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.

No Laughing Matter: Friday, 16th December, 1977

“Mum” rang at a quarter past nine to ask me to call in “sometime this afternoon” to collect perishable foodstuffs, for tomorrow they depart for Wyangala Dam. Before I left to visit the doctor, 2KY’s George Gibson played David “Starsky and Hutch” Soul’s hit of the past few months, “Silver Lady”.

In the waiting room a loud-mouthed, middle-aged blonde spinster, who wore a straw hat, began to earbash an elderly couple about her two weeks’ holiday in Tahiti that is due to commence on Sunday. Then she started to tell another woman about how the headmaster had pulled off a jackpot as he was playing on a poker machine at the staff’s end-of-year gathering last night and of how he had fed most of his winnings straight back into the machines.

I was the sixth patient to be called and informed my doctor that I have walked seven hundred miles since April, to which she exclaimed, “You must have worn down all the roads in New South Wales!”

The radio was playing beside my head and as the needle penetrated my skin to take a sample of my blood, at nine minutes to midday, the announcement was being made on 2CH that Peter Coleman had become the new leader of the Liberal Party in New South Wales. He replaces Sir Eric Willis who stepped down yesterday.

Shortly after ten minutes to four, I witnessed the left-handed batsman, David Hookes, receive a fracture to his jaw when he attempted to hook a delivery from Andy Roberts, in World Series Cricket’s “Super Test 2”, which is being played at the Sydney Showground. Hookes, with eighty-one runs beside his name, was assisted from the field as blood streamed from his mouth.

At four o’clock, the presenter of Channel Ten’s “Right On”, Kobe Steele, introduced Bonnie Tyler’s follow-up to “Lost In France”, “It’s A Heartache”. Although I’d not heard it before, I immediately deemed it to be an outstanding recording. The single is reportedly selling at a rate of twenty thousand copies per day in London.

It was a quarter to five when a chap in his late forties came to our front door. In his words I’d come to the door ‘too quickly’ and this had startled him. He enquired into whether I would be interested in a service that cleans carpets and after I’d told him that I wasn’t he changed the subject to that of large clouds of plume-like smoke and asked if I’d heard anything about a serious bushfire on the news.

“They haven’t mentioned anything in the coverage of the cricket!” I replied and we both laughed. Later, I learned that it was, indeed, no laughing matter.

The Indian batsmen are scoring almost without restraint against Australia’s bowlers in the Second Test, which is being played in Perth. After “I Love Lucy”, at six, we watched the news on Channel Seven. “Willesee” included a report on what will be tomorrow, the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of the then Prime Minister, Harold Holt, at Cheviot Beach in Portsea, Victoria. Another brought the latest on the bushfires that surround Sydney, as well as the unofficial report that six people had died and three houses had been lost to the fires which continue to burn in the Blue Mountains to the west of the city.

We have walked through Gymea and Miranda in the heat and strong winds. Despite the strength of the wind, the smoke from the fires shrouds the city. Sydney’s maximum temperature reached thirty-five degrees Celsius today.

India is seven for three hundred and twenty-nine at stumps. Due to the fact that Sydney is three hours ahead of Perth, this occurs at nine o’clock.

“The Two Ronnies” screened on Channel Two and at half past the hour, Channel Ten’s “Eyewitness News” shows vision of houses as they burned in the Blue Mountains this afternoon. The latest report states that fifty homes have now been destroyed.

Channel Ten follows this news, from a quarter to ten, with “Drive Hard, Drive Fast”, a movie from 1970, which features the British actress, Joan Collins and Brian “Flipper” Kelly. Filming was completed shortly before Brian was left partially paralysed in a crash which involved the motorcycle upon which he was riding.

Human Clothes Horse: Saturday, 17th December, 1977

Some sixty-eight houses have now been destroyed by the bushfires in the Blue Mountains. Tiki and I weighed ourselves this morning and for the first time in years I tip the scales at less than eleven stone. Tiki is about seven stone ten.

Despite her having driven on to the roof of Miranda Fair we still couldn’t locate a space in which to park. Tempers began to fray before it was decided that we had no other alternative than to descend and park in the street. It was after ten o’clock when we entered Katies. There I stood with about ten articles of clothing draped over my arms as Tiki took it in turn to try on each one. These included twin-sets, dresses and slacks. A tape of Elvis’s hits was being played and afterwards I had “Don’t Cry Daddy” on the brain for much of the remainder of the day. At least Tiki bought something, a crocheted white and blue twin-set at a cost of sixteen dollars.

