And so, we settled into our life in Melbourne. My diary goes on hiatus now until February 1st. Once you rejoin us we will be having some more adventures in the Australian state of Victoria and then, in March, we will jet off to England. Once we are there we will spend a few days exploring London then spend the summer working at The Woodman, a country pub in Hertfordshire.
And then, in August, we will go to Africa…
Bumba, Zaire, September 1989.
Black Friday came and went without any horrible things befalling us. Linda and I moved into our wee flat at 24/A Prentice Street, Balaclava and made ourselves at home. We have pictures of far off places on the walls and food in the fridge and a comfy bed to sleep in. It is home. At least for a while it will be home as in less than 2 months we will be flying to England. The first entry in this diary was written in Queenstown New Zealand, a long way from a laundrette in Melbourne where I am now writing this while listening to the lovely sound of Grieg’s Concerto in A Minor. The past year has seen a lot of changes in my life but I wonder what exciting things will be found written in my diary for this year!
Our flat at 24/A Prentice Street, Balaclava.
Thursday the 31st of December 1987 found us in a town by a beautiful lake in the mountains of New Zealand. I wonder where Friday the 13th of January 1990 will find us…
Got up and went to work which was pretty boring. Linda took me out to see the flat that she got for us and it is really neet! We caught the train back into town & spent ¾ of an hour talking to Russ & Gareth in the mall and watching the crazies go by.
A modern StreetView of our flat at 24a Prentice Street in the suburb of Balaclava, East St. Kilda, Melbourne.
I was up all night with a dose of the screaming shits probably from the Chinese take-away we had for tea last night. Went to work feeling pretty rough but was a lot better by the end of the day. We went to look at a flat in the evening but it had gone (it was grotty anyway)
Went for an interview at the St Andrews Hotel for a Kitchen hand job and got it. The hotel is an utter scum-hole which is being renovated. I was told I could start immediately so I went home & changed then started at 1:00. The work is shit, it is a dirty, stinking place but, it is a job so I will stick it till something better comes along. Linda and I went out to the Melbourne Uni hostel and left a note for Stefan¹, should he turn up. We met Mandy there and went for a drink at a nearby pub.
¹ Our German friend
² Our Welsh friend Gareth’s girlfriend
The St. Andrews Hotel, Fitzroy, Melbourne. This photograph (supplied) shows the hotel post-renovation and re-named The Pumphouse.
I went out & got a paper at about 7:00 but there weren’t many jobs in it. We went and had a cup of hot chocolate and a sausie roll at the Russell Café then mucked around the hostel till 12:00 when Linda went off for her first days work. I watched TV for a while then went out to look for work. Wandered round a few building sites with no luck then walked all the way down Swanson St looking in shop windows for that elusive “Help Wanted” sign. Went back to the hostel empty handed and Linda was home. She had had a good day & made a bit of money to pay the rent!
Got up and mucked around the Hostel for an hour or so until Russ arrived at about 12:00. We decided to drive out to Kingslake National Park¹ for the day. We drove out of the city & stopped for lunch at a place called Hurstville. Got to the park at about 2:00 & went for a
Russ and Ferg, Mason Falls, Kingslake NP.
walk to see the Mason Falls which were quite pretty. Went back to the car and drove up to the top of the park to a “Lookout” which you couldn’t see anything from because of the trees all round it. We stopped at a wee country pub on the way back to the city and got back at about 8:30.
¹ A 23,000 hectare National Park 50 kilometres north-east of Melbourne in the Great Dividing Range.
I got up at 6:00 and rang up three people about jobs. A kitchen-hand, a driver & a labourer for a fencing-contractor.
Linda & I took the train out to St. Kilda beach and lay in the sun for 3 hours. It is a smelly beach with virtually no sand but there were a lot of people there. We went to the movie “Cocktail” which was a load of trash designed for fans of Tom Cruise and with about as much story as the back of a laundry powder box.¹
¹Thirty years later I’ve changed my tune about Cocktail and it is one of the many classic 80s movies that I like.
TODAY WE HAD A
BIT OF LUCK! WE DIDN’T
GET THE LAUNDRY JOB, LINDA
HAD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR TO
FIND OUT ABOUT A RASH ON HER
TUMMY ( WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE
TOTALLY HARMLESS) AND THINGS WERE LOOKING GRIM.
Then Denise, a Belgian girl, came to tell Linda the place she works needs a part-time helper so she went & got the job – YAY!! We went to the Reef Bar for a “Cocktail Promotion”¹ organized by the dickhead from A-la-carte² and “starring” two dickhead cocktail bar idiots. We got out without paying for any drinks except one!! Linda and I walked up to “The Age”³ & bought a copy of Saturday’s paper “hot off the press”, & went through circling likely jobs.
¹ The movie Cocktail had just been released and the western world had gone crazy for themed cocktail bars where the bartenders threw things around and juggled bottles.
² The catering company that had organized the New Year’s Eve bash for the Estonian fat cats.
³ Melbourne’s main daily newspaper
MUCKED ROUND THE
HOSTEL. WENT FOR A
WANDER UP LYGON¹
TO LOOK (UNSUCCESSFULLY)
FOR WORK. HAD LUNCH IN
THE CAFÉ WHERE NANCY² WORKS.
SEAN KEPT US ENTERTAINED
BY DANGLING A RUBBER BAT
OUT OF THE WINDOW FROM THE
2ND FLOOR TO STARTLE PASSERS-BY!!
¹ Lygon Street, Melbourne’s famous street of Italian restaurants
² Our English friend