Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Ashley reveals his best ever birthday present

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Ashley reveals his best ever birthday present

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Columnist Ashley Robinson reveals his best ever birthday present

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December has always been a big month for me in my work life in hospitality but also because I am a December baby, so it has also meant a few things to me from my earliest memories.

Holidays, food and transport are probably the three significant things as my birthday always fell in the last week of school, so holidays were always prominent.

School break-ups, particularly in the early days at Eudlo, meant plums, watermelon and as much ham, prawns and Wimmer’s soft drinks I could inhale at Grandma’s house at Maroochydore over the holidays.

Transport was always a December thing as well. I got my first pushbike in 1960, but the real highlight was a purple dragster in the mid-60s when they first came out – three gears and streamers. I thought it was Christmas on that birthday.

I got my first racing bike from Turnbull’s sports store in 1970 and progressed to a motorbike around 1974 when everything changed.


I got my licence in a 1961 VW to add to the dirt bike and a whole lot of new friends, as I was one of few that had a car and bike at the start of senior high in 1975. My spending on petrol went up and my grades went down that year, but I did have a lot of fun.

As I got older and became ensconced in the hospitality industry, birthdays and holidays became less significant, as I was always working and over the last few years old mate and I haven’t even exchanged presents for birthdays as it is just another day.

This year though, she kept going on about getting me a present and I told her unless it was a Ducati not to worry about it. A couple of years ago I was going to buy a Ducati from my mates at Sunstate, but financial  circumstances changed dramatically so that plan was canned, but occasionally I pretend to own one by borrowing one off them for a weekend.

So as the big day got closer, she was still on about my present so I held a slim hope that come the big day there would be a red bike in the driveway.

The day arrives and my present was a red Ducati in the driveway, unfortunately though it was actually a framed photo of one that I borrowed? Got to love her sense of humour – not. Hope you have happy holidays.