Secret cities worth visiting, well actually they are not all cities & not all secret, but they are all worth visiting. These are places mostly off the beaten track, places that many people may not have heard of.
Above is The lovely French village of Breil-sur-Roya which is particularly known for trout fishing. The Roya river runs through town and is open to trout anglers from March to September. Located in the mountains near the Italian border just north of the French Riviera.
French and Italian rail lines run through Breil so it is very easy to travel anywhere. There is a great market every Friday at Ventimiglia on the border 30 minutes drive or 20 minutes by train from Breil.
Talking about Italy
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance era, San Gimignanowas a stopping point for Catholic pilgrims on their way to Rome and the Vatican, as it sits on the medieval Via Francigena. The city’s development was also improved by the trade of agricultural products from the fertile neighbouring hills, in particular saffron, used in both cooking and dyeing cloth and Vernaccia wine, said to inspire popes and poets.
Secret cities worth visiting include San Gimignano
San Gimignano is famous for its Medieval village architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline”
Have you ever heard of Florianopolis?
Most people outside of South America have not heard of this fabulous city which currently has an estimated population of 420,000 people. The GreaterFlorianopolis Metro area is home to about 1 million people. Florianopolis is a wonderful Brazilian city which should go on the bucket list for anyone intending to visit this wonderful country.
Friendly people who love to party.
January 11, 2009. Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the “Ten most dynamic cities of the world” list in 2006. Veja magazine, a Brazilian publication, named the city as “the best place to live in Brazil.
Active Volcano Kagoshima Japan Sakurajimahad been peaceful since 2013 until July 2016, then suddenly plumes of smoke, cracks of lighting and a flow of lava came bellowing out of Japan’s Mount Sakruajima in July 2016. Located in a scenic bay on the southern island of Kyushu, this 1,117 meter high volcano has been a sleeping giant for the past three years prior to this fiery spectacle. The incident took place at 12:02 am on Tuesday at the mountain’s Showa crater, which resulted in a 5,000 meter high column of ash – but officials say no fatalities have been reported. Credit to STACY LIBERATORE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM Read about it here.
One of the many reasons I visit Japan often is the fabulous food. A village near the railway station is called Kagomma Furusato Yataimura. There are about 25 small restaurants that seat only 8 or 10 people.
Forster Tuncurry east coast Australia
A population of over 18,000 people it is a holiday destination for many Sydney people who are only a 4 hour drive away.
A great area for fishing & boating.
At the Northern tip of the Great Lakes, these twin towns are where Wallis Lake meets the ocean. The twin townships are surrounded by National Parks and feature majestic headlands and long secluded beaches. Boating, fishing, diving, paddling, cruises, whale watching and coastal walks combine with galleries, unique shopping and award-winning restaurants to create an experience rich coastal destination.
Pattaya Life Absolutely Perfect place to live for a guy like me. Good friends & great restaurants, what more could I want? Plus a reasonably short plane ride to many outstanding locations. Above is the incredible view from my Markland apartment on the 20th floor.
FiveStarVagabond favourite photos taken over many years by me, David Herd. To many people they will be nothing special, however they are very special indeed to me. Sometimes it’s the image itself that appeals & other times it’s the memory of where I was at the time.
My number one Songkran photo taken in Pattaya. Each year a massive water fight is held to commemorate the new year. The downside is the hundreds of lives that are lost on the roads during the Seven days of madness.
I was in HCMC aka Saigonwhen approached by this little girl begging for money. I knew she would give it to her mother waiting nearby, & possibly the mother would have to hand it over to local gangsters. Consequently I filled a plate of food which she devoured rather quickly.
Gorgeous girls Sydney 1980 and 81 living on the waterfront in Drummoyne with the view you see in the header on this post. I drove a white Mercedes Sports, had my Bertram 25 moored in front of my apartment, and a liquor store in Sydenham, quite a few good friends and a long line of beautiful girlfriends, life was very close to perfect. The Watsons Bay hotel shown above was one of my regular haunts as was Doyles restaurant. It’s a great place to stay when in Sydney, for an excellent room rate just book through THIS LINK.
This is not part of my Travel Blog. It’s part of my personal history, check it out if you wish.
I had an absolute perfect mooring right outside my apartment, it was so much fun on Sydney harbour visiting all the great beaches & restaurants. They really were Great years Sydney 1980 to January 1987 when I pulled up stakes and moved to the Gold Coast.
It seemed the parties and drinks never stopped at my Drummoyne apartment, life was very good indeed.
Jeff and Debbie Don
Gorgeous Debbie & party animal Jeff, another smooth operator.
The party never stopped
Looking back to my 6 years at Drummoyne I feel I made a serious mistake getting engaged and moving to Newport. My decision was based on a particular mindset we grew up with, eventually we all should settle down, marry & have children. In hindsight I now know that’s OK for the majority of people, but not everybody, & I’m certainly in the category of “not everybody”. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Talking about being engaged, here is my future fiancee in 1981
Karen Smith and Dirk Kammerling were an item for several years until her and I started going out in 1984 which led to our engagement.
Karen & I in 1981
Who would have thought in 3 years we would be engaged and living together at Newport?
Castle Cove 1980
Two of the girls here were sisters, Carmen & Antionette Sherry, plus my good friend Rob Symonds and Peter H.
Gorgeous girls Sydney 1980 included Carmen & Antoinette
Decorating my XJ 6 in 1980.
What a beautiful redhead. 🙂
Here are some of the usual suspects
John Malouf, Peter Singleton and Dennis Moran at another one of my Drummoyne gatherings.
Joanne Barrett came 3rd in Miss Universe 1969
What a beautiful face, is it any wonder she was 3rd in the Miss Universe?
Some people who have seen this photo have been cruel enough to suggest that I looked like a Miami drug dealer, and here was I thinking I was just a very cool dude. 🙂
Rob Symonds & I in Singapore 1980
Rob & I had a great trip to Manilla, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Pattaya and Singapore. This was when I first got hooked on Thailand, little did I realise 31 years later I would move there permanently. Take a look at my photo blog, just follow THIS LINK.
The blondes are here
That’s Teresa on the left sitting at my bar, and I can’t believe that I have forgotten the name of the other beautiful creature. 🙂
Here is the beautiful anonymous blonde as a redhead
Now is that a fantastic face or what?
When can I start having fun?
Right about now I would say, in fact I clearly remember a ménage à trois with two of these gorgeous babes. 🙂
Tall gorgeous redhead
Her name was Louise and we had a brief fling, Antoinette & I are checking her prowess on the BBQ. She knew how to handle a sausage. 🙂
I told you she was gorgeous
An absolute knockout.
Two more knockouts, Kerry & Terry
Two of my favourite Gorgeous girls Sydney 1980.
Shirley Jones 1980
Shirley was an air hostess for TAA which does not exist anymore. She & Debbie Don were flatmates who lived around the corner in Drummoyne ave and came to most of my parties. Compare us in the following photo. 🙂
After many hours of booze
At the end of the day decorum would go out the window. 🙂
This Shirley worked for Stripper-gram, we used to go out together occasionally. A very funny thing happened at my Dad’s retirement party, he had worked for Berger paints for 46 years. We were celebrating at what was then the Silverwater Businessman’s Club, in came a gorgeous girl in a bikini, draped in feathers, and proceeded with her well-practised routine.
