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.

Ovine Trait: Sunday, 4th December, 1977

I was stunned to think that I had slept in until half past eight! The appearance of the paperboy did not eventuate and I found it inconceivable that I had slept through his passing.

A terrific traffic jam of about a mile in length greeted us in the heat as we neared Kurnell. Impatient motorists were driving along the road’s gravelly verge in their attempts to overcome it. Eventually, just like a sheep, I did the same!

The lady at the fruit market told Tiki, in a foreign accent, that motorists had been queuing since half past seven to enter Captain Cook’s Landing Place. And to think that we’d only decided to visit Kurnell to buy some fruit! During our return, I drove through a crowded Cronulla and bought an edition of “The Sun-Herald” at a milk bar in Caringbah.

Between one o’clock and two, I watched coverage of the First Test which is being played at the ‘Gabba in Brisbane. Australia was battling — to put it mildly — in its second innings having been three for seven at one stage yesterday. The Queenslander, David Ogilvie, scored forty-six, in this his first Test. Bob Simpson, meanwhile, passed fifty before he too was dismissed on eighty-nine.

We departed for Tiki’s parents’ where I helped “Dad” to carry an old television from downstairs and place it in his ute. I also assisted him to move the old fridge and an old freezer to their respective positions beneath the stairs and then sweep clean the area upon which they had stood. “Mum” confessed to Tiki and I that her neck was “killing” her and that the recent manipulation appeared to have been a failure.

Tiki swam underwater for the circumference of their above-ground pool and passed between my open legs. Although the water was warm in comparison to yesterday, the wind was a cool one in spite of today’s maximum being twenty-eight degrees Celsius.

Each of us drank the contents of a KB ‘keg’ stubby and our takeaway tonight is from McDonald’s. The West Indies defeated Australia by three wickets in the World Series Cricket.

John Alexander clinched the Davis Cup for Australia for the first time since 1968, when he defeated Italy’s Adriano Panatta, at Sydney’s White City Stadium, in five gruelling sets: 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 8-6, 11-9.

At seven we left on our walk and jog through Gymea and Miranda, arriving home at five past eight. Channel Seven, at half past the hour, screened “The Destructors”, which includes in its cast Richard “Empire” Egan and Patricia Owens. The film’s content is pretty dull and the movie, itself, visually appeared to me to be old-fashioned in spite of it having been made only eleven years ago.

Ten minutes to ten heralded a preview into the making of the latest addition to the series of films to feature the secret agent with a licence to kill, James Bond. We viewed this latest offering, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, last Friday evening.

At twenty past the hour I turned the dial to Channel Nine to watch the highlights of today’s play in World Series Cricket’s clash between Australia and the West Indies.

The Neglect Of Minutes: Monday, 5th December, 1977

When we awoke at the usual time of twenty-four minutes past six, I was immediately made aware that Tiki had tuned my new digital clock radio to 2UE and the unmistakeable voice of Gary O’Callaghan, which really grates on me. Upon making my feelings known, she became most upset and rightfully claimed that I don’t know how to operate my new present. This led her to conclude that I, therefore, don’t like it!

At least she is now in agreeance that its lighting favours the digit or digits that display the hour while it almost totally neglects those which signify the minutes.

“Skippy” appears on Channel Nine at half past five. This evening’s programme is from 1968 and has Colin Croft cast as the thief of a horse, and Ross “The Naked Vicar Show” Higgins as the horse’s owner. The first in a new series of “Doc”, at six, isn’t as humorous since the ‘death’ of his wife, if this edition is typical of the remainder.

“Willesee”, at seven, includes an interview with Leah Lynch — the wife of the hospitalised, former Federal Treasurer, Philip Lynch — who speaks about politics and next Saturday’s federal election. Don Chipp, who leads the Australian Democrats, has his say in another segment. Lastly, and on a lighter note, strongman, Paul Graham, along with some of the other muscular entrants in the forthcoming contest that will decide just who is adjudged to be Mr. New South Wales, makes an appearance.

