In stark contrast to the trials that modern learners have to endure just to secure a red “P”, my process was stunningly simple. I rocked up to the Motor Registry in Wollongong on the appointed day. I walked inside, completed a 20 question multiple-choice exam and then went outside and did the practical test. As the examiner stood on the footpath, he instructed me to ride down the street, do a “U” Turn without putting my foot down and return to where he was standing.
This I did without a drama and we went inside and he wrote out my licence.
Now people who know me will know that my identical twin brother and I often do and say the same things at the same time. Researchers reckon that a “connection” of some sort that causes this to happen is a crock, but, if it is, it’s a very convincing one because we’ve been doing it all our lives.
Now Paul was married by this stage too and was living in Denman, in the Hunter Valley where he was head cook at the Officer’s Mess at the Singleton Army Barracks. He worked weird hours, as anybody who’s worked in catering will tell you, and he drove about 80 miles, (140kms) a day to work and back.
So, one day, late in 1974, he rang me up and said, “Guess what?” I wasn’t into playing guessing games so I urged him to “cut to the chase” “I’ve bought a motorcycle.” he said. I shouldn’t have been flabbergasted as stuff like this had happened before. We’d both bought a guitar and taught ourselves to play within a week or so of each other in 1969, so it wasn’t uncommon.
But I WAS flabbergasted, and I guess he was too, when I said, “Guess what? So have I!”
Within the space of three weeks of each other, with no collusion and with no previous mention of it at all, we’d both gone out and bought a bike. It’s still a great story despite the passage of years.