Her Funeral, the Public Memorial & Raw Meat Pie (9-15 February)

Monday 9/2/87

Mark saw me 2 times today!! Came up in his wheelchair! He was chirpier and only stayed little whiles. I was shitty in the morning – woken early again cos I couldn’t roll over – so bad – makes me restless so I’m still tired & cranky. A shower and I still felt bad – exhausted. But I put lotsa pressure on my left leg – put all my weight on it (nearly) GREAT! (But dad reminded me tonight about the crack in my femur – don’t wanna make that worse.) [In the long term this injury amounted to nothing: at some stage I recall a doctor saying they weren’t even certain it existed: the crack was so fine that it could have simply been a scratch on the X-ray itself] They also dressed my right leg (the deep puncture) today – Tania C (who was here all day – 10am to 8pm!!) and my fav. nurse Alison “comforted” me but I made heaps of noises – it was bad. [I’ve already ascertained that my vocal chords are not inhibited in times of Stress…] My leg was put on an electric exerciser – it was great – bending & moving my right leg!! I was wary at first. God changing the dressing was hell-ful. I also did my first shit in one week or ≈8/9 days. [Ok, for new readers, I need to explain: my family – dad in particular – was not very inhibited with regard to discussing bodily functions. To the point that (perennial comedian he is) he coined a phrase for the phenomenon: the “Coxen Bowel Fetish”. If you care to better understand this unique family trait, there’s a fuller explanation in this post from my 1984 archives] Quite a few visitors perked me up. We watched video of Friday’s school memorial & tree planting. Sound was terrible couldn’t hear anything. Cried anyway. [Naturally] Mark got his tube out of his lung. Am tired now – hoping I can roll over tonight. Glad Mark visited me “a lot”. I really do think he likes me a lot – that letter says it all & so has he. It’s about […and then I forgot to fill in the time..]

A Life in Words
Goodbye my beautiful friend x

Tuesday 10/2/87

I went to Monique’s funeral by car around 2:30 I thought it’d “do the job” – but I still don’t think I’ve cried enough. I realised I lost a true friend – a person I met & related with so soon, but trusted quickly & forever. She lives in my heart & mind. I need her to live with me. I met Kerri; saw Mr & Mrs P. I cry when I see them & Camille & Kerri. [I think this was the last time I would see Monique’s mother for a very long time. Apparently she refused to see me because it was too painful, because it was always with Monique. Of course this upset me, but how could I fail to understand that?] Kerri & her mum came to the hospital tonight. She doesn’t say much. [Kerri was Monique’s ‘previous’ best friend in Brisbane. With hindsight I now understand she may not have “said much” because she too would have been in shock and grieving…] I felt really cranky after the funeral – my leg was sore. people all looking at me [I’m hardly an exhibitionist, but I can tolerate a certain amount of attention. Things mustn’t be ‘rosy’ if I am shunning the ‘spotlight’…] – went home in a stretcher in an ambulance. Rolled over (partly) last night! But woken early by nurses anyway 6:00. ooooh! Bumsore! Legsore! Change of dressing was bad again today. I hate it so much. [I still hadn’t the courage to look at the wound: I have always found that one method of tolerating (physical) pain is to not look at what’s causing it. For example, I still can’t watch the needle piercing my dermis in the act of blood giving, for example…] Tanya (C.) & Alison “helped” me again, tho’ I bit Tanya’s back today. Umah. [Clearly it’s not just my vocal chords that respond to stress: so do my jaw muscles…] Funny – having Tanya in all day. (And yesterday) She’s good company. [She really was one of my Saviours] Mark came up little while once. Tonight for longer … gave him kiss (little) worried – Jaque & Michael B both say Tricia spends 2hrs a day with him. I must trust him. Exerciser again – bending knee higher. memorial service tomorrow. Will it do the final job of recovering me? Will it get me out of shock? [Oh the naivety… if only it was as easy as ‘flicking a switch’…] must be with mark 4 it. about 9:00

A Life in Words
The Civic Memorial at St Monica’s Cathedral spilled out into the street

Wednesday 11/2/87

A Life in Words
A photographer captures my feeling during the civic memorial

packed day. Slept badly again-rolling a little isn’t enough … I went for a shower (reluctantly almost) and stood on my left leg to do so (I went to the ladies for the 1st time – out of a wheelchair – on a seat for the bath.) Then after using the loo- yes, proper loo! for a shit, yes, poo! (Talked to Trina – both of us for 10mins!) Ambulance men came. Mum hadn’t come with my uniform so Jaque let me wear hers. I felt terrible at first. I was smiling & waving at people [well… you were free of your hospital room for the first time in 6 days, and since visitor numbers had declined, seeing familiar faces after ‘so long’ would have been quite refreshing] & couldn’t cry – but later, during the eulogies, it all came out. Monique was my 1st best friend in about 6yrs [I can’t think whom I supposed my previous best friend was… six years earlier I would’ve been in Year 5 or 6 at primary school] – I think my first true one [indisputable]. I love her & I’m gonna miss her so much – not gonna be there (physically) anymore, when I need her… left in tears (news crews there – I was on the news – Mark too & others) They made me get on crutches – walk today. It hurt so much…even more (?? not sure) than dressing the wound ..I screamed but it was better today than “ever”. [“Dressing the wound” was a tad more complex than you might think. Still unable to bring myself to look at it, all I knew at this stage was that they had to ‘pack’ the wound daily with saline-soaked cottonwool, around the two plastic ‘drains’ that were buried in there. That may begin to give you an idea of the extent of the injury…] Lotsa Smithfield people came becca p, Karen & toni & Jo B – gave me a record voucher & chocolates. [Yes, black vinyl. We still had record players in the late 80’s, although cassettes were more predominantly used (in our walkmans, right?) CD’s were pretty much unheard of’.] Isn’t that great? Um, saw mark little – another kiss. He’s going tomorrow. hope he sees me at school lunchtimes. I wonder if Tricia kisses him when she sees him. Bitch – spending too much time with him. [The Green Monster] Hope nothing happens back at school. OH WOE!!

