Sunday, February 13, 2005

Howl at the Moon

Howl at the Moon. Heard of it? I hadn’t until my nephew decided he wanted the first of his three eighteenth birthday parties at this venue. There are three of them, the one below, one at Chadstone and one at Surfers Paradise.

We snapped on the E Tag, fuelled the motor, put out our best outer suburban street wear and off we set for Fountain Gate. We allowed an hour, but it took half that, but then another 15 minutes to find the place in the maze of car parks, roads, and buildings. As we were a little early still, we killed time in the Fountain Gate Hotel and watched people arriving for a wedding reception.

Last time I was at Fountain Gate would have been 15 years ago for Christmas Eve carols. It was in a lovely summer evening and we sat on the grass overlooking the shallow valley where the performers entertained us. This area has all been built over now.

My mother, who lives at Pakenham, shops at Fountain Gate. She and my stepfather meet friends there for dinner on Friday nights and they wander around buying bits and pieces. I had no idea of its size. It is huge.

Howl at the Moon is a bar and a place to have quite good value food and along the way, you are entertained by three rotating performers, with always two on stage. There were two pianos and some electronic music making machines. Mostly they just belted out popular songs that you can sing to and worked their way through the requests written on drink coasters. While you could still talk, the music was pretty loud.

Anyone who had a birthday was called up and had to kneel while they received a shot of tequila direct from the bottle. Then they had to individually sing happy birthday to each other. Some of the more willing, like my nephew, received a lot more tequila than the reluctant participants. All done in good humour.

After dinner, people danced and created a pretty good vibe. I did enjoy seeing my brother waltzing with the birthday boy, his son. They were quite good. I think they may have done it before.

Although a few of nephew’s friends were there, it was mostly extended family. The mates party night is next Saturday night.

All quite good fun, but a bit hard going, for yours truly, the nominated driver.

Now there were some other restaurants adjacent, a disco across the way, a pub around the corner and also it was the entrance to the movie theatres. There was security to maintain the peace. A constant stream of patrons of the various venues paraded past. It was a good mix of older and younger people and I assumed the area was, like Langwarrin, one of the last bastions of the Anglo Saxon Australian. It wasn’t and it was all the more interesting for it. I should have know better as overseas born people I work with live nearby in Narre Warren North.

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