Starting From Scratch: Thursday, 17th November, 1977

I met a Cypriot at work today. He asked me if I knew anything of Cyprus. “Nicosia, Famagusta…” I replied. He told me that he was from Famagusta. With the thought that I’d done rather well, I pushed my luck by volunteering to draw a map of the island on a sheet of paper. He, however, was unimpressed with my effort and drew a detailed one that showed the Greek and Turkish parts.

He is from the northern territory where he had owned twenty-three flats — in two blocks, each six storeys high — before he lost the lot in the Turkish invasion. He is starting all over again, here in Australia!

We gave a workmate of Tiki’s a lift home to Ramsgate as clouds threatened to storm. En route I told him of how, in 1970, it had cost me but two dollars to see The Beach Boys play for ninety minutes as the audience sat on the extremely hard wooden floor of the disused bowling alley in Corrimal. Even he stated that that had been “unreal” value.

It began to rain as I opened the doors to our garage, but it was destined to only continue for half an hour. I watched some of the Colgate ladies’ tennis on Channel Seven. Jeanne Evert, Chris’s plump sister, won her match. On “Willesee”, at seven o’clock, presenter, Paul Makin, interviewed John Denver, who is in Brisbane.

During our walk we stopped at the Gymea Hotel and purchased a bottle of Kahlua coffee liqueur at a cost of ten dollars. The hotel is owned by the former boxing champion, Vic Patrick. We tried to dodge the puddles on the way home, as stars shone above.

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 18

  1. Because Of You (1951) Tony Bennett
  2. Love Is A Beautiful Song (1971) Dave Mills
  3. Green Tambourine (1967) The Lemon Pipers
  4. Sweet Nothin’s (1959) Brenda Lee
  5. The Gypsy (1946) The Ink Spots
  6. At The Woodchopper’s Ball (1939) Woody Herman and his Orchestra
  7. The Gypsy (1946) Dinah Shore
  8. Made In Japan (1972) Buck Owens and The Buckaroos
  9. A Broadway Melody (1929) Ben Selvin and his Orchestra
  10. Look Around (1971) Vince Hill
  11. Sha La La La Lee (1966) The Small Faces
  12. This Wheel’s On Fire (1968) Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and The Trinity
  13. Bonaparte’s Retreat (1950) Kay Starr
  14. The Secrets That You Keep (1975) Mud
  15. The World I Used To Know (1964) Jimmie Rodgers
  16. Dreamin’ (1960) Johnny Burnette
  17. Let The Rest Of The World Go By (1920) Elizabeth Spencer
  18. Forty Days And Forty Nights (1956) Muddy Waters
  19. Beyond Tomorrow (Love Theme From ‘Serpico’) (1974) Perry Como
  20. You Don’t Know Like I Know (1966) Sam and Dave
  21. Things Have Changed (1945) Big Maceo
  22. Born A Woman (1966) Sandy Posey
  23. The Roving Kind (1950) Guy Mitchell
  24. That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine (1931) Gene Autry
  25. Ready Willing And Able (1955) Doris Day
  26. I’ve Had It (1959) The Bell Notes
  27. Fujiyama Mama (1957) Wanda Jackson
  28. You Only Live Once In A While (1974) Mickey Newbury
  29. Oakie Boogie (1952) Ella Mae Morse
  30. The Oogum Boogum Song Brenton Wood
  31. This Door Swings Both Ways (1966) Herman’s Hermits
  32. Right Said Fred (1962) Bernard Cribbins
  33. Pitfall (1955) The Louvin Brothers
  34. Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man (1973) Loretta Lynn/Conway Twitty
  35. Delaware (1960) Perry Como
  36. Sex Bomb (1999) Tom Jones
  37. Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot) (1969) Donovan, with The Jeff Beck Group
  38. Another One Bites The Dust (1980) Queen
  39. Rock Lobster (1980) The B-52’s
  40. Shake It Off (2014) Taylor Swift

Wednesday, 26th September, 1979

Paul McCartney has been named as the most successful composer of all time. Forty-three of his songs have each sold more than a million copies. He has had his name associated with sixty golden discs: those that have each sold a million copies. Paul has also been identified as the world’s most successful recording artist, having been a vocalist on an estimated one hundred million albums, as well as a further one hundred million singles.

