A Gas Explosion, ASAT Rehearsals & Something is Up (17-23 August)

Monday 17/8/87

Had a really good sleep last night – long! I woke around 9:30 today. (and spent nearly all day in bed anyway). [Still ‘off sick’ from school?] Still didn’t do any of my english assignment ..nor any study for my biology exam. But I’m taking tomorrow off, too: Nana’s funeral is at 10:00 – then at home I’ll have to get myself into gear & really work. [Uh-huh…] I did feel much better today – the chest region is much less blocked & I’m coughing a lot less. I only feel “off-colour” now & then, esp. when I eat, although I do have some sort of appetite back (I’ve lost 2kgs since I got sick!) [Yep, reducing caloric inatke will usually do that…] still can’t believe Mark was “worried” about me. He said that Sunday (after the Smithfield formal party) he couldn’t play baseball, because he was sick with grief at the thought that I’d leave him when I heard about him & Angela. I’m extremely flattered (for once!) [Oh my god.] In a way, it worries me, though. I don’t know if he’s over it yet. [You’re misreading your gut instinct…] BIG gas explosion in town today near Mike’s work – we heard it here!! A Life in Words[Freshwater (where we lived) is approximately 10 kilometres from the explosion site and there’s a mountain range separating them so that’s pretty impressive. (…but what do I know about explosions?) It was the result of an LPG storage unit catching fire and killed one person, injuring twenty-seven. Here’s a link to a public government record of the incident. There’s not a great deal of detail, but the comments provide some perspectives.]

Tuesday 18/8/87

Am feeling much better today. Eating is a bit easier – don’t feel as ill when I eat (ate a lot today!) I still cough – but only ’cause’ of the chest phlem. [Yep, I spelled it wrong] Still, I get very tired. I had to rest a number of times today & actually had a sleep. Nana’s funeral was at 10:00. It was quite short & I didn’t cry. I can’t. Because I’m happier that she’s gone – she’s not in pain ..she’s with grandpa at last, too. [I’d never known my maternal grandfather – he’d passed away during my mother’s childhood.] It’s a little sad thinking about how she was, knowing I won’t see her again, but I’m just glad she’s resting in peace. I just wish she didn’t go out the way she did..that’s the sad part. [I’m not exactly sure what I meant there – whether it was referring to the ‘humiliation’ of being a morphine ‘vegetable’ or the rheumatoid arthritic disease experience as a whole. Either way, the attitude I’d developed towards death is obvious: not afraid of Death itself, but the way in which we meet it. A Life in WordsPrior to the bus accident, I’d always believed the only way to ‘go’ was to pass peacefully in your sleep (being unconscious of it). After the accident, experiencing firsthand the power of Shock; the body’s incredible hormonal response to immense trauma, to ‘thwart’ the conscious Mind, I’ve come to realise that the death experience can be – if not ‘peaceful’ – at least ‘tolerable’ in wider range of scenarios. Nana effectively died peacefully because the morphine interfered (greatly) with her consciousness.] Mark didn’t ring again tonight. I’m sure now something’s still up. I have a strong feeling he’s letting me go (cos he thinks I don’t love him.) He is all I think about! [That ‘strong feeling’? Listen to it.] All the aunts (Joy, Nancy & Ruth) + Cynthia & Dougie stayed all day. Hilary is going home tomorrow: stopping in Brisbane to scatter Nana’s ashes (hopefully with grandpa’s) Is 9:43. Take tomorrow off [school – that’s been quite awhile, now…] to study biol & do my eng. assign. (I’m still too tired in the day to go back) [oh I see…]

Wednesday 19/8/87

What a waste! I’ve written 2 sentences on my assignment & done no biol. study, watsoever! [Surprise, surprise!] A Life in WordsI read Julius Caesar today, but that was about all I did. I’m going to die tomorrow- I’ll be so behind- this weekend I’ll really have to knuckle down & work (HA, HA) [Even I don’t believe myself!] Mr. G will kill me. Oh dear; that’s all I can think about. Auntie Hilary left today (I ate so much today) was rather hot, too. Auntie Joy’s going tomorrow. It looks like we’re off to Brisbane for xmas!! (Great! Hope I can go while mark’s out of town) Wish Fi could come, or something. She’s having trouble with Jemima (it’s got to do a bit with me & everyone really) she’s just sick of all the Grade 12’s. – sitting with Yr 11 girls. Fi came round this arvy to talk – she got her lisense today! Still no call from Mark. Am hesitant about seeing him tomorrow. Will everything be O.K.?? Will have to get up early, I suppose, to do my english. Great. SO DAMNED BEHIND!

Thursday 20/8/87

Got over my assignment hassle O.K (didn’t get it finished – just talked my way out) But was supposed to have it done for tomorrow’s double lesson- & of course just like me, I didn’t bother to do any (any HW for that matter) of it. Will have to wake early tomorrow again to finish it Have only just under one page to write. Barely saw mima or fi for that matter but I know they weren’t together. Had ASAT [Australian Scholastic Aptitude Test] practise tests today. [These national exams are meant to determine each Australian students’ achievement at the completion of secondary schooling. Their applicability is becoming a societal discussion of late.] I only got 15 questions answered, but of those, I got 11 right! (Hope I can do as well, or better in the real ones) [Duh…] Read my ’83 & 84 diaries this arvy – so funny some of the things. [….try reading them in 28 years later!] 10:35 – yet another late nite. I told Jo about Adam M’s friend that likes me & she said “Philip N” I said “WHAT?” she said “He works with Philip..” my god that would be totally incredible. [Obviously I misheard Jo and got excited… a little crush, ya think?] Barely saw Mark at all – talked even less. I’m sure something’s still wrong. A Life in WordsGot Cabaret [Cairns High’s musical for the year] tickets- will pay Nigel tomorrow. Had to do thing about Monique for the Euroka this arvy- (Got photos of my leg too) Nigel read my eng. assign. on her & cried (I got 19/20 for it) [I don’t remember that… jeez, I wish I still had it… as well as all those photos of my leg…] am worried about Mark.

