Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Way of Life.

A series of photos, all taken from the Web, that fully explain the infatuation one has for the sun, the sand and the surf. Sadly the years have taken their toll on my ageing rotund body, leaving only memories and wishful thinking. The one and only ability that remains is to sink the odd ice cold ale or lager after a hard day, that today means simply getting out of bed and typing tripe on this stupid computer.

Undoubtably the greatest beverage ever invented and/or created by man or beast. A considerable quantity was consumed throughout the 1960's and 70's. Beer was an essential ingredient that played an important role throughout the whole of the Surf Lifesaving movement. It was consumed in large quantities by all and sundry as it was a dinkum Aussie's drink of choice, unlike the various rocket fuels and effeminate un Australian alcopops the young and dumb are destroying themselves on today, along with their completely unnecessary foul and disgusting drugs.  Even the missus was partial to the odd schooner or three, or five etc., when my raging days drew to an end.  I got the impression the raging was not restricted to only me, as she quite often matched me drink for drink. 

Surfing in it's purest form..... Body Surfing.  Every Sunday morning from 7 am. onwards, at least 30% of the club would be seen treading water off the rock pool at the southern end of the beach at Avalon waiting for Huey to send in another big one. Doug, or should I say Kegs taught me what to do and how to do it. Even today,when I have the odd body wave, I'm never without my handboard and flippers, the latter being essential for my survival in the surf. Yonks ago, one avoided getting caught in a rip, however today, one requires a rip to make it out the back without drowning.

These blokes did not duck when the large rocks were thrown at them.  Typical Boaties. These are the Burnie boys, who I am sure would have undergone the same selection process as most other crews in Tassie and on the mainland.

For me, this was the most exhilarating form of surfing.....Riding a Malibu. Only someone who has surfed would fully comprehend and be able to describe the feeling.
Eventually had to give up riding the Mal as too many of the top spots were overcrowded. Things haven't changed much going on the next photo that was taken somewhere along the NSW coast.

The modern short board. Sorry, I'm way too old....Pity!

The Boogie Board.  Not as easy as it looks.

The Double Surf Ski.  Not too many of them left today.

The Wave Ski, or Goat Boat......Great fun.

Aah! Memories....and that's all that's left, Memories, Sigh!! In actual fact, even back in those days of raging, this was all a figment of ones imagination most of the time........ but every once in a while.......Nah! You can read about it elsewhere. 

More memories.  This time of young Paula/Polly. A highly skilled and extremely pretty Wahine. I have not seen her for 45 years....Long gone, but not forgotten. I miss her sister Lesley/Lulu just as much. Two exceptional girls. Great times.

The view from in front of the clubhouse.  Three reasons why I hardly missed a weekend. There was very rarely a time when we did not have something worthwhile to feast our lustful eyes upon. This was what the schoolgirls looked like before they matured......WOW!  Two years later......Triple WOW!!!  Cheeky things.

Another common scene frequently seen on the beach. One of the duties required of us guys was the application of coconut oil on the backs of the local Wahines. The girls would hand you the oil, roll over onto their stomachs, undo the bra top and then tell you to do your worst. 

"Well, you did say lower."
After the stimulating and exciting service was provided and accomplished, one would then be forced to wait 10 to 15 minutes for an important part of ones anatomy to return to normal before wandering off to pursue other activities......It was indeed a busy time in ones life for a young red blooded teenage lad. 

Whenever January 26th rolled around some of the girls tended to experience feelings of patriotism and would dress up accordingly. Having us guys handy and ever so willing to provide them with an all over coating of oil gave them almost as much excitement as it gave us. Couldn't understand though, why we were never permitted to lower the flag to half mast while providing our unselfish service.
All rise for the National Anthem.
I suppose I should not complain about my current physical disabilities. At least in the past I got to do things with people I loved and was blessed to have done so. Good mates, good sorts, good surf, good weather, brilliant way of life, along with providing a worthwhile public service free of charge. You only live once and I've had my turn. I have never been overseas as there was no need or reason to do so, more than everything I required was here and still is...... Australia! You bloody beauty!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Double Trouble

It was around 1962 - 63 that the old hollow 16 foot plywood long boards had reached their used by date. The balsa and fibreglass Ockanuis had replaced them and the foam and fibreglass Malibus were now all the go. Today the Malibus are simply known as Mals or long boards, but back then they were short boards. The single surf ski remained as a rescue board and even today the highly evolved variations of those ancient plywood skis are still being used, but mainly for competition. Despite becoming a completely hooked Mal rider, I nonetheless kept on surfing on my racing surf ski with fellow troublemaker Tom. Did we stir and upset those Malibu riders at North Avalon? You bet we did.
All hollow plywood construction and pre Malibu.
My main reason for purchasing a Mal was so I could spend many a surfing session with the beautiful bikini clad surfer girl Paula and this I was able to do on a regular basis, lucky me. We never became an item but, we were kissin' cousins, so to speak, who enjoyed a frequent snuggle at various Drive Ins etc., to keep warm on a cold winters evening, double lucky me.
More on Paula (Polly) at Friends and Partners.