Thursday 12/2/87

I nearly fainted on the crutches this arvy – I decided to try and walk to the loo – but the pain in my leg – the blood rushing to my wound my feet – by my wound – made me light-headed weak, dizzy. After drinking water – I was wheeled to the loo. SHit. I’ve been eating choc-coated peanuts they made me shit 2 times more this arvy. [I can’t decide whether the ‘SHit’ was an expletive because I failed to get to the bathroom on my own & had to be wheeled in, or whether it was an introduction to the statement detailing my bowel movements…] After loo, I went to see Mark – talked & mucked around. He went home. (after long (??) time) But he has to come here 10pm – stay the night so they can check his leg in the morning. Hope he visits me. Said he’s going to movies tomorrow night – & it only just occurred to me: with whom? TRICIA? NO! He CAN’T. WOULDN’T. COULDN’T. might? Oh dear; I hope he visits me lots. I’ll miss him – I already do. Doctors undressed my leg today so I had no painkillers WHATSOEVER. I let out a scream & one doctor revved me. [I was immediately stunned into silence; why did the doctor snap at me? How could he be so heartless? So rough, insensitive & unsympathetic? Aren’t all medical professionals meant to be caring? I was a kid for chrissakes, with a hole in my leg …to which the dressings stuck fast every day. Was I not entitled to react to Pain? I literally dreaded the doctors’ rounds thereafter, and even tried to arrange bathroom sojourns in order to evade them. This experience may also possibly underlie my partial aversion to the clinical medical industry…] I saw the wound – unpacked. Yukky. [That’s a bit of an understatement. A Life in WordsThe only way I have been able to describe it to people is in this light: imagine you took the pastry top off a meat pie, and discovered not only that it was uncooked (red-raw) inside, but that there were also two bits of plastic tubing staring out at you. That was what my right inner thigh (about 10cms above my knee) looked like. It’s a real shame we never managed to take any photos of it.] Then waited ages till the nurses brought the stuff – to repack themselves I was much better today I think. Took stitches out of my [left] knee. God I wish my muscles would work themselves. [That’s what every lazy person wishes with regard to physical activity!] It’s 9:00. I need an early night. So I can hack walking or even standing tomorrow. I hate it. HURTS SO BAD. ♥ u mark!

Friday 13/2/87

My bruising appears to be going down – it’s fading.. I got on crutches lots today… walkies!! and I didn’t scream or even yell when my dressing was done! (I had the Finnish sister – she’s really gentle – doesn’t rip off stuff that’s stuck to the wound- soaks it in NaCl+H2O [saline solution] and gently prys apart.) But the best bit was… MY CAMERA WAS FOUND & THE HORNETTS PROCESSED THE FILM! I Have PHOTOS! 20 photos some good, some boring – but all are great campshots. Not enough of Monique. A few visitors today. Mark came up before he left. 2 goodbye kisses. I’m gonna miss him. He’d better come up tomorrow. If he doesn’t I’ll bash him!! Ha, ha! (Not going to movies- he’s going to dinner with family- “WELCOME HOME”.) Getting rain lots now. Think periods are over, thank god. Ms Mars. came up & gave us (Trina & I) [art] work. Pizza (from dad) for tea. Jaque’s going home tomorrow. Will be boring-er [meaning: more boring] when she’s gone. Yowie fell out of bed last night & Mark almost ran him over today. (in wheelchair) God, he’s lost weight – skinny runt. Restless sleep last night …couldn’t get comfortable – couldn’t roll over much. Shitty right leg. hurry up & heal! about 9:30.

A Life in Words
Sometime after the back-biting incident, I was presented with this teething ring to use during dressing changes. (I think my mum bought it for Tania’s sake!) It was clearly well-used…

Saturday 14/2/87

VALENTINE’S I got from him a red rose, a balloon-on-a-stick (saying “I love you”) and a card (and even a little letter-which is great, considering he finds it hard to write) he came during the last 15mins or so of my dressing- I didn’t know for the first 10 mins. and was babbling on.. Ha,ha. He stayed quite some time- about 4 or 5 kisses altogether today. Love that guy… can’t wait til I’m better & we’re both back at school. Cried more for Monique today. Realised how she’s the only one I’ll really miss – she’s the one who was most part of my life. I love you Monique. I wish you were here. I thought about being dead today. If I’d died, I wouldn’t’ve minded – cos moni’d be with me.. I’d feel none of the pain I get with this leg etc [The contemplation of Death is unavoidable in an experience such as this. You meet with it yourself, you lose your peers to it, you can’t hide from it. Up to this point in time, I naturally hadn’t formed many beliefs (we were never a highly religious family). I hadn’t conceived of much: ‘Where’ exactly do you – did they – Go? Heaven? What is Heaven? Does it even exist? The Fear of Death is simply the Unknown, so it’s clear that in one (very odd) respect I benefitted from Monique’s death: it removed an element of Fear about the Afterlife (or simply, ‘After’). I believed I would not be Alone, and I would not feel (physical) Pain…] ..Few visitors ..boring day cause JACQUE LEFT at 10:30. It’s so different without her. Ate lotsa junk today Hospital food -yukky-some alright. Kentucky from Trina’s parents for tea. I still will cry for monique I don’t think I’ll ever stop – slow down maybe, but never stop. [I was right. But the tears much, much fewer and farther between, because… Life Goes On.] Easier on crutches, esp. tonight.

