Friday – this week I am grateful … I am not seventeen … right on time

Last night was date-night! We went to see an average film, but afterward went for a drink at a close by restaurant that has a bar. It might be a bar with a restaurant. Maybe it doesn’t know what it is. We ordered a glass of fizz and some food and were sitting talking about how to manage my return to work and our lives. The more things change, the more they change at present.

Then while we were making ourselves heard over the very loud music (yes I am not sure why we chose this place either but moving on) a song came on. Well not a song actually; a remixed sample of an old song – Ride on Time – remember? Black Box.

Six weeks on the UK charts at number one in late 1989; a classic dance track. That’s a long long time ago. I remember it clearly because it was before I left home and I was learning to drive. I would be permitted to practise reserve parking and other parking manoeuvres unsupervised at home. We had a lot of room, a long driveway and enough space for it. When no one was home, no adults anyway, I used to play that song at full blast in the car while practising reversing straight down the drive. And driving back up and reversing straight back down. Repeat. Mum was convinced that that was all that was really required. Can you back in a straight line? That was her litmus test of a driver.* Any fool can drive forward in a straight line, she would tell me. Our driveway was probably 50 metres – almost in a straight line. Good preparation for reversing down one way streets in Sydney for a parking spot (thanks mum).

Sitting in the bar, while trying to be heard, and discussing the logistics of being a working parent, ‘Ride on Time’ just circled around us; “you just walk right in, walk walk walk right in”. It reminded me of sneaky trips to a Kings Cross nightclub which is now closed (such a shame, I miss its filthy carpet and steep stairs) and dancing til my feet nearly fell off. It reminded me of sweating through exams and never having any clothes or any money or any idea!

It made me grateful that I don’t have to go through all that. Whatever I am experiencing now, as I navigate my return to the workforce, is a doddle by comparison to learning to be a person. Learning how to drive, finishing the HSC, starting uni and starting to spread my wings are all challenges I mastered around that time. I am glad I don’t have to do them again. I am glad I am now a long way past those milestones. It just gets better.

And time won’t take my love away.

For old time’s sake, here is Ride on Time – it will take you straight back to 1989.

Postscript – “Ride on Time” features many samples, including one, unattributed at time of release, from Loleatta Holloway’s Love Sensation, released in 1980. There was a settlement to Holloway after a legal matter. Heather Small recorded the main vocals, but was uncredited for them until the re-release and the song was lip synced in the video by model Catherine Quinol.  The song is called “Ride on Time” even though Holloway’s lyric is ‘you’re right on time’ due to the linguistic complexity of American vocalists singing ‘right’ and the way it sounds like ‘ride’ to some listeners. So now you know.

* She had two actually, backing straight and backing a box trailer – but let’s leave that little story where it should be, in the vault.