My Golf Debut, A Soccer Cork & People Smuggling (7-13 December)

Monday 7/12/87

It arrived today: a letter (8 pgs) from Mark. I was woken at 8:30 – a call from Cameron about golf . . I got ready & waited: didn’t even hear the postman go past – but checked around 9:20. It made me angry, most of it (all I could think of was [privacy omission] & his lie to me) Mima came. A Life in WordsAt Yorkey’s Knob (finally – around 10:30) golf was hot, but great fun. I got better as I progressed. [I’d hope so: from memory it took me 25 shots to reach the first hole. Classic! One of the boys actually made a hole in one later on.] Mark R was there (I didn’t recognise him – mima had to tell me. Wonder if he still likes me?) we only did one round (9 holes) then ate and went to mima’s. A quick dip in the pool, before had to leave. . Took Glyn & Cameron home before me. Wanna go to the beach tomorrow. Will ring her after 9:30 Forgot to ring Jo at all. Umah. [Privacy omission] confessed it was Fiona she was annoyed with on Sat. nite. God my excretory system has been [w]reaking havoc with me lately. [I’m surprised I didn’t go into more detail…] Got blisters today from my high cuts (gym boots) Played golf in socks mostly!! Wrote back to Mark tonite only 4 pages (rushed & messy at the end) will send as soon as possible. Mentioned I wanted to talk to him etc . . .

Tuesday 8/12/87

Guess what? I arise around 9:00, and the postie still hasn’t been (not that I’m expecting anything) he comes at 9:15-9:30 & we [my sister and I, I assume] race to the letterbox. Lo & behold, there’s another letter from Mark. It was better. the things he wrote sounded more sincere – yesterday’s sounded false & forced: like a boring chore. So anyway Fi & I went to town around 11:00 (11:30) (I’d begun to write back this morning – mum’d already sent last nite’s – nicer than the retaliatory one I’d written↑) [in my diary this arrow pointed back up towards the phrase “last nite’s” …so, in a confusing way, I was saying that the second letter I’d begun to writing was nicer than the first (‘retaliatory’) one I’d scribbled ‘last night’ …which, thanks to mum’s efficiency, was already on its way to him.] Initially looking for clothes & presents, we ended up scouring every clothes shop, handbag shop, shoe shop, leather shop, art shop, looking for a “purse-on-a-string” (had to be black leather too) for Fiona. Not only in town: Earlville & KMart too. Eventually bought a black purse in D.J’s & black leather thonging (for a strap.) A Life in WordsHome just after 5:00, I finished writing to Mark. Was so tired. Watched TV. So hot now. Am so sore from golf- my arms & upper torso muscles aching! (Blisters on feet & sore legs from all the walking today too.) NITE!!

Wednesday 9/12/87

Very bad sleep.. woke up occaisionally : but had to get up just before 6:00 -the headache was so bad. (Worse lying down) Complained to mum- took 2 tablets [painkillers, most likely paracetamol] – read the paper, but had to go back to bed- & fell asleep. Woke around 8:30-9 all better. I think it’s the heat : got it on & off all day as we went in aircond. to outside heat (temp. extremes) [Hmm, my guess now would be more dehydration than ‘heat stroke’… I never (very rarely) drank water back then *grimace*] Didn’t do photos . . no time (bumming around KMart Earlville & town.) Got the neg’s [negatives] tho’ from the dark room (to sort through & pick out what’s wanted) when Fi got her report card. Swim (& cleaned the car) at mima’s ..then indoor soccer. I played in the warm up/practise game – fun tho’ I had no shoes on – sore feet & I got kneed in the thigh (hurty!) went briefly to KFC, before picking up Sue. [Outside the drive-in] I got in the [car] boot (shit scared) & they hid her [under a blanket or doona I think. Smuggling people in to the drive in was relatively common devious practice apparently but this was my first time.] . . so we paid for 3 but got 5 in .. & we even won the 2 comp. tickets! (Ha, ha!) Lethal Weapon & Lost Boys (both AGAIN!) are excellent Am so dead!