Sunday 15/2/87

Mark did come in today.. was boring for him, I could tell..reckons he won’t come back or see me for 3 weeks… I reckon he’ll come back. Has to. I’ll bash him if he doesn’t!! [What’s with all this ‘bashing’ Liss? A bit aggressive…] Love that guy. He came in before I went for a shower and had my dressing changed – saw the hole in my leg. Crabbe came in yet again…and Tania, but what’s new? Missing Alyson (nurse) quite a few new nurses now Did my daily exercise – crutch to loo shower, clean my teeth, to the “lookout room” at the other end of this floor & other miscellaneous crutch expeditions. Here I was thinking this diary would be just big enough. Next year I’m gonna get a thick book & write when I feel like it…probly every night, but more often if I feel inclined. Slept quite well last night. Talked to lotsa people, Justin, Daniel A, Dad, mum about their side of the story; what they felt ..what happened to them. [I believe ‘sharing’ experiences assists in the grieving and/or healing process. I have been surprised by the number of readers who have, through their gratitude to me for these blogposts, expressed this. While she wasn’t a ‘diariser’ like I, Mum managed to maintain a journal for a few weeks after the accident and I intend to transcribe parts of that in another, separate post in the near future. Reading it myself is difficult for two reasons: not merely identifying with (or trying to imagine) her experience, but also because she has now passed, her absence (my Loss) is accentuated.] I realised I haven’t dreamt since the accident. 2 weeks almost. Wonder if that’s [a] mental side effect. Will ask a social worker tomorrow. Eeek! Doctors tomorrow looking at my wound. No escaping it! Aaagh! Ate a fair bit today. Ooo-er! Rainy, cool… I think I’m getting better physically… mentally no.. I’m depressed… I’ll be in here at least another week.. I reckon 2. Everybody else’ll be gone by then I bet.

Valentine Mourning, 1986

At times in my teens, and even into my early twenties, I would write to ‘purge’ and this Valentine’s day was one of the first… or at least, one of the oldest ones I have retained. It’s probably a good thing that I felt the urge to do this (as woeful as it is) since writing is often considered cathartic…


It is 6:01 [PM I will assume] on the 14th of February, 1986: St. Valentine’s Day. I am 15 yrs, 7 months and 4 days old.

I know depression. Loneliness. That is just a form of depression, with which I am well acquainted.

I (along with others, I know) received no gifts.

However, I (along with others) gave no gifts.

Is it my shyness?

Is it my imagination which makes me think (hope) I’ll get gifts? And is it my imagination which makes me believe boys like me?

What is my problem?

Am I fussy? There are those who have shown their attraction, yet I rejected them.

If I am fussy, there is no hope of my changing. It would only make me more unhappy.

What is a kiss? I am 15½ yrs old and never been kissed.

That may not seem bad to the older generation, but to those of mine it is saddening. Is there any hope for me?

I wish someone, someone to whom I am attracted, would show a mutual interest. It would be so very fulfilling for me. It would relieve so many anxieties withheld each day.

I could no longer be ashamed or feel sorry or pity for myself.

That is what I feel. So sad. So sad.

So depressed.

Especially, on this day.

St. Valentine’s Day is, for everyone, either the most beautiful, rewarding, touching or the most sad, depressing day.

The latter I have experienced every February 14th, every year.

It must change.

It must change.


But WHAT do I do?

Do I ignore my imagination; being friendly & lively instead of shy and withdrawn to those to whom I am attracted.

It is easier, much, much easier said than done.

It is a terrible, lonely feeling which I am experiencing. I know many others (many?) know the feeling all too well, too, but it is something that one choses to believe is happening only to him.

It is indeed, a selfish attitude, but a true one, one that cannot easily change.

Those may try and brightly say “Oh well! Plenty of others know this feeling too.” But within, there is pain. Loneliness.

That type of depression is ….heartbreaking. That is perhaps the best word describing the feeling.

Heart-breaking.A Life in Words


If only…

If only…

If only I could change

If only others could change.




This depression is tiring. depressing.

God, how I hate that word.

I feel I could cry my heart out.


But there are no tears. Just a sinking feeling. Blue. That’s how I feel


Down in the dumps.A Life in Words






God how I hate that word.

What’s the use of being a ravishing beauty if there is no bright, bold personality to match?

I am not a ravishing beauty. Yet, I know I am no cow.

But I have the personality of one. I lack sincerity, individuality.

I have no personality.

I have no personality.

I have no personality.

I have no personality.

I have



It is 6:30, now.

