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.

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Manuel and his trusty rusty red corolla

Manuel and his trusty rusty red corolla

A little before my time.

A little before my time.