginia Hill Story”. Produced in 1974, it stars Dyan Cannon. The knob was then turned to Channel Ten and the last hour of “Valley Of The Dolls” (1967). Its cast includes Patty “The Patty Duke Show” Duke and the late Sharon Tate.

 

Bert Bryant Calls It A Day: Thursday, 6th October, 1977

John Burles, the annoucer at breakfast, on 2KY, stated that the uniquely witty Bert Bryant has officially retired from his job as a broadcaster of horseracing. Bert last worked for the Melburnian radio station, 3UZ. Earlier this year, a blood vessel burst behind his brain.

Tiki had her hair washed, conditioned and then styled with a blow-dryer at a cost of six dollars and fifty cents at the Gerrale Salon on Gerrale Street, in Cronulla. The salon is located opposite that suburb’s R.S.L. (Return Soldiers’ League) Club.

“Country Road”, this evening, included footage of performances by Donna Fargo, Australian country legend, Smoky Dawson, and Johnny Chester, who ‘butchered’ Tom T. Hall’s “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine”.

At seven o’clock, on “Willesee”, Paul Makin spoke with Bert Bryant in an interview that was fittingly recorded at a racecourse. Bert is fifty years of age, but looks more like sixty-five.

It has been a cold, windy day. Rain began to fall by 8.30 p.m.: the starting time of “Bless This House”, the British series which stars the late Sid James. At five minutes to nine — and also on A.B.C.-TV’s Channel Two — a programme from tonight’s “Stuart Wagstaff Playhouse”, which is entitled ‘The Lover’. Its cast includes the English pairing of Patrick Allen, Robert Swales and Vivien Merchant. It was written by Vivien Merchant’s husband, the playwright, Harold Pinter.

A Fortnight Underground: Friday, 7th October, 1977

This evening, “Wild, Wild World Of Animals”, at six o clock, is about those who reside in caves. Tiki watched the film, “Challenge To Lassie”. Made in 1949, it stars the veteran English actors, Edmund Gwenn and Donald Crisp and, of course, ‘Lassie’. It was introduced by Channel Seven’s resident expert on the subject of motion pictures, Bill Collins.

In the meantime, I read about the eleven miners, in West Germany, who were trapped underground for fourteen days in October of 1963.

Tiki washed the dishes, again, tonight.

Tasman Bridge Reopens: Saturday, 8th October, 1977

Although I awoke at ten past six, I did not rise until eight o’clock. By nine we had ventured up towards the back fence to begin our first serious attempt at pulling out the copious amount of Wandering Jew that was growing there. We also dismantled one of the chicken coops and a half of another. They have roofs of green Alsynite, which the creeper had partly concealed.

We returned to the house at ten minutes past ten and left to walk through Gymea. There, we passed the store that was used to sell carpets until it was gutted by fire last night; a fact that had been mentioned on “2KY News” earlier in the morning. At a cost of forty-cents, I bought a single red carnation for Tiki while she was shopping for groceries in Miranda.

Another programme of the series, “Cher”, appeared on Channel Seven from noon. “Sportsview” on Channel Two was hosted by Barry Eaton. It included a replay of the fourth and deciding Test at rugby union, which had been played at Eden Park, in Auckland, between the All Blacks and the touring British Lions. New Zealand scored a try in the last minutes of the match to snatch victory by ten points to nine and, thereby, also win the series by three matches to one. Bevan Wilson, whom at the age of twenty-one, bears the same name as a former Wallaby, played in the position of full-back for New Zealand.

This afternoon, “Luskin Star” took his record to ten wins and two seconds from his only twelve starts when he proved victorious in the Caulfield Guineas. “Family Of Man” won the Caulfield Stakes from “Unaware” and “Royal Cadenza”. “Nunkalowe”, proved to be too fast in winning the Toorak Handicap from “Tulla Honey” and “Lady Blintz”. “Luskin Star” has now amassed prize money of two hundred and forty-five thousand dollars.

Hobart’s Tasman Bridge reopened today, thirty-four months after it was rendered unusable when struck by the cargo ship, “Lake Illawarra”, on the evening of the 5th of January, in 1975. Twelve people died in the mishap. Seven of those were members of the ship’s crew.

Some friends of ours have recommended that we see the motion picture, “Rocky”.