Bludging, Laughing & Raging on the Weekend (10-16 February)

Monday 10/2/86

I do have my black bags back again. Boring day. Chemistry class was split; I’m with Tanja. And that’s it (except for Brent, Cameron & David, our class is full of deadshits – OH Linda & Heather aren’t.) It was so boring. We have Mr Lavers but he was away so we bludged the whole 2 lessons (no teacher told us what to do) I wrote a letter to Fi & mim (that’s 3 classes they have together, now) and also Delanie. Mim & Fi said that they understand all that work now- with Mr Misamis. Lucky. Wish our class was one. I’d rather one of 35 than two of 15 & 20. [When you’re 15 your friends mean more than your education, although I realise now the importance of small class numbers.] SHIT classes. Had to stand on bus this arvy. Valentine’s Day will be sooo depressing for me. Is 9:31. I think I’m riding tomorrow.

Tuesday 11/2/86A Life in Words

I liked today. It was good. I don’t know why, I just feel happy – it was no special day. Biology was a bludge. Maureen, Donna, Angie & I talked. It was quite cool last night – I had only my sheet on & (nothing except undies) used my pillow to try and keep me warm. [I still do that sometimes: if there’s no extra bedding within reach, forget climbing out of bed – use a pillow!] Tonight I’m wearing the old, faded, poly/cotton nightie. Hope it’s cold again. Rode home really fast this arvy – beat Julia’s & our buses home – no sweat! (Well, actually there was a lot!) Just too early to meet Justine & Beka though. Rang Justine – we talked for 45mins!! Mum & Julia got cranky & made me hang up. [This was not the first, and definitely not the last time I would ‘hog’ the phone (remember kiddies, there were no mobiles in the 80’s)…and it’s quite funny considering how much I hate talking on the phone now.] Laughed a lot today (in Maths, mainly) Fi told me about Cameron asking about me. [In relation to being a past neighbour of his father & stepmother – not for the reasons one might ordinarily guess] He didn’t even know I was at this school!! Is 9:30 on the dot!!

Wednesday 12/2/86

Pretty good day again today (I mean not special – but not boring) At lunchtime, Tanja, Fi & mim & I went into a Room & soon all the boys (well, the ones I like) were in there too. [I certainly was impressed by this moment because it’s remained one of my clearest & most favourite memories of my early days at CHS….possibly because it may have felt like the boys were seeking our attention?] I’ve decided the ones I like best are Steven, Cameron & Mark (& David & Ricky a bit) I think (I’m trying not to get my hopes up) Steven might like me. Whenever I see him he’s always in positions where I know he can see me. >HOPE< & ditto (kinda) with Mark and Cameron. Had a laugh in Chemistry with Tanja today over bomby cars!! carblacksmoke.jpgWent home on the Saints bus instead. [Saint Augustine’s was a Catholic boys-only school, and a major ‘competitor’ to Cairns High especially in male-dominated sports. But I guess also, in a respect, a competitor for girls’ attentions…] Chem & Bio Big bludges – teachers are away on YR12 camp. Had no relief teacher for Bio!! At all! I love laughing. [Who doesn’t? Unless you’re being tickled to death and you can’t breathe.] It’s 8:42 – early nite

Thursday 13/2/86

I was naughty today. [Such a strong sense of Conscience] I rode (doubled Fi) to the Trubook Baths in lunchtime (Mima was doubled by Donna & Sharon took Fi’s bike with a guy.) Also Mark F. & Melinda B went too (also some other kids.) Was alright, except for the teachers. They stopped all Smithfield kids from talking to us & one teacher even followed us round the fence-line, warning & telling us to go away. Saw Justine, Richard, Adrienne, Erica, Jay, Anna, Colleen etc. Poor Anna looked so sad. She hates Smithfield now. So much. Riding home, stopped at Stratty P.O. to buy stamps for Mim. Beka got off bus. Talked for a while. All buses passed me. Had religion today too. FUN!! (Blah!) [As far as I can remember, that was the ONLY “religious education” I ever received in my two years at Cairn High. In fact, I don’t recall getting any at Smithfield in the three years I was there either! I guess that’s state school for you? Hooray!] Is a little sticky at the moment tho it’s 8:40. Not hot – just sticky

Friday 14/2/86A Life in Words

VALENTINE’S DAY is sooo depressing! God, I’m HOT And disappointed. I’ve got over my depression but I’m still a bit disappointed.  [Look out for an extra special blogpost, this Friday: I wrote about this ‘depression’ in further detail…it’s incredibly woeful!] But, chin up. Think of the future. (things MUST change) They will. Mima can stay over tomorrow night (I’m trying to get Fi over, too.) Hopefully (I talked to mum) we can go to Anne Marie’s party. Otherwise,we’ll drop in at Mark’s for a while. Fi got 2 val. cards (one from mima – the other from Glen) Brent’s got one for mima. But she hasn’t got it yet. And me? Of course, I got none. It’s 10:41. I didn’t want a late night – my clock just stopped ticking. Hafta wind it up.. That’s betta!! The card for Cameron from julia, everyone (mostly) thought it was from me. SHAME [My sister had a crush on Cameron, spanning back from the days when we lived beside his father & stepmother, circa 1983-4. Because she was still at Smithfield High, I was the courier for her valentine’s card to him and I definitely copped some flack thanks to others’ assumptions.]

