Friday, 9 May 2014

You Made Your Bed, Lie In It

Friday 4 March 2011
Late Friday afternoon Toussaint Wilberforce, Solicitor, telephoned Daniel Soames, Barrister, “Soames, Do you want to go to Court on Monday?  Something has come in that might interest you.  It is the Brisbane Magistrates Court and the Accused, Mr Trent Calvin, is a convicted sex offender who failed to report a change of address to police.  He looks like he is a real risk of going to jail.  This is not the first time he has perpetrated.  He has twice been before the Court for this offence and has been given a significant fine on each occasion.”

“Well Mr Wilberforce I am both interested and available.”

“I should tell you this is a Legal Aid matter, so we will be doing this for little more than the love of it.”

“No problems.  Have you got any material you can send me?”
“Just the QP9 police summary document.”
“That will be fine.  I will use it to prepare a draft statement for our challenging little treasure., Mr Calvin”
“I will fax it to you shortly.”

“I will see you in my Chambers at 8:30 am Monday with Mr Calvin.”

Within twenty (20) minutes of the telephone call ending the facsimile from Toussaint Wilberforce arrived.  Daniel read it immediately and then set about preparing a draft statement he could provide to Mr Calvin on Monday morning.

It took Daniel just over an hour to read the material and finalise his draft statement, but it was an hour well spent he thought.  He went home satisfied that he was as familiar as he could be the case of Mr Calvin and similarly he was prepared as he could be for Monday morning.

Monday 7 March 2011
8:30 am Monday 7 March 2011 arrived and so did Toussaint Wilberforce at the Chambers of Daniel Soames.  However he was without the accused, Mr Trent Calvin.

“I am without a dance partner Soames”, he said.

“Wilberforce, today is not a day for dancing with yourself.  Billy Idol is for another day.”

“Yes Soames, Billy Idol will have to wait. Perhaps we should proceed to court and see if Mr Calvin turns up there.”

“Good idea. I have got all the material I need, so we can leave immediately.”

Daniel and Toussaint then walked to the Brisbane Magistrates Court, talking about the case along the way. It was generally agreed that without a good explanation, Mr Calvin was definitely at risk of going to jail for what appeared to be persistent offending, with little or no regard to the law.

Once they arrived at the Magistrates Court, Daniel said to Toussaint, “ I will go and see the prosecutor to tell him that we are here and to try to get a copy of the criminal history of our client.”

Toussaint replied, “ I will have a look round the area outside the courtrooms to see if Mr Calvin has arrived.”

Daniel and Toussaint met up again about five (5) minutes later.  “I have a copy of the criminal history of our client”, Daniel said to Toussaint.

“Well that is some good news, I still have no client” Toussaint replied.

“Good news may be a premature assessment of the situation, Toussaint. Reading this criminal history has provided me with anything but good news.”  Daniel said.

“Him being charged with breaching bail is only going to make matters worse and will almost guarantee a jail sentence for our client.”  Toussaint suggested.

“Quite so, Mr Wilberforce.  Perhaps we should try to keep a low profile until absolutely necessary, to try to save our client from aggravating his situation.

“Soames,  I will try to telephone our client and see if there is any reason for this delay.”

“Soames, apparently our client has had some trouble getting to court this morning and is running late. Interestingly my records indicate that he lives at Spring Hill and he could have walked here by now, but he has not managed to do so. It looks like we may be in for a truckload of good explanations this morning.”

“Yes Wilberforce and I wonder how many of them we will be able to provide to the court without making the situation worse for our client.  Whilst we wait for Mr Calvin, you might care to amuse and entertain yourself by reading his criminal history that the police have provided to me.”

“I doubt the court will be amused or entertained when it realises that our client committed this offence whilst on bail for the offences for which he was sentenced on Wednesday, 22 September 2010.  They are essentially the same offences as this one. I am glad you are advocating for this man and not me. I am struggling to find much good to say about him,” Wilberforce said to Soames.

At just after 10:10 am Toussaint said to Daniel, “It seems my dance partner has arrived and only an hour and a half late.”

Soames replied, “Tempted as I am to see a little Double Dutch, it will have to wait.  Let us all go to an interview room and have a chat about this case.”

With that the three men adjourned to an interview room at the Court and after brief introductions, Daniel Soames said to Trent Calvin, “Mr Calvin you are presently charged with the following offence in breach of s.50(1) of the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004:
That on Friday 8 October 2010 at Morningside in the Central Division of the Brisbane Magistrates Court District in the State of Queensland, you, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with your reporting obligation pursuant to the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004, namely by not reporting a change of address.