The shocked look on my mother’s face had nothing to do with the girl sitting on Dad’s knee, it was when she walked over to our table and said to me, “hi David, nice to see you, when are we going out on your boat again”? Yes, it was Shirley, somebody had hired a stripper-gram for him. 🙂
This was Vickie in 1980
The long line of Gorgeous girls Sydney 1980 continues, it seemed there were so many babes and such little time. 🙂
Carol Aboud the ultimate party girl
Even though Carol was the mother of four young children she was the ultimate party girl. Part of a wealthy eastern suburbs family, her father was the managing director of Century batteries & in his eyes she could do no wrong.
We really had some great times together over a four year period, although it was one of those on & off relationships that ran into quite a few road blocks along the way.
Talking about party animals
This is Roger “Ramjet” Williams who could always be relied upon to put on a show. Two of his party tricks were drinking a Bloody Mary containing 1/2 a bottle of Tabasco sauce. If a normal person had one sip it would set your mouth on fire. His 2nd trick was to take a raw onion and eat it like an apple, this man obviously had no taste buds. 🙂
A Mexican bandit? No it’s Chris Adams
One of the Adelaide guys I knocked around with when I lived there in 72 to 74, Chris wound up in Sydney then I lost track of him. I have always had a knack of giving people nicknames that seemed to stick with them, in Chris’s case his name was “The Mouth”. 🙂
Another Shirley, Xmas 1981
A gorgeous little girl from the eastern suburbs who had a wealthy father and lived at Darling Point.
Ron Walsh from Broken Hill with Donna.
Ron was a close friend for many years, he owned the Retravision store in Broken Hill and would find any excuse to visit me when I lived in Adelaide, we had some wonderful fun times together.
Debbie Secombe another of the Gorgeous girls Sydney 1980
Debbie a cool Aussie chick who worked at the Manilla Playboy Club for a few years before turning up at one of my famous parties.
Di Parkinson Xmas 1981
Di was one of the most beautiful ladies I ever knew, also one of the craziest. No woman has caused me more problems in my life than this one. Apart from all that we had many great times together during the last 10 years.
One of the great nights of my life, and one of the best NYEs of my life, we overloaded my boat with 16 people and headed off to a seafood restaurant at “the Spit” for dinner before heading to the Opera House for the incredible fireworks. My girlfriend for the night was the gorgeous one in the middle, very unusual that I can’t remember her name.
I considered Wolf Wottke my best friend since we met in Adelaide in 1973, that friendship continued until I moved to Newport in 1984, sadly after that it was never the same.
Sydenham Cellars grand opening 1980 featuring Debbie Don.
In the 4 years I owned my liquor store I never really made too much money, 3 of those years the road was was closed for 3 or 4 months which effected my turnover rather badly. Luckily I had purchased the property and made a killing when I sold.
OK, one last look at Debbie.
She is certainly worth a look don’t you think?
Thanks for visiting my Gorgeous girls Sydney 1980 photo blog, what an era that was. No doubt at all 80, 81 & 82 were amazing years for living large & gorgeous ladies.
It’s now 2017 and here is Glenn Frey to tell you exactly how I feel today.
Great hotel rates here, just book through THIS LINK.
Please note, this is not part of my Travel Blog. It’s part of my personal history, check it out if you wish.
Believe it or not
Bizarre outrageous true stories
Bizarre outrageous true stories are some of the memories throughout my life that are either bizarre, unusual, hilarious or just plain crazy. A few years ago I intended to put these few recollections into an autobiography, however common sense prevailed so instead they will just be included in my blog. They are in no particular order, but I can assure you every word is true.
New Years 1981 Sydney Harbour
NYE 1981 and 15 of my friends boarded my Bertram 25 and headed for a seafood restaurant near the “Spit bridge” on Middle Harbor in Sydney. On-board were some of my best friends, Wolf Wottke, Harley Bradstreet, George McEwan & Graham “Biff” LaRoche from Melbourne and 6 or 7 gorgeous girls. My boat was licensed to carry around 10 or 12 people however it was New Year’s Eve so who really cared?
We moored on the edge of the sand at the rear of the restaurant and at 8.30 pm sat down and ordered a feast. Here is where things started to go wrong, we hadn’t factored in the NYE crowd and the food was very slow to arrive, in fact it was after 11 pm by the time the waiter started to serve our meal. By then we were well along the road to intoxication as we had started drinking late afternoon at my apartment in Drummoyne.
As the Sydney fireworks were due to start at midnight we decided to pack up most of the food and head for the Sydney Opera house to watch the spectacular event.
We faced our second problem re-boarding the boat as the tide had come in and the boat was now floating 30 meters from the shore. Our only option was to wade out carrying the boxed up food in water almost up to our backside. The good news was our nice view of the girls hiking up their skirts waist high, which endorses the phrase that every cloud has a silver lining.
Now “Biff” was a huge man as the name implies, & Harley was almost a midget, sometimes we would cruelly refer to him as an ariel photograph of as human being. So with Harley clutching a cardboard box filled with oysters “Biff” tucked him under his arm and carried him towards the boat.
I’m not sure why “Biff” dropped him, when only 2 meters from the boat, perhaps Harley wriggled or maybe “Biff” was feeling the effects of too many beers. Anyhow Harley briefly disappeared underwater along with the box of precious oysters, which I’m please to say we did recover.
Harley was our own human disaster area, if something was going to go wrong he was usually at the centre of things, in fact it was Harley who coined the memorable phrase“anyone can have a bad decade”.
By the time we all got on board it was around 11.30 pm and is was a good 30 minute journey to the Opera House so I gave the boat full throttle and sped toward the Harbour Bridge.
We arrived in record time about 11.55 and I was weaving through the 1500 or so boats like a drunken sailor, which of course I was, searching for a spot to anchor that was not too close to any of the hundreds of spectator craft. Hallelujah, what seemed to be a minor miracle unfolded before my eyes. A clear circle of water right in the middle of all the boats, so naturally I gave out a cheer and dropped the anchor just as the first fireworks explosion sounded right above us.
Elation quickly turned to fear as huge smoking wooden rods started raining down upon us. It was like we were caught in a Beirut bomb zone with huge sky rockets peppering the overloaded boat causing some of my friends, in particular Harley, to dive overboard in the middle of the harbour to escape the carnage. In the mayhem & panic it suddenly occurred to me we were smack bang in the middle of the fireworks “drop zone” which the water police had cleared in readiness for the show before retreating out of danger themselves.
I sprang into action like a drunken super hero and pulled up the anchor in record time, then fled the danger zone. No mean feat as my boat lacked an electric winch, so I had to manually pull the damn thing up by hand while standing on the bow.
We moored safely out of harm’s way and assessed the damage, naturally Harley was the most wounded, soaking wet with minor burns on his arm, plus a few small cuts from the smashed champagne bottle he was holding when hit by the first rocket.
Well we settled down and watched the rest of the fireworks reliving the experience that would be told many times over in the coming years, our own personal “great escape”.
Later we motored along the Parramatta River to Habberfield to drop off some passengers, and finally returned “drunk as skunks” to Drummoyne at dawn. Later that day George, Biff & I on impulse flew to the Gold Coastto continue our New Year celebrations.
Carol Aboud was my girlfriend from 1977 to 1980
Even though Carol was the mother of four young children she was the ultimate party girl. She came from a wealthy eastern suburbs family, her father was the managing director of Century batteries & in his eyes she could do no wrong.
We really had some great times together, although it was one of those on & off relationships that ran into quite a few road blocks along the way. Talking about roads Carol loved her little red Ford Capri, it was her pride & joy. One Friday night she was driving me home to Longueville after a typical night out at the Americas cup bar and San Francisco grill at the Sydney Hilton. For some unknown reason we started to have an argument with culminated in her pulling over to focus better on our disagreement.
