Sydney Sights, Letter-Writes & Fandangled People-Moving Apparatus (15-21 December)

Monday 15/12/86

Today we went to ‘downtown’ Chatswood. (local shopping area) It was so good! Escalators galore! I love those things! A Life in Words[Uh, yes, a strange sentiment it may be but believe it or not, in 1986 there was not one escalator in Cairns. Of course I knew what they were, but never having ridden ‘moving stairs’ can you blame me for being excited? Ah, the small things…] I bought a new purse/wallet $17, grey leather – beaut! Also a pair of $9.95 hoops, but I want to take them back – I don’t need them. or want them, really. [Frugal, honest & practical] And from my Xmas prezzy ($30 voucher at Katies) from Geoff, [I got] a $24 dress (singlet – navy & white stripe) And a $3 silver bangle to go with my charm bracelet. I thought about Mark, mostly, when I was looking for presents, cards etc. But I didn’t get to start writing letters tonight. It will have to be tomorrow for mim & Fi or else [they won’t get them in time…before Christmas. I know it seems way too early to stress about, but I do recall Australia Post warning people to allow up to 6 working days for mail & parcel deliveries, due to the naturally heavier workload the season brought]. And I really want to get one sent to mark (not sure about cameron.) Oh, I am missing them – but only when I think about them – that’s sometimes quite often. Some gorgeous guys in town – one in particular wearing a navy blue jacket – yum is 10:08 (9:08 Qld)

Tuesday 16/12/86

It’s 9:30 (8:30 in youknowwhere) [yes, we fully get the picture by now] well, I finished 3 letters tonight – Fi, mima and Dad. Today we went to SYDNEY [the CITY]. The centrepoint (Sydney) tower was alright. We didn’t get to go to the levels with the shops on. Just the highest – for viewing. Got about 5 piccies of certain things. Walked round. All I bought today was a silver ring $2 and $3.60 worth of stamps. Must post them early tomorrow. Hope they get there in time. [Hmmm, starting to ‘push it’ now…] Still don’t know whether to write to Mark or not. Would love to. But..!?! It’s 9:55 now (I stopped to have a shower. Am looking forward to sleep – got a little sick, dizzy (exhaustion) towards the late afternoon ‘fore we went home. On the train, gorgeous guy standing near the door (& me) Yum, Yum, Yum yum. Must hurry & buy some prezzies soon. NIGHT !!! Yes! [NO idea what this random “yes” was all about…]

Wednesday 17/12/86

A Life in Words
Pulling up a park bench at the zoo

Today we went to Taronga Park Zoo. Woke earlier than ever today. Jodie & I had to race over the the Post Office at 10:10, to get my letters to Dad, Fi & mim posted in the 10:30 post. Saw bears, and an elephant and giraffes and seals and rhinoceroses (!!) and tigers. And the seal show was great. I used up the rest of my film – need a new one now! [For those too young to recall life before mobile phones & digital photography, all of our photos required actual cameras and film reels, which you had to load inside the camera carefully or risk destroying (usually through ‘light damage’). You didn’t get any second chances with photos back then: you had no idea what the quality of your shots would be until you collected the printed images (hard copies!) from a developer …which could sometimes take days…] Was warmer today than it’s been since I’ve been here. My skin is really dry too. [Drastically different humidity levels in Sydney, compared to Far North Queensland] Wrote to Monique – about 8 page letter. Too chicken to write to mark; even a short note. Couldn’t think what to write. Maybe I will try. Dunno. It’s 10:15 (9:15 Qld) Mark’d probly be going to $ night tonite. Please, be true to me boy. Don’t get with anyone. You won’t will you??? [Um, where was it written that you two are an item? Deluded! …or to be fair, more like Naive.] Going to Chatswood tomorrow – take back those hoop earrings. Get back my $9.95¢ Late night again.

Thursday 18/12/86

It’s 11:37 (10:37 Qld) we’ve just gotten back from babysitting down the road. Cute kids! Rather well behaved too! Bludged today. I actually WROTE A LETTER TO MARK!!! Met Nicole – Jodie’s friend – a real scream! Played some board games then, before leaving for beach around 1:00, played a nasty trick on Michael – locked up house, left a note & hid the car – thought we’d gone without him! Beach was warm nowhere near as hot as Cairns – water was freezing and bigger waves than in Cairns. [Yes, something to do with Cairns being much closer to the equator, and having a huge ‘barrier’ reef protecting it from ocean swells…] Here’s a guest; [my cousin Jo wrote basically one sentence, which I’m omitting for the sake of her privacy] “Hello diary ….. Lotsa luv Jo xxx” Still missing mates, esp. after writing to Mark. Going to Chatswood tomorrow instead. Will get that card I think [what card? My guess is that I’d found one I’d like to have given to Mark.]

