Pedi-Cabs, Parties & Regurgitated Vodka Orange (14-20 December)

Monday 14/12/87

Woke rather early- wished I could’ve gotten more sleep (but what’s new?) Hanging out for the postman .. but he’s getting later & later now cause of xmas mail ‘rush’. Plus our. phone wasn’t working (all day, it turned out.→ lines were cut) so I couldn’t ring Fiona, so I bludged all day till she came to visit .. to talk about dinner. She left & I kept reading magazines ..then she came back again & jules & I went with her to get videos (etc) then home again. Watched TV till Chris & Cameron visited. I went for a drive; so did they! And Sharon was there when we returned. She told me all about herself (as usual) [um Liss, I don’t think you can point fingers…] Then I had to hurry to get ready. Jay & Anna & Jenny picked me up. At the LIN NAM restaurant, we waited ages … but when everyone who was coming, was there (Fi, Brent Jay, me, Sue, Anna, Jenny & mima) we ate yummy chinese foodA Life in Words – then ice cream balls (fried) for dessert. [Gawd I love those things! Mum actually made them a few times at home. Mmmm, nom-nom-nom!] At Fi’s again . . watched FROG DREAMING and then THIEF OF HEARTS. I was dead after that.

Tuesday 15/12/87

Had a rather (short) restless sleep. Mima had to leave earlier .. Fi dropped me home before going grocery shopping.. then picked me up after. (no letter from him again) we went to mima’s & watched TV mostly all day… taping music for their trip. Went to Smithfield at one stage & had a ½hr wait (browsing in shops) for them to fix the heels on Mrs B’s shoes. TV (& a pig-out) again, then talk (about old times) and finally to indoor soccer. Freak rainstorm during it – came & went instantly! Got home before 7:00 – watched TV all night – Now’s about 9:45. Need good sleep tonite_hopefully going out tomorrow night (haven’t been out for yonks!) – (over a week!) [My my, a whole week? That’s shocking. You’re hard pressed to get me to leave the house these days. In fact, I hate getting to bed later than 10pm] thinking about Mark today & my feelings were different – I didn’t feel so sick or angry I had a strange feeling of nonchalance – like no matter he was there: he loves me. Wierd!! [Yes, weird: badly worded. I think basic gist is that I was finally ‘leting go’ of an issue that had been plaguing me…] I can’t wait to have that talk with him – it’s imperative!! NITE!!

Wednesday 16/12/87

A Life in Words
Pedi-cabs were everywhere in Cairns in the late 80’s but oddly enough, despite the tropical heat, you’d rarely see them with the hoods up, like this.

Woke rather early again .. remember waiting for Fiona (& the bloody mailman!) did art – the crash scrapbook (only a little) she came, and went, Adam rode down here, she came again with Nyrie & we all went [to see our friend and her family off on their European holiday]. There were so many people .. and it was so emotional! (You’d think they were leaving for life) then we went into town. Saw Tania & she gave us a pedi-cab ride to Dad’s [Ah, ye olde pedi-cabs. They were THE thing at that time.] (where I got a loan of $10 & a big nag lecture about my career.) [Yep. Dad was certainly the disciplinarian. No one could ever accuse him of failing to instill in us work ethic and the value of a dollar…] Fiona got lots of her shopping done (me, included) and we got home around 4:30-5:00. Fi rang & said she wasn’t going out; ditto Jo. So I couldn’t get onto Jude so – Sharon ..she came late & in town we had trouble: NPBS [Northern Permanent Building Society – I’m fairly sure I had a bank account with them too…] ate her cashcard and at ANZ she had only $2. Went around esplanade. ..finally loaned $20. [To think you only needed $20 for a night out on the town… that is surely unheard of now?] Got in up there [the House on the Hill] no sweat. But there was barely anyone there. Juliet Jude, Anna, Danae Juliet & Sharon made up. [Made up? Erm, obviously there’d been some issue/s between these girls previously… that I can’t recall…] Nigel was back – he won Bruce SpringsteenA Life in Words

Thursday 17/12/87

→album & gave it to me [damn, I’d always believed I’d won it myself …in one of those poncy dancing comps the club DJs sometimes randomly held] – so there’s something for Julia (Xmas prezzy) [ah yes, ever the pragmatist: with very limited funds for christmas shopping, I had to be resourceful. Mind you, if I’d really wanted the album I wouldn’t’ve re-gifted it, I’m sure…] I was smoking too got rather drunk – people buying drinks for me. Later I drank so much I had one whole cigarette & was spinning badly then I vomitted (inside – yes! EMBARRASSING But I think no one saw me x-ept who I was with – Anna & a guy she knew) [Oh yes, I remember this quite clearly – considering how intoxicated I obviously was. I’d been drinking vodka & orange, and was standing a a ‘dry bar’ (a table you stand at) with Anna & her friend when the urge came over me and I basically ‘re-filled’ the glass from which I’d been drinking. Needless to say, we all promptly vacated the table (the other two obviously faster than I) and full glass, and later contemplated the likelihood of some grubby cheapskate happening upon said receptacle, only to receive a nasty surprise…] FUCK! Then I took it easy [too little too late?] – sobered up. . danced with new St M. [St Monica’s] Friends & ‘David‘ & Richard (O’S) left around 4:30- Anna paid taxi- Jay didn’t come back to pick us up. Anna was so mad. Anyway bombed it & woke around 9:45 Got up_feeling DEAD & rang Jo. But I rang her back to say I felt too sick to go. I honestly felt real bad. A Life in Words[Finally a hangover worth mentioning…] Slept all day, nearly .. till 1:45 & watched TV for the rest. Boring!! I really badly want to go op-shopping (Xmas shopping – get it out o’ the way). I feel so mixed up about Mark too. I want him to love me real lots – with a strong passion [it is what it is, Elissa] .. but I can’t help feeling he likes (I can’t say it Loves) Nicole. It makes me sick to think he could & probably does. [Ego’s reaction] Oh what’m I to do?? [Well, nothing right now, obviously; the guy is thousands of kilometres away from you. What you need to do is quieten the incessant, mostly ridiculous, stories your Mind is pushing at you so that you can allow your gut instinct to surface…]

Friday 18/12/87

I spent the day at home (mostly). see I’d wanted to go op-shopping or Xmas shopping in town, but also go to the beach, however Fiona said she was working when I rang her. So I spent the day (well, for starters, I’d ‘slept’ a lot of it ‘in’) doing scrapbook, but mostly watching TV. Sharon rang & about 3:30 mum dropped me in town (talked to Giles) she bought stuff & we walked round saw Gordon for a while, then we met mum & julia. Missed the pedi-cab ‘grand prix [I have no idea what this was for, or in conjunction with, nor why my Dad was involved…] (saw the end tho’. Yeah dad won ..big thing about it .. no time to talk to us & By the way, he wouldn’t let me have the weekend for 2 at the Hilton. [Why should he give his prize to you Liss?] A Life in WordsI bought, only his prezzy – $6.25 3 glass storage jars. home by 9:30 ..Sharon & I got a taxi around 10:30-11:00. There were more people than Wed, (more young ‘uns) but not enough to open upstairs, Mark R. was there & I tried to keep looking at him. [Why?] We did basically nothing but talking mucking round with Dean, till Jeffry M & ‘Heiffer’ asked us to dance

Saturday 19/12/87

→(I don’t remember his real name) Jeffry was dancing with Sharon. “OK…” I thought, but when we sat down, they Sharon & Heiffer seemed to disappear & we talked & eventually got together. He left 2:30, kept saying about the party ..if I wasn’t going to ring him; If I was I could ring him anyway [privacy omission – I had inserted his phone number here and was stoked I actually memorised it→] I remembered WOW! Of all people – I got Jeffry M!!! (& [privacy omission] didn’t even!) So we danced & Megan C said she’d take us home ..she left at 5:00. Great.. I’m too old to stay out that early late anymore! [Oh that, that is hilarious…] So I got sleep (mum was awake!!) till Jo rang 9:20 & I had to answer it. Wasted morning: Fi came over & we went to Smithfield, then beaches, but too windy, so after a slip’n’slide in Sharon’s backyard, we sunbaked there. A Life in WordsGot home around 4:00 -slept till 6:00 or so. Sharon & I got there around 8:30. Jeoffry [I clearly struggle with deciding how to spell some peoples’ names…] was there .. so were millions of other people: it was a massive party! Jimmy was there God he’s gorgeous. Apparently he broke up with his girlfriend .. sharon told me he wanted to talk to me! (Well, the party: was good. Not a RAGE! just good. Mark R was there Jeffry talked to me … and later, in the house tried to .. well, he did want a relationship ..[privacy omission] said so→

Sunday 20/12/87

→so then I decided to say it : and I felt so bad .. I still do, but it’s the truth. I don’t want to screw anyone up. [That’s me: too nice, too honest …too gullible?] SO he won’t talk to me ever again, probly hate me (& his friends will too) But I don’t care: Jim!!) [WTF?!] so. There were lots of fights, the party ended round 2:00 I think .. I found out staying over wasn’t a simple matter of anywhere you want, so I walked with [privacy omission] & CB to Hoare St, we caught a cab to [privacy omission]‘s ..ate what we could find, and fell asleep in front of RAGE (TV) woke early .. CB & I talked .. went & got clothes from Lisa’s place up the road .. then Tasha S came down & [privacy omission], Tash & I went to the shop for brekky stuffs. Mum picked me up round 11:00 & I slept till about 2:00 at home. Mulleys place I bitched about Nicole, to Moo- we watched RUTHLESS PEOPLE on video, then went to LeB’s (gorgeous) new house. At home -rang Fi .. I would’ve walked with her [to (yet another) party] but she was going to be too late so I went by 8:10. A Life in WordsDrank Fosters all nite. [Ew, really?! The Aussie beer with the highest international profile that isn’t actually consumed (and is actually detested) by a vast majority of Australians… Well, it was popular back in the 80s’…] I got so drunk. I mean it was BAD – the whole night I regret completely. See, I got very drunk .. finding it hard to walk, even (usually I have no trouble with mobility when I’m drunk – look sober) [well, so you think…] so I was→ [uh-oh…. in true soap opera style, you’re going to have to wait til next week to find out how this exciting tale unfolds…]

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

Monday 30/11/87

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

Tuesday 1/12/87

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

Wednesday 2/12/87

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

Thursday 3/12/87

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

Friday 4/12/87

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

Saturday 5/12/87

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

Sunday 6/12/87

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

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

Monday 6/7/87A Life in Words

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

Tuesday 7/7/87

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

Wednesday 8/7/87

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

Thursday 9/7/87

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

Friday 10/7/87

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

Saturday 11/7/87

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

Sunday 12/7/87

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

Noisy Neighbours & an Eyeful of Toothpaste (3-9 February)

Monday 3/2/86

Art is hard. I’m not sure if I like it too much. We have to do a journal (just 2 people per week – this we[ek] me & Angela M) Ask people how they feel about being back at school etc taking Quotes. SHIT. [I’m shy – in case you have missed that along the way – so this kind of assignment would bother me not so much for the work involved, but simply for the fact that I’d have to talk to people…. people I didn’t know because I was brand new to the school.] Wrote 8 page detailed letter to Jodie & Mike about the cyclone. Got letter from Jodie & Fran today. A Life in WordsGonna write to Fran again, soon. Hot today. Bit sunny. Had some rain but Turning point was the ELECTRICITY CAME ON AT 8:26pm!! 2 days  5 hours without power. Gee! Riding tomorrow I think. Farting a lot. No smell. […in case you were wondering…] Is 9:57 (late.)

Tuesday 4/2/86

Riding – hot & sweaty but good!! Got to school at 8:10, but finally went to our area at 8:40 cos’ we’d spent the time on the oval waiting to cool down. Was bad!! Riding home, I “dropped” (lost) my 2 art pictures, they went under cars, bikes, but I got them back in a pretty good condition believe it or not!! Also got my Bio texts today which made my bag 50kgs heavier!! (OOH! Mozzies are bad) Had no English today – Great! Had no chemistry – BOO HOO! Got an ulcer on my tongue. Still have no idea what to do about this frigging journal for art. Stuffed shit. I talked to Neville today in art. Was funny (wierd) – for me at least. Is 10:03 – very late tonight!

Wednesday 5/2/86

HOT today. That’s why we need rain – its never that hot. I sat in the back seat today with Polly & Ruth/Judy ( / means they swapped ½ way) And Fiona (f) told me that Mark likes me & Neville doesn’t. (Don’t blame him) This art course is getting me more frustrated by the second – so much work – barely anything to do with ART. Hmph! Am boiling. A Life in WordsParty next door – Fullers. Kids are playing spotlight or something – yelling soooo loud. SHIT is hot. Might have another shower before I hit the sack. Is 9:39. I need an early night, some time (soon) SHUT UP next door!! Night!

Thursday 6/2/86

It’s 9:27. I can never get an early night. It’ll probly take me an hour to get to sleep & I’m a bit sticky although it’s raining now + I Hope it doesn’t stop. this morning mima & fiona caught me by surprise – they appeared on their bikes. Luckily I was ready early. Today I found out 2 other guys who like me – both dark – one, the one who likes me the most, is ugly & yukky & I hate him. [Harsh!] Goes on our bus & is in my maths class. The other one’s okay looking but is a toughie – a jerk – a reject. Max temperature today was 36.6º STINKING HOT especially riding home & when I got home (believe it or not) Neville (was at Mark’s) Yelled hello & waved. I, naturally, a nice person, waved back & “Hi!”

Friday 7/2/86

I had a feeling today would be a bad day … it wasn’t. But it wasn’t fantastic either. I did no HW at all today. SHIT its hot. Wasn’t as bad today as it was yesterday. Our chemistry class is gonna be split on Monday. Betcha anything I’ll be separated from the main. Betcha. Christ it’s hot. Got my english contract for Sem. 1 – today & found out that stupid [art] journal is due today & not Mon. but she’s letting me hand it in then. I was the only one who got my 6 logos right today – Betcha people think I’m a pet or something. Is 11:06. Another late night  I wish there was no school. Bores me shitless. I think all the hunks at CHS dislike me & all the dags do like me. I feel really lousy.

Saturday 8/2/86A Life in Words

You’ll never believe what I just did to myself. I was brushing my teeth, when on reflex, the brush flew out of my mouth and my reflexes shoved it into my eye!! I cacked myself (so did mum – not Geoff) [to ‘cack’ oneself is to laugh so hard one might soil one’s self] It looked so funny!! Although the toothpaste got in & began to sting a bit. FUNNEEE!!!! Am hot. Today I did no HW either. We went to help (to clean) Nana’s flat, from 10:00 to about 1:30. [I assume this is when she moved into the nursing home. She wasn’t ‘infirm’ – she just needed to be somewhere where she could receive assistance if she had any difficulties. The rheumatoid arthritis was beginning to erode her independence so she was placed into a ‘serviced apartment’ in the complex. She was still autonomous.] Was boring. At home I did nothing. I should have done my HW: I’m such a procrastinator. It’s only 8:34 now – I’m having an early night. D’you know, Fi, mim & I (& some others) put our names down for the school social committee yesterday?? I wonder if we’ll be organising a Valentine’s Dance??

Sunday 9/2/86

Today I woke at 8:37. I couldn’t believe I slept for 11hrs last night!! It’s great – there are no bags under my eyes!! (But I’ve just watched the movie – it’s 10:26 – so I’ll probly get them back) I did my HW after all, at around 10:30. Mim rang me then & asked if I’d like to ride to Trubok Pools so we could practise for the swimming carnival. It was perfect except that I had to see Dad off today. [I have no idea where he was going…and why it was necessary to “see him off”. One would expect it to be a lengthy or distant journey for this kind of ‘fanfare’.] So I refused. Dad came at 2:00. At the airport we sat in the bar with some Hash people. Said goodbye. Stayed with Hashers at bar, till Roger took us home at 4:00. I ate sooo much. Watched TV & finally finished my art journal – is really crappy!

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.

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

Rain, Mail, Cricket & a Bubble Bath (13-19 January)

Monday 13/1/86

I watched TV & read. Went to Nana’s (I mean, we visited her in hospital.) That was a little boring. [Now I can appreciate how difficult it must have been for my poor nephew and niece when we spent many hours of the day in hospital during the final weeks of my mum’s – their Nana’s – life. Mind you, my Nana wasn’t quite on her deathbed.]  Am still writing letter to Lucy. Is now about 18 pages long. It rained continuously today. Mostly, it spat, but there were often heavy downpours. I love the rain. It has stopped now. I am putting on weight. It is quite noticeable, too. I must get out and about. Will ring dad tomorrow & see if there’s any work yet. Also have to get uniforms & books yet. I’ll need a hell of a lot of money. [Hmph! I don’t recall having to buy my own textbooks and school uniforms. This is news to me.] Geez, it’s 10:15 already. Time flies. There was something else I was gonna say, but I forgetten. Damn. OH! I got 9hrs sleep last night! I feel great! no more black bags under me eyes

Tuesday 14/1/86

I read again today, but only a bit of time was spent on Lucy’s letter. I received one from her & she included a ℅ address so I finished up & mum sent it. It costed 60c cos’ it was so big. (It didn’t fit in a normal envelope.) [And of course 60 cents is what we now pay to send standard mail. Actually, in context, that’s not a huge price rise in 28 years. It was 33c back then. Considering fuel and house prices in Australia have respectively tripled and more than quadrupled in the same period of time…] Amanda’s staying here tonight. She & Julia & some others saw Goonies today. A Life in WordsAustralia also beat New Zealand in day/night cricket. Is 9:37. Wanna sleep straight away. Justine phoned me 2night & we’re going to town tomorrow. Still no work from dad. Need to buy uniforms etc. Am terrified about Cairns High. Absolutely frightened [and in red ink, evidently added at a later date] petrified [I had never changed schools in my life, apart from the obligatory move from primary to high school, so I was extremely nervous about the whole thing. Remember I’m quite the introvert and not bursting with self confidence. But I can now say it turned out to be one of the best moves in my life.]

Wednesday 15/1/86

Saw Sean♥ in town. Justine thinks I like him – I’m trying to convince her it’s just curiosity. It’ll be hard. I’ll get to see him all next year – but there’ll be other spunks. Also saw Anna & believe it or not, Donna C. She recognised me too! Shane & Clayton were also in town. We just walked around. Justine looked for black pants. We went to her dad’s work for lunch. Then later caught the bus home to her place. Watched “Monkees” on video & swam. Cooked tea again tonight. Wonder if sean recognised, let alone saw me today. Hope so! It’s 10:20.A Life in Words

Thursday 16/1/86

I went up to Fi’s at about 10:00 today. She read Lucy’s letter & the one she had just received from Fran. I went home soon after, cos’ Julia didn’t want me to be away for long. [I’m assuming here that mum was obviously out at work, and Julia and I were finally considered capable of staying home unsupervised. Heck, I’d hope so by age 15½] Fi rang a little later in the day – around 3:00 she came down. We talked & watched the cricket. The Australians were flogged by the Indians. I wrote a  letter to Fran & another short one to Lucy, then I had paper ready to write a small one to Jodie & Michael, but Fi came. More rain today. The mosquitoes are consequently BAD. They’re biting me now. Had a great big rainstorm. Stood in the yard & watched it come!! Getting uniforms 2morrow. Is 9:45.

Friday 17/1/86

Did the vacuuming this morning & I was dripping with perspiration ALL OVER. Wet. My dress was sopping wet. [Ain’t nuthin’ like the humidity in the tropics!] After, went to see Nana & got my uniforms & some books. My chemistry book is gi-normous. And is heavy. Walked to Fi’s around 3:00. Took my stuff to show her. Mum’s started 1 of my skirts. [Mum made most of our school uniforms for as long as I can recall. Skirts mostly because they’re the easiest, but I do recall her making a few of my primary school dresses as well. “Such a clever mummy!” And I actually recall her saying that, laced with humour, to her very modest self, about herself, in her rare ‘proud’ moments.] Talked – did mainly nothing, so I left around 4:30. Had fresh mushrooms for tea. They’re growing in the park – they are edible & harmless & yummy too! they’re even nice raw!! Is HOT today. OH NO! Another late night! Is 10:45. My hair’s getting long. Posted letters to Fran & Lucy 2day.

Saturday 18/1/86

Today we played cards & our tapes. Fiona (from next door) F. gave me a fountain pen (very old, dirty & cracked but useable) + 5 cartridges (1 black + 4 red/pink.) I gave her $4 in return (mum’s money, actually) Very, very HOT today. New Zealand won day/night cricket against India. Good. That means India won’t overtake us. Hooray! We, in turn, must beat N.Z. tomorrow We will. 11:00 – I just watched the movie. Rains still (just a little) My hair’s growing fast – can’t do anything with it. SHIT HAIR. [Fine but thick (lots of it) my hair was too straight and soft to set in any style. It just wouldn’t stay where it was put. Very frustrating for a teenaged girl.] Mum made my shorts – cuties – tiny coloured dots + 1pr for her & 1pr for Jules. [Yep, mum on a roll at the sewing machine…]

A Life in Words
Toads we despise, tree frogs we love!

Sunday 19/1/86 

Today, I watched cricket (Australia beat NZ – and as a result, are far ahead of India & NZ!!! unreal) Lotsa rain today. In fact – non-stop. (mainly spitting) overcast all day – not too hot.. Couldn’t see “View to A Kill” cos of the rain – bit useless at a Drive In Mucked around abit. Had a bubble bath tonight. Lovely & relaxing. Lotsa toads & frogs cos of the rain. I’ve also run out of Beconase spray. OH NO!! Found a good way to wear my hair – parted further down the right side – easier to keep it apart from the main fringe.  [‘Height’ was a prominent characteristic of mid 80’s hairstyles so teasing came back into mode, along with truckloads of hairspray. Doubled by girls with slippery fine hair like mine. I built a habit of impromptu teasing by rubbing my palm in circles at the site of my part, which created an impressive birds nest-style knot, but also the much-needed, highly-desired ‘body’ I continually lost. It worked well to semi-ressurect my hairstyle temporarily, but I don’t think I ever considered how it had the potential to thin the hair growth on that side of my head. I’m certainly not bald in that spot, but there’s definitely less sprouting from the right side of my scalp than there is on the left. By the way, I still part from the right to this day.] Getting more & more nervous ’bout school. [The closer it gets…] Having early night. Is 8:50.

A Life in Words
Here’s the visual of my new hairstyle idea