Friday 21/8/87

It’s 11:00. Can’t wait for tomorrow night! Got my english done (not before school as I’d planned, but during my english lesson. OK. finish, not great tho’.) Barely talked to Mark again… I’m positive something’s up: the same something as we talked about? I don’t know, but it gives me the shits. Tried to ring tonight (for once) but he was at Keith’s – too bad! I watched the movie & am now “dead”!! Tomorrow night’ll be ace! Cameron & I fighting in chem – he kicked me in the same place (left shin) 2 times- now I have a very sore lump (egg) [My shins have always been super-sensitive. I bruise really easily everywhere and often don’t know how I get a lot of them, but my shin bones… there’s NO way I’d be clueless about any damage sustained to them…] went into town with Jo & Fi after school …stayed in there for ages- Mr C dropped me home. Looking at all the great clothes (& shoes) in there (drool, drool) P.C.supp. (car) [← but I have absolutely NO idea what this cryptic wording means. I’m wondering if it’s related to the other Phil I had an interest in; Phil C.? Maybe I glimpsed him in a car? Pfft, who knows?] Bludge day, really. Pretty cool weather (about 27ºC) fine (sunny) I eat too much (fattening stuff) Must do lotsa HW tomorrow. Think I know who/that “guy” is. yukky Year 11 CAD guy. (I think that might be him cause I’ve noticed he’s nearly always around) YUKKY Mark, please get over this “phase”… it’s awkward for me. [LOL.] TIRED!

Saturday 22/8/87

A Life in WordsThe day at home was boring .. I listened to records/tapes while doing my art (weaving) – no HW (set HW) done Beautiful weather. . a little cloudy. Fi visited me late this arvy (Mark rang and it wasn’t a good phone call seemed so bored.. I felt really down after it) to borrow my black shirt. My hair was tied in rags [to create the messy wavy-crinkly look that was so hot back then!] (looked funny) Ran late of course: dinner at 7:15 – they came when I was just taking the rags out. CABARET was cool! Mark didn’t seem impressed. In fact he didn’t seem anything. I really don’t know what to do. Anyway I felt sick during last part (after interval) right up until 1:00 or so.. I lay in Fi’s car, then in Peter’s room. [There must have been an after-party…] I’m sure I was just sick from worry about Mark. [That’d be no surprise…] Jason got him to come in & we talked a little.. he thinks nothing’s happening.. so he left the room & I came out soon after .. just as well I did when I did because we left for the St. Monica’s party (Deena B) soon after (& Fiona was gone somewhere…

Sunday 23/8/87

→ I saw her ages later at the party. It was just as boring really. .had to pay for drinks etc (I couldn’t be bothered) I hung around Mark a lot in an attempt to change what has been happening all last week & the week before : that is: nothing. But I still got the feeling he didn’t want me near him. [What a waste of energy] I was especially upset when I showed him some affection & he totally ignored it. I left with Fi, very confused & slightly angry. – very hurt. Got home around 5:30, after hearing about Jo’s, Fi’s, Brendan L’s & Jason’s “problem” [??] wasted the whole day – weeping & thinking about mark. He rung in mid-afternoon. We had a very long D&M (deep & meaningful) was it meaningful? Um, yeah I guess. [….and? what? Clearly no resolution…] Tania visited just a few minutes ago (holidays from uni …didn’t know what to say) […well your sociability would have been compromised by your emotional state…] mark’s going through a “nonchalant” phase: not caring about anything. A Life in WordsI’ll just have to sit it out .. be patient as always. & hope it’ll pass soon. We talked a lot about breaking up & that worries me. [It must have been my tenacity, my resolve to not be ‘the ‘bad guy’ – the one to call it quits. I mean, it’s as obvious as a punch in the face that he wanted out, surely? I was clearly gullible, but not stupid.] NITE.

OJ Spews, ‘Approximate Exactitude’ & Relief for Nana (10-16 August)

Monday 10/8/87

Felt a bit down again this morning. I can’t get over the time he spent with her. All night they talked – all night I believe nothing happened. I really do, but it still hurts to think he spent 5 odd hours talking to her.. alone, without getting bored. He would never do that with me. Can you understand? [Oh I understand something completely different…] It makes me feel really down- [like] I bore him or something. Anyway I perked up around lunchtime (incidentally I don’t like Angela’s hair black, at all) See, it is jealousy – I’m jealous that she can keep him interested, that he would talk with her alone all night without getting bored. […and my opinion about her new hair colour would most likely have been a little tainted by this jealousy…] God it hurts so much. It’s pointless me trying to let him know. I’ve tried in the past to talk & explain – its useless – he doesn’t hear me. [Soooo… maybe don’t try ..and save some of your precious energy?] What am I doing here, then? [Exactly.] Did some HW tonight. I resent any talk about that night. [Privacy omission] said “as a joke” something to Nicole about Mark wanting to fuck her. THAT IS REALLY SICK. A Life in Words[What I’m unable to illustrate – due to the limitations of computer text options – is how heavily I had underlined the word ‘really’ (see pic). Not once, but four times. I evidently felt strongly about this…] another late night.

