Out of Order
She was eighteen and gorgeous. It was her day off from her summer job as a live in nanny and she was in a red phone box trying to ring her boyfriend but the coins kept dropping into the change slot and the call wouldn’t connect.
He was on holidays after a gruelling year teaching high school art in a regional placement that felt as though it would never end. Walking along Queenscliff ’s foreshore with a couple of mates all brandishing plastic water pistols, he spotted her and her legs in a leaf green mini dress standing in a phone box; a perfectly positioned target. With the watery distraction coming through the louver windows she turned to see three giggling guys all staring in at her. Putting the handset down and stepping out of the phone box she proclaimed that it was an unfair fight because she was unarmed and suggested that they do something useful and help her to get the phone working. But as they couldn’t do anything useful, the suggestion was put forward that she join them for lunch at the hotel across the street.
Sitting in the bistro with views looking out over parkland and across Port Philip bay, the gorgeous girl in the green mini dress and the cheeky young art teacher soon learned that they shared a common interest in fine art. She was enrolled to study art at RMIT, a college he had attended in recent years. They also learned on that day that they didn’t share a common interest or taste in cars. When the topic of cars was brought up she was quick to share her distaste for certain makes and models, with Jaguars topping her list. She thought they were ugly and pretentious with their big curved bonnets, driven by conservative wealthy lawyers or businessmen with more ego than class. He listened intently as he thought of his beloved second hand MK2 Jaguar parked only blocks away. Realising that the inevitable question was just seconds from her lips, he knew he had to think fast, so when she asked him what sort of car he drove, he replied confidently and proudly that he drove a double decker bus. Being young and gullible she actually believed him, until the time came to drive her home; but by then his jovial and gentle nature had already charmed her. Three months later they married.
It is fair to say that art has always been the thread that wove and held my parents together. I was raised in a household where the walls were adorned with a variety of artworks and the bookshelves were piled high with art books. Conversations often centred around artists and outings regularly involved visiting art galleries. As an only child if I ever complained that I was bored it was just a matter of time before I was thrown a box of pencils or pastels and some blank paper. It's reasonable to say that my art education took place via some type of osmosis and is still continuing to this day. There is no doubt my parents have been my biggest teachers and for that I am forever grateful.