After our walk around the “block” we watched the third episode of the Australian serial, “Cop Shop”, which screened on Channel Seven at half past eight.

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 15

  1. Those Were The Days (1968) Mary Hopkin
  2. The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) (1981) The Funboy Three
  3. Home Of The Brave (1965) Jody Miller
  4. That Chick’s Too Young To Fry (1946) Louis Jordan
  5. Right Back Where We Started From (1975) Maxine Nightingale
  6. The Power And The Passion (1983) Midnight Oil
  7. Another Saturday Night (1963) Sam Cooke
  8. I Apologize (1951) Billy Eckstine
  9. Sail Along Silvery Moon (1957) Billy Vaughn
  10. Paloma Blanca (1975) The George Baker Selection
  11. Candy (1945) Johnny Mercer, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers
  12. (Old-Dogs, Children And) Watermelon Wine (1972) Tom T. Hall
  13. Look Wot You Dun (1972) Slade
  14. If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked A Cake (1950) Eileen Barton
  15. White Lightning (1959) George Jones
  16. A Very Special Love (1958) Doris Day
  17. How Can I Be Sure (1967) The Young Rascals
  18. Paper Cup (1967) The 5th Dimension
  19. Rock Me Baby (1986) Johnny Nash
  20. Love’s Been A Little Bit Hard On Me (1982) Juice Newton
  21. Caterina (1962) Perry Como
  22. South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way) (1939) Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra; vocalist:Hal Derwin
  23. Jai Deux Amours (1953) Josephine Baker
  24. Take A Message To Mary (1959) The Everly Brothers
  25. That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again (1980) Roy Orbison and Emmylou Harris
  26. So Long (1949) Ruth Brown
  27. That’s A Man’s Way (1965) Wilson Pickett
  28. Quicksilver (1950) Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
  29. You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me (1968) Sam and Dave
  30. Everything Is Fine (2007) Josh Turner
  31. Open The Door, Richard (1947) Louis Jordan
  32. Believe Me (1957) The Royal Teens
  33. I’m Going To See You Today (1952) Joyce Grenfell
  34. Bip Bam (1954) The Drifters
  35. The Last Round-Up (1933) Gene Autry
  36. The Watusi (1961) The Vibrations
  37. Lightning’s Girl (1967) Nancy Sinatra
  38. No (1972) Bulldog
  39. Dead Skunk (1973) Loudon Wainwright III
  40. I Don’t Like Mondays (1979) The Boomtown Rats

‘The Restless Years’ Premieres: Tuesday, 6th December, 1977

The early overcast cleared on what has been a humid day. After work, I watched the closing stages of the First Test, which was played in Brisbane. The opening batsman, Sunil Gavaskar, who is of a short stature, was dismissed for one hundred and thirteen and India fell just seventeen runs short of the total that it was required to score for victory. Australia, therefore, won by sixteen runs.

Having watched the American series, “Doc”, at six, we walked via the usual route through Gymea and Miranda. Our return allowed us the time to watch the first episode of another new Australian serial, “The Restless Years”, which screened on Channel Ten from half past seven.

Mickey and Sylvia

Mickey Baker and Sylvia Vanderpool was an American duo, which recorded under the title of Mickey and Sylvia. In late 1956, the pair released the song, “Love Is Strange”. The recording rose to No.1 on the rhythm and blues chart and No.11 on the pop chart. In doing so the single sold in excess of a million copies.

“Love Is Strange” was introduced to a new audience when, in 1987, it was included on the soundtrack to the motion picture, ‘Dirty Dancing’. In 1993, it appeared in the British television series, ‘Lipstick On Your Collar’, and, two years later, the movie, ‘Casino’. Pitbull’s hit of 2012, “Back In Time”, from the film, ‘Men In Black III’, is based upon “Love Is Strange”.

