It Wasn’t Me! It Was Her!: Wednesday, 2nd November, 1977

A partly overcast and humid day has contained a brace of heavy showers, this afternoon and a maximum temperature of thirty degrees Celsius. Tiki unintentionally reversed the ‘Galant’ into the paperboy’s barrow as she was leaving her place of work.

She drove to her parents’ and presented her father with the slender length of copper pipe, which he will need when he does the plumbing beneath their kitchen sink. As I helped him carry the kitchen table around the house in the rain and into an area downstairs, “Mum” told Tiki of how he had embarrassed her in the supermarket, Franklins, today. He had loudly passed wind in the supermarket and proceeded to portray her as being the culprit.

“Willesee”, at seven o’clock, included an interview with Robert Sangster and Susan Peacock, who are soon to marry. “Steptoe and Son’s Christmas Special” followed at half past the hour, and, at half past eight, the picture, “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines”. This offering from 1965 stars, among many others, Sarah Miles, Terry Thomas, Robert Morley and Stuart Whitman. It centres upon the London-Paris Air Race of 1910, but for what is ostensibly supposed to be a humorous film, this quality is sadly found to be wanting.

We are experiencing the first worthwhile rainfall in months. Last month was the driest October in seventy years.

Sing So Low: Thursday, 3rd November, 1977

At Tiki’s suggestion we had slept on opposite sides of the bed. However, in spite of this, I still experienced a restless night’s sleep.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, as I made my way outside to the toilet, in the rain, I trod on a slug with my bare foot!

During breakfast, Tiki had tried to get me to sing as low as the voice at the end of Elvis’s last single, “Way Down”. Much noise and laughter was the result.

We drove to work in varying degrees of rain. Although it was to cease, the sky continued to appear ominous. At half past one, “Behind The News”, presented by Barry Eaton, examined apartheid in South Africa; the American energy crisis; the mining of uranium in Australia; and the alternative sources of energy, namely those that pertain to the wind and the sun. The deserts of Africa are said to be expanding due to a lack of water on that particular continent.

As I walked to Tiki’s place of work I noticed that an Italian bicycle that bore the brand, Abeni, was being advertised in the window of a shop near to Sydenham Railway Station. The asking price was set at nine hundred dollars and a notice stated that the machine was for the professional cyclist only.

At six o’clock, the last progamme for this year in the series, “Country Road”, is screened on Channel Two. On “Willesee”, the Federal Leader of the Opposition and the former prime minister, Gough Whitlam, faces an audience, in the studio, that is comprised of fifty percent of those who support him and the same proportion of those who are hostile towards his leadership of the Labor Party.

The documentary, “The Lions Of The Serengeti”, is narrated by the American actor, Hal Holbrook, from half past seven. An hour later, on Channel Ten, “Benny Hill In Australia”, contains one skit in which the character being portrayed by Benny appears, to two nubile women, to be passing what they suspect to be two distinct streams of urine. This titillates their fancy and prompts them to believe that his character has been blessed with an extra appendage.

Puerile?: Friday, 4th November, 1977

It is two years today since I proposed to Tiki. Foggy skies cleared to a nice shade of blue. As I walked to work between St Peters and Marrickville, jets’ engines were seen to leave cylindrical trails of vapour as the aeroplanes passed low overhead on their approach to the international airport, which is named in honour of the aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

At half past ten conditions were gloriously sunny and calm, however, by lunchtime it looked as if we would receive a thunderstorm. Tiki drove to the parking station in Kent Street and in the Hoyts Cinema Centre bought two tickets, at a cost of three dollars and seventy-five cents each. These would enable us to view its screening of “Star Wars”, that was scheduled to commence at ten past five, in Cinema 7.

Upon our arrival we purchased two cappuccinos at fifty cents each from the Stage Delicatessen. Mine, for a time, made me feel somewhat unwell. We were seated at an ‘outdoor’ table, talking about the construction of our side fence when I mentioned the “bolts” and it suddenly dawned on Tiki that she had left them on her desk at work. She is going to get her mother to drive her there in the morning to collect them.

The film, “Across The River”, which contains old footage of Melbourne, was screened prior to intermission; at which time I paid forty cents for a packet of crisps, at Tiki’s request.