Thursday 10/12/87

Well, I got up around 8:30 – later than usual (earlier, I mean) and I started to sort through the big carton of “stuff”. […the carton I collected from the school dark room yesterday, that I thought only contained negatives…] Only a small portion was negatives, but they took ages to get thru’? Then I looked through the rest of the box: old photos (’75, ’74, ’73 & ’72 .. some teachers were students then!! Mr Gross. looked so young in some!) & 1983 Euroka layout. [I’m not sure exactly why I wanted these negatives in the first place… I think it may have been to collect as many memories of my two years at Cairns High as possible – to print off pictures that I may never otherwise possess – nor even see – again.] After that, it was mid-afternoon & I bludged the rest of the day. Jo rang (both confessed we were nervous to contact each other in case were angry with each other!) […I definitely had been unhappy with her in the previous week…] & I asked her to (inconspicuously) find out if  Mark’s written to ‘Niccy’ yet. Went late night with mima, brent & fi for a very short time, then back at Mike & Cynthia’s to mind Dougie & Thomas. I tried to sleep after MOONLIGHTING. A Life in WordsThey came home after Dallas- was dying to get home. On arrival noticed one french door was slightly ajar: shit ourselves. Luckily no one had entered [….so I’m assuming we had left it open by mistake?]

Friday 11/12/87

Well, we went in to do the photos & Ms. Marsland informs me that the whole school will be locked up at noon. So we decided against even starting the developing left everything in the dark room: ready for next year, then went into town. (Saw Mr. Gross. & the year 8 & 9 concert!!) stayed in town shortly – op shopping for mima’s trench coat for Europe. Then Fi got the car & we went to the Esplanade -had pizza & milkshakes. Took the video ONE CRAZY SUMMER out & watched it at Fi’s (she had to work). [That seems a bit odd…watching a video at your friend’s house when she’s not even home?] Then at 3:30 Mum, Julia & I went (back) into town to do xmas shopping. Got all Larcombes prezzies. I have to buy: Mark, Mima, Fi, Jo, Cameron, Mum, Julia & Dad. shit! I have no money! Anyway, home around 6:30, watched TV. Rang Deanne. Rang Fi She rang back “Yeah, we’ll go for a little while.” [go where?] .. I get mostly ready and she rings back – “a change of plan”. . . so I watched the (absolutely) PATHETIC movie “Great American Traffic Jam”. SUCKS severely. [Pretty much spot on there… I watched the YouTube trailer (below) whilst looking for an image and OMG it IS pretty bad. If you’re curious enough, waste three minutes of your life checking it out!]

I hate thinking about Nicole & Mark. I hate Nicole & I hate thinking about MW [Wow, such vitriol. I actually refuse to use the word ‘hate’ at all now, but then I usually don’t feel such intense negativity anymore…]

Saturday 12/12/87

It’s 2:30 (am) I’m in a very “bland” mood today, I went to work in the morning – for about 2-3 hours (did little work but got $10 for it) then at home, I did artwork all arvy (waste!) [How is it a waste if you don’t have anything else pressing? I wish I could make myself create something now; I literally haven’t produced any fine art in decades…] Sharon actually rang me: but she never rang back so we didn’t take. her to the party. Fiona, Sue & Jemima came around 8:30, or later (Fi & mima went back to get Fi’s shirt for me). The party was just slowly moving when we got here (lotsa people: no action) we went to the drivein bottleshop & I was left out. A Life in WordsI could sense a [privacy omission] togetherness practically as soon as they picked me up. [So got casks of ½ & ½ with Colleen, Lisa & [privacy omission] Didn’t [have] any affect at all. I was rather depressed. Jim C. was there with someone, Jeff M of course I didn’t talk to anyway, and … Stewart. God I want him. [The grass is always greener?] It made me depressed overall. We never said a word – but we both knew we were there. […were both aware of one another’s presences…] I got a mass depression (with Jude, Juliet, Colleen, Anna etc..) [Hmm, that’s interesting. Did I mean that my depression deepened being around these people …or were we all depressed together?!] Party broke up round midnight

