One Hump or Two

My little bliss Trish is a doer. Always has been. After all you don’t get a degree in Recreation by sitting on your patoosie. A degree in Recreation. Now if ever a qualification matched an individual this was Trishy to a T. She just loves to recreate. If my to do list was anything like Trishy’s I’d need a Bex, a cup of tea and a good lie down. Not Trish, she belts through her to do list so she can get out there and recreate. Not my sort of recreation i.e. a good movie on Netflix or a ramble in the bush. No Trishy is climbing poles and walking above canopies. I prefer to have my kinda large feet firmly planted on the ground. I do enough damage to myself just navigating my way through daily living. Exploding tyres, falling through plate glass windows, stepping off ladders. You get the picture. But maybe, just maybe I am starting to rub off on my little bliss whose recent attempt at alighting from a taxi in the face first position led to her being cast in a similar role to myself!

Trish and I worked summers together in hospitality. A six day working week left one day clear for recreation. Being in my early twenties that day often started with the sun trying to pierce through the heavy fog of the night before. Trish being a late teen bounced out of bed like a prom queen, firing off suggestions for the day’s activity.

One such beautiful day we decided to go on a driving adventure. My trusty little corolla our steed of choice. First up a drive up Busty Road via the Wild Dog. I opinioned that a hair of the dog would be a far more delightful way to ease into the day.

Ha! Off for the drive we went, curve following curve following curve. Yep, I was dizzy! Ahh but the views stupendous and the laughs uproarious. We find each other equally amusing.

Now when you get to the end of Busty road the wise choice would be to turn around. Even wiser if your vehicle is not a four wheel drive but rather a 15 year old, two door corolla that had seen a lot of living. Trishy and I were never ones for the wiser choice. Let’s go down Tiger Lane we chorused.

Now Tiger Lane consisted of two deep parallel wheel ruts, numerous cavernous pots holes and thanks to a heavy summer downpour a clay slurry topcoat. As far as vertiginous descents went, Tiger Lane was legendary. Focusing on the road was difficult at a seventy degree angle.

But hey ho and off we go. Straight down! Shrieks, shrieks and more shrieks. Uncontrollable giggles take control of the wheel as we hurl down the hill. Trishy this is serious we could die. Pisser! More laughs. Navigating consisted of holding onto the steering wheel with all your might while trying to avoid slipping off the edge, therefore crashing through farmers fence and a rapid descent through said farmers paddock to the waters of Skenes Creek below. It was also advisable to not get trapped in the ruts or disappear into the black holes of pot.

Down we sailed. A little red ship of sibling hilarity. Slip sliding away. We bounced we, we joggled, we wrestled with the wheel. Trishy’s fingers dug into the dashboard. Why was eminent death so highly amusing? We were young, invincible and a tad irresponsible, but oh what fun.

Arriving onto the freshly graded gravel road known as the driveable section of Tigers Lane was a trifle anticlimactic. Solid level surfaces are so overrated. Can we do it again? You bet we can, but not today.

Come my next day off, there is Trishy breezing into Casablanca. Sleeping in was not to be tolerated. There were adventures to be had. Drink your coffee we are off to explore the laneways of Apollo Bay

Much like climbing the towns Telecom tower, the driving of the lanes in Apollo Bay was not attempted by the general populace. After all they didn’t really lead anywhere. Maybe that was the appeal.

Off we trotted. Go down here, go down there. Quick back up that bloke looks a little frightening.

And then the holy grail of lanes. One with real potential. Where it ends nobody knows. Well Trishy and I discovered it ended in the three very large speed humps. Almost as if the powers to be were attempting to halt our progression. Now when I say speed humps these were large lines of clay laneway wide and about three foot high. Serious speed humps!

“Go on” said my little bliss

“Why”

“Because we have to give it a go”

“OK”

Foot planted we went on. We went up but we didn’t come down. My little red car was perched on a pile of clay with its wheels spinning with futile abandon.

We were well and truly stuck. The car was rocking, tears of laughter. This was the best. Actually no. Maybe we were stuck! I tried reverse. The wheels span in reverse. They span in reverse in mid-air. Doh I was never very mechanically minded.

We sat. We conversed. We laughed some more.

“I’ll fix it! declared Trishy

Out she leapt. Me perched on a large clay pile in a rocking little red car is apparently quite an amusing sight. My devoted little sister doubled over with laughter.

Straightening up she eyeballed the little red beauty, stepped gamely forward wrapped her hands around the front bumper and heaved. Did I ever mention just how impressive Trish is? The car tilted. I slammed it into reverse and revved. Houston, we have traction. With a hump a thump and a jump I guided the red rocket back to level ground.

“Woohoo” Trish cried as she climbed back in.

Now the dilemma. Reverse our way out was the only sensible solution. But maybe, just maybe if we took a bigger faster runup we could make it over all three piles. To Trishy, caution is something that should be thrown windward with gusto. Tally ho and again we go. But alas, reversing with dignity and car intact we made the dull but sensible choice.  My little red car survived to be the vehicle of many more of Trishy and Pete’s adventures.  

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Ah Mr Fawlty

My little bliss Trishy and I have shared a lifetime of adventures. We have worked together, lived together and often partied together. One hot summer of fun we misbehaved our way through our respective roles as barman and waitress, at the salubrious Greenacres Guest House and Restaurant. Greenacres…. picture Fawlty Towers mixed with…… actually just picture Fawlty Towers.

Tony our boss was Mr Faulty, Sybil was played simultaneously by his wife Jan and mother Pat. Trishy was masterful as Polly, and I must say I made quite a plausible Manuel. My ensemble of Dad’s wedding suit, white shirt and black clip on bow tie went a long way to ensuring the role of Manuel was mine. Playing a clumsy klutz, with a limited ability to obey instruction came quite naturally to yours truly. Walk on parts were played by our poor unsuspecting customers and fellow staff. Tony’s father Herb dithered his way through the role of the Major and long returning residents played the part of the dottery spinsters, and difficult guests to a tee.

Recently returned from my great European adventure, my hospitality experience was basically zero. Of course, one could count my short stint as nightclub promoter and party animal at an open-air bar on Ios, a Greek island jewel in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea. My payment may have been in ouzo but what fun we had. From three sad customers sitting at a bar to a seething dancefloor of svelte, suntanned bods dancing under a star splattered sky.

But I digress, back to work. I was a little anxious of my first shift and was mellowing out with my friends, as was the habit in our coastal town at the time. Suddenly dad appeared, he had gotten a call for me to start early and traipsed across the bush path to pass on the message. Our little shack Casablanca was devoid of any form of communication, no phone, no telly, no radio…. Oh, what bliss.

How the lads laughed as I transformed from languid layabout to dress suited hospitality newbie. My first gig, a wedding. Piece of cake, I thought. Being fairly adept at getting a roomful of people plastered, I had landed on my feet. My size ten clumsy feet. In they came, down they sat. Two carafes of wine on a tray. One red wine placed elegantly on the table. The white wine took flight and landed directly on the freshly shaven neck of an immaculately suited elderly gent. This had not started well. I mopped. I apologised. I gave him a towel. Luckily, he took it in good spirit and my new career was back on track.

I became quite the expert at flinging objects off trays. My next effort was a flying bottle of beer landing in the middle of a table of touring golfers. I know now, that if a bottle is flung violently onto a table you do not put your thumb over the opening. If only I’d known that then.  I was effectively a golf course sprinkler as I waved the bottle up and down the table and out through the swinging kitchen doors. I though of it as sweet revenge as the golfing chaps had given me a lot of grief about fitting into my father’s trousers!