Now bear in mind we both had consumed lots of alcohol so the argument was escalating, then for some stupid reason I grabbed her handbag and threw it out the window of the car. Well Carol let out a piercing scream and aimed a beautiful left hook at my jaw. Luckily I leaned back and the punch missed me my a fraction of an inch, however the follow through caused her fist to connect with the windscreen.
Now I forgot to mention Carol always wore lots of jewellery, necklaces and lots of rings, consequently her rather large ring was the first thing to connect with the windscreen which immediately shattered into thousands of pieces of toughened glass. Now I mean the whole damn windscreen, not just a small section, well after a moment of shocked silence we looked at each other and burst into laughter.
Naturally I retrieved the handbag, drove the car home with no front windscreen, then spent a couple of hundred dollars the next day having it replaced. Just another page in life’s rich pageant.
More Bizarre outrageous true stories from Adelaide in the 70s,
I have often told friends that two of the best years of my life were in Adelaide in the mid 70s. I met so many fascinating people there it really made life interesting. One such character was David Morgan, tall & wiry and a deep thinker, who had I believe spent some time behind bars. Anybody when they first met David would think he was a rather quiet person, in reality though he had a “short wick” and an explosive temper.
We would spend hours playing chess, during this time I tagged him with an unusual nickname, “Still Waters”. The first of two stories I want to tell involves a game of golf with a group following Dave & his friends. This group were rather impatient and on two occasions “hit up” before David was out of range. Showing great tolerance the 2nd time it happened David strolled back and requested they take more care as they were not at fault for the slow pace, it was the group in front of David causing the problem.
Well you guessed it, a couple of holes later the group hit up on them again. This time when David strolled back he took his five iron and beat the guy senseless putting him in hospital.
David of course fled the scene assuming he would not be caught as it was a public course and he was not known there. Now the story does not end there, David was a well known dog trainer who owned two magnificent Great Danes. The following week he was a guest on one of the Adelaide day time TV shows with his dogs to discuss training methods. Well, you guessed it again, who should be watching the show from his hospital bed? The victim of course who quickly rang the police who promptly took David into custody. 🙂
This must certainly rate as one of the best Bizarre outrageous true stories in this photo blog. For no particular reason I thought I would add a photo of two Great Danes so you know what we are talking about. Photo credit to Herb Ritts.
The second David Morgan story is 100% true because I was there. A mutual Phil Forsythe threw a small party at his home somewhere in the Glenelg area.
A few of us were enjoying a few beers on the back lawn when suddenly David and his heavily pregnant wife Ali came rushing in looking a little distressed. He shouted “hide us, hide us,the police are coming.” Well of course we had no idea what the problem was, however we concealed both of them in an unused “chook yard” at the back of the property.
Within a couple of minutes two police officers turned up and asked us if we had seen a guy and his pregnant wife around anywhere. We all looked suitably confused & asked why they thought this person would be here. The police then stated the person in question had an argument with a taxi driver that was supposed to bring them to this address. The argument apparently escalated to such a degree the alleged perpetrator tore the drivers door off its hinges and beat the driver unconscious with it then fled the scene.
Our host Phil looked the two police in the eye and said “do you really want to find this guy“? They looked at each other for a moment and said, “you have a point there“. and quietly left. 🙂
Tim Bristow was what the press used to call a colourful character.
Tim was a friend of mine so I visited him on several occasions when he was doing time in Berrima Jail, the one time that really sticks in my mind was Boxing Day 1986 or 1987, I’m not sure which. I signed into the jail as a visitor and Tim asked in his deep gravelly booming voice “listen Dave I have a friend who does not get any visitors would you mind signing him out of his cell?”Obviously I was not going to refuse this simple request so I did. I have forgotten the guy’s name so let’s just call him John. So the three of us were sitting on one side of a table with his friend between us enjoying our BBQ lunch. Tim leaned his huge head forward and asked “do you know what John is in for?”
Three things to note here are, 1. Years ago Tim suffered a minor stroke and one side of his face had fallen slightly and had no feeling, 2. He didn’t just speak, “he roared.” 3. He had quite a warped sense of humour. So repeating his question “do you know what John is in for?” I answered “no Tim, I don’t have any idea.” Then in his loudest booming voice he said “AXE MURDERER, HE KILLED TWO PEOPLE WITH AN AXE”, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! So picture this, here I’m sitting next to a guy with a steak knife in his hand after being informed he was a double axe murderer. I sort of lost my appetite for the rest of my lunch. I kept thinking on my drive home from Berrima how the authorities probably now had my name associated, not only with the notorious Tim Bristow but a double axe murderer as well.
Tim does a job for Sanyo
Shortly after I stopped working for Sanyo Office Machines I was at Coolum with Ross Radford & John Sprouster two of my old bosses. Ross told me of some problems he was having in the Melbourne office. He recently fired his manager who was now terrorising the staff with obscene phone calls and intimidating them when they arrived in the office car park. I told Ross I would talk to “Big Tim Bristow” to see if he could help.
Tim flew down to Melbourne and back in one day & reported that the problem was solved. Naturally I was keen to hear the details, Tim said he waited at the Sanyo car park for the guy to arrive, then opened the door of his car, leaned in and had a quiet word with him, that’s all it took.
Now I can only guess what the “quiet word” was, however with Big Tim’s huge head a couple of inches away from this guys face, suggesting what may occur if the problems continued, it’s not difficult to understand why this fellow “saw the light”. 🙂
Another of my Bizarre outrageous true stories was 1989 in Surfers Paradise when my current girlfriend & I attended the wedding at Marina Mirage of Reg “Sir Reginald” Biddings an ex NBL basketball star. Now Tanya was a rather crazy lady who would totally lose control after too many drinks. This evening was no exception, once she was past the point of no return she would throw herself at various guys on the dance floor in order to provoke a reaction from me.
I got rather bored with these antics and decided to leave alone, of course I had forgotten that Tanya had my boat keys in her handbag so I had to double back to retrieve them. She saw me coming and took off in the crowd. (there were around 1000 people there) Finally I cornered her and after a tug-of-war with the handbag managed to retrieve my keys.
To calm my nerves I had a couple of drinks at a favourite bar overlooking the broad-water. Feeling more relaxed I wandered down to where the boat was moored only to discover somebody (guess who?) had untied the rope and the boat was floating 200 meters away in the middle of the channel. I finally found a guy who took me out to rescue the boat so I could finally go home and put this madness behind me.
The story wasn’t quite over, I found Tanya had beaten me home and removed certain items including my camera, this however was a small price to pay so after a year of drama I was happy to never let her darken my doorstep ever again. 🙂
Can you imagine anybody having a DC3 in the backyard of their Box Hill home in Melbourne? Well this was 1989 and my friend Dion did not do anything in a small way. His girlfriend was an Ansett hostess and she used to fly on this actual aircraft, so naturally Dion bought it as a souvenir. 🙂
Dion also like classic cars, here is Tanya with his 1960 Cadillac four door sedan.
Roger had a stainless steel throat
This is Roger “Ramjet” Williams who could always be relied upon to put on a show. Two of his party tricks were drinking a Bloody Mary containing 1/2 a bottle of Tabasco sauce. If a normal person had one sip it would set your mouth on fire. His 2nd trick was to take a raw onion and eat it like an apple, this man obviously had no taste buds. 🙂
Home invasion at 106 Upton St Bundall aka “Dueling baseball bats”
It was May 2010 and I had only returned from Asia 48 hours ago & was still a little jet lagged. It would have been far safer staying in Bangkok or Cambodia than my home on the Gold coast, as I was the victim of a violent home invasion & robbery at 1am in the morning. I took a very solid hit from a lunatic with a baseball bat, but luckily was not badly hurt, I managed to fight the bastard off, & when I finally got through to 000 5 cop cars turned up within about 7 minutes. It may well have been the most terrifying experience of my life. There was an 18 year old girl renting a room in my house so when I heard some strange noises in the early hours of the morning I thought it was just her banging drawers etc.
