Victorians See The Light!: Tuesday, 25th October, 1977

It has been a gloriously sunny day, accompanied by a maximum temperature of twenty-one degrees Celsius. En route to Tiki’s parents’, I visited the florist shop, Shire, to buy some flowers for her mother. Whilst there I had a change of mind and spent ten dollars, instead, on a pot plant summising that it would hopefully still be extant long after flowers had withered and been discarded. “Mum” had arrived home after 3.00 p.m., having had her vexatious neck manipulated. She had opted out of the operation, which had been scheduled for this morning, after having given the matter considerable thought overnight.

The strike within Victoria’s power industry, ended today after an arduous eleven weeks. Nineteen seventy-seven has certainly been a year of strikes!

“The Dave Allen Show” followed “Willesee”. The diminutive, Irish comedian, who is a chain-smoker, certainly is a talent! Albeit, an irreverent one.

We left at twenty past eight, in order to be home in time for the third instalment of “The Moneychangers”.

Silver Jubilee Year: Wednesday, 26th October, 1977

“Dad” arrived at half past seven on a bright, sunny morning. He delivered the galvanised pipes that now have a shorter and narrower length of piping welded at right angles to the end of each.

After work, we arrived at Tiki’s parents’ by half past five. Her father already had their old Westinghouse kitchen stove disconnected and I helped him carry it out to his red Chrysler Valiant ‘Town and Country’ utility. He is to deliver it to a mate’s weekender at Wyangala Dam tomorrow.

It was dark by seven o’clock. “The Royal Family”, screened on Channel Seven from half past seven. The programme is in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in this, the year of her Silver Jubilee.

Tiki washed the dishes while I dried them. Her mother is still in agony, in spite of having had her neck manipulated yesterday. More than a decade ago her car was rammed from behind and she received whiplash from the sudden impact.

We returned home by half past eight and watched the fourth and final episode of “The Moneychangers”. Kirk Douglas plays the part of a wonderful person, while the character portrayed by Christopher Plummer is the complete antithesis.

“You Drive!”: Thursday, 27th October, 1977

As we were about to leave for work, we noticed that about half of the contents from our garbage bin laid strewn on the nature strip, in front of our property. I moved to pick up the rubbish but Tiki told me to leave it, informing me that she would ring Sutherland Council and register a complaint.

After work, we transported a number of cardboard boxes to Tiki’s parents’. Her mother is going to use them, in which to store the goods from her old kitchen cupboards. “Dad” had left for Wyangala Dam at one o’clock this afternoon. Next week he is going to tear out the existing cupboards to make way for new ones. We stayed there until half past five.

As we entered Kiora Road we could not help but notice that smoke was being emitted from the steering column of the ‘Galant’. This had transpired immediately after Tiki’s activation of the car’s blinker. I told her that we should ask her mother to drive us to work tomorrow, however, she chose not to concur and commanded me to drive on until we had reached home.

Tiki removed everything from the cupboards in our kitchen so that she could then respray them with ‘Baygon’, in an attempt to put an end to the plague of moths to which we have been subjected.

At seven o’clock, on his show, “Willesee”, Michael Willesee interviewed the Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, as well as his predecessor, Gough Whitlam, because it was officially announced today that a federal election is to be held on the tenth of December.

Tiki, meanwhile, washed the dishes, and, at half past seven on Channel Seven, we watched a most impressive wildlife documentary, “The Predators”, that is narrated by the actor, Robert Redford.

We left at nine o’clock to walk through Miranda and Gymea via a route that surrounds an area we now refer to as the “block”. I have now walked five hundred and ninety-one miles. The humidity made today’s maximum temperature of twenty-five degrees Celsius, appear to be considerably warmer.

Today I have had Crystal Gayle’s current release, “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue”, on the brain.


Holiday Account: Friday, 28th October, 1977

Having awoken at 5.55 a.m., I arose five minutes later to shower and wash my hair. Tiki dried it for me, with the use of her ‘Carmen’. We departed at twenty-five past seven with me behind the wheel of the ‘Galant’, just in case there was anything wrong with the electrical wiring within its steering column.

On the way home from work, Tiki parked in the large dirt car park at the south-eastern corner of The Kingsway and Kiora Road. We crossed the latter to the building society where she deposited sixty-five dollars to bring the account’s balance, that we hope one day will go towards a Fijian holiday, to five hundred dollars.

