Thursday, September 3, 2009

Memories of holidays past

Everyone has a smell, taste or sound that is guaranteed to trigger evocative memories from their childhood.

For some, it’s the smell of the beach, from Summer holidays past when the whole tribe would pile in the Kingswood wagon the day after Dad finished work and head to the beach before it got invaded by grey-haired antique shop owners and Texan inspired goth pirates. For others, it may be the song on the stereo when you finally got your hand up Michelle Petersen’s jumper.

Today I encountered a new one.

My family and I are currently on a short sojourn in the wilds of Williamstown Victoria, before a return to Manila to pack everything in boxes so we can move back to Canberra. Got it? Simple.

Today, in order to keep the young Fadlets happy, we took a quick trip completely across the city to go and ride Puffing Billy. It’s a steam train, my son loves Thomas the Tank Engine – too easy.

I spent the first seven years of my life in Melbourne. Most of my immediate family are in Melbourne. The Catholic side of my family account for most of the population of Melbourne that isn’t Jewish, Greek or Sudanese. We spent many, many holidays around Melbourne and Victoria, even after we escaped the family to move to Canberra of all places.

Sitting on the window sill with my legs hanging out the window watching the scenery chug by was great. Memories of doing the same with my family started flooding back - particularly of Dad dropping us off at the station with Mum and then magically appearing in the car to wave to us at every crossing.

Then, it happened. A fucking cinder in my eye… and another!

Fuck! Get it out!

This was the trigger of which I speak. Suddenly, the real memories shouldered their way in, pushing the other, nicer ones out of the way. The only REAL reason we ever went on Puffing Billy was for my parents to lull us three boys into a false sense of security before dropping us off in Emerald with the bogan relatives from hell, so they could spend a week in Queensland. That week was spent with the Australian equivalent of the Griswald cousins in the first Vacation movie.

I now remembered… God, I remembered!

So fuck you Puffing Billy! And your fucking Thomas the Tank Engine sales points!!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my first TSFKA outing.


Lewd Bob said...

I particularly liked your debut post, Fad, because it fits so nicely into the general philosophy of the blog: having a good fucking whinge about shit.


Melba said...

I enjoyed it too. The way it turned from sweet nostalgia to fuck you in the blink of a cindered eye.

Fad MD said...

I've got to say, I was very impressed that you can still sit on the window ledge of the train with you arms and legs out the window. I was sure that would have been canned by the fun police by now.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

And your fucking Thomas the Tank Engine sales points!!

Amen to that, comrade.

We took The Boy on his first Puffing Billy some months ago and he spent the entire ride up and the entire ride back whinging about the Thomas toys he saw in Belgrave.

Nice post too.

Perseus said...

I LOVE Puffing Billy. I even love the the routine of having to pick the soot out of my hair afterwards. I like the noise it makes. The one downside: The shit coffee at the end of the ride. That kiosk is rubbish.

And yes, a good post Fad. You should do more. I have nothing to say, ever, and manage to post here regularly.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Wait until you have a pre-schooler with a Thomas fixation, Pers.

squib said...

Nice post, Fad. I remember Williamstown. I remember a depressing looking water-edge (was it a beach?)and my dad talking about back in the day when he was a seascout

Lewd Bob said...

I still remember the smell of my schoolbag from grade 1.

Perseus said...

Was it a 'TAA - The Friendly Way' bag?

Lewd Bob said...

No, no it wasn't.

Boogeyman said...

Great first post Fad.

Your parents forced you to take holidays in Emerald? That's child cruelty if ever I heard it.

eat my shorts said...

An excellent post Fad. Most excellent indeed. And I thought I was the only one whose extended family were the southern hemisphere's version of Griswald hell.

Plus, I caught the beginning of Thomas the Tank Engine not long ago and they got rid of the normal theme tune. It made me wonder what else they might've changed and I was so scared that maybe Ringo wasn't narrating it anymore that I quickly changed the channel.

Ringo DOES still narrate Thomas the Tank Engine, right? Right?

(If he doesn't, just lie to me. It'll hurt me less.)

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The latest Thomas has a much more animated face, with a mouth that moves.

Scared the flying fuck out of me.

eat my shorts said...

Well, that's just silly. Why does his mouth need to move? He's a train for goodness sake. Sheesh. Everyone knows trains' mouths don't move when they talk.

I think the people making Thomas the Tank Engine must be smoking crack.