Camp Preparations Begin… ACE! (29 January)

Thursday 29/1//87

Well, we talked again today. T’was O.K. He found his letter in my bag (plastic bag – I’d better use my port tomorrow; feel silly cos’ everyone else is. A Life in Words[Yeah, and um, didn’t you just buy a new one? Can’t think why I would be taking just a plastic bag to school] Think I have worms) [Ok! If that isn’t the most random thing to say? And maybe too much information? Just, maybe?] and told him it was only for Jemima’s eyes. See, he rang me.. (yesterday he came over; in Jason P’s car with him & Cameron just stopped for a minute or two, in the gutter) and we talked a fair bit. [Privacy omission] The main thing was I talked about people. Asking him all the girls- he told me who he hated etc. Up to [privacy omission] he was secretive. I asked but he said “we had a few words before you arrived at the party” – (Angie J’s) I asked the “outcome” – “good and bad.” I rang fi straight after. She made me feel a bit better. [She was a great listener, and her objectivity almost always helped me through my issues & insecurities. Until the next time…] I spent the rest of the night cutting up pictures (magazines) in my room. It’s now about 8:45 & I haven’t had a shower yet. STINKING HOT.

[And the story per my scrapbook:]

A Life in WordsErica is in my biology class as well. FANTASTIC. This will be an ACE year. . .an ACE camp to start it. Began preparations for camp. Our group (of course) is Jemima, Fiona, Monique, Erica & myself. Would never have guessed, right?!!

[We created an acronym from the first initials of our names, which we used to ‘label’ everything: J.E.F.E.M. J-emima, E-rica, F-iona, E-lissa, M-onique. The picture below actually comes from Saturday’s page in the scrapbook.]

A Life in Words

 

First Day of the Last Year (28 January)

Wednesday 28/1/87

A Life in WordsSCHOOL! Just watched a blooper show while writing back to Mark said a lot of (soppy) stuff. Today was GREAT!! I loved it! It’s 10:35. Poor Jules was crying this morning, [first day at a new school… stressful for most people…] but she was fine later on. Bus was quite full. All classes are basically the same – timetable has changed a fair bit. In art, we are in the textiles room-it’s “ours” [meaning us CAD art kids] um, in english Erica’s with me [I knew her from primary school, as did Jemima & Fiona. She was just starting at Cairns High, moving over from Smithfield where Fiona & I spent our first 3 years. I wouldn’t have mentioned her too much in the past because she associated with a different crowd there. Being a newcomer, but also a Freshie kid, we took her into our fold immediately] (& Jemila’s at CH in eng. too. (ung!!)) [the girlfriend of the guy I snogged New Year’s Eve… uncomfortable much?] – our class is so big now. Didn’t have bio -but it’ll be the same – possibly bigger – Erica also (possibly) in it! MaI [that’s an abbreviation for ‘Maths 1’] – Mark’s class – for computers! [Oh so we did have them back then …so I’m not a real dinosaur?] mim, moni & Justine are in the other class. In chem..we’re one big class now-but not quite too big. Talked to Mark a fair bit too. Showed him my dad’s watch (to me) Yukky! [A poor way of saying I showed him a watch my dad must’ve given me, that I clearly wasn’t fussed on.] Went to see Nana – walked to hospital from school. Was so hot today Hate the yr 12 area – too hot & crowded [As I have previously mentioned, there were traditional ‘territories’ students occupied, relative to their year level. To be honest, I have no idea where the juniors tended to congregate but in Year 12 we were obliged to move to the much less spacious, weather-exposed (opposite) side of the same building we had previously ‘owned’ in Year 11. The only ‘prestige’ I can attribute to it is that is was street-side… great for the exhibitionist licence-holders…] Oh well. Can’t wait for camp. Can’t wait God it’s hot. Hope I don’t get periods for the camp- will be just my luck.

And on the opening page of my scrapbook (created after the ‘event’ so therefore may sometimes sound ‘reflective’)… 

A Life in WordsFANTASTIC START to (what I thought would be) the best year of my life (so far) anyhow. Discovered few changes in timetable: my classes: Erica in my english class & in computer maths also …with Fiona, Steven, Mark, Brent, Cameron.

Walked up to the (Calvery) Hospital [Cairns’ only private hospital.. which is now actually named ‘Cairns Private Hospital’] to visit my grandmother after school.

JASON, [no idea why I wrote his name in ‘caps’] Mark & cameron visit me in Jas’s Hoony car, after school.

 

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

Monday 27/1/86

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

Tuesday 28/1/86

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

Wednesday 29/1/86

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

Thursday 30/1/86

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

Friday 31/1/86

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

Saturday 1/2/86

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

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

Sunday 2/2/86

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

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

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