As busy as we were Trishy and I sometimes looked to each other for amusement. Watch this I said as I flung my arms in the air and crashed through the foresaid kitchen doors screaming “Mr Fawlty, Mr Fawlty restaurant curtains on fire” Now if it hadn’t been right in the middle of a very busy service, Tony and the rest of the kitchen staff, may have remembered that there were no curtains in the restaurant. Instead they all belted through the swinging door and were left standing mutely in front of a bemused restaurant full of people. Oops my bad! Pat/Sybil lead the retreat to the kitchen muttering darkly “I will never understand Peter Goodlet’s sense of humour” Trishy and I should not have laughed. But we did.

Piped music was played through the lounge and into the one working speaker in the restaurants ceiling. We were all terribly tired of three tapes of background music played night after night. Jan suggested I bring in some of my own tracks. As my own music consisted of mixed tapes made for me by my best mate Owen, bringing in a couple of those seemed ideal. Such fun we were having bopping around the restaurant with the volume on full. But hang on! What were those lyrics? Why were the Christians sitting under that one working speaker looking skyward with slack jawed alarm? Why could the vocalist just not get one F>>K? Oh dear! I belted towards reception to silence the blasphemy. Tony rushed, Jan rushed, the tape was violently ejected from the deck. My sartorial music debut was over and it was back to the dulcet tones of Barry Manilow.

The season was drawing to a close when Trishy and I convinced the powers to be that it would be fabulous to have a fancy-dress night for the staff. This all went swimmingly as surfers, surfie chicks and Mexicans served the happy customers. All good that is until Sherryl, who took the brief to another level, arrived in a full wetsuit, goggles, snorkel and flippers. As a decorative centrepiece she would have worked a treat. But it’s hard to deliver a seafood platter walking backwards in nearly six feet of squelching rubber while navigating through the fog of a facemask. Poor Mr Fawlty.

The season drew to close but would you believe it we were now part of the Greenacres family and they had us back, time and time again. After all, family is family.

For more Greenacres stories please forward your requests to petegoodlet@gmail.com

Manuel and his trusty rusty red corolla

Manuel and his trusty rusty red corolla

A little before my time.

A little before my time.

Dame Patty and the Heel of Terror

Harry Potter’s dementors have nothing on an irate Dame Patty pushed to breaking point. My mother was usually of an easy going disposition. She liked her gin strong and her children silent, unless of course we were being amusing. Our relationship was often stirred but rarely shaken. So how did teenage Pete manage to push Patty over the brink?

It was easy. What started as a simple Mother and son trip to Shoppingtown soon escalated to a generational battle of epic proportions.

The bus trip there went without a hitch. The chocolate malted milkshakes and waffles with icecream and caramel sauce were shared with delight. So what stirred the hormonal pot of a menopausal mum and a surly teenager? To be honest I don’t remember. I remember the doing the time but not the crime.

The bus trip home was a silent affair as I glared sullenly out the window. Patty sat rigid and straight with only her nose at a disdainful angle. The twenty minute bus journey was the longest moments of silence my mother and I had ever shared.

Alighting from the bus we headed for home. Of course with all the arrogance of a wronged teenager I chose to walk a good ten metres in front of mother. You couldn’t have told me at the time, but I had an awful lot to learn about conflict resolution.

Home safety reached I collected the key from under the pot, opened the door, leaving it ajar for mother. Naively I turned to head up the hall to the sanctity of my bedroom, relief seeped from my pores as I took my first step. It would all be ok. The icy atmosphere melted as I felt a warm licking of flames on the back of my neck. The dragon had been awoken.

A primal scream erupted from my previously silent parent. I turned in horror. Patty was reaching for her well worn leather sandal. I was not in a safe place. Medusa’s daunting features had nothing on the countenance of my mother’s face. Fleeing was my only option. The gangly legs of a six foot, fifteen year old were not the stuff of rapid take offs. I stumbled. The sharp corner of a two inch block heel glanced my shoulder. Flee you fool! I reached my bedroom, attempting to block Patty with the door was optimism personified. Flames flicked around my teenage locks.

Of course my bed would offer sanctuary. I leapt to safety. Patty leapt with a vengeance. Pinned against my bottle green walls, I was transformed into a magicians assistant as I dodged the daggers of my mother’s flailing footwear. If only I had a dove of peace to pull from my pockets.Heels whacked walls, heels whacked yours truly. Revenge was served with a platter of words that I’d never previously witnessed coming from my usually refined mother.

Finally her anger was spent. The blows had become lackadaisical, the flames from her nose replaced with a sullen drip. Her dignity regained, mother hobbled from the room, there had been no time to remove her left sandal. Lessons had been learnt. Never ever walk ten metres in front of your mother and if you are going to poke the bear do plan a getaway.

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A eulogy for my mum Dame Patty

This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write and give, but I feel blessed to have been given the privilege.

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What a huge honour it is to be here today to pay tribute to my mum. To me she was Dame Patty, and to each and every one of you she was your beloved Mum, Mama, sister in law, Aunty Pat, and true friend. Mum had the capacity to hold each of us in a special spot in her heart. In all of us and in our children in turn, mum would find a connection, be it a sense of humour, an arty skill, a great way with words, a quirky spirit or just plain simple love, she managed to embrace us all and to make each of us feel unique and loved. The biggest spot in Mum’s heart was for dad.. Her Jim... their love was truly eternal. Through all life’s ups and downs they remained in love and fully committed to each other.


Mum was irrepressible, dynamic, cheeky, full of love, gratitude, and spirit. Never one to mince her words, you always knew where you stood with Patty, especially if she was chasing you up the hall with the feather duster.


Mum and dad together  were a loving but formidable force. How else could they have survived raising nine wonderful unique and diverse children, and in turn helping to raise their grandchildren as well. Not only were they busy raising us, they also cared for mums mum Myrtle Ivy who had a massive stroke while they were on their honeymoon. Our home was an open home. At times it would swell in numbers. When mum lost her dear brother John in an accident our darling Aunty Maureen and our six cousins came to stay. Other times we would visit the cousins and as the packing up commenced we might smuggle one or two of them into the station wagon,safely hidden in the back under a blanket... often the giggles gave us away but mum and dad took it all in good spirit. Our families have a close bond and respect that has never wavered. Country cousins and friends would also come and stay for a while .....there was always room at the Goodlet table.


Family came first, but Patty truly embraced the people of Apollo Bay. Whether it was at CWA, the Catholic Ladies Guild or out for lunch, I’m sure Mum always had something to add. As a family we are very grateful for the care and love she received at Apollo Bay hostel and hospital. I’m sure she told you each of you were beautiful: especially her Sean who became a bit of a favourite. I was told with that raised pointed finger to stay well away from her Sean!


Mums mothering style was a tad unconventional. Our biggest fear was being sent to the Burwood boys home. When Mum had had enough she would pick up the phone: “Sergeant Walrus, is that you? Pat Goodlet here!

Yes, it’s three of them this time.

How soon can you come to collect them?”

We would cry and beg for clemency, and then the hand would be held up. “I’m sorry for wasting your time, Sergeant Walrus. They seem quite repentant........yes, yes I have your number.

Goodbye for now!”

Hollywood missed out on quite a star!


Mum loved a party  and would regale us with stories of dances and balls. Uncle John was a major VFL player so they would get invited to some excellent parties... sometimes they’d all drop in late and get mum and dad out of bed and drag them to the lounge room where mum was known to sit on Jock Spencer’s knee. She always enjoyed the attentions of a handsome man. Sometimes they’d even drag Patty back out on the town while dad went back to bed for a much needed sleep.. some would have seen that as very unconventional behaviour, but incredible trust and love was the cornerstone of their relationship... Of course late night partying while breastfeeding caused a bit of a dilemma. The perfect solution was to pop home at one in the morning, pick up the Bub that needed a feed, head back to the party and then pop you under the table in your bassinet! Not the only time one of us has finished a party under the table!


