Throughout my childhood, teens and beyond, my dad worked the afternoon shift in a car factory. This meant he left the house at around 3pm and returned after midnight. Both our parents worked to make ends meet and without any help from family, who were all in Greece, they tag teamed to bring us up: Dad during the day, Mum in the evenings. So we didn't see much of our father during the week, except during school holidays when we spent the whole day with him. It always seemed such a treat to have this time together.
When my sister and I were at primary school and we lived in Thornbury, one of our school holiday rituals was to take the tram into the city to see a film. We always stopped into Darrell Lea on the way, and almost always bought a small glass bottle of hard rock sweets. Dad took us to see every Disney film, as well as a few classics. I distinctly remember seeing The Wizard of Oz at the cinema – It's still one of my favourite films.
When we got home after these outings he would make his sandwiches, hug and kiss us good-bye and go to work. We were then left alone for a short time until mum got home. Dad said that most of the men he worked with grumbled about the school holidays, but he always looked forward to them. As I've said before, my dad was the best dad ever.