Brian Henderson Honoured: Sunday, 9th October, 1977

I awoke at ten to seven and arose at half past the hour to buy a copy of “The Sun-Herald”, at a cost of twenty cents, from the passing paperboy. Graham Marsh, has won the most prestigious tournament of his career, the Piccadilly Match Play. As its name would suggest it was held in England. In the final, the Australian defeated the American, Ray Floyd, five and three. Graham’s younger brother, Rodney, played Test cricket for Australia as both a wicketkeeper and a batsman. Earlier this year he signed to play for Kerry Packer’s troupe of renegades.

Between eight o’clock and twenty-five to nine, Tiki washed last night’s dishes while I dried them. We became somewhat sunburnt when, on this glorious day, we spent two and a half hours doing battle with the remaining chicken coops, wire netting and Wandering Jew.

Once inside we shared a ‘tinny’ of Reschs DA and another, which contained Tooheys Draught. Tiki had thrice thrown cold water over me as I showered yesterday, therefore, I wet her backside when I had hold of the hose, in the garden, this morning. Needless to say, I, again, had cold water thrown over me in the shower today.

“Francis Joins The Navy”, a picture from 1955, is on television from one o’clock. It is another in the series of films about the talking mule of that name. It, again, features the extremely talented Donald O’Connor and includes an appearance by a young Clint “Rawhide” Eastwood.

Tiki blow-dried my hair in the spare bedroom and at ten past two we departed to walk to her parents’. Due to the fact that her aching neck had caused her to have a restless night, “Mum” was in bed, asleep. I walked down to “Dad”, who was aboard his boat, the “Ocean Swell”. I assisted him to seal its windows with black ‘Bumastic’. The wash from a passing boat must have caused the aerial upon its roof to snap, for it fell to the side decking. He pulled the launch into its wooden cradle by hand and after I had operated the winch we locked the vessel in the large boatshed.

“Dad” drove me to the Fountain Inn, in “Mum’s” pale yellow, 3500cc ‘Rover’ V8 sedan. I paid fourteen dollars and ninety-five cents for a takeaway meal for the four of us. He hadn’t been keen to shout Tiki and I to our share of the meal but “Mum”, who had arisen by that stage, instructed him to because, she reasoned, they had dined at our place last night. I had selected fillet steak in black bean sauce, while Tiki had opted for duck.

Brian Henderson was this evening’s guest on “This Is Your Life” at half past seven. The show is compered by Channel Seven’s principal newsreader, the amiable Roger Climpson. Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, on the 15th of September, in 1931, Brian began reading news on Channel Nine in Sydney, in January of 1957. During the week, he remains that station’s reader of the evening news, in opposition to Roger Climpson. From 1958 until 1972 he presented the musical series, “Bandstand”, also on Channel Nine.

Tiki and I walked home briskly and as a consequence were in time to view the film, “Thunderball”, which casts the Scottish actor, Sean Connery, as the British spy, James Bond, who has a ‘licence to kill’. Bearing the copyright of 1965, it is the fourth film of the series and includes among its cast the French actress, Claudine Auger. Welsh singer, Tom Jones, sings its theme, in my opinion a highly underrated recording, that bears the same title as the film.

 

The Brush Off: Monday, 10th October, 1977

At Sydney Wide Discounts, in Miranda, I wrote out a cheque to the sum of twenty-two dollars and ninety-five cents as payment for a ‘Carmen’ hair dryer/styler.

A repetition of a programme from the series, “The Mod Squad”, screened on Channel Ten at noon. This was followed by the last half an hour of “The Mike Walsh Show” on Channel Nine; which, in turn, was followed by the last forty-five minutes of the movie, “Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”, on Channel Seven. Produced in 1964, the film features Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni.

The British series, “Billy Liar”, appeared on Channel Seven from half past two. Tiki arrived home from work and I presented her with the unexpected gift. The only problem being that the styling brush was missing from the box.

I left at twenty-five to seven to walk and jog through Gymea and Miranda. Upon my return, at a quarter past the hour, I noted that the diminutive English actor, comedian and singer, Norman Wisdom, was being interviewed by the Australian actress, Jacki Weaver, on “Willesee”.

At half past seven, James Garner appeared as Jim Rockford in “The Rockford Files”.

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