“Your criminal history suggests you are familiar with that offence.  The Crown Case in respect of that offence is as follows:

Wednesday 5 July 2006
“On Wednesday 5 July 2006 you became a registered offender under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act.

“At the time of your registration you were made aware of your obligation to report changes to your personal details, including any changes to your residential address. The time frame for this change is Fourteen (14) days from the date you left the address, plus an additional Fourteen (14) days to have a change recorded. This equates to twenty-eight (28) days in total.

Tuesday 27 February 2007
“On Tuesday 27 February 2007 you appeared in the District Court Brisbane to be re-sentenced for the original offences, as your personal circumstances changed since you were originally sentenced and you were no longer in a position to fulfil your obligations as part of that sentence.  Accordingly the court sentenced you to Probation for a period of 2 Years 4 Months, with a special condition that you receive Psychiatric Counselling.

Tuesday 1 September 2009
“On Tuesday, 1 September 2009 you Failed to Report in accordance with your obligations under the aforementioned legislation and were charged with an offence for failing to so do.

Tuesday 19 January 2010
“On Tuesday, 19 January 2010 you were charged with four (4) further offences of Failing to Report for similar reporting failures on your part.

Wednesday 12 May 2010
“On Wednesday, 12 May 2010 you appeared in the Magistrates Court Brisbane for the aforementioned offences of Tuesday 1 September 2009 & Tuesday 19 January 2010.  On the application the court imposed upon you a sentence of a $1,500.00 fine.

Tuesday 8 June 2010
“Almost 4 weeks after that court appearance of Wednesday, 12 May 2010 you again offended against the legislation that caused you to be sentenced on that occasion and for which you are in court today, namely you provided the police with False Information as to your personal circumstances.  Once again you were charged with an offence for so doing.  Having charged you with that offence, the police granted you bail and allowed you to return to the community.

Wednesday 23 June 2010
“Not content with your Tuesday, 8 June 2010 re-offending and apparently not chastened by your court appearances, including the most recent court appearance of Wednesday, 12 May 2010, and your bail obligations from Tuesday 8 June 2010, you again failed to report a relevant change to your personal circumstances to the police.  Upon being apprised of that situation, the police charged you with another offence. The police again released you on bail on your own undertaking, with no special or reporting conditions.

Friday 30 July 2010
“Given your recent behaviour, you were almost out of character when on Friday 30 July 2010 you provided the following as your residential address to the police:
Unit 1, Mount Gravatt Check Mate Motel, 1750 Logan Road, Mount Gravatt.
“That address was recorded by the police on their relevant computer.

Thursday 9 September 2010
“On Thursday 9 September 2010 you left the Mount Gravatt Motel address.  At that time you were on bail for the offences which were allegedly committed on Tuesday 8 June 2010 and Wednesday 23 June 2010.  You were due to be sentenced for those offences on Wednesday, 22 September 2010.

“Despite all of the incentives in your life to do so, you failed to immediately report your leaving that motel address to the police.

Wednesday 22 September 2010
“On Wednesday, 22 September 2010 you appeared in the Magistrates Court Brisbane in relation to the offences of Tuesday 8 June 2010 & Wednesday 23 June 2010.  On that occasion the court sentenced you by imposing upon you are fine of $900.00.

“As you stood in court on that occasion being sentenced for similar offences to those that bring you before the court today, apparently it did not occur to you to report your change of residential address to the police.  The fact that you had twice received court imposed criminal sanctions for your failure to report the relevant changes to your personal circumstances and were looking down the barrel of a third such prosecution, suggests that your behaviour is more in line with disregard and defiance, rather than any oversight on your part. Any court sentencing you for the third time behaviour is unlikely to have anything resembling a sympathetic approach to you.

Thursday 7 October 2010
“You had until Thursday 7 October 2010 to notify the police of the change to your address, that being the last of the aforementioned 28 days time frame. However you did not advise police of your change of address within the required time frame and have subsequently failed to comply with your reporting obligations.

Wednesday 13 October 2010
“On Wednesday 13 October 2010 police received information that you were residing at an address in Greenslopes.

Tuesday 26 October 2010
“On Tuesday 26 October 2010 enquiries with the manager of the Mount Gravatt Motel, Ms Trixie-Belle Gandofini, identified that on Thursday 9 September 2010 you left the Mount Gravatt Motel address.  No forwarding address was given.

Thursday 11 November 2010
“On Thursday 11 November 2010 you attended Morningside Police Station, as a result of prior arrangement.

“You were warned and then formally interviewed in relation to your failure to comply with your reporting obligations by not notifying police of your change of address. That interview was electronically recorded.

