My Learner’s License, Senior Certificate & Mum’s Broken Toe (30 November-6 December)

Monday 30/11/87

I woke to a few phonecalls, ignored them and kept sleeping. Around 11:00 – jemima saw me open my eyes.. I felt terrible…they’d all been up for ages. [This is pretty much ‘unheard of’ for me.. I was usually unable to sleep in – and was often the first one awake – at sleepovers…] and Fi was there (had been for an hour!) so we went (via my place to get money & change of clothes & take my pill) & got 2 videos & lotsa food [that is, junk… stuff I wouldn’t class as ‘food’ these days]. A Life in WordsFinally at mima’s, we watched LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (newer one) […I’m assuming by “newer one” I meant the 1986 production as opposed to the original 1960’s version] – Funny!! Then Playing Beattie Bow through which Joannah arrived (Peter & Edward M already there) After that (not-so-good) video – talked about the party … Fi dropped me home Mum wasn’t extremely happy. She’s getting really ‘uppity’ about the amount of time I spend at home (“very little”) but I’m YOUNG and I’ve just finished SCHOOL! I need to get out and make friends & have fun!! [Ha! Dad would abruptly counter this attitude with “No, you need to get a job and start paying your way” (justified!) but mum wasn’t quite as direct as he, and I’m certain that for her it was more personal: apart from possibly feeling like she was being taken for granted (in her care-giver role) she would also have been simply missing me. I’ve always been more social than my mother & sister (this I inherit from my dad) so our motivation and understanding of each other in this respect was ‘misaligned’. Even in my later years, when I’d moved to the Gold Coast, she (& my sister) whinged about the amount of time I didn’t spend ‘at home’ when I came to visit them, but I understand that it’s fundamentally derivative of their love for me. I can certainly see however the selfishness and immaturity in my teenaged attitude now…] Anyway I nearly went to sleep around 6:00, but got up & had a shower – I knew I had to ring Crabbie. Jo & mima weren’t home. Couldn’t tell [him] much. Got Jo & mima later – they’ve no definite plans yet either so all plan-making will be done 2morrow (last minute – as usual) I [← I have no idea what this marking actually was – whether it was a capital ‘I’ or the number ‘1’ – nor, of course, why it was there: had I meant to begin another sentence or was I simply going to record the time?]

Tuesday 1/12/87

Disappointment! The party was cancelled and I only found out as I was ready to leave. Today I stayed home – sunbaked (& got a bit burnt) in the morning, as well as writing to mark (but what’s the point?)A Life in Words [The point most likely being no address to send it to? I’m not sure why else I’d consider it pointless…] and spent the afternoon unpicking [the stitching of] an old dress of mums. (I have heaps of old clothes & material to make clothes – no time & patience, though) [surprise, surprise] Jo rang a number of times during the day (Wayne did [only once] too, to say he wasn’t coming) so I started to get ready around 5:15 (and of course couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear) so finally ready at 6:50.. rang Fi to tell her I’m coming & sorry I’m late, but she still wasn’t home, so I rang mima “Oh, sorry, didn’t anyone tell you it’s been cancelled?” I must’ve shown my disappointment more than I thought cos when Fi rang, she noticed. So I stayed home – watched TV, during big thunder-/rain storms. Now is about 9:30. Early nite for once???!

Wednesday 2/12/87

10:34 – yet another night at home. But a busy day! This morning I woke around 8:00 (woke a fair bit last nite – felt still very tired & weak this morning) and Jemima rang around 9:30. We finally left for town around 11:00 (Deanne rang me beforehand, too!) I tried to ring Jo, but phone was engaged. So, met Seigi & Colleen & Danaë and Jude in town . . told us the party (ended up at Mulgrave Rd) was excellent (Great) [←Can you feel the disappointment oozing from this solitary sarcastic comment?] so I got a pair of $47 black on white (stripes) bikinis (finally!) then we all went to the beach – not many people at all! Dropped Jude & Danaë off (fi dropped off Colleen) then went around town trying to find the (indoor) soccer team etc… watched indoor soccer (Fi told me a deep secret and I feel priveleged – finally find out something about her (her love for…..)) [I have no absolutely NO recollection of the identity represented by these dots now] at home 7:30 (BIG STORMS tonite!) (No letter from Mark yet) So, a nite at home yet again. A Life in WordsMum told me at 9:30 that Jo rang so I couldn’t ring her back.. […because one of our house rules was no phone calls after 8pm …a guideline I still follow now. In fact, these days I rarely make, and sometimes choose not to answer, phone calls at all after dusk!]  GREAT!!!