Mickey and Sylvia’s only other entry to the Top Ten also came in 1957 in the form of “There Oughta Be A Law”. While the duo continued to record it could not replicate the success generated by these first two singles and, by the end of 1961, the entries to the charts were no more.

Regardless, Sylvia, who by then bore the surname of Robinson, unexpectedly reappeared on the scene, in 1973, when her recording, “Pillow Talk”, just like “Love Is Strange”, sold more than a million records.

Sylvia died in September of 2011, at the age of seventy-five.

Icy Finger!: Wednesday, 7th December, 1977

The alarm of our digital clock radio awakened us as per usual at twenty-four minutes past six. An overcast, sultry morning greeted us. Although the temperature was only nineteen degrees Celsius, the relative humidity registered at ninety-five per cent and this made conditions uncomfortable. Once I’d washed my hair, Tiki dried it. She looked well, but wasn’t keen to go to work.

Light sporadic rain at midday didn’t develop into anything more. Therefore, at six o’clock, I decided to follow a variation from the usual route and extend my walk beyond Gymea, to Kirrawee. There, I returned from the Prince’s Highway via the Kingsway. This has brought my tally of miles walked to seven hundred and nineteen.

At a quarter past seven I viewed the former Prime Minister and current Leader of the Federal Opposition, Gough Whitlam, as he stated that he’ll win next Saturday’s election for the Labor Party.

Channel Ten played the second episode of the new Australian series, “The Restless Years”, at half past the hour. Actress, Tina Grenville, is a member of its cast. The hour passed and then we sat through the dark comedy, “A New Leaf”, which was released to cinemas about six years ago. It stars Walter Matthau whose character marries a plain Jane played by Elaine May. Not only did Elaine May write the movie’s screenplay she directed the film, as well.

The index finger on my right hand became stuck fast to one of the icy bars that are affixed to the “ceiling” of our fridge, as I reached for the five-litre container of orange juice at a quarter to eleven. Tiki just laughed at my pleas for help, believing that I had my finger stuck up a tap in the bathroom.

The Honeycombs

I remember when The Honeycombs visited Australia, in the middle of the 1960s and how the press was intrigued because the group possessed a female drummer, ‘Honey’ Lantree. Honey had worked as a hairdresser alongside the group’s founder, Martin Murray. Its leading singer was Denis D’Ell and its guitarists were Alan Ward and Honey’s brother, John.

Originally known as The Sheratons, The Honeycombs released the driving, earthy sound of “Have I The Right?”, which entered the British charts in late July of 1964 and a month later occupied the position most prized.

“Have I The Right?” deservedly became a success internationally during which time it reached No.5 in the United States and No.1 in Australia. Nevertheless, the quintet was unable to produce another single to maintain this widespread appeal although, in 1965, it did rise to No.12, in its native Britain, with “That’s The Way”.

The Honeycombs disbanded in 1967, four years after the band had been formed.

Banished!: Thursday, 8th December, 1977

My index finger was still marked and sore. Later, a blister formed on the wound.

We left at six o’clock this evening to walk to Miranda Fair where Tiki paid twenty-two dollars and fifty cents for a reddish pink Whitmont “Hob Nob” shirt at Kenrays, a purveyor of menswear. It has long sleeves, buttoned pockets and a buttoned epaulette on each shoulder. Whilst I was in the cubical trying it on for size, I thought that the young bloke who was serving me was going to invite Tiki to join him on the coach tour he’ll be taking to the Barossa Valley and the Flinders Ranges, in a few weeks.

Tiki felt refreshed after she’d consumed a double “Snow” cone, so we walked on to Gymea along the dusty Kingsway, which is in the process of being widened, and home down President Avenue. However, she was feeling somewhat exhausted by the walk’s end.

At half past seven the husband-and-wife pairing of Barbara Bain and Martin Landau appeared in another edition of “Space 1999”. An hour later we sat through another episode of “Cop Shop”. It featured the likes of George “Homicide”/”The Box” Mallaby, Tony “Skippy” Bonner, Joanna Lockwood and Rowena “The Rovers”/”Division 4″/”Number 96″/”Glenview High” Wallace.