“During that formal interview you:

  • Acknowledged that you had failed to comply with your obligations by not notifying police of your change of address within fourteen (14) days;
  • Indicated that you had a lot going on in your life at the time and did not actually have an address to go to at the time;
  • Thought that your situation may change in the fourteen (14) days you had to notify your change of address, but it did not.
  • Did not have a permanent address until early November 2010.
  • Acknowledged that you should have contacted police and explained your situation, but you did not.

Notice To Appear
“You were issued with a Notice to Appear for the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday 15 December 2010.

Wednesday 15 December 2010
“On Wednesday 15 December 2010 the charge that is before the court today was mentioned for the first time in the Magistrates Court, Brisbane.

Monday 7 March 2011
“You had no contact with your current legal representatives until Monday, 7 March 2011 when you saw us at the Magistrates Court, Brisbane and we appeared for you on a mention of this matter.

Monday 30 March 2011
“Despite your assurances that you would do so, you had no contact with your legal representatives between Monday 7 March 2011 and the subsequent mention in the Magistrates Court Brisbane on Monday 30 March 2011. The claims you made on that earlier occasion that you had considerable material you wish to put before the court to explain your situation have proven to be empty claims, because none of that material has been forthcoming from you.

“You have provided us with no instructions or material with which we might minimise or explain away your involvement in this most recent offence. Nor have you provided us with anything with which we might usefully counter the allegations of the Crown that your recalcitrance speaks of a disregard of and thumbing your nose at the law on your part, rather than perhaps it being an episode of another unfortunate oversight on your part or even evidence of your inherent stupidity.

“I expect the Magistrate will be able to find a plausible retort to everything I might submit to him as to why you ought not going to jail for this offence.  Were he to conclude that jail is the only appropriate sentence for you, so long as it is a reasonable jail sentence, it would not be found by the Court of Appeal to be manifestly excessive. The end result of all that is, thanks to your own behaviour, you are now very seriously looking at a jail sentence and one that means you might spend up to 6 months in actual custody.

“Welcome to the real world Mr Calvin.”

“So Mr Calvin, is there anything sensible you can tell us, that I can in turn tell the Magistrate, as to why you ought not be sent to prison for this most recent offending behaviour on your part?  Mr Wilberforce will take notes of what you tell us, so our instructions are accurate.”

“Just as I thought. Your silence is deafening Mr Calvin.  It is very difficult to help someone, will not help themselves.  All that remains now is for Mr Wilberforce to take your formal plea of guilty instructions, which I see he has prepared in anticipation of this eventuality today.  Once that document is signed, we can proceed to court and await your matter to be called on. In the meantime you might endeavour to think of something worthwhile that might be said about you to the Magistrate. You can provide that information to Mr Wilberforce and he will in turn provide it to me.”

With the instructions signed, the three men proceeded to the back of the magistrates court and waited for the prosecutor to call their matter.  Less than 15 minutes passed before it was time to deal with the matter of Mr Calvin.  The prosecutor read the facts to the court in a very evenhanded way. Nevertheless the magistrate was taking particular note of the chronology and how all of the events related to each other.  Daniel opined to himself, any magistrate taking this much time the over the chronology of events cannot possibly bode well for the accused being sentenced.  From time to time the Magistrate even seemed to be suggesting that the matter now before the court was more serious than the prosecutor was submitting.  If there was any doubt in my mind before the prosecutor started his submissions, Daniel thought, there is no doubt in my mind now he has finished, keeping Mr Calvin out of prison will be a monumentally difficult exercise.

Daniel thought he might have been able to start his submissions before the Magistrate shared his thoughts on the matter, but this magistrate was having none of that approach.  The Magistrate ran through the chronology very deliberately and at each turn indicated the level of criminality perpetrated by Mr Calvin.  It was abundantly clear that the Magistrate fully understood all of the facts and he was not about to let Mr Calvin escape without what he considered to be appropriate punishment.

“Have I misunderstood any of the facts Mr Soames?”
“No, Your Honour.”
“Is the view I have taken of the facts not open to that interpretation, Mr Soames?”
“No, Your Honour.”
“Is there any evidence you can put before me that might convince me to take a more lenient view of this matter, Mr Soames?”
“No, Your Honour.”
“Then I propose to reward your client for the hard work he has undertaken. Thank you Mr. Soames.”

Daniel knew the time for him to make submissions was over the and it was time for him to sit down.

Just as it had been during the exchange between Daniel and the Magistrate, the Court room was deathly silent.  Absolutely no one else was speaking, not even in a whisper.

The Magistrate then addressed Trent Calvin.

“On Wednesday 22 September 2010 as you stood in Court being sentenced for similar offences to the one before the Court today and were ultimately fined $900.00 for those offences, that was not sufficient motivation to notify police of your change of address from the Mount Gravatt Motel.”