Thursday 3/12/87

Well, less than a month left of this horrible revolting worst-year-of-my-life year. [This is so interesting, because unbeknownst to me, the coming year (1988) was to prove quite difficult for me as well (nothing as traumatic as the bus accident though of course) and for many, many years to follow, I despised it more than 1987. In fact, pretty much up until I began this blog, I actually considered 1987 (coupled with ’86) the best year(s) of my life. Much of this I think related to my burgeoning social and love lives, as well as the freedom of responsibility of childhood/school-life entwined with the imminent privileges of adulthood. Thankfully this very blogging process has released me from that limiting belief: whilst I’m re-living my past in detail, I’m also an observer and this has perfectly unlocked whatever deep, powerful connection I had to these times in my life (for which I am still grateful nonetheless, for the lessons they have individually and collectively presented to me). It’s truly liberating.] Thank God! But what’ll I do now? For the rest of my life? It’s a worry. [See my line of thought? Responsibility = Worry. Much of the time these are directly proportional to one another…] I spent the (nearly the) whole day at home …sewing!! (I’m making things out of mum’s old clothes – chop, chop!) Wrote a bit more to Mark, and in the mail, got a note to pick up a parcel at Freshwater P.O. .. it was my (very battered and carelessly handled) [art] folio So, I didn’t get an interview, nor a note ..so Kelvin Grove .. UP YOURS!! A Life in WordsI’ll just have to do something totally different to Uni career [one rejection and “it’s all over”…] – other apprenticeships like hairdressing, nursing & journalist cadetship on a magazine, till Jo, Jude & I open our boutique. [The flights of fancy we kiddies have/had! I’m fairly sure nursing required formal study even back then, and as for the magazine cadetship… ha! I think that Hollywood & the media in general might have ‘duped’ me there. As for the boutique with my friends… well, I’d forgotten all about that and in fact, didn’t realise I was still considering a fashion career at this stage…] Anyway Fi came down & took me and I GOT MY LEARNERS (FINALLY!) and my hair show ticket. [Another hair show? There was one just last week…] Home again, but she took me late nite shopping. No cuties [read: no ‘talent’ to perve on] was fun with CB, Glyn, Anna, Colleen LAUGH! Saw John C – not so stunningly gorgeous as he used to be – but I still wouldn’t mind him falling for me (laugh in a million) [self deprecating humour] Went to KFC after (Jeff, Cam, Glyn, CB, Anna, Fi Col & me) [Jesus, again? You might as well have lived there…]

Friday 4/12/87

Today, I stayed home (yet again!) Wasn’t too occupied: I mean, in the morning I went to school briefly to pick up my report (senior certificate) I got VH for eng! WOW! Sounds for maths & chem and highs for biol & arts.. [To this day, it amazes me that English was my best subject, considering the very reason I moved to Cairns High in the first place was for the CAD Art ‘School of Excellence’ course. I remember feeling disappointed (and even embarrassed) with myself for not attaining the same (top) achievement level in my art subjects. But Liss, it’s not like you put a great deal of time & effort into your schoolwork in order to realise those preferred results, yes? There’s no room for your perfectionism now; too little, too late!] Ms Forbes said I’ll get in 800’s, could even possibly get 880!!! wow, cool! [Cool, but not cool enough for the institutions and courses that were my first preferences…] Rang Kelvin Grove while I was there – about my interview – they said “no offer”. (REJECTION! Great) So at home, I made a skirt out of one of mum’s old daggy skirts.. and I wore it out tonight .. with Fi’s white shirt .. got asked for I.D. showed my ‘melted’ false I.D. and was allowed! [That scenario these days? Not. A. Chance!] (But privacy omission], Colleen Anna & Fi got in no q’s) Anyway, overall was a pretty cool nite! Slow to start with.. but Geoffry M, Jim C and a few others provided drool materialA Life in Words . . got fairly drunk (won bottle of bubbly with Marney & Joyce & Colleen & [privacy omission]) Saw lotsa older people – Rodney B etc (all college, uni people: Tanya!) Left around 2:00 or so . .. I got home 2:30 to sleep. Jo rang tonite. She told me she talked to [privacy omission]: she’s screwed Steven & Mark . that’s all. But she said Mark saw a bit of [her] before he left. -ie. sunday nite. She said they just talked, I don’t know if so… but I’m angry cos he lied to me…. (WHAT’S NEW??)→ can only be expected of him – he’ll never change

Saturday 5/12/87

WORKED! Dad let me drive to the Red Beret and I did quite well! Nearly knocked over a bicyclist and missed the gates to the Red Beret and almost took out a tree. Apart from that, I was good! […well, at least I’m remaining positive…] Did barely any work at work: talked to Jenny mostly about Julia & mainly my career …she’s pushing me to be a nurse. [Dad on the other hand wanted me to join the Armed Forces: it would have been the ideal situation; discipline, commitment and (the big bonus for him) paid education.] But I still got $10 for the day…and a big healthy yummy lunch. Rush to get ready – were heaps of people. I felt ‘out of it’ to start with – wearing not black & white, but khaki & white. [So it was evidently a Black & White themed hair show…] Anyway, my view position was good, but bad at the same time – I was seated, behind Jim C but much some of my vision obscured. It was pretty good: altogether, as a show, unco-ordinated but some individual salon productions were excellent (All amateurish) after, tried to find the party- traipsed all over town looking. Playpen Hill & party & nest. I was so pissed off with [privacy omission]. Stewart was there outside Nest one stage & [she] was being slimy and she knew I was there (she thought I was in a bad mood with her, so I’m sure she did it on purpose. [No Liss, you can’t ever be sure…] Even if not, she knows the way I feel about him) Eventually (saw Phil C. Jim C. at show) Sue, Fi & I grabbed food from a 24hr→

