Posts Tagged ‘Woy Woy’

For the week-end. ( A Willy Willy)

November 23, 2018
Image result for A Willy Willy

The journey of acquiring my first car, the trip to learn in a rhythmic tempo of moving thighs, the Fox trot and the tempestuous Austrian Waltz aided by with Phyllis Bates dance lessons, would now surely also include a first date? It was on the cards long before any of that. Growing genes and rocking hormones does all that for us, irrespective of will and choice. The world is full of people now as sure proof of this.

The Vic’s cabaret at Strathfield was a large hall that had a raised podium on top of which to house a small orchestra. The ceiling was high and made of weatherboards painted a stark white as were the walls. There was seating on both sides with ample wooden benches. On the opposite side of the entrance the benches were occupied by the girls but on both sides of the entrance and opposite the dance floor all the boys. It provided a clear view of both sexes to study each other. The boys were much more blatant, the girls much more coy but also darting quick looks across assessing possible dancing partners.

In the middle of the ceiling was a large rotating ball which held little mirrors that threw fascinating effects around the walls and floor adding excitement and an atmosphere of expectation. I mean those flickering images and the music added to a letting go of inhibitions which of course is a requirement of daring to dance with another body, let alone another body of the opposite sex.

All boys and girls on entering were looked over and sniffed for any hint of alcohol. They were strict on that and that was good. All were stone sober so all initiatives to a dance were of free will and cold choice, no chemical help of any kind. My brylcreme with artificial little Kookie hair-wave and the Pelaco shirt was about the only external aid I could use. It must be remembered that at the late fifties and sixties Australia was swamped with young man and this created a shortage of women.

However, if a man had car it would give him a bit of ‘a leg-up.’   I had a car; what’s more a Ford V8 single spinner. But, I could hardly go up to a girl and say,” Hello, my name is Gerard and I have a big V8, would you like to dance?” With the abundance of men and shortage of girls on the dance floor, many a refusal had to be lived with. The “no thank you”, had to be overcome time and time again. It was also true that at that time the girls were more attracted to the true blue Aussie male. The foreigners had strange accents and eating habits, often far too polite and formal, shaking hands and all that stuff, taking the girls back to their seat after the dance.

However, there was one sure way of getting to dance. It was the ‘Pride of Erin’. This was a dance were a kind of circle or Conga line of boys and girls was formed in equal numbers. It took some time to organise but the excitement was at fever pitch. Everyone loved the Pride of Erin. Many a boy was straining at the leash. This was the time to strike out and get a date. The music started and I remember well the tune. It was ‘ What’s the matter with kids today?’ I soon got in my stride and swirled like the best of them. I tried an air of utter nonchalance and even practised the Australian ‘could not care less’ bravado. You only had seconds to strike out for a date but with the second round and same girl one could get a rapport going that hopefully would result in a date and exchange of addresses afterwards. (Of course texting was decades off let alone sexting or incriminating selfies. Now people have amazing sex through vibrating IPhones or Tweets.)

To cut the story short and after many a visit to Vic’s and endless Prides of Erin, I did manage a date. I took her to Woy Woy which the week before had been struck by a Willy Willy or tornado. It was the best I could come up with. I could have gone to the Blue Mountains but to stare at a mountain-view sitting inside a car might be fraught with some aspects of awkwardness. I felt touring around the devastation of roofs having been blown off and boats blown out of the water could offer a distraction and something to talk about. There was also a very famous artist living in the area and I thought it might be worthwhile to drive past his house and possibly have something to talk about.

The day wasn’t a great success. The talk wasn’t flowing. I tried history and Dresden with WW2, the state of neglect of our cemeteries, ( we drove past one)nothing worked and she kept saying ” oh, that is lovely, and oh, thank you’ over and over. It was difficult. We stopped on the way back when she finally said something; “I would like a malted milkshake”, she said. I think we stopped at Hornsby after the Ford V8 blew a lot of smoke going up a very steep hill when crossing the Hawkesbury river. We sat in the milk-bar and slurped the milkshake. She was really sweet and very shy. Perhaps it was her first date as well. I did not want to ask because it might indicate a kind of unpopularity with boys. It is such a delicate time. I drove her back to Coogee where she lived. The door was opened by her dad. He was a huge tree of a man, and looked me over. She fled inside after another ‘thank you’.

It was my first date.

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Striking out on one’s own and first Sex..

May 30, 2015

 

Etching 'is it love?'

Etching ‘is it love?’