“You have continually thumbed your nose at the law.  In the circumstances the only appropriate sentence is one of imprisonment and it will be imprisonment of the actual variety.  The maximum jail sentence for this offence is six (6) months.  You will be sentenced to six (6) weeks jail.  I decline to make a recommendation for early release on parole.”

“You made your bed, Lie in It.”

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Anastasia Screamed In Vain

Parent / teacher interviews are always a traumatic experience for Anastasia and this particular scheduled interview evening had all the hallmarks of being more traumatic than most. Fourteen (14) year old Prudence was becoming more difficult to manage and that quality was unlikely to have gone unnoticed by her teachers. Anastasia knew that communication with her former husband, the father of Prudence, was almost impossible in any meaningful way, so she would have to deal with the increasing demands of parenting their daughter by herself.

Anticipating a difficult Tuesday evening, Anastasia decided to attend parent teacher night without Prudence.  Accordingly she organised for a change to the usual contact arrangements so Prudence could spend the evening with her father.

This was probably an evening when Prudence would have been happy not to be the centre of attention.  The night had a reasonably familiar theme, insofar as the message that was being conveyed to Anastasia about Prudence was concerned. Four (4) of the six (6) teachers said that Prudence invariably did not pay attention in class and if and when she did pay attention, she rarely engaged in any of the discussion or activity being undertaken. Prudence was a student with talent, but her application, attitude, results and behaviour were noticeably deteriorating. Some meaningful intervention was necessary in the life of Prudence and it would be better to arrive sooner rather than later.

Anastasia reflected on two (2) separate incidents that had arisen in respect of Prudence.  Two former friends of her father made separate complaints about him, seemingly without regard to the effect that those complaints may have on Prudence.  Both women were determined to exact revenge on the father for rejecting them and apparently saw any harm to Prudence as acceptable collateral damage.  When Prudence realised that some of the teaching staff at her school learned of the complaints, she could see her cocoon was cracking and the outside world was significantly more harsh than she had anticipated.

It was becoming clear to Anastasia that the totality of  parenting Prudence was becoming a significant issue for Anastasia, Prudence and her teachers. Anastasia left the parent teacher interviews rather shaken by the experience and a little perplexed as to how she might deal with the increasing demands of parenting Prudence.

She thought about it on the way home and determined to ring her friend Millicent, to see if Millicent could offer any insight into her situation and perhaps even a meaningful solution. As Prudence would be spending the evening with her father, this was an ideal opportunity to have an uninterrupted conversation with Millicent about the situation.

Millicent was aware of a great deal of the history in relation to Prudence, so that did not need to be canvassed in any great detail. There was more concentration on the school parent teacher interviews and the implications that news might have for both mother and daughter.

Millicent said there was a barrister with whom she was quite friendly and he practiced in family law. She was confident that he would happily speak with Anastasia about her situation.  Hopefully be able to provide some assistance for her. Millicent said she was fairly confident Daniel Soames would help, as he had done so in the past for another friend of hers.

Anastasia said, “I would be very grateful if you would organise for your barrister friend and I to get together”. Millicent said, "Leave it with me, I will contact you after I have made contact with Daniel."

Dinner and Conference
The following week Anastasia was in luck, although it would be a dinner with somewhat of a difference. Prudence was with her father, so Anastasia could  meet with Millicent and Daniel to discuss her situation over dinner that Wednesday at 7:00 pm.

Daniel arrived a little before 6:50 pm Wednesday and spent the time catching up with Millicent. They did not discuss Anastasia or her situation, as there would be plenty of time for that to occur later in the evening. Happy though Millicent was to catch up with Daniel, she was getting a little concerned by 7:20 pm when Anastasia had still not shown and had not telephoned to say what was going on. Daniel did not seem to be too troubled by the development, which pleased Millicent, but she thought this behaviour was all too typical of Anastasia, no thought or regard as to how her actions might impact upon others.

On the stroke of 7:30 pm Anastasia knocked on the front door of Millicent’s home and Millicent promptly answered. Millicent invited Anastasia in and chose not to make an issue of the late arrival. She then introduced Anastasia and Daniel and set about serving dinner. Anastasia said the reason she was late was that she was finalising arrangements she had put in place to attend an audition the following day to be part of an upcoming play. She did not seem to be troubled by her lateness and she seemed to be very enthusiastic about the audition.

Anastasia said to Daniel, “Millicent has probably told you about my situation”.
Millicent responded promptly, “I have told him nothing. It was not my business to tell him. That is for you to do”.
Daniel contributed to the conversation by saying, “All I know about this is the very brief invitation I got to come to dinner and talk to you about family law issues relating to children.”

