Another week-end in the past.

During the late sixties.

During the late sixties.

Week-ends were always looked forward to. The main part was the sleeping in, especially on Saturday. How I loved it. The Sunday church used to be a problem. But growing up realizing that no water ever changed into wine, nor did water allow to be walked upon, I took charge of that issue around the year sixteen and stopped going. It also coincided by taking up smoking. Graven A, ten cigarettes to a packet, and eating potato scallops from the local Fish & Chips shop, wrapped in The Daily telegraph! Till this day, whenever I smell Rupert’s Telegraph I smell more fish than chips.

Of course, Saturday night was movie night. I am not sure if cinemas were actually open on Sundays in Australia during the fifties. I do know that Sundays were pretty dead. It used to be the major complaint by European migrants. The first movie that I can remember apart from a few Don Camillo movies watched when still in Holland, were the climbing of MT Everest and King Salomon’s Mines. In Holland my mother was forever urging us to see movies featuring the priest, Don Camillo. A character who was forever falling out with local communist mayors in Italian or French villages. She must have been hoping I could be saved from decadence and resulting hell-fire and brimstones. They were very funny movies and I remember them fondly. But alas, I was not to be saved.

The Drive-in also needs to be dug up. They were popular between the fifties  and seventies, well before KFC and MacDonald’s started to tentatively test the waters. The Drive-in had speaker boxes on posts which by a lead you attached inside the car. It wasn’t unusual to drive off after the movie with the speaker box still inside the car. Some Drive-ins had buttons on the post to order Mars bars, snacks or Cokes which would be delivered by furiously pedalling boys on bicycles. Whole families used to go in pyjamas and I remember seeing women with hair curlers queuing at the milk bar waiting for their malted milkshakes at the Drive- in during a break.

Boys and (hopefully) some girls would of course take the opportunity to slip a hand here and there and many a muffled shout or sharp slap used to do the rounds. I don’t know if the hair curlers would inspire any romance. But who knows? Cupid’s arrow has mysterious targets. There was an enormous uptick in pregnancies when John Travolta and Grease were released in the late seventies. It was also the beginning of the end of Drive-Ins. Helvi and I went just once and there were no slaps or muffled sounds. It was a boring movie. Helvi did not think that sitting in car watching a movie was a good night out at all.

Now, in my galloping years, the week-end has lost some of its lustre. In fact, all of its lustre. I am always happiest when the Monday gets around. There is still some of that earlier Sunday deadness about. Have you noticed that in the centre of towns or cities, the Sunday goes in rapid retreat or decline between 2.45- 3.15 pm. All of a sudden the streets empty themselves of people, dogs start scratching and shops looking so forlorn. A paleness is creeping in. Perhaps the towns and cities still lack people living in them. People live mainly around but not within cities. Sunday afternoons are probably used to top up the Opal Card or with summer knocking, a late afternoon lawn mower. I believe many now also go to Sunday Gym and do push-ups. I must say that men and women over sixty, and especially when pear-shaped, should resist wearing those black tights on their way to the gym. It is really an unsettling sight, even on a Sunday afternoon.

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20 Responses to “Another week-end in the past.”

  1. auntyuta Says:



    Liked by 1 person

  2. pethan35 Says:

    The sixties were as you describe. We liked going to the Drive-ins. We had a mattress in the van and if the children became sleepy they curled up and went to sleep. The take-away-shop at the back did a roaring trade. Australians were a “weird mob” and still are. Today I read that they are satisfied with their railway network. Little do they know.

    The cigarettes were called CRAVEN A and came in a red packet. I smoked them and probably felt like a real man.

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I loved my Craven A, but hope the addiction will not catch up on me. I haven’t smoked for many years though.
      Those vans and large cars came in handy. I remember the boot opening up and a couple of freebies climbing out.
      Some Drive ins had twin screens. Arriving and leaving was utter chaos.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Yvonne Says:

    I promise to NEVER wear black tights, anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The worst are those middle-aged man in their skin tights on bicycles. When a fashion shows off religious affiliations I think it is time to wear loose fitting Robes like used in most faiths.
      When I pass the mirror after the shower I don’t recognise myself anymore.
      I don’t think it is to do with Alzheimer. Helvi bangs the door shut now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yvonne Says:

    Tempus fugit … and so do our muscles

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    I saw Grease with my first boyfriend… ah what memories. He took me to the drive-in every weekend. So imaginative!!! Thanks for bringing back the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I watched Grease on TV. We are lucky in that we have a thriving cinema complex locally which often show good movies. Last week we watched ‘The girl on a train.’ A good movie .Some say, not as good as the book.
      The idea of watching a movie inside a car was a novelty. I am amazed that people down-load movies and watch it from a tablet or iPhone. Do people watch movies while walking along the street or while shopping?
      Far out!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Too true and too funny Gerard. Saturdays were movie days in the past. When staying with my Aunt, Shirley Temple came on Sundays. We went to a drive-in movie only once, however some of our relatives piled the kids in the car often, picked up Jack in the Box and went to the drive in. They loved it. We did not. Staying late in bed on a Sunday morning seems a good idea, but we don’t, and yes, Sundays are boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Staying late in bed has lost its attraction. I often now feel happy having survived another night and an early jumping out of bed seems to celebrate that event. Mind you, that ‘jumping out’ is not as jauntily as it used to be.

      We don’t go to the movies as often as in the past. It seems that most thing are now less often.

      It’s supposed to be ‘ World Mental health week. I thought it was also World Breast cancer week or have I got this mixed up with World Alzheimer week? Soon there won’t be enough weeks to reflect and celebrate on all the ills and organ failures.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Herman Says:

    Not enough weeks to celebrate all our health failures. Don’t you just love that. In my book he is the master of observation and putting uncomplicated words together. Not unlike Billy Connolly really but without the drama.


  8. shoreacres Says:

    The drive-in movies were the best. When I was a kid, I’d wear my pajamas and go to sleep in the back seat. In high school, the great challenge was to pack as many kids into the trunk of the car as possible — hence, getting a few in free. The ones who didn’t have to pay admission bought the popcorn and drinks. Fair enough, I’d say.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, pyjama wearing at the drive-in movies was practical.

      During rain you were given glycerine ointment for the car windscreen so that the rain would run straight of the windscreen and not hamper the enjoyment of the movie.

      Of course, with the popularity of the romantic genres’ ( Tammy, Debbie et all) during that time, tears would be allowed to freely flow without any glycerine..


  9. Patti Fogarty Says:

    I found a drive-in in upstate NY not so long ago and it still works, a strangely exciting discovery.


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