Tuesday 11/8/87

Strangely, we’ve been getting on pretty well over the past few days. Wonder why? [Now the positives induce suspicion.. this isn’t ‘healthy’.] It’s wierd. [and I continue to spell ‘weird’ incorrectly…] A Life in WordsAnyway I woke this morning with a sore throat, from all my coughing & I felt a little sick in a wierd way. I was also v. tired. I went to school anyway, thinking it was over-fatigue, but at school it got worse (on & off) By the end of lunchtime I had the biggest headache so Jason drove me home. I bombed out and slept till about 3:19 [LOL. “about” 3:19? What, was it 3:18 and 54 seconds… or a few milliseconds after 3:19? Approximate exactitude is oxymoronic!] (heard the answering machine), then till about 3:45 when mum & Jules arrived home. I slept the rest of the afternoon (after some chips) my throat is dry & a bit sore from all the coughing & my headache is horrible. I had some fish for tea: not much + pineapple (sickly) Dozed in front of T.V. till mum “dragged” me to bed about 8:00-8:30. [One of the sweeter, long-lost memories of my mum’s expression of love for me: I can hear her in my groggy stupor murmuring my name, gently shaking, then trying to lift me up from whatever position I’d languished in. And when I acquiesced, she’d’ve escorted my aimless body all the way to my bed.] Hope I get better for Friday – baseball & Sat nite-Nigel’s party. Was going to ring Mark, but headache was too bad & I was too weak to bother

Wednesday 12/8/87

Really restless sleep last night – about 11:30 I woke…and vomited (chips, fish & orange juice) [oh, the burn! OJ is possibly the worst thing to regurgitate I think…] A Life in Wordsstayed home today (for sure!) Mark didn’t ring & I couldn’t be bothered to ring him. Fiona, Jason & Anna dropped round after school sometime, for a short while. My headache disappeared this morning – today I had fever (temp.) cough and sinus blockage and was very tired and weak. Is about 9:00 or so now. Auntie Ruth [my mum’s aunt – one of my grandmother’s (many) sisters] arrived around 7:45 tonight. Read my novel all day. Ate 3 mandarins & an orange .. lots of vitamin C. Am taking tomorrow off as well, to make sure I’m better for the weekend. [Because my social life was always first priority…] Did no work & I have an english assignment due on Friday + a biol test on Tuesday. Heavens above! (←ha!) [I’m probably laughing at myself using such ‘dated’ – and semi-religious – terminology here.]

Thursday 13/8/87

A Life in Words
The earliest photo (in my possession) of Nana & me, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There’s no date on it but judging by the size of me, it would have to be 1971-72

Slept very restlessly last night; woke nearly every hour, I think. I heard the phone ring around 6:00 this morning. Nana died. [Clearly my great-aunt Ruth arrived just in time for her sister’s passing, but I’m not sure whether she actually got to visit her.] I didn’t cry when mum told me & I don’t think I really will cry over the fact that she’s dead → I’m so glad she’s out of her misery – she was in a lot of it. [And that was it. I think, having personally met with Death in such an intense and unique way just six months earlier myself, I was somewhat prepared emotionally – and spiritually – for this moment, which is evident in my reasoning. I still believe – in fact more now than ever – that ‘wherever’ we ‘go’ when we pass is ‘better’. At this point in time, I was comforted by the ‘knowledge’ that leaving her gnarled body, Nana was now free of the insufferable rheumatoid arthritic pain. And to be brutally honest, since I wasn’t terribly close to her (we ‘clashed’ a lot in my early teens) I wasn’t going to miss her presence on a daily basis as I did Monique’s…] I spent the day reading again.. no fever – am just very tired & have the cough & nasal congestion still, but I feel (and Auntie Ruth agrees) that after tonight’s sleep I’ll be fine. I hope so. I rang Mark tonight .. cos it didn’t look like he was going to ring me. He was at Earlville with Terry ..so rang back. The phone did not stop ringing tonite – Keith & Jemima also rang me. My eyes are stinging – I need sleep to get better. I had 4 (or 5??) mandarins today! (+ dinner – veges) so I should have the vitamins required to boost my energy level tomorrow. [See? Even back then I was acquiring and demonstrating basic nutrition knowledge, hinting at my innate passion for the subject!] Haven’t done english assignment. Too bad. I’ll come late to school: miss double english. Is 9:45 …To sleep!!!

Friday 14/8/87

I’m feeling quite a bit better now. See, this morning I woke – feeling absolutely normal .. until I got up. The cough was persistent and even got worse early tonight, and my tiredness, fatigue & weak feelings plagued me (Making my joints feel heavy, and ache) I went to school anyway – it was a total waste. At little lunch (I went to school during 3rd period) I had to go up to Mark. He said one or two things & that was it. Didn’t even turn to face me, or offer to make room for me to sit down. So I went & sat on my own, practically, he walked past & did nothing. He walked to art ahead of me. Love the concern he shows for me. (He doesn’t – that’s just it, elissa – you should know by now it’s the way he is.) [ …if that’s so, and you aren’t happy, why persist?] so I was really depressed & mum picked me up at big lunch. I dozed at home. Mike & Cynthia bought over dinner – Golden Rooster. Couldn’t eat too much my stomach has shrunk. Is 9:30. I had a lemon & honey drink (YUK) as a last resort. A Life in Words[And I bloody-well love those things now… with ginger and turmeric added as well. Here’s a link to the recipe on my food blog, Food Fervour] Good sleep tonite & hopefully I’ll be fine for the party. Mark really gets to me. [You “let” him. No one is put on this Earth to either elate nor annoy You.] Hey! I’m not coughing!!! (Yet – touch wood!)

Saturday 15/8/87

I woke this morning – coughing. [I obviously didn’t touch any wood?] Alas & alack! But it was easier for me to stand etc. I still get times when my joints (limbs) ache & feel weak, but not as much, and not as bad, as before. We went to the doctor & got amoxyl (penecillan) & cough tablets. [So it obviously wasn’t a flu or viral infection after all?] I’ve been resting a fair bit today, in preparation for the party. (I’m going- there’ll be plenty of opportunities for me to sit down if I need it, mima said) Mark hasn’t rung. I’ve been thinking alot while lying down today… nothing’s the same anymore. We need the biggest, longest talk. There’s a lot of sorting out to do. A lot. [Talking… sorting out… it’s pointless when only one party is ‘interested’…] I’m not exactly “elated” in this relationship. [You don’t say?] A Life in WordsHe doesn’t make me feel like the ‘princess’ I used to be. [*NB: back in the 80’s being a ‘princess’ didn’t have the negative connotations that it can these days.] But that’s not all. [….well, what?] It’s almost 6:00. Am going around 8:30. [There was no mark in my diary to indicate I’d finished the earlier segment of my entry, but from here on in I’m clearly writing at a later point in time (most likely when I got home) describing my night:] It [the party] wasn’t that good. In fact, a waste of time. Only having tea when Jemima, Brent & Fi arrived ..at Nigel’s  it was boring. No one there. saw Mark & Keith once, they came back & went again. I went and lay down in Nigel’s room (feeling ill) Jemima, Brent, Jason & Fi talking to me. Mark told Sue he didn’t think I liked him. He thought I didn’t like him. (How?) went downstairs & Keith was there – took us to the other party everyone was raving about, At Toogood Road. TONNES, & I mean TONNES of people there→