Sunday 6/12/87

→shop & (I rang mum) we stayed at Fi’s. A Life in WordsI got a bit emotional (worried) about Mark, but we got to sleep around 3:00 I’d say. ..Woken around 9:00-9:30 by Banks’s cat (all over us) After brekky etc, went (picked up my gear) to Palm Cove; about 11:30. Got there & engine was overheating (radiator we filled last nite at Alison’s) It was empty again. Idsteins helped us out – we went to Bitter Creek [ummm, I have NO memory of knowledge of this place in the Cairns region, at all. Can anyone fill me in?] & they fixed pipe connection (radiator thermostat corroder) […er, whatever that is…] for us. At beach (after lunch (saw tanya!)) baked (and now I’m mostly brown – bit red) saw Jo & on our way home noticed overheating again. Back to Bitter Creek. they said a whole lot of things were going wrong.. water in oil feul filter melted (hole) but mainly water reservoir not full enough. We attempted getting back to Cairns – having to stop every 100m or so to let it cool down (useless) about Kewarra, a guy helped us ..said H2O reservoir needed to be EMPTY so radiator H2O vapour could go there.. [he] was right – perfect all the way to D’s newsagency. car overheatingLeft the car there – Sue went with her parents home. Fi & I drove round – got a pizza (for tea) & had a talk… got home 6:40 .. watched TV listened to Take 40 is now 11:30 & I’m buggared. *Mum has suspected broken (little) toe: cos I rang 2:00 in the morning to tell her where I was; she kicked it hard. MY FAULT. [This exact incident occurred years later as well. Mum had established a Trust system with me when my social life began to ‘intensify’ (read: basically when I began attending nightclubs) that allowed me a generous amount of freedom in exchange for honesty and ‘accountability’. In other words, she just wanted to know my plans, my whereabouts and if they changed to inform her as soon as possible “no matter what time of the night …or day”. So, whilst I felt terrible both times she ‘ran’ for the phone in the middle of the night kicking and breaking toes on the way, I consoled myself in the knowledge that I was doing as she asked, that I had done ‘the Right Thing’…]

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The Exhibiton, Its Aftermath & New Aqua High-Tops (2-8 November)

Monday 2/11/87

It’s 2:03 and I’m still drunk. Guess what I did tonite? I paid [privacy omission] back! I got with her boyfriend Stuart! [Just to clarify, my definition of ‘getting with’ is just kissing. I didn’t pass ‘First Base’ with anyone outside of a formal relationship. Well, not for some time…] Ha, ha, ha Bitch. Got you back! [Because that’s what Life’s about, isn’t it? Revenge, getting even? This is Tunnel Vision at its best: whether you believe in karma or not, vengeance will never truly deliver satisfaction, let alone ‘justice’…] Stewart nor Phillip were there (that I saw) I spent the whole day at home, sewing [and] preparing for the fashion parade. A Life in Words[The CAD Art Exhibition & Fashion Parade opening. What other reason would I be so intoxicated on a Monday, a school night? The funny thing is, I can’t recall at what point in the night I began imbibing enough to land me in this state. Check out my handwriting sample in the pic on the right. Hilarious.] At 7:55 I finally left home (everything was OK before then- but at the last minute we found the dress was too tight. I was  so   nervous before, [and] during [the] fash. parade. Saw Mark & Phillip N that was it. I think I have blisters. Wow, I’m drunk. Thought Adam was trying to crack onto me – but Stuart & I got together after visiting Scandals & the 24hr service stn then going to the beach. Stu & I stayed in the car. Uh-oh! What’ll tomorrow be like? [Well, that’s unusual: people don’t often consider the results of their actions while they are still intoxicated. I think we can put that down to my innate tendency to over-think. Hello additional Stress…] Uh-oh! Hell! I’d better be careful. [How exactly?] Must ring Jo early to see how she’s getting there. [“There” being a sort of exhibition-opening-after-party-come-Melbourne-Cup shindig at one of our art teachers’ houses.] God, I’m drunk. Feel so GOOD! […for now…] Jo told me she ran into Wayne C & he said Alan T likes me. Oh dear. [Oh well, you will run around kissing boys when you’re drunk…]

Tuesday 3/11/87

A Life in Words
That’s me in the flash spot, queueing up to model our Cup hat creations. Picture courtesy of a school friend whose photos were trapped behind glass; apologies for the quality!

Embarrassment! Skint! I didn’t think it would be like it was: I was too “ashamed” to look at him [Stuart] even (let alone talk to him- tho’ it looked like he wanted to at some stages) He spent most of the day with [privacy omission] anyway which was good. I shouldn’t feel bad- she did it to me. (I guess I’m “lowering to her level”) (Apparently Jenny M. also knows about Jeff & I that nite, too, now.) [Talk about hot water. You’re really starting to boil your own bathwater now Liss, arncha?!] Jo picked me up around 9:30- got to town at 9:50- Jo bought shoes then, after some trouble locating it, got to Pugh’s… watching the exhib. video – up to Fash. parade. Jo had to leave to model. Jude & I made our hats : judging after the Melbourne Cup- I got 3rd! WOW! Jude & I watched the rest of the video + the CAD party video. Then went down[stairs] with “the guys” to make videos! FUNNY. Left around 5:00, as [we were] watching the day’s [as in, this very party we were leaving’s] video. . and Stuart was on the phone- I glanced – & he smiled & waved. So did I and I felt quite relieved after that. I think AM likes me. I think Elliot’s cute. Found out I have a chem. exam tomorrow – no study – I’ve failed! [Pessimism, or realism?] Dunno what it is about Stuart & decided it must be his smile. Lights his whole face up.