Tiki has thrown my pillow and pyjamas out of the bedroom for not only am I still to finish writing in my diary, I am yet to wash the dishes! She closed the door and instructed me not to advance beyond it tonight.

The Top 40 Fantasies: No. 14

  1. The Real Thing (Parts1 and 2) (1969) Russell Morris
  2. If I Can’t Have You (1978) Yvonne Elliman
  3. Baby Love (1964) The Supremes
  4. Bye Bye Blackbird (1926) Gene Austin
  5. When I Dream (1979) Crystal Gayle
  6. Itchycoo Park (1967) The Small Faces
  7. I Understand (1964) Freddie and The Dreamers
  8. Somebody That I Used To Know (2011) Gotye, featuring Kimbra
  9. Knock On Wood (1966) Eddie Floyd
  10. Imagination (1940) Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, vocalist: Ray Eberle
  11. You’re No Good (1963) The Swinging Blue Jeans
  12. I’m Your Hoochie Cooche Man (1954) Muddy Waters
  13. Going Up The Country (1968) Canned Heat
  14. Jeanny (1985) Falco
  15. I Like It (1963) Gerry and The Pacemakers
  16. Each Minute Seems A Million Years (1945) Eddy Arnold
  17. Why Don’t We Do This More Often? (1941) Kay Kyser and his Orchestra, vocalists: Ginny Simms and Harry Babbitt
  18. After The Lights Go Down Low (1956) Al Hibbler
  19. You Better Run (1966) The Rascals
  20. On Second Thought (1989) Eddie Rabbitt
  21. Walkin’ In The Sunshine (1967) Roger Miller
  22. Saxophobia (1920) Rudy Wiedoeft
  23. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1984) Cyndi Lauper
  24. There Is A Tavern In The Town (1953) The Four Aces
  25. Poor Boy (1958) The Royaltones
  26. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (1963) Peter, Paul and Mary
  27. Five Minutes More (1946) Frank Sinatra
  28. The Street Of Memories (1957) Johnnie Ray
  29. Starry Eyed (1960) Michael Holliday
  30. Too Much Of A Little Bit (1951) The Royales
  31. The Little Blue Man (1958) Betty Johnson
  32. Get Out Those Old Records (1951) Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, vocalists: Kenny Gardner and Carmen Lombardo
  33. Why Don’t They Understand (1957) George Hamilton IV
  34. Hit And Run (1979) Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons
  35. Just Before Dawn (1963) Ned Miller
  36. My Chickashay Girl (1947) Roy Rogers
  37. When I Dream (1978) Jack Clement
  38. The Men In My Little Girl’s Life (1965) Mike Douglas
  39. MMMBop (1997) Hanson
  40. Fancy Pants (1975) Kenny

Your Side Is My Side!: Friday, 9th December, 1977

Having awoken and ventured outside to the toilet, I asked Tiki if I might revert to sleeping on what I consider to be my side of the bed. The radio’s alarm woke me at twenty-four past six to the sound of the American pianist, Floyd Cramer, playing Badfinger’s hit of 1972, “Day After Day”, on 2CH. We continued to listen to Bob Moore’s breakfast programme, both at home and in the car on the way to work.

As we travelled in light traffic, on what was a bright and sunny morning, I learned that Abba’s latest release is entitled “The Name Of The Game”. After work, Tiki deposited a further one hundred dollars in her account at the bank. This has raised its balance, which we intend to spend on a holiday in Fiji next year, to eight hundred dollars.

We dined at her parents’ after which Tiki washed the dishes while I dried. Once we had watched an edition of “Police Story”, which screens from half past eight on Channel Nine and stars Desi Arnaz Jr., “Dad” presented me with a large sprinkler to use on our lawns. He estimated that it was twenty years old and assured me that it had lost none of its effectiveness in that time.