From there we moved on to Hartley’s on the corner where an elderly woman removed the dresses I was holding because, as she commented, some men feel embarrassed.

“I’m getting used to it!” I remarked with a smile.

Tiki and I concurred that she should purchase two summer dresses for twenty-four dollars and ninety-nine cents each. One is rose and white although it’s too long to do justice to her legs. The other is blue and orange with a white buckle on each shoulder-strap.

We adjourned for a cappuccino each at The Fair Restaurant, prior to buying a bottle of Ben Ean moselle, at the corner liquor store which is just up from the railway station, for a dollar and sixty-nine cents. Once we had arrived home at half past twelve Tiki donned and showcased her new clothes before finally getting into her red, black and white bikini in an attempt to beat the heat.

India was thrashing Australia’s attack in Perth, having added fifty runs in twenty-five minutes. Madanlal, himself, scored forty-three runs at a rate of a run per minute. The innings mercifully ended on four hundred and two, thanks to a brilliant catch by Bob Simpson at first slip. The catch just so happens to be his one hundredth in Test cricket.

Half past four heralded the arrival of a scruffy, long-haired youth who purported to represent the Morgan Gallup Poll on uranium. He asked to interview “someone on house over fourteen years”, however, when I asked to see his authorisation to do so, it was for the tenth and eleventh of December only. My subsequent declinature to answer his questions irritated him, to a degree.

After six, Channel Seven’s news ran film of those houses that have been gutted by the fires in the Blue Mountains. Upon our return from our usual walk at twenty to eight, Tiki watched the last half of “Eight Is Enough”, which includes among its cast the late Diana Hyland. She then viewed the film, “The Nelson Affair”, on Channel Ten. Produced in 1972, it stars Glenda Jackson, and the late Peter Finch as Horatio Nelson.

Australia is four for one hundred and seventy-one at stumps.

The Hollywood Flames

The Hollywood Flames was a vocal group, from Los Angeles, which specialised in rhythm and blues. Although its origin can be traced back to the late 1940s, its lineage featured many changes in both name and membership.

It was in 1957, when recording as The Hollywood Flames, that the group achieved its only major hit, “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz”. The single reached No.5 on the rhythm and blues chart and No.11 on the national pop chart.

“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” was played in the film, ‘Blow’, in 2001. Johnny Depp, Ray Liotta, Rachel Griffiths and Penelope Cruz are among the stars of the film, which is centred upon the life of George Jung, an American who is a smuggler of cocaine.

A Hard Nut To Crack: Sunday, 18th December, 1977

It is a cloudy, sometimes overcast and humid morning. The temperature at ten o’clock is already thirty degrees Celsius. To add to this unpleasantness one has to consider that because of daylight-saving it is really only nine o’clock! I had to heat the water in an electric jug in order to wash the dishes properly because the element in the archaic, supposedly instantaneous electric heater on a wall of the kitchen became spent the other day.

Early this afternoon I began to watch the keenly contested men’s final in this year’s New South Wales Open of tennis which was played between the Americans Roscoe Tanner and Brian Teacher. Whilst this was still in progress I turned to Channel Two’s coverage of the Test from Perth where one commentator described the batting of Steve Rixon and Bobby Simpson, as ‘living with luck’.

My elder sister, Penny, and brother-in-law, Warren, arrived at half past three. The pair had travelled by train and looked to be tired and drawn. We partook of drinks in our backyard, beneath the shady rubber tree. When I pointed out the green macadamia nuts growing on the tree opposite us, Warren, who would crawl across hot coals for a one-cent coin, began to forage beneath it amongst the spiky leaves and found a surprisingly high number of nuts from the the tree’s previous crop.

He attempted to break them by employing the edge of a section of paling, but as this proved to be an exercise in futility I returned from the garage with a hammer. Even then, the nuts weren’t easily cracked!

We shared the kernels between the four of us as we watched more of the Second Test. Australia fought back to post a score of three hundred and ninety-four, which is just eight runs shy of India’s first innings. Bobby Simpson, at the age of forty-one, was by far the major contributor having amassed one hundred and seventy-six of these.