Wednesday 4/11/87

..But the saga continues! Today, Stuart came up (behind me) at little lunch (I was in the Yr 11 area with Jude) and talked to me! Then in 4th & 5th (I skipped english- 6th & 7th) we talked more. He does really (kind of) affectionate things – he came up behind me and grabbed (but gently) my shoulders; at big lunch in the art room, he did something to the collar of my shirt (for “no reason”) – his smile is so cute. [I’m a sucker for affection…] On the Mark front – I talked in biol. this morning, but that was it – I barely made the effort. It made me a bit sick [jealousy] to see Mark & Nicole…but, I don’t know, I’m getting used to it. [Drifting away?] Stuart said [privacy omission] was “a bit ripped up” about me & him & he told me how she told him about Mark & her & me (how many – lots-of times she got with him while we were going out.) So I don’t know if it’s worth going back to Mark. [Food for thought…] So many people say I’m better off without him. . but like Fi said – it’s so hard when he says nice things about me & looks at me all the time. (That made me feel better) And Stuart, by the looks of it, is at least a bit attracted to me (!!) [Ha! The modesty’s kinda cute …but on the flipside, demonstrates some lack of self worth.] He said today (& it shocked me) He thinks [privacy omission] are wierd. Went into town – saw Jeff & Jenny – Megan said she thinks he likes me – wish that was true. Jenny knows about me & Jeff now [Yes. You said that yesterday. It does occasionally happen: forgetting I’ve already mentioned something.]

Thursday 5/11/87

…And still it continues! Stuart broke up with [privacy omission] today. But he didn’t talk to me at all. Jude (& Jo, I think) heard Miss Marsland at lunchtime today, with [privacy omission] a whole  lot of people, say “why did elissa give Stuart those things on his neck?” (lovebites) Shit, I never saw them. So many people must hate me now. […this thought alone would be terrifying… for lil ol’ me who needs to be liked by everyone…] Mark said something about it this morning – [privacy omission] told him & he said “was it to get her back?” He was being rather nice this afternoon. But the strange thing is, he didn’t really turn me on. I hope Stuart was just in a bad mood like Jude said, and not hurt because someone said I’d used him to get back at [privacy omission]. I can understand how much that would hurt him, because it even hurts me. I really do like him. […despite the drunken spiel in the heat of the moment on Monday night, I never seek revenge. It’s just not in me. This was an authentic ‘co-incidence’ whether or not you believe it.] I’m so confused. I rang Sharon & asked her to ring Stewart & find out what he’s on about. [No contact = pretty obvious to me…] And Megan’s scheming about Phillip for me. [scheming? That doesn’t sound so good…] And Mark still loves me – but is such a bastard – A Life in WordsGod I’m so confused. All these damned guys in my life. [Life’s tough, hey? But you shouldn’t really be complaining considering how many years you spent wanting a love life. Wish granted! What’s that saying: “It never rains, but it pours”?] I need to talk to someone & strangely I’d like it to be Stuart (W) Hope he talks to me tomorrow. PS: got my formal photos. Someone rang this arvy but hung up before I could answer. wonder who?? [maybe just a wrong number… who knows? Does such an insignificant thing have to matter so much?]

Friday 6/11/87

Tonite is the first night in (the first Friday night in) approx. 5 weeks that I have not gone out. [I’m specifically talking about clubbing…. or somewhere that involves the consumption of alcohol…] Now I have the feeling that I’m missing something (like last nite- the first Thursday in approx. 5 or 6 weeks that I didn’t go late nite shopping!) [Interestingly, this feeling permeated my life pretty much right up until I moved away from Cairns in my early thirties. It wasn’t always present (there were definitely periods in which I enjoyed a quiet social life) but I’ve certainly had difficulty at times being content to stay home and ‘do nothing’. That’s certainly NOT the case now: I’m  a confirmed homebody – perhaps to a fault…] Too bad. Today was a downer. I didn’t talk to Mark at all (but that’s not the reason) A Life in WordsStuart still didn’t talk to me & even seemed to be avoiding me. It’s not fair- there’s something about him I like so much. I think about him more than I do Mark. That’s amazing! Jo & I went to see La Bamba tonite. Thorstein Darren & Alan D etc were there. After, went to Trinity Wharf, walked round Hilton till had to pick up Robbie from air cadets. Is approx 10:45 now. I’m tired – hope tomorrow nite’s party is “worthwhile” ie: Stewart or Stuart or Phillip. Maybe even Mark. Dunno. Got my deadly new aqua gym boots- [not actually Converse brand, but definitely replicas. Colourful sneakers were just coming into fashion in the mid 80’s in Cairns, at least…]  A Life in Wordsbit small… cause little “hurty” [I had a tendency to wear shoes a bit too small for me because I somehow had it in my mind that my feet were too big. Turns out, they’re actually a tad small in relation to my height. So all that cramping later resulted in a Morton’s neuroma in my right foot and bursitis in my left. Well done, Liss. A ‘win’ for Vanity…] Exhibition officially pulled down. Boring day really. Hope everything (or something) is sorted out 2morrow nite at the party – I’m a  confused little girl. The dream I had about MW yest. morn. I had one about Stew & Phil this morn. FREAKY. [Freaky just because all of my ‘love interests’ were appearing in my dreams: it wasn’t the case that I happened to be having the exact dream, with different characters. I’d imagine the chances of that happening would be pretty slim….]