Sunday 13/12/87

→but we stayed & mucked around. Liam & Aaron (K) are so funny! Woke around 9:00 (yep, that exactly, actually: mum woke me demanding to know whether or not I was going to do any pictures to sell at the Freshwater markets .. I said (grumpily) “NO!”) [Partly being rebellious, but mostly lazy. This is anecdote elicits a little melancholy because it reminds me how much mum believed in me, in my artistic talent. But the problem is, I didn’t – because I compared myself to others (something I still struggle with in some ways now). I even remember her suggesting I try to draw again a few years before she passed, when I was experiencing ‘purposelessness’ during a bout of depression.] So, I bludged the morning till 11:00 when I rang Jo. I got to her place before 12:00 and we watched the TV matinee movies .. Finally went to Palm Cove around 3:00 (2:30) Bludged – watching guys (bad weather Barely anyone there) then we shut up shop. . .went & had a cocktail at Ramada ..really relaxed me. And I went for a drive A Life in Words[even if there was a law relating to alcohol consumption for ‘learner drivers’ (these days there is zero tolerance) we clearly knew nothing of, nor cared about, drink- driving…] (laughed so much) then, stopped at Smithfield on way back . . Stewart didn’t look at me – say anything except goodbye. God, it hurts It’s not fair. Why can’t he fall for me? [Because… that’s life.] Solve all my problems about Mark. [Oh this naivety is just plain embarrassing!] Jo dropped me home round 7:15. Watched TV all night (Mum next door at Fishers again … drunk . . then sick .. then grumpy) as usual […um, the “as usual” makes it sound like she was a regular drinker but she most definitely wasn’t. What I meant was that when she did drink (she didn’t need much at all) she was almost always sick… sick “as usual”… and the grumpy part? Well… isn’t everyone unhappy when they’ve vomitted?!]

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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…]

Leadership Camp, Day Three (3 February)

Tuesday 3/2/87

I kind of ignored him today. After the 1st group session – group dynamics, he walked past me. I didn’t react in any way. I didn’t think he wanted to see me. Bush dancing was next. I had a swim after that. A really long one. He came up to me finally. We talked about it . . he said most beautiful, caring things. I’m sure they’re true. A Life in WordsWe kissed, yes, near the yacht. [I vaguely recall that small yacht anchored in the dam] (mima, Brent & Glyn saw us) After adventure walk, we, or I swam quickly again to get clean. My ringworm is drying & scabbing – my feet are absolutely covered in blisters and my colds not gone yet. [I completely forgot I’d had a ringworm. I think it’s the only one I’ve ever had in my life, too. It’s somewhat ironic that I was suffering so many ‘minor’ ailments considering what was about to befall us in less than 24 hours’ time.] We had the concert, for which we sat together, Mark hugging me. We got those “warm fuzzies” that we wrote about people back – when I didn’t [get any warm fuzzies] Mark whispered about 10 in my ear [privacy omission]. The concert was great entertainment. So funny then there were “awards” after it. That was funny too. Mark & I [privacy omission] went inside our tent. I spent the next hour or so completely elated. [OMG, what is this? Mills & Boon? FYI, is still not what y’all think either…] we ate a bit before we finally crashed. (when? I don’t even have a clue!)

