Sunday, 21st December 1986
I did the laundry up in Kings Cross, returned and then decided on the spur of the moment to go to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. They were playing up at the Cricket Club and it was a reasonable 23 dollars to get in. The support band were called “Machinations”. Mark the Canadian accompanied me.
OMD were excellent and it was a really enjoyable evening. It got me out of my subdued mood and into a bit more of a happy Christmas mood. I got a T shirt too.
Monday, 22nd December 1986
There was no overtime at Kodak and I got home early.
Tuesday, 23rd December 1986
There was no overtime again.
Jez brought 3 girls around to look at the house. We did our best to make it look attractive but I don’t think we convinced them.
Wednesday, 24th December 1986
Work started as normal but it gradually got less and less busy throughout the day until noon. We all went up to the second floor for a buffet lunch of prawns, mussels and chicken. It was all washed down with a lot of Fosters and that left us staggering home on the bus.
I got home to find Declan sitting there having missed Hewlett Packard’s Christmas party due to a hangover from the night before.
We waited in for Simon and Victor to come back and then we organised a taxi to the Cock and Bull bottle shop. We stocked up with cases of Swan Lager and then got flowers for Josie. We then took them all over to Braemar. We put the beer in the bath and made sure it was kept stocked with ice.
We returned to the Wentworth for a Christmas Eve drinking session. We were Simon, Declan, Victor, Josie and seven others. Guy joined us later. We went from the Wentworth to Arabella’s night club and, for me at least, the room began to spin. We finally got out of there at 1am. We went back to Braemar.
Thursday, December 25th 1986
Christmas Day began with a headache. There was no respite from alcohol though as the breakfast was largely comprised of Champagne. We sat around in a big circle sipping Champagne as we all opened our presents. There was a weird assortment of gifts that ranged from a penis-shaped beer muffler to a suspender belt.
After even more champagne we headed off down to the beach carrying as much of the beer as we could in our cooler boxes. We found a spot on the crowded beach and spent the entire afternoon sunning ourselves on Christmas day. We certainly drank a lot but the only thing I ate was a small piece of KFC.
In the early evening we returned to Braemar and had a wonderful feast of chicken, various salads and baked potatoes. We followed this with Christmas pudding and a lot of wine.
We decided on the spur of the moment to go down to the Rocks to try to appear on Noel Edmond’s Christmas Show in London. A Channel 10 telecast satellite broadcast was linking up with the London show. We got a bus down and we managed to bump into the girls who had looked over our house a few days before. They told us that they had decided not to take it.
When we finally got to the Rocks we discovered a large crowd who were acting in a typical British hooligan manner. It felt a bit dangerous at first but it was quite fun actually. Every 30 minutes for the 2 hour show we posed at the cameras and waved. Dame Edna Everage was there in person whipping up the crowds at the Sydney end.
I looked around and I thought that everyone had vanished. There was only Jill there. Jill and I returned in a taxi and spent 6 dollars on it. As we pulled up at Braemar there was Simon and Declan just getting out of another taxi. Simon had managed to fall out of a tree.
Friday, December 26th 1986
We took advantage of an offer from Coca Cola to go to Australia’s Wonderland amusement park. The offer gave 2 dollars off the entrance fee and 2 dollars spending money once inside.
We all got there in Sean’s Peugeot 504; Josie, Simon, Declan, Paul, John and me. The rides were Australian versions of the standard theme park stuff. Among them was and a very interesting water slide. We had a gold burger for lunch.
We returned home for beer, more beer and a huge bowl of punch. We played a made up version of Monopoly using the names of the parts of Sydney we knew so well. “Go to Parramatta”, “Land on Dennison street” “Do not pass Braemar” etc… We got drunker and drunker and the rules went out of the window.
Saturday, December 27th 1986
We felt a little rough, not surprisingly, the next morning. Nevertheless we recovered quickly and took ourselves off to Palm Beach in North Sydney. We got there in Sean’s car again and had a rather delectable meat pie from a French bakery on the way.
Palm Beach was idyllic. There were plenty of people windsurfing and swimming but it wasn’t too crowded. I had a swim until something bit me on my toe and I leapt out of the water shouting obscenities. We did some more sunbathing and then we had a good idea; a ride in a sea plane.
We got a quote for 50 dollars from Aquatic Airways for a trip to the Harbour bridge, a circle of Sydney and back. 30 minutes later Josie, Declan, Simon and myself climbed into a little shuttle boat that took us out to a De-Havilland Beaver that was waiting in the bay.
The aircraft looked quite old but the pilot looked even older. The aircraft was a six seater arranged in three rows of two. Simon sat in the co-pilots seat, Declan and I sat behind and Josie had the back all to herself.
We started out, skimmed the water and then shot into the air. It was my first ride in a sea plane and it was rather exciting. It wasn’t long until we were over the city with fantastic views of the Harbour, Opera house and Bridge.