Friday 19/12/86

I got a pair of black shoes! Flat, pointed toe for $40. But, boy, have I some blisters! A Life in WordsAfter the Opera House tonight & town (Chatswood) today, my feet are probly on strike! Opera House was really ‘grand’. The concert/show was rather “bright” – more interesting than I thought it’d be. That’s all I got in Chatswood, though. we caught the bus in today & I heard Lady in Red on the radio. [There was a newly created sentiment attached to this song; if you’d liked to know why, take a look at this post] I miss Mark. I thought at the Xmas show tonight how I’d love to spend all my xmases with him. [Good Gawd… those bloody rose-coloured glasses…] Oh woe! Woe is me! It’s 10:05. I’m hot! Not anything like Cairns tho’. Just hotest I’ve ever been in the night time, down here. Going to Blue mountains tomorrow. Oh dear…. Dunno what to get Jodie, Jules… everyone!!

Saturday 20/12/86

A Life in Words
the Mean Machine

I wrote to Cameron & Sharon today, and sent them too. They’ll probably get them just before Xmas. (leaves them practically no time to reply – as if they will anyway) Did nothing this morning. Slept in to 9:30. Listened to music Went to the Aquatic Centre (Jules didn’t) and saw Neil Brooks from the Mean Machine there. [The Mean Machine were a male Aussie medley swim team who made an unexpected victory at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, essentially because the USA boycotted said Games. All members of the quartet were retired by this time. In the picture (left) Brooks is on the far left with his fist in the air.] Told Jo all about Mark, right from the start – Angie M’s 1st party. Got ready for “Blue Mountains” party. Was boring after all (not that I expected it to be a rage) must relax tomorrow – sleep in late. Thinking a lot about mark when I was telling Jo about him – wondering Wish there was some way for sure that I could find out if he liked me a real real lot. [Pie-in-the-sky stuff, Liss. Oh so much yet to learn…] Julia seems to think so. Oh dear! Is 1:23. Must get good sleep. Black-bags-under-my-eyes DISAPPEAR

Sunday 21/12/86

Smelliest farts. Yukky. Embarrassing. [Uh-huh.] Did nothing today, practically. Woke 9:20. Lazed in bed till 11:00. At lunchtime, listened to music, looked after rabbits all day. A Life in Words[My cousin Jo had pet rabbits. See the (very poor quality) photo (I’d taken with my 80’s camera) on the right. Such cute little things!] Went for a walk to the shop in the arvy – bought ice-cream & a choc. bar. PIGGY. Played board games. Is 10:08 (10:10) Realised this year’s almost over – will be the 11th last time I write in this diary – thats’ something I’ve gotta get – a new diary. And everyone’s prezzies. I haven’t got one single present, for anyone. Will not have time either. STUFF IT SHIT. Hope Mark does reply. I’m “hoping” a lot about him lately. Oh dear; what am I to do? Uncle Peter in crappiest moods. [Could it possibly have anything to do with 4 misbehaving children?] Esp. today with Jodie were all s’posed to go to bed at 9.00 Auntie Hilary got uptight too and said “well we won’t do anything tomorrow then either”. And slammed the door (on mikes’ foot) Better go. Must sleep & wake early. Oh Mark ♥

A Primary Reunion, Burnt Belly & Sydney Sojourn (8-14 December)