Then a loud male voice from outside my bedroom door said “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY AND YOUR JEWELLERY OR I WILL SHOOT YOU” I jumped out of bed, put on a pair of shorts, grabbed a baseball bat from my wardrobe and opened my bedroom door, I was only halfway through the door when this wild man rushed me swinging his own baseball bat straight at my head. It all happened so fast, and bear in mind I was half asleep, luckily I came awake fairly quickly and held my bat at a 45 degree angle in front of my head, the bat took the main force of the blow. His bat bounced off and caught me on top of my right shoulder which made my whole arm briefly go numb. Needing to gain a little time & to get the feeling back in my arm I slammed and locked my bedroom door & called 000, (I also hit my house alarm button and the bloody thing did not work) as soon as I reported to the police I knew I had to go back out and front the bastard again because I could hear the young girl sobbing in her bedroom, my biggest worry was that he was not alone.
Luck was with me, the coward had bolted with only Alison’s old laptop, her new iPhone and $15 cash. On the same night he robbed at least 2 other places near my house, mine was the only one that included violence. Across the water a couple were asleep on the lounge downstairs while the intruders went through their upstairs bedrooms, one of which contained 3 children under 6 years old. I have absolutely no doubt had I not been able to block the vicious blow aimed at my head I would more than likely have wound in hospital or the morgue.
John Martin aka Pothole
I’m guessing it was around 2003 when we were travelling to Thailand every chance we had. Pothole ran a successful real estate office in Sydney and regularly lost thousands of $$$ playing the slot machines at the Oaks Hotel in Neutral bay. I had travelled through many countries with him, Brazil, Vietnam, Thailand etc, & he had one main weird ambition. Any time he would come across a gorgeous babe he would immediately say “I would love to walk through the Oaks hotel with her”.
Friends & I finally worked out what was behind this strange obsession. He craves the limelight and would do anything to be the “centre of attention”. Thus his ultimate high was to be able to parade in front of his friends at the Oaks with a hot babe on his arm.
Finally he found Apple who was working in a bar in Nana Plaza Bangkok, he bought her to Australia a couple of times & paraded her through the Oaks to satisfy his strange obsession. The love affair escalated and the subject of marriage was on the table. Some friends & I urged him to have her sign a pre-nuptial agreement to protect his extensive assets, which to his credit he did.
So Thursday evening at home he presented her with the agreement showing his assets of about $2 million aud & hers at $16,000 worth of jewellery which he had previously given her. Friday morning he went to work and came home around lunchtime to find the jewellery laid out on the bed with a suicide note. He looked around the area & found no sign of her, then wound up in tears at North Sydney police station reporting the incident.
When he phoned me my advice was simple, change the door locks, pack her suitcase and leave it outside the door. Here is Lee, his best friend’s version of what happened;
I went to his place that Friday night as we were going out when he told me she was missing and going to commit suicide, well, he had me first searching all the green bins in the unit and then he suggested that she could be down the park ( don’t know the name) which is by the water. So we went down there and thoroughly searched the area and couldn’t find a body. We then decided to go up the pub as usual.
I found out later that night she had come home and had been with a guy that Pothole had introduced her to up the pub. While he was at work at Avalon she was around this guys place at Neutral Bay near the old Café Royal, porking him.
So there you have it, his crazy obsession backfired on him, yes he paraded her at the Oaks in front of his friends to achieve his goal & one of them hooked onto her & did the dirty deed. Pothole moved on with his life then made the exact same mistake again, he imported another bar girl from Pattaya & at the age of 60 fathered two children with her in Thailand. Naturally, as expected he has split with the mother but looks after his 2 boys very well & pays her a fortune for doing very little. Sadly some people will never learn.
Apple was a fantastic cook
In fact she cooked the best Thai food I have ever eaten. An extra element makes Apple part of my Bizarre outrageous true stories, while she was with Pothole she was conducting relationships with several other punters from all over the world, (Pothole discovered details after hacking into her Hotmail account) one was a retired London policeman who she subsequently married in 2008, and gave birth to a lovely daughter. The highlight of this story came when this clever bar girl from Nana Plaza accompanied her husband to Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE or similar award. Hats of to you my dear you have come a long way from Soi 4 Nana, nobody does it better. 🙂
OK, there is one final twist to this story, Apple fell pregnant because her husband John had his sperm frozen in 1991. She now actually has two gorgeous young daughters.
Pothole & his progeny
It’s December 2015, Pothole is 66 & the boys are 7 & 5. He is now a year older in September 2016, & is an excellent father who spends lot’s of time with his boys.
Wood St North Melbourne, the house next door has had a fire.
I purchased a delightful terrace house in Wood St North Melbourne for $45,000 from a nice lady who owned the whole row of terraces in that street. Although North Melbourne was not as trendy as the South Yarra and Windsor area it was close to the office and my favourite piano bar at the Old Melbourne Motor Inn. The nearby Victoria markets were also a great attraction in the area.
On grand final day 1975 Collingwood were playing North Melbourne, however that event was far from being foremost on my mind. I had flown back early from a business trip in Darwin after receiving word from reliable sources that my girlfriend (I use that term loosely) and her friend had been forced to fly to Thailand by her ex-boyfriend who was a well-known Sydney gangster known as Bruce McCauley.
The tip off I received over the phone in Darwin was that a “contract” was on my head and that two Yugoslav heavies were keen to carry it out. Now this is not the sort of phone call I would wish on anyone, however some of my friends certainly stepped up to the plate. A couple of indigenous boys I occasionally went Barra fishing with, one a well-known footy player named Bubba Tye insisted I sleep in their house rather than my hotel while they sat on the front steps with a few cans of beer and a couple of 303 rifles.
Another example of friendship came from one of my best friend of many years Wolf Wotke who lived in Adelaide, I rang Wolf and told him briefly about the situation and asked him to see if he could acquire a gun for me to protect myself with. Wolf didn’t ask any questions he simply flew to Melbourne the following day with a small 32 calibre automatic, met me at Tullamarine airport and we caught a taxi home to Wood St North Melbourne.
On our arrival I had an uneasy feeling that someone had been inside my home which was a beautiful terrace house in a row of six. My red E type Jaguar was parked in the backyard and I guess my paranoia took over because I was sure it had been tampered with. Wolf laughed at my stupidity and said “give me the keys I will start the car”, I said “OK go right ahead” however I bravely stood around the corner of the house out of harm’s way.
Of course the car didn’t blow up which made Wolf laugh even more at my nervousness, but I was still sure someone had been inside the house so I stashed the pistol in a handy location behind the bar in the 1st floor lounge room overlooking the street. We then made a unanimous decision to head off to the pub and discuss the situation, it was around 1pm Saturday (grand final day) when we arrived at the piano bar at the Old Melbourne motor inn, my favourite local drinking hole, little did I realise I would be spending a lot more time at this establishment over the coming months.
The girl, the friend & the car
That’s the girl in question Di Parkinson, Wolf is the dark dude with the beard.