“Star Wars” only opened in Sydney on the twenty-seventh of October, that is, yesterday week. Although the cinema was only half full at the beginning of the session, it had filled to capacity by the time the main feature commenced.

We were surrounded by mothers and their young children, in spite of the fact the film possesses a NRC rating. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the picture. The young boy seated to my immediate right did not bat an eyelid when some scary creatures appeared on the screen. If I had been shown them at his age I would have experienced nightmares for months to come!

It just goes to show how conditioned the young are to such scenes nowadays. Either that or I was just a scaredy-cat!

Whilst the film possesses the rating: Not Recommended for Children, in my opinion, it is puerile! Still, I have to give credit where I believe it is due and, therefore, I must admit that I could only gaze upon its special effects in wonderment. Only the performances of Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing (he looks frail — not that he has ever looked particularly robust — and quite wan) are worthy of mention.

At a quarter to eight we crossed George Street to eat at McDonald’s. Two fillet-o-fish burgers cost seventy-five cents each, an orange juice, thirty-five and a white coffee, thirty. The coffee was all that Tiki wanted. A lady had tried to push in front of me at the counter, but I merely uttered: “Excuse me, madam…” and gave my order.

Tiki and I sat close together and reminisced about the events of this very evening, two years ago. We presented the stubs of our cinema tickets at the parking station and received a discount of fifty cents on the parking fee of three dollars and ten cents. I drove home by nine o’clock via Newtown, O’Riordan Street and Botany Bay as we listened to Sam Gallea play such records as Rod Stewart’s hit of two years ago, “Sailing”, and Emma Hannah’s revival of “Angel Of The Morning”, which, he claims, is as good as Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts’ success of 1968.

Here’s Cement In Your Shoes!: Saturday, 5th November, 1977

Tiki woke me at six o’clock by which time it was already twenty degrees Celsius. We breakfasted by seven after which she washed the dishes. “Dad” arrived at ten minutes to nine and said that “Mum” would arrive later, unnecessarily adding that she was being troubled by her “piles”.

He and I cleaned out the post holes we had dug a fortnight ago and aligned the pipe posts in them. Our neighbour was occupied elsewhere and, therefore, couldn’t assist us. Another appeared at our rear fence and introduced himself. He seemed keen to have that fence replaced, as well.

“Dad” and I began to bolt the bottom rails into place. The timber for these measured three inches by two and came from a house of eighty years which had recently been demolished in Dapto. We paused only to witness a hornet drag a large spider along the ground near to one of the post holes. Although the temperature only reached twenty-two degrees, it felt warmer. Perhaps this was due to the degree of humidity?

Two short sun showers followed lunch. These forced us to seek shelter for the electric drills and I hoisted in the long black extension cord.

The pair of us affixed the top rails too! Doing this drained us of much of our energy, which meant that we felt quite exhausted by the time it came to the point where we began to mix the concrete that was intended to hold the ten posts firmly in place. We used a larry — which “Dad” assured me was more than one hundred years old — to mix the combination of soil and cement in “Dad’s wheelbarrow. He told the cheeky boy from next door that we mix little boys into cement when he wandered too close to the action.

“Mum” and Tiki had, this morning, bought two bags of cement at a store on the Prince’s Highway at Sutherland. Each had cost three dollars and twenty cents and weighed fifty kilogrammes.

Our next-door neighbour arrived home and declared, ” I’d rather have been doing what you’ve been doing than what I’ve been doing!”

I felt like retorting, “Oh yeah?”. But somehow found the self-control required to prevent me from doing so.

Perhaps it was my sheer exhaustion and not my self-control that prevented me from so doing, for towards the end I splashed the grey powder out of the wheelbarrow and on to “Dad’s feet. It even entered his shoes!

Tiki’s parents departed by ten minutes to seven and after she had cut my hair in the loungeroom, as I watched the news on Channel Two, I endulged in a long hot shower. We commenced to watch “The 7th Dawn”, a film that bears the copyright of 1964. Its cast includes William Holden, Susannah York and Capucine. However, we had seen it twice or even thrice and this, coupled with the fact that I felt so tired, meant that we were in bed by nine o’clock.