Puberty Blues

Northies at Cronulla
Northies at Cronulla

I was briefly reminded today of the seminal 1980s Australia book and film, “Puberty Blues”. It’s a book/film about surfie culture (and gender) set at Cronulla in Sydney’s South in the 1970s.

As I recall from my middle years in high school, it was a book that was “handed around” at high school because of the large amount of graphic sexual detail it contained. I’m pretty sure you needed a note from your parents to borrow the book from the school library. Within a couple of years of reading the book, it was on the big screen with Nell Schofield starring, and a fantastic soundtrack.

What brought back the memory of “Puberty Blues” was catching the train to Cronulla. Although I don’t recall exactly where they got on, I found myself at one point surrounded by a bunch of teenage girls and their surfie boyfriends. The lingo may have changed, but the conversation could have been lifted directly from the pages/script of “Puberty Blues” as they made fun of the “Muriels” of the world. In this case, it was a group of Middle-Eastern guys also in the carriage.

I mention Muriel because of the similarities with “Muriel’s Wedding”. Growing up on the NSW North Coast – not far from Porpoise Spit – I knew those bitches who made fun of Muriel. I could name every one of them. And while I wasn’t Muriel – though I did sit in my room and listen to ABBA songs – I knew the girls who were “Muriel”.

Although it’s often said we turn into our parents at about the age of forty, I suspect it’s actually much earlier.

I was on my way for lunch with the ex, and then to catch up with a friend for coffee and to “meet” her new baby (nine months old). Both experiences were lots of fun. Baby Emily and I have similar faces and hair-lines, so naturally we connected well.

On arriving back in the city, I helped a friend set up his television for the new digital services, and re-configured his internet connection over a month overseas.

And tonight was a normal Monday television night.

2 responses to “Puberty Blues”

  1. Sue Avatar

    I am sure I am a Mariel not a MURIEL!

    1. James O'Brien Avatar

      We can name the rest though? :)

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