Mum had a very refined phone manner, especially during our years at East Ivanhoe.  To maintain some sense of order, with that many kids Patty would occasionally resort to screeching,  a sound that stopped us dead in our tracks. Sometimes mid screech the phone would ring and mum would pick it up...hold her hand up for quiet and in her best Mrs Bouquet voice would answer...Hello Patricia Goodlet speaking. It was always important to keep up appearances.


Appearance wise mum always like to adopt new styles, whether it was the muumuu, the caftan or the fabulous dress that she had tailored for her mother of the brides outfit for Jill and Tonys wedding.

Her hairstyles also chopped and changed and at times caused her great consternation. I remember an unfortunate do in the 70s. On arriving home from school we were greeted with a mother with hair that was tightly clipped at the sides and a tight curly bouffant on top... it was not her best look... poor mum was quite distressed and it was hard to convince her it looked good... she kept checking the mirror horrified of what dad would think.... The poor man walked in the door and didn’t say anything at first... it was almost like he was trying to avoid looking straight at the travesty... Mum marched up to him and demanded..well Jim what do you think of my hair?? I’m sure if he’d had time to prepare himself he would not of replied “You look like a chook” Not the wisest reply, he was lucky to escape with his life... though in his defence at the time I did have a pair of chooks with very impressive topknots.



Dogs loved Mum, and over many visits Mum grew to love our Thelma Louise. That was until the fateful afternoon when we were sitting around the lounge room: Mum, David, Janey, Trish and I, whilst dad busily stacked the dishwasher. Mum called out and told him to hurry up and keep the noise down. Thelma Louise, who was sitting on my knee, suddenly piped up with: “oh for Gods sake, just shut up, Pat!”  For once mum was speechless! The girls nearly choked on their champagne, and poor dad was leaning on the bench top with tears of laughter running down his face: “oh gawd Pat, even the dog is telling you to shut up!!”


Dad loved his dog Rusty. One day as dad headed off to golf  mum noticed that  Rusty, was out on the street. She dutifully brought him inside, fed him, and popped him in his basket. Dad came home from the 19th hole, and mum greeted him with “I’m worried about Rusty, he doesn’t look quite himself”.  To which Dad replied, “that’s because it’s not our bloody dog!” They did keep each other amused!


We are all going to miss her terribly. ...Most of all I will miss my chats with mum....Unless Patty was off out to lunch or Sister Margaret was coming around with communion, she always had time for a chat. We’d cover the kids, David, Thelma Louise, the odd inappropriate joke and sometimes the entire storyline of the latest movie she’d seen. If life wasn’t that great for you at the time, mum would pick it up in your voice. The kindness as she enquired “ what’s the matter darling?” Would quickly be your undoing. My big hope is if anyone can work out how to make a direct call from heaven it will be mum..


In summing up, mum was a warm, witty, irrepressible woman. If she loved you, you knew it. If she didn’t, then she probably didn’t hide that too well either. She had a generosity of spirit, and the capacity to feed multitudes. Family meals were always fabulous and eventful. My mum was truly a character and lived the life she wanted to live surrounded by her family and friends. We will miss her every day.


It is a huge help to us all to know that she is at last reunited with her true love Jim.


If we weren’t in a church, I’d say “let’s raise a to toast to the Patty we love.

Oh what the hell,

let’s be upstanding.

Here’s to you, Dame Patty! We love you.

A family full of love ❤️

A family full of love ❤️

Mum, dad and the nine kids

Mum, dad and the nine kids

I wrote this little poem in the early hours of the morning after a huge day celebrating the life of our mum. After a good hour looking at a beautiful star filled sky and having a chat with mum I composed these few words

 

Don’t leave me mum

I am not ready

I may be grown

But I’m not complete

I crave your love

your words so true

For who else will ever love me so

I crave your love

Do not let me go

For only ever will I have one mum

Don’t leave me now I’ll come undone.

Stop the clocks and turn back time

Just hold me close just one more time

I’m blessed that you were mine

And I was yours

My heart breaks that our time is done

But forever I’ll be your loving son

Give a huge hug to my darling dad

For you we’re happy

For us we’re sad

You made a family

And held us together

You know we’re blessed

to love you forever


And in my smiles and in my love

I’ll live on in you and share your love

Be at peace my darling mum

I’m not quite ready

I am undone

 

 

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The Sheep Farmer and the Showgirl

The scene was set. Perched high above the ocean, under a sky filled with diamonds, a large shearing shed sat on the green rolling hills, glowing with anticipation. Thelma Louise led the way as we wandered past the bonfire, wagging tails and waving greetings. It was time for Farmer Glen’s 40th birthday bash. 

Inside the lights were sparkling, the beers, the bubbles and the “darling you’re looking fabulouuuus” were flowing freely. We were here to celebrate which I have to say is something we do with gay abandon. 

Thelma Louise parted the crowds with a huge smile and flowing plume of a tail as she greeted her fans. My god that dog could work a room! I followed along in the wake of my wingbitch, taking whatever pats and greetings she cast my way. Not adverse to a little party myself, we were soon immersed in having ourselves a ball. 

I must say there must have been something in the sheep dip because my girl and I had never danced so hard or leaped so high. The whirling dervishes had nothing on us as we set the pace across the dance floor. We boogied we woogied and we shook our tail feather. As Noel Coward would say “we went to a marvellous party” 

Now back to Farmer G, the birthday boy, or for one fabulous performance the birthday girl! Merryn O was to make her grand debut performance on the gilded stage tonight. Trembling with anticipation Farmer G headed off behind the stage to prepare for the performance of a lifetime. The rest of the cast drank, danced and laughed as slap, lippy, wig and a fabulous sequinned gown were donned by Farmer G.

The house lights dimmed, Kylie’s locomotion came to a screeching halt and anticipation not only mounted, it nearly rode away! Our eyes drifted towards the stage as the first dulcet notes of “It’s raining men” started to fill the room. The curtains trembled as did we all. Merryn O your moment had come! The curtains parted, the crowd gasped and applause thundered as out pranced Thelma Louise. No one ever outshone this showgirl! Luckily Merryn O was so focused on balancing on six inch heels and peering through audacious lashes she barely registered her strawberry blonde stage stealer.

Thelma Louise took the applause with a brilliant smile and a little bow. Now for her next move, at one point she seemed to be a considering a crowd surfing leap from the stage. Modesty took hold and she quietly exited stage left, leaving Merryn O to belt out a spectacular debut performance!

We danced we laughed and we danced some more.  The twinkling stars were giving way to the first stabbing rays of dawn as Thelma Louise and her gangly gay dad curled up on the back seat of our Corolla. We smiled quietly to each other. Tomorrow would be another day.  

 

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For the love of Sharon... A retro caravan adventure!

 

 

   Sometimes it is grand to just bugger off for a while. You know those times when life gets a trifle sucky! I do apologise for the use of such highfaluting grammar ! But needs must!! So we packed up our troubles in the old kit bag. Dumped them in trash; and headed off on a holiday with Sharon 

Sharon  is our big old retro Chesney Caravan. Sharon has been known to go by "Shazza" and when proving a little bit of a cow to tow as "Fat arsed Sharon" a title she refuses to acknowledge!! A lass of a chequered history we won her in a game of strip poker... Well not really, but what a story that could have been. She was a gift from our good friends Big Tone and the Pineapple Princess. I have to say, though excited by my good news of such a lavish gift Delightful Dave was less than enamoured on his first glimpse of Sharon. (In her prime, she had once been a haven of solitude and inspiration  to many a famous muso; Sharon never one to brag has sheltered the famous Kelly gang...well Paul and Dan anyway!) Poor DD had visions of a glamorous curvy vintage caravan! Shazza was not quite the picture of beauty! Covered in slime and moss and with a tree seemingly growing out of her roof, big fat square Sharon gave off an air of sad desperation.. But as Dave's face fell; Sharon's lit up! . Could these two hopelessly romantic renovating tragics be her salvation? It was a gay day for Sharon indeed!