[Part of the text on this page in the scrapbook has begun to fade, mostly because of the colour I chose to write in…]

A Life in Wordsduring the night last night, jemima woke .. sick & sick still this morning .. we assumed it was the dip she ate last night. [But no one else was sick?] After breakfast time (& a swim!!!!) we assembled to find out what activities we were doing next. Jemima was allowed to sit out of her first two activities. We did “group dynamics” ..another basic get-to-know-each-other exercise + ‘trust’ activities.. being led blindfolded by a partner around the camp for example. After our break, we did bushdancing .. that was .. hmm .. funny (a scream!) At lunch time today, I had a very long swim .. much longer than usual .. (my cold is still there, but not quite as bad.) Adventure walk was the last activity & I thought the best. Exercises to do with balance & co-ordination and strength→ great fun! […and I end up teaching this kind of stuff to people 20 years later…] (Minus the pain of blisters & sunburn) After that I ‘dipped’ quickly to wash off mud while Erica & Monique washed their hair After dinner break, were called for an (earlier) assembly. First we were “lectured” about leadership & those responsibilities etc, but afterwards, the “warm fuzzies” (written by each & every person, for each & every person) were handed out. (However, some people (me for example) didn’t get them because the people who’d written them (or supposed to have written them) didn’t hand them in (or forgot to, like Trina for example)) After this there was a short break when concert entries  prepared (or began to prepare) for their items. Then came the awards . . Monique got one for the ‘most pitiful expression’ (the ‘feel sorry for me’ look) [I have absolutely no recollection of that at all] . . [privacy omission] (along with Jody & Lee-anne) for the inseparable couple . . and Mark & Steven the ‘camp scabs’. (To name a few) Finally the concert began and it was quite funny. The first item was a fashion parade (of, of course, the oldest & most daggy clothes) then others followed. . A Life in WordsMark M’s (winning) impersonations, [ha! “winning”! Eatcha heart out, Charlie Sheen] Jody K’s Kiwi warcry [the ‘Haka’] & a few other ‘singular’ & group efforts. This was the best night . . people (surprisingly) had rather early nights .. generally turning out lights & getting shut-eye when the authorities asked. Of course.. the last night & day are usually always the best anyway.

Leadership Camp, Day Two (2 February)

Monday 2/2/87

Woken quite early – tent’s going thru’ rain – well, have no worries about getting wet. [Dad always owned good quality camping equipment] Got in groups today- I have Fi, Justine, Lynette C and others. we did “PERSONALITIES”. Was ‘interesting’. we have to write nice things about someone in our group. I got Tricia. Did canoing this arvy – I thought I got my periods Lucky I didn’t. A little boring canoeing was .. too windy to enjoy. Spent little time with Mark today. I can’t handle being around him in group situations like this camp. It’s hard for me. We’re better off on our own. [But hardly realistic…] A Life in WordsTonight we had the bonfire & joke telling Trish & Mark were in a tent together I was really worried. Later they had a “dance”. I stayed alone in the tent crying a little etc. I didn’t see anymore of him that night. I was really upset when everybody came back to the tent they tried to make me feel better. It was a late night, but not quite as late as last night. I was very confused & upset, being told “Nothing happened”. I couldn’t help doubting

[And the scrapbook entry, providing no clue about my emotional condition:]

A Life in WordsWeather’s mostly overcast, although there’s not much rain After breakfast time (& a swim) the airhorn sounded & we had an assembly to run through the camp routine. 6 groups & 6 activities were to fill Monday & Tuesday. The groups were mainly of alphabetical order [by surname] Eg: Jemima in group A, me & fiona in group B, monique in group E and Erica in group F. Group B (ours) did “personalities”. Were given out name of one person to write 6 nice things (known as “warm fuzzies” about. The main ‘object’ of this group was to discover differences in arguments. Eg: aggressiveness (aggression!).. we talked about things like smoking, homosexuals, etc. After a free-time break, we did second activity . . canoeing. Justine & I went in Mr Dobe’s canoe .. the safest! Fiona, with Alan & the others had trouble first… we didn’t get too far, before Mr Dobe decided the weather was too bad to carry on. Lunch & free time next (& a swim, of course, for me, anyway) then the last activity for today; the bushwalk . . fantastic. HA HA . . most of it was along bitumen road . .  up to a lookout (through some rain of course) & back (oh. .blisters!). another swim & free-time for dinner. Tonight a big bonfire was lit & there was ‘mass’ joke-telling… we sat dozing on David’s lie-low .. Erica, Monique, Cameron, Chris & David. After there was a (sort-of) dance (but I party-pooped & stayed in our tent) When that finished we were allowed time before lights out, so we had some visitors . . Linda & Justine to mention a few. [Some of the ‘comforters’ or ‘reassurers’ I spoke of in my diary, perhaps?] A Life in Wordswe all (not me though) ate corn chips & hot dip. Rather a late night.