The next few years after the momentous and epic Woy Woy first date journey, time seems to have gone quickly.  I kept up going to Vic’s Cabaret and even expanded my dancing skills by learning ‘the Stomp’ which was of short duration. It was taken over by doing the ‘twist’ . Looking at old footage of twisting and stomping it all seems to have been so silly. You did not even touch the girl. At least with jiving you threw the girl over your back,  or dragged her beween your legs, teach her a good lesson.  Of course, the hidden message of that dance was for the boy to be dragged between the girls’ legs which happened in some rare instances but always with the boy facing the floor, never upwards into her billowing skirt. I did not experience that till later. It was with a nice woman from Malta that I finally lost my virginity. “It was on the Isle of Malta where I met you…”, no, not really, it was in a boarding house in Sydney’s Paddington. The problem with the Maltese woman was not her generosity of spirit and her overabundance of yielding softness but that she had a husband, a butcher by trade, who kept a loaded shotgun in the wardrobe.

I would be lying to say that dating girls ever led to much more than a furtive kiss given in return for a movie with chocolate Maltesers or packet of crisps. The Parramatta scooter club that I belonged to folded when motor bikes joined and we could not agree on how to keep the Vespa club at bay. They seemed to outnumber the Lambrettas now and ran treasure hunts to Palm Beach to which a few of our own members had been seen going to. There was a seething discontent in scooter clubs of the fifties and sixties. Now of course this has seeped into the Comancheros and Hells Angels. They now have guns and rocks of crystal meth while we had malted milkshakes.

This boat of love seemed to flounder forever on the rocky shores of my Isle of Doom. The problem was my ‘mien’. It was the somewhat sombre impression at first sight. Girls had to overcome this. Not an easy task.  I could not change what was the essence of my own being.  It was at the same time also my best feature. I say this with some confidence because this mien always stood me in good faith later on.  The dilemma is that most young girls and boys like good cheer with easy going friendly smiling demeanours. Not many girls seemed to be drawn at my ice-breaking attempts introducing small talk about a demonically violin playing  Paganini, or a ponder about lives behind the venetian blinds, or indeed my clear own unique insight in the state of Australian cemeteries. I suppose suburbs don’t encourage seriousness when the essence of  life in burbs can be so bleak and lacking in a joie de vivre already. The last thing anyone wants on a night out is a dark Schubert journey of KlageLieder and hopeless love buried in the deepest of  oceans. This Jeremiah wasn’t a Don Juan.

A helping hand was soon  knocking at the front-door of my life. A fortuitous move on hindsight was the move away from home to rent a room with board in Paddington. The Landlady was from Malta and she certainly had a good mien. A bundle of laughs and generosity expressed by ample heaving  and shuddering breasts. On accepting the terms she immediately cooked me some lovely lamb cutlets with lots of garlic and salted anchovies with rosemary. I remember it so well. “I give you plenty food, Gerard,” she said. The full board was to include bed and all meals with her and family, including the husband, with shotgun as previously touched upon.

etching

etching

Within a week of settling in I was watching TV with her husband sitting opposite from his wife sitting directly next to me. A few days before she had invited me over to look at some photos of her and her husband’s wedding in Malta. We were both seated on her marital bed. I thought it a very friendly gesture and put it down to Maltese culture and openness. None of that Anglo Saxon reserve. I was happy but a bit nervous. Her bosom was  welling up but with such a large and generous endowment one would have to wear a knight’s armour and necktie to seek cover. “My husband sick now”, she added, of which its significance escaped me at that moment.

While watching TV and Bonanza with the three brothers and their father galloping around the same set of rocks several times, I felt a movement in my left pocket. It was the hand of the Maltese landlady searching me…. me. It took a while to sink in but was sure her hand wasn’t looking for my hanky. It was definitely an amorous attempt, sexual even. A tour de force. I was petrified and with her husband sitting in the other opposite corner!.  Did he not know? However, her hand and gentle but insistent fingers ambushed my resolve to end it by me running away.  Au contraire. It was so lovely.  I was so excited and even collegially leant a bit backwards to give more room to her expert married hand. I had the temerity to lightly stroke her back,  keeping a guilty eye out for her husband. What could I do for her. Wasn’t this supposed to go twin carburettor for both of us? The horses and Bonanza all but a black and white blur, running berserk for all I cared. A fata morgana that was now really happening to me. The oasis of a real woman.

Can you understand the dread, fear and yet the rewards coming finally to me so longed for and dreamed about? The misery of home life. The rejections of dates and dorky evenings at the cinema with Ben Hur, a Moses with tablets, or some Quo Vadis on a big screen. Here it was, her lovely hand, let the husband shoot me, who cares! Bonanza finished. She got up after her husband had left. “Gerard, get some ‘Frenchies’ tomorrow, quickly”. She smiled and kissed me good night. What a Bonanza.