This evening, I listened to the radio station, 2GB, and the programme, ‘1967 Gold’. Its presenter, Sam Galea, played hits from that year. These included ‘The Reflections Of Charles Brown’ by Rupert’s People, The Bee Gees’ ‘To Love Somebody’ and Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher And Higher’. Sam said that Jackie had suffered a stroke some five years ago and that this had resulted in him now being a semi-invalid.

At half past seven, we watched another edition of the British comedy, ‘Mind Your Language’, on Channel 7. Actor, Barry Evans, is cast as a teacher whose job it is to teach English to a mixture of migrants from various countries.

This comedy was followed by another, at eight, in the form of the British offering, ‘The Dick Emery Show’.

The film, ‘Nevada Smith’, a western from the year of 1966, followed. Its cast includes Steve McQueen, Karl Malden, Suzanne Pleshette, Arthur Kennedy, Martin Landau and Brian Keith.

Martin Landau appeared alongside his wife, Barbara Bain, in the cast of the televised series, ‘Mission: Impossible’, which was in production from 1966 until 1973.

I opted for bed at half past ten, having left Tiki to see it to its conclusion at 11.15.

‘Manikato’ Unplaced: Thursday, 27th September, 1979

I drove home from work by 4.00 p.m., having recorded the results of the trifectas on both the Underwood Stakes and the Marlboro Cup that were run at the racecourse in Caulfield, a suburb of Melbourne, this afternoon.

‘Valley Of Georgia’ had won the former race, having started at the odds of 9/1 whereas a rank outsider, ‘Private Walk’ (66/1), had won the latter while the 13/8 favourite, ‘Manikato’, had failed to finish in the first three placings.

Having entered our backyard, I threw the ball for our Alsatian, whom I like to call “Zedbeat”, to retrieve. All of the while she was being pursued by our young pup, ‘Daisy’, who insisted upon grabbing at her neck and tail. It marked the first time that I had really been angry at her. I also brushed and combed the adult dog’s coat that she had carried throughout winter. This she really enjoyed!

Tiki arrived home, shortly prior to six o’clock. Her mother had taken her into the city in her sedan, a ‘Rover’. The pair had enjoyed a smorgasbord for lunch at the Australia Tavern in the M.L.C. building. They had then adjourned to see the film, The Prophecy, at the Paramount, in George Street.

Channel TEN’s ‘Eyewitness News’ began at six o’clock and, at half past the hour, I chose to listen to the radio and 2GB’s Sam Galea’s programme, ‘1956 Gold’. It featured such recordings as “Tennessee” Ernie Ford’s ‘The Ballad Of Davey Crockett’. Sam said that “Tennesee” died in 1974.

Tiki and I discussed the bleak state of our finances, at the table in our kitchen. We estimated our foreseen expenditure for the next six months. She even talked of selling the drop earrings that I had bought for her to commemorate her twenty-first birthday. However, I am hopeful that such a scenario will not be the case.

As if such a prospect was not deflating enough, we decided to watch Channel TEN’s English film, ‘The Offence’, that was produced in 1973. It has Sean Connery cast as a sergeant in the police force. He takes it upon himself to bash a suspect, whom he believes to be a child molester, to death. Trevor Howard also has a major role.

I retired to bed at ten o’clock. Tiki decided to turn off the television, prior to the film’s conclusion, and follow me to bed.

The trifecta on the Marlboro Cup, as paid out by the Victorian T.A.B., set an Australian record. The single holder of the ticket is eligible to receive $113,000, should he or she not have already claimed it!