I should explain one thing about my friend Wolf, he was well known for his marathon drinking sessions and today would prove to be no different. At around 11pm that night we were totally smashed and decided to head home to Wood St, which thankfully was only a few blocks away giving the fact I foolishly elected to drive. Upon turning left from Abbotsford St into Wood St we ran into total chaos, there were flashing lights everywhere from several fire engines and police cars so I parked directly across the road from my home and made a classic statement I will never forget:
“The house next door has had a fire.”
If you are familiar with the layout of an E type Jaguar you will know they are a difficult vehicle to extract yourself from, even more so when you are plastered. So when two detectives ran across the road and opened my driver’s door, I stumbled getting out and fell on the road at their feet. Instead of arresting me for driving under the influence they politely enquired “was I David Herd a resident of the terrace house directly opposite?”
After answering in the affirmative they informed me my neighbour’s house was quite Ok, it was mine that unfortunately had the fire.
I must say I have never sobered up so fast in all my life, and overcome with rage I was striding back and forth amongst the fire hoses on the footpath bellowing curses at Bruce Michael McCauley who I knew had instigated this act of terrorism. My language was rather offensive as you can imagine, and looking back I can appreciate what a funny spectacle it was seeing the detective following me two steps behind asking if I would refrain from using such bad language.
I certainly didn’t hold back and told him about McCauley’s details and where he could be found. The next two or three hours seemed to fly by, the police had left and only one or two fire engines remained. I asked one of the firemen if I could get to the 1st floor to retrieve an important item, (the pistol) he said “the staircase is gone so there is no way up”. Now drawing on my experience as a trainee fireman some 10 years ago in Sydney (I resigned after 2 weeks), I pointed out a large % of their equipment came in the form of ladders, so if he would be so kind to place one in the appropriate position I would utilise my balancing skills and retrieve my important package. He agreed and with the help of a small torch I climbed up the ladder to the lounge through the smouldering ruins and terrible smell of smoke, and then stuffed the small pistol down the front of my jeans. I also retrieved another important item, a “Goon” of Jim Beam (a 4 litre bottle) which was totally black and sitting on the bar, then returned to the street where for the next hour or so Wolf & I sat on the front mudguard of the fire engine sharing the 4 litre bottle of bourbon and cursing my new arch enemy, the Sydney gangster Bruce Michael McCauley.
Later on deciding we were rather hungry and remembering a terrific little breakfast cafe called Mittens in Avoca St South Yarra, Wolf & I arrived there at 6.30am Sunday morning, we were rather puzzled why people seemed to be staring suspiciously in our direction until finally we understood, my clothes, face & arms were blackened by soot collected when I retrieved the two important items from the bar in my smoke damaged lounge room at Wood St North Melbourne.
For the next 3 or 4 nights we slept on the floor at a friend’s (Mike Bridge) home in East Melbourne until I sensed he was getting very nervous given the circumstances, so I struck a deal with Alan Johnson who managed the Old Melbourne motor inn, and lived in a room there beside the pool for the next 3 months. That hotel room seemed to get smaller as each week passed; at least I only had to walk upstairs to my favourite piano bar. My neighbour directly opposite was Pixie Frew who was separated from her husband George who built the hotel, most people would recognise her through the next guy she married, the infamous Christopher Skase.
I must point out that I was a very angry young man at this point in time and made the decision that when McCauley returned from Thailand I would arrange a meeting, with the intention of causing him a reasonable amount of physical discomfort. (That is of course if I was still alive).
Getting off the subject for a moment I want to describe an embarrassing moment which occurred around the pool at the Old Melbourne one sunny Saturday, I know it was a Saturday because I was sun baking and reading the huge Melbourne Age which is one of those big awkward broadsheets that are hard enough to handle indoors where there is no breeze to play havoc with the pages.
The Old Melbourne attracted many celebrities other than me, (only joking) and this day was no different. Sitting around the pool were Ian Chappell and his wife, and a very famous “bug eyed” English comedian Marty Feldman. So naturally I am playing it very cool reading the paper and ignoring the various celebs when a gust of wind blew some of my newspaper towards the pool, quick as a flash I leapt to my feet to retrieve the wayward pages before they hit the water.
Big mistake, I forgot I was on a very smooth slippery sloping lawn which surrounded to pool, so after two quick steps my feet lost traction and I wound up flat on my back for all to see. It was one of those moments when you hoped the ground would open up and swallow you, instead, while lying prone staring at the sky the wild eyed face of Marty Feldman appeared above me and politely enquired “are you OK”? I recall mumbling “yes, I’m fine thank you” to which he replied “it wasn’t a bad fall really.”
Anyhow I gingerly got to my feet, gathered the scattered pages and slunk off head down to my room, so much for acting cool.
This is Joy.
We lived in Melbourne in 1971 & Joy & her husband & I used to often have a drink together at our local pub. I can’t remember her husbands name but he was a nice guy who was on the design team at Ford motor company. Anyhow a good friend was getting married at the Domain in Melbourne & I didn’t have a date to take to the wedding. Well I worked on the theory “if you don’t ask you don’t get”, so I asked the husband if I could take his wife joy to the event, he surprisingly agreed.
We had a very enjoyable time and lots to drink at the reception which was held at the Pavilion. Around 9pm it was time to take Joy home to Toorak in my brand new MGB. Well you guessed it, the temptation was just too much for me, I pulled up beside the Yarra river & we bonked our hearts in the cramped conditions of my little sports car.
Which only serves to prove “don’t trust anybody”, including your wife. 🙂
She was an incredibly gorgeous lady.
Way back in the 70s there was a popular Australian TV show called Number 96, one of the stars was a very sexy blonde by the name of Abigail. She walked into the America’s Cup Bar at the Sydney Hilton one Friday night with 2 or 3 hangers on. Of course everyone in the crowded bar including me were sneaking looks at this blonde bombshell.
This was my local hangout for a few years & I felt comfortable & confident drinking with my friends & working out my plan to meet this gorgeous babe.
Deciding the direct approach was the way to go I rocked up, introduced myself & bought her drink. After 45 minutes or so we were getting along famously much to the envy of my friends. Her friends had left so it was just the two of us gazing into each other’s eyes.
Without prior warning of what was to come she said, & I quote, “David, I think I should clarify the situation here.” Naturally being over confident I was expecting an invitation to take our new relationship to the next level. She continued & once again I quote, “David, I think you are very sweet, but if you want to fuck me it will cost you $300.”
Well I was shocked & nearly fell off my chair, not knowing how to react I said “do you take bankcard”? So realizing it was going no further she pecked me on the cheek & walked out, & I had to walk across the bar to my friends & admit I had failed in my quest. 🙂
It’s now 2017 and here is Glenn Frey to tell you exactly how I feel today.
This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate.
My personal story from the 6os, (not a travel bog)
Passport photo April 1964
Life changing adventure
Life changing adventure 1964 really was a rite of passage for me. My best friend Glenn Beasley and I boarded the Fairsea in Sydney on May 7 1964 for a six week journey to Southampton in England. I spent the next 15 months having the time of my life in the U.K. and Europe as well as a stint as a junior engineer on a cargo ship plying its trade between Europe and America.
Ceremonies that mark important transitional periods in a person’s life.
Boarding the Fairsea
It was May 7th 1964 the beginning of my first huge adventure.
The Brisbane River
Our first stop was Wellington before crossing back over the Tasman to Brisbane then on to Singapore. We met lots of friends and partied hard all the way to NZ but sadly many of these new found friends left the ship in Wellington and were replaced by lots of elderly passengers.
