Wednesday, December 30, 2009

time for views... and observations...

It's been a lonely few days... I have managed to catch up with a couple of friends, but overall, it's been very quiet in my world. I suppose this serenity has enabled me to start getting used to the idea that I will mainly be alone for the six-week trip I have planned for the new year.

Despite the solitude of the last few days, there have been some good moments. The rain-less weather in Melbourne has enabled me to go for some longer rides around the "burbs". As some of you know, I'm a sucker for views... vistas of nature, seascapes, cities, people... So, when I looked out the window on Boxing Day morning and saw what a beautiful day was ahead, I thought I'd ride to some of my favourite places around Melbourne. Places that I loved going to as a kid... to play, discover... and then, as I got older, to return... and play and discover some more... ;)

The pictures below might give you a clue as to where I've been...

The glorious weather continued...

So, on Monday, I decided to ride to a favourite park in the inner suburbs of Melbourne and read a book. It irks me that I don't read as much as I'd like to these days, so I was determined to finish a book I started recently, written by a female motorcyclist who traversed the Americas on her own and lived to tell the tale.

You'll be happy to know that I managed to finish the book in the park on that day, but the reason why I'm telling you about this apparently "mundane" part of my week, is because of an incident in that park that managed to amuse me, make me pause for thought, and then inwardly cringe...

My engrossing read was interrupted by two boys walking past me as they finished playing with their frisbee. These boys couldn't have been older than 12 years of age. Although my book was truly fascinating, I couldn't help listening in on their conversation - they were discussing (and singing) the lyrics to a song called 'Money for Nothing' by Dire Straits.

(For any of you doing the math, you can understand why they got my attention.)

They were debating about the lyrics and what Knopfler actually sang at certain points in the song. The verse they were arguing over was this one:

I should have learned to play the guitar
I should have learned to play them drums

Look at that mama, she got it sticking in the camera

Man we can have some

And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?

Banging on the bongos like a chimpanzee

Oh, that ain't working, that's the way you do it

Get your money for nothing get your chicks for free

Hawaiian noises? These poor little boys just didn't have a clue...
Alternatives they offered were:
"How are THE noises?"
"How are YOU noises?"

They giggled... one said "Maybe it's not about noises at all, maybe they're talking about
their NOSES!"
The other was dead against that idea - "No, no! Why would they be talking about their NOSES, when they go on to talk about bongos and chimpanzees? Jeez..."

I smiled, remembering a friend of mine in the 90s who always managed to get the lyrics wrong, but provided a highly amusing alternative, which I ended up preferring to the original lyrics, and still sing them to this day...

The first song was 'Life in the fast lane' by The Eagles - my friend was certain it was 'Life in a BAT PLANE', which always managed to make me picture Batman and Robin discussing the city of Gotham over a beer while they patrolled the skies in their "bat plane".

The second song? 'Evidence' by Faith No More. Here, he thought it was "Have a dance", not "evidence"

LOL Too funny... and quite contagious - as I said, since hearing the BETTER substitutes, I haven't refrained from singing these lyrics whenever I hear those songs.

But, back to my story...
It was at this point that I had to interrupt the boys' tête-à-tête:
"I believe the lyrics are "Hawaiian noises" - nothing to do with noses, I'm afraid..."

They stopped in their tracks in disbelief.

"How would YOU know?" they challenged.

"Ummm... (insert equally extreme sarcasm here) because I was a kid in primary school when THAT song was NUMBER ONE on the Australian charts. You weren't even born yet!"
(Just for the record, all of this was also said with a huge smile on my face. I didn't want to scare the lads.)

"Oh yeah?? Well, who sings this song then?"

Ahhh, the young... wanting to take me on and beat me too... Silly little dears...

"That would be Mark Knopfler, who was the lead singer of Dire Straits."
Wanting to make sure they didn't try and TEST me again, I also added:

"The song was from the album 'Brothers in Arms' and it was a hit in 1985. When were YOU born?"

I must say, I don't recall seeing such amazement on little boys' faces...
It was hilarious... and reassuring...

Sometimes, I've found myself wondering if there IS any way to "amaze" little kids these days. They're hit with a barrage of information from all directions starting at birth. Things that used to positively ASTOUND me and my generation are so boring and uninteresting to them, generally speaking. It made me comforted to know that there are still little ones out there that can be impressed by a little trivia, no matter how hum-drum or prosaic others might think it might be in today's world...

But, these little boys had the last laugh... they departed, still discussing the song:

"What about the first line? Now look at them yo-yos - that's the way you do it...
What's a yo-yo?? Do YOU know??"

(Insert me cringing here. No further comment)

Stay tuned... next week, I'll be sitting at a bus stop, having a chat with an old bag lady or something... ;)


  1. I always ride alone. If I want to travel in company, I use my car. To ride alone for weeks is a beautiful and intense experience. I hope you enjoy. Have a nice trip!

  2. Gracias José... Estoy segura que lo disfrutaré enormamente! :)

  3. Lovely! I too enjoy the days of solitude, where there is no game plan... then a leg gets tossed over a bike... and off I am on an adventure all it's own. Where I end up... nobody knows! Happily, I have never been disappointed in the ride there... the destination, nor the ride home ;)

  4. I bought a typewriter the other day (never drunk-ebay - it's a verb, look it up). My 6yo son was fascinated by this new device. Clearly it was sophisticated and new, in his opinion. 'So dad,' he opined. 'It's kind of like a computer - because it has these keys. And it's kind of like a printer - because of the paper'.

    As I recall, he loved it when it 'dinged'.

    Feeling like a real dinosaur now...

  5. It will be great to watch Mark Knopfler, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.


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