Life Begins at Cairns High & Winifred Blows In (27 January-2 February)

Monday 27/1/86

Woke later this morning – 9:00. Camp was too short. SCHOOL TOMORROW. OH NO! Tanja, Mima, Fi & me (& hopefully Sandra B) will be a group. [The little Cancerian, driven by the desire to feel Secure.] Anyhow, cleaned up after a Gigantic brekky of pancakes again. Went for a swim. Others got 2 paddle boats, left us (4) behind. We swam out & they paddled away. BITCHES. Sandra felt bad – we understood her. We were half-drowning. Cooked big lunch too – soup, custard, popcorn & damper. [Yuk!] Then left at 2:30 in combie. Tired on way home. A Life in WordsBut had fun. Exhausted now. Beka rang to wish me good luck. Felt guilty about not seeing her before school like I said I would. Am almost composed (I guess) [I can imagine how nervous I would have been feeling] Is 9:34

Tuesday 28/1/86

Today was…. quite….. UNREAL!! I’m in 11B with mima, Fiona, Tanja, Lynette (G), Brent, David S, Cameron McK, Mark F, Kevin L and a few more. Great huh?!! English – I’m with practically no one; Bio – Angela J; Maths – Fi; Chem – Fi, Mim, Lyn & (everyone else) in our form; Art – Sandra, Astia, Elisia. Great!! Heaps of spunks – mostly jerks though. Bus was empty  – about 10 people on it!! More tomorrow – will be packed. Sean M is in my Bio class. There’s a cute spunk (his friend I think) there too. Mmmm! At lunch, walked Angela to her parent’s shop & met Jason P, MR & MP Busting for pee all day – didn’t wanna go to those yuk loos. [I’d heard tales years earlier about razor blades being embedded in the cakes of soap, and the coloured girls attacking the whites in there: no doubt a part of the fear mongering older students liked to dish out to keep the ‘newbies’ in submission, because I never experienced anything remotely like it in my two years there. A Life in WordsHaving also come from Smithfield High, which was a brand new school when I began there, I was accustomed to somewhat newer & obviously cleaner amenities] Is 9:15.

Wednesday 29/1/86

I am sooooo tired. My english class is full of dead-shits (dags, idiots, delinquents) Donna B is with me. We’re the only white girls. The best thing is the teacher – Mr Grozetti. (Adam’s dad) He’s good, mima says (she & Fi have him too) Also my biology class doubled mysteriously in numbers today. So that means we’ll be split into 2 classes & with my luck Angie (J) will be in the one I’m not (I’ll have Donna B) Art was embarrassing. Had to get to know each other. Neville pretended he couldn’t say/remember my name. How pathetic.  [Fair go! Maybe you actually aren’t memorable, Liss?] Skool finished early. So we went to town.. Caught bus home. Is 9:33

Thursday 30/1/86

Orrrright. My Bio class is …. small. Angie is with me so is Donna. Love Chemistry & Maths (Fi) Ben’s also in our Maths class now (David D, too) Cyclone Winifred has intensified and is directly east of Cooktown Gales up to 150km/hr SHIT! That’s why the wind picked up (one hell of a lot) today. Raining still. LOVE IT, though!! Sean is in other Bio class so I have nothing with him (thank god) need not pay attention to or sneak glances at him. He’s a jerk, but he’s cute. So’s David S. Double english tomorrow YUK. Oh well!! Heapsa work for art. This course is gonna be VERY HARD Is 9:48  Have no leathers for Chem!!!!

Friday 31/1/86

Best of all, I like David S I think. I also like Steven B, Cameron McK, Sean S, Mark W, John C, Rikki & Ben P. I don’t like like them – I think they’re spunks. God I’m tired. Wind has dropped & rains a little less. Am behind in art already. Gonna hafta make my folder a rush job. Oh well!! David’s sooo cute & Steven’s such a spunk. Gord, CHS is a haven of spunks. [Like a kid in a lolly shop!] I’m bugared. Getting my leather shoes tomorrow. Periods finished. Gonna look after my skin. Is 11:50 Movie was slack. Gosh I can’t believe how tired I am nite nite!!!!

Saturday 1/2/86

A Life in Words
Cyclone Winifred’s path, as tracked by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

I am writing by the light of a torch. The cyclone is now nearer to Babinda – Innisfail and heading SW at 15km/hr However Cairns is still on cyclone warning. The power has been off since 3:30 this arvy due to various fallen power poles. The wind is very gusty. Radio reports heaps of telephone/power poles, bus shelters, trees, sheds & roofs – hold it, they just said that FNQEB men are trying to restore power  at this moment. Great – hope they can. The wind and rain sounds like the ocean now – great gusts remind me of waves breaking against the shore. This morning went searching for leather shoes – nothing. Saw Mark R – works at Mathers. Smiled at him & smiled back. Felt a tinge of confidence!! Is 9:10 saw heapsa others too [Up to this point Winifred was one of the most destructive cyclones to hit the Far North, as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted: “Winifred produced the most disastrous effects on the Queensland coast of any tropical cyclone since Altheain 1971.” She was a Category 3 on the scale of 1 to 5 (five being the most intense) and the eye of the storm crossed the coast just south of Innisfail, which is approximately ¾ hour south of Cairns.)

Sunday 2/2/86

Tonight I’m writing by candlelight. The power has now been off (it’s 8:36) for 1 day and approx. 5 hours. Today, we cleaned up the yard & took all the stuff back outside, before dad came. We  went to Duffy’s (her whole front yard was a torn, lifeless muck – jungle & her shed at the back no longer existed) & helped her clean up (then to Roger’s old place – he lost the fence & some windows on the granny flat.) Then to a party at Kingfisher flats on Esplanade (BORING) Jenny drove us home (after a tour of the town) mim & Fi were at the park waiting for me. We talked. Rained a bit. SHIT the weather’s fine again. There’s pretty bad things – old 100 year old trees fallen. [These were mostly fig trees, which apparently have weak or shallow root systems so are obviously more at the mercy of storm conditions than many others.] It’s a shame. But I love the rain

At the back of my diary, in the notes section, I expanded upon the cyclone:

THE CYCLONE WINNIFRED has been pretty vicious. They say that what Cairns looks like is nothing compared to Innisfail – 100 houses approx. are roofless. There are only 2 trees still standing in the whole of Mission Beach & worst of all, 2 people have been killed. [According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the death toll was actually three] A young girl was hit by flying iron & a 43 yr old man fell from his roof, trying to secure it down. [The third was apparently a drowning] The oldest trees around Cairns have fallen. Heaps & heaps. It’s a terrible shame. 100 years old – we’ll never see others if they’re planted now. I wish cyclonic winds would leave trees & power poles alone. [Ha! A pipe-dream. Clearly, I was sensitive to flora destruction but at the same time also couldn’t bear electricity blackouts.] Everything else – I don’t care. I hate seeing beautiful trees up-rooted. It’s ugly & saddening.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s