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 17

  1. Good Rockin’ Tonight (1948) Wynonie Harris
  2. A Million And One (1966) Billy Walker
  3. Rockin’ At Midnight (1949) Roy Brown
  4. Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) (1954) The Penguins
  5. Harbour Lights (1950) Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra; vocalist: Tony Alamo
  6. I Must Be Seeing Things (1965) Gene Pitney
  7. My Name Is Jack (1968) Manfred Mann
  8. Crying In The Chapel (1953) June Valli
  9. Puppy Love (1960) Paul Anka
  10. Yesterday Man (1965) Chris Andrews
  11. Pinball Wizard (1969) The Who
  12. You Don’t Know Me (1956) Jerry Vale
  13. Crying In The Chapel (1953) Rex Allen
  14. Boom Boom (1964) The Animals
  15. The Trolley Song (1944) Judy Garland
  16. Why Me (1973) Kris Kristofferson
  17. Yes! We Have No Bananas (1923) Billy Jones
  18. Sugar And Spice (1963) The Searchers
  19. I’ve Got The World On A String (1933) Bing Crosby
  20. Boom Boom (1962) John Lee Hooker
  21. Lonely Weekends (1960) Charlie Rich
  22. Send Me The Pillow You Dream On (1962) Johnny Tillotson
  23. Don’t Hang Up (1962) The Orlons
  24. Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (1959) Lonnie Donegan
  25. Straighten Up And Fly Right (1944) The Andrews Sisters
  26. Eyes Without A Face (1984) Billy Idol
  27. I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me) (1964) Buck Owens
  28. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (1929) Bessy Smith
  29. Vienna Calling (1985) Falco
  30. The World Is A Ghetto (1972) War
  31. Ooby Dooby (1956) Roy Orbison
  32. Wild Love (1973) Mungo Jerry
  33. Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be? (1967) Paul Revere and The Raiders
  34. Sunshine (1974) Mickey Newbury
  35. She Blinded Me With Science (1982) Thomas Dalby
  36. He’s My Blonde-Headed, Stompie Wompie, Real Gone Surfer Boy (1963) Little Pattie
  37. Roar (2013) Katy Perry
  38. Oliver’s Army (1979) Elvis Costello and The Attractions
  39. Rubber Duckie (1970) Ernie
  40. Shaddap You Face (1980) Joe Dolce Music Theatre

Avoid The Hackneyed And The Trite

During the perceived race to reduce every word in the English language to six letters or less, our abilities to express ourselves have become stale. Trite expressions have, as a result, seemingly swamped our language, thereby, effectively stifling many from developing a broad vocabulary.

Therefore, I have attempted to draw attention to the overuse of such expressions and, hopefully, provided some alternatives for the young to employ.

Will it fly? Will it be accepted/successful?

Not out of the woods, yet! not totally free from restrictions/yet to be completely achieved

…coming from implying, claiming

I’m not with you! I don’t understand/comprehend.

Talk us through it. explain/describe/elucidate

…stayed strong prevailed/persevered

a whole bunch numerous, various

gone to ground is in hiding/disappeared/cannot be located or contacted

big take-away gleaned/learned much from

go with decide/choose/elect(to)

set in concrete unanimously finalised/unalterable

come up to speed become more learned/knowledgeable/familiarise oneself with

play out eventuate, transpire

onboard in agreement with/in favour of

hit reached, attained

…began to pick up increased/intensified

…brought up to speed thoroughly informed or advised/familiarised with/updated

watch this space be alert, aware, prepared

a huge spend a massive or exorbitant expenditure/payment/cost/outlay

went public publicised, proclaimed, advertised

set you back cost/penalise/prohibit(from)

take us through explain/describe/elucidate(upon)

go for select, choose

It is what it is! unchangeable/unavoidable/real

lost the plot became distracted/diverted(from)/unduly influenced(by)

not looking too flash unimpressive/unwell/shabbily constructed

a straight shooter honest, dependable, truthful, trustworthy

copped received/blamed or treated unjustly

the jury is still out a matter remains unresolved/a decision is yet to be agreed upon