Saturday 15/2/86

Tried to make myself do HW before mima came, but didn’t. Sunbaked for 40mins (20ea. side) Coloured a little bit. When mima came, we did HW. 12:00-4:00 No! 5:00! In that time, we rang Fi & she came up and Brent rang twice. After, walked down the shops (at Freshy Creek) and bought …cigarettes. [I’m guessing they cost in the vicinity of $2 for a packet back then (the equivalent of about $4 now), so it wouldn’t’ve been too hard for us to scrape together the coin needed for them.] Got ready around 6:30. Got there [where? Anne-Marie’s party?] at 8:30. Heapsa Smithfield ragers. Stephen N (remember him – blonde-haired spunk) was there. (Everyone thinks he’s cute – Anna, Mim, Fi, Col, & Sally) Went to Suzelle’s & drank Westcoast  (other people’s – got in deep shit) Back at Mark’s all night. Had 3 smokes. Lotsa drunk kids. Gangs around Old Smithy Road corner. Bashed Ward (Mark’s friend) everyone scared. All went – thought police would come. Everyone made to be driven home. Really scary. Neville & Torsten went missing for 2 hours. 12:00-2:00. Were all right. Is 2:30 now. Are all shit-tired!

Sunday 16/2/86

Woke 8:30. Shit! Got only about 5-6 hrs sleep. Shit!! Did nothing while mima did English assignment & Fi some Bio. HW. Fi had to go to work 11:30. We (mim & I) went to Mark’s  – looked at the mess & helped clean up. We even got food & shit in our back yard. A Life in WordsWhole street & park area big mess. Anyhow, cleaned our bikes (after we walked to shop for lollies & dropped mim’s gear off) Got burnt Then made patty cakes. Then iced them. Ate some. Had a big talk in the park around 5:30 to 7:00 after we’d seen Cameron (McK) & 2 other guys riding up the street (But they never came back) Talk was great. Steven B is not a virgin. Mima said so many guys aren’t. So many nice (looking) guys. (Mark W) Pity. Pity. Pity. [Oh this makes me laugh! Was I really SO innocent & naive?!] Is 8:49. Am tired. Must sleep. PACKED WEEKEND: was a RAGE.

Womanhood & Power Cuts (11-17 February)

Monday 11/2/85

Today was boring, I s’pose. Just normal, Day 5 lessons (YUK!). Quite hot, too. Sarah H hung around us at big lunch. God it’s hot right now! I’m sweating – boiled!!!!! Mrs Westerwald picked on me in German, again. I couldn’t help being cheeky!! Raiders of the Lost Ark is on TV, now. Yes, the movie. What a surprise!! I’m sooo hot – Can’t think. If I remember anything else that happened today, I’ll write it in later!!

Tuesday 12/2/85

Mima dropped Glenn. Power strikes (I mean power cuts) all day today. Stupid electricity board. It’s not FNQEB this time, but SEQEB. Yes, they’re rationing our electricity! BUGARS! [All Queenslanders will remember the stoush between the Unions and The Bjelke-Petersen government at this time. There were state-wide electricity disruptions for many weeks. I didn’t – and honestly still don’t – know the gory details behind it all. I simply mimicked my parents’ attitudes. Oh, and hated being without power….as you do.] Didn’t do much work today. Was tired. Got Thursday’s history notes from Kel. Still don’t know how to get started in my english. Wrote a poem this arvy – don’t really like it, but can’t get an essay started. Will just show him (Mr VS) the poem tomorrow…….. Not too exciting – yes!! In art, have tables now & Tina & Erica sit opposite Fi & me – talkabout LAUGH!! So funny is Tina!!!!! [Bit of a girl-crush on the popular girl!] Early-ish nite to-nite!

Wednesday 13/2/85

A Life in Words
Imagine these handlebars (but with front & rear brake lines) on men’s racer bikes & you have the trendiest bike in 1984/5

This was no ordinary day. I got my periods. Yes, finally. I never thought I’d see the day!! As “mother” said to me, “Welcome to womanhood, Liss”. S’pose!! Mrs Westerwald picked on me AGAIN! I think I’m her guinea pig, now (me  & Lucy & Lisa F) Mr Van Slooten was away in history – in art Tina, Erica, me & fi had more fits of laughter over smiles, sinus & Kyrene’s (Erica’s sister’s) habits! Got seats on the bus, thank God! Lucy got off with me & after arvy tea, I walked her to music (she goes to a lady in Cassowary St.) She came back later & we both walked to speech. Mima’s got butterfly handles on her bike now! [I’m not talking your modern racing handlebars, I’m talking the high bars that roadster bikes used to have. See pic→] 

Thursday 14/2/85

VALENTINE’S DAY. Power cuts continue – last nite, tonite (& days) – probably go on for weeks!! Getting worse – could end up with a complete black out. Today was cool & wet (overcast). Was boring in school, again. Nothing exciting ever really happens. A Life in WordsTook home Fiona U.’s “Smash Hits Yearbook”. By the time I’d finished ready thru’ it, it was on dusk. Did little HW, didn’t really have much. Late night again, due to HW & blackouts. 1hr on, 1hr off now…… Geoff took mum to lunch; no choccy’s (DAMN!) Hate stupid electricians. Think they’re so cool. Well, Joh’s gonna show ’em!

