I loved those little wine bars in Sydney in the '60s

In the late-’60s, life in Sydney was often one of energetic pleasure seeking, and sometimes even risque behaviour. Luckily we had friends who looked out for one another.

Many of us had left home and shared flats with friends or even strangers. Mixed households had ‘unwritten rules’ regarding behaviour — if you get my drift. Nobody then seemed to have much though for the future.

Almost every night after we finished work we would meet up with friends at one of the the local wine bars — converted small shops. Some were so crowded it was difficult to get past the door others were more of a relaxed atmosphere.

Some of the wine bars were quiet and set a romantic atmosphere, piano players would play requests or their own favourites. There we would chat, listen to music, sip wine and nibble on appetisers for an hour or so before moving on to the theatre or a restaurant, or home if one was prudent and had to work the next day.

One little place in Crows Nest (Sydney) had a dance floor about the size of a large table top. This one was a favourite spot, and people enjoyed the quiet ambience. Relationships developed or faded away in those little wine bars.

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We wore hot pants and mini skirts and our grandmothers — at least mine, anyway — were always trying to cover up the plunging neckline of our tops and dresses with a string of pearls or a lace scarf or shawl.

Wine bars were quite different to the clubs and pubs. They could not sell beer or spirits so the hard drinkers did not frequent them.

They were usually only open from about 4:30pm to about 7pm, sometimes later if they had enough customers for the evening. This particular one had an agreement with neighbouring restaurants to provide meals for late stayers.

Mostly on the weekend we would go on to Broadway where the theatres were plenty and there were many films to choose from.