A Boiling Pool & Camp Couture (26-27 January)

Only two days in this post? What’s going on? Where’s the rest of the week?

A Life in WordsWithout giving anything away, there is a major event approaching: the kind of thing few people experience in a lifetime, and I had the …foresight? …to record as much detail about it as possible, in order to “never forget”.

The upshot is, for the next nine days – beginning Wednesday 29 January – I will be posting daily because of the volume of material (and potentially extra commentary) I recorded about the event. Buckle up and enjoy the ….”ride”…..

Monday 26/1/87

AUSTRALIA DAY. Couldn’t get to sleep last night till around 12:00-1:00 or something – TV & lights were on – Mrs P asleep on the lounge. Eventually Monique got her up. [Apart from the annoyance of sleep deprivation, I have a vague recollection of being a little shocked by this: I’d never seen either of my parents fall asleep in front of the TV. They were The Parents, the Adults – they were the ones whose job it was to wake US up and send us to bed!] Slept in not long. Fi came while Monique was in the shower. We watched Night Patrol again for Fi, then went swimming. Bored … just talking after that. I was “hanging out” for a call from Mark, but I didn’t get one. After another swim, we returned the video, then waited outside for Mrs D. Talked a lot today – mostly about Fi’s trip. . .and the camp – CAN’T WAIT!! So hot at her house! And the pool’s boiling. Well, Martin came – car load of Stew’s friends & one of Martin’s. . made a few stops but I got home. Ate dinner, unpacked etc. Rang him .. he was at Keith’s. Stuff him. A Life in WordsI’ll ring tomorrow arvy – see if he wants to see Golden Child – I think I’m going to town tomorrow with Fi & Moni. Will ring in morning 9:30. Gonna watch this comedy then bed! Oh Mark, I have to see you before I go back to school!! Especially! [Why especially? *shakes head* So… insecure…]

Tuesday 27/1/87

Went to town – took Monique. Was boring. Walked round – I got blisters of course. Saw Joannah, Megan & Marge. Monique looked for shoes, then we walked to a disposal store – trying on army shorts for the camp. A Life in WordsAnd to 2nd hand store looked for old jeans- nothing was “right” there, either. [We would’ve been wanting to cut the legs off them…] Damn – caught bus back to monique’s just after seeing Fi. Swam in hot pool… “bludged”, and finally went for a [bike] ride … ended up going past Mark’s place (at 100km/hr!!) which embarrassed me. Talked to Nelly, next door & Leonie while mum talked to Mrs P. finally got home around 7:30. Rang Beka back and then Mark – a good phone call – talked almost nonstop – hardly said any “lovey-dovey” words… I thought he was being really “friendly” & that was it. See, I got his (4th) letter today. And it is gorgeous – so much about “us”. Oh I’m in love! It’s 9:40… time flies …must get to bed now or I’ll never wake up in the morning.