A Life in Words
Cairns’ original railway station on McLeod Street was demolished in 1996 for the shopping complex Cairns Central, which houses the current station at its rear (Bunda Street)

Saturday 7/11/87

Boring. No, not at all, really! After seeing Ross & Thelma off at the train station (7:15 -erk! I was dead tired) went to Rusty’s Bazaar & guess who! Phillip C was there! YUM, YUM, YUM! Didn’t have time to stop & talk , but I sure made a point of saying hi. He is so gorgeous! At home, I set out to do study, but never got anything done. [Surprise, surprise] Tried to make a white skirt to wear out but it stuffed up around 5:00- too late to start again. phone calls all day. I went to Fi’s and got her black shirt. Seeing as I had nothing to wear (I thought a denim skirt would be ace!) Rang Jude. She had one (rather large for me, tho! Just like Monique’s. I got to Judes just after 9:00, and we waited outside till, get this: 10:15. Finally, at the party (we drank goon) [For those who aren’t acquainted with this alcoholic beverage, it’s simply slang term for cheap cask wine.] there weren’t many people there – Mark was & Stewart P. I was shy to talk to mark & also to Stewart at first, but then I avoided him – I was angry – hurt from what he’s done to me. […or hasn’t done, more specifically; no contact] (PS: Sharon still hasn’t talked to him I don’t think. What the hell is this guy on about??) [With hindsight (& some life experience) the answer is obvious: he’s just not that into you.] Anyway Mark came up to me because I didn’t go up to him. He said he was angry I was avoiding him & I said I was too shy we talked a bit … mucked around mostly. Just as (Jo’s) Mark (B) was about to take us to the Hill, he said he wanted to talk to→[next page…]

Sunday 8/11/87

→me. But we didn’t because I would’ve missed the others. He said “another time”. I worried briefly about what it possibly was that he had to say to me, but forgot at the Hill. Jude & I stayed there. A.M. & Gemila get there not long after us. Stewart was with Jay & Anna etc. and went home nearly straight away. He said hello at one stage, but I made it clear I wasn’t going to be a conversationalist. [Oooh big word! But in other words, you snobbed him…] They left. Adam M turned up & I remember talking to him about Stuart W., but can’t remember what I said. [oh dear…] Hope it wasn’t anything I’ll regret! (Jude & I had an EXPLOSION each -& were spinning) A.M., Jude & I decided on the playpen. Got a taxi to pick up AM’s car – got in thru’ Sequils for free. OK! danced a lot ..group of mods there (the ones who are always at the Hill on Fri. nites – Helen, Phillip) [a different Phillip to the other two I found so appealing…]+ 2 guys purity cute! [I meant ‘pretty cute’, but because I wanted to emphasise the word pretty (through a kind of drawl) my phonetic attempt resulted in a word meaning innocent, clean, fresh. Writing ‘perr-itt-eee’ would’ve worked better…] I ended up dancing with them (at different stages) The one in the white shirt was cute James. Steve ..I talked to & eventually got with. A Life in WordsAM dropped me home around 5:10, Mum was awake. Got up around 10:00. Got folio prepared all day – Did nothing else. SLACK. went to mima’s to take photo of Fat Ladies [artwork of mine her mother had bought at the CAD exhibition] – talked to her a while. Jo’s place later on in arvy – take photos of her work for her. […as well as some silly ones of ourselves – see pic] Big talk there, too. Late now. 11:40!! Been doing art dress (silver one) So glad only 2 weeks [of school?] left! Ring M. today – talk 2morrow at school →was a really great phonecall actually. Mima told me Steve the guy I got with (works at International Hostel – from Melbourne – finished Yr12 in 1986) is one Juliet likes. SKINT!! Wonder what Nicole did Sat. nite? Did Mark go over & visit her? Who gives a ___ if he did?. [The fact that you’ve bothered to write this proves that you were thinking about it, so YOU probably give at least a smidge of a “___”. But, it’s a valiant attempt to shift your attention from potentially morose thoughts…]

Shoes, Gloves, Suits & My Beach Bonfire Birthday (6 -12 July)

Monday 6/7/87A Life in Words

Had to answer the phone this morning – mum was in the shower yelling to Julia & I – of course I got up to answer it. Made me angry – only 8 or so hours sleep. [A lot of people would kill for that much sleep in one night…] Could’ve gotten 9 or 10 like last night. Oh well. Went to town (all around Cairns as a matter of fact) with mum today ..saw Mrs E about my dress, then spent the next 3 hours running around getting fabric for it. At home this arvy, I read my Dolly mag, watched TV (generally: “bludged”) Mark rang about 5 or 6 times consecutively (quickly) – they were at Keith’s, testing out the new phone. Anyway he rang me around 7:30 tonight (I think) Talked not long- said he’d ring me tomorrow (getting his license Wednesday – said he’d also visit me then) I think it’s working better this way – the less worried I am, the less I think about him, the more relaxed I am [in general, the less you worry, the more relaxed you will be. Just sayin’]_ _ he was right. [When did he say that?] Now he’s doing some of the “chasing” instead. It’s 10:40. Watched the new mini-series (everyone else was in bed) Is so cool now – BEAUTIFUL weather (tho’ it’s overcast – pity)