Sunday 16/8/87

I was bored: Feeling ill, I needed to sit down all the time + problem of Mark – I asked him about it, but he seemed reluctant to talk so left him alone all night. I asked him to take me home, but I went with Brett instead (Cameron too). Just dropped cameron off – in Collins Ave. Brett stopped & I was sick (O.J.) At home I bombed out & I didn’t wake till around 10:00-10:30 this morning. Party was the pits. I asked nearly everyone if they knew what was up with Mark, [oh Elissa!] No one did tho’. Watched TV, rested today. Mark & Keith came over around 3:00 in the afternoon. Left soon after. I asked Mark to come around again tonight. A Life in WordsWe went to the park.. bit hard to get started talking, straight away, and the talk was not quite what I expected it to be. It’s really strange. This week, Mark was, apparently, really insecure – thought I was going to end the relationship. I can tell he still feels different, in a way. But it mattered a lot to him. And after that party I realised it. He not only loves me, he’s devoted, too. [You can’t be serious?] He left around 9:00. I watched mini-series show. Is now 10:40. Clean my teeth & off to bed.

Friendship Feelings, A Debut Drive & A Rotting Rodent (6-12 April)

Monday 6/4/87

A Life in Words
duotone doodle of Monique from a photo

I’m a glutton for punishment; it’s 10:45 – another late night & worse still; I did absolutely no HW again today & I have a frigging maths exam tomorrow. Can you believe it? I’m a total dickhead! [No, just a brilliant procrastinator] (Read my ’86 diary tonight getting frustrated like finding out things like – me knowing Monique 8 months ..hanging round her for ≈5 months & only 4 months of true [best] friendship. It isn’t fair… why her? Why this year? [The ultimate, unanswerable questions…] Good day with Mark. Fiona & Jemima are closer now. And I’m left out in the open I think Jemima doesn’t like me too much – wants to be my “best friend too” (that letter) [During my first week back at school, she gave me a letter about Monique. I didn’t actually say much about it in my diary entry other than “I cried” so I won’t include a link back to it. It was on Wednesday 18 March if you’re really keen to take a look…] HUH! What laugh – they do everything together & leave me out. . I don’t mind tho’ I spent the whole day with Mark & hopefully will do the for the rest of the year (see, they both went home at little lunch) who needs friends? I need Monique. She was the best MONIQUE FOREVER. Mark loves me (I mean [privacy omission] – this song by Cameo – he thinks is perfect for me “Candy” – so that’s my name now!” [Suffice to say this became one of my favourite songs. I still like it, but OMG the video… quintessential 80’s… ugh, those outfits!]

Tuesday 7/4/87

Mark told me (on the phone tonight) for the 2nd time ever “I love you” – I’ve said it countless (!!) [What, it’s a competition?] Nah, about 4 I think, or 5. […but still keeping count…] Today started off shaky .. barely talked to him before school & during bio (little lunch was O.K!!) & most of big lunch it was “wierd” – picking on me (I think!) I rang him & we talked about little in particular …oh, I love him so much. Friday night is Glyn’s party, now .. mima & I are goin’ to do something (as both our boyfriends are going to the “stag” party (!!)) (Lord knows what!) […talk about fickle friendships!] Anyway he’ll be at that & on Saturday night he’s working & Sunday leaving from Bramston Beach till Thursday. (I’m not going to school tomorrow – cross country) BOO HOO! I won’t get to spend any time with him! Aaargh – I’ll die [uh huh] Maths exam – big laugh (not really- I couldn’t do anything practically) Bio & english yesterday 56/80 and 6½/10 respectively→ so surprising! I was sure I’d fail (First “fine” day in days today! Still cool tho’.) Love you mark. started writing back to Tania today

Wednesday 8/4/87

What a wasted day- I stayed home from the cross country to “do chemistry study” (I wrote to Tania & Lucy, sunbaked – got burnt & listened to music. WASTED DAY) Julia deliberately missed the bus, after mum left, Mr H came over around 2:30 & put up the pelments [read: pelmets – the framework above windows, used to conceal curtaining fixtures] – the ones in my room (& Julia’s) are too big – for our long louvres. (Yukky) A Life in WordsWhen mum came home, I WENT FOR A DRIVE!!! Was so much fun! Unreal! (Tho I almost drove into Sandra’s car!!) [I vividly recall this: hitting the wrong pedal and speeding up suddenly toward our neighbour’s car as I was meant to be turning into our driveway. Luckily I found the brake in time. What a rush.] my problem is getting co-ordinated – the pedals & gears. Steering’s easiest (tho’ not easy – understand?) [Ok, this I need to explain: the ‘power steering’ that is now standard in all vehicles didn’t feature in the 1979 Toyota Corolla in which I was learning to drive. Those of you who were ‘lucky’ enough to experience driving vehicles without this smooth steering mechanism, will understand why I thought steering wasn’t quite the easiest thing to do. Without this creature comfort, kids, you literally had to wrench the steering wheel to make sharp turns. Upper body strength required!] Oh I’m tired .. man we have bad luck – hot water system broke down & we have a rat (or a very big mouse) in the house. I’m busting to go to the loo. It was a ‘nice’ phone call tonight – he was being more “understanding’ I think. A tease, yes, but being “gentler”. Hottish day! (only in the sun, that is) wonder how the cross-country run went? I’ll fail chem tomorrow. Haven’t studied at all. I AM STUPID. No- I’ve just lost interest in school – I just don’t care anymore. [Good correction there, Liss]

