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


“Because we have to give it a go”


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.  


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

Manuel and his trusty rusty red corolla

Manuel and his trusty rusty red corolla

A little before my time.

A little before my time.

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.



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