The Malibus were nowhere near as manoeuverable as the modern thrusters and could be up to 20 kilos in weight. The sight of two surf club ratbags on 18 foot long planks of plywood bearing down upon you was more than enough to bring on an unexpected bowel movement from many a shortboard rider. Shouted comments made Gordon Ramsey sound as though he was reciting Shakespeare or quoting verses from the Bible. The beautiful Paula used her noggin and would surf with Tom and I and would wait for the two of us to crack a wave then follow behind us......Smart girl. It was amazing how over tanned surfers faces changed colour to a flat white as either Tom or I and sometimes both of us were about to pass over the top of them. Despite this, no one was ever hurt, how I'll never know.

During the years surf board design has evolved to the point where even the present day Mals weigh in around 3 to 5 kilos maximum. In 1962 my Mal weighed in at 19 kilo and was over 8 foot in length.
Although a better than average surf ski rider, I had never competed in an Open or Restricted Surf Carnival. One reason for this was the fact that I happened to be a member of the brain dead Surf Boat Crew. One day however, Tom and I began to pay closer attention to a huge plywood double surf ski that belonged to the clubs two senior paddlers, Max and Jackie Watt. We were given permission to use it, but were warned that it had a few leaks..... What an understatement. Tom and I would paddle out the back, swing the ski around hoping that a wave appeared within the next 60 seconds, otherwise it was shades of the Titanic all over again. On some occasions when full of water, the bow would submerge and with the added weight of all the Tasman Sea within, we would literally transform into a wooden submarine. The boardriders at North Avalon were safe from harrasment as our craft was incapable of reaching that part of the beach without sinking like a blacksmiths anvil. The ones who ventured south for a less crowded wave only did it once as the possibility of being crushed to death by a water filled uncontrollable missile made the northern end of the beach a much safer place to surf.
I think it was in 1962 or 63, Max Watt was laid low by a stomach virus. His younger brother Jackie was disappointed as it meant they would be unable to compete in the Metropolitan Championships being held at Palm Beach over the weekend. Seeing me on the beach, Jack grabbed hold of me and literally kidnapped me and threw me into his car, that I noticed had the SS Titanic tied on the roof. Jackie was aware that I was a fair to middling ski rider and as far as he was concerned, I was now his brother's replacement on the Double Ski. I informed him that I had never raced my single ski, let alone the leaky double, but all I was told was to simply do whatever he did.....So much for extensive training.
Arriving at Palmy, we deposited the monster in the marshalling area and I set about checking some of our competitors skis. It was possible for a single guy to lift and carry the other skis, whereas our one weighed a ton and was an effort for two people even to simply lift it off the ground. Eventually we were called to our starting position and Jackie wanted me to be up front, but I argued that it would be better for me to be at the back so I could do everything that he did during the course of the race. We were both hoping to reach the turning buoys before descending to Davy Jones Locker and meeting Huey.

Thank God it was a small surf. The Starter's pistol fired and at least 12 two man crews took off like a rocket.

We were all packed in fairly tight and I am certain that at times we were on top of some of the others and it was this that kept us floating when we rounded the can in second place a mere half length behind the leader. The ski became hard to keep ones balance on as we commenced heading for the shore. At one stage we actually hit the lead, then it was the Dambusters all over again. Several of those WW2 bouncing bombs must have exploded next to us, because we were becoming uncontrollable as the Tasman Sea poured in through gaps you could row a boat through.

We headed north, we headed south, we even did a full 360 degree turn and just as we were being overtaken by several vessels, I fell off. What a disaster....Not really, as I landed on top of one of the overtaking skis, causing it to slew north and completely destroy most of the other overtaking competitors. Using language unheard of even today, Jack requested that I resume my position on our submarine so we could continue on.
Luck was on our side, we had reached the shallow sand bank that was only inches deep and disembarking we commenced to drag the ski towards the shore. It weighed a ton as it was now full to the brim with ocean. Jack and I dived for cover when the waterlogged craft swung around at right angles and was responsible for a massive pile up of timber that had been following us. Can anyone remember the police car pile up towards the end of the Blues Brothers movie?

We reached the shore, but needed four other guys to drag the ski up the beach. It was all too much, there was a creak, followed by a groan, then the side panel fell off that released a sudden rush of water that swept away two young toddlers, who happened to be standing nearby.