a roadmap a directive/a course of action

a tough ask asking much/extremely challenging or difficult

good to go prepared, ready, eager, keen

really hanging out for it expectantly longing or yearning for/eagerly anticipating

a game-changer revolutionary/hitherto unheralded/extremely efficacious

back on track focused upon/revived/restored/reestablished

knocked it out of the park excelled/astonished/performed with distinction

off their faces under the influence of…/uncontrollable

lose the… delete/remove/refrain(from)/desist

doing it tough struggling to cope/experiencing hardship/persevering, despite adversity

dropped on their heads suddenly inconvenienced or traumatised

on the same page in unison/total agreement or support

one size fits all uniformity/wholism

further down the track forseeably/in the future

up front with honest, truthful, frank

knocked it on the head cancelled/aborted/forbade

blows my mind amazes, astonishes me

give it a red-hot crack try extremely hard/display unyielding determination/give of one’s all

a hard sell a difficult message or measure to convey or enact upon

crack into obtain selection/gain admittance to

a knife’s edge teetering upon/perilous

the end game the expected or anticipated result/the desired conclusion

the must-haves the essentials/imperatives

anytime soon in the near or foreseeable future/shortly

a game-changer revolutionary/highly effective/unprecedented

a knock-on effect consequential, resultant or subsequent effect

under the pump experiencing extreme or severe pressure

does not stack up is unprofitable, unsustainable, unworthy

flipped and flopped vacillated, wavered

isn’t going to wash will be unacceptable/unfeasible/irrelevant

hit on one thing mention one matter, topic or agenda

straight down the line impartial, fair, honest

kicked-off began, commenced, started

the can has been kicked down the road a decision has been delayed; no agreement has been reached or accepted

a level playing field fairness, impartiality, equality

it’s all on the line in jeopardy, uncertain, at stake

up for grabs available, attainable, free

given a free ride shown leniency or partiality

the get-go the beginning, start or commencement

calm the farm restore tranquility/equilibrium/order

be on the same page be in full agreement/display cooperation

get a handle on it understand, comprehend

down the track/line in the future, at a later date

ticked a lot of boxes possessed many favourable aspects; was essentially suitable

kicked in became efficacious; assisted, helped

moved the goalposts altered the rules; reneged; revoked

singing from the same song/hymn sheet is/are in full agreement; in unison

good-to-go ready, prepared; approved

a must-see essential or imperative viewing

when the rubber hits the road one experiences adversity, hardship or unforeseen or resultant consequences

going public preparing to publicise or express to the public

gum up paralyse, blockade, stymie

a no-brainer obvious; elementary

ramp up increase substantially; intensify

tad slight; minuscule or almost imperceptible (amount, alteration or change)

Should my perceived alternatives to this everyday drivel be wide of the mark (wayward, erroneous or incorrect), please, forgive me.

“Smellus Fartus” Saturday, 29th September, 1979

We awoke to a dull, overcast and windy day. At 9.00a.m., I learned of the scratchings from 2KY’s programme, ‘Turf Time’, that is co-presented by Max Presnell and Ian Craig.

Tiki drove to Rockdale, with us having departed from home at ten o’clock. Having parked in George Street, beyond the suburb’s town hall, we bought the tickets at the railway station. Their purchase would allow us to be conveyed to Sydney’s inner line, which is known as the City Circle.

Alighting at Wynyard, we employed the use of our umbrellas until we had reached the G.P.O., in Martin Place. We entered the cafe, ‘Courtyard’, which is located on the ground floor of the building that is owned by the company, ‘M.L.C.’ We ordered two hot chocolates, at a cost of seventy cents each. Upon our emergence, to our surprise, the sky had cleared!

We walked down and into the new railway station, Martin Place, for the first time. It impressed us, with its maroon walls and light blue seats really complementing each other!

