Address || The 80’s
This story picks up from story Part 4 – the 00’s where I have been sharing with you a visual Address Book thanks to Google Maps & Street View. At this point in my life I am a teenager living with my parents in apartments, hotels [yes you read that correctly], and houses along the way.
When we moved into this little house, my parents got it for a ‘song’, we lived in it while it was being renovated, and our parents used us as child slave labor. We were enlisted to paint, patch, dig, clean. I recall the stench, that came from a dead cat under the house, my Dad had to rip up the flooring to get at it, and shoved it in a garbage bag. At some point we had no hot water, and showering required boiling the kettle and filling an army style camp shower bag. There was even a need when the cork floors were drying from being sealed to go out the front door down the alley, over the fence to get to the toilet & bathroom.
This move gets complicated and is a Town & Country story. During the week we lived with Mum and went to school in the city [Melbourne], on the weekends, Mum would drive us to the country to the Pub that my parents bought, and that my Dad would run full-time. We would pile into a little Mazda 323 after school on Friday, one of my two brothers would sit up front with Mum. In the back seat, where I was always relegated, I would share the space with a brother and a our huge slobbery rottweiler [Hudson] who had to go half in the boot [trunk] half in the back seat squeezing through the rear split seats.
We would make our way to Korumburra home of the giant earth worm. Speaking of which, Hudson was digging in the backyard at the pub one-day, and started tugging at a piece of buried rope. I went to help him, I pulled and pulled until eventually I fell over with the rope in my hands only to realize it was an earth worm 4-5 feet long and 1 inch thick – I screamed and never dug in the dirt EVER. On the weekends at the pub there was work to be done, more child slave labor. I worked in the kitchen with my Mum cooking ‘counter meals‘. My job was: make up 1 portion bags of frozen seafood for the ‘fisherman’s basket‘; make individual salads in wooden bowls; serve veggies; clean tables; wash dishes; stole the coal hot-water service.
We moved in here to be closer to where my Brother’s and I went to school when we lived in Town, and this point we were still heading to Korumburra every weekend. Hudson was now living full-time with my Dad in the country. So with some spare room in the car occasionally we could fit one of our friends to come stay for the weekend. Sometimes Mum & Dad would swap Town & Country to get a break from either us kids or from the drunks. I recall Dad looking after us on one occasion. While we were at school Dad went with some mates to the track [Horse Racing is big in Australia]. I came home from school and found Dad having a nap, bit of a stagger in the garden trying to get back to the apartment – lucky no-one called child services.
Eventually the Government bought the hotel to expand the freeway that the pub sat precariously close to [so close we used canned ‘make-a-shake’ to spray onto the windscreens of oncoming traffic], they bought it to widen the road. Wise choice – there were many a close call and a few cars that even collided with the pub. By-the-way, it was not like the town needed the pub, after all there were two pubs in the main street all within walking distance of each other. We lived at the bottom of the hill at the Victoria Hotel known by the locals as the ‘bottom-pub’. Then there was the ‘middle-pub’ the Commercial Hotel, and the ‘top-pub’ the Austral Hotel. Not a town to live in if you are a recovering alcoholic.
So with the pub sold, we all moved into a house, Dad, the dog, all of us, until my parents purchased their next project, a city Pub. We eventually moved from this house way across town. The house was in need of some serious renovations, but it was and still is a beautiful building. Narrow staircase, rounded walls, portholes awesome architectural details. It was in this home that I was introduced to APPLE products with a Apple IIe that my oldest brother begged my parents for. Man that green screen was cool.
Oh boy what did our parents get us into here. Our lease ran out on the last house, and settlement on the Pub hadn’t happened, so we lived in a house that was recently vacated by an aging grandmother [ah – she died]. The solicitor hooked my parents up with a friend of a cat who knew a dog with a canary with dead grandmothers house [I have no idea how it happened]. We resided here for a few months with some clothes, school uniforms and our mattresses. We slept on the floor surrounded by knickknacks that didn’t sell at the Estate Sale. It was creepy. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It smelt like an old lady too.
So when my parents had this pub it was known for its live Country & Western music. I hate Country music. I once recall an Elvis impersonator with a girlfriend that seriously thought they were Priscilla & Elvis, and we weren’t allowed near our private residence living room when he was in the building. Hilarious. Here I worked in the bottle-shop and cleaned the bar. The floor polisher was possessed and would frequently throw me across the room out of control or electrocute me. My BFF lived a few doors up in the local Milk-Bar [corner store]. On weekends we worked, and dinner would occur around midnight or later where we would shuffle next door to the Turkish restaurant to dine with the family also finishing up their night.
Eventually, that pub too was sold and we moved on to live once again somewhere much closer to school. I was commuting over 1 hour each way to get too and from my school. I lived here while I completed my final year of high-school. I had a job in St-Kilda on Acland street working in one of the many bakeries, making coffee and selling fancy european cakes. If I was late to work I would be stuck glazing fruit tarts, I can’t tell you how much I despise those glazed fruit tarts. I eventually quit that job by having a girlfriend call and tell them they were my Mum and I had moved to another state. My oldest brother got his first car while we lived here. It sat in the driveway with little use until he actually got his license. One night a friend convinced me that her boyfriend should drive all of us to a nightclub in it, we went, underage and well my parents came home early thought that car was stolen and you get the picture – we were in BIG TROUBLE.
After I finished my final exams it was time to move on. We moved across town to the funky and bustling Fitzroy. I love this neighborhood. Here I started commuting to University, and had plenty of spare time to work some casual jobs making sandwiches and waitressing. I turned eighteen living here and finally could legally drink. It was also from here that I went on my first overseas trip. What an experience that was – around the world ticket – USA [LA & NYC] – Yugoslavia – Switzerland – Italy – UK – Singapore. It sparked a desire to travel, and travel some more, and that I have done and continue to do : )
Come back soon for Part 1 – the 70’s where I finally complete the journey going back to where it all began. In case you missed it here are the other parts to this story Part 3 – the 90’s and Part 4 – the 00’s.