Tuesday 7/7/87

Woke around 8:00 – another 8½-9hrs sleep, I think. Good! Got ready & went to Kmart to get socks for dad, then gave him his prezzies (told me he’s going to pay for all my formal expenses: isn’t that great?!!) [There’s gratitude right there] A Life in WordsThen, on to other places, before getting home (to a phonecall from Mark – just a quick one to say that he’d received ’87 RIGHT ON TRACK [pretty much my favourite of all the compilation albums I owned] from his uncle, so he didn’t need it to be taped anymore. [Music Piracy in the ’80’s involved copying onto blank cassette tapes, either someone else’s albums or directly recording from the radio (average sound quality). As I’ve mentioned previously, we were lucky enough to somehow receive ABC TV audio on the FM bandwidth (all of our local radio stations were only on AM) so our illegal recordings sounded better than everyone else’s!] And that was it – so I’ll ring him tomorrow morning to wish him luck for his test & if not (if he doesn’t visit me) I’ll ring around 6:00 to see if he passed & if he’d take me to the Drive In – Little Shop of Horrors is on & I’d love to see it -so funny!) Bludged the afternoon doing scrapbook in front of the TV then bathed & Mike & Cynthia & Kylie (their niece, so my 3rd cousin or something like that) came for dinner. BORING! No, not really. Was a pretty goodnight. But I’m tired now. It’s 10:30. Get some (lots of) shut-eye.

Wednesday 8/7/87

BORING!! Terrible day – one of the most terrible days I’ve had for ages (compared to my other holidays). Actually, I’m exaggerating a bit. [At least I admit it…] It’s really been like most of the other days this week .. spent morning in town (in and around town) grocery shopping, looking at shoes etc. Ate a lot today. A Life in WordsAnyway, home around 1:00, I watched TV & fiddled around with dresses & material. Have started making a skirt .. don’t have enough fabric to finish it now!! Oh dear! I rang Mark’s place around 4:30 – he didn’t come over (then rang him at Keith’s) He passed his driving test, of course. Seemed very bored (or maybe I’m imagining it) I haven’t seen him for 3 days & tomorrow, I’ll bet will be the 4th. [Oh so maybe this is why you felt your day was “one of the most terrible you’ve had for ages”?] SHIT. I want to see him very soon. [Wanting causes Pain…] That call this arvy was very short – I thought he was going to come around after it, but no – of course not. Why do I bother?? [You’re asking the question; it’s your choice to make…] Gordon rang tonight to see if I’d go late nite with him, Justine & Jason – to look for their suits. (I can’t – my B’day). [Ah, he must’ve meant in town: what I usually labelled ‘late night’ was the Thursday late night trading at suburban shopping centres but the CBD had extended trading hours on Fridays. I think it’s still the same…] Then I rang Fi tonite. Hopefully we’ll go to town 2morrow (with my luck Mark’ll come round while I’m not home.) Justine also rang me later 2nite. V. rainy & cool & windy. Beautiful! (But “stop!” rain, for my B’day & the show!) Is 11:00.

Thursday 9/7/87

A Life in WordsWent shopping – in town – looking for my formal shoes – and I got them (!!) Black patent leather – pointed toe and the heel’s about 5cm ($60) and Gloves. I have a choice – fingerless net gloves to about before the elbow, or white, full finger gloves, past my elbow (I’d have to dye them) I don’t know what I’m going to get!! [*facepalm* the 80’s was an embarrassing era for fashion. Gloves… seriously? Thanks a lot, Michael and Madonna!] Anyway after visiting Nana I got home & Keith & Mark came! (see last night at 11:40 they came & I “snuck” out – we drove around and mum found out, cause I couldn’t get in the house when I got home) [Oh that is hilarious. Why am I not surprised?] So, we went to Trinity Beach (Sandle, [no, not a typo – ‘Sandle’ was her nickname] Fi & Brent ate their lunch their, too) Played T.P. at home – Keith & Mark cheated! They left around 3:00. wasted the afternoon, Before getting ready for the Drive In. We went despite the weather – It didn’t rain too much. Back at Keith’s new place [privacy omission] we decided to get some videos .. a porno. one (type thing) [uh, really? I don’t remember that at all! What an awkward situation with my boyfriend’s mate there too?] and a horror or suspense. It was O.K. [LOL, OK? Obviously porn doesn’t do it for me?!] Then Keith went to→

Friday 10/7/87

bed and Mark & I mucked around on the divan .. kissing etc. [Nope! Still not what you think…] About 4:00 [privacy omission] then bombed. I woke around 10:00. The weather was… not too good – quite overcast, but there was some sun & blue sky. Mark gave me his present – a sterling silver fob chain (its beautiful) after breakfast, went to Mark’s, then my place (Mike, Cynthia, Kylie & Dougie were there) I got $10 Julia, $45 from them (lots, huh!) A Life in WordsMum $20 so far + doona & tri-pillow cover. [Oh, the tri-pillow! A furnishing trend of the late 80’s, early 90’s… I think they were designed to support your back whilst sitting up in bed. Did anyone else have one?] We went to the beach – trinity was very clouded & windy. Up at Wangetti, it was quite beautiful still overcast in patches, but mostly sunny. Back at my place, the guys left around 3:30. We had nothing planned. After lots of phone calls (to Fi’s & Keith’s) we decided on a bonfire at the beach. Dad came tonight & gave me $50 + 2 charms from my c. bracelet. […which I still have to this day…] Mark & Keith came at 7:15 ..Sat until about 7:40. Fi & Sandle fussed around taking heaps of things, then we picked up Brent. At Trinity there was no beach! (the tide was too high) So we went to Ellis. And there we stayed. Getting fire “stuff”, sitting, lying, running, chasing (& falling – so funny!)→