Upon our return to the level of the street, we walked down Phillip and past the Wentworth Hotel to arrive at the Opera House. Continuing on we passed Circular Quay, as we headed for the Argyle Tavern and at approximately one o’clock we entered to partake of its smorgasbord at a cost to each of us of four dollars and forty-five cents.

Tiki’s initial serving consisted of her choice of lamb, fish and curry with potato. I was so impressed by her selection and, therefore, asked the chef for a repetition. The chap who followed us in the queue exclaimed, “That looks good! I’ll have the same!”

We located secluded seats that were affixed to the floor upstairs, in the restaurant’s rear section and having devoured our meal we returned for our respective second helpings, having shown our receipt to be entitled to them. This time we opted for cold meat, salad and a bread roll.

Tiki paid fifty cents each for a bread and butter plate filled with a square slice of a cherry dessert that was smothered in custard and fruit salad, and fifty cents each for a cup of coffee with cream.

Pressing on, we entered the Botanical Gardens near to the Conservatorium Of Music prior to entering the tropical glass pyramid. However, within ten minutes we beat a hasty retreat when Tiki omitted a real stinker.

I had Tiki in stitches, as I chose to remain in the same vein as that of the botanical names on display inside the pyramid thereby referring to her ‘effort ‘ as “Smellus Fartus”.

We followed the path through the palms and onward to the new, impressive ‘Cacti’ section which is still under construction and not yet open to the public although we did take the time to wander through it.

Although the sunshine was pleasant, the wind blew strongly and the waters of Farm Cove appeared to be terribly choppy. Nearing Lady Macquarie’s Chair, via the footpath along the foreshore, we had to retrace our steps, firstly into the strong wind that carried sand, grit and leaves. Having rounded the point, we were then on the lee side and facing Garden Island. It was there that we became excited at the sight of an eight-to-ten week old Alsatian pup with its ears already erect.

Our attention was soon attracted to the crowds of people on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, ‘H.M.A.S. Melbourne’, moored at Garden Island as a naval helicopter of an old appearance warmed up on the southern end of its deck. We sat on a rock and waited for some five minutes before it took flight. It travelled straight over our heads prior to it disgorging frogmen from a height of about ten metres, at intervals, into the harbour. The pilot waved to the crowd that stood on the peninsula of rock above us and we laughed at the member of its crew who sat at the doorway as he dangled his feet over its edge and, as if to music, clapped his feet together.

We witnessed the pilot ultra-cautiously return his machine to the carrier’s deck prior to us setting out to walk past the swimming pool – named in honour of Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton – which, quite understandably, housed few swimmers and sunbathers.

A tall, lean and gangly gent of perhaps twenty-five or thirty years roller-bladed past us, as we made our way to the Mitchell Library. His knees were well padded with protective guards. However, it was his stature that amused us more as we envisaged him to be more like a two-legged giraffe. Perhaps, all of the walking was starting to take a toll on our minds?

We reached Saint Mary’s Cathedral prior to us crossing Collins Street and entering Hyde Park. There, the Archibald Fountain was flowing in all of its glory, glistening on a day when the temperature reached twenty-four degrees Celsius, which is four degrees above the seasonal average.

We were looking for a place from which to purchase a cold orange juice each when Tiki suddenly espied her parents, of all people, as they were in the process of walking away from the fountain. We sneaked up behind them and I exclaimed, in my sternest voice, “All right! You’re both under arrest for loitering in the park!”

I had “Mum” believe, just for a moment, that a policeman was, in fact, addressing them.

They were as surprised to see us, as we them!

The four of us adjourned to a cafe in Centrepoint, which we found to be hot and somewhat claustrophobic. Tiki and I opted to have an orange juice each while an iced coffee sufficed ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. It was his shout.

The pair had lunched at the relatively new ‘Jasmine Court’, a Chinese restaurant in Blakehurst and were en route to the State Theatre in Market Street where they were to view James Brolin and Margot Kidder in the screening of ‘The Amityville Horror’.

