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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Landslide!: Saturday, 10th December, 1977

I didn’t go to bed until eleven minutes to one because I had wastefully studied the form that pertained to this afternoon’s trifecta, as well as sit through the first half an hour of the movie, “The Uninhibited”, which was being screened on Channel Ten. Melina Mercouri, James Mason and Hardy Kruger are three of the stars in this offering from 1967.

We awoke to the radio’s alarm at twenty-four past six, as if it were a day on which we had to work. Five past eight saw our departure for Miranda Public School. Upon our arrival we were sent from one room to another. Eventually, we learned that our names were still on the electoral roll for those who reside in Caringbah. A pleasant enough bloke, who reeked of bodily odour, informed us that we should, therefore, vote in that suburb’s electorate.

Instead, I drove Tiki to the hairdressing salon at Cronulla where she had an appointment for half past the hour. Returning home in the ‘Galant’, I washed it in our drive before employing the use of a grey extension cord and our red Pye vacuum cleaner to ensure that it was spick-and-span on the inside, as well. The temperature was already twenty-seven degrees Celsius by nine o’clock.

Tiki was collected by me at a quarter past eleven and after we had shopped in Caringbah we observed that the small thermometer inside the car showed that its interior registered one hundred and ten degrees Fahrenheit!

Our votes were cast at Laguna Street Public School on the way home. The film, “Wonders Of Aladdin”, screened on Channel Seven from a quarter past twelve and at ten to three we headed for Waverton and Tiki’s Aunt Ruth’s, in spite of the fact that our vehicle possesses no air conditioning.

Gusty winds and gathering storm-clouds accompanied today’s maximum of thirty-five degrees and my self-inflicted weariness just added to my discomfort. I felt as though I could do little more than just sit in front of Ruth’s eighteen-inch Sony colour telly and watch what traditionalists of the game of cricket are referring to as ‘Kerry Packer’s Circus’.

The Australian Eleven batted second, at the obscure Westlakes Stadium in Adelaide, and in its quest to chase the World Eleven’s nine for two hundred and four proceeded to collapse to be all out for one hundred and fifty-five. Today’s one-day encounter and any subsequent matches, come under the banner of World Series Cricket.

We did experience some rain, but it didn’t last for long. After dinner we watched Channel Nine’s report on the Federal Election, which was presented by Michael Schulberg. It soon became apparent that the Coalition, led by the incumbent Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, was going to emerge victorious in an unanticipated landslide.

Having left Ruth’s for home at ten o’clock, we were in time to watch a sarcastic Mike Willesee tell those who were viewing Channel Seven that he hadn’t voted anyway, in protest at the major parties. We remained up until ten minutes to midnight to witness Mr Fraser’s victory speech. It followed Mr Whitlam’s acknowledgement of defeat, at a quarter past eleven, and his announcement that he is to relinquish his leadership of the Australian Labor Party.

‘Secret’ Pit: Sunday, 11th December, 1977

After lunch and a sunny, warm summer’s morning, Tiki informed me that she is going to leave her full-time job and look for casual employment.

Having arrived at her parents’ she clipped her pet poodle, “Fifi”, who resides there, whilst her father carried out a mechanical check on the ‘Galant’ for we shall soon be on holiday. He fitted it with new points and cleaned the battery’s arm of acid prior to coating it with Vaseline. He then positioned the car above his “secret” pit that can be accessed from the recess where the lawn-mowers are kept and is situated below the level of the concrete area of yard before the garages. Despite having lived there for nigh on six months, I had no idea that such a pit existed!

Anyway, he declared the transmission oil to be “all right” and gave each nipple on the vehicle’s underside seven squirts with a grease gun. As “Dad” was doing this, I watched two boys, one fat and the other slim, hit a golf ball on the sandy beach below. When the thin one lost the ball in the bay the pair resorted to hitting tins and stones. We departed at half past five after I had assisted “Dad” in the removal of a front wheel. This permitted him to examine the brake pads.