Monday 8/12/86

I realised today that I’ve seen or talked to Mark every single day of the holidays so far; until today. Believe me, I tried not to break the record; I rang just 15mins ago – but it was his fault; [“fault”? Really? Your choice of words is…average] he was at Keith’s – and won’t be back till 10:00, by which time I’ll be asleep – the bags under my eyes are enormous! I tried to get a brown tummy today – after 20 mins I stopped. After lunch, mima came down – spent the rest of the day here – we talked & sunbaked together OUCH! My stomach is the colour of a tomato – NO JOKE! A Life in  WordsI’m surprised also – I noticed my stomach is smaller! And I’m 59 kilos!! I’m still trying to ‘lose’, tho’. Wanna get a tiny stomach [My stomach was (& kinda still is) the bane of my life …or at least, my least liked area. The females in my family – my mother, sister and I – seem to have a slightly disproportionate amount of body fat sitting on our lower abdomen (something that was reinforced by a fitness professional doing a body fat test on me in my early 20’s). I’m fairly sure it would be a genetic thing – in terms of natural fat distribution – but I’m experimenting with my nutrition to see if certain macro-nutrients affect it more than others.] at least (and a brown one) if this burn peels – I’ll scream! I mean it! [Yep, the only after-effect of sunburn we cared about back then was peeling, and losing our ‘colour’. Skin cancer wasn’t given a thought, even though advertisements were beginning to be aired in the media] Sharon rang after mima left this arvy (we talked a lot!) we’re going to town tomorrow – I’m meeting her at school. I’m gonna wear shorts on my hips & a boob tube! OUCH! 9:07 sunny mostly 2day!!!

Tuesday 9/12/86

I went to town. We didn’t see a movie. Met her at school – on bus, talking to Joannah. At bus stop, Mrs M, Karen & Mrs P→ telling me all about Peter C what he does etc. [When I read this, it made no sense to me at all. I remember the guy’s name, and that he was at in my year at school, but I have absolutely NO idea why these people were telling me about him. I have a feeling it had something to do with trying to pique my interest. Sorry, no hope …as y’all can tell…] We walked round all day. Sharon bought a shirt [from] ‘Double Vision’ [local clothing store] – we might be modelling for them (‘Ha’) Also, Sharon helped me work up guts to ask Vic Mellick [whom I vaguely knew through my father] about casual work [in his men’s clothing store] – no sweat! No work now, but ‘yes’ for new year! Dim & Victor followed us, too. Rather cute (alright) but Mark is best. Caught 5:20 bus home. Nana was here. They told me Mark rang I rang back – talked only a little while – told me how Fitzroy is $22 now. RIP OFF! [That WAS a huge price to pay back then. We had been able to get student discount fares to Green Island for about $6. These days you’re looking at about $70 to get to Fitzroy.] A cabin for 2 is $22.50 per night. [That was also considered relatively expensive (although I’m assuming the idea would have been to split the cost with others – most likely Monique & Cameron at the very least) back then. Those cabins are “long gone” now and there’s really only a resort on the Island, to my knowledge – for which you’d be paying at least $130 per night for the cheapest room.] Were thinking of next Mon, Tues & Wed. but I’ll be gone. Also told him about Friday night. said I’d ring before then. He said “that’d be nice!” BLOODY STOMACH PAIN! Sunburn. Is 10:00 night!

Wednesday 10/12/86

A Life in Words
Year One class photo. I’m 3rd from the right in the front row. And yes, that is my ‘barbie’ doll in my lap!

I spent the day at home, nursing my poor sore, burnt, ultra-red, stomach, watching TV and that was about it. I ate little – I’m glad! My appetite is not humungus! (Is that how you spell it?) [Nope. It’s ‘humongous’!] Anyway Monique called and I called Sharon & Mima called. We went to the [Grade One] reunion about 5:00 – I put vitamin E cream on my tummy – it’s good stuff! Not sore at all! Just still a little tender – but that can’t be helped. It was alright – a little boring, but mostly fun. I stayed at [privacy omission]; we wanted to sneak out. I rang Mark from Mr M’s …talked for awhile (I felt proud!!) […proud that I had a GUY …to call …that I didn’t REALLY have to call. I’m actually a bit ashamed now that it I used my host’s (my Grade One teacher – someone I obviously didn’t really know very well) landline to make a non-essential private call during a party. I’d consider that kind of rude now, definitely precocious.] He’s such a honey! We’re going to crystals Friday – he’s ringing me tomorrow night. We were fairly sprung at [privacy omission] – her mum got very suspicious cos of a few stupid things we did so we decided against going out (her mum found the house keys + $5 hidden. SKINT) [Five dollars…really? Even though things did cost a lot less than today, I still wouldn’t’ve thought $5 would even get us a cab to the nearest nightclub, let alone into it (cover charge) and drinks…?]

