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.

Leadership Camp, Day One (1 February)

Sunday 1/2/87

I still had my cold. It was really hot once we got to school. Altogether we took heaps of stuff. Mark sat next to me on the bus.. mucked round. After discussion on arrival, we put up our tent. I was so hot. It was overcast. [Perfect conditions to increase humidity] We went for a swim and just mucked round. I was cold, then not etc.. [ooh, feverish?] tonight we had bush dancing. A Life in WordsBoring! [Hmm, that’s not what you wrote in the scrapbook…] Mark was rather unenthusiastic Kept looking for me (??) I kept looking at him Later; after lights out, Mark [privacy omission] came to our tent. Mark didn’t seem ‘interested’. But it was good getting with [just kissing, people!] him. [privacy omission] Mark spent his time worrying about being caught too. I daresay that night was bad for the teachers – kids swapping tents etc. Probably got to sleep around 3:00.

[My scrapbook begins to include more text, more detail: I tried to record everything I could recall. But – not surprisingly – there’s minimal personal disclosure, since, unlike my diaries, I was expecting people to read this. It was as much for public (friends etc) as it was for personal posterity…and ‘processing’ of course.]A Life in Words

Erica brought the eski over early – we packed it & luckily, were able to put it on the lorry that the school had hired from the Fishers [our neighbours] to take equipment up, along with our tent. Excitement mounted as people arrived & assembled at Croswell Hall. It was very hot. Our group had a massive pile of gear! (then again, so did some others (not to mention any names, Steven, Mark & Brent) We loaded the remainder of our gear & scrambled onto the bus to get the best seats. Waiting ages in the still heat till we finally got under way. Music, muck-around fights & food all the way there. Once off the bus, people frantically begin to grab gear & best tent spots, but, called for an assembly first, many people had to give up their chosen sites. [From memory, there were separate tent site zones for the girls and boys. Not really surprising.] After putting up the tent, (a very long, tiring task – we were one of the last groups to finish) [I’m fairly sure we had one of the largest tents there, however…] there was freetime. We all went for a (very short) swim, then stood watching some of the guys playing cricket. After our dinner, the air horn was blown- signalling assembly under the covered area. Bushdancing was the activity & almost everyone enjoyed it! [Aha, almost everyone…] For some, this was the longest night (ie. the latest) [….oh? I wonder who…?]

Slave Labour, Car Pushing & Thong Theft (20-26 January)

Monday 20/1/86

And the rain continues…. it’s nice & co(ol)ld now, too! Mima got back 5:30 this arvy – rang me about 8:00. Thursday is the day I meet with other new CHS students. Mom [I actually wrote ‘mom’? Surely a joke?] woke me this morning to say I had to go to work, Jenny’d had a big fight with Steven & wasn’t going to work anymore (ever – again) That’s childish So Steve’s on holiday & Dad’s the only one at work. I earned $19.25 did 65 drums + (reduced rate of $2 per hour) 1½hrs. [Reduced rate? I wish I could remember what reason my father gave me for halving my usual pay rate, but I have a feeling it related to needing someone there but not wanting to part with too much for it. Ain’t no way any official employee would have to put up with whimsical pay changes like this…] Saw Justine too. She must have gone for a walk (with this guy – a friend) along the wharf & I saw her just as she was walking out the gates. [My dad’s business premises then were in a shed near the wharves on Trinity Inlet, not too far from the CBD. Of course there’s no sign of their existence now.] Anthony got back from Melbourne today. Hafta work tomorrow again. Late – is 10:34

Tuesday 21/1/86

Did very little at work today, 3¼hrs altogether = $6.50. I got my total pay (yesterday’s too) which came to $25.75 (But I forgot 50c). And Julia got $4 + $4 extra – for no reason except that dad said he could “pay her what he wanted”. So it’s easyily defined – she’s the favourite – ooh!  [I remember this. Pretty hurtful. And my father considers my mother always ‘molly-coddled’ my sister. Is this not the pot calling the kettle black?] I’m sick of the mozzies. Aussie flogged India won by 100 runs or so!! Rains only (really) at night. Rang Beka – couldn’t come to Rocky IV. Finally got thru to mima – she’s coming. Rang Fi & Mr D said she was at mima’s Tried & it was engaged again. Have to ring Fi in AM. Late nite: 10:45

A Life in WordsWednesday 22/1/86

Rang Fi – she was at mima’s! Rang mima. Invited Fi & agreed to Jay coming. Rocky IV was unreeeeal!! It was …. ohh! We were squirming around in our seats, covering our faces & saying shit, shit, shit, knock him, kill him! [I’ve never been good with suspense …nor gore. And don’t even bother mentioning horror…] Saw Tashy & Beccy & mima said they just sat staring with no expressions. Punces! [Punces?!] Met Anna & Polly after. Mr B took us back to Brewers. All stayed there the night (Polly’s birthday party (kinda)) Walked to our places & got gear. Had beautiful tea & played Trivial Pursuit (ours) till about 12:30 (mima & I won) Mum said I hafta go home early 2morrow cos the washing machine repairmen are coming & Julia doesn’t want to be on her own there.