Oh Sharon. You've got me eating my heart away ~~~~~~~~~~~~~❤️ 

Oh Sharon. You've got me eating my heart away ~~~~~~~~~~~~~❤️ 

After a touch of amateur arboreal gymnastics from myself and a lot of cussing grunting and laughter from a helpful crew Sharon was on the road to restoration. Dave's hesitation soon turned to a passionate love affair as he scrubbed, scraped and painted every surface that Sharon had to offer. Never a shy old girl she gladly opened every orifice for a good seeing to! Luckily DD is a nurse and had seen it all before!

No sooner were we done with Sharon's makeover, when it was time for our big move north to Murwillumbah to follow our sub-tropical dream. Sharon ,wondering what she had done to offend,was left behind. But true love never fails and back DD went to retrieve our home on wheels. I was devastated to be left out of the 4000 kilometre return journey. Ha ha, I so wasn't! My plan was to fly to Newcastle and join them on the return journey. Unfortunately a bush fire caused a major diversion for Dave, Thelma Louise and Sharon and it was arranged that I would meet up with them in Yamba. A good 120 kilometres that I had to bravely travel alone! But who should I spot on the highway ahead of me? Sharon of course!  Though I must admit I was a little taken aback when DD only scowled at me as I sailed gaily by, waving and tooting!! Boy 4000 k can really put a dent in someone's sense of humour!

So there we go. Sharon was now officially a resident of Northern NSW and has even enjoyed a trip to Nimbin. Where she was overheard commenting "that some of the locals looked like a good bar of soap might work wonders!"

Sharon right at home in the sub-tropical splendour of Sapphire Beach Holiday Park

Sharon right at home in the sub-tropical splendour of Sapphire Beach Holiday Park

Back to the story, I hear you say. Well I am writing this as we all travel home from a truly delightful stay in Sapphire Beach just north of Coffs Harbour. Under the shade of the mighty paperbarks and only metres from a sapphire blue ocean we laughed, drank, read and ate to our hearts content. I even dabbled in a little self help reading while I was there. But really how much faith can you put in someone who has the misfortune of having a hyphenated Weiner in their name?

Dave and Thelma Louise waiting patiently for me to take one more photo before the journey home to Murwillumbah

Dave and Thelma Louise waiting patiently for me to take one more photo before the journey home to Murwillumbah

The ocean was brisk but delightful (not that I could convince DD to join us).. Thelma and I frolicked like teenagers... Albeit creaky ones!! Dining out was superb, as was checking out the delights of Bellingen in all its crafty splendour.

We return restored and inspired ( hence my urge to pen a few words for the first time in an age)... And the moral of the story is there is no moral...who needs them? Sure I have them floating around somewhere, but you don't need me waving them in your face! If you find life gets a tad sucky look for the simple pleasures in life and live it! 

Sharon you are a one off, and you allow us to go places like this!  Sapphire Beach Coffs Harbour

Sharon you are a one off, and you allow us to go places like this!  Sapphire Beach Coffs Harbour

 

Coffs Harbour Australia. What a truly delightful place to visit! 

Coffs Harbour Australia. What a truly delightful place to visit! 

Delightful or Darstardly Dave? You chose!

To unravel the mystery of whether Dave is Delightful or Darstardly we need to travel back to 1978 as the Gales drive north from Melbourne up the Hume highway to Sydney. According to DD the family were squeezed into a Mazda 929, obviously DD has no concept of the word squeezed. Being one of nine children,for us any car trip was like clowns piling out of a mini minor but in reverse. Add one big dog, a cat and luggage squeezing into our station wagon was more challenging than any chinese puzzle. Cosy was the word.

Back to twelve year old Dave jammed into the back of the new 929 with his siblings, all two of them. The irrepressible twins, little John and Steve, a pair of six year old trouble makers added to poor DD's discomfort. Did I mention there was no air conditioning!!! 

Up the highway they went. Admirable Alex concentrated on the road as Lackadaisical Lois vanely tried to keep the three boys amused and away from each other's throats. DD always helpful, suggested a game of "let's throw the twins out the window!" Luckily LL was on the ball enough to put an end to this plan. My mother Patty would have gone back to her daydreams or knitting until bloodcurdling screams wrenched the air, but then there was nine of us, selective deafness was a well honed survival tactic.

Many long miles and games of "I spy" later the Gale family arrived at their Sydney CBD destination. Delightful Dave gazed up at the St George Bank Building in Pitt St Sydney and announced " I have a arrived". The opportunity to reside in the penthouse for the week had greatly inflated DD's sense of self importance!

Baggage was unloaded and AA lead the way into the newly built edifice. Being a Saturday the building was deserted and echoed with a sense of desertion. The lift soon took them from the carpark, to the spacious luxury of the penthouse apartment. Little John and Steve ran amok with excitement as they basked in their new found freedom. Meanwhile DD scoped the amazing vista as he dragged his suitcase to the superior view room. 

Soon it was time to head out for dinner. The family descended to the basement once again. It was then it happened. Admirable  Alex and Lively Lois lead the exit from the lift, Delightful Dave followed suit as did Judicious John, sadly Somnambulant Steve hesitated to check his shoelace. ( I should mention at this stage that although DD was devoted to his parents he often thought that when they already had perfection, going back for seconds was a a big mistake. Surely bringing home twins had been some sort of clerical error, or at least a momentary lapse in judgment ). As SS hesitated Darstadly Dave stepped towards him, shoved him back into the lift and pressed a few random buttons to the floors above. The doors shut with a with a dull thud . DD had a moment of remorse as a mournful cry of Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum echoed pitifully down the lift shaft.

Lithesome Lois leapt, glaring balefully at DD she began frantically pecking on the down button with her finger ( picture a ferocious bantam mother hen defending her precious brood)  I fear the odd "CLUCK" even slipped from her lips. Time slowed. Where was the clucking lift?? Finally the rumbling  grind of a lift descending. The doors drew back, the Galant Gales stepped forward, the lift was empty!!

Oh dear! Dastardly Dave what have you done? Was this all planned? (Of course, it is much easier to get a table for four in most fine restaurants). Aggravated Alex soon set a search in motion and Solitary Steve was eventually found on the thirteenth floor by a recently roused security guard. Why little SS was writing "REDRUM" on the walls with Lois's lipstick is yet to be explained, but the poor pet was extremely traumatised!

So I ask you now. Is Dave Delighftul or Darstardly? A slight clue may be in the fact that DD returned from that holiday travelling solo on a plane. Supposedly the new Celica the family had travelled to collect would be "too cramped" for five on the return journey. I am inclined to think that Dastardly Dave was voted off the journey for the sake of family harmony! Luckily for me, it's because he's occasionally dastardly that I find him delightful!

 

  
Surely there was room for five for the trip home? 

Surely there was room for five for the trip home? 

Thelma Louise Heads for the Cliff

I was asking for trouble they day I christened our dog Thelma Louise. Now she always had a touch of attitude, but a trip to the tip shop, finally gave her the chance to relive the final scene of her movie namesake.

At the time I did have a little tip shop addiction problem, but oh the creative potential of so many treasures. TL and I had done a big supermarket shop, including a good stock up for the fridge and freezer and being a warm day the wise choice would have been to go straight home. But what if that day I missed the bargain of lifetime by worrying over a little food health and safety issue. A quick look won't hurt. I parked the car, well in hindsight stopped the car might be a little more accurate. To expedite a quick visit I commanded Thelma to stay in the car and dove into the treasure trove of trash. 