Channel Seven’s news at six o’clock showed the latest footage from the bushfires in the Blue Mountains. In the men’s final at the tennis, Roscoe Tanner defeated Brian Teacher in five sets. The women’s final was won by the Australian Evonne Cawley (nee Goolagong) who defeated her British opponent, Sue Barker, in straight sets.

“Hawaii Five-O”, at half past seven, includes among its guest stars, Patty “The Patty Duke Show” Duke and the late Lane Bradford, whom, as an actor, became synonymous with the genre of westerns.

The Top 40 Fantasies: No.12

  1. The Chattanooga Choo Choo (1941) Glenn Miller and his Orchestra: Tex Beneke and The Modernaires with Paula Kelly
  2. In The Army Now (1986) Status Quo
  3. Down The Road A Piece (1947) Amos Milburn
  4. I (Who Have Nothing) (1963) Shirley Bassey
  5. Walking On Sunshine (1985) Katrina and The Waves
  6. In The Army (1982) Bolland and Bolland
  7. He’s Gonna Step On You Again (1971) John Kongos
  8. Tears On My Pillow (1958) Little Anthony and The Imperials
  9. Down The Road A Piece (1940) Will Bradley and his Orchestra, vocals: Ray McKinley and Will Bradley
  10. Wipe Out (1963) The Surfaris
  11. Humming Bird (1955) Frankie Laine
  12. I Wish It Would Rain (1968) The Temptations
  13. Slow Poke (1951) Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys
  14. For Me And My Gal (1917) Van and Schenck
  15. The Chicken And The Hawk (1956) “Big” Joe Turner
  16. No Regrets (1976) The Walker Brothers
  17. The Penny Arcade (1969) Roy Orbison
  18. Whistle While You Work (1938) The Seven Dwarfs
  19. Centerfold (1981) The J. Geils Band
  20. Buzz-Buzz-Buzz (1957) The Hollywood Flames
  21. Shoo-Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy (1946) Dinah Shore
  22. It Ain’t Necessarily So (1935) Leo Reisman
  23. Mini-Skirt Minnie (1969) Wilson Pickett
  24. Vanessa (1952) Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra
  25. Blockbuster (1973) The Sweet
  26. I Turned You On (1969) The Isley Brothers
  27. Don’t You Just Know It (1958) Huey (Piano) Smith and The Clowns
  28. A Fine Romance (1936) Fred Astaire
  29. Move Like Jagger (2010) Maroon 5
  30. Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfeffer, Katzenellen Bogan By The Sea (1954) The Four Lads
  31. The Little Dipper (1959) The Mickey Mozart Quintet
  32. White Wedding (1983) Billy Idol
  33. The Big Bopper’s Wedding (1958) The Big Bopper
  34. So Long (It’s Been Good To Know You) (1951) The Weavers, with Gordon Jenkins’ Orchestra
  35. Peach Picking Time In Georgia (1932) Jimmie Rodgers
  36. How I Lied (1965) Jade Hurley
  37. I Got Religion On A Saturday Night (1951) Webb Pierce
  38. The Place Where I Worship (Is The Wide Open Spaces) (1950) Al Morgan
  39. Aba Daba Honeymoon (1914) Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan
  40. Geronimo (2014) Sheppard
  41. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Poor Service And Inanity: Monday, 19th December, 1977

Last night proved to be an extremely restless one for both of us, as it verged on being almost unbearably still as well as starry. Rather than disturb Tiki further, I arose at a quarter past twelve and watched the film, “A Taste Of Excitement”, on Channel Nine. Produced in 1969, it stars Eva Renzi.

Just for a change, from eight o’clock, I decided to listen to 2BL. At half past the hour, Caroline Jones, who is a fan of Test cricket and the compere of the A.B.C.-TV’s investigative series, ‘Four Corners’, began playing old recordings by Bing Crosby. These included that of “Makin’ Whoopee”, which was recorded in December of 1928.

After nine, I turned the dial to 2GB and its announcer, Jimmy Hannan, who talks too much for my liking; even when a record is being played. Consequently, it wasn’t long before I was listening to George Gibson’s show, “Music Machine”, on 2KY, as I washed the dishes from last night’s delicious meal. Before commencing this task, I firstly had to carry the hot water required from the archaic heater in the bathroom to the kitchen sink.