Thursday 23/1/86

Woke pretty early (7:30) Mum rang – Mr B said I didn’t have to go home at all this morning – great!! Had no brekky (not too bad – I wasn’t very hungry) [It’s good to know we were always breakfast-eaters… I mean, brought up to eat – and therefore miss, when it wasn’t to be had – breakfast.] then around 10:00, everyone (Tanja, Elisia, Lynette & Ngarie) came [I actually already knew Elisia – she had gone to the same primary school as Jemima, Fiona & I]. They’re all nice!! Talked about a camp at the Tinaburra Recreation Hostel. Got a list. & then talked all day. They left around 4:00. We played cards, before leaving to get our gear for the Waterworks. Got there around 6:15. Was fun! Heaps (our gang) about 18!! Went home in a taxi (WO!) [Yes, a taxi ride was a big deal back then. Since we all lived in what was then almost an ‘outer suburb’, taxis weren’t the most cost-effective mode of transport.] Watched the movie. Am bugared. Glad to have my bed again. Am allowed to go to this camp thing. Is 11:30

Friday 24/1/86

9:37pm. I wanted to have an early night. OH well! Woke latish. Guess what? I got my periods – I’m glad, but mad. Glad cos’ before school – mad cos’ the camp’s tomorrow SHIT. Oh well. Rang mima at 10:36. Got to her place at 10:53. Caught Fi at 10:01. Mrs D took us in. At 11:45 we all (present) went to coles. We finished at 1:45. Walked to Fi’s shop (just me, mim, pol & her) ate & caught bus home. I was tired & had [period] pains. Lazed round all arvy. Didn’t do any housework – lazy dick. Have a shopping list 4 camp. For tomorrow Gotta pack, too. Leaving at 12:00

Saturday 25/1/86

A Life in Words
Obviously this was not us… but I’m sure it felt the same!

Woke around 8:00. Packing seemed to take Years. Went and got the shopping list complete. At 12:00, Mima said (rang) and asked me to go up there. We got to mim’s – they weren’t home. Went to Fi’s. mum left & we walked to mima’s. When Tanja came we left. But we got to Reservoir Road and the car conked at stoplights. We had to push!! EMBARRASSING. Went in back of Idstein’s Ute. [Yeah, those were the the days! Riding in the back of trucks – without restraints – wasn’t yet highly illegal. If it was, it wasn’t strictly enforced.] Uncomfy with 2 dogs. But finally, at 4:30, got to Brewer’s block. Took combie van to Tinaroo – Fun!! Unpacked – messed around. Had a big long tiring swim across dam & back. Late night (pretty good tea) very late, probably 2:00. Had period trouble – quite heavy.

Sunday 26/1/86

Light flow last night thank god. But got caught almost today. Went canoing. Woke around 7:30. Pancakes 4 brekky (we cooked) Then we took the canoes & went out till about 2:00 in the afternoon. Was great But Elisia was so fussy. We ended up doing what we wanted (i.e.. 5 canoes tied to a tree in the middle of the dam 4 lunch & elisia’s on the other bank starving.) Then More fun around 4:00 when went to dam wall & all chased (not all) by the gardener. Took Elisia’s thong – she went hyper-active [‘ballistic’ would be a more meaningful word to describe her reaction, nowadays. Or “off her nut”] – did everything to get it back, but Tanja, Mima, Fi, & I stayed out. Earlier night – no ghost stories etc – straight to sleep after an exciting walk at 10:30. About 12:30

Final Days of ’85 & some Bonus Rubbish

Monday 30/12/85A Life in Words

Gee, it’s the 2nd last day of the year, 1985. I’ve got a new diary ready. for ’86. It’s colder tonight than it’s been over the whole lot (3!) [I’m not sure if that means 3 degrees, or 3 nights? In summer, in northern Queensland, my guess is it would have to be the latter since 3 degrees is a rarity there, despite being inland.] Today we lazed round again (listening to tapes – doin’ nothin’) Bit of rain & a little sun. After 12:00 we walked upstream till we came to the bridge Then we walked back to camp, along the road. Later we drove up to see our old camping site – it’s changed quite a lot. [Davies Creek had been a ‘return site’ for many camping trips, that began way back when mum and dad were still together.] Shallower, less trees & more rocks – a big diff. Very late tea (dinner) tonight. Hope it doesn’t rain – last night it did (apparently (cos I was asleep like a log)) & Julia’s stuff got wet. Am glad to go home tomorrow, in a way. But this is a beautiful area – would like to return. I have an idea of my New Year’s Resolutions [what, no hints??]…….→(is 10:50 now)

Tuesday 31/12/85

On the last day of 1985, I woke around 7:30 & had a large breakfast before spending the remaining 3/or 4 hrs packing up. Then we cleaned up [we ALWAYS tried to leave every environment as untouched as we found it] & relaxed for the last 1½hrs. We left Davies Creek at 1:30. At home (about 3:00) I unpacked quickly, then re-packed. Helped unpack at dad’s then got ready to go to theNew Years Parties. I’m ready now. I don’t want to leave writing this till I get home because it’ll be 1986 by then. We’re going to two parties (that I know of)Bond’s & some other person’s from Price Waterhouse. Amanda & Janelle will be at both, too. We’re taking our togs. I’ll be optimistic & happy tonight & hopefully that will get me on a good start for 1986.

A Life in Words

  A Life in Words







A Life in Words
Not sure if you can read this, but it’s pretty entertaining to see me deride myself. Sooking on one day, then scolding myself weeks later!