As they ate their dinner Anastasia told Daniel of her situation. Most interesting to Daniel were the two (2) relatively recent incidents involving Prudence and her father that came to light as a result of complaints made by former girlfriends of her father.

Daniel said to Anastasia, “These women were determined to exact some revenge on the father. Do you know what it was he allegedly did in respect of them?”
Anastasia said “No.”
Daniel continued, “These complaints were apparently made with little regard to the effect that they may have on Prudence. I also doubt this will have escaped the notice of those who teach Prudence at her school. This will be anything but a secret now, I expect.”

Daniel continued, “We could go on all night, but your real problem is twofold:
You do not have orders under the Family Law Act regulating the residence of and contact with your daughter; and
The nature of the complaints about her father are such as to seriously peak the interest of the Department of Children’s Services.

If that Department takes a serious interest in you and you continue to not have any orders under the Family Law Act, you may very well find the Department of Children’s Services makes an application to the Court to be the guardian of Prudence, at least whilst they continue their investigation into her well-being. The implication of such an order for you is that Prudence would be placed into foster care for the duration of that order and for all intents and purposes, there is nothing you could do about it.”

Anastasia seemed very surprised to hear that advice.

Daniel said, “Anastasia I know a solicitor who can help you. I have worked with him on many occasions previously and I will endeavour to speak with to him tomorrow, so that he is aware of you, should you choose to seek his assistance. For the sake of completeness I am happy to continue assisting you, but you will need to retain a solicitor.”

“Given what has transpired this evening, it is probably best I leave now and you can continue to discuss your situation with Millicent if you wish. I am not going to tell you anything new, I am just going to repeat the advice I have already given you. I accept that it is rather confronting, so it is best that I do not add to your pain by giving you more information than you can cope with in one sitting. I will telephone Millicent tomorrow and she can let me know if you have made any decisions as to what you want to do.”

Daniel then said goodbye and left them to discuss the Anastasia situation amongst themselves.

The following afternoon Millicent rang Daniel at his chambers and thanked him for attending the previous evening and advising Anastasia.

Millicent said, “It was probably a good move on your part to leave when you did, because Anastasia seemed to be struggling to come to grips with all that you said to her. She seemed to be better able to process information this morning. However it did not stop her from attending the audition.”

Daniel said, “Oh yes, the audition. Anastasia is not going to do anything about her daughter. Her focus will be on the play and she will hope the other business will all go away.”

Millicent said, “Surely not.”

“Sadly yes”, Daniel said, “I have seen this all before. Still it was a very pleasant dinner, so all was not lost. Perhaps you know your friend better than me, but I would be very surprised if I ever hear from her again. I know she is your friend, so with that in mind I say this to you, hope springs eternal.”

Mrs Duckworth
Three weeks after Anastasia met with Millicent and Daniel, Prudence got into another  serious physical altercation at school.  The two girls had to be separated by a teacher, Mrs Duckworth. Happenstance was not kind to Prudence and Mrs Duckworth was a poor choice  if Prudence wanted to stay under the radar. Mrs Duckworth told both girls that their behaviour was not acceptable. Further it was not the first time she had had to speak to the girls about their behaviour. She then took them to the Principal.

Mrs Duckworth then contacted the Department of Children’s Services and reported the incident.  She also reported the continuing misbehaviour of Prudence, as she felt she was obliged to do.

As a result of that complaint a file was opened and allocated to a field officer within the Department of Children’s Services.  An investigation was then commenced in respect of Prudence. Ultimately that investigation lead to the Department making an application to be the guardian or carer for Prudence for six (6) months and an order made for her to be put into foster care.

Reality Bites
About two (2) months after the fight incident that led Mrs Duckworth to contact the Department of Children’s Services, Anastasia received a telephone call from Prudence. Prudence was very distressed as she told her mother that officers from the Department of Children’s Services were at the school.  They told her they were taking her into foster care that day. Prudence asked her mother to come to the school immediately.

Anastasia was in shock. She became distressed herself. However she made arrangements to go immediately to see Prudence at her school and try to work out what was going on. As she drove to the school she telephoned Millicent to share what had transpired.  She hoped that Millicent could offer a solution. When Millicent heard the news, she said she would telephone Daniel and see if he could offer any assistance.

Once Anastasia arrived at the school she had a conversation with the officers from the Department of Children’s Services and the School Principal. It was clear that she would not be able to persuade the departmental officers to change their mind by herself. She asked if they would speak to Daniel.  They agreed to do so. Anastasia rang Millicent and begged her to get Daniel to ring Anastasia on her mobile telephone, so these developments could be explained to him and perhaps he could solve it or figure something out. Millicent said she would try, but she could not guarantee Daniel would be available, nor could she guarantee that he would be in a position to do anything to help. Anastasia said she would be grateful for any help.

