In the 70’s, Mum and Dad owned a holiday house, at 40 Harvey Road, St Leonards.
St. Leonards is a small town not far from Melbourne, and it sits close to the ocean, in fact all we needed to do to get to the beach, was simply walk to the end of the street.
Though we rarely ever went there, because it was generally too cold.
So we’d be inside reading or playing records, or watching television.
“Holiday House” wasn’t really the proper name for it as something always had to be done.
Dad always seemed to be mowing the lawn, or fencing or painting, or digging a big hole for some reason, while Mum did exactly the same sort of things she did at home.
We had a problem too, whenever we had a few days down there, I’d get sick, and nobody knew why until the day Dad was doing something under the house, and discovered a huge lake of water, directly under my bedroom, so he drained it. The water ran out from under our place…but collected under, and around the house next door, the neighbour was not pleased.
It was towards the end of one of these bouts of ill health that Mum and Dad made a fairly poor decision to go to Geelong for the day.
The day was lovely and sunny as far as I can recall, and We stopped in front of Coles Cafeteria, I think we all loved those, but they’re not around anymore, sadly enough.
We went inside and up the stairs, to where all the food was.
The idea was to take a tray and slide it along the counter, taking whatever food you fancied, and paying at the end of the line.
Mum hoped I’d find something I’d actually eat, since I had not eaten much in several days.
And then I saw it, it was some kind of a milk drink, in a very fancy glass, and had a straw poking out at the side… and it was a lurid green, so of course I wanted it.
Now if you’re hoping Mum told me “NO” and made me get something else, I’m sorry… because
She allowed it, Much to her eternal regret.
So we returned to our table and hopped into our goodies, and I drank that lurid green concoction, whatever it was, I’m not sure if I had anything else, not that it matters.
And then I said those words that nobody wanted to hear.
“Mum, I’m going to be sick”
Mum and Dad leapt to attention, as the first eruptions began to rumble, and grabbed my hand and ran down those steps, towards the glass doors as quickly as they could.
I don’t know how Mum did it, She was so “un-co” that she could trip over a pin, but she bolted down those stairs with the finesse of an athlete.
And just as those glass doors were pushed open, lurid green spew went everywhere, which left a massive green splodge over the footpath as though the Ghost busters had run over Slimer with a Steam Roller.
Mum frantically apologised and was completely red faced, But I think she was relieved that we had at least made it outside the building.
I don’t remember much after that, except that versions of this tale had been told by Mum over the years to practically any sympathetic Mum who’d listen.
Oh, and we never went there again.