As we have received no worthwhile rain in months, I watered both the front and back lawns. Sydney’s maximum temperature reached twenty-five degrees Celsius. Yet, again, it felt as though it was warmer than that.

‘Women Don’t Sweat…’: Saturday, 29th October, 1977

It was an extremely oppressive morning, having already reached thirty degrees Celsius by nine o’clock. Tiki left to walk to Miranda Fair while I washed last night’s dishes. She arrived home by a quarter to ten, saturated by her own perspiration and took the opportunity to inform me that: ‘Women don’t sweat! They perspire.’

I watched “Sounds Unlimited”, presented by Donnie Sutherland, on Channel Seven. It included an interview he conducted with a balding Maurice Gibb. Ol’ 55 performed its new release, “Stay (While The Night Is Young)”; a pleasing sound that reminds me somewhat of the sound of The Four Seasons.

A representative of ‘Luxaflex’, who looked to be in his late fifties, arrived and quoted to us the price of one hundred and ninety-five dollars to cover the provision and installation of an awning above the windows of our front bedroom. A cheque was written after what he termed were ‘discounts’, reduced this price by twenty-nine dollars. Constructed of aluminium, ours will be white and come with the addition of three pairs of rufous stripes.

At noon, today’s edition of the English series, “International Pop Proms”, featured American guitarist, Duane Eddy; Peter Sarstedt, who sang his huge hit of 1969, “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)” and Brook Benton: “Rainy Night In Georgia”. Gilbert O’Sullivan also appeared, filmed on stage thoroughly entertaining the audience by performing his classic hits of 1972, “Alone Again (Naturally)” and “Clair”, in addition to “It’s Matrimony”. He wore a tail coat and sang to girls in the audience individually.

“Just My Luck”, a British film from 1957, commences at one o’clock. In this offering, which was filmed in black and white, the character portrayed by the diminutive Norman Wisdom places a wager of one pound which accumulates in value as each of his six winners greets the judge. Another British film, “Father Came Too”, screens from half past two. It stars Leslie Phillips, James Robertson Justice, and Stanley Baker.

At twenty to five I turned to Channel Two and its live coverage of the third round of the Westlakes Classic from Adelaide. Bob Shearer and Rob McNaughton finished the round tied on nine under par after the fifty-four holes. This leaves the pair four strokes in advance of their nearest rival. Greg Norman won this same tournament last year as a tiro. The tournament is sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Australia.

Race caller, Ian Craig, presents the segment on horseracing during Channel Seven’s news at six o’clock. The finishes to V.R.C. Derby, the L.K.S. Mackinnon Stakes and the Craven A Stakes are shown. “Stormy Rex”, trained by J.B. (Bart) Cummings won the Derby, which this year carries prizemoney to the total of one hundred thousand dollars. The New Zealand visitor, “Sir Silver Lad”, won the Mackinnon. The Craven A Stakes went to “Galway Bay” trained by T.J. (Tommy) Smith. The Hotham Handicap, the last race on the card at today’s prestigious meeting at Flemington Racecourse, was won by “Major Till”; the winner of this year’s Coongy Handicap.

The New Zealand champion, “Battle Heights”, broke down during the running of the weight-for-age L.K.S. Mackinnon Stakes and will never race again. At the age of ten, he is Australasia’s greatest stakes’ winner having accumulated four hundred thousand dollars in prizemoney.

Between half past six and 7.30, Channel Nine screened the programme on “The Making Of The Deep”. It contains interviews with the film’s stars: Robert Shaw, Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset.

Today’s maximum was thirty-six degrees Celsius. This means that it has been Sydney’s hottest day in October in thirty years. We have put the clocks forward by an hour because daylight saving comes into effect at 2.00 a.m. tomorrow.

“Ton Or Tonne?”: Sunday, 30th October, 1977

I sat up in bed until nine o’clock, as I studied the form of the runners in this year’s Melbourne Cup. “Gold And Black” was quoted as being the favourite at 4/1.

After breakfast I vacuumed the house, while Tiki washed the car. I listened to the third edition of Bob Rogers’ “Great Alternative” programme of music and song on 2KY. Lunch came and went and was followed by me assisting Tiki to polish the car.