Friday 15/2/85

Today was boring again. Power strikes are getting worse. Boring science; pes actually did a handstand (with Justine’s & Sarah H’s) help! Ms Westerwald didn’t actually pick on me today! HIP HIP HOORAY!! Behind in Hist. notes…. At lunchtime, walked ’round & then mucked about with Julia & Jodie. Jodie T. (not Jules’ friend) hates Fi or so Fi thinks. This arvy looked thru’ magazines. Petra is staying. Late nite….. with my radio, I went through AM trying to pick up all the stations – some Japanese!!

Saturday 16/2/85

Today, made “Barbie doll” clothes. My 2 ‘barbies’, I want to keep for my kids when I grow up, and until then, I’ve decided to make clothes for them & keep them fashionable & on display!! [Hmm well, two spanners in the works there: those dollies are long gone and I have had no kids to which I could give them, should they still be in my possession] Made 2 tube dress/skirts today, 1 boob tube & a pair of ski pants / Otherwise, I read magazines, till Mim & Fi came round about 4:30. Rode to Stratty (on flat tyres) & all pumped them up while the electricity was still on… rode around till 6:00, was fun! Late night tonight (hoping to be so tired that I sleep in) Boring.. Jules is at Dad’s. Wet & rainy today. Periods still!

Sunday 17/2/85

A Life in Words
diagram of pontoon

Woke early-ish DAMN! & sat making more barby clothes (a shirt from a sock, a  glove & tog bottoms) Then mima rang. Went to Tinaburra! Not the actual block, but where there was a pontoon like on the old Coke ads $2.50 for ¼hr – Rip off! But Nyree, Liam, Ryan & Rebecca I. were on it & had been for 2hrs! (Just from the $2.50!) So we went on it (Yes, I swam – didn’t bleed much at all!) TREADLY FUN!! (except that we only got 40 mins) Stupid old man – Jock! [I’m not sure if this was his name or an insult. Most likely the latter.] Anyway sunbaked & read. (Got quite burnt) At lunch, the man went away so we swam out to it – & swam under the floats. We were under the tramp. part. Man came back & we were severely skinted!! After had a go on the water toboggan – TREADLIER!! At home, mum had an accident – forgot the car was in 1st – drove straight thru’ to back yard – broke the table & the bird got away (cage severely bent) Lateish nite – strikes are worse.

February 1984

Wednesday 1 February

Normal school day (boring!) – fun on the bus. I think Martin P. & Patrick L. still like Fiona (from gr 7 – remember Lucy’s party, Martin?) Day 2 today!! Is Hot!!

Thursday 2 February

Cooler today because of a breeze. Toni thinks Shane likes Justine – Hope not ! ! ! Fiona’s & my plan is kinda working. Late night 9:30.

Friday 3 February

Good day. Went to Lucy’s after school. Mim, fi,Beka & her were all there. Played a ‘matron’ game. Are all sleeping at mim’s

Saturday 4 February

Supposed to go to town today with Fi, Beka, Lucy, Toni & Karen at 9:00. Toni didn’t want to come, Karen and Fi weren’t allowed and Beka didn’t show up at the bus stop so Luc & I went by ourselves at 10:00. Lazy arvy!

Sunday 5 February

Lucy, mim and fi couldn’t come to Green Island with me, Jules, Nin & Ruth. It was Rainy & overcast. Hoped it wasn’t raining over there – it wasn’t, but was horribly black in clouds. Bird pooped on me twice!! On the way there, I threw up my cherry jam, which I had on toast for breakfast!! [I vividly recall this trip, in rough conditions on one of Hayles’ older Green Island ferries. My sister threw up into her beach towel and after vomitting myself, was amused to find a whole piece of said fruit in the tissue after clearing my nasal passages.] Walked around & had a swim was COLD!! Lost my earring back. Not allowed to watch ‘Grease’ on TV – poop!! (Melinda S. came with us to Green, today)

Monday 6 February

Mum let us watch ‘Grease’ after all. We begged and were a bit naughty, but we watched it!! My left ear is … INFECTED. I wore no earrings to school & fi blew me up – she told me they would close up. Saw Kevin Shorey this afternoon. We had to buy a whole new earring to replace the lost back, but when I cleaned my ear tonight, with the hydrogen peroxide, I dropped the new back down the sink plug. God, I’m an Idiot, a Fool!!

Tuesday 7 February

Today mum saw Kevin Shorey. He gave her a stainless steel back!! THANK GOD!! Pretty good day!! Swimming carnival next Tuesday!! Went to our houses to sort out entrants in the races. Mandy came over for a talk today & brought Heath. He’s big & beautiful!

Wednesday 8 February

Orthodontist appointment 8:30!! Came back to school during period 1 only have to wear my brace till April; UNREEALL!! 1st Speech day today, for the year. Lucy, mim & elisia are in my group. Watched Hoges tonight. Was hilarious!!!

Thursday 9 February

Although Sixteen Candles hadn’t yet been released, I’d already had the pleasure of wearing this kind of orthodontic brace.

In the paper this morning, a year 8 boy from our school had 60 birthday punches from mates – his arm was severely bruised “Shane E.” I don’t know him! They say it happened on the Stratford bus & Paul P. threw one of the punches. Um-aaaah!! With my brace, the reason I only have to wear it until April is that he only wanted to pull my jaw back so my teeth were in their proper grooves, not pull all my teeth back into place!

[I had an amazing amount of dental work carried out on my little head over a number of years, and at this stage I am wearing one of those external braces …yes, you can imagine exactly what I’m talking about; the ones that have the external ‘handle’bar & elastic around the back of the skull – the largest, most conspicuous orthodontic contraption in existence! Thankfully I only had to wear it for 14hrs per day, so I was rarely seen with it in public.]