Thursday 9/4/87

The doctor wasn’t as overly excited about the progress of my leg as I thought he would be. [It’s funny how the attitude of a ‘professional’ (a superior, an elder) can affect you. There’s no doubt I’d’ve left that appointment somewhat deflated.] I missed biology & didn’t talk very much at all to Mark in maths. Chemistry exam I failed ..I really have lost all interest in school. At big lunch, Mark & I were more affectionate than ever – we both talked a fair bit (seriously) about life. He feels much the same as me . . nothing excites him anymore – wants a big change to happen so he can get on with life – the crash & its effects haunt him, too… feels, like me, that the crash spoilt possibly the best year of our lives ..definitely I agree. [So, I have to wonder… how many others felt exactly the same?] I also talked about my lack of friends – that’s also bothering me a lot. He seems more understanding lately. & gentle. I love that. Boring day- didn’t see jemima or Fiona after chem..probly left together again – I know they went late night shopping together – tried to ring them. A Life in WordsMark also went with Keith. I couldn’t get his chain [for his up-coming birthday] today, damn. Practised gears & clutch in the (stationary) car this arvy. FUN. Haven’t done english assignment -am not going to go to school tomorrow (Am so tired) Mark won’t be there – is going to the beach with Steven. Who knows about mima & fi they wouldn’t take me anywhere anyway [I’d always perceived I’d been more bitter about their exclusive friendship when I was younger, but I’m sensing some intensity here…] 

Friday 10/4/87

Boring day, indeed. I didn’t do my english assignment. After Mr. H came to fix the pelments, we left for town. I finally chose a silver-plated fob chain ($31), but now I think it’ll be a bit too short for his thick neck. [Masculine thickness, of course …not fat!] Oh well. [I know it doesn’t sound much, but $31 was a fair bit to spend back in those days…especially considering we weren’t financially ‘comfortable’. Forgive my ignorance, but I have no idea how that would compare price-wise to silver plated jewellery today; does anyone even buy silver-plated stuff anymore?] That’s another thing . . I’m missing him already. Am planning (if he doesn’t ring me first) to ring him & provided he’s not “dead” from tonight’s “party” at Cameron’s, will see if he’d like to do something. I so badly want to see him before he goes. We saw Nana today – feel so sorry for her – I hope she dies soon & I don’t mean that cruelly. I want her to be with God; feeling no pain. [She suffered brutally with rheumatoid arthritis. I wasn’t aware if there were any other underlying health issues contributing to her ill-health – Cancer was definitely never mentioned – but she had been a long term smoker.] Hottish weather. Is rainy (finally!) again tonight. Beka came over this arvy . . talked for yonks- I haven’t got her anything – her birthday tomorrow & I forgot completely. (till this arvy!) Mark, I miss you already. A Life in WordsThe mice or rats are getting in still: running along the beams on the roof. SHIT I hate them. Think I have another ringworm starting – back of right leg – near my scarring. Oh no. Wanna get brown these holidays- tan around my scars etc. 8:45 early night * * But I’m waking at 11:30pm to listen to the 4CCR Party Nite music

Saturday 11/4/87

Woke rather early.. boring-ish day ..I watched TV, covered my books & watered the plants. I ate heaps too. Went for another drive today! Much better than the  last time. . but still not quite perfect. Lucy rang after I rang Mark … had a longish talk to her Hope to see her Mon &/or Tuesday. Listened to approx. 1¾hrs of the 4CCR Party thing – stupid (didn’t know any of the music last night. Watched Countdown [yeah, that commercial stuff was more ‘me’!] after Lucy rang, then quickly got ready to go to Mark’s. A little late – everybody gone [?] & pizza man just delivered dinner- when I arrived. We watched TV mucking round- tickling mostly a few little kisses. After the TV movie, though, we got ‘down’ to business [Nope, still not what you think…]. . then mum came (dammit!) He said he’d ring & perhaps write (which means yes) Sandra was there quickly, earlier – I showed her & her (2) friends my leg- yukkypoo! Mum’s complaining about a smell (I can’t smell it) But thinks it’s the rat – no more scuffling noises. My blinds are up now. WOW! It’s 12:10.. gonna listen to 4CCR [Um, why? You’ve just said you didn’t enjoy it on the previous night… oh how much more beneficial sleep would be for you!] -in love with M.

Sunday 12/4/87

4CCR was better this week, [touché] but I had to turn off- I was so tired. Woke just after (or before?) 8:00 did nothing – the stench of the rat is strong now. Yuck. Danced to music before going to airport . . [to collect our cousins] Jodie, Michael & Auntie Hilary unpacked- Nana came over. A waste of an afternoon – they bought us [Royal Easter Show] show bags [from Sydney – their home] (I’ve eaten heaps already!) I ate & just lazed around. . . Boring! (Thought about Mark lots … his kisses last night were so beautiful – tender, romantic. Yummy. I love him, I’m sure.) Beka rang – I’m going to town with her & Lucy tomorrow- Jodie, Mike & Jules can come, but they don’t have to if they don’t want to. Oh, Mark I can’t stop thinking about you. Late-ish night – it’s 9:40. Gotta catch 9:00 train. (Big mess cleaning up Nana’s clothes this arvy – they found the rat full of maggots. Yuk. [Now this is confusing. My recollection of finding the dead rat was that it was wedged (of all places) between a ceiling beam and the roof insulation in a corner of MY bedroom. Perhaps this was a different dead rat scenario, one that obliterated my memory of this vom-fest in my grandmother’s clothes? A Life in WordsOh and just to clarify, I expect that we are talking about a garbage bag of my Nana’s stored/unused clothing rather than that which she happened to be currently wearing.] Windy cool & sometimes overcast today. J & M are hot at the moment. Can you believe ….?? [They hail from a place 2,500klms south of the tropics Liss… yes, I can.] Feel like a full, fat pig!