We entered on to Pitt Street and ventured into the old Strand Arcade that had been restored so beautifully, a few years ago, after the fire that gutted it had almost resulted in such a restoration being abandoned.

The four of us entered George Street and walked to its intersection with Market Street, where we parted, but not before ‘Dad’ and I had discussed the recently begun restoration of the building that is the Queen Victoria. It possesses ten copper domes on either side of its roof, as well as a huge one in the middle.

Tiki and I boarded the train at twenty-five to five that was to return us from Town Hall to Rockdale. Tiki’s feet were so sore, that this prompted her to sit on a seat located beside the Princes Highway, while I walked up to George Street to retrieve our car. It was twenty past five when I collected her. The races were replayed on the radio as we travelled home.

The jockey, Malcolm ‘Miracle Mal’ Johnston, had not only ridden ‘Kingston Town’ (7/4), the winner of the $100,500 Spring Champion Stakes, but also ‘Imposing’ (11/2), which was also first past the post in the $100,500 Epsom Handicap. Each victory earned Malcolm the sum of $6,800 ( 10% of the first prize).

The news on Channel 7, at six o’clock, was followed, at half past the hour, by Channel 9’s ‘Ask The Leyland Brothers’. The programme includes the coverage of a ride on Telecom’s sky lift. The journey, of some twenty minutes, covers a distance of five and a half kilometres and the structure, itself, is located on Queensland’s second-tallest mountain, Bellenden Kerr. Unfortunately, it is not open to the general public!

We observed a programme of Channel 7’s forensic medical series, ‘Quincy MD’, with Jack Klugman cast in its principal role. During its viewing we imbibed in a bottle of ‘Mateus’ rose, which had cost us three dollars and twenty-nine cents.

Unsurprisingly, Tiki fell sound asleep on the lounge!

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 16

  1. Tin Soldier (1967) The Small Faces
  2. Amapola (1941) Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra; vocalists: Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell
  3. Let’s Walk A Thata-way (1953) Doris Day and Johnnie Ray
  4. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (1940) Glenn Miller and his Orchestra; vocalist: Ray Eberle
  5. The Ballad Of The Green Berets (1966) Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler
  6. Flowers In The Rain (1967) The Move
  7. We’ll Sing In The Sunshine (1964) Gale Garnett
  8. Doctor My Eyes (1972) Jackson Browne
  9. Layla (1971) Derek and The Dominos
  10. Working In The Coal Mine (1966) Lee Dorsey
  11. One (1969) Johnny Farnham
  12. He (1955) Al Hibbler
  13. Yesterday’s Hero (1975) John (Paul) Young
  14. One (1969) Three Dog Night
  15. A Never Ending Song Of Love (1971) Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
  16. Wheels (1961) The String-Alongs
  17. Dust My Broom (1952) Elmore James
  18. The Cheater (1966) Bob Kuban and The In-Men
  19. You, Me And Us (1957) Alma Cogan
  20. Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows (1965) Lesley Gore
  21. Take This Job And Shove It (1977) Johnny Paycheck
  22. 98.6 (1966) Keith
  23. 40 Cups Of Coffee (1953) Ella Mae Morse
  24. Boogie Woogie Lou (1950) Zeb Turner
  25. Don’t Cross The River (1973) America
  26. A Picture Of You (1962) Joe Brown and The Bruvvers
  27. Chains (1962) The Cookies
  28. Are You Ready For The Country (1976) Waylon Jennings
  29. Many Tears Ago (1946) Eddy Arnold and his Tennessee Plowboys
  30. The Shape I’m In (1959) Johnny Restivo
  31. Sugarbush (1951) Doris Day and Frankie Laine
  32. Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard (1963) Diane Ray
  33. A Handful Of Songs (1957) Tommy Steele
  34. You Won’t Be Leaving (1966) Herman’s Hermits
  35. (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice (1969) Amen Corner
  36. Petootie Pie (1946) Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan
  37. Shake (1965) Sam Cooke
  38. That’s Life (That’s Tough) (1962) Gabriel and The Angels
  39. I’m A Tiger (1968) Lulu
  40. Wonderwall (1995) Oasis

Sylvania Waters: Thursday, 1st December, 1977

Tiki’s left arm and shoulder were no longer causing her discomfort and allowed her to sleep quite well last night. However, this situation had changed by the time I arrived at her place of work this afternoon and she asked for permission to leave early.