This evening’s edition of “Hawaii Five-O” centres principally upon Danny Williams, portrayed by James McArthur, who, to escape from crooks, jumps off a cliff and on to a load of sand that is being hauled by a truck. He strikes his head in the process and, as a result, develops amnesia. At half past eight we turned the dial from Channel Nine to Channel Seven to watch the far-fetched spy movie, “Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die”. Produced in 1966, it features Michael “Tightrope”/”Mannix” Connors, Dorothy “The Roaring Twenties” Provine and the English actor, Terry-Thomas, who doesn’t have to do or say much to make one smile.

Take Two!: Monday, 12th December, 1977

Tiki suddenly remembered that it is the second anniversary of our marriage and immediately accused me of having forgotten this fact as well — which I had!

The early overcast cleared to a warm sunny day. The now open blister, that was caused when my finger stuck fast to a coil in our fridge, is now oozing a watery pus.

After work, Tiki drove to Manly. She parked the car in Wentworth Street and we walked down one side of the relatively new Corso Plaza before doing likewise on the other. Turning to the left, we headed northwards, past the large area of flat land on the corner where the old, white Pacific Hotel once stood. At North Steyne’s dressing sheds our course was altered by one hundred and eighty degrees — give or take a couple — and we set our bearings for K’s Snapper Inn, which we reached by half past five.

Because the restaurant was several minutes late in opening, an old grey-headed bloke, who was dependent upon a walking-stick and wore a gaily coloured shirt, began to knock impatiently on the door. Once inside, we were seated in the lower section and one table back from the front windows.

Tiki ordered calamari as an entree while I selected scallops kebab and a half-litre carafe of rose. I swapped my bacon for some of her chewy calamari. Tiki had a whole, grilled lemon sole and I, a whole flounder. My dessert consisted of pavlova served with ice-cream while Tiki had opted for the banana fritters. A cappuccino each rounded off our meal.

An obese lady, who had been to Canada and the United States, sat opposite us and talked to a young woman about her travels. At one point I heard her state that Australia has the best beaches in the world.

My chair backed on to that of the criminologist, Dr Gordon Hawkins, whom I recognised from “Casebook”, the television series that is compered by Geoff Stone. Dr Hawkins twice left his seat and in the fairly cramped conditions apologised on both occasions for the fact that his chair had made contact with mine. He appears to be about sixty years of age and was wearing a green safari suit over a pink shirt.

Having paid the bill of twenty-two dollars and twenty cents, we departed to walk to Queenscliff Beach and the green seat on the foreshore at which I’d proposed to Tiki on the fourth of November in 1975. She, not altogether unexpectedly, had me re-enact my original proposal.

It was half past nine before we arrived home. Tiki turned on Channel Two to watch the old movie, “Sherlock Holmes”, which features Basil Rathbone, only to fall asleep about half of the way through it.

Annoying Habit: Tuesday, 13th December, 1977

I was compelled to arise on four occasions this morning between twenty-two past three and half past five, stricken by diarrhoea and pains in the stomach. It was only twenty-two past six when I awoke for the final time. The morning was bright and clear, with a maximum temperature of twenty-five degrees Celsius forecast. Tiki, too, feels unwell.

This afternoon we received a letter from my sister, Susan and brother-in-law, Roger, who live in Melbourne. She states that our father, who is known to me as “Brutus”, recently turned up, unannounced, on the doorstep of their unit in South Yarra and proceeded to stay for five days.

This evening, in the Australian series of the decade past, “Skippy”, Tony Bonner’s character is involved in a crash when he wrongfully uses the park’s helicopter to rendezvous with a girl.

“Mum” drew my attention to the fact that I possess the annoying habit of humming at the dining table. She stated that Tiki’s elder sister used to do the same.

Despite my torrid early morning, I remained up until twenty to one as I caught up on my diary and wrote Christmas cards in front of the movie, “The Ski Bum”, on Channel Seven. The English actress, Charlotte Rampling, is a member of its cast.