We set out to walk to “Mum” and “Dad’s” by ten past two. I remained outside and immediately began the task of mowing every lawn on the property. This took one and a half hours to complete. Fortunately, there was a leaden overcast all day and a maximum of just twenty-one degrees Celsius.

“Mum” asked me to stand on the contents in the garbage tin while Tiki offered her support by holding my hand. I carried the bin which weighed the proverbial ton (or should I say tonne? now that Australia is metric) up to the front gates.

Once inside, I watched a part of the film, “Strategic Air Command”, from 1955, which features James Stewart and June Allyson. It is about B-47 and B-52 bombers and the men who fly them. We had watched it only last year in our rented home unit.

Tiki ordered sweet and sour sliced fish, and I, braised beef and cashews from the Fountain Inn. “Mum” only has a gas primus now that her old stove is at Wyangala Dam, and her new one is yet to be connected.

Half past five came and “Mum” and Wendy left to collect the takeaway meal. I took the opportunity to turn the dial to Channel Two to view the concluding stages of the C.B.A. Westlakes Classic from Adelaide. Bob Shearer, with a total for the tournament that equated to thirteen under par, collected the first prize of ten thousand dollars. He finished six strokes clear of the second placegetter, David Goode. Rob McNaughton finished in third position.

Tiki and I shared our Chinese meals, however, when she couldn’t consume all of hers, I finished it for her. “Mum” and Wendy chose to watch the premiere of the new Australian series, “Young Ramsey”, from half past six. It is about a young country veterinary surgeon, played by John Hargreaves, and the sheepdog he finds.

In the meantime, Tiki decided to fool about with my hair. She parted it down the centre as well as in several other directions, stopping between each new style to show “Mum” the end result.

We walked home by half past seven and are watching Part 2 of ‘Deadly Ringer’, which happens to be the final programme in the current series of “The Bionic Woman”. An hour later, Channel Seven screens the film, “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing”, which was produced in 1973 and stars Burt “Gunsmoke”/”Hawk”/”Dan August” Reynolds and the English actress, Sarah Miles.


“Searing Column?”: Monday, 31st October, 1977

We arose at half past six. Tiki was in a cranky mood, but at least she acknowledged that she was! She believed that her period might be coming two weeks early. I washed my hair and, in spite of her mood, Tiki dried it for me as John Burles played Lloyd Price’s bonzer recording, “Personality”, on 2KY. Hearing it never fails to take me back to the school I attended and where I was living when it was atop the charts in 1959.

At lunchtime, I was shocked to learn that tomorrow’s trifecta at Flemington is to be held on the Yan Yean Stakes and not the Melbourne Cup. After work, I joked with Tiki that the runner, ‘Brallos’, must be a “tit” for the Cup. However, we weren’t laughing in West Botany Street when, once again, smoke began to emerge from the steering column of the ‘Galant’. Despite this, I continued to drive us home. I rang Tiki’s parents’ only to learn that there was no answer. We walked to the Miranda T.A.B. on Kiora Road and invested fifty-cents, each way, on five horses in tomorrow’s big race. They being: “Gold And Black”, “Salamander”, “Sir Serene”, “Major Till” and, of course, “Brallos”.

This time it was Tiki’s turn to ring her parents’ home. She had success in learning that her father had returned from Wyangala Dam and, therefore, we are going to take the car to him after dinner. Meanwhile, I am watching “The Big Match” on Channel Two. It features Watford, a club from England’s Fourth Division, of which rock star, Elton John, is the chairman, and its defeat of Newport by two goals to nil.

After “Willesee”, Tiki drove to her parents’. I held “Dad’s” mechanic’s light for a good hour while he removed the steering wheel, took apart the steering column and discovered that some of the grease, which he had placed on the blinkers’ mechanism, had been smouldering.

We joined the others and watched the last half of the premiere of the “The Last Man From Atlantis”, on Channel Seven, which, in total, had run for two hours.

Paul Graham: Thursday, 1st September, 1977

The first day of spring has been cold, overcast and just plain miserable, with quite a deal of drizzle. Still, with an average of seven and a half hours of sunshine per day, winter was one of the sunniest on record!