We were spending a lot of time with three nice girls from Melbourne, Robyn Pearson, Libby Durston & Sue Jameson. Luckily I still have my dairy to help me recall the names. 🙂 That’s Libby and sue in the photo above.
We left Brisbane on May 14 and the first night the seas were very rough indeed, many of the passengers and some of the crew were seasick, luckily for us we were quite ok.
The “old shipboard romance”.
Two days out of Brisbane I met Leanne Scott from Adelaide and we started seeing each other regularly, well as regularly as she would let me. 🙂
The “mad hatters” night
There were all sorts of special nights arranged by the crew to keep the passengers occupied. I will have to retrieve some more photos next time in in Oz. If this photo was in colour you would be able to see the bright red knickers I had wrapped around the ice bucket. 🙂
Sadly I have no personal photos from Singapore however looking through my diary reminds me of some of the things I saw there. Singapore was a very dirty shabby city, there were hundreds perhaps thousands of people sleeping on the streets and footpaths. Follow this link for some interesting information about cleaning up the rivers in Singapore.
Singapore From Cavenagh bridge now & then.
You would never recognise the city back then.
This was a famous street mainly for transgenders or LadyBoys as we call them in Thailand.
Life changing adventure at the Mount Lavinia Hotel Colombo
In 1962 the island was called Ceylon, now of course it is Sri Lanka. Anyhow we absolutely fell in love with the place and even spoke about leaving the ship and staying for a while. Impractical of course as our main luggage was in the ships hold which put a stop the that whimsical idea.
The usual tourist photo in Colombo
Sadly I have very few photos from the trip as my camera purchased in Singapore for 16 Quid turned out to be a dud.
Aden in Yemmen
Next port of call was Aden, however we did not dock, instead the ship anchored in the harbour and we bought cheap trinkets etc from the “bum boats“ that came out to meet us.
From my diary; I took Leanne ashore and we spent a couple of hours walking around the city, the heat was intense, it must have been around 110 degrees. We met some friends from the ship and had a few beers in the Grande Hotel before returning to the ship.
My money was starting to get low because in this weather you rarely had a beer out of your hand.
Life changing adventure, next stop Cairo
We left the boat at the entrance to the Suez Canal and took an organised tour to Cairo and the Pyramids. As you can see I was fully equipped with my Fez and camel. 🙂
My iconic photo
Glenn & I at the great pyramids of Egypt which was certainly the highlight so far in our Life changing adventure . From Cairo we travelled by bus along one of the branches of the Nile, for several hundred yards each side of the river the land was green and fertile from irrigation. Then it abruptly became dry hot barren desert, my thoughts at the time were I would like to visit again one day. So far this has not happened.
Our final stop was Naples where many of our friends departed for various parts of Europe. Some of them we would hook up with again in London. Glenn & I hit a few bars with our friends David Wright and Allan Bremner but were were not too impressed with the city. We were ever less impressed when a slick conman relieved us of a few quid and a few cartons on cigarettes. Oh well, it was a lesson well learnt and not too much damage was done, except to our pride. 🙂
Our 6 week voyage ended in Southampton on June 6 1964, we all had a truly great trip even though during the last week we were all desperate to get our feet on dry land. Now our London adventure was about to start and the fact is the party had only just begun.
Life changing adventure is just beginning.
Thanks for visiting my Life changing adventure photo blog.
My personal story from the 6os, (not a travel bog)
David Herd 1960s Australian teenager
David Herd 1960s Australian teenager, who even today in 2016 can still remember the 1960s as if it was yesterday. Life was rather simple growing up in that particular era compared to what teenagers face today in 2016. The photo above is from 1960 featuring my first car, a Morris Minor convertible. I attended North Auburn public school until the age of 12 and was one of only two students to be chosen to attend the then semi exclusive Homebush Boys High. Spent 3 years there, excelled in Rugby Union, and just passed my intermediate certificate. My final reference from the deputy headmaster was a classic;
David Herd attended this school for 3 years and participated in sport.
I spent the next 5 years as an apprentice Toolmaker then in May 1964 set out with best friend Glen Beasley on the mandatory trip to the U.K. and Europe.
I can easily explain the scratchy photo above and in the header. My home in Wood St North Melbourne in 1974 was gutted by fire and a large part of my photo collection was spoiled. The ones I save got rather scratched with my attempt to clean off the soot. Follow this link to find out what caused this unfortunate fire.
July 1962 with Veronica Crocker
My beautiful girlfriend Veronica, we were celebrating my 19th birthday at a Kings Cross Sydney night club.
This VW was in fact my 3rd car, my 2nd vehicle was an iconic FJ Holden.
Veronica October 1962
From memory we went out together for around two years, I was very lucky because she was such a gorgeous lady.
This was also October 1962
Taken at Ebenezer which is on the Hawksbury river near Richmond. I was there fairly regularly water skiing.
Surfers Paradise 1961
A far cry from 2016.
Xmas 1962 at Coolangatta
I spent Xmas and New Year 1962 at Rainbow Bay near Coolangatta with Veronica and her parents. There were two significant events on New Years Eve that stick in my memory, first we went to a show at the Beachcomber in Surfers Paradise to see a young trio play some great music. They were known as the Brothers Gibb, you guessed it, they later became the Bee Gees.
That was them & this was me. 🙂
Coolangatta beach 1962, David Herd 1960s Australian teenager.
This was the 2nd significant event, after the Brothers Gibb concert Veronica & I parked on the hill overlooking Rainbow Beach for some serious necking (as they called it in those days) when the news flashed on the radio that a couple had been found dead at Lane Cove national park. This discovery was the start of a police investigation that gripped the nation.
January 1963 David Herd 1960s Australian teenager
Driving back to Sydney we struck floods on the Highway around Grafton, where traffic was stopped I would pull around the outside and float my VW across the flooded part of the road. Veronica would stay in the car and I would push it across.
July 1963 at Lidcombe oval.
I’m parked on the hill after playing for Lidcombe United A grade rugby league team. We won the competition that year.
After 18 months of working 2 jobs, I just qualified as a toolmaker, plus I worked weekends for Don Talbert the Australian swimming coach, my friend Glenn Beasley and I prepared to leave on May 7th to sail to England on the Fairsea. Just before I left I took my young brothers the the barber and had them shorn. They loved the new haircuts but poor Mum almost fainted. 🙂
Big farewell party
We combined a farewell party with an early 21st birthday. My actual birthday fell on July 7 after we had reached London. Above is one of my all time favourite photographs, on the left is Glenn Beasley beside “Pop” my grandfather Sam Tippett, my beautiful mother Iris herd, yours truly, Nan Tippett and my wonderful father Arthur Herd.
The Herd clan.
Here we all are at my farewell party.
The mandatory keg My lovely Grandmother
It would be almost 1.5 years before I would see my family again.
My lovely mother, Iris Herd.
Iris was an absolute treasure, she dedicated her life to her family and friends.
A rare colour photo of Mum with Warren & Bryan at our home, 58 Kihilla Rd Auburn in Sydney.
My passport photo
Twenty years of age in 1964, what a clean cut innocent looking lad I was. 🙂 Thanks for visiting my David Herd 1960s Australian teenager photo blog. The follow up to this will be the voyage on the Fairsea.
Pattaya life 2016, this is my 5 year in this city by the beach. Why is it the older you get the faster time seems to go? The photo above is the coffee shop at the front of my condo where I go for a daily caffeine hit and sometimes a blueberry cheesecake to go with it. I have decided to slow down on my travel this year due to over spending in 2015. I have some smaller trips planned and another Japan visit in October.
