We don’t normally bother, so no gifts exchanged but this year we’re camping wild in Tasmania so The Bloke used that as an excuse to book us a table at the Bayside Bistro pub in St Helens for lunch.
Before lunch we did some exploring on the other side of the bay where we were able to get out and walk along the breakwater wall.
We realised today that this is our 21st Valentine’s Day together but our first with no children involved. Just us, it was nice.
Pub for lunch l chose Roast Lamb because when we’ve been camping a while l miss the vegetables
When The Bloke and l first met online, we were both single parents and it turned out he worked not far from my house so one random day he called and said “I’m going past your street on my way to another company for a meeting can l stop in?” I nervously said “Yes” my cousin was over anyways so it was all good. He pulled up in his business shirt and tie with a box of mint slice chocolates and a chocolate mud muffin he had made. That first meeting was maybe 10 minutes and he was going away soon on Christmas holidays with his son. So l thought, that is that!
New Year’s Eve the phone rings and it’s him telling me he’s camping on a hill in Queensland and just wanted to say Happy New Year and maybe when he gets back to work we can go out for coffee. So l agreed.
Mid January 2001- comes and he calls saying “I’m working Saturday morning, how about l pick you up for coffee and home made mud muffins?” I agreed.
And that my friends is that… at first we were friends only and so different, like chalk and cheese! He’s a business man with a shirt and tie and a company car and he lives in the country. I mean l didn’t even know where Sunbury was!! And l was just me a single parent of three young children who’d want me?! I remember l told my cousin “Oh we’re just friends it won’t last six months”
But The Bloke- because underneath the business clothes and company car, he was “just a Bloke who likes rock n roll music and the Phantom and beer” he had a son and a black Labrador called Blue and he showed me new sides to life. I didn’t know there was this whole Rock n Roll/ Rockabilly life style going on in Melbourne not even far from where l lived. When he said “Rock n Roll” l said “Oh Elvis?!” But oh my girl there’s so much more..
Suddenly l was listening to HIS music, he grudgingly listened to my country and we met in the middle with Rockabilly. Soon he had taught me some dance moves and before long we were going to Rock n Roll dances and seeing bands and where had l been all my life?!
Then in April of 2001 l got really sick and ended up over the Easter weekend in hospital with gall stones and needing surgery, he rang me, he visited, and he went to that dance withOUT me! But as a consolation prize he brought me a signed poster into my hospital room!
It was soon after, that we realised “oops we were expecting” so not planned and not part of the “It’ll only last six months” deal.
We welcomed our “Rockabilly baby” on January 23 2002 born into the world to the Janis Martin song “Billy Boy” l sent Janis Martin an email just before she passed away and told her about our Star Son William John named “Billy” and her Grand daughter replied and said “My Grandmother was over the moon to hear from you” so l sent her back a photo of our Rockabilly Boy. The Grand daughter printed out the photo and took it into the hospital to give to Janis Martin.
When Star Son was Six months old, the Bloke decided that having five children wasn’t enough and that l needed something else to do, so he put MY hand up as Secretary and Treasurer of the local Rock n Roll Appreciation, but fair enough because he was named President. So our lives got busier!
Writing a monthly column each, mailing off magazines all over the world and generally having a blast, bands would send us CD’s in the mail and we’d do reviews and write articles. My favourite one l wrote was on Chuck Hughes and the Hillbilly Hellcats! This also meant that we went to a LOT of dances almost every week, we’d be there with the five children and dance the night away. Star Son almost got kidnapped by Texan Rockabilly singer Marti Brom who fell in love with him and wanted him as a souvenir!!
I remember one show we went to l was doing a review on this concert and so l was in this pack of “Grandmothers” all going crazy for this guy l’d never heard of, The Bloke had played me a few of his songs before hand but l’d still never heard of him, so lm innocently snapping away photos and this lady asks me “What are you doing?” I replied l was writing an article on Merv Benton and so l was taking photos she continued to watch me and every so often she would say “Oooh that’s a goodie!”
Finally she says “ Come with me!!” And she drags me to the front of the stage so now l’ve got a super clear view of not only Merv but also the screaming wild crowd of Grandmas! It turned out to be a great night and we got back stage passes and went back to meet Merv, he asked me “Did you get any good pics?” I nodded dumbly. I got the idea to do a “Then and Now” article we had an article of his last tour and so l contacted his agent and asked if l could speak to Merv in regards to the article. I must confess by now l too was smitten with Merv Benton! He was big in the 60’s in Australia and then he moved to America where he lives now in Arizona. Anyways long story short, he called me a week or so later and we talked for two hours and he came up to our radio program and did an on air interview. He still calls me occasionally!
Radio programs was another thing the Bloke convinced me we needed to do so once a month we went into the city to do a show called “Shake, Rattle and Roll” for the Rock n Roll club and then we decided to approach our local radio show and host one there, we called that one “Shake, Rattle and Roll” too but when we eventually gave up being involved with the rock n roll club and magazine we changed our radio show to “Rock Therapy”
When The Bloke turned 50 l made him have a party, that was one of the things l brought into this partnership Parties!! And convinced him it was time for him to start enjoying himself some more and so he brought himself a 1969 Triumph Trophy and l had to learn to love it or miss out! One particularly hairy ride we met one of his friends a huge bear of a man who took me aside and said in his deep booming voice “ Now listen here! It doesn’t matter how much he loves you he loves that bike more! So he’s not going to do anything to hurt the bike, if he leans, you lean, just hold on and relax” I nodded that made sense and then he added “Besides love! He doesn’t want to be stuck with five kids!” 🤪
And he we are twenty one St Valentine’s days later, it’s been a wild ride, ups, downs and a very bumpy ride, l’ve brought the “Business man” down a level and l’ve certainly climbed up about three levels to meet him in a comfy place.
At the end of this month we celebrate our 17th Wedding Anniversary, we have a 19 year old son over 6 foot tall. It’s The Blokes 65 birthday AND his first Anniversary of Retired life.
Yes Bloke it’s been a wild ride, but l wouldn’t do it with anyone else!