 

Mucking Around, Love Signs & Jaffles (19-25 January)

Monday 19/1/87

Blitz day! I got a letter and a card! In his letter there were some really gorgeous things. – it started Hi cutey! The best I’ve received yet. Um, I went with mum & Jules .. we stayed at [dad’s] work a long time talking to dad & Jenny (mostly about my career) A Life in WordsShit what am I going to do? [The very same anxiety pretty much all high school kids experience…] After went to Earlville. I bought 2 cards One for mark for ‘fun’ like his and one for Valentine’s day. Also, Countdown Diaries have been sold out everywhere. Shit. Then after a very hot, boring afternoon, Mark rang, inviting me to Angie J’s party Wed. night. That means Robbie’ll be there (saw him in town too; dodged outta sight!) OH NO! No worries; I’ll be with Mark. [so you think: things rarely go to plan] So we talked for ages when I rang back. We’re going to Devil’s tomorrow. I have to ring him 9:05. God it’s hot. We still need more rain than we’ve been getting.

Tuesday 20/1/87

Well today, mum woke me with 2 letters from Monique. She’s having a ball by the sounds of it. I waited till about 10:20 to ring Mark. At 11:30 I got there. He was already there – had been for a dip. At Devil’s I jumped off the “cliff”. once. (!!) [I don’t know if you would call it a cliff – but it was a sheer, sudden drop into the water from its edge. It wasn’t a very popular swimming hole.] we were talking & mucking around. Went to Brimsmead shop sat for ages. Mucking around. Saw Judy (Judy F.) walking past. And she saw us. (!!) [the double exclamation marks potentially referring to the thought “great, word will get around”…] We went back to another nearby (shallow) place for swim again. Mucked around. Was really nice there. Got out & talked & mucked around. Then finally back to the shop. And there, while mucking around, I (looking through his wallet) [I have a feeling this was not as bad as it sounds… almost like I’d been given permission… he may have been sitting right there…] found an ‘old’ love note from Nicole. I didn’t read it but it was signed off, “from [privacy omission] Nicole” (typing) I thought why is he keeping it? I’m a little worried now. A Life in WordsAnyway his wallet, sunnies & tape (UB40) are here – thought he’d be seeing me 2morrow. Rang him. & Fi. She’s coming to the party. It’s 11:30. Gonna watch a show now, then flop. I’m exhausted. An O.K. day. Wished it could’ve been a bit different. [How exactly?]

Wednesday 21/1/87

Waste of time waiting up to watch that show. Wasn’t good at all. So today mum woke me at 8:00. I was tired & grumpy. Went to Nana’s. Was boring I was so hot. [From memory, Nana lived in a little brick shoe-box of a unit, that had very poor ventilation. Back in the 80’s air-conditioning was not standard in rental properties.] Went to town after to do various things. Saw Mark & Keith on the the way!! Got my new skool shoes (just like my other ones) & did grocery shopping. At home I thought about the party. [As you read on, it turns out that we weren’t actually invited, so I was feeling uncomfortable about potentially gate-crashing…] I rang Fi. She didn’t want to go either. When Mark rang, he made “compromise”. He’d ask Angie when he got there if Fi & I could come & ring us up. That we did. At about 8:45 we left. Martin took us there. Talked to Mark a little; walked round. It was BORING. At 10:30, Mark, me, Fi, Sharon, Keith, Michelle (W) walked to Croc. Rock. → only 2 or 3 streets away. I got in easily Fi didn’t but later; yes – without even paying [the cover charge, evidently …that was probably only $3 or something dirt cheap like that]! Mark & I spent a lot of time in Smithy’s talking – mucking around. The “others” came & went as they pleased. We held hands for sometime ..later in the morning. A Life in WordsSoon it became natural holding hands all the time. then, arms → [the arrow led across to the next page of the diary…]

Thursday 22/1/87

round each other.. then I was meant to go with Fiona (& Martin) but she, being really happy [for me] & great friend convinced Terry to give me a lift home. Then it happened after she left. We were standing near a bar when Heather (blind)  came over, raving on. Told us how “fucking gorgeous” we looked together and to “kiss”. Yes but it was yuk.. [because… awkward! But…] when she left… It wasn’t. we stood there for ages. It was beautiful. [Of course! What other descriptive would a lovestruck teenaged girl use?]  Then eventually, they were coming in the same car. At 4:30 we left. We made so many stops. Mark was being gorgeous. [Privacy omission] Then he left at his place. Sad. Terry & Harry wanted to go to Freshy Ck. Sharon didn’t mind. So we stayed there till it got light. (Boring for me – my mind on Mark.) [of course…] Sharon rode my bike home. I had ≈ 2hrs sleep. Couldn’t sleep again, the rest of the day. Watched TV. Mark rang around 6:15. Saying ‘nice things. Gorgeous things. He wants to see me tomorrow. I rang Sharon – she’s gonna ride my bike here. I can’t wait – I want to see Mark again too. I’d spend my time with him rather than anyone else Is 9:40. I’m not even tired. Just boiling hot. Mark ♥♥♥