Friday 10 February

Ruth left today. Pity!! She is very nice. Gave us $5  each last night – gave us lots of things!! GOODBYE!! Had fun on bus coming home. Mim, Fi, Beka, me & Jules played tennis at the Freshy courts. Martin, Patrick & Shane were playing cricket & whistling all the time. I wonder who Shane was whistling at. I think it may have been me!! HOPE!! I tried hard to ignore but I couldn’t help noticing Shane whistled the most!! When he left he did one last loud one. Was it for me? Only hope.

Saturday 11 February

Stayed at Fi’s last night. Went to Sportsworld & watched Fi, Beka, mima & Polly in tennis lessons. Came back to mim’s for a swim. Beka & Fi left – I stayed for lunch. Fi came back after. We had another swim then watched the ‘Thriller’ Jackson special which had been taped from an old ‘Airwaves’ show. Melinda is sleeping tonight.

Sunday 12 February

I am still wondering about those whistles on Friday afternoon. I mean, were they for real? Who were they for? Who blew most of them? It is making me too excited. Today just read, lazed & did Homework until went to Fi’s & did some cooking with Fi, mim & pol.

Monday 13 February

That whistling job had me going all weekend – everyone knew there was something on my mind!! I’m just DYING to know! Shane didn’t act unusual today. Perhaps it was my imagination. My new togs:

A Life in Words
diary sketch of the new togs (read: swimming costume)

Tuesday 14 February


Was no rain, just overcast. TRINITY WON!! Elliss 2nd, Clifton 3rd, Kewarra LAST!! Shane came 2nd & 4th in his races!! Looked at each other on the bus!! Geoff gave mum flowers & choccy

Wednesday 15 February

DAY 5 TODAY. I hate this day!! Today on the bus, Shane gave me an accusing look, when he opened the sliding window, as if I shut it, but I didn’t. I said,” I didn’t shut it”. He just went “Hmph” and I said “Poofter” aloud – I think he may have heard me. Hope not. Feel Energetic!!

Thursday 16 February

A LIfe in Words
Some samples of the ‘fashionistas’ that earnt me some pocket money.
How’s the Boy George look-alike?!

I am very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very upset over Shane. I think he did hear me yesterday. He has been giving me the cold shoulder & I’m not used to it from him. I’ve also lost a good piece of essay for English. Really good & I can’t remember it so I’ll have to start from scratch, but the 2nd copy won’t be as good as the first. Have started a drawing business. [Ah! Here’s the li’l entrepreneur again] Draw girls wearing different fashions – sold for 5c. I also take orders for 10c. This arvy I told Karen how I felt about Shane when we got off the bus and started crying. She didn’t like seeing me cry but promised to talk to him & tell him I do love him & am upset over him. She’s a very good friend.

Friday 17 February

Boring school day. Did homework at mima’s with fi & her. Had heaps of fun!! Don’t think I got much done. Had an early-ish night.

Saturday 18 February

Fiona slept at Jemima’s last night. They went to tennis but it was raining so Jemima got her new racer and rode back to Freshwater with Fi. I took Mr. B.’s racer & we rode out to Beka’s. Decided to ride to ake Placid for a swim, but was too rough. Ended up at Freshy Creek.

Sunday 19 February

In the morning, mima & Fi came round & asked me if I’d like to ride to town. Packed lunch (took $5) and went. They had their racers, while I struggled on my stupid old pushbike. Dropped in to see if Elisia wanted to come, but wasn’t allowed. Had fun. On the way home, it poured. Were all sopping wet!!

A Life in Words
My ‘Bomby’ Bike

Monday 20 February

Julia’s ears have closed up!! Ha, ha!! Na, she’s a sport! Mim & fi came around after school & we went for a ride up Simon and into ‘new’ Cassowary St. We found a dead snake on the road. We all dared each other to ride over it. We were about to move it with sticks when a bloke threw it away into the bush.

Tuesday 21 February

Today was good. At lunch, we were lifting each other’s skirts up and I got Karen twice, she got me 3 times. On the bus she tried to pull mine up in front of Shane but she couldn’t because I got off at a different stop & ran home (I got off at the corner of Griffith & Old Smithfield Rd. Toni was in on it too).

Wednesday 22 February

Had my photo taken for my I.D. card; a card which entitles me to discounts at various shops & places. Lotsa HW. 1st English essay due tomorrow, 1st two numbers on German assignment to be done by tomorrow and History assignment due next Wed. Forgot to bring some bubblegum, today!! Speech was okay. Today, also, my band broke. I was chewing gum and the slot came off * It was on the brace when I took it off.* [*there were hand-drawn illustrations at these points in the original diary but unless you’d actually been a ‘victim’ of this kind of brace, the sketches wouldn’t mean much] Mum said we’ll go in tomorrow. Hope it’s not booked out!

Thursday 23 February

Nana & I went late-night shopping tonight in town. Mum & Jules went to K-Mart. I bought a clear plastic rain-jacket from Sportsgirl & Nana bought me a blue-y-green dress form Katies. Last year (when I didn’t know Mandy P. was Adrian’s sister) I called Mandy a tart. In Mathers tonight she walked past and said “let her call me a tart, I don’t care”. Adrian (embarrassed) said “shut up”. It looks like Mole-inda (Melinda S.) blabbed it out to Mandy, cause no one else would.