I invited two of my friends over for dinner, roasted Australian lamb shanks with baked vegetables. Washed down with Australian red wine which I buy here for B300 ($12) for a 2 litre bottle.
Larry Krausz, a friend for around 30 years suffered a major stroke on October 28 2017. After 2 months in the Bangkok Pattaya hospital on life support he was transported to Australia by a hospital Leer jet, thanks to his Medibank travel insurance. After a further month his life support was removed & he passed away peacefully.
Pattaya life 2016
This part of Pattaya always remains the same, an endless choice of girlie bars providing anything an ageing playboy could ever ask for.
Still the main Pattaya tourist attraction, however I would only visit 2 or 3 times a year, mainly when friends come from overseas.
Here are two Walking St addicts
Don’t take it the wrong way, Gordon Shanksfrom New York and Jonathan Whiting from Brisbane are only addicted to the bright lights, gorgeous girls and exotic locations all over the world.
David Robertson on the right has been a friend for over 30 years, originally from Melbourne he moved to the Gold Coast about 40 years ago. His son Chris on the left is an Emirates pilot who lives in Dubai.
Beach Road floods
A very common sight in Pattaya, this was February 16 after a short storm.
Mum Aroi at Naklua
A very popular Naklua restaurant specialising in live seafood. Very busy on weekends so try to visit during the week.
Because of the turnover and the live product you can guarantee everything is fresh here.
Valentines day in Pattaya
The local council always find a reason to decorate the footpath on Beach Road.
I’m not sure these beach babes do much to decorate the area.
Beach Resort Mae Pim on the gulf of Thailand is only ninety minutes by car east of Pattaya, and 2 hours south of Bangkok. Beautiful white sand and clean water, and so quiet and peaceful after the noise & Madness of Pattaya.
Looks like a bomb site
A huge new shopping mall and hotel is being built opposite the Dolphin roundabout in North Pattaya. It will be the same brand as Terminal 21 at Asoke in Bangkok.
Hooters comes to Pattaya
Hooters Pattayaopening night was on New Years Eve 2015 so we decided to make it our first stop when seeing off the old and welcoming the new year. It’s a great addition to Beach Road and naturally has many beautiful sexy babes on the staff. Both Thai & Russian as you can clearly see.
Hooters always seem to be promoting charity events etc to publicise their great venue, check out the charity bike wash here.
Bow and her Bonds
The gorgeous girlfriend of my friend Matt Harkness, an Adelaide guy who is living the dream in Pattaya. A local website held a contest to find “Miss Love Pattaya Thailand”, heats were held at “Planet Earth Beach Club” in Jomtien. Check out my photo blogs for lots of great Thai and Russian babes competing for the B100,000 first prize.
From my balcony
From my balcony June 19 and another perfect Pattaya day.
Sabai Wing Soi 1, 3 swimming pools and nice rooms, 100 meters from BigC, great value at only $23 usd per night as of August 15. I live in the high-rise in the background, Markland. For a great room rate book here.
Cold beers, hot night
After dinner drinks with Todd & Hamish in Naklua Road.
Fraser’s at Jomtien
Quite a good sports bar on the left as you go down the hill into Jomtien, very good hamburgers.
Melbas Gold Coast Legacy is a huge part of Surfers Paradise folklore. Here is my photo record spanning over 25 years showing my friends and I having fun at this iconic nightclub and bar in Surfers Paradise. In the early 80s it was also one of the best restaurants due to the expertise of owner/manager the late great Paul Allen.
My Melba’s three L scenario, Legends were made, Lies were told, Ladies were pursued. 🙂
This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from Surfers Paradise Australia.
New Years Eve 1990 Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
On the left is Tony Fazio who was manager at the time, now living in Perth I believe, on the right is Steve Jones one of the legendary bouncers who sadly passed away far too young, RIP.
Adam & Eve
I think her name was Amanda but don’t hold me to it. A cocktail waitress who was a very sexy lady.
Dinner before we hit Melbas
In those days there was a Japanese restaurant next door where I regularly had dinner before hitting the club. Melbas was only on the 2nd floor then, downstairs was all shops.
Paul’s son Dave Allen part of Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
Dave is a terrific guy, in 1990 he was working behind the bar, in later years he was General manager.
Another New Years Eve around 90/91
Harley Bradstreet one of my greatest long time friends, no Melba’s blog would be complete without him. For a while in the 90s he was actually one of the chefs there, it’s still unknown how many diners were rushed to hospital after eating one of his creations, forgive me mate I’m only joking.
A mutual friend of ours Southport solicitor Larry Wilson coined a famous phrase regarding Harley, he said “anyone can have a bad decade”. That really summed it up beautifully, I often used to refer to this great little guy as my own personal disaster area, but a nicer guy than you could never meet. Narrelle with the great smile worked behind the bar and was Tony Fazzio’s main squeeze at the time, a few years later I recall introducing her to her future husband, Jack Delanty, a one eyed Collingwood supporter from Melbourne.
July 7 1992
July 7 1992 was my birthday so naturally we celebrated at Melbas. Great friend Andre Buzek on the left was dentist on Chevron Island who was always offering cut price dental work to any sexy young lady who crossed his path. Sadly Andre lost his life in a car accident in Cuba about 4 or 5 years after this photo was taken.
Greg Johnstone on the right now lives in Thailand as I do, we occasionally have a beer together. At the back are Roger Williams and Len Jones, Roger went back to Adelaide and Len now lives in Sydney, the name of the girls eludes me.
A very happy bunch of people
The young guy at the back is Justin, another one of Paul Allen’s sons.
The legend himself in 1992
Paul was larger than life and ran Melbas with an iron fist. I originally met him when he was head waiter at Eliza’s restaurant in Cavil Avenue. Two of his customers financed Paul into Melbas around 1981, they saw potential in the way Paul interacted with customers and figured he could develop the best restaurant night club on the coast, they were right.
I vividly recall my first visit on January 1st 1982, we had a huge night on Sydney harbour on New Years Eve which ended at dawn, so on the spur of the moment we flew to the Gold Coast checked into St Tropez in Orchard and wound up at Melbas that evening.
At the start Melbas was 75% restaurant and 25% night club separated by a glass wall. Even though the restaurant was top class each passing year saw it get smaller and the nightclub bigger until it disappeared altogether.
January 1982 a couple of days after we arrived the party continued on the Gold Coast. The new sexy girl in the middle was “Kitty” a totally uninhibited Dutch girl who I knew from Sydney, but that’s another story. 🙂 Helen Burke on the right was soon to become my new girlfriend, in November 2014 I visited her at her winery at Dromana in the state of Victoria, my how time flies when you are having fun. The big guy is Graham La Roche aka “the Biff”, a legend in his own lunch time.
Lets jump forward to the year 2000
One of Paul Allen’s rules was to hire the best looking girls to work behind the bar, in my book the best of them all was Aurora. She is definitely part of Melbas Gold Coast Legacy.
The usual suspects Xmas 2000.
From the left we have Jim Bell, John Sinclair, David Herd and Tony Murphy. Jim rented a room in my home for 15 years from 1995. John moved to Thailand around 2001 and Tony still lives on the Gold Coast.
Xmas 2000 and Kerry Townsend-Smith was one of the head girls, I first met her when she was a waitress at the Boardroom, a well known Southport gentlemen’s club. From memory after Melbas she moved to Koi at Broadbeach, a lovely lady with a great personality.
A definite highlight in 2000
One of the most gorgeous ladies I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, Skye Edwards from Launceston.