Thinking about past times when writing my ’84 diary, I miss the fun the 3 of us had. All the things we did together on the holidays & even some weekends/weekdays were so fun! I wish it could be relived But I don’t WORRY about it anymore (e.g. – pages previously) I will be content, however little happier if some past events would again occur. Still, life goes on & past things must be “forgotten” Someone said (Tom Bailley – Thompson Twins) That near death, however, you wish to  be with past memories parents, personal possessions etc. Then again, it could just be because he is a Capricorn!!

Justine is not my best friend. I have no best friend (s) I go out with her because she invites me. I must lead a good social life. If I am tied down, hoping to be included in everything Jemima & Fiona do, I will miss out on lots of wonderful things. After all, these are meant to be the best years of your life (Really?) I must learn to be responsible for myself & not DEPEND too much on OTHERS AND JEALOUSY is not an Admirable virtueNotes 3


Mum Material for shorts, candies, $1

Dad 2 sets of beads & bangle (aqua & apricot) + $20 Chandlers voucher + $40 (for clothes)

Julia [sis] singlet

Nana [my grandmother – mum’s mum] nightie, note paper, earrings, necklace, soaps (6, I think) cover stick (make up) Hankies

Geoff [mum’s partner] walkman, $10, candies

Papa [my grandfather – dad’s dad] $20

Jenny & Co [dad’s partner, my future stepmother] ½ shares in a year’s subscription of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC + $10 ½ shares with Julia in a Chandlers gift voucher

Anthony [my to-be-step brother] candle & novelty glass

The Bests [family friends  – of mum’s partner] Sleeping shirt & bubble bath

Hilary, Jodie, Mike [mum’s sister’s family] etc earrings + midriff singlet

Bev & Co [dad’s brother’s family] Blue T-Shirt

Pam & Co [dad’s sister & family] $10 voucher – Chandlers

Mrs M [my mum’s partner’s mother] necklace (chain)


Portable Music, Leeches & Short Short Hair (23-29 December)

Scrawled across the top of the pages opening to Sun 22nd & Mon 23rd Dec: Have got to get a new (’86) Diary – look how fast 1985 is going!!

Monday 23/12/85A Life in Words

I only really ever start to feel hot at night when I come into my room – it is a very hot room. I need a fan or something like it. Went to Justine’s today (didn’t sleep in this morning) around 10:30. She came here (I gave her her choccys & at her place, she gave me my prezzy – pretty frost-colour nail polish.) At her place (we rode there) we talked, swam, watched videos (Inspector Gadgets & Countdowns) & also listened to Justine’s new walkman – it’s unreal! There’s no normal headphones – just ear-plug type things really groovy!! & it’s auto reverse! (You don’t have to turn the tape over – it plays the alternate side automatically.) ITS GREAT!! Hope I get a walkman – really want one now. [The birth of portable music! I still forget that most people younger than me have no idea what a cassette tape is. And auto-reverse? Pfft! It’s interesting that the large headphones are making a comeback, after I frothed here about the tiny ear bud ones.]  Went late night. Yes Monday late night for the late Xmas shoppers. Julia got some togs. Mum got the present Julia’s going to give me & we all looked at tapes. Can’t wait to buy them!! Early-ish nite.

Tuesday 24/12/85A Life in Words

Woke early – lazed around all morning (watched a bit of TV, etc) We’re minding the Fishers’ birds & Julia & I cleaned the cage today. Julia went to the movies (saw Teen Wolf with (hunky) Michael J. Fox – the one I wanna see.) Meanwhile mum & I went to take Nana to hospital – her arthritis is getting really bad lately (took her, for eg, over 1 hour to stand up out of bed this morning – Bad, huh?) [Rheumatoid arthritis is apparently hereditary. Mum began to get her symptoms around the age of 50 but her sister hasn’t suffered from it at all. I am wondering who of my sister & I will be the lucky recipient. I have had my rheumatoid factor checked by my GP and there’s nothing at the moment. Considering rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, I am hoping that my relatively strict healthy lifestyle defers any chance I have of contracting it.] Then we did miscellaneous shopping (the Bloodbank was shut – thank god – it woulda bin boring waiting for mum) Watched TV at home. Got a postcard from Fi she thought my letter was great!! She actually laughed!! AND she also got her hair cut SHORT!! Now, that’s impelled me to get mine short…like this. [See the photo of the original diary entry, below. This was clearly one of those times I’d run out of space on the original day and carried over to the next day’s pageA Life in Words (I want) Back: layered Is 9:50. Open prezzies 2morrow!! UNREAL!!

Wednesday  25/12/85

I can’t help feeling guilty about feeling “deprived” with (some) no, truthfully – most of my presents. Mainly the clothes, tho. All shirts 2 night shirts, 3 daywear. I hate them all. And I am terribly ashamed at the same time. IT IS THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS. But I HATE them. Yuk Yuk Yuk Yuk. I won’t use them – that’s a TERRIBLE waste. [Here it is again. The truth behind my apparent Ingratitude. I despise waste. Of any kind. But here, it’s the idea that my loved ones have wasted their money on things that I didn’t want.] (Today we watched TV – thrilling, huh?? Visited Nana – boring?? Yep. Then watched TV again thrilling, huh??) BORING XMAS DAY. I’m getting all worked up again, now. Sposed to be happy, merry etc …. I hear all people on the radio saying got heaps of clothes which they all love – it’s not fair. Why can’t people satisfy me?? [Fussy. I have always been ‘particular’. Clothes, food, men, routine…] NOT FAIR Late night (11:00 overcast day today

Thursday 26/12/85

Ate sooo much junk today. All I had that was “good” was 2 “Good Start” biscuit (brekky biscuits) + 1 piece ham + some home-made chips. All the rest (and there was heaps of it) was junk – pure junk (lollies, cashews, shortbread, chocolate, fruit cake etc) [Um yeah… with hindsight, I’d now say the only “good” was the cashews and home-made chips. Breakfast biscuits certainly aren’t good for you and I barely touch ham now because it’s full of nitrites] YUK. I watched TV all day. Mum made our shorts out of our material. They’re sooo cute (I like mine best, but) – Although mine need a few minor adjustments. Visited Nana later, too. Well, looks like BOXING DAY ’85 was more boring than my average weekend spent doing HW, during school. Great, huh? Oh, well. Tomorrow am gonna get haircut not the perm + togs & watchband (I’m gonna take my old white digital watch to Davies Creek [going camping with Dad] cos’ it’s water resistant to 30m (I think) which means I can swim with it) cos the old one’s broken + Hopefully our walkmans will be at Big W. And we’ll get all the tapes we want from Chandlers (CAN’T WAIT!!) Is 9:45 pretty early 2 nite, huh?!

Friday 27/12/85

FRIDAY DEC. 27. Y’know I still haven’t got a diary for ’86 yet. (Yes I did! I got it today – unfortunately it’s just like this – there are NO diaries anywhere. (that are bigger, that is.)) Got a red singlet & blue togs just like julia’s (but one size larger – 12) + white sunnies which I love!! + a stupid, cheap watchband for my old white watch. Nana came out of hospital. AND I GOT MY HAIR CUT SHORT!! Very short. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it, but now I’m used to it I love it except: I’d like the sides, above the ears, cut short. At the moment it’s just a very short bob. Also got the 4 cassettesA Life in Words (Eurythmics, Thompson Twins, Elton John and the Eurogliders + 4 blank cassettes for recording other records e.g. Wham! Tears 4 Fears, Dire Straits etc. Early-ish nite. Gotta pack 2morrow. Also!! Returned the green singlet from Julia to Sportique & (paid an extra $4) got a blue sleeveless T-shirt with deep V back!! UNREEAL!!

Saturday 28/12/85

Dad came late (around 10:30) went shopping (saw Skinner & lotsa people who probably did see my hair) The only one to say anything was Jenny. After shopping, went to Neil M’s & dad helped him put up the out-of-ground pool. Then around 3:30, went to Holloways, Anthony packed for Melbourne (changed his booking to tomorrow instead of Jan 3., so not coming camping) Got here around 5:30. Is beautiful – shady & shallow pools (one deep part) Didn’t bring my plate – deliberately – I don’t think my teeth need it anymore. [Ha!] Pretty late now – had dinner at 9:15. Radio doesn’t work in the car – think it’s only cos’ the batteries are going flat. Wore this ADINA watch in the water – is working fine (water’s cold) Is 10:45 – Pretty cool, too. Nite!

Sunday 29/12/85

Cold last night! (I wasn’t but Julia was.) Woke up a lot, very squeaky every time we moved. [I am assuming this was the air bed we must have been sleeping on. Airbeds tend to be noisy, for those who don’t know.] Today was lazy. Did nothing till about 12:00 when we walked downstream (I got a beesting on my knee) to a giant waterfall (we were at the top of it) & stayed there lazing in the pools. Lotsa leeches (tiny ones) which liked me, but luckily got no chance to suck my blood. Came back around 4:30 – Abbo boys here – thought they might’ve nicked things cos’ they looked pretty sus, but nothing was missing. The Mattheson’s went home around 5:00. I just listened to the radio tonight. Is warmer 10:03 now I’ve swum with my watch & it’s fine – unreal!! I’ll continue wearing it I think!

The Camp, the Fete & Some Indecision (21-27 October)

Monday 21/10/85

Had a fire drill today. Wowee. And another camp meeting. Everyone in our cooking group except Adrienne was away (at the geography “excursion” to Green Island.) Got Jenny’s sleeping bag also got into a BIG tantrum. It is TOO BIG. It won’t fit in either bag – without taking up all the space in it. Mum’ll have to buy me a smaller one tomorrow. [Typically high expectation from a typically naive teenager. Children are expensive – demanding – little critters!] Everyone was dull today. At Bluelight apparently Praybon took an interest in Beka (danced & kissed) Anna got fiercely Jealous. And Erica everyone forgot about her but she said she doesn’t care about him at all anymore. Early night. Am tired after weekend of good movies. Still dunno about CHS [Cairns High]. Got the art forms today.

Tuesday 22/10/85

Little excited about the camp today. Mum got me a sleeping bag & it FITS INTO my KNAPSAC!! Yahoo!! A Life in WordsI have everything (except things I’ll need for tomorrow) already packed away. Can’t wait!! Watched part II of “Flying Doctors” thought it was last episode – but there’s a III one! IT’S SO FRIGGIN’ HOT I can’t take it!! I was alright during the day but the heat now is killing me!! Lucy came round this arvy. Went to shop – to Lucy’s & to shop again. I bought Lifesavers for the camp. met Fran & Colleen & Anna & Trudi Goodness me! Didn’t get my art forms handed in [for the special art course (CAD) at Cairns High]. I’m lucky Ms Anderson is gonna accept them, elsewhere. [elsewhere? what?!] Am tired – is 10:35 I wanna get some sleep

Wednesday 23/10/85

[It would appear that I left my diary at home for the whole time I was on the camp and filled it in upon my return. This kind of diligence obviously underlies my habit: if for some reason I’ve been unable to make an entry for one day, even now, I am compelled to recount it as soon as possible afterwards – usually the very next day. On this – and the following two – pages of the diary –  I ‘highlighted’ the fact that I was away on camp by drawing diagonal lines across the pages, through the handwriting. At first sight I thought I’d made a huge mistake – like making diary entries on the wrong days or something. But then I realised I was just being ‘cute’.]

RIPPER FUN!!!! The whole camp was tops!! But first I’ll tell you what happened today. Got packed in morning & struggled to bus stop. At 9:00 got on the buses. Arrived around 10:30. Immediately noticed March flies – sooo many. After setting up & having lunch group 2 (Fi’s) & group 3 (mine) did canoeing. I went with Shane S. [to think only two years earlier I’d’ve died & gone to Heaven to be in the same canoe as him!] Fi was with Wade. Everyone swapped around. Paddled up stream (Fi, Connie & I were finally together) Had to walk canoes over rapids – got big bang & ankle is swollen now. Got back ½hr early. After dinner & relax period, activities started. Only watched nature films & did bush dancing BORING!! Fran, Fi & me finally got to sleep around 12:00 I think.

Thursday 24/10/85

After brekky (woke about 5:30) we did orienteering. It was really an obstacle course was fun, too. some things were quite hard to do!! After lunch, did canoeing again, this time Connie, me & Mr Ross went, canoed down stream in steady rain (for 1hr) took us about 3½hrs. SOOO many rapids!! We went over soo many rocks & then Mr Wilson (other teacher) blew us up! At the bridge – boys took canoes to trailers & most people squished into 2 cars. I got in one. Others had to walk back & it was a long way. A Life in WordsFound out our tent was saturated (& sleeping bag from rain) [That wouldn’t’ve gone down well with me. I can imagine the sook I’d’ve become with that ‘tragedy’.] Lucky our bags were in Connie’s tent. After tea, watched “Killing Fields” for nite activity. Soo uncomfortable that I didn’t watch it. Slept in Sharon D’s tent

Friday 25/10/85

Woke again around 5:30. Pity it’s last day. Mainly ate up scraps for breakfast. Fires were hard to light just like last night’s. Our last activity today. HIKING – god!! the mountain was 90º! So hard to climb up – was so slippery & everything. Only got 1 leech – a baby – & it didn’t have time to start sucking blood. [I absolutely detest leeches, and still do.] Got back early. Went for a swim. (Had packed up sleeping bag & tent earlier) After lunches, buses came, we boarded and went home. Boys had egg fight at skool. Tinaroo-ers said they had fun but probably not as much as us. Nana was at home. Disorganised night. Watched movie. Glad to be home but camp was unreal. So many things that happened also but I can’t fit in. Night night!

Saturday 26/10/85

ANOTHER late night  tonight!! My goodness!! Will I ever get a full night’s sleep? The fete was unreeeal! Not so good stall-wise, but many people were there and disco and fashion parade were a HUGE success. Also, tim actually talked to Justine while I was there!! But it looks as if he’s going with Joanne B. OH well!! Slept in late this morning. Watched abit of TV & did a bitta drawing – wasted day in other words. Tim was hunky in parade!! He actually looked at me while Justine was talking with him – but only when I butted in. Still, it’s a start – he could (must) get to know me better!! WADDA HUNK! Is 12:54 now ni nite

A Life in Words
Included in my portfolio for the CAD interview

Sunday 27/10/85

Today was another complete waste! I woke late again (believe it or not) & lazed around all day. Watched TV, did some drawings & the questionaire for the art thingo. [CAD] My interview is tomorrow. Got my samples [‘portfolio’] ready. I’m going same time as Fran (we’re latecomers) Did absolutely no HW whatsoever TERRIBLE!! Shoulda, huh?! Had a water fight with Julia. Pretty boring day. Am having second thoughts about Cairns High. I like Tim still. & after the fete, who knows?? I thought he disliked me for some reason. Hope he doesn’t. Wanna be a friend then who knows??!! [Oh…my…God! Seriously? *shakes head, rolls eyes* Here’s a perfect example of what NOT to do in life – make decisions based around others. Especially others who seem to barely know you exist. Tsk, tsk!]

Séances, Black Forest Cakes & A Retainer Brace (6-12 May)

Monday 6/5/85

I was bored today. I think this long weekend has gone so slow. It’s cos’ I bin bored – I’m gonna keep saying to fiona (after every weekend) “what did you do on the weekend?” & when she asks me wot I did, every time I will reply “-oh, u know, the usual boring weekend I always have.” – Today I watched TV, ate, an’ even made up a new exercise plan which I will start 2morrow. The Bests came out in the arvy. We went to the park (there’s a slippery slide there 2, now!) Watched TV, went back (they’d gone by then.) Watching TV now. Have had a bath & tea. Did a poo just a few minutes ago. [Too much information? Thanks to “the Coxen Bowel Fetish”] Feel better. Am determined 2 have an early nite 2nite

Tuesday 7/5/85

Only 2 days of skool this week!! Going to the orthodontist tomorrow to get a plate – my 2 front teeth have started to ‘space’ again. I need the plate to hold them permanently – but I don’t need the late permanently!! Felt like rubbing it into Fiona about my lonely, boring week ends 2day, but couldn’t. Was hot. Sleepy, too. Art is due Fri (assignment) so German Camp kids get to hand it in on Mon. Just as well cos’ I haven’t started!! Got clay today. Made last things tonite after HW. a brandy snap, 2 doughnuts and a cream’n’strawberry tart. Is another early nite 4 me 2 nite. Exercises this morning took alot less time!

Wednesday 8/5/85

A Life in Words
My retainer brace looked similar to this
(that’s not my smile!)

Was busy today. Had to try and remember so much! German Camp health form, art money, swimming gear, art texts etc – god!! Had period 7 instead of period 1 (don’t know why) BP instead of History. Neither one any fun. Did paintings in art. My clay work’s drying slowly. Tim is a hunk! Mum picked us up after swimming (glorious day the stinger net’s gone!!) [For those who don’t know, some deadly marine stingers inhabit the coastal waters of North Queensland for many months of the year (approximately November-May) so swimming at beaches is only possible where the special stinger-net enclosures are based.] Got my ‘plate’ at orthodontist. It’s called a retainer brace – a bit fits in the roof of your mouth and wires (just one) goes round your smile! At speech mima said “Do you want to go out with Steven? He’s your height and quite spunky”. I changed the subject. Why? I just got nervous! (Jemima said (when I asked her) that she didn’t set Neville & me up. At another National Trust meeting. Have to wake early tomorrow to pack, etc. I’m gonna be soooo tired.

Thursday 9/5/85

Got everything done this morning! Even got a ‘white’ costume – I’ll be snow WHITE! Shame job at skool. I wore shorts (but that wasn’t the bad bit) Everyone musta thort we were crazy to go on a German Camp. [I don’t quite understand what’s SO ‘shameful’ about this. Unless it was considered ‘daggy’…but we were getting time off from school, so…?] But ….got Dorm. 2 again (5 of us + natalie & tania P.) Did activities like wotch slides (boring) & made paper beads (boring) While we did that, fiona’s group did skit & made Black ForestCake. Food was alright. Swam – was cold but very refreshing. Had disco 2 nite cos’ something wrong with Film. Was silly – no one danced. Have a feeling 2nite will be late.

Friday 10/5/85

Late nite got to sleep ’round 12:30. Others told ghost stories, so I blocked my ears & dozed. [Yes I was a scaredy-cat. And I still detest horror films. I don’t see the point of stressing myself with negative images & thoughts.] Fi & Beka on their way 2 loos ran into a snake. Wots worse, when we all called “snake” & “Mr Pudniks” [one of the teachers] no one came!! Were woken early for a walk. Long walk. Practised our concert items after brekky. We (Shane, Natalie, Tanya ‘n’ Justine ‘n’ me) had to perform Bremen Musicians on cards (I drew ’em of course.) After our skits, had free time. Swam – Had lunch then concert (u guessed it – ) on film! We won best act – got choccy! A Life in WordsMade & ate our Black Forest Cake after another swim. Lucy, Fi & me talked about what we didn’t like about each other. After Bath’n’ tea, watched Film. Not so gut [german for ‘good’] as last year. Rushed ending. Probably ‘nother late nite 2 nite. The others want to hold a sayonce. [You guessed it – I meant séance] Wish some spunks came. Tim or someone!! !!

Saturday 11/5/85

Last nite had big joke session after unsuccessful sayonces. Then another sayonce (unsuccessful) then sleep. Too tired to look at watches. Coulda been after 12 // No walk this morning, didn’t swim 2day. This camp was good! Wade ‘courting’ Jenny (we think (cos’ we thort we overheard him torking to Ian) [not keen on this ‘cutesy’ phonetic spelling I seem to like falling into every so often. I DID know how to spell ‘talking’…] he thinks “she’s the only one who’d do anything” and “the rest are moles”.) After brekky, packed and rest of morning (Besides session of scrabble & pancake making (and eating) and lunch) was free time. Boys came to our dorm, cos’ Jenny left early. We must be 2nd best! Had a whip fight with sapling branches. Free time – till parents came. Shane is nice – still a fond friend I think! At home, (Julia bought me 3 popsicles to win a prize in this competition. We’re close to winning PANAM HOLIDAY to Disney & Hawaii, or a stereo getto blaster or computer. Then I unpacked, bathed and slept 3hrs! TIRED!! Bests are here 4 tea. I’m off 2 have some baked alaska! [I remember this! Mum’s one & only attempt at Baked Alaska. She did well, but I think the amount of work that went into it was enough to put her off trying to make it ever again.] Lateish nite I s’pose.