A quick perusal assured me that this was not my lucky day, surely a sign to get back in the car and drive away. Obviously that is what someone without addictive tendencies may have done, but only fifty metres away was the wood stack. This free for the taking pile of timber had often provided me with framing material for my paintings or pieces for my carved artwork. It also supplied nearly all the materials for the rebuilding of our 1860s art studio. Glancing over my shoulder I told TL to stay where she was, but was where she was, just a little closer to me than it should be. No, surely just a trick of the light.

Off I went skirting around the retaining wall (cliff) that separates the shop area from the rather deep rubbish pit. I had just successfully climbed Mt Timberpile when I heard people shouting "Car Car Car". What on earth was going on? Luckily I had a brilliant vantage point to spot the action. It appeared that my dear old station wagon was being driven towards the cliff by a bemused Pomeranian. My brain went into overdrive...Was the car insured? How will I explain this one to Delightful Dave? There goes the shopping! And finally clarity! I must save Thelma Louise!

Leaping down the pile with little regard for tetanus or splinters,  I started to run. I felt a lot like the Six Million Dollar Man who apparently was moving quite fast while appearing to run in slow motion. Theeeeeelllllmmmaaa I'm coming. At this point, I should have formed a plan. Crikey I was running, the novelty of that wiped all intelligent thought from my mind. Not to mention being aware, that between us Thelma Louise and I were creating quite a scene. There was I running in panic, this new form of exercise possibly looked like a baby giraffe taking its first steps in a field of marbles.  While I was making my ungainly approach Thelma had moved to the open drivers door window and was considering a leap before the car took to the air over the cliff. 

It was time for intelligent decisive action. Yeh sure! At this point I'm give the excuse that my brain was a little oxygen deprived and the endorphins pumping around my body were getting me a little high. There was only one course of action. I ran in front of the fast moving car ( yes in hindsight this too could have been considered foolish) screamed at TL to get over, wrenched open the door and leapt in. Whack the frame of the car smashed into my hip, "far out" that hurt. I slammed on the brakes . We were stopped, metres from the edge of the cliff that would have been the death of the mighty Wagon and a dangerous reenactment scene for Thelma Louise. My canine companion looked up at me, a small smile graced her lips and then I swear she winked at me. To this day I wonder what part human stupidity and what part canine cunning played in this cliffhanging saga. What I do know is that people were heading towards us at the tip, we were not hanging around to answer difficult questions, a quick three point turn, a wave to our audience and we were out of there. Unlike our movie heroines the adventures of Pete and Thelma Louise were only just beginning.  

With her newly acquired skills Thelma Louise took to helping around the farm (Framed in tip wood)

With her newly acquired skills Thelma Louise took to helping around the farm (Framed in tip wood)

Life's a journey with Thelma Louise

It was wet and wild Easter that inspired the addition of Thelma Louise to our family. The kids and I were stuck inside as the wind and rain lashed at Bohemia, our little Daylesford shack. A trip to library proved invaluable as we returned with "A Guide to the Hundred Best Dogs" and the diversion therapy continued. The local paper informed us that there was Pomeranian puppies to be had. Pomeranians, come on I was a kelpie x collie type of lad. We looked up P for Pomeranian and what did we see? A total fuzz ball full of fun. I said to Jack and Lily "that dog could make me laugh every day". Never was I more right.

Not Thelma Louise but very much like her father

Not Thelma Louise but very much like her father

We bundled into the car and drove to a dilapidated farm on the edge of town. As we pulled in a cacophony of yapping emanated from the closest shed. There in a cage looking like an escapee from One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, was Thelma's father. The frenzy of yapping was ricocheting off the tin shed like a Gatling Gun. The kids leapt from the car, I was slower, as being of the highly sensitive type, the assault on my ears had rendered me immobile. I found my voice. " Kids get back in the car.....  For god sake get back in the car ". My panic increased as the old dear ambled down the steps towards us. I gave one last frenzied command " kids get back in the car, we are not getting one of those!" They leant in the window and calmly pointed out that as the dear old lady was approaching the car it would be very poor manners to burn out of there as if we were attempting to escape Armageddon. My children always attempted to bring me up well.

Reluctantly I climbed out of the car and introduced myself to the lady of the manor who went by the name of Thelma. Passively, I followed her and the kids inside. There on the kitchen floor next to the Rayburn wood stove, was a sprawling mass of cuteness. My resolution waivers. Is one of these balls of fur and fun soon to become another member of our family? But I must not forget her father, surely it was a dog of demonic parentage. I studied the mother, a pretty smooth coated calm dog, wagging her tail and smiling at us, as proud mothers do. Maybe there was a chance I was wrong? I thought Lily would pick up a puppy, but as always she surprised me and picked up the mother. No snapping, no growling just a happy little dog sitting on a happy little girls knee.

The battle was lost. Jack and I separated a black pointed, golden panda like puppy from her brood of siblings. Our hearts melted. Lily put down the mother and embraced our new family member. Thelma pocketed the cash and we made the dash, with puppy wrapped in Lily's arms. 

Home we went. But what to call our new little bundle? I thought Thelma in honour of her human mum but Lily was very keen on naming her Louise. The solution was glaringly obvious, such a little dog needed a monumental name. Thelma Louise was duly christened. If ever a dog has lived up to her name TL has, she loves a road trip, has little regard for figures of authority and once attempted to drive my car off a cliff, but that is a whole other story ( requests can be directed to petegoodlet@gmail.com :)

I have never regretted the day that Thelma Louise became a Goodlet and true to my prediction she has made me laugh every single day and added much love and hilarity to our lives.

 

Thelma Louise Gale Goodlet and family

Thelma Louise Gale Goodlet and family

My Dad

It has been two years today since my beautiful dad passed away in my arms. An honour and a privilege for which I was completely unprepared. At 91 his spirit was still so strong we thought nothing could take him from us. For he truly was a great man. A humble man, but a man filled with love, kindness, understanding and humour. 

Family was everything to my dad. Not only did mum and dad have nine of their own, but also embraced into our family my Aunty Maureen, our cousins, our partners and all our children and their children. Dad had a special place in his heart for us all.  He did save a little space for his other loves, gardening, golf and a bet on the gee gees . We'd love to tease him by asking how his days betting was going and the answer was always " I haven't worked it out yet" Jim Goodlet, man of mystery.

Dad shared his love of gardening with me and I treasure the memories of Saturday morning trips to the local nursery. There we would discuss our potential purchases. Usually our choices were wise but looking back planting a Tasmanian Bluegum next to the swimming pool was not too brilliant. Luckily we sold that home when it had only hit twenty metres in height!

Many a Sunday we would pile in the car to tour display homes.i am sure the hosts of these displays trembled in their boots at the eminent approach of the Goodlet clan. A designer/builder dad  always liked to keep abreast of new ideas. A love of design was fostered in us all. It is a brave sibling that brings out drawings of their latest renovation/building project at a family gathering.

Dad built and renovated our homes and eventually in a futile attempt to escape us all Dad,   Mum and Trish moved to Apollo Bay. Many of us foiled that plan by following them there. We were embraced whole heartedly and soon became an infamous part of the Apollo Bay community.

Family get togethers are always good for a laugh . Mum often pointed out that Dad was brave when he had an audience. My favourite example of this was at a small gathering, Dad was up tidying away in the kitchen, Patty was issuing shrill commands from the comfort of her lounge chair. Suddenly Thelma Louise sitting innocently on my lap piped up with a high pitched " Oh shut up Pat " the guffaws from the kitchen were priceless as dad gripped the bench with tears of laughter down his face. Patty was speechless, a truly rare phenomenon . Who would have thought a Pomeranian could have such good comedic timing ? (there is a slim chance that it was me practising my extremely rudimentary ventriloquist skills).

