It was a family gathering to celebrate my birthday from last week. Our family has shrunk now it would seem. No Sis in Law as she was away with one niece and nephew. Tradie Brother busy cleaning out Mother's roof gutters. Just six of us.
The plan had been to take a trip on Puffing Billy, from Emerald to Lakeside and then return to Emerald for a picnic. As the day approached it became clear the weather would not be in our favour. Saturday morning Sister rang to ask if she and Little Jo could stay here instead of Mother's after a party Little Jo was attending in Aspendale and then a dinner with friends. They arrived at 8.30 and we were all asleep by 11. Alternative plans for my birthday had been worked out.
Little Jo is not keen on eggs at the moment, so R cooked a Canadian breakfast for us consisting of bacon, pancakes and maple syrup.
By 10.30 we off to Moorabbin Airport for our flight to......ah, no. Just to watch the planes take off and land and there was nearby playground for Little Jo.
My grandfather used to take myself and ABI Brother to do the same when we were kiddies, that is watch the planes take off. He would park with the nose of the car into a Cyclone wire fence which I think would have been where the entrance to the DFO store now is.
Little Jo was uninterested in the planes. But I was certainly interested in the helicopter that landed and then took off just ten metres away from where I was standing. A bonus for me was that there was a Studebaker car club display happening there too
By 12.30 we were at the Boundary Hotel in Centre Road, Bentleigh another place with strong childhood memories. It was my father's office when he was in the area, so he said. His father lived quite close by. Deals were done, contracts verbally exchanged, supplies arranged, staff hired. All was lubricated with copious quantities of beer. ABI Brother and I waited, mostly patiently.
On more than one occasion older ladies, who clearly were not of a high moral standard or they would not be in such a place, would buy us a raspberry drink or a sarsaparilla. I don't think I have ever tasted anything better since than a 1960s made pub raspberry drink. It was extra good to end up with red lips. See how girlie I was at such a young age.
One lady left the pub and when she returned she presented my brother and I with a Matchbox car each. Father made us go and thank her. She gave us both a big hug. She had pancake powder makeup, bright red lipstick and smelt of perfume, Craven A cigarettes and beer. Hmmm, rather like Father's step mother, except she smoked Turf.
Back then the Boundary Hotel was much smaller and covered in ivy. Now it is quite nice and it was booked out for Sunday lunch. Lucky Sister had booked. Little Jo played in the play area and without success hung around a lollie dispenser in the play area. Sister is very indulgent with Little Jo, but not so far as sweet drinks or lollies go. They are treats Uncles buy for Little Jo, or Nanny sneaks to her out of her handbag.
While she is now a respectable Nanny, Mother recounted the tale of when her then boyfriend stood her up for an outing to the movies. He lived in a house behind a shop in Centre Road and she cycled down Centre Road from her house and staked the house out. He alighted from a bus at midnight and she had it out with him. He had been out with mates and smelt of beer. That was the end of that, she said, adding that they were very very poor anyway. His brother did marry her bridesmaid though, the bridesmaid who died a couple of years ago. The brother now drives a Mercedes and has a large estate at Devon Meadows, wherever that is.
We left the hotel and went on to Packer Park, a park where R sometimes took Little Jo when Sister lived in Murrumbeena. It was my first visit and it has the best play equipment for kids in a public park I have ever seen. My birthday cake was produced, candles were difficult to light but after a rousing rendition of happy birthday, Little Jo helped me blow out the sole remaining alight candle.
R and Little Jo in their constructed tent this morning.
The Moorabbin Airport Control Tower. It looked busy with many people up there.
Chopper taking off.
I think I liked this Studebaker best.
R liked this one.
I'm a sucker for burgundy coloured cars.
Grandma's, Mother's mother, youngest sister married well and she and her husband used to call in and patronise my grandmother, always pulling their Studebaker into the driveway. It was like this model.
The waters at Packer Park were black and evil looking.
Little Jo on a bouncy thingie, not as bouncy as a trampoline.
I chucked a bit of cake icing on the ground in an attempt to get a good photo of these birds. I have no idea what they are. Anyone?