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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Used to Live Here

While driving around Perth yesterday working on the camp I found myself on The Boulevarde in Mt Hawthorn, a street I once lived on while sharing a house with BB The Accountant and a friend of his in the early 80's. I literally lived on the street because I had an old caravan that I parked on the grass verge next to the house and I lived in it, with a power lead running out from the house to give me light. I had bought the van along with a couple of mates, Tom and Nick, when we set off on an ill fated and poorly planned trip around the country in our late teens. Tom only stuck it out about a month before heading home to Perth. Nick and I stayed on in Melbourne, working at the Melbourne Show to earn enough money to buy an old EH Holden station wagon for $400. We did a couple of trips to Canberra and Nathalia (it was in Nathalia, where my Nan and cousins lived most of their lives,and my cousin Katherine still lived at the time, that I watched the 1981 FA Cup Final replay at about 4.00 in the morning while the rest of the house slept. I could barely keep from screaming when Ricardo Villa scored his wonder goal to give Spurs the Cup in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City. This was before the days of video recorders so while I watched the game I taped the radio broadcast and Nick wrote on the cassette case, "Genuine Marcus Holt Teethmarks" to describe the cracks from where I'd been biting the cover so hard in my excitement and tension.) We stayed in Melbourne for a few more months, him working at a mechanical repair place in North Melbourne and me working as an usher at the Capitol Cinema in Swanston St where I watched the classic Australian film Breaker Morant about 85 times.
We had the van at a caravan park in Altona, on the edge of the industrial heartland of Melbourne and hardly the most salubrious of suburbs. Imagine my surprise then when the manager revealed to us that if he'd seen our van before we'd driven in and parked it the night before he wouldn't have let it in because it wasn't up to scratch appearance wise!!!!!
Nick and I watched the famous 1981 Ashes series on a little black and white TV as Ian Botham laid waste to the Aussie team with both bat and ball to win the unwinnable series.
Finally Nick had had enough as well and drove the car back to Perth leaving me with the van.
I hitch-hiked across the Nullabor to Perth and drove back with my girlfriend at the time, Leeann, to pick up the van.
When Spurs made it to the Cup Final for the second year in a row in 1982 I decided to go to London for the game and it was by selling both the car and the caravan that I raised enough money to buy a one way ticket to London, and thus began my big adventure, living in London following Tottenham and travelling overseas for 2 1/2 years, including two trips to the USA to work on a summer camp and visit my mate Paul in San Diego.
The house, remember the house? in the picture? at the top of this post? has becpme pretty run down which is not surprising seeing as the events I'm describing happened 25 years ago.


At Fri. Oct. 27, 05:07:00 pm 2006, Blogger Gazza said...

Nothing like a trip down memory lane. Coincidentally, I was cleaning out an old chest of draws in the garage this week and guess what I found?? Ok! Ok! you'll never guess. what I found surely put a smile on my dial... are you ready? It was a Christmas card sent to me by one Mr Marc Holt. On the front of the card is Mary on a donkey and a sheppard with his staff, both are standing in a doorway. A remark is hand written with a reference to asking God how to get to Jerusalem with an expletive thrown in. (Ironic or what??). Inside the card is a brief note letting me know of your whereabouts... Cairns for 6 weeks then to Bellinger to meet up with Dave & Sean for Christmas, Adelaide next for a rendezvous with Leeann, then to Cobram for some fruit picking.... 25 years blimy where did that go?

At Sat. Oct. 28, 10:28:00 pm 2006, Blogger Marcus said...

Just as well you held onto it, it could be worth a fortune one day!!!!
One of my regrets in life is that many years ago I threw out all my old letters and cards, collected ever since I was a kid, from family and friends, back in the days when we wrote letters instead of emails! There were hundreds of them. How I wish I'd kept them now!
I remember that Christmas very clearly, though I never made it to Cobram.

At Sun. Oct. 29, 05:38:00 pm 2006, Blogger Gazza said...

Christine accuses me of being a hoarder, dont know why though... I also found birthday cards dating back to 1964. I have kept all the letters you have sent to me. Well I think I did, I'm pretty sure they're here somewhere..


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