Sunday 12/5/85

Today had to do English Book Review talk & art assignment. Wasn’t in the mood, but struggled and got English talk done in between reading magazines, eating and lazing ’round. Had shower and we went to Dad’s new house Is nice! Pretty big too. Got ½ art assignment written – rough copy. Today was MUMS DAY gave mum only a home-made button bracelet but dad bought round a plant 4 us to give 2 her. Lateish nite

Easter at Elisabeth Gorge (1-7 April)

Monday 1/4/85

A Life in WordsMaths was hard. Didn’t have hardly any time to learnt before skool – no one (I don’t think) got it finished in time. It was hard. In PES, took notes cos’ of the weather. Science – marking stray HW. History – understand the last part now. Almost finished it 2nite. BP – new topic. Practical, too. English – started Animal Farm essay. Continuing Yentl essay. (Hurry, Liss!) Art – made a vanilla/custard slice looks nuthin’ like it. Rainy today again. Tim – I get nervous and self conscious when he’s near. Never know just how to stand or sit or what to do with my hands. I’ve tried to control it but I can’t. Late nite.

Tuesday 2/4/85

Really worried today that I wouldn’t get my work done. I have my PES to complete tomorrow, 3 assignments due Thurs & my art clay work. Got my History & 1 English assignment done & worked out my art. PES I dunno – & Animal Farm (the otha’ english assign.) tomorrow at school & prehaps after. Today was cool. Didn’t take me jumper. DAY 5 – Science ›blech‹ BP ›blech‹ -er! German ›blech‹ -est! Maths Mr Way was absent. Maths puzzles & english worked to my capacity. ‘S’arvy finished Hist. Dunno if I’ll wear shorts on our Free Dress Day on Thurs, now.

Wednesday 3/4/85

Today was terrible. Couldn’t sleep last night – mozzies buzzing in my ears. When I did sleep my whole body was under the sheet. History is done! Double art – did theory instead of clay work will tomorrow, too. Have to work in lunch time. Maths – got test mark back Below class average. 17½/30. Class AV 18.5/30. [This would no doubt have caused Perfectionist Me undue stress for a few hours.] English – Mr V.S said we only have to hand in one english assignment whichever one we want. Great! Lunchtime – did PES testing – skint! In PES played hockey. fun but hot. BP got all work done in class, so no HW 4 Hol’s. Watching movie – “Xanadu”! A Life in WordsDunno wot ta wear 2morrow.

Thursday 4/4/85

I thought Tim’s family would be comfortable financially cos’ he wears Tab shorts to school but today he wore daggy black jeans like Shane S. used to wear…. Still I don’t look at his clothes – just his spunky face. Wore my red’n’white Sportsgirl shirt, sweatshirt & sanshoes. Took my Sportsgirl bag. All of us were allowed in the science lab, today (only 2 boys had correct leathers on.) German had competitions. Natalie P. won. Art, watched boring video. Didn’t get clay done. Eng. & Hist finished up essays’n’mucked around. Maths – won an egg! packed this arvy. Haircut just a trim. Saving up for perm! [OMG, yes. It happened a number of times in my youth…] Lateish nite

Friday 5/4/85 (Good Friday)

Woke 5:30 today. Didn’t do exercises. Finished packing and went to work. When eski was packed at work, we came home cos’ we forgot somethings then left on our 3hr journey. Tried to sleep while travelling. Sick tablet helped me stay awake. [We often took travel sickness tablets as a precaution. My sister had – and still has – a weak stomach for travelling. She was invariably always the one we stopped for.] Got to Chillagoe 11-11:30. Drove to the Walsh River, saw Karen M & the Holletts ‘n’ everyone. Didn’t see the Strikes. Was too crowded there. Drove on, looking for Elisabeth Gorge. All those who gave us instructs were wrong. Finally went to the “Bellvue” Station Homestead. A real ‘bloody’ Aussie gave us directions. And we cross-countried all over the property, 4wd country alright!! Had to look for certain things e.g.: windmills, dams etc. Like a treasure hunt. When we finally made it (6:30) was already people here! Still, camped a bit away. River’s alriiiight. No trees where we camped. Don’t really like it. Feel homesick already. Jules bedded early. The rest of us went down for a bath/swim. Bed at 9:30

Saturday 6/5/85

Woke quite early 6:30. After brekky cleaned up & set things up totally. Then went for a dip. All of us got Aussie [my stepmother-to-be’s German Shepherd] in & she began enjoying the water. Then went firewood hunting. Got heaps, but dad wanted this giant log – trying to get it, we staked it. The back right wheel punctured BADLY. After changing it & getting back, we all drifted down to the creek & spent most of the arvy in it. Everyone else but me got burnt badly – or visibly bad. Withered the arvy away. After tea I had a half’n’half enamel mug of range & reisling. Anthony the dickhead [stepbro-to-be] was trying to convince me I was drunk. Dad was the only 1 (I think) who knew I wasn’t. Late nite.

Sunday 7/5/85 (Easter Day)

Dad came in at 7:00 singing “Peter Cottontail”. [He pretty much rolled this one out every Easter, since his first performance on a camping trip a few years earlier had delighted all of us kids. You know the way Dad’s do, once they think they’ve hit a ‘winning formula’.] Julia ended up eating all her eggs today. [That was usually MY trick] Hot X Buns for brekky. Lazy, swim about morning. Went walking up the gorge & found a beeauutiful hole. All swam & fossicked until around 1:30 – 2:00. After lunch, lazed ’round – swimming, photographing, playing games. After the last swim/bath, had tea and sat by fire. Am tired. Talked & quizzed each other. I had more wine 2 nite & didn’t get ‘pithed’. Am going to sleep out 2 nite – hope it’s cold.