Sydney Touring, Trouble Pooping & A Greedy, Mental Christmas (22-28 December)

Monday 22/12/86

mima (& Fi) rang this arvy (tonight) they wanted to know if I’d like to meet them in Chatswood tomorrow. I must ring them back tomorrow – we’re going to Manly instead (the hydrofoil!!) We went to Chatswood by bus today. shopped. Got all my prezzies ‘cept Mike’s. (Now, can do that tomorrow) At home, ate lunch, wrapped presents, then caught train to Hornsby → 10 pin bowling. EXCELLENT! I even won one game! (out of 3 – Mike won the others) we went home about 3:30 on train → to Linfield – had to wait till 4:14 for train to Roseville. Mucked round at home. I shaved my legs tonight. Had to. The hair was too long – I’m gonna wax ’em next time tho. Is 10:30 (9:30 Qld) Nana sent up [down; down to Sydney, from Cairns] a letter …on Tuesday it was 43º in Cairns. Wish I was there to go to Crystals with Mark & everyone. would’ve been the biggest rage. [and if that didn’t happen, you’d be happy to be there in 43º heat? I don’t think so…] Oh well. Not long now Ni, nite.

A Life in Words
my white ‘ray-ban type’ sunnies

Tuesday 23/12/86

Jodie & I went to Manly. Julia just didn’t want to come (same for mike) we caught the train to circular quay and then the hydrofoil (just like “cats” [catamarans] in Cairns to the Islands) to Manly; walked round. I bought a pair of white (ray-ban type) sunnies for $6 and diamonte’s for $3 (a real steal!!)(not that!) [not stealING, I meant] and mike’s prezzy and a new ring. $2 – it’s a little big. I’m a bit warm. When we got back we watched ½ of Lampoon’s Vacation and got ready to go to a BBQ. There, we watched videos: Summer Rental and the Jewel of the Nile. ← that was great. Um, I realised, at school next year I’m gonna be a different person… I’ll be more well-known to the guys. more friendly. Great friends. [uh-huh…] Is 12:10. Not too sure what we’re doing tomorrow. Found mima’s phone number; thought I’d lost it.. only a few days & I’ll be home. Still have to get prezzies for moni, mima, fi, sharon, geoff (?) got some today.

Wednesday 24/12/86

Guess what? Mickey’s back! Remember Mickey my mouse watch? He’s been out of order for ages and I bought him down here to get fixed mum took him in yesterday. A Life in WordsI picked him up (only $15 it cost!) today. Jo, Jules & I went to Chatswood, yet again today. I have blisters – I thought I’d “broken in” my black shoes – obviously not – my feet are in agony. Not to mention my stomach pains. A big gut – talk about constipation! I’ve never had as much trouble pooing as I have on this holiday. [oh dear] It’s 11:26 (10:26 – so 1½hrs to Xmas Day – not ½ hr!) [I figured Queensland time was ‘true’ time because we didn’t change our clocks for daylight savings, and we therefore not artificially altering Time!] Wouldn’t it be great if Mark rang me?! But that’s expecting far, far too much. I know I’d be pushing to get even a ‘note’ in reply to my letter. Oh well – home soon! (Dammit reminds me of all the prezzies I have to buy yet and all the things I wanted for myself – all out of $50. That’s about all I have left. REMIND ME. I have to get a new diary. Damn that too! G/night. (Hi Santa!!!)

Thursday 25/12/86

I was “literally” dragged out of bed at 7:00. Didn’t get many prezzies, but am happier (generally) with what I got compared to last years. There’ll be a list in the back [of the diary] of overall prezzies [funnily enough, I must have forgotten to make the list: there’s definitely no record in the back of the diary…] still have a few little ones to get from others: Bev, Steven etc…. listened to all our music all day. Had “drinks” visitors from about 11:00 on. Then our Christmas lunch. I felt so gutsy. But I was practically running to the loo (!!) [hooray!] mucked round Lazed in the arvy. Had no specific dinner – everyone was still full (rather) from lunch. [Isn’t that the ‘expected’ Christmas ritual? Food comas after huge festive meals…] On the scales – I’d prefer not to talk ’bout my weight. OH! Also, about 4:30 we met Greedy Smith [lead vocalist] from the Mentals (Mental As Anything) – got an autograph. [His mother lived down the road from my cousins] Seems nice enough, but a bit “off” cos of tummy. upset. […or maybe a bit ‘off’ because his parents’ home was invaded by pesky little fans on christmas day? I’ll always associate their single “Live It Up” with that experience because it was Mental As Anything’s current release/hit single at the time…] 

After a massage on uncle Peter’s prezzy from mike (electric “fingertips” massager) went to bed. 10:14 (9:14) SO THAT’S XMAS 1986. NO BIG DEAL. [No big deal? How many people get to visit (or potentially annoy) a popular musician on christmas day?]