Within five (5) minutes Daniel telephoned Anastasia.  She endeavoured to explain to him what had transpired. She then handed the telephone to the senior officer from the Department of Children’s Services. The officer explained the situation to Daniel and at the conclusion of the conversation, the telephone was given back to Anastasia.

Daniel told Anastasia, “The department officers were entitled to do what they were doing.  In the very near future there would be a court hearing to determine if the current order they hold in respect of Prudence would need to be extended.”

By that stage preparations were clearly being made by the officers of the Department of Children’s Services to leave the school with Prudence. Prudence was in tears and kept saying she did not want to go with the officers of the Department Children’s Services. Her requests seemingly fell on deaf ears, because they had no impact on the departmental officers doing their job.

Anastasia was also in tears and pleading with the departmental officers, “Do not take my daughter away from me.”

The departmental officers continued to escort Prudence from the premises.

As she followed the departmental officers and Prudence out of the school grounds and into the car park, Anastasia continued to sob and she pleaded with the departmental officers, “Do not take my daughter away from me.”

Prudence was placed in the motor vehicle with the departmental officers and they drove away.

By that stage Anastasia had fallen to the ground and was sobbing and screaming, “Do not take my daughter away from me.”  Anastasia screamed in vain.

Going To The Go-Go's

Life as a 19 year old male in Brisbane was pretty grand for Daniel Soames, all things considered. He had deferred the seriousness and dedication needed to usefully attend university in favour of getting a little education from real life and exploring his interests in music and sport.

He rode a scooter, in part for riding convenience and in part to discourage free-loaders. He had met far too many people who wished to take advantage of his good nature and volunteer themselves to ride in his motor vehicle. That was less of a possibility when he rode his scooter, because unless the prospective passenger had their own helmet, the passenger experience was not going to happen.

Friday 25 June 1982
Friday 25 June 1982 was a world away from The Go-Go’s concert scheduled for the following evening. Work had finished for the week and there was music to experience that night. When he got home from work he walked in to the kitchen and had a conversation with his mother.

When she saw Daniel she said, "How are you?"
Daniel replied "Fine" in a very happy voice.
His mother then responded "Yes, you are always fine Friday night."

Rather amused by that exchange, Daniel walked to his bedroom where he turned on his music and proceeded to get ready to go out for the evening. The Go-Go’s concert might be on tomorrow night and Daniel was certainly looking forward to that concert, but that was no excuse to pass up the opportunity to play The Gift, the new album by The Jam. Getting ready was so much more enjoyable to that "ghost dance beat".

To either cut down on beer or the kid’s new gear, may well have been a big decision in a Town called Malice, however the pressing challenge at that juncture for Daniel was of a more sartorial kind: which cravat would resplendently adorn his neck on this occasion? Tonight was definitely a night for some paisley flair. Having showered and redressed, it was now time to enjoy the delights of a pleasant meal with his mother and discuss some of the events of the day, both at home and at work. Perhaps even a little prognostication as to what the evening might have in store might occur. When dinner was finished and no time was scrimped on that experience, it was time to clean his teeth and make sure all was in order for the scooter ride to the city and an evening of some serious nightclubbing and music. Just like in Ready Steady Go! The weekend had started.

Elizabeth Street in the city was kind to Daniel that evening, at least insofar as traffic and parking was concerned, because he was able to park his scooter right outside the Carlton Hotel, his destination. There were another couple of scooters in the vicinity, so it looked like some of his friends may well be nearby. Inside the Carlton Hotel, or White Chairs as it was affectionately known, some of his friends were already in attendance and on the way to what appeared to be an enjoyable evening.

Shortly after he joined the group there was some discussion about whether they would go to the 279 Club in Edward Street and watch one of the local bands perform, or go to the Underground for an evening of nightclubbing. Daniel decided that even though his life was not in a rut, on that night he would be “Going Underground”. So after about 40 minutes of White Chairs revelry it was off to The Underground for the Scooter boys and girls.

Going Underground
The Underground was its usual crowded venue with a fair spattering of Blitz Kids, Mods, Rockers (all Brisbane-Style) and hairdressers all looking to let their hair down and enjoy themselves and the music. There was some discussion about The Go-Go’s concert the following evening, but the general consensus was that Saturday evening was a world away.  Most people were concentrating on enjoying Friday. Saturday evening could wait until later.

