Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Life: The young years; our wings were drying in the sun!

1988 and I am 35 years old. It is Australia's Bicentenary and EXPO 88 is in full flight in Brisbane. Because Virgin Blue hasn't been invented yet, air travel in Australia is relatively expensive. Interstate coach travel is the go! And with the explosion of the number of people travelling to Brisbane to visit EXPO 88, the coach companies are run off their little wheels. And so they need new coaches. And back in 1988 both Denning and Austral who build most of the coaches in Australia are based in Brisbane.

Their order books are overflowing.

MAX Instruments cannot despatch the dash instruments and related hardware fast enough to enable these coaches to roll out of the factories. I am at my desk at 07:00 and lock the doors at 19:00 as Max is in Europe (I have just come back) and it really is high tide and green grass for us.

When the Germans come to visit us (actually they want to visit EXPO 88) we dine at the Sheraton.. and when they don't come.. we dine at the Sheraton. Talk about the Hollywood lifestyle. What we didn't know was that the "recession we had to have" was just around the corner!

One of the hottest cafes in town was Puzzles at Paddington. Casual breakfasts (when we weren't at the Sidewalk Cafe at the Sheraton) or a hamburger after a movie. Puzzles was the place. And a much younger Mark and Debra used to haunt this place along with Andrew and Toni and Sally and Greg and many others.

Debra found this picture during the clean up.. her comment was.. "Look how young we were!"

So I looked at that picture of a younger and thinner (much) Mark with the permed mullet cut and full beard.

Wow! Was that really us?

I think back to 1988.. Skyline Silhouette, Nikon film cameras, stealing Max's Van De Plaas for a more formal motoring experience. And seeing those endless great monthly results for MAX Instruments. Deb and I are flying high and planning our first overseas trip. (Stopped counting at 25 since then)

And the part time studio was really busy too! Taking days away from the office to cover assignments!

At 35 I had a different mindset.. the world was my oyster, a divorce under my belt and I was eager for any new life experiences. Now 25 years later I know what I like and want. Tradition has become a big part of my life; but our love of travel has not dulled. Actually we're busy planning our next trip around selling and buying houses. I guess I could now describe my life as one of contentment.

Gunter Klein from VDO told me back then that I should not be so totally focused on winning!

He said.. "Winning isn't everything!"

My reply was.. "No, winning isn't everything; it is the only thing!"

I hated losing sales competitions or deals… "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser!"

Hey.. it was the 80s. Greed was good!

Actually I still subscribe to that theory although I am now selective in the battles I choose!

Never mind…..

And here we are outside Puzzles in Paddington one Saturday night!