If like me, you’re thinking about books that will be good to read on summer holiday getaways, then this is one that you might want to consider. I look for books that don’t have subjects that are too heavy or bog you down with details and plots that have you going backwards and forwards and having to concentrate too much. Just give me something easy to read, preferably with a bit of humour and a good page turner.
This hilarious book is a nostalgic look back at life in 60s & 70s Australia. I say hilarious but some reminiscences do remind those of us who experienced the time, just how shockingly bad some of the times and practices were. As the title suggests it was a time before avocado was a thing! (So to speak) I remember when avocado, mango, paw paw and macadamia nuts were only very exotic items, especially to those of us living down south and could really only be indulged in when on a holiday to tropical Queensland where they were in heavenly abundance. The book looks at food fads of the era, as well as holidays and the cars of the time. Remember a time of no seat belts, no air conditioning and listening to cassette tapes?
There are a lot of laugh out loud moments and it should come with a warning not to read it while your partner is asleep in bed next to you. Quotes like ‘Liquor laws were expressly designed to encourage binge drinking and drink driving’ and ‘Instead of banning drink driving the law made it mandatory’. Funny but true in reference to pubs closing at 6pm and the ensuing six o’clock swill, and bona fide travellers – you could get a drink on a Sunday provided you could prove you were from out of town and had travelled a certain distance! Hilarious yet scary at the same time.
I bet a lot of people reading the book not from that era would hardly believe it was true, especially when you read about school life – canings, teachers smoking in the classroom and remember having to drink those awful little milk bottles that had been left outside a prefab buildings on a hot Australian summers day? Still makes me shudder. And then there was television of the time, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was a favourite, we were so seriously in awe of her talent, everything from leading authorities to lost and hurt bush walkers to diffusing a bomb – she could do it all with those skinny little paws.
It’s a great book for looking back at some aspects with rose coloured glasses but also for realising how good it is that society has moved on from some of the inequality, discrimination, and appalling practices of the past.
Enjoy the laugh,