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.

My Love Letter to Our Street of Shame

Oh Hindley, you’re the street version of that boy our mothers warned us about; you know, the one that rides a motorbike and is completely covered in tattoos? I mean, I’m sure that he’s a lovely guy, with plenty of great redeeming qualities but on the surface he’s got trouble written all over him!
As a child I was told to stay away from you, words of advice which stayed in the back of my mind through my teenage years, a time in which doing what my mother told me to do was the exact opposite of what I would do. During days which I perhaps should have been in school, my friends and I would wander along your streets with a bounce of rebellious joy in our step, however I was a good girl and waited until I was legally old enough to pay you a visit after the sun set – though I’m sure that I am not the norm! There are so many reasons to love you (and probably more reasons to stay away) but let’s today, agree on ten reasons why I love our street of shame… sure, we all know that you’ve stepped up your game lately, bringing some class to town in the form of your brother and sister streets, but today I want to send all of my love, personally to your filthy self.

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  • A RITE OF PASSAGE: Any Adelaidian worth their salt has trod Hindley’s somewhat grubby path at some point or another, sometimes more frequently than others and as we grow up a bit, probably only on the odd occasion. Okay, it hasn’t always been a smooth relationship; there have been mornings after the night before in which I can personally blame Hindley for the terrible feeling that left me stuck in bed –making frequent friends with that emergency bucket that everyone keeps in their laundry. We’ve all been there – right?!
  • CHEAP AND NASTY – IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS:
    I like to think that those days are in my past, the days when I could be enticed through a door with the promise of $3 vodkas, not even giving credence to the idea that the alcohol content was probably less than what you can find in a bottle of food colour – though sometimes the idea of taking advantage of those kinda drink specials is pretty tempting. Can you still even get a drink for that much? Shows how long it’s been since I dropped by Hindley I guess!
  • NEVER A DULL MOMENT: We’ve all got stories to tell – if we can remember them! I’ve got a mate who got kicked out of The Dog and Duck for taking off his pants on the dance floor; according to him he was helping out some ladies on a Hens Night, they had been tasked with collecting a pair of men’s underwear at some point in the night. They managed to get them before he was evicted, though – and props to those flirty minxes, I’m sure they tried plenty of blokes who had more sense than my buddy before they found him.
  • THE GREAT EQUALISER: I’ve seen beautiful girls eat pizza they found on the floor of Australia’s Pizza House (I can promise, as much as I love food, this definitely wasn’t me!) and probably those same girls, struggling to find a bathroom get creative and use a gutter. The guys aren’t exempt here either; let me repeat, a gutter is never an okay toilet option, regardless of gender. Unless you’re on Hindley, I guess? No, it’s probably still not okay. My point here; Hindley can make even the beautiful people into an embarrassing mess, and as someone who feels like an embarrassing mess most of the time, I say thank you.
  • YOU MAKE ME FEEL CLEAN: Okay, hear me out, I know you’re thinking; “How can one feel clean when immersed in such filth?” well it’s all about perspective dear friends. In comparison to the grime on Hindley, my own messy abode seems like a designer home you’d find in a magazine spread. I’ve visited Hindley on Saturday and Sunday mornings– for various work related activities (completely above board, trust me!) and the stench it produces is almost unfathomable. There are probably sewage plants that smell of roses in comparison, and since my own home has never stooped to this level, I can at least feel better about myself!
  • YOU’RE FULL OF PERSONALITY:
    I have a theory – if Hindley Street were a girl, she’d be Kim Kardashian; everyone is always talking about her (though not necessarily in the best way) – but at least everyone has a story to tell about her. If Hindley was a guy though, he’d definitely be one you’d stay away from, for fear of catching something that you’ll never be able to rid yourself of…
  • LOVE IS IN THE AIR:
    Boys and girls alike may recall (if they can remember at all, you’ve been known to cause people temporary amnesia it seems…) being lucky enough to score their first kiss when frequenting one Hindley Streets venues – and though I hope most people have better memories of their first kiss than that, but well done for making dreams come true – I guess?
  • I WANNA MARRY A COWBOY:
    Surely we’ve all had a fantasy about meeting a sexy cowboy, right? Hollywood has shown us a skewed version of reality and much as Hindley tries to make our dreams come true by bringing the country to town at The Woolshed, surely I’m not the only one whose woken up to realise that that sheep tag covered akubras aren’t as sexy as they seemed on the haze of the dance floor?
  • YOU MAKE ME SWEAT: And not because the heavy police presence makes me nervous, or because many of the cops on the beat are damned fine (and who would say no to a man in uniform?!) but because I can always find a place to dance when I visit Hindley! Dancing can burn up to 500 calories per hour (so the Google machine tells me…) and I can only assume (because I’m not an expert in any field what so ever) that doing it in heels burns even more. Add to that the walks between multiple venues and you’ve got yourself an intense workout – just ignore the fact that you’re consuming empty calories all night and you can basically consider yourself a fitness guru, update your career status to ‘fitness blogger’ ladies because you know everything there is to know about working it out!
  • I’M SEXY AND HINDLEY DON’T YOU KNOW IT:
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Me. Four years ago. A misspent youth.

I’m a massive dag but give me an excuse to dress up and I’ll be there. As the great Canadian poet, Shania Twain once said;

“Men’s shirts-short skirts

Oh, oh, oh, really go wild-yeah, doin’ it in style

Oh, oh, oh, get in the action-feel the attraction

Color my hair-do what I dare

Oh, oh, oh, I wanna be free-yeah, to feel the way I feel

Man! I feel like a woman!”

Hindley, thanks for having my back when I need an excuse to bring the hem line up and slip on those ankle-breaking heels – just once in a while!