I enquired of our next-door neighbour as to when we would receive the one hundred and eight dollars. This amount being their share of the cost of materials that were used in the construction of the new side fence. He said that we should be in receipt of it by Wednesday or Thursday. At twenty to twelve I left to walk to Miranda. There our rates were paid to the Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board, at the branch of the Rural Bank in Kiora Road, prior to my collection of five blank claim forms from the branch of the Medical Benefits’ Fund which is located inside Miranda Fair. Tiki had told me it was on the ground floor of Grace Bros when it is actually on the ground floor of Myer.

Nock and Kirby became my next port of call. There, I purchased a small tin of undercoat in addition to another of paint which is ‘Saddleback Brown’ in colour. Both paints are to be used to protect and cover those spots left bare by the removal of the fittings that held and supported the old awning that was affixed to our bedroom window. I also bought a block, some sandpaper to wrap around it and a bottle of mineral ‘turps’. My intention was to also buy a hacksaw, however, the service was so poor and the youths serving, so young, that I dispensed with this idea because I sensed the futility in asking them about what sort of blades they would recommend to accompany its purchase. Instead, I bought a lightweight pair of shears, that had been manufactured in America, at a cost of sixteen dollars and thirty-five cents.

At two o’clock I watched “Ripcord” which now screens on Channel Ten. “Forest Rangers”, a documentary which is set in Canada, was shown on Channel Two from twenty-five past the hour. It is about the illegal shooting of beavers. The dial was turned back to Channel Ten, at three o’clock, to observe what is a pretty mundane edition of the defunct series, “The Mod Squad”. The latest programme in the Australian pop series, “Right On”, screened from four. Its presenter, Kobe Steele, has developed a tendency to giggle more and more often in recent presentations and, quite frankly, is becoming somewhat inane.

Following Channel Seven’s half an hour of news, read by Roger Climpson, “Willesee”, at seven, features Billy Thorpe, the Australian recording star. Billy, a Mancunian by birth, at the age of thirty-one is sporting a new less clean-cut image. Another English-born Australian counterpart of his, Johnny Farnham, narrates another in the documentary series, “Survival”, at half past the hour. This evening’s offering centres upon the bats of the Tamana Cave in Trinidad.

My sister, Susan, rang from Melbourne to enquire as to when we shall arrive at her place for Christmas. Tiki is taking up the hems of her new dresses by hand. We retired after another episode of Channel Seven’s police serial, “Cop Shop”.

Glaciers Have Melted Previously, Sea Levels Have Ebbed And Flowed

We enjoy watching the British series on real estate, ‘Escape To The Country’. Three particular programmes in the perennial reality show come to mind as each contains a reference as to how the Earth’s climate has changed over aeons.

Firstly, one that is based in the county of Cumbria in which the host announces that the sixteen picturesque lakes after which the Lake District received its name were in fact created when glaciers melted.

Secondly, another edition, set in the county of East Sussex had a historian explain that when King Henry VIII had a particular castle built it was, in fact, located right on the coast and, yet, it now stands quite a distance inland.

Yet another programme of the series, set in Shropshire, examines an outcrop of rock that contains fossils of marine life that once existed when the county was located beneath a shallow sea.

The Earth’s climate has always changed and will continue to do so.

However, the incineration of the Amazonian rain forest — which once supplied the planet with twenty per cent of its oxygen — is not due to climatic change, but rather an ever burgeoning global population that not only desires its contents, but its land on which to graze cattle, as well as grow crops.

Unfortunately, I have heard it espoused that although such soils promote lush growth for plants of such forests their ability to support agricultural crops with the nutrition they require is a relatively ephemeral one and more often than not are left to lie abandoned.

Cholesterol Halved: Tuesday, 20th December, 1977

After breakfast, I began to wash last night’s dishes. This had firstly required of me the need to carry five jugfuls of warm water from the heater in the bathroom to the kitchen sink. Whilst I was in the shower a downpour of rain began, however, it fortunately proved to be  ephemeral.