Friday 26/12/86

Today, after waking late, we caught the train (Jules, Jo & I) to (Town Hall station) Sydney – the city and and went to see The Three Amigos. A Life in WordsIt was excellent. Once at home, a phone call for me and it wasn’t just mima & fi: ..it was long distance, Sharon!! Told her about letters. Really short conversation – gonna do something (go out) when I come home (on Mon.) Went for a swim up the road, at Lee’s (Michael’s friend & friends of the family) place – Jo, Mike & I. Short swim. Then mum’s cousin & his family came – the ones we went to see, when they were visiting Cairns. Up late – is now almost 11:00. forgot to ring fiona and jemima about Luna Park on Sunday. MUST do that tomorrow. Found the phone number. Read almost a whole book this arvy. Sweet Dreams – crap romance story. [Sweet Dreams novels were a series of teen romance novels popular in the 1980’s. I read quite a lot of them many years earlier but am quite certain I was well and truly ‘off’ them by this stage. I imagine the one I read this day would have been my cousin’s.] Anyhow busy day tomorrow (VERY!) so must get some sleep. Night!

Saturday 27/12/86

Mark rang, about 7:00 (6:00 down there – I mean UP there) Didn’t sound very pleased, but I haven’t talked to him for so long. He also sent me a letter but I won’t get it before I leave – they’ll have to forward it to our Cairns address. Can’t wait to get it. But there is doubt… I’m pretty sure he likes me – why would he write me a letter and spend money on a long distance phone call? [Well, HE wouldn’t’ve paid for the phone call – it would’ve been billed to his parents…] Well, today, I changed one of my prezzies – a purple singlet I got And refunded another – extra $38 cash. in Chatswood. Then (got lost) went to Paddy’s Markets. Not bad – but boring. Then (lost) found the Rocks & walked around. In Paddington saw the old terrace houses – they are GORGEOUS. A Life in WordsBeautiful. Then finally (lost!) got home. Went with Uncle Peter to get the dinghy. [?] – then at home. after Countdown I got the call. Oh, I’m worried. Why? Elissa, you dit! [Dit? Hmm, not sure where I got this expression from] I still haven’t rung mima & fiona. It’s only 8:41 now, so I still can. Um, early night tonight. exciting day, I s’pose you could say!!

Sunday 28/12/86

Jodie got her own way today. She is so, so… rude, demanding… lazy… they [she?] wanted to go to Australia’s Wonderland ’cause it was better worth it (moneywise) [than Luna Park, I assume] and was bigger. (when I rang) mima said they had no way of getting out there [Australia’s Wonderland was a good 40 kilometres west of the city, at Eastern Creek.] Of course, the person taking us couldn’t take them. So I had to go, Julia saying it was our last day & we want to spend it with our cousins. And then she [my cousin] turns round & invites across the road friend (her dad was taking us, tho’.) so it was good. A huge amusement park [it was the largest in the southern hemisphere, but closed down in 2004] – I went on every ride (excluding only about 2) they were “slack” most of them except for the roller coaster. A Life in Words“Bush Beastie” EXCELLENT!! Jodie then went to a party when we got back, leaving (expecting) Jules & I to clean out the rabbits cage. Can you believe it? We didn’t [clean the cage out] of course. “last day with the cousins” & here she is at a party. Bullshit. Fran rang too! She’s coming to Cairns on 1st Jan. Is 9:52. I’m going home. Oh Mark!