There are so many stories that illustrate the special place dad holds in out hearts and this is a good day to share them. He had a huge heart, an open mind and a kind soul. He gave love and was shown great love in return. Never was this more obvious than when the Apollo Bay police had to close the Great Ocean Road as his family and community followed the great man to his resting place high on the hill, with the stunning view of the place he loved surrounded by the people he loved.

Dad choosing his spot with his usual unflabble sense of humour. 

Dad choosing his spot with his usual unflabble sense of humour. 

A little family Christmas with some of the Goodlet clan

A little family Christmas with some of the Goodlet clan

Poppa with Jack and Lily

Poppa with Jack and Lily

Patty and Jim. True love and the founders of a dynasty. 

Patty and Jim. True love and the founders of a dynasty. 

The almost great baby magpie rescue.

Delightful Dave has been begging me to write this tale as it is his favourite story of my  childhood. I ask you read and wonder. Is DD really as sweet as he appears?

I have always loved animals. What is not to love? They are always pleased to see you, shower you with affection and are never judgemental. Thelma Louise can be an exception. Swotting mosquitos leads to accusing looks of total disgust. While driving one must not curse or raise an eyebrow, this can lead to an eye roll second only to Julie Bishop facing Joe Hockey's rear end. Thelma may well be the first Pomeranian with Buddhist leanings.

I digress. Back to the tale. Picture little preppie Pete sitting on the swing at Mother of God primary school ( affectionately known as MOG ). Suddenly I spot a baby magpie sitting ruffled amongst the leaves of a fallen branch. My animal rescue senses tingled with anticipation. Too late, playtime was over and Miss Reiner deaf to my pleas of immediate rescue directed us back to class. It did not pay to mess with Miss R, she once put Andrew Rudenicky into a matchbox (please request the story of my first day of school to hear the graphic details of this event).

I dallied through the rest of the afternoon waiting desperately for the afternoon bell (a habit that was to continue for the next twelve years). Finally I escape the clutches of higher learning i.e. finger painting and dash out to resume operation baby magpie rescue. I searched high and low, not a beady eye or a feather to be seen. Saddened.  I head for home. Our faithful border collie cross Nicky was patiently waiting for me at the gate and escorted me the fifty metres to our door.

That night tucked up in my bed a brilliant plan was hatched, that baby magpie would be mine. Soon it would be sitting on my shoulder creating hilarious family memories as it imitated mother Patty's most famous disciplinary squawks "Get to the bathroom and wait for your father to get home", "I'll call the Burwood Boys Home", " Sargent Walrus is that you?" "Yes, you can come and collect them now"  Listening to my imitation of a magpie doing a Patty, so called Delightful Dave informs me that he used to play this same cruel trick on his darling little twin brothers. Have I found my mother in my partner? (Goodness that does sound a tad inappropriate!)

Back to the plan, the magpie baby and I would be friends forever (the collection of odd friends would become a habit that I would embrace for a lifetime) but first I must rescue him. I planned a predawn raid. Getting up early was easy for me then. If it timed it right there was always the chance the milkman would let me ride on his cart behind his trusty steed ( I really am that old) and there was always the pleasure of "helping" Dad light the morning fire. I am sure my little bliss Trishy and I were a great assistance in this ritual of lighting the briquette heater.

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But this morning I must leave the house before even Dad was up. I set my internal alarm and in the dim predawn light I sprung from my bed fully clad in my flannel pajamas, slippers and woolen checkered dressing gown with matching belt. I had gone to bed prepared and even then I was quite a style icon (ha ha). Odd as it may seem this was to be the first time that I left our house to wander down the street alone in the dark and I briefly questioned the soundness of my plan, but a life must be saved!

The poplar trees across the road, at the state school had never looked so immense and forbidding. Clinging bravely to my side of the street, I shuffled ( a slipper related gait) past Dan and Betty's house, past their weird neighbours to stand by the rosemary hedge of the church to gaze at my final destination and marshall my courage.

MOG was bathed in an eerie predawn light. The massive gums towered over the cluster of buildings and whispered menacingly as I approached, mounting the bluestones steps I manfully negotiated the main path to the playground. A desperate search ensues but there is no baby magpie to be found, my little heart breaks.

A frightening screech shatters the silence. I have been spotted by an extremely angry and vengeful mother magpie. Too late, I turn and run. Thwack I cop a wing to head, I scream and continue to run as if my life depends on it. Thwack once again her aim is perfect. I am about to die! Run little Preppie Pete run. More scared than I have even been in my short life I wonder in my terror, why me? Surely she could sense I was trying to rescue her baby!

I clear the gate, scramble down the steps and run. With slippers slipping and dressing gown flapping I fly like the wind. The screeching intensifies, by this point I am probably outdoing the mother magpie by ten decibels to one.. I will never make it. The distance is too great. Who will break the news to my family? 

At last, with one final slap with her beak the mother magpie abandons her attack. I am home. 13 Robinhood Road East Ivanhoe, a sanctuary for many a child and even more animals. The count at this stage was nine children, one dog, one cat "mummy" and her numerous kittens, thirty two chooks, twenty pidgeons, numerous budgies, two guinea pigs and a rabbit. In my family the love of animals was a bit of a trait, and pets do make a family. 

Afterword : To this day I have no memory of my homecoming on this fateful day. I put this down to my dad, a man who understood why a small boy would leave the house in the dark to rescue a magpie. I later discovered that Father Fen, our parish priest had dispatched the baby magpie so that's it's parents would not harm my fellow precious students. I have no idea why he did not consider that his actions may have subjected me to extreme peril! He was a nice enough old chap, but in light of all that went on I was never again amused by his "watch me pull the end off my thumb" trick again.

After the Afterword: I now reiterate, that is so called Delightful Dave's favourite story of my childhood, and tears of laughter run down his face as I retell of my terror. Sweet? I do wonder.

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A business course for artists. The ultimate oxymoron !

I am the ultimate optimist, well maybe not the ultimate and certainly not on cloudy days, but seriously I must be an optimist,  I am attempting to make a living from art! Stop laughing you buggers, I'm serious. The general response to such an outrageous statement is "you're dreaming ".

A dreamer I have always been and a dreamer I always shall be. The world needs more dreamers and more artists, we bring a little love and whimsy into the world

Back to school. I have enrolled in weekend workshop of business planning for creatives. The one thing I am sure of is that my budget section will be extremely creative. Suddenly it's six am on Saturday morning, Delightful Dave is applying the much needed double shot latte to my system and I am glancing at the prescribed homework for said course. Homework was never my forte! What the heck I can wing it, I always did at school. My most imaginative excuse I used at school was "my budgie ate it" he was a voracious budgie. 

Bangalow here I come. Just a quick trip over the range, when suddenly I am fighting the urge to wag and spend the day on the beach at Byron Bay. The sky is blue, the water is sparkling and I haven't done my homework. Get behind me Satan. I have important business skills to develop. I know, just writing that makes me chuckle too!

Cheer Up . Slow Down .  Relax.   Love this painting click on its title to see it on the website.

Cheer Up . Slow Down . Relax.   Love this painting click on its title to see it on the website.

I slam on the brakes as I enter Bangalow, I must take a double shot latte with me. Bangalow is stunning in the morning haze, a haze which miraculously clears as the caffeine top up enters my system. Sometimes my hazes are self induced.