Saturday 11/7/87

Marshmallow fights! Mark & I were lying kissing [privacy omission] up the beach”. [Privacy omission] I wanted to do it, so much, but knew if I did I’d worry myself sick about getting pregnant. I’ll have to get something. We talked a little – the pill’s about the best, I guess. Anyway, we left when Mark & I got back. Got home about 1:45. I was rather tired. (Mark said he’d ring me – hope he doesn’t forget) Woke around 8:00 – slept till 8:30. Got ready for town. Sat for ages – Justine rang wondering if I knew where Gordon was – but he came as she was on the phone. A Life in WordsSo we were out 2 hours. [Suit hunting for the boys, for the Smithfield High formal I was to attend with Gordon] Boring! At home, I wasted the arvy – till Mark & Keith popped in. We sat doing nothing (mum invited them to stay for dinner) Mark & I were joking around alot. And at the end, he really started to hurt me but I don’t think he knew it- thought I was pretending to be sooky still, but I really was getting upset. I think he left angry. Oh, not really angry. I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell a bit upset now. They’re going to take me to the beach tomorrow. Wonder if they still will? Oh, I really must mention this. I love him so much it hurts me. [That doesn’t sound wonderful …nor ‘healthy’…] 9:44 now, but I’m gonna watch the movie

Sunday 12/7/87

Well, it’s weird. I don’t know. I woke & got up around 10:30. They came around 12:30 (I was beginning to think they’d gone to baseball, after all) But, the brakes on the car were stuffed. So, mum drove us to Trinity Beach. We were getting on O.K. Not spectacularly affectionately. He & Keith went for a walk (long time!) Then, soon after their return, we hired out a catamaran… Mark & Keith had a go first, then Keith & I had it & it was fun -(we got caught in the shark net to start with…!!) A Life in WordsWe weren’t off it long before we decided to go. At home, the joking continued until finally it ended in the “I’m never going to talk to you again” routine [clearly predictable by now or I wouldn’t’ve referred to it as a ‘routine’] which I hate so much – it hurts so much. I sat out the back. When Mark came out, I could tell he was still joking but my sooky-ness (seriously – I was upset) got to him, I’m sure. I don’t know if he’s angry with me or not. I didn’t ring I think that’d be too pushy cos if he isn’t really angry he would get that way. [Well that’s wise. But the ‘distance’ – giving yourself space – is more on point…] I spent a lot of time talking to Fi on the phone about it. I really have to make my own decisions more. I partly did that tonite, for once. Hope everything’s OK at school tomorrow SCHOOL – I HATE IT.

Sydney Sights, Letter-Writes & Fandangled People-Moving Apparatus (15-21 December)

Monday 15/12/86

Today we went to ‘downtown’ Chatswood. (local shopping area) It was so good! Escalators galore! I love those things! A Life in Words[Uh, yes, a strange sentiment it may be but believe it or not, in 1986 there was not one escalator in Cairns. Of course I knew what they were, but never having ridden ‘moving stairs’ can you blame me for being excited? Ah, the small things…] I bought a new purse/wallet $17, grey leather – beaut! Also a pair of $9.95 hoops, but I want to take them back – I don’t need them. or want them, really. [Frugal, honest & practical] And from my Xmas prezzy ($30 voucher at Katies) from Geoff, [I got] a $24 dress (singlet – navy & white stripe) And a $3 silver bangle to go with my charm bracelet. I thought about Mark, mostly, when I was looking for presents, cards etc. But I didn’t get to start writing letters tonight. It will have to be tomorrow for mim & Fi or else [they won’t get them in time…before Christmas. I know it seems way too early to stress about, but I do recall Australia Post warning people to allow up to 6 working days for mail & parcel deliveries, due to the naturally heavier workload the season brought]. And I really want to get one sent to mark (not sure about cameron.) Oh, I am missing them – but only when I think about them – that’s sometimes quite often. Some gorgeous guys in town – one in particular wearing a navy blue jacket – yum is 10:08 (9:08 Qld)

Tuesday 16/12/86

It’s 9:30 (8:30 in youknowwhere) [yes, we fully get the picture by now] well, I finished 3 letters tonight – Fi, mima and Dad. Today we went to SYDNEY [the CITY]. The centrepoint (Sydney) tower was alright. We didn’t get to go to the levels with the shops on. Just the highest – for viewing. Got about 5 piccies of certain things. Walked round. All I bought today was a silver ring $2 and $3.60 worth of stamps. Must post them early tomorrow. Hope they get there in time. [Hmmm, starting to ‘push it’ now…] Still don’t know whether to write to Mark or not. Would love to. But..!?! It’s 9:55 now (I stopped to have a shower. Am looking forward to sleep – got a little sick, dizzy (exhaustion) towards the late afternoon ‘fore we went home. On the train, gorgeous guy standing near the door (& me) Yum, Yum, Yum yum. Must hurry & buy some prezzies soon. NIGHT !!! Yes! [NO idea what this random “yes” was all about…]