Friday 23/1/87

Today I ate nothing – only tonight – for dinner. I had a piece of bread & butter and an egg waffle. A Life in Words[I meant ‘jaffle’, but I think we might have grown up calling them waffles (which explains why I was so puzzled when I first heard about North American waffles years later, served up with bacon & maple syrup). Jaffles differ from ordinary toasties in that they’re sealed shut at the edges. Before electric toasted sandwich makers, there were a ‘jaffle irons’ (see pic) which we used to take camping.] See, sharon came round about 8:30 and I rang mark at 9:00. he said to ring him back when Sharon had gone (which was about 10:45) and we’d leave for Devil’s. Spent 1st 2hrs or so in water, mucking round with a stone few little kisses. Lying in the shade, together for another 1 or 2 hrs, then for another swim some other place for an hour or so. After sat for another 1/2hr & 1/2hr “saying goodbye” That was a yummy part. I rang him tonight. We can’t decide what to do on the weekend.. I must ring him tomorrow arvy with more suggestions. Watching the movie now. Was 36º at 10:00am today – dropped back to 35º rest of the day. Reckon be the same tomorrow. I’ll watch the cricket I guess. Tonight’s phonecall was boring – I said he’d get sick of seeing me. [Oh gawd…] He said never. I hope so. Am proud about my appetite. I wasn’t hungry with Mark. Wonder if that means anything. [Um, duh! Loss of appetite is just one of many symptoms or side-effects of ‘Being in Love’ and there’s science to back it up! Check out this article on live science.com website: it lists all the Signs… my little 16 year old self was displaying pretty much all of them…] 10:35 now. Should ring Fi sometime. And moni’s comin’ home sunday!! ACE!

Saturday 24/1/87

Slept in till about 9:00. I watched TV for a while in the morning, then for the rest of the day cut things out of my ’84 Dollys and tidied up (sorted out) the pile of junk on a dining chair, that has been there for days. Am watching the movie. . .a special about the history of musicals/broadway. It’s 10:00. I rang Mark around 5:00. He sounded fine for the first few minutes but the ultimate boredom of the phone call soon took effect. That must change. Anyway I’m ringing him tomorrow night to find out about going to Crystals on Australia Day with Terry (& the “mob” – Monique!) Was so hot – 36º max. But got a (kind of) storm late this arvy – and it’s still raining. Oh, I’m now being overwhelmed with fatigue: I’m bloody tired. Ate more today 3 pieces toast, banana, 4 shredded wheatmeal biccys & some crumbed steak & cheese & milk. And water & diet coke. [Ugh! Diet Coke. It’s frightening how much of that crap we consumed; sometimes mum, Julia and I would go through a 1.5 litre bottle in one day. Disgusting.] Pity, that!! Oh well. I’m looking slimmer I think. monique left Brissy today! HOORAY! [She would have been coming home by bus, which used to be the cheapest way to travel back then. It took a painful 24-26 hours as well, but airfares were just way too expensive in the 80’s.]

Sunday 25/1/87

Woke to a putrid, stinking hot day. Mum washed the windows. After helping a little, I cut out magazine pictures. Did that all morning (under my fan) till we went to see Nana. In hospital [to this day I am not certain what exactly my grandmother’s health issues were, apart from rheumatoid arthritis, and therefore have no idea why she was hospitalised], we just sat watching cricket, Jules & I. Was boring. When we got home, Monique called me, asked me over for the night. I rode over at about 4:20. A Life in WordsGot there about 4:45. Her pool is HOT!! [No shade = tepid pool water] We talked, then rode to the video shop & got out NIGHT PATROL (embarrassing the guy made us ring Mrs P. to get her consent cause it was an ‘R’ rated movie.) Back home, we rushed off to Pizza Hut to get our pan pizza. I rang mark when I got back. He hadn’t decided what he was doing tomorrow. I suggested he ring us, tomorrow. Then after saying bye, Moni & I had pizza & during the video (sick!) [as in, crap. “Sick” had not positive connotations back then] Fiona rang. She’s coming over tomorrow for the day. Had a late night.

Bugs, Broken Bones, Bitching & the Commonwealth Games (21-27 July)

Monday 21/7/86

Oh! It’s (almost) 9:15 and I’ve just done about ¾ page of my english assignment. I must get a move on (it’s obvious I won’t get it done for tomorrow, even though it was due today.) We’re riding tomorrow, too!! Goody! I love riding. Boring day, really. Almost fell asleep in doub. chem. almost fell asleep in trip. art and almost fell asleep in maths (Nah! I was laughing in maths) Cameron’s so nice. I’m really, really truly glad he is my great friend. Did no other HW tonight (am getting way behind in maths; I just don’t understand it.) Lotsa bugs around [we didn’t have flyscreens on our windows or doors: louvres are hard to fit and french doors lose their charm if you try to fix screen doors to them. Plus, we probably couldn’t afford them] and … it’s quite warm tonight (hold it, I’ll open some windows, I think!!) Believe it or not Trish said hello to me today. Why she being so nice?? [why not?] mima was away – got a wog. [While in Australian slang the word ‘wog’ is a derogatory term for generally southern Europeans, it is also used to describe illness, like she got a ‘bug’] don’t really feel like saying I love mark cos do I??

Tuesday 22/7/86A Life in Words

I laughed a lot today. In Bio, Chris (K) was telling Donna & I all about Cameron’s accidents… he is so accident-prone! Broken bones, cuts & abrasions… car accidents you name it; he’s had it!! And laughing in maths, too!! Funneeee!! I really don’t think I love Mark. I look at him (when I can) but I think that’s all it is – I just think he’s gorgeous. I mean, I don’t feel for him I suppose my feelings could change if ‘something’ happened (when?) I could get properly interested in him, but at the moment, I’m not. Brent was teasing me about it in front of a whole lot of people at lunch time today. Did little HW today but I’m stayin home tomorrow!! Sports Carnival is on (mima & fi are too) I’ve got heaps HW to do → esp. speech. mima told me this morning when we were riding to school that our speech exam has been put forward. We now have 3 weeks to go. SHIT!!

