This photo was taken somewhere south of Perth, Western Australia, I took it so hands off.
“Sort us out a Lilt”
This was a familiar shout the morning after, which was pretty much every morning, Spending weeks on endless rotation sleeping on peoples floors until we’d get kicked out and then move onto the next. We’d stay on boats with permission and we’d sleep on boats without permission. I’d slept in a car park a few times, once under a Landrover and was woken by a very well spoken chap with a walking cane and the daily mail folded under his arm, cursing the day the young people will inherit the earth. We’d slept on the beach, always next to the fire, sometimes our sleeping bags had melted, bunching together and creating that hard petrified crease, uncomfortable to lie on and a permanent reminder as to how lucky we were that we didn’t burn to death in a stupor in a nylon bag. We didn’t listen, we were invincible.
So down at the quay, there was a little cafe, serving breakfasts, coffees, milkshakes; the standard Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla and canned drinks; Tizer, Vimto, Coke, Fanta, and Tango (both Orange, i’ve never seen the need for 2 types of fizzy orange) and a large supply of Lilt, which, since we had arrived, seemed to be the most popular beverage.
Lilt, according to my friend had magical properties to rid you of a hangover, I preferred chocolate milkshake and I think that when you are that young, having a hangover was no big deal; we’d wake up late, go to the cafe for mainly drinks, then the pubs would open and we’d start all over again; snakebite and black and table football at the Fortescue, then down to the Ferry for the evening where we’d end up being flung out after closing and then down to the bakers for pizza, our friend’s Dad owned it so we could jump the queue and not have to pay.
So yes Lilt, restorative properties, and as the advert would have it,
“Lilt; With the Totally Tropical Taste”
This was sung, probably by a session impressionist singer impersonating a West Indian with this terribly patronising generic Paint by numbers Reggae-Calypso jingle jangle music as a theme. I can still remember it, and I have absolutely no reason to believe that it was any more tropical than Beamish Stout and came from anywhere else than the Coca Cola Stable. With “real” Grapefruit and Pineapple my arse. I’ve been to Grenada, I’ve been to Thailand, to southern India and Sri Lanka, to Singapore and to the Northern Tropical parts of Australia, through the islands of the South Pacific; Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Rarotonga, Tahiti, and the last thing I associate with any of those places is Lilt.
How ironic that the cafe was in Salcombe, the southernmost point, pretty much in Devon, England. But I do remember the summers being hotter then, or maybe it was the Lilt.