Departing on foot for Miranda Fair, at a quarter past nine, I called into the branch of the M.B.F., which is located on the ground floor of Myer, and claimed for the return of the entire doctor’s bill of fifteen dollars and sixty cents which I had outlaid to pay for my visit of the sixteenth. Thirty minutes were to pass before I became the recipient of the money. During this period others, who were also having to wait for longer than they perhaps had envisaged, were told not to sit on the railing that was affixed to and below the level of the counter at the neighbouring delicatessen.

At the chemist on the corner a woman informed me that a small container of Ford pills cost seventy-nine cents and then attempted to give me the change for the purchase of an article to the value of ninety-five cents.

The tall and large Bill Collins, who so knowledgeably introduces movies on Channel Seven, was at the shopping centre in the company of a bespectacled gentleman with closely cropped hair. I couldn’t help but note that they entered the store that bore the appellation, ‘Adult Games’. Being famous must be so intrusive!

As I was walking home I met our next-door neighbour who said that he’ll deliver the money for his half share in our newly constructed common boundary fence, this evening. Although I could hear that the telephone was ringing, I waited for the postman to cross the road on his motorcycle and hand me our mail. By this time the telephone had ceased to ring, but I knew that it would have been Tiki and sure enough she rang before noon to say that she’d been in contact with the “huffy” receptionist at my doctor’s and had ascertained that my cholesterol is now within acceptable limits. I rang the doctor, as asked, and was told that my reading which had stood at a dangerously high three hundred and twenty-one in April is now half that at one hundred and sixty. She suggested that I reduce my amount of exercise and continue to be aware of my diet. Tiki rang back and I repeated what the doctor had said.

At two o’clock on Channel Ten, I watched “Ripcord” in which its guest star, Jan “Tom Corbett”/”Space Cadet”/”The Rough Riders” Merlin, is cast as a baddie. The Indian batsmen were thrashing the Australian bowling when I turned to the live coverage from Perth at half past two.

Three o’clock means that it is time to again change channels, this time to view today’s offering from the defunct series, “The Mod Squad”. Link, played by Clarence Williams III, becomes involved in a boy’s kidnapping when his motorcycle runs out of fuel near an old ghost town. Guest stars include the late Paul “Breaking Point” Richards, Gregory “87th Precinct” Walcott and Connie “Mister Ed” Hines.

I told the boy from next-door, and his mate, that if he must throw stones across the road to use those from his own driveway and not those from ours. “Right On”, presented by Kobe Steele, featured Linda Ronstadt’s revival of Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy”. Tiki arrived home at twenty-five to five.

India is just one wicket down for one hundred and seventy-eight runs at lunch. Our neighbour called in as promised at a quarter to six and wrote out a cheque to the amount of one hundred and eight dollars, just before Sunil Gavaskar was dismissed for one hundred and twenty-seven. It is his twelfth century in Test cricket and included the scoring of his three thousandth run in this the game’s highest echelon.

“Here’s Lucy”, from six o’clock, has as its guest, Bob “The Bob Cummings Show”/”My Living Doll” Cummings. We left upon its conclusion and walked in the anti-clockwise direction through Miranda and Gymea, with the clock indicating that we had returned at a quarter past seven. India had slumped to be six for three hundred and six. Armanath had joined Gavaskar in also posting triple figures on the scoreboard.

The Australian series, “The Restless Years”, screened on Channel Ten from half past seven. India declared its second innings closed at nine for three hundred and thirty, having accumulated a respectable lead of three hundred and thirty-eight. At stumps Australia is one for twenty-five.

Shocking Blue

Shocking Blue was a Dutch quartet which emerged from The Hague, in 1967. Its initial membership was that of vocalist, Fred de Wilde; guitarist and backing vocalist, Robbie van Leeuwen; bass guitarist, Klaasje van der Wal; and drummer, Cor van der Beek.

Nevertheless, by the time its universally acclaimed single, “Venus”, entered the American Billboard Hot 100 chart, in December of 1969, Mariska Veres was the group’s vocalist. “Venus” became the Netherlands’ first No.1 hit in America, where it topped the chart for three weeks. Global sales of the recording were to exceed five million copies.

Shocking Blue disbanded in 1974, but not before it had released some eleven albums and twenty-five singles.

Today, “Venus”, with the passing of time, is more associated with the British female vocal duo, Bananarama, which also took it to No.1 internationally, in 1986.