Wednesday 17/12/86

A Life in Words
Pulling up a park bench at the zoo

Today we went to Taronga Park Zoo. Woke earlier than ever today. Jodie & I had to race over the the Post Office at 10:10, to get my letters to Dad, Fi & mim posted in the 10:30 post. Saw bears, and an elephant and giraffes and seals and rhinoceroses (!!) and tigers. And the seal show was great. I used up the rest of my film – need a new one now! [For those too young to recall life before mobile phones & digital photography, all of our photos required actual cameras and film reels, which you had to load inside the camera carefully or risk destroying (usually through ‘light damage’). You didn’t get any second chances with photos back then: you had no idea what the quality of your shots would be until you collected the printed images (hard copies!) from a developer …which could sometimes take days…] Was warmer today than it’s been since I’ve been here. My skin is really dry too. [Drastically different humidity levels in Sydney, compared to Far North Queensland] Wrote to Monique – about 8 page letter. Too chicken to write to mark; even a short note. Couldn’t think what to write. Maybe I will try. Dunno. It’s 10:15 (9:15 Qld) Mark’d probly be going to $ night tonite. Please, be true to me boy. Don’t get with anyone. You won’t will you??? [Um, where was it written that you two are an item? Deluded! …or to be fair, more like Naive.] Going to Chatswood tomorrow – take back those hoop earrings. Get back my $9.95¢ Late night again.

Thursday 18/12/86

It’s 11:37 (10:37 Qld) we’ve just gotten back from babysitting down the road. Cute kids! Rather well behaved too! Bludged today. I actually WROTE A LETTER TO MARK!!! Met Nicole – Jodie’s friend – a real scream! Played some board games then, before leaving for beach around 1:00, played a nasty trick on Michael – locked up house, left a note & hid the car – thought we’d gone without him! Beach was warm nowhere near as hot as Cairns – water was freezing and bigger waves than in Cairns. [Yes, something to do with Cairns being much closer to the equator, and having a huge ‘barrier’ reef protecting it from ocean swells…] Here’s a guest; [my cousin Jo wrote basically one sentence, which I’m omitting for the sake of her privacy] “Hello diary ….. Lotsa luv Jo xxx” Still missing mates, esp. after writing to Mark. Going to Chatswood tomorrow instead. Will get that card I think [what card? My guess is that I’d found one I’d like to have given to Mark.]

Friday 19/12/86

I got a pair of black shoes! Flat, pointed toe for $40. But, boy, have I some blisters! A Life in WordsAfter the Opera House tonight & town (Chatswood) today, my feet are probly on strike! Opera House was really ‘grand’. The concert/show was rather “bright” – more interesting than I thought it’d be. That’s all I got in Chatswood, though. we caught the bus in today & I heard Lady in Red on the radio. [There was a newly created sentiment attached to this song; if you’d liked to know why, take a look at this post] I miss Mark. I thought at the Xmas show tonight how I’d love to spend all my xmases with him. [Good Gawd… those bloody rose-coloured glasses…] Oh woe! Woe is me! It’s 10:05. I’m hot! Not anything like Cairns tho’. Just hotest I’ve ever been in the night time, down here. Going to Blue mountains tomorrow. Oh dear…. Dunno what to get Jodie, Jules… everyone!!

Saturday 20/12/86

A Life in Words
the Mean Machine

I wrote to Cameron & Sharon today, and sent them too. They’ll probably get them just before Xmas. (leaves them practically no time to reply – as if they will anyway) Did nothing this morning. Slept in to 9:30. Listened to music Went to the Aquatic Centre (Jules didn’t) and saw Neil Brooks from the Mean Machine there. [The Mean Machine were a male Aussie medley swim team who made an unexpected victory at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, essentially because the USA boycotted said Games. All members of the quartet were retired by this time. In the picture (left) Brooks is on the far left with his fist in the air.] Told Jo all about Mark, right from the start – Angie M’s 1st party. Got ready for “Blue Mountains” party. Was boring after all (not that I expected it to be a rage) must relax tomorrow – sleep in late. Thinking a lot about mark when I was telling Jo about him – wondering Wish there was some way for sure that I could find out if he liked me a real real lot. [Pie-in-the-sky stuff, Liss. Oh so much yet to learn…] Julia seems to think so. Oh dear! Is 1:23. Must get good sleep. Black-bags-under-my-eyes DISAPPEAR

Sunday 21/12/86

Smelliest farts. Yukky. Embarrassing. [Uh-huh.] Did nothing today, practically. Woke 9:20. Lazed in bed till 11:00. At lunchtime, listened to music, looked after rabbits all day. A Life in Words[My cousin Jo had pet rabbits. See the (very poor quality) photo (I’d taken with my 80’s camera) on the right. Such cute little things!] Went for a walk to the shop in the arvy – bought ice-cream & a choc. bar. PIGGY. Played board games. Is 10:08 (10:10) Realised this year’s almost over – will be the 11th last time I write in this diary – thats’ something I’ve gotta get – a new diary. And everyone’s prezzies. I haven’t got one single present, for anyone. Will not have time either. STUFF IT SHIT. Hope Mark does reply. I’m “hoping” a lot about him lately. Oh dear; what am I to do? Uncle Peter in crappiest moods. [Could it possibly have anything to do with 4 misbehaving children?] Esp. today with Jodie were all s’posed to go to bed at 9.00 Auntie Hilary got uptight too and said “well we won’t do anything tomorrow then either”. And slammed the door (on mikes’ foot) Better go. Must sleep & wake early. Oh Mark ♥