Next day at 9.01 am I was at the chemist. You will know that condoms at that time could only be given consent and sold by the chemist himself. He or a she would always be standing, as today, on a podium. I asked for three packets of condoms. All caution to the wind now and I was on a high. He looked me over and grumpily sold me the condoms. Next morning, I was in bed which was on a linoleum floor, all shiny and clean. She walked in with husband gone to work (slicing the sausages). She smiled and lifted her dress standing next to my head. Both of us in a single bed and she was so big. But where there is a will… And that was it. A great initiation by a good woman. I left suddenly after a few days. I did not like the deceit on her husband and especially not with a loaded shotgun in the wardrobe. The situation was so dangerous.

Was he really sick and why this gun? I could not understand that she had the nerve to do this with her husband in the same room. She did like me and for a year or so she would phone and I knew it was her. She would say, “Gerard, Gerard”, but I did not answer her.

Perhaps she too had sadness. Don’t we all at times?

 

First Love and 1950 Ford V8.

May 27, 2013

First love and The Ford V8.

FirstLove_Xlarge

We all remember our first love. I certainly do. Her name was Marga. She lived opposite us at 104 Liguster Straat, The Hague. We were of equal age but she was much more advanced than I. I mean, I was getting the occasional twinge but staring at it I wondered what it was all about and did as yet not associate it with having anything to do with the opposite sex. The details are hazy and are of 60 years ago.

She had a broad smile and budding breasts which she implored me several times to touch.  She wasn’t asking it verbally. It was more the way she twirled around and did funny little hop-scotch things in front of me. She was most charming. I was too hesitant and shy but walking home afterwards for my dinner of mainly potatoes and mince, I regretted for not having done so. I made up my mind to do so next time. I was resolute. Yet, next time around, I again refrained. Why was that so?

I often wondered for the reason. It was at the time when my parents decided to give the three eldest boys sex instructions. We were given a few days notice of this monumental event and told not to play outside during the allocated hour or so when we would be informed of the important facts of life. I was the second eldest and had some rough idea of those facts already including that adults did some strange things together, but I had not as yet associated those ‘strange things’ as holding pleasure or joy. I thought it then as some aberration of mankind, seeing they had just bombed each other to smithereens during WW 2, nothing surprised me much at all.

Anyway, with Marga’s continuation with imploring me to touch her breasts and my parents’ well intentioned program to educate her sprouts with the basics, something stirred in me as well, none too late, and I finally touched her softness through her floral blouse. Hoorah. The sex education lesson at 5.30 pm (before the mince and spuds) was pathetic with my father being mainly silent and leaving it to his wife to address the main issue. The main issue being for my mother anyway was, to repeat several times; “whatever you do, keep your hands above the blankets, and don’t touch ‘it’!” Heaven only knows what she implored her husband to do or not to do, but she did have 6 children. Needless to say, I soon did nothing else but keep my hands under the blankets, relishing, rejoicing and reliving my recent bravery overcoming my reticence with the touch of the lovely softness of sweet Marga.

A few weeks after, I experienced an even more unforgettable and momentous event. We lived opposite each other on the third story of our block of apartments where we often used to see each other behind the windows. Holland bares their living space as nowhere else by hardly ever drawing curtains or blinds. One sultry summer evening, we, lovelorn, were looking at each other again across the street, when she lifted her blouse suddenly and utterly spontaneously, and with a smile, affording me a view of her small roseate breasts. Not only having touched them previously but now seeing them as well brought me almost to my knees. My lovely Marga. She soon moved away to Utrecht.

All these idyllic, romantic and sexual mores of my pre-teen years were rudely interrupted by my parent’s decision to migrate to Australia. What a schism. That suburb in Australia of single fenced off green painted fibro houses, empty streets and not person in sight, let alone a Marga. I could not share my loneliness no matter how lovely the rockeries or how well the suburban lawns were kept.

1950-Ford-single-spinner

A great consolation was my first car. It was a 1950 Ford V8 single spinner and painted a light powder blue. That first time I brought it home after having traded in my Triumph ex police motor bike with side-car was a triumph. It was almost, but not quite as unforgettable as my memories of sweet Marga. Next morning, turning the key and pulling the starter knob it brought the eight cylinders to life with a roar that brought the whole street to attention.

It was this FordV8 car that I took my first Australian girl friend out in. I decided to show her the devastation of a small village named Woy Woy that had been blown to pieces by a huge swirling tornado  named ‘Willy Willy,’ an obscure aboriginal name . The Newspapers were full of the Willy Willy at Woy Woy. I could not shake the title of those headlines and had to find out what this devastation was all about.

The trip was a disaster even more than the Willy Willy at Woy Woy. She was nothing like my soft Marga. She was unrelentingly practical, hard as nails and tough as leather jackets. She complained of my car giving out blue smoke, also, “Get me a malted banana milkshake” she demanded. Late in the afternoon I dropped her off at Sydney’s Coogee. Her father was formidable, over 6 feet and wearing bib and brace overalls with tools hanging from a belt. He was most suspicious. He should not have worried.

No twinges of any sort.