I drove her to the building which bears the name of ‘Wyoming’, in order that she could collect her X-rays. She cheekily opened the large envelope, in spite of the fact that it was addressed to her doctor, and read the report which states that the series of X-rays had not detected anything out of the ordinary.

Following an early tea we left for the doctor’s surgery only to discover that it is closed on Thursday afternoons. We walked for four miles around Barcoo Island, Captain Cook Island and the length of Belgrave Esplanade to the entrance to Murray Island, in the humid overcast conditions. Some of the houses at Sylvania Waters are impressive, but they are more often than not jammed together. There isn’t any room on the nature strips to walk as they are devoid of footpaths and possess a mixture of wiry and bushy plants. Additionally, the murky man-made canals emitted an odour that wasn’t pleasant.

It was seven o’clock by the time we returned to the ‘Galant’ and used its odometer to measure the distance of our walk. Upon our return home I wrote my diary at the dining table in the kitchen as Tiki watched “Space 1999”. The musical theme, which normally opens each edition of the series, has changed. At the conclusion of the second episode of “Cop Shop”, the humidity remained at an extremely oppressive level.

Moth Plague: Friday, 2nd December, 1977

Having awoken at twenty past two to go to the toilet, I also partook of a glass that contained ‘Eno’ for my upset stomach. I remained up until five o’clock, as I read “The Sun” and viewed “The Magus”, a movie on Channel Nine, which stars Anthony Quinn, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen and Anna Karina. A thunderstorm passed above our house, but not before it had emitted one particularly loud clap of thunder.

Within scarcely an hour and a half, we were awoken by the alarm and arose to ready ourselves for work. The sky began to clear by mid-morning and, at lunchtime, the temperature was twenty-nine degrees Celsius.

After work, Tiki talked me into continuing on into town to see the latest film to feature the secret agent with a ‘licence to kill’, James Bond, namely “The Spy Who Loved Me”, which screened in Cinema 5 of the new Hoyts Cinema Centre. We purchased our tickets and crossed George Street to McDonald’s where I consumed two Fillet-o’-fish burgers, a chocolate shake and an orange juice while Tiki did likewise to a Fillet-o’-fish burger, a Cheeseburger and a vanilla shake.

“Free Skiing 1977” preceded intermission. It was filmed in New Zealand and includes scenes of skiers wending their way down Mount Ngauruhoe, an active volcano on the North Island. During intermission, we moved farther down towards the front of the cinema because a band of young children had moved in behind us. “The Spy Who Loved Me” stars Roger Moore, as ‘007’, and Barbara Bach.

I handed the stubs of our cinema tickets to the attendant at the parking station and he deducted fifty cents from our fee. This reduced it to two dollars and ten. It was thirty degrees, which equated to ten above the average, at nine o’clock as I drove through a plague of moths in Sussex Street and on through Newtown.

This afternoon, the left-hander, Tony Roche and John Alexander gave Australia a lead of two rubbers against Italy in winning their respective opening singles matches in this year’s final of the Davis Cup, which is being played on grass at Sydney’s White City.

‘Pyjama’ Cricket: Saturday, 3rd December, 1977

Thankfully, conditions cooled overnight! “Mum” rang after breakfast to say that she’d meet us at the foot of the stairs that lead to The Fair Restaurant. Tiki left at nine to walk to Miranda Fair and buy my anniversary/Christmas present, as well as Christmas presents for others. Meanwhile, I listened to 2KY’s “Turf Talk”, which is presented by Ian Craig and Max Presnell, on this near perfect summer’s morning.