Friday 24 February

Good day at school, but forgot bubble gum again!! Went to play tennis with Toni, Justine, Natasha, Karen & Lucy. Had fun. I think I can play tennis – my arm is quite strong! Justine’s tyre punctured so mum took her home and we’re minding her bike tonight.

Saturday 25 February

Have all my savings worked out. I have a list of about 20 that I’d like, a total of $487!! OH GOSH!! But I’ma gonna do it! Enter every competition etc! AM: wrote out english essay. PM: went with Fi & mim to mim’s for a swim. Helped get them ready for Jason P’s Party. Julia slept at Dad’s tonight.

Sunday 26 February

Did some homework. Wasn’t allowed to ride into town this Sunday (it ended up mim, beka & fi didn’t go either – it was raining!) Mum tried to mow block [of land that was to be the location of our next home] in the rain. Got ½ done. I did 10 new girls to sell. Had big rumball & salad roll for lunch. Went to mulleys with Dad & Jules. Had tea there too. Watched TV & rollerskated!

Monday 27 February

On Saturday, wore mima’s ugly purple earrings home – Nana had a fit. When I tried to put my stud in my left ear it stung so I pushed hard and a bit of skin poked out. I was supposed to go to Kevin Shorey’s to have it checked but ‘didn’t have time’. Saw Mr F. [our family dentist] today when we dropped Petra home from school. He noticed the difference in my teeth!

Tuesday 28 February

Julia came home from school because she felt sick. Had a laughing fit on the bus when Patrick hit his head really hard on the portrack & when the dog barked & started chasing Toni & Rebecca P. bolted and I hung onto them. Very tired today HOT!! Early night -mum had coffee with Geoff.

Wednesday 29 February

Good day; did some pictures to sell and Mr Van Slooten helped me sort out my History assignment. Still can’t find ‘Flashback’ History Textbook. Late for Speech. Mim, angela, Fi, elisia & me were about the only ones who wore our uniforms to the inter-school swimming carnival (shame!!!!!!)

Week Seven, 1983

Saturday 12 February

Went to K-Mart again with Petra & Mima. Mima & Polly ended up staying tonight. Went to the Rocks. Took Petra, me, Julia, Lysarne, Mim, Rebecca, Polly & Atrso (Dad took us)

Sunday 13 February

Stayed up late and I’m very tired. Julia went sailing with Petra so I went to Mim’s & spent the day there. Sent love notes to Philip and mathew.

Monday 14 February


Got hay fever (or something like it) yesterday. Didn’t get anything done over the weekend (HW I mean) today the Anti-Histereen [! histamine] tablet showed its effects. I was asleep on my feet all day except on the bus & the afternoon – I had a splitting head-ache. Sons & Daughters is coming on tonight! Just before “The US Hero”. Went to Rebecca’s. Natasha was there & she tried to help us on our project.

Tuesday 15 February

PS 14th: Didn’t get to give Shane a Valentine’s card!

Nothing much today. Got in sport houses 8ABC & 9A are Trinity [sport houses were named after local northern beaches] & we’re red. I’m not in one race at all. It’s not fair. Got project done, only just. Lost the info, so we had to write down some other garbage. Speech was okay. I was best behaved! Am going to show Mrs McI. my poem about the Hawk! Went to Rebecca’s after. Decided on a new instrument:

A Life in Words
Diagram of ‘The Instrument’
(we had to design a musical instrument)

Wednesday 16 February

PS 15th: Yesterday was quite crowded after all and Mr V.S. didn’t even look at our lovely, tinsel-covered project. After we rushed to finish it. Not one look!

Changed now! I’m first on the list of relay 1! Am happy! 9B, 8DEF (Fiona’s) Eliss [misspelled ‘Ellis’ as in Ellis Beach]. 9C GHJ Clifton – green. Elliss – gold. Kurrwurra [Kewarra] – 9DE 8KL – black & white! Young Frankenstein was fab! No HW due to the carnival tomorrow. Thank God!

Thursday 17 February

We won! Trinity won – 668! I didn’t win my relay though because Melissa and Cathy weren’t fast enough. Connie started beautifully, Melissa went second, fairly well, Cathy went third losing the race for us then I went last (not boasting) pretty good. Ellis were second, Clifton 3rd, Kewarra 4th. Almost forgot my bus money this morning but managed to get it in time. Today wasn’t a Day 1 unfortuneatly. Special Occasions like today are called Day 7’s. [From memory, at Smithfield High our class timetables didn’t follow a typical working-week calendar…we had 6 timetabled ‘Days’ which meant the timetable made a full rotation in 6 weeks…unless of course there was a Day 7 thrown in ‘for special occasions’. No idea why this system was adopted..to keep us on our toes?!]

Julia and I with our only female cousin, Jodie. Peregian Beach, early 1970's
Julia and I with our only female cousin, Jodie.
Peregian Beach, early 1970’s

Friday 18 February

Today Auntie Bev had a baby boy! They might call him Anthony or Timothy! One problem though, I wish it was a girl. I only have 1 female cousin – Jodie. Fi came over. Wanted her to sleep but I ended up staying at her place. Not much HW I need to take. In fact – none at all! Home Ec on Mon. Oh no! Not fussy Cassy! (Caswell) Started Geography today. We’re not doing History this semester now. Pooey!

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