Thursday 11/12/86

A Life in Words
I can’t remember which were the two original charms, but one thing I do know is that I’d never have bought the gun, nor the scissors, myself. So they must have been gifted to me at some stage…

Woken by a phone call for me. Mum picked me up. Dressed at home, after a shower & fresh application of Vit. E cream. She did an ‘errand’ then we withdrew all our money out for our holiday. I got my artwork + cheque for $35 coming – can you believe I got $60 from this art thingy [exhibition]? $44 from my picture ($1 to endeavour foundation) & $16 from painting windows in Fun in the Sun. At home after lunch, I did big fat nothing. All the phone calls tonight! There was rather little gained from them, too! So many calls to be made tomorrow morning . . .my god! Dad, Jenny & Anthony came round – we got a watch (el cheapo) + sterling silver charm bracelet + 2 charms. That I love! It’s absolutely gorgeous – I started  packing this arvy – my stomach’s not sore at all – only very lithely [?!] tender! But its starting to peel… 11:50. Late umah! Night!

Friday 12/12/86

Phone calls, yes. Terry picked me up about 9:30-10:00. Patrick O’S + Peter P were there with Mark & Keith (& Monique) We picked up Fi. Was fun at crystals. Mark & I talked, of course. I had to ring him at 8:15 this morning He was tired. So was I, I guess. At home, I mucked round – busied ‘packing’ and sewing. Finally, after lotsa phone calls, and a rush to get ready, went to nana’s. Gave her her presents (my lorikeet picture) [there’s a photo of that piece in this post if you’d like to know what I’m talking about] I met Fi at the shop – we walked into town. Sat for yonks. Finally rang Mark . . he said they’d come ‘now’. They almost had a fight when they got here. Backpackers was too full. When [privacy omission] came back, we sat round the mall doing nothing. Finally, [privacy omission] megan & sharon tried to drag me to Subway Rock – was closed. Mark, Fiona, Keith, Torstein & Daniel went to get pizza – Megan etc. dragged me off to Nighthawkes. Didn’t go in again – [privacy omission] & I walked back to others [crossover to Saturday’s page…]

Saturday 13/12/86

(Megan & Sharon disappeared for the night.) They weren’t there – so we went to Backpackers. Just debating who’d buy the drinks [being underage made most of us highly reticent about approaching the bar, naturally. You had to be good at projecting an air of confidence] when the others came. We all crowded round a tiny table .. soon Torstein & Daniel went, then Mark, Keith & I sat until the people told us they were locking up. [I think the place used to close at midnight back then] Talking, mucking around …we went to Yanks [a coffee shop in town that was pretty much the only thing open – apart from nightclubs – past midnight.] Stayed for ages – soon Mark got shitty – we left. They barely said goodbye when I got in the taxi. Slept at 1:30. Woke 7:00. Rushing round this morning – taping music, packing. Lotsa phone calls. Fi & Monique said goodbye. So did Keith. He apologised about last night. Mark could’ve, at least. After all, it was his fault. I felt really sad about not ringing him when I left. Dunno whether to write him a letter or not (Moni said yes) Plane trip was a little boring .. I read ([had a] Big lunch!) & listened to music & comedy [channels. Back in the day, “in-flight entertainment” consisted of a pair of disposable headphones that plugged into your armrest giving you access to about 8 various music & comedy ‘radio’ channels – on ‘loop’]. In Sydney [visiting family], we drove round awhile looking at places. Unpacked & watched TV (I don’t remember anything!) Walked to shop. Had a bath. Now 9:50 (8:50 in Cairns – Qld)A Life in Words [the whole ‘daylight savings’ thing was a novelty for me: Queenslanders have never had to change their clocks for Summer. It’s actually a contentious issue because the southern part of Queensland – where the majority of the state’s population reside – experience similar daylight changes and in particular, the cities on the border with NSW (southern Gold Coast & Tweed Heads) struggle with time differences economically (businesses) and socially (schools et al)] MISSING THEM ALREADY

Sunday 14/12/86

I was still very tired today (mostly now) It’s only 10:00 (9:00 in Qld) Jodie’s working tonight – short notice. We went on the boat [yacht]. Julia was sick – anchored at “7 shillings” Beach near/at Double Bay. We lay in the sun (but mostly in the shade all day) slept a bit. Julia was too sick to go back on the boat, so caught a taxi with mum. Jodie & I were too exhausted so we went with them. Watched TV (the rest of Bachelor Party on video) Got a little browner today – a little burnt! Have a headache still. My neck is burnt, as is my face – but that’s it. Still really tender near my left boob- looks like a rash of some sort. Hafta get lotsa sleep tonight. I am missing Cairns. Will have to get down to some letter writing when I get postcards tomorrow. Esp. mima & fiona’s. I need to write lists of who to write letters to and get prezzies for. Wish Mark & I hadn’t left on bad terms. His fault. I keep wanting to ring him.