Jack and I were more than pleased to have survived, but when we discovered we had finished in third place we were gobsmacked and elated. Not only had we performed admirably, we had also entertained the public with skills and a unique demonstration very rarely seen at such events. By gee, didn't we get some evil looks from many of the failed competitors when we were presented with our Bronze medals.

 I am certain that at some time in the not too distant future the infamous Double Ski simply self destructed on it's rack in the club's boatshed and came in very handy when the clubs barbecue was fired up. Another era in Avalon's Surf Lifesaving history came to an end during a sausage sizzle at the rear of the clubhouse.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Animal House

Boris the newly acquired Tom

Throughout the years of married bliss there have been numerous spoilt pets that have taken up residence with the Fullers. In most cases it was soft hearted me bringing home some unfortunate and in some cases unwanted feline to the family home. Gabi has always been a sucker for self centred and egotistical pussies, who tend to set themselves up as domestic dictators and in no time are running the whole show. At one point in time we had 4 cats and 1 labrador, who certainly came in handy in bed on a cold winters night. However at present we are down to 2 typical female felines, self centred and extremely bossy with a tendency to reduce the population of garden lizards ASAP. Jink, the fat one, was adopted from the former next door neighbours and little Dinah was a stray purchased from the local Vet. I must concede that our latest addition Dinah is the first cat that genuinely loves us, but being a girl she loves to hunt anything that moves and is extremely self centred and stubborn.
For three years a moth eaten tomcat kept on turning up hoping to have his way with our beautiful bombshell Jink, completely unaware she had been about living in hope. February 2009 was one big heatwave and one Saturday our tom was so distressed he allowed Gabi and I to pick him up and take him inside the house where he quickly recovered. Being complete suckers we took him to the vet who examined him and did the dirty deed by zotting him. The end result, we now have a new member of the family who appears to have been accepted by the girls, although occasionaly the ugly green monster briefly raises its head. It could be said the 4 year old Boris has settled in quite comfortably.

Jink, hard at work.

Dinah, on guard.

I'ts amazing when wandering through ones own backyard, what one comes across cuddling pussy cats. The piece of cheesecake is none other than my newly acquired missus Gabi and the puss is next doors Siamese cat, Nasser. Puss didn't seem to mind too much, but the neighbours scattered in all directions and immediately locked up their ankle biters after noticing Gabi's state of undress. Nasser features later on in this post.
Fairies in the garden.
Nasser, between Gabi's bum and those slippers.

Oh my God! don't I get frustrated when I compare some of my current snapshots with all the rubbish photographed in the past. Admittedly the technology was not available all those years ago for quality to be on a par with what is regarded as the norm today. Even so, I doubt whether it would have made a lot of difference as I was never interested in photography and my playing up schedule was such that there would not have been time for snapshots. Some of the old colour snaps below date back to the days of Koda- Color and the years have caused the dyes to fade and in some cases completely change the appearance of the original print.
All that being said, there are heaps of memories for both me and the missus and I hope the extended family derives some amusement and pleasure from the small collection posted below........
Tojo the wonder dog.
Dogs cannot talk, but this fellow came so close to doing so. The whole family was blessed because of his presence in our lives. He literally became a local legend throughout Leichhardt, Glebe and Annandale. He even had his own drinking bowl in the Saloon bar of the North Annandale Hotel and looked forward to his middy of Tooths New each and every evening between 7 and 7:30 pm. He always knew when it was Saturday morning, so off he would go down Nelson, then across Booth St. to receive his weekly dinosaur bone from the local butcher, Jack Buff. All the locals loved him and he returned that love as only he could. Toj, you were one in a million.
Judy. Proud Mum.
Lesley and Doug phoned and told Gabi and I to come over immediately. When we arrived not that long afterwards Judy demonstrated what a clever Lab she was. She also became an excellent mother looking after her litter of eight, one of which was to be our pride and joy, the inimitable Jagdale Silver Casey, known simply as Casey.
Baby Casey.
A few years later.
When my late parents, Molly and Jim purchased their first home at Blakehurst during 1972 their newly acquired cat Buffy of course went with them. Molly absolutely adored Buff and would not hear a bad word said about her. The reality was Buffy was a little bitch.... Sorry Mum.
Aahh! Married life. A warm and soft wife to snuggle up to on a cold winter's night to keep one snug and warm.......Along with next doors Siamese cat Nasser, that is. "I'm here," he would squeak and then wander through the house until he found you. If you happened to be on the telephone at this time, you would be scolded and then given a nip on the knee pad for not paying attention quickly enough. Nasser absolutely idolised Gabi and in no time at all I was included in his close circle of friends as he realised I was an easy mark as well. Just prior to one of Gabi's Chinese nosh ups who should turn up just as the prawns were being peeled by yours truly, you guessed it. It was a case of one for the guests, one for Nasser, whose bloated stomach came close to bursting. Gabi insists that he ended up with more than we did. The little female seal point from across the road was madly in love with him and he with her, but as he had been zotted he didn't know why, so all that eventuated was lots of fun and games with no hanky panky.........Purrrr!!!