Shocking Blue’s song, “Love Buzz”, was chosen by Nirvana to be its debut single, in 1988. “Love Buzz” is a psychedelic track on the album, ‘At Home’, which was first released in 1969.

Mariska Veres died from cancer, in December of 2006, at the age of fifty-nine.

Carpet Lier: Wednesday, 21st December, 1977

At eight o’clock, I tuned the radio to 2KY’s breakfast show. Phil Haldeman, who was formerly one of 2SM’s ‘Good Guys’, had as his guest the singer and pianist, Jade Hurley. Phil stated that he was “on 2WG (in Wagga Wagga) late 1958 and all 1959”.

I hung out the load of washing for Tiki and washed last night’s dishes. At Miranda Post Office I purchased a stamp for fifteen cents. It depicts Father Christmas riding on a surfboard. It was shortly after that that I made the mistake of paying five dollars and fifty cents for a packet of twenty Christmas cards in Grace Bros and knew after I’d bought them that I’d spent more than Tiki would have wanted me to.

When Tiki rang, at twenty past one, I was called a “dummy” numerous times before she finally began to calm down. She hadn’t been in the best of moods to begin with and stated that she wanted to leave work and come home.

This afternoon’s offering from the series, ‘Ripcord’, focuses upon a group of old men who have formed a pact to suicide and as a result one of eight numbered parachutes is sabotaged. The men bet on which of the parachutes will fail to operate. Upon its conclusion, at half past two, I turned to Channel Two to watch the last day’s play in the Second Test which is being played in Perth.

Australia lost the wicket of Craig Serjeant when he was on twelve, having already had John Dyson dismissed yesterday prior to stumps, after he had scored but four. ‘The Mod Squad’, at three o’clock, is about stolen pigeons that carry encephalitis and end up in the keeping of a young boy. Australia, at lunch, is two wickets down for ninety-nine. Tony Mann, who was sent in as a nightwatchman, is not out on fifty-seven.

‘Right On’, Channel Ten’s pop programme, screens from four o’clock and, as per usual, is hosted by Kobe Steele. A thunderstorm is quite near and it is beginning to rain as I write. It contains a little hail, which concerns me because Tiki doubtless has the ‘Galant’ parked in the open at Cronulla where she is having her hair cut.

The rain has ceased after twenty minutes.

Tiki arrived home at twenty past five and we shared a bottle of ‘KB’ and a few pieces of her delicious birthday cake. Tony Mann was dismissed for one hundred and five, in this only his second Test. David Ogilvie compiled a slow, yet valuable forty-seven and, at tea, Australia is four for two hundred and twenty-two, still requiring a further one hundred and seventeen runs to win.

We departed at a quarter to seven on a brisk walk through Miranda and Gymea. As we were approaching the Miranda Telephone Exchange, a Scot crossed the road to ask if we knew how to direct him to Kiora Road.

“You’re in it!” I retorted.

Tiki and I couldn’t help but have a smile over the incident.

We arrived home at twenty-nine minutes to eight and Tiki watched another episode of ‘The Restless Years’ while I, too, sat in front of it holding my ‘trannie’ and the broadcast of the Test from Perth to my left ear. At half past the hour and in spite of protestations from Tiki, who wanted to watch the ‘Bing Crosby Christmas Special’, which had been recorded just five weeks before his death, I turned the dial to the live coverage of the Test.

Peter Toohey was caught on the fence — not literally — at deep mid-on when his score was on eighty-three and just nine runs were required for victory. With his score on twenty-three, Steve Rixon was adjudged to be leg before wicket to a delivery from Bedi without further advancement to Australia’s score. Nevertheless, it was the four that was struck over cover by Jeff Thomson that was to bring Australia victory and a lead of two Tests to nil in the series.

Australia finished on eight for three hundred and forty-two with Thomson on six and Wayne Clark also unbeaten on five. Captain, Bob Simpson, was named ‘Man of the Match’, having scored one hundred and seventy-six and thirty-nine.

We retired to bed at twenty-two minutes past nine, however, Tiki, who’s obviously going through an even more demandingly profound time at work than even I had realised, ordered me to lie on the carpet between the bed and the window until seventeen minutes to ten because I had deprived her of watching Bing Crosby.