At last I am seated in a gorgeous open verandah attached to the Bangalow Museum and Tea Rooms. Believe it or not I was the first one there, our business guru Christina seems duly impressed. Next in, is Lisa, a prestigious art therapist followed by Dunc, the wee Scottish photographer a man of infinite wisdom and dry wit! On a rollicking chorus of hallelujah, Janet and June the choir girls join the soirée. But we are one short? Suddenly a dashing goddess  enters, with her electric blue hair and matching eyes, Melania the high priestess of Electronica is here. Let the festivities (oops sorry) education, commence.

It all starts innocently enough as we introduce ourselves and explore the idea of having a vision for our businesses. Easy peesy ! I want to live the life I say I do on Facebook, but with more money. Apparently this is not a full and well rounded business vision. Thank god there is always Tattslotto! 

Then comes the hard stuff, marketing and budgeting. We are split into groups. Dunc and I don't get much work done but find each other highly amusing as we attempt to plough through the task.

Suddenly a mighty, tuneful screech shatters the studious silence. Who pray tell put the choir girls together ?  I don't think Christina thought that one through. In a sprawling heap of blonde hair, long skirts and colourful wooden beads the girls are at each other tooth and nail. As far as diversions go this is a beauty,  It appears they have both named their choirs " Madonna's love child " what a coincidence. Several pots of chamomile tea are consumed and June lets go with a sigh, Janet may have the name, as my more edgy suggestion of "Madonnas Got A Gun" is far more in tune with her repertoire.

Meanwhile under my guidance Dunc is progressing brilliantly, and has now almost sidelined his dark  moody but brilliant landscape photography to become a kilt wearing market attraction, with the fair style scenic photo board, with holes at several levels for people to pop their heads and other bits through. I love it, Christina not so much and the group suggest it may damage his brand. Oh well no harm done. Still there was no need for Dunc to suggest that he sits further away from the big Dafty. I haven't looked up the meaning of this word but I am sure it is a Scottish term of respect and endearment !

Lisa and Melania have studiously worked away and have pages of colour coordinated notes and are full of insightful questions and suggestions. Harmony has been restored to the choirs girls and they hum away as they hatch their business plans

What about me you ask? I have returned to being a student and I am very relieved to discover that my skills, so well honed over the years in a classroom have not deserted me. I really do make quite a good class clown! As for my business plan, well the highlight of that for me was my vision. To live the full life of Pete Goodlet where art, creativity, words, family, friends and fun combine . Oh and to make a living in a world of love and whimsy. 

Flying to fame and fortune with paint on my pants

The alarm went at some ungodly hour this morning. I prised my eyelids apart as Delightful Dave shoves a double shot latte in my direction. I am nor really the morning person I profess to be. Sure, I am awake early, but fully functioning, I leave that to the birdies.

Thank Huey for the shower, the giver of life! As I emerge from the steam, I see a vision (my mornings can be quite esoteric) Delightful Dave is fully dressed, coiffed, and ready to go. Hmmm, surely that is not tapping emanating from his leather clad soles!

Dave is an organised young man ( I'll give him young, I like to throw him the odd bone). I on the other hand convince myself that I will greet the day a picture of new found, dib dib, dob dob, boy scout, be prepared type qualities. Alas today that is not to be. Slightly panicked squawks emanate from my primal state. " Have you seen my glasses? No not those ones, my drawing glasses. Where is my mechanical pencil ? My sketch pad ? My glasses case ? " You get the drift. Although I tell DD every day that he is lucky to have me ( a tape on the same theme runs sublimanly throughout the night) sometimes I get the slight feeling, that I may frustrate him.

But today bearing the patience of a saint, my beloved stills my flapping hands, passes me my shoes and with ultimate self control does not suggest that it would be preferable if I got my shit together, the day before! After the mammoth task of lugging one very bulging and soon to be discoverd over weight suitcase down fifty five steps ( I may be prone to early morning stretching of the truth ) we are in the car and on our way.

Then I look down. What is that down the front of my good going away pants? Ooops it may be paint! Well yes, of course it is paint. I'm an artist, what can I say? When the inspiration strikes I paint! Usually I get prepared and pop on something that has suffered from previous mishaps, but not always. But as Doris would sing Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, Pete's a touch of a slob you see, que sera sera.

And on that glorious note we are nearly at the airport. Oh and the fame and fortune bit; Delightful Dave and myself are off to Melbourne for the launch of the Creative Couples Project. A delightful book, put together by some beautiful, creative girls. It is a book on twelve couples from the east coast of Australia, that live creative lives, a little left of centre.

Now I have been writing this as DD drove and I am sure he went around the roundabouts several times, for I was a little disorientated. I leapt from the car, grabbed the suitcase and headed left towards the sun. I told you I lived a little left of centre, a path less travelled, sometimes even the wrong path.  Delightful Dave gently turned me in the opposite direction and off we headed to the airport.

Melbourne here we come !

 

 

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We haven't got much money but we've got lovin' honey !

Money it's the root of all evil...oh give me a break ! I personally think money is quite delightful !  

After all mango daiquiris don't grow on trees you know ! Money it's a delightful concept. But is it the be all and end all ? I doubt it. What is money ? Yet another questions.... So many questions . Basic answer ..... it's a way of paying for the life you would like to live !

I am living the life I would like to live. 

Sure I would like some more money, I'm not stupid! But as I said to Delightful Dave " we've got lovin' honey " . I know ..soppy but true. We make each other laugh..    he amuse   ...my muse . My humour at its best . But as someone clever once said " money can't buy happiness". But it can get you a fabulous buy at an opshop ! I love to opshop ! What is not to like.. vintage ..retro ... unusual and different ? I have bought them all !

Sorry sidetracked by a bargain.

We have a privileged life... Something we are well aware of... We have a grouse new roof over our heads.. Beer in the fridge... And a stoli if we need it ! Good old Cyclone Marcia nearly demanded a stoli, but luckily for us it veered around dear old Murwillumbah . What the heck, we had one anyway. After all it was very damp and grey and it goes so well with lime. Lime is a fruit and it's important to have fruit. Wow, maybe I should be a life coach ? Pete's ten steps to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Come of it, you would be bored silly by step three.

Speaking of boring, have you ever been to gym? I have no idea how guinea pigs do it, round and round on their little wheel. If it wasn't for the spelling mistakes on the TV's subtitles I wouldn't last my ten minutes on the treadmill ! Today's was a classic. In a poignant moment of the news "compassion" came up as " com pash " an offer to good to refuse !

Ooops now this was blog was meant to be about money. Why have I never been able to focus on not only the topic, but money itself? I was recently asked if blogging will make me money ? Somehow I can't see it ! But I am having fun and it has added another dimension to my life. It has certainly tested my literary skills, and as for grammar , thank god nobody ever died from a misplaced comma...a missed placed semi-colon maybe , but that sounds too uncomfortable to contemplate. 

To me money is the means of living, loving and eating well. Oh and mangos we do need mangos ! Delightful Dave and I do all the above with abundance ! Luckily DD is a brilliant nurse with a regular income. I fully support him in his career, I know lucky him ! When desperate he will even let me badly iron his uniform. Though I won't listen to gory tales, that is Thelma Louise's job ! But every now and again I whip up an amazing banana, chocolate and coconut cake which is very well received by his coworkers ! Please don't ask for a recipe, I learnt my cake cooking from mother Patty . Step one; throw a whole lot of yummy ingredients in the blender and blend. Step two; Bake . I apologise if anyone was uncomfortable with my rampant use of semi-colons there !! Delightful Dave generally gets to come home to a yummy curry wrapped in a doona (mystery process... maybe I could be a cooking teacher ) and a basically clean, if creatively untidy house. I can never let order get in the way of creativity.