Sammy And Snoopy (Snoopy in box)
Sammy belonged to the Greigs living in the flat above us. Snoopy was a feral who over a period of a few weeks realised living with the Fullers was much better than bush ranging, so he moved in. Sammy and Snoop hit it off OK, so Sammy decided to move in with us as well. I don't know whether Patty and Jim developed an inferiority complex however, as Snoopy once belonged to them as well before going feral.
The black Dr. Watson and Moriaty
After a hard days play....Doc and Maurie

Gabi Napping with Moriarty.

Baby Chuckie.
Chuckie was purchased at a pet shop in the Roselands Shopping Mall in Sydney. Nearly every evening Security would rush into the Grace Bros. Haberdashery department with guns drawn, expecting to find armed burglars going about their business. All they ever found was a tiny grey kitten with Dumbo sized ears swinging on the drapes. It took the pet shop people a while before they realised Chuck was able to force his way through the wires of the bird cage they had him in and did so on a regular basis.
Middle aged Chuck.
Boss cocky Fritz.
Fritz was 10 months old when we offered to mind him for a few days back in January 1997. Eleven years later he's still here, although he now lives three houses up from us with a German couple who absolutely idolise him. Fritz loves people, but sees other cats as competitors and caused havoc with our other lot. We could not believe our luck when this lovely couple nearby were only too happy to adopt him. As for the blonde terrorist, he thinks all his Christmas's have come at once and has settled in very nicely.
Casey with his pet boy Patrick.
Claude and his pet dog Casey.
Throughout most of the year, this was a common sight at night. On those freezing cold winter evenings, Claude would lick Casey's chops over and over again. Casey would shut his eyes and wait for the certainty that he knew would follow. Eventually Claude would bite him on his chops, Casey would move away and Claude would then take over lying on the warm spot. Despite this Casey loved Claude.....He was his cat.
Maurie and Dr. Watson regarded Casey as Mum and never gave up attempting to milk him.
Gabi with spoilt son.
Gabi, Patrick, Casey and Claude. Check out the marvelous wallpaper in the background......Ah! yes, the 1970's.

*  Many many years have passed by since our furry friends honoured us with
    their presence and as they, along with all of us are mere mortals, all bar 
    Jink and Dinah have all entered the heavyside layer.

Gabi always has taken pride in herself. That's probably why she has popped out her chest. Come to think of it, there was no need for her to do that, as nature had already provided her with a decent set of headlights.

On display at Wattamolla.

A beautiful part of Sydney.   Wattamolla.
Two honeymooners on Dunk Isle. Good God! It was 1972
Deep in thought.
"I do need some decent footwear"

Gabi stopped to feed her mouth
When heading north to Rochedale South
Greasy ribs were very nice
At downtown Surfers Paradise
Porky bits, all over tits
Gabi did not worry
Later on at dinnertime
She knocked off Cathy's curry
A windy night I spent in bed
Hoping for some lovin'
But Gaye instead had made the bed
A whiffy, hot Dutch Oven

'The Germ' as the nurses called him.
AKA Patrick Michael Fuller
Madonna and Child in St. George.
Trev......  "He slept like a log last night, I never heard a peep out of him."
Gabi...... " bullshit, you deaf pr..k!!! 

"That was a good one Mum."
Oops! "Now where's the spoon & candle?"
First it was the Jacaranda, then the Crepe Myrtle. One thing we both miss about Peakhurst was the back yard and beautiful garden. After 10 years of planning and landscaping we finally got it right. The buffalo lawn never looked better, the paved arbour at the south west corner of the back yard was completed, the perimeter gardens had their watering systems installed, the new deck was constructed and all the new plants recently purchased were thriving.....then we sold up and moved to Lake Macquarie, typical.
A truly desperate housewife.
Sue, Gabi, Gail....Exhibitionists......Good pins though.
"Why can't we come inside, it's raining?"
Where have the years gone? It does not seem that long ago when Patrick and I would be at Leichhardt Oval watching the Tigers play while scoffing a cold meat pie washed down with a warm soft drink. I remember vividly the foodie soirees with Lesley and Doug, Bruce and Robyn, John and Maria, Peter and Flo and Gabi and I. The two most popular were Chinese and Italian, with dinner commencing at 7;00 pm and ending around 11:00 pm. The party would end around 1:30 to 2:00 am. I can also remember travelling all the way to the wilds of Blacktown to visit Gabi's sister Margaret and her pod of anklebiters as they were then. Now they're all paired off with rug rats of their own and it won't be long before they become grandparents......and so it goes.
Life has been and still is pretty good.

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