Blue Rondo a la Turk and Haircut 100 were entertaining the crowd just as much as The Human League, Duran Duran, The Police, Madness and The Jam. Siouxsie and The Banshees always seemed to fill the dance floor and very few dancers left when the Sunnyboys were played. Spandau Ballet and Prince were no less popular. The Go-Go’s may be visiting tomorrow night but they were getting no special treatment tonight. That was evident when it seemed just about everybody wanted to get on the dance floor when they heard Heaven 17 sing (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang.

After Pigbag doing Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag finished playing Daniel thought it was time to get a drink, so it was off to the bar to partake of the free orange juice and soft drink on offer. Orange Juice was his “poison” of choice.

It was the 1980s so hedonism had a fair amount of wick and candle to burn before societal sobriety doused the flame and this night at the Underground was no different. Young things, not so young things, some pretty, many not so pretty and a few just plain amusing were out for their slice of the enjoyment pie. It was incredibly entertaining for Daniel to watch and it provided him with an interesting and invaluable education in human interaction.

Miss Sweep Him Off His Feet was not in attendance that evening or if she was, she failed to adequately bring herself to the attention of Daniel. So there would be no “I would give you a lift home but I only have one helmet” dilemma for Daniel that evening. In its place were lots of good music, some dancing, some enjoyable conversation and an uplifting feeling about hockey tomorrow afternoon and The Go-Go’s concert tomorrow night.

With his Underground sojourn complete for the evening Daniel rode home on his scooter. The song playing non-stop on Daniel Brain Radio was Billy Idol singing “Dancing with Myself” and Daniel happily sang along. He managed to resist the temptation of an invitation from Grace Jones to Pull Up To The Bumper Baby.

Twenty minutes later Daniel was home in his kitchen getting something to eat and drink and winding down from the evening. The crossword in the newspaper would also help. After about half an hour it was time for him to invest in some sleep.

Saturday 26 June 1982
Five hours of relaxing sleep later saw Daniel rewarded with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for the day ahead. The hockey game that afternoon required his full attention and then there was the date with five visiting young women and their music. After a bright, happy and fulfilling breakfast Daniel realised there was no shopping he needed to do, so he could relax until lunchtime when he needed to commence getting ready for hockey. The Saturday morning music video television shows would entertain him adequately, he thought.

As he watched the music video shows Daniel slowly went about ensuring that all of his gear was in readiness for his hockey match.  He wanted to avoid any unnecessary delays when the time came. By lunchtime the furnace that was burning inside of Daniel meant that the opportunity to re-fuel should be taken and embraced with some significance, rather than pay it modest attention. Eat enough to satiate his appetite, but not so much as to make himself sick was his attitude. It had worked well in the past and there was no reason to think that theory would not work today.

Chasing and Hitting a Little White Ball
With food on board it was time to get dressed for hockey. Focus on the game and the reward of the concert tonight would take care of itself, he thought. Even driving to the game there was little thought of what the evening might have in store. Chasing and hitting a little white ball was where Daniel found his focus and he was happy that there were no distractions. As usual the soundtrack was playing non-stop in the background, but unlike Adam and The Ants where the music had lost its taste and it was time to try another flavour, Daniel was revelling in the moment.  He saw no reason to change the station or the channel or to try another flavour.

Once at the hockey ground it was all business for Daniel. He joined his team mates and started warming up for the game. He paired up with a team mate and they started pushing the ball around to get their respective eyes in. As that process continued they started hitting the ball to each other. Just before it was time for the game to start they were seriously thumping the ball at each other. No one was missing any traps. These boys were ready. All he was thinking about in terms of the concert later tonight was that just like The Go-Go’s sing, “We Got The Beat”.

Game time arrived and the organised fury that was his hockey experience was about to start. There was little time to sing during the game, the pace of the game was too fast for those indulgences. Even the momentary respite opportunities that present themselves during the game seemed to pass without any soundtrack intrusion, unless you count the sound of trying to catch your breath and to find extra energy.

By the end of the match Daniel and his team were three goals to the good. It had been a wonderfully fulfilling afternoon and a score line to match the enjoyment level. A little post match celebration and revelry and then Daniel might start thinking about that concert.

Driving home Daniel started to ponder about the concert and he realised there were no obvious injuries or aches and pains from his hockey match that might complicate enjoying the concert. Daniel had so far resisted the temptation to play his Go-Go’s music in the car and he was not about to succumb to temptation now. Perfect timing, Daniel thought, as the music playing in his car introduced Bow Wow Wow to the moment. “Candy on the beach, there is nothing better. I like candy when it is wrapped in a sweater. Someday soon I will make you mine. And we will have a candy all the time.”  I want Candy, indeed!