Wednesday 23/7/86

Boy am I tired!! “Mistral’s daughter” finished about 11:30 I slept in though! (I stayed home!!) At speech, mima said she’d tried to ring me but the answering machine was on. I was home, too. Oh well!! (I am very far behind in speech. Didn’t get any done today – I was doing my english. Come to think of it, I got very little of that done too!! – But I did a lot more tonight.)A Life in Words I still have maths to catch up on. Oh woe is me. wedding (Royal one) [Prince Andrew getting hitched to Sarah Ferguson] was on. Watched parts of it while I did my english. Am bloody tired. Could not get my eyes open all this morning!! Took me about 3 or 4 hours to wake up!! Bloody bugs all over the place. Is 11:15. Another late night (SHIT)

Thursday 24/7/86

I’ve come to a definite conclusion. I don’t ‘like’ Mark anymore. Sure, he’s still the most gorgeous hunk, but I don’t really care what happens to him. I mean, he could have made an attempt (he has in the past) but he’s too shy (I’m really one to speak, huh??!!) To begin with, if he likes me so much, why fuck Tricia? [1. He’s attracted to her] And even if he did go with her after it to make her feel ‘respectable’, why has it been 2 weeks? Why didn’t he drop her after 1?? [Clearly it’s not just ‘obligation’] He’s stupid. Does he really think I’d like him after he did that? What a dickhead. [Oh the Green Monster.. it’s ugly isn’t it?] Anyway, I got my assignment (english) done but didn’t hand it in. Will tomorrow. Bio exam tomorrow, 1st period. Cheat!!! [Cheat? That’s not like me!] Is 9:40. Will I get to sleep early tonite??? Rode again today. I love it!!

Friday 25/7/86

I am so tired (watching Commonwealth Games at the moment) Ate a big dinner. Err…!!! In Biol, (we didn’t have our exam as Mr Short was away) our relief teacher gave us all these logic (etc) problems. Was fun. At the end we were doing anagrams, & I got one right, and Duane (Dwain!!) said something to embarrass me (it worked) – (all the guys were sitting near, too!) A Life in WordsDonna reckons “guess who was looking at you and smiling?” I said, “I don’t care”, but I had the biggest smile on my face!! Otherwise, a boring day. Nothing fantastic happened at all. The news is on now. I think I’ll go to bed now. I am tired. Not working tomorrow. Don’t feel like it. Lucy’s birthday in 4 days. What’ll I do for her?? Ring her?? Or send something?? I wish, wish, wish Mark cared about me so much that… that he wouldn’t hurt me so. [haha, so fickle! Thought you didn’t care?!] 9:35

Saturday 26/7/86

I did very little of everything today; except eat. I pigged out so ‘severely’! And I wonder why I’m fat (or at least, bulgy) Oh well! Watched TV, did bitta HW (have left maths & english for tomorrow) Am tired – Is 10:10 Comm. Wealth Games are on (Australia leading in medal tally so far!! 6 gold!!! Yay!!!) Dunno if I’ll go to bed yet, or not… I’m tired but I can sleep in (or can I?? I didn’t this morning) Wish things were like they were before. Before I found out Mark liked me; before Sharon knew I liked him. Now, it’s useless. We both know & are both too shy. It’s not fair. Not fair. Oh well…. life MUST go on. 10:20 now. Oh. (winge, whine) why does Mark have to be such a jerk?????????????? [Oh my GOD… never satisfied!]

A Life in Words
Neil Brooks was one of Australia’s swimming medallists at the 1986 Commonwealth Games

Sunday 27/7/86

Ha Ha Ha. What a bludge. Yes, you guessed it; I did next to nothing constructive except PIG OUT yet again. I can’t believe how much I eat. Went to visit Nana again (we went Friday night, too→ she’s in hospital again – she stopped taking all her tablets cos they were making her sick and got a bad [rheumatoid] arthritis attack again. Poor nin) [‘Nin’ was a nickname we had for our Nana] Boring! Watched Comm. Games ‘Hi lives’ again this morning & are watching live now. Aust has won 5/10 possible golds in swimming so far. Excellent huh?!!! Want a reasonably early night. Is 9:30 now. Probly get to bed around 10:00. Am a bit hot, too. Did only a bit of maths HW today. Thank god for school!! (Started to worry today, again, about my future after school→ it really frightens me. About Mark; well, I just wish it could be different. It won’t work.

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!

Happy Birthday Mum

mummy koalaIt’s painful looking at this picture. It physically hurts. To think this beautiful little girl should have been turnings 69 years of age today, but she never made it. The big C, the very same disease that is taking so many other lives, ended hers just months after her 68th birthday. I’d never imagined, never dreamed that she would’ve left this world that early. She wasn’t a party girl, at all. She lived as cleanly as any other, with whatever health information is available out there to the Average Joe.
So what hurts is knowing that that little body ended up so inflamed that its immune system couldn’t win the fight. Granted, it wouldn’t’ve helped having an autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis). I suppose she was already “on the back foot”, so to speak.
It hurts but it’s also frightening. Just how toxic is this modern world? Mum was born in 1944. Where in the years between then and now did this happen? Cancer has always existed but it seems to me that its prevalence may have been kept in check because our environment (both internal and external) was never as toxic as it has become in the past century.

Mum had been a smoker. She hadn’t touched a cigarette for over ten years before she passed away, but the damage was well and truly done in the twenty-five years prior to that. Well before her death, she knew – we all knew – that “Smoking Kills” but I believe it is by far the most toxic, most inflammatory choice you can make. I recently heard a cardiologist, Dr Ross Walker, state that one cigarette triggers 3 trillion free radicals in your bloodstream. There’s no way I could begin to calculate the total of free radicals mum would have ‘triggered’ in her bloodstream – from smoking alone – during my life, let alone prior.

And she bore me and my sister from that inflamed internal environment? What does that mean for us, our individual immune systems? Billions of humans brought into this world since the middle of the last century have potentially begun “on the back foot” as well, whether their parents smoked or not. Passive smoking aside, environmental toxins have increased dramatically – or so the pro-climate change scientists would purport and the internal environment has never before been so heavily bombarded by the chemicals in our heavily processed food, pharmaceuticals, miscellaneous drugs and alcohol; the contraindications of significantly less movement, more sitting and Stress.

If there’s one thing mum’s death has brought me, it’s an added depth of intensity to my passion for health. If there’s a present I could give to her today, it’s to promise to continue encouraging individuals to change their lives, potentially better their chances for longer lives, through better lifestyle choices.