Delightful Dave supports me in my dream to become a successful artist, who could ask for more in a partner . I hate to brag but he also makes an amazing vegetarian lasagne and his profiteroles are to die for...seriously rich !! I knew I had to bring this back to topic somehow :) but seriously a partner that believes in the artist he loves, money can't buy you that !

Trust me Dave this ride won't hurt ! Ooops what's a bruised rib between friends . Murwillumbah show 2014

Trust me Dave this ride won't hurt ! Ooops what's a bruised rib between friends . Murwillumbah show 2014

We are also seriously well off when it comes to wonderful, gorgeous and supportive family and friends. That to me is what life is about. Love is everything, love makes the world go round, and love is what makes us who we are. The daiquiri deck would be a dull place without them, and boy for a little deck it has seen a lot of love !

So sure I'm not sitting on a fat wallet (that gives you sciatica anyway.) but I have love, happiness and enjoyable moments of rampant stupidity ! Damn and I had already declared I'm not stupid ! But choosing to be stupid, now that's another matter. My gorgeous sister Trishy once said to me.. " I just love, that you don't care how big a dag people think you are " and it's true, I don't, and she loves me for it !

We ain't got much money but you've all got my lovin honey ! 

Lots of love Pete xx  

Cheers Trishy you gorgeous thing you xxx

Cheers Trishy you gorgeous thing you xxx

Do I want to meet my doppelgänger ?

Well this morning I dragged myself into gym, yes gym! But that is a whole other story, exercise and myself have never been intimate friends. Infact my life motto has always been  " nothing ventured nothing strained ! " Back to walking into the gym. It is a lovely friendly space full of torturous equipment ! But today I was greeted with a mightily effusive welcome by a trainer ( let's call him Buff for obvious reasons )I hardly knew. My only other interaction with Buff was when I staggered in a week or so after New Years and the delightful manager..let's call him Guy..(well that is his name) said " here he is looking all guilty " to which I replied... " I'm not feeling guilty , what a useless f'n emotion " Buff and Guy thought this was a pithy reply and laughed generously.

Back to my effusive wecome..Buff was all smiles and chatty and enquired about my well being . Taken aback I conveyed that my body was present but my spirit was at home wanting to paint. To my surprise Buff replies " how will I go encouraging the kids later ? " to my obscure nodding he continued " I won't be able to help you this afternoon " Ok at this point of the Twillight Zone I really wished I had gone straight for my double shot latte !

"Buff" said I " I really think, you think I am someone, that I am not ! " a rambling response to be sure... But holy Moses ! I was in a gym, with only one coffee in my system,  an unwilling spirit and an  overwhelming urge to flee !

Buff sensing my fight or flight response was kicking into to overdrive, quickly explained that he thought I was the coordinator of the local Salvos furniture UpCycling depot ! Immediately I asked myself what does this imposter look like ? Hence we finally make it to my question. Do I want to meet my doppelgänger ???

Will my doppelgänger be a tall , suave , svelte and  handsome chap ? Or will he be a tall , skinny, gangly, bespectacled dufus ?

Finally we get to the point. How do we see ourselves ? 

Recently my darling sister Janey, while trying to talk me into shaving off my beard, mentioned that I looked like Craig McLachlan in the Doctor Blake Mysteries. My sweet mother Patty, who was only two daiquiris down, replied horrified " You don't really think he is as good looking as Craigh McLachlan do you ? " But then again Mothers are biased !

Patty and I often share a taste in men. Not something every son can say. Patty's long time crush has been Harry from Silent Witness... But seriously with that cute dimple bum chin, who can argue ?  

 

Hello my name is Harry and I have a cute dimple bum chin  

Hello my name is Harry and I have a cute dimple bum chin  

Our other BBC crush is the quite edible Rupert Penry Jones . Tall , suave , dapper etc. Mother says my habit of calling him Rupert Bottom Boy is really a tad distasteful  but slightly humourous ! But if you have a cute bottom why not be proud of it ?

Ha ha were you expecting a photo of Rupert's bottom ? 

Ha ha were you expecting a photo of Rupert's bottom ? 

Back to Patty , I recall a childhood conversation between Patty and Dad. Mother was complaining that Angie Dickinson was a scrawny stick of a thing. To which Dad replied " I wouldn't mind if you looked a bit more like her ! He was always brave in company ! But poor Patty was little traumatised, and surely that day her self image took a battering.

 Well that's my rambling done for the day , and to answer the question . Yes I do want to meet my doppelgänger . If you want me I will be hiding behind a lamppost opposite the Salvos UpCycling centre !!!!

Love Pete

p.s. I think I look like this tall, cute and away with the birdies  

 

 

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p.p.s. Angie want to get the last word in

Patty girl , who do you think you're calling scrawny ?  
    Patty girl , who do you think you're calling scrawny ? 

Not so much a virgin

Well it is my second post...Delightful Dave says I have to write these every day ! Goodness what pressure ! It will never happen...maybe I need to put a reminder in my phone ! Thelma Louise is worried it will affect our beach time  

Thelma Louise would look happier if we were on our way to the beach !  

Thelma Louise would look happier if we were on our way to the beach !  

As I explained to TL life is not all about going to the beach... I mean really... if only she could explain that to me. The beaches near Murwillumbah are simply stunning..what is not to like ...beautiful white sand...wild dumping waves and the odd dolphin ! I do like odd dolphins .

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So yes life in paradise is rough.... Have I mentioned how stunning Murwillumbah is ? The views from our Daiquiri deck are to die for. Something I have belatedly remembered after a night on the forenamed Daiquiri Deck ! But crikey a view like this can only encourage the odd tipple, a lot of laughs and let's not forget unbelievable tales !

View from our daiquiri deck

View from our daiquiri deck

Well I must be off...  the daiquiris won't make themselves.... I will leave you with my little painting of Magic Murwillumbah or as I like to call it Magic Murwilly.

Love Pete xx

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The Virgin Blogger

Todays challenge is start my blog...well the first challenge was to face the day feeling slightly overhung ! But goodness was last night fun...as Noël Coward would say " I went to a marvelous party " Well it started as a simple dinner at the local pub down on the river, moved up the hill to the  home of fabulous friends and hilariously went downhill from there. The humour was ribald...the laughs and beers flowed freely and at one point armed with scissors and clippers I gave some poor chap a haircut . Hair by Pierre was launched . Unfortunately it was a one cut wonder and I've put down my clippers for good...or at least until the next time.

But " what ho Bertie " on we go. Delightful Dave is building our new website and the website has a blog button and so I  blog... If you want to tell me to blog off please do it gently!!  How about I see if I can post a pic ...well I can but not necessarily where I wanted it. 

Below is the view from the  Riverview Hotel, bang on the banks of the Tweed River in beautiful Murwillumbah...scene one act one of last nights fun and funnily enough where our horseless buggy was hiding this morning.

Such an innocent setting for the start of a night of debauchery  

Such an innocent setting for the start of a night of debauchery  

As you may have guessed by now I am an artist in Murwillumbah...some may say I am an infamous Murwilly artist...but what the hey it's a title ! And I'll take it! I do love Murwilly ( that sounds even better in a Scottish accent ) this was a sentiment that I shared freely in my painting of the same name. My first ever entry in the Border Art Prize at the Tweed Regional Gallery. I think the title caused as many smiles as the painting itself.

It's not a secret. I love Murwilly !!      My painting of Murwillumbah in all its beauty.

It's not a secret. I love Murwilly !!   My painting of Murwillumbah in all its beauty.

I have to say the best thing about writing this blog is that delightful Dave is cleaning the house while I type.... this is work related :)  Damn I've run out space before the vacuuming is done ! Thanks for reading and remember do whatever you can to get out of housework !!!!! PS I just realised it's St Val's Day and all I got DD was painkillers for his sore head, and they say romance is dead !