This morning, the supermarkets in Miranda were overcrowded because of the dispute that involves industrial packers. Nonetheless, there were still many items on the shelves. I had the tin of five litres, that came with our new lawn-mower, filled, at a B.P. petrol station, with B.P. ‘Zoom’ at a cost of one dollar and eleven cents.

Once again I alternated between watching Channels Nine and Ten from noon. “The Mike Walsh Show”, on the former, had the slender Brian Bury, who had come up from Melbourne, as its guest host. Minus his shirt, he performed physical exercises and attempted to adopt muscular poses alongside strongman, Paul Graham.

I vacuumed the house, after Tiki had rung to see how I was, then scrubbed that area of soiled carpet, in the second bedroom, with warm water and detergent.

“The Saint” and “Right On” followed successively, and, from half past five, “Flashez”, presented by Ray Burgess and the irritant, Mike Meade. The by far superior “Country Road” was this evening hosted by Johnny Chester and featured Don Williams singing “You’re My Best Friend” and the Canadian Gordon Lightfoot, “Sundown”.

“Willesee” preceded “Sergio Mendez And Brazil ’77”, and, at eight o’clock, “Peach’s Australia” centres upon the history of German settlement in South Australia. “The Islands Of Tragedy”, at half past eight, is another documentary by the award-winning, underwater film-maker, Ben Cropp. This one focuses upon the plight of turtles off the north coast of Queensland.


Drop Earrings: Friday, 2nd September, 1977

We awoke at half past six and, once I had shaved, I hung out the washing in the drizzly rain. I drove to St. Peters and walked through fairly heavy rain to the railway station in Sydenham before boarding the train to Town Hall at half past nine.

At Diamond Traders, in Park Street, Tiki’s engagement and wedding rings were handed over to be polished, free of charge. A thoroughly charming, spectacled woman, who was probably in her late fifties, showed me an array of earrings for pierced ears. However, none was really a drop earring; the type I wanted to buy for Tiki’s birthday.

Therefore, the woman had Mr. Allison sketch for me a design. It was perfect!

A deposit of fifty dollars was left, with the balance of three hundred and fifty to be forthcoming when I collect the finished product on the seventeenth. The Shop, on Pitt Street, specialises in products by Adidas and it was there that I chose a pair of deep blue ‘Hurricane’ shoes at a cost of eighteen dollars and ninety-nine cents, to replace the faithful ‘Rome’, that I had purchased in 1971.

In David Jones’ store in Elizabeth Street, a woman of foreign descent assisted me in selecting a maroon handbag for Tiki from those marked as being on ‘special’. I wrote out a cheque to the sum of seven dollars and ninety-nine cents and left with the bag in my possession.

At a cafe by the M.L.C. Centre, Alfred “The Young Doctors” Sandor and Jill Perryman were having lunch in the company of a younger woman.

I collected Tiki’s rings from Diamond Traders, at half past twelve, and walked through the new St. Andrew’s Arcade, which is near to Town Hall Station, and listened to a woman with a guitar sing Bonnie Tyler’s current hit, “Lost In France”.

It continued to rain this afternoon. “Willesee”, “The Muppet Show” and “And Mother Makes Five” were followed, at half past eight, by Tiki’s boring choice of movie,”Paper Man”, from 1971. Dean Stockwell and Stefanie “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”/”The Feather And Father Gang” Powers are among its cast.

Kyu Sakamoto

Hisashi Oshima was born in Kawasaki, Japan, in December of 1941, just days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

As Kyu (pronounced as “cue”) Sakamoto, he achieved astonishing international success with the single, “Sukiyaki”, in 1963, in spite of it being sung wholly in Japanese. The song had actually been a massive hit in Japan, two years prior to this. “Sukiyaki”, in total, sold in excess of thirteen million copies.

Its official title was changed to that of “Sukiyaki” because it was believed that its original name would be too difficult for non-speakers of Japanese to pronounce.

Cover versions of “Sukiyaki”, with English lyrics, include those by A Taste Of Honey, in 1981, and 4 P.M., in 1995.

Kyu Sakamoto died near Tokyo, at the age of forty-three, in August of 1985 when the stricken airliner, on which he was a passenger, took half an hour before it actually crashed. Five hundred and twenty people perished in the crash of the airliner, which was owned by Japanese Airlines.

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