Memories of Poo & Dead Pets (7-13 January)

Monday 7/1/85

Was our last nite. Tonight are staying in the house in the dark – bar 4 or so candles. Fiona did not call back last night. (I stayed up late to watch the movie) Neither did she call today. I think it was Mr D.’s fault. He has a poor memory (so Fi says.) Today was busy. What with carrying the last few loads to the house, then scouring out the flat, to make it shiny & clean (as possible). [One of my favourite stories relating to this exercise was mum’s experience of cleaning out the toilet; she discovered something that had hitherto been imperceptible to us all – that the result of my grandmother’s daily explosive bowel movements (with thanks to regular consumption of Epsom salts) – had somehow lightly spattered the walls. Mum, Julia and I were in absolute stitches!]  There are some boys who have moved in where Diane W. used to live. They whistled (well, one did, I think he’s 15 or so, not bad looking. I’m writing by candlelight.

Tuesday 8/1/85

Last night while having our Kentucky Fried Chicken the Skinners came to the Fishers. Skint!! Me in my frilly nightie!! I don’t think we are gonna get our bond money ($200) back – Today was hot, but quite a lot cooler in the house. In the morning FNQEB & Telecom came so we now have electricity & a ‘phone! Rang Fiona around 6:15. Had to ring back 15 mins later. When she answered, she was bright & chirpy and didn’t at all sound guilty about not ringing back Last Thurs. Are both coming tomorrow. Petra came up after lunch & is sleeping. She has given us 3 goldfish, from their pond. Hope they don’t die. [Our track record with smaller pets wasn’t too good. Mutliple fish had died in our care, most often jumping out of tanks when we weren’t around to put them back. One summer we accidentally killed a pet budgie by leaving its cage in the garage on a day that temperature soared. We came home to find it on the bottom of the cage with its eyes hanging out of its head. Terribly upsetting. We have had much more success with dogs as pets.]

Wednesday 9/1/85

Had a late night last night. Ate ice-cream as a midnight feast. Were sprung! This morning, playing cards with Jules & Petra when Fiona & Jemima came. Got a photo frame from Fiona (brass) & notebook, room card (vacant or home) & sticker from mima. Then went to mim’s for a swim. WAS STINKIN’ HOT TODAY! After a quick swim, danced to Madonna (great exercise) then we had to go home cause mim had to go to art classes at 1:30. Fi rang when I got home. We went to shop & looked at new railway [‘Freshwater Connection’] I came home & went to the dentist. A Life in WordsVery quick tightening. Came home & relaxed.

Thursday 10/1/85

Jemima & Fiona asked me if I’d like to see ‘Ghostbusters’ with them tomorrow. I think they do like me; they are trying to start afresh. Being as best, best friend to me as possible. Today, mainly waited for mima/fiona. Woke quite early after a late night, then went out to do some things before lunch (getting things for the house) then just read, played cards, ate & lazed around all afternoon. I rang mim & fi about 20 times, finally mim answered. She couldn’t stay tonight but I was to go to her house at 8:30, along with Fi & Beka to catch the 9:00 bus. A Life in Words

Friday 11/1/85

After a late night last night (10:30) woke at 7:00 & began the rigmarole of deciding what to wear to the movies. Actually it was easy. Got to mime’s a little early, but got going (Polly, Beka, Fi, Mim & Me) at 8:45 When got in to town, got off near Coles & bought our “supplies”. Got a seat in the theatre (by the look of the que, didn’t think there’d be any room). Glenn came.. Ghostbusters was terrific!  No other word to describe it. After, walked around town then took bus to mim’s at 2:00 Swam all arvy. Wanted to sleep somewhere but weren’t allowed. Had to go to Yacht Club for tea.

Saturday 12/1/85

Quite a late night last night as well (10:30). Have decided to sleep at Fi’s tonight, in the garden, under a tarp… Hope we’re allowed tonight..!! Got to Fi’s at 9:00, she only just got out of bed! When mima came, we played cards till Lucy came at 10:00. Then walked (after lunch) to mima’s got her stuff, walked to my place (stayed for lunch) walked back to fi’s. Set up the tent. Looked like it would rain but did not. Rebekah came late. Fiona told me what Beka was upset about before ‘ghostbusters’ – she didn’t know I was coming – she “can’t stand Elissa.” Stupid bitch. Lucy was bitchy too.

Sunday 13/1/85

Last night got to sleep around 2:00. Had 3 smokes only for fun, ate & played cards. Have a sore throat. Have had it since I woke at 8:00 this morning. [Not the ‘fun’ smoking the night before, poten After clearing up, we all decided to go Freshy for a swim. Was cool & overcast. Lotsa guys None spunky (x-ept one) who, from a distance, looked like Sean (my spunk) on our way back (Lucy was picked up) these “toughies” wanted us to come back & swim. We didn’t – who would. Then, came to my place. Lazed about, Beka left, lazed about, went to shop, picked up mim & fi’s gear. Late nite AGAIN!