Skye-Jilly Edwards (born c. 1972) is an Australian beauty pageant titleholder who won the Miss Globe International 1994 in Istanbul, Turkey and represented her country in the Miss World 1994 pageant in Sun City, South Africa. She was rated in the top 50 models in Australia by Ralph Magazine.
Perfect except for one small thing
Yes, Skye was a smoker, come to think of it so was I in 2000. I finally quit for good 2 years later.
You could always guarantee the best eye candy on the coast would wind up at Melba’s on Melbourne cup day.
The Butterbean Brothers in 2005
Two legends in their own lunch time, the Butterbean brothers aka Larry Krausz & Ross Kennedy. Larry just moved to Pattaya on November 28 2015 and is now my neighbour. (Sadly our buddy Larry passed away in January 2017 after suffering a major stroke in Thailand October 28th 2016) Rossco originally from Melbourne where he sold hot dogs outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and is now a mover and shaker on the Gold Coast. He quit his holdings in Surfers Paradise strip clubs and restaurants to become the glass splash-back Kingof the Coast. We have a long & happy history together with the highlight being a legendary road tripto Sydney, Falls Creek & Melbourne in 1996. What an incredible year 1996 was, read all about it here.
December 2003 Xmas lunch.
Sadly two old friends in this photo have passed away. Second from the left Ron Collier died April 26 2012. I first met Ron in Melbourne in the 70s before he & Yvonne moved to Byron Bay, a great character who loved life to the max. Second on the left is Noel Smith a regular Melba’s customer who passed away in 2011.
Graham La Roche aka “The Biff”.
A true Aussie legend, I also met Graham in Melbourne in the 70s, as his nickname suggests he was a hell of a fighter. Fought with the famous Jimmy Sharman’s boxing troupethroughout Victoria in the 60s and was never defeated. Graham was on-board by boat in Sydney Harbour on New Years Eve 1981 when we got smashed by fireworks because I stupidly anchored in the drop zone, read about it here.
I think this beautiful lady was Maltese, I only wish I was 20 years younger and 4 times wealthier.
Melbourne Cup 2006.
Important evens were always celebrated at Melba’s, here I am with good friends David Robertson aka “Chocolates” and Phil Thomson aka “Baldrick“. Chocs was famous for the huge volume of “Forsters Light” he would consume daily while Baldrick was famous for……… nothing really. 🙂
Another terrific old friend who was a regular member of our Melba’s drinking crew. Also known as “Coupons” which he collects to swap for free stuff. 🙂
Another gorgeous staff member
Service with a smile.
2007, German and gorgeous.
Not only gorgeous but a sparkling personality as well. I can’t remember her unusual name, Zea or something like that.
Keep that red wine flowing my dear. 🙂
2007 Alan Jones
Twice world Formula 1 champion, a true living legend if ever there was one. Pictured here with myself and well known Gold Coast sycophant David Hoskit.
My birthday 2008
As I said previously all important events were celebrated at Melbas. One of the clowns, I think it was Noodles decided I was old enough for a wheelchair. I can guarantee one thing for sure, Chocs would not have paid for that bottle of red, & everybody who knows him would agree with me. 🙂
Just so cute
It was 2009 and I think her name was Linda, another one of the super cute Melba’s bar staff.
Dani Tobin, a real wild child.
Over the 25 years of drinking at Melba’s I met some wild crazy ladies, and Dani certainly makes it into my top 10. I see her occasionally on Facebook and she seems to have quietened down a little little, hopefully we may catch up again one day. This photo is from 2009.
The usual suspects in 2008
We usually met around 5pm most days and left around 7 pm to sneak home dodging the breathalyser.
When and why did Lloyd become a legend you may well ask? Well sometime around the turn of the century Lloyd relocated his office from Bundall to 50 Cavil Avenue right next door to Melbas. I am sure that no other customer has ever spent more in this bar than Lloyd, for a start most days from 11 am he would conduct his business in the south east corner of the bar surrounded by various friends and associates. He would normally pull up stumps around 6 pm and head home to Main Beach.
One memorable evening around 2007 Lloyd was enjoying himself so much he stayed on much later until the place was jumping. The crowd in the bar at that time was several hundred, so without any fanfare he ordered 600 shooters at a cost of $5,000, guaranteeing his place in Melba’s on the Park folklore for evermore. It didn’t stop there, he followed up with another 600 to consolidate his legendary status. 🙂
Only a few days before making my huge life changing move to Thailand I started having farewell drinks at my favourite bar with my favourite friends.
My last visit November 2014
After my road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road I flew to the Gold Coastto catch up with friends and family. Phil Thomson and I kept alive our tradition of drinks at Melbas on Melbourne day.
Here is a group of old friends in August 2017, still rocking on after all those years. 🙂
David Herd Pattaya Thailand 2015 from July to December 31st. October 20th marks my 4th year living in Pattaya. I have already signed a 2 year extension on my condo lease. Above is Ray, Chris, my brother Warren and Lenny at the Holiday Inn for Tuesday night 1/2 price pizza.
Sadly Lenny passed away in April 2016 after a sudden illness, he will be greatly missed.
This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from the 2nd half of 2015. Here is the link for Part 1.
We were celebration Hamsh’s birthday on July 21st.
Mantra for Hamish’s birthday lunch
This was 2 days before his birthday, any excuse to dine at the Mantra. 🙂
Soi 6 with Todd & Hamish
My Day began with an Innocent Glass of Champagne at midday at the Mantra Restaurant & Bar , and ended 11 hours later in Soi 6 with an ungainly nosedive onto the Road Leaving Saigon Lady. I Blame Elton Hamish & Todd J Fox for keeping Me captive and forcing copious amounts of Beer, Wine, Jack Daniels & Sambuca down my throat, all against My Will of course.
Fun & games Soi 6
I guess I should see if they are real or not. 🙂
Nothing hurts but the pain. 🙂
David Herd Pattaya Thailand 2015 watchjing para-sailing
Every day they buzz around like mosquitoes opposite my Markland condo.
This is the answer
This is the answer to every girls dreams, the “selfie”. 🙂
The Atlantic Bar increased their size by 50% in July, here is one of the gorgeous girls who work there.
Simon Peatfieldopens Retox Bar on Soi Lenkee after selling iRovers in LK Metro. Good food and lots of TV screens for all types of sport.
If you build it they will come
This quote from “Field of Dreams” applies not just to the Chinese tourists clambering aboard the speedboats each morning, but also to the high rise condos that are going up all over Pattaya. Strangely the one dominating the skyline here has no balconies.
Another birthday at the Mantra
This is probably the 7th time I have celebrated my birthday here.
Another birthday has come & gone so I’ll let Glenn tell you how I feel.
Pattaya storm water pipe is planned to be the solution to Beach Road flooding after every storm. The problem is they need to replicate what they are building opposite Soi 6 in at least 4 other locations.
A south African, an Aussie & a Canadian
Drinks at the Cherry bar again with James from South Africa and Jeffery from Canada. My fame is spreading, Sunday at the Mantra a nice English couple who live in Australia approached my table to say hello. They told me they were dining at the Mantra because they read about it on my travel blog. Naturally I was very pleased to have influenced them. Then less than 24 hours later outside my condo in soi 1 a young guy said “hi David” I know you from your Cape Town blog. Amazing that he recognised me in the street, so I now have another new friend, James from Pretoria.
Larry buys a ticket
New Years Eve at the Cherry Bar and Larry is feeling lucky. Sadly Larry’s luck ran out on October 28 2016 when he suffered a major stroke. After 6 weeks in ICU in Pattaya he was flown back to Australia.
This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate.