How I Developed My Love Of Booze…

I don’t know what it is lately but I’ve been getting super nostalgic. All I listen to is throw back playlists; anything released in the last ten years makes me want to violently plug my ears and I am OBSESSED with the memories function on Facebook. What was that? Six years ago I rode my bike to the beach? Shit, past me was a far more glorious creature than I am now.
That being said, prior to August 2012, I was absolute filth trash on a regular and frequent occasion thanks to a conveniently located local drinking hole. It gave off a vibe that simultaneously said “please, join us” kindly fuck off. It was unique. But in August 2012 my life changed forever YES IT DID when the pub closed with very little hope of it ever reopening again.

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No shame – my youth in a photograph.

Sure there were three closing nights – they kept it open until the kegs ran dry and the supply of beer glasses was depleted completely  (because I kept putting them in my handbag – on the plus side, I always have a very big beer sized glass of water every morning, such healthy, much hydration) so we got to say goodbye. I tried to dance on the front bar – I got told off. I was wearing ugg boots. I am only 50% glad that I have grown up since then.
So when I was recently alerted to the fact that the pub, closed for near four years and previously incredibly close to being completely condemned, was re-opening, I was filled with mixed feelings and flooded with memories – some of which I would rather forget.
If you know one thing about me though, that is that I have no shame – so who better to mull over these memories with, than complete strangers and a few close friends on the internet.
My first memories of this establishment were of it as my childhood pub – yes that is totally a thing. Feel free to correct me mother (because I know you will) but I recall swinging by the pub on Christmas morning after church. So many questions. Why was I let in a church in the first place? Why was the pub open on Christmas day? Should I have been removed from my parents? What is the meaning of life? These and many other questions will haunt philosophers for years to come.

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So I wasn’t a child here but it was still Christmas at the pub. Also I believe I had been at a dress up party…or I just wore clothes like that. Either tale is likely.

Flash forward a few years and I was eighteen, with a freshly minted ID to prove that was the case and you’d think being the Hills lass I was, I’d be striding up to the front bar to claim my first legal drink. You would be wrong. I was mega nerd to the extreme, I was at least 18 and a half before I made that front bar my bitch (and by “making it my bitch”, I mean getting silly drunk from a filthy shot called a “squashed frog” and vomiting in a bucket that the bar tender so kindly provided). You won that round alcohol.

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“The Bucket” that lived in the front bar. We made it look pretty since my mates and I were the ones who used it most.

After this point though, the memories began to flow (assisted by photographs and inappropriate Facebook posts)
All the bottles of passion pop consumed in the car park before actually entering the pub – we were poor students living at home with mummy and daddy, what did you expect us to do?
The shoeys (that’s drinks sculled from a shoe for those playing at home)

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A genuine, true blue shoey.

The cheeky strategic voms
Purchasing out of date fruit flavoured condoms in the ladies bathroom (for the LOLs Mum – but also, aren’t you happy I was never a ‘statistic’? though there’s still time..)
The friendships made…and broken
The sadness that the jukebox didn’t have any Aaron Carter – however that Fat Man Scoop song was the number one played song – you know the one “engine engine number nine…” – what a good time we had.
There was that afternoon we stopped for a casual cider and ended up watching a group of Morris Dancers do their thing and wondered if our drinks had been spiked.

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These, by the way, are morris dancers…yeah, we were all just as confused too.

I passed out on the not so comfy chairs in the pokies more than once and cried over plenty of lads (yes, I am going to use that word) who, to be perfectly honest, were not worth a moment of my time. But at the time it felt like the end of the world. Every Sunday afternoon was spent messaging my girlfriends, dissecting the events of the night before and living our lives by what happened in that place.
I learned to play pool, I learned to drink and I grew out of thinking pineapple and Malibu was a tasty beverage.
Then it all ended and I guess it coincided with us all changing too. Not long after the pub closed, I started dating a guy who lived near the beach and stopped hanging out at home, my best drinking buddy moved three hours away to start her teaching career and a lot people realised how much money they could save by drinking at home…alone. The thing that kind of kept us together was gone. Things really did change.
Now the pub has reopened its doors and boy howdy have things changed – but I have too. I only occasionally wear my ugg boots out of the house and sadly live too far away to stumble home from it.

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When we were young…

No longer falling apart, the new owners have brought out the original beauty of the building, the menu is phenomenal and the staff all seem way more friendly than the curious creatures that used to reside behind the bar there. All of that however won’t cloud or dismiss my memories.

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I did sneak behind the bar once…

A friend recently contacted me asking me to remove a few old pictures from Facebook. By my standard, the ones she had requested being removed were incredibly tame but I get it (sort of), some of my mates want to be lawyers, teachers or just respectable adults – not all of us are as capable of accepting our grotesque past with such levels of pride. Your memories though, make you who you are and the Uraidla Pub is absolutely brimming with memories for me. Not all of them (like barely any of them) are family friendly but the fact that a whole new generation of kids (and not so much kids) will get to learn how to drink (and maybe learn to appreciate a nice meal accompanied by a Malibu and Pineapple?) that’s pretty great.

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You know what? It wasn’t classy, it probably wouldn’t impress my high standards hipster mates but hey, we had a lot of fun.
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