His mood was heightening and the adrenaline starting to flow. The prelude to the concert could hardly have been better scripted. Getting ready to go out Saturday night was no different to getting ready for Friday night: there was the food experience, the conversation with family, showering, the outfit selection and of course the absolutely essential soundtrack to accompany the preparation. It had been some time since he had given The Jam a spin, so it was time for a little more of The Gift and some of that ghost dance beat. Once again the soundtrack helped with another important feature of the evening, the cravat selection. Something happy, something bright and positive and rarely did he pass up the opportunity to give paisley a public outing.

Festival Hall, Brisbane: The Go-Go's au Go-Go
Daniel parked his scooter far enough away from the concert for it not to be a novelty or a distraction for those attending the concert, yet not so far away as to need to get a lift to Festival Hall. During the walk from his scooter to Festival Hall he did not see anybody he knew and once inside the venue he went straight to his seat and sat down. With concerts such as this the main attraction is the act for which the money is paid for the ticket and the accompanying acts can be an enigmatic part of the affair. Sometimes they are enjoyable and sometimes you would be happy to miss them altogether, Daniel thought. The early band on this occasion was of little or no consequence, but it did have the effect of making The Go-Go’s an even more impressive experience.

Finally it was time for the five girls to do their stuff. They all gave him a few years, but he thought they were all delightful, particularly the drummer. The set list was largely taken from the debut album Beauty and The Beat, so Daniel was familiar with the material they played. Their playing intrigued him. Whilst at first glance they did not seem to be brilliant musicians, gigging every night had certainly given them the opportunity to hone their craft.  He soon conceded that their guitar playing was clearly superior to anything he could do.  In the eyes of Daniel these girls were cute and talented, just what a young man likes to see in a young woman.

From time to time during the concert Daniel looked around to see if there was anyone he knew in attendance. A couple of faces seemed familiar and somewhat to his surprise there were some of his hockey colleagues, not only present but apparently enjoying the show. As the concert progressed more people seemed to become involved in the experience and by the time the encore was played, it seemed at least half of the crowd were dancing along to the band. The amount of people singing along with the last few numbers surprised Daniel. He did not think The Go-Go’s were that popular. However, he was happy that so many others in the crowd were enjoying the concert as much as him.

By the time the encore had been completed and the house lights turned back on, Daniel thought that The Go-Go’s had put on a wonderful show and were definitely worth the price of the ticket. He was in no hurry to leave the venue. He was happy to continue to soak up the atmosphere and give the people who wished to leave promptly plenty of time and space to do so. Somewhat to his surprise he saw some of his friends from White Chairs the previous evening.  When they noticed Daniel, they walked over and chatted about the concert. All seemed to agree that it was an enjoyable performance and well worth the ticket price.

Park Royal Hotel, Brisbane
Someone suggested going to the Park Royal Hotel down the road to see if The Go-Go’s were staying there and if so perhaps they might get to meet them. It had been something Daniel had done before and he was happy to give it a try on this occasion. So it was off to the Park Royal Hotel for the unofficial after concert party.

Daniel was in luck as The Go-Go’s apparently decided to attend the same party. He noticed them as soon as he arrived.  He also noticed a woman considerably older than him asking the girls for an autograph. That is something my little sister would like me to do, he thought, but he could not be persuaded to ask for an autograph himself. My sister will just have to miss out, Daniel thought.

His friends from White Chairs had managed to find a table and chairs that seemed to both accommodate them all and enable them to see The Go-Go’s. Perhaps a little later when some of the initial excitement had subsided, he might see if he could go and meet the band members in person, Daniel thought. There was no rush and the White Chairs crowd were keeping him adequately occupied and entertained. He could also hear and see a fair bit of what was going on with The Go-Go’s, so there was entertainment aplenty for him.

After about an hour, he noticed that the girls were leaving the bar and probably going to their hotel rooms. Initially he thought nothing of it, but then he remembered that The Go-Go’s were the reason that he was there in the first place. He was amazed to realise that given the opportunity to meet and interact with them, the girls ended up being less interesting and less engaging than his friends. He found that on balance he would rather spend time with his friends, than pursue whatever possibilities might exist with the girls in The Go-Go’s.

The girls of The Go-Go’s left quietly and unaccosted by any fanfare.

Ironic yet appropriate, Daniel thought. Earlier in the night Daniel happily sang along to How Much More and asked the question with the band: “How much more can I take, before I go crazy oh yeah?” As The Go-Go's left he thought of Our Lips are Sealed and how 60 minutes at an after concert party changed the way he viewed performers. He could now clearly see the members of The Go-Go’s as people rather than stars and he wanted to interact with them accordingly.