I left at a quarter past ten for Miranda Fair via the T.A.B. “Mum” had already arrived at the foot of the stairs and was intently window-shopping at the jewellers, Angus and Coote, when I patted her on the back and cheekily enquired, “Excuse me ‘Gorgeous’! What are you doing tonight?”

Tiki arrived shortly afterwards to be light-heartedly informed by her mother: “Your husband just tried to pick me up! I’d watch him if I were you!”

The three of us adjourned to ‘The Fair’ for a cappuccino each. Tiki paid for the bill of one dollar and sixty-five cents with her inclusion of about fifty-cents worth of copper coins, which she had painstakingly removed from her purse and stacked on the table.

Downstairs in Myer, I bought a C-60 Hitachi blank tape for one dollar and eighty-nine cents whilst “Mum” spent twenty dollars on purchasing us an ironing board for Christmas. The board is covered with an orange, yellow and white floral material. Patiently, I stood and held it while the two women went off in search of presents to give to others.

When we did, finally, reach “Mum’s” Rover sedan in the car park, the traffic was so continuous that we decided to sit and chat. However, after fifteen minutes the traffic still hadn’t eased and so we joined the queue, anyway. It was half past twelve when she left us at the front of our house with arrangements to meet her later.

Briton, Peter Skellern, sang his sizeable hit of 1972, “You’re A Lady”, and The Drifters: “Under The Boardwalk” and “Save The Last Dance For Me”, from 1964 and 1961 respectively, on the British pop series, “International Pop Proms”. At one, there was a replay of a part of yesterday’s second rubber in the final of this year’s Davis Cup, which is being contested at the White City Stadium in Sydney. John Alexander of Australia defeated Corrado Barazutti of Italy in four sets: 6-2, 8-6, 4-6, 6-2. Tony Roche had won the opening rubber against Adriano Panatta in straight sets: 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Upon Tiki’s suggestion and also at one o’clock, we opened our respective anniversary/Christmas present to each other. I was able to guess that mine was a clock radio: a National Panasonic FM-AM digital. She was to become a little disappointed that I wasn’t taking a little more interest in it. Nevertheless, she approved of her pendant necklace.

It was twenty past two when we left to walk, in our thongs and heat of thirty-three degrees Celsius, to her parents’ for a swim. Later, “Dad” shouted us to a takeaway from the Fountain Inn Restaurant. Tiki and I shared our combination chow mein and fish cutlets sweet and sour. The flies were unbearable on the patio and so we adjourned to the lounge.

Although Italy won today’s doubles rubber, it still trails Australia in this year’s final of the Davis Cup by two rubbers to one. The pairing of Paolo Bertolucci and Adriano Panatta defeated John Alexander and Phil Dent, in straight sets: 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

The four of us viewed the Australian documentary, “The Dolphins”, from half past six and sixty minutes later a programme of the series, “Barnaby Jones”, which has an elderly Buddy Ebsen cast in the title role and Lynda Day George as its guest star.

Tiki and I arrived home by ten o’clock. This meant that I could watch the highlights from Kerry Packer’s “World Series Cricket”. Screened on Mr Packer’s own network, which includes TCN Channel Nine in Sydney, the footage came from the ground at Mount Waverly, in Melbourne, where Australian Rules is normally played. The size of the crowd at the match was totally disproportionate to the calibre of the players involved and it remains to be seen if this form of ‘pyjama’ cricket, as it is quite often derisively referred to by its detractors, can survive.

At half past ten Tiki chose to watch the film, “Our Mother’s House”. Introduced by Channel Seven’s expert on all things cinematic, Bill Collins, it was made in 1967 and stars the celebrated British actor, Dirk Bogarde. A picture of a similar vintage, “A Guide For The Married Man”, with Robert Morse, Walter Matthau and the late Inger Stevens was screened simultaneously on Channel Ten.