We went over Centrepoint Tower and banked very sharply. Steve had the window open in the front ready to get the perfect Centrepoint tower photograph. Josie screamed as she slid down the seat in the back. We came back in for a splashy landing and then spent the rest of the afternoon boasting to others.
We had a bit more sunbathing and then drove home, pausing to get some fruit on the way.
When we got home there was a note from Basil and Pat telling us that there was a party around their house.
Before we headed out to Dover Heights we went for an Indian meal. The food was okay but the service was terrible with all the food arriving at different times.
We got two taxis, Sean went home so there was Guy, Nigel, Josie, Simon, Declan and me. Basil and Pat were just putting the Gazebo up when we arrived. It was already about 10pm so we knew we were in for a long night. We talked, drank and smoked and eventually made it out of there at 3am in taxis back again to Braemar for the fourth night in a row.
Sunday, December 28th 1986
We woke up and dodged another invitation to go to the beach and instead decided it was time to head home. The three of us packed our stuff and headed back to Dennison. I bought myself a chocolate croissant and an apple on the way back.
We all slept in the afternoon.
In the early evening a French guy came round to see the house. We didn’t hold out much hope he would take it.
We had put the house in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday. We had added the words “Must be Seen” although Declan had suggested that “Must be fumigated” would have been more accurate.
We went out for a McDonald’s and then watched 1984 on the TV. It felt like an anti-climax being back at Dennison, but at least we knew it was going to be the last week.
Monday, December 29th 1986
It was quite a struggle getting up for work after all the partying, but I made it in on time. Work was gentle enough and, as expected, there was no overtime.
Tuesday, December 30th 1986
I had another quiet day at work and then in the evening we went to the New Tai Yeun for Josie’s birthday party. We had a lovely meal banquet of beef, chicken, pork, lamb and seafood washed down with lots of wine and Chinese tea. The party was attended by Sean, Heather, John, Rob, Nigel, Guy, Declan, Simon, Mark the Canadian, Mark the kiwi, Jill and myself. Josie seemed very pleased with her presents of a bag and a gift voucher.
Unfortunately Declan got ill on the way home and had to be taken to a doctor. He was fine in the end though.
Wednesday, December 31st 1986
A very quiet day at work.
The TV was taken away.
I went back to Braemar and then after a few drinks, we split into two distinct groups. Those who wanted to go and see where Sydney celebrates new year, on the Rocks, and those who wanted to go to another party in Dover Heights.
I opted for the Rocks experience and got the bus down there with Simon, Josie, Declan, Guy, Jill and Jez. We joined the drunken hoards down there in the version of Sydney’s Trafalgar Square or Times Square experience. We bought some long tube horns from the street vendors and along with everyone else started blowing them as we walked along.
We got there for about 9pm and as we arrived it started to rain. We got some spirits and a box of wine from a bottle shop and then sheltered in a shop doorway. We danced outside a pub and then sheltered again from the rain under the Harbour Bridge and sang Auld Lang Syne.
Thursday, 1st January 1987
The first few seconds of the New Year saw me get Champagne sprayed in my face as Declan shook the whole bottle at me.
We were all plastered by then and we walked up George Street kissing and shaking hands with everyone wishing them a happy new year. Then we started stopping cars and asking them for lifts. Unsurprisingly, no one wanted to give us a lift.
We ended up at Martin Place Station. There was Jez, Simon, Declan and me. I collapsed into a heap whilst waiting for the 1am train. As it came in, despite encouragement and threats from Declan and Simon that it was the last one, I told them to go without me and I quickly fell asleep on the station floor.
The station cleaner woke me at 4:30am and told me I had missed the last train but was welcome to wait until the first one at 6:30am. I caught that one and managed to stagger home and into the room where Victor was fast asleep. I had as much water as I could drink and then went to bed myself.
I woke at 2pm. I found out that Declan and Simon had got the train to Bondi Junction and then flagged down a Jeep. The Jeep had taken them to someone else’s all-night party in Dover Heights. They had finally come back at 10am and were in a much worse state than me.
We popped round to Josie’s in the late afternoon to watch the review of the year and some other rubbish on TV.
Friday, 2nd January 1987
The flat was looking really empty as I left for work. The last of the furniture was being collected in the afternoon.
Work was okay but I had to sit next to the big boss at the new year lunch and crawl to him a bit.
At 4pm I returned home to find that Declan and Simon had been filming the last of their video, had got drunk and were asleep.
Victor and I woke them and then we all worked as hard as we could to strip the rooms and pack in preparation for the big departure.
When we had finished we got a Malaysian take away; prawn crackers, sate pork and rice.
I was eating and drinking far too much and I knew I needed to exercise more.
I went off to the cinema by myself to see Bob Hoskins in the film Mona Lisa in Paddington. It was excellent.
Up until then I hadn’t really thought about what to do next. I knew the job at Kodak would last for another week or so at least, but I didn’t want to try to get any permanent accommodation again.
I had decided to go back to Kings Cross and get a place at the Backpacker’s Hostel.
There was also the problem of the 680 dollar bond that we needed back from Eric. We wondered whether we would see it again.