Slave Labour, Car Pushing & Thong Theft (20-26 January)

Monday 20/1/86

And the rain continues…. it’s nice & co(ol)ld now, too! Mima got back 5:30 this arvy – rang me about 8:00. Thursday is the day I meet with other new CHS students. Mom [I actually wrote ‘mom’? Surely a joke?] woke me this morning to say I had to go to work, Jenny’d had a big fight with Steven & wasn’t going to work anymore (ever – again) That’s childish So Steve’s on holiday & Dad’s the only one at work. I earned $19.25 did 65 drums + (reduced rate of $2 per hour) 1½hrs. [Reduced rate? I wish I could remember what reason my father gave me for halving my usual pay rate, but I have a feeling it related to needing someone there but not wanting to part with too much for it. Ain’t no way any official employee would have to put up with whimsical pay changes like this…] Saw Justine too. She must have gone for a walk (with this guy – a friend) along the wharf & I saw her just as she was walking out the gates. [My dad’s business premises then were in a shed near the wharves on Trinity Inlet, not too far from the CBD. Of course there’s no sign of their existence now.] Anthony got back from Melbourne today. Hafta work tomorrow again. Late – is 10:34

Tuesday 21/1/86

Did very little at work today, 3¼hrs altogether = $6.50. I got my total pay (yesterday’s too) which came to $25.75 (But I forgot 50c). And Julia got $4 + $4 extra – for no reason except that dad said he could “pay her what he wanted”. So it’s easyily defined – she’s the favourite – ooh!  [I remember this. Pretty hurtful. And my father considers my mother always ‘molly-coddled’ my sister. Is this not the pot calling the kettle black?] I’m sick of the mozzies. Aussie flogged India won by 100 runs or so!! Rains only (really) at night. Rang Beka – couldn’t come to Rocky IV. Finally got thru to mima – she’s coming. Rang Fi & Mr D said she was at mima’s Tried & it was engaged again. Have to ring Fi in AM. Late nite: 10:45

A Life in WordsWednesday 22/1/86

Rang Fi – she was at mima’s! Rang mima. Invited Fi & agreed to Jay coming. Rocky IV was unreeeeal!! It was …. ohh! We were squirming around in our seats, covering our faces & saying shit, shit, shit, knock him, kill him! [I’ve never been good with suspense …nor gore. And don’t even bother mentioning horror…] Saw Tashy & Beccy & mima said they just sat staring with no expressions. Punces! [Punces?!] Met Anna & Polly after. Mr B took us back to Brewers. All stayed there the night (Polly’s birthday party (kinda)) Walked to our places & got gear. Had beautiful tea & played Trivial Pursuit (ours) till about 12:30 (mima & I won) Mum said I hafta go home early 2morrow cos the washing machine repairmen are coming & Julia doesn’t want to be on her own there.

Thursday 23/1/86

Woke pretty early (7:30) Mum rang – Mr B said I didn’t have to go home at all this morning – great!! Had no brekky (not too bad – I wasn’t very hungry) [It’s good to know we were always breakfast-eaters… I mean, brought up to eat – and therefore miss, when it wasn’t to be had – breakfast.] then around 10:00, everyone (Tanja, Elisia, Lynette & Ngarie) came [I actually already knew Elisia – she had gone to the same primary school as Jemima, Fiona & I]. They’re all nice!! Talked about a camp at the Tinaburra Recreation Hostel. Got a list. & then talked all day. They left around 4:00. We played cards, before leaving to get our gear for the Waterworks. Got there around 6:15. Was fun! Heaps (our gang) about 18!! Went home in a taxi (WO!) [Yes, a taxi ride was a big deal back then. Since we all lived in what was then almost an ‘outer suburb’, taxis weren’t the most cost-effective mode of transport.] Watched the movie. Am bugared. Glad to have my bed again. Am allowed to go to this camp thing. Is 11:30

Friday 24/1/86

9:37pm. I wanted to have an early night. OH well! Woke latish. Guess what? I got my periods – I’m glad, but mad. Glad cos’ before school – mad cos’ the camp’s tomorrow SHIT. Oh well. Rang mima at 10:36. Got to her place at 10:53. Caught Fi at 10:01. Mrs D took us in. At 11:45 we all (present) went to coles. We finished at 1:45. Walked to Fi’s shop (just me, mim, pol & her) ate & caught bus home. I was tired & had [period] pains. Lazed round all arvy. Didn’t do any housework – lazy dick. Have a shopping list 4 camp. For tomorrow Gotta pack, too. Leaving at 12:00

Saturday 25/1/86

A Life in Words
Obviously this was not us… but I’m sure it felt the same!

Woke around 8:00. Packing seemed to take Years. Went and got the shopping list complete. At 12:00, Mima said (rang) and asked me to go up there. We got to mim’s – they weren’t home. Went to Fi’s. mum left & we walked to mima’s. When Tanja came we left. But we got to Reservoir Road and the car conked at stoplights. We had to push!! EMBARRASSING. Went in back of Idstein’s Ute. [Yeah, those were the the days! Riding in the back of trucks – without restraints – wasn’t yet highly illegal. If it was, it wasn’t strictly enforced.] Uncomfy with 2 dogs. But finally, at 4:30, got to Brewer’s block. Took combie van to Tinaroo – Fun!! Unpacked – messed around. Had a big long tiring swim across dam & back. Late night (pretty good tea) very late, probably 2:00. Had period trouble – quite heavy.

Sunday 26/1/86

Light flow last night thank god. But got caught almost today. Went canoing. Woke around 7:30. Pancakes 4 brekky (we cooked) Then we took the canoes & went out till about 2:00 in the afternoon. Was great But Elisia was so fussy. We ended up doing what we wanted (i.e.. 5 canoes tied to a tree in the middle of the dam 4 lunch & elisia’s on the other bank starving.) Then More fun around 4:00 when went to dam wall & all chased (not all) by the gardener. Took Elisia’s thong – she went hyper-active [‘ballistic’ would be a more meaningful word to describe her reaction, nowadays. Or “off her nut”] – did everything to get it back, but Tanja, Mima, Fi, & I stayed out. Earlier night – no ghost stories etc – straight to sleep after an exciting walk at 10:30. About 12:30

Soggy Shoes & Socks Up Shit’s Creek (4-10 November)

Monday 4/11/85

Got  my BP assignment written out this morning and finished illustrations in History because Mr Van was away. Raining this morning Was lovely! I got drenched from mid-thigh down. I couldn’t stand my socks & shoes but they eventually dried out. [Ugh yep, wearing saturated socks & shoes – especially in a humid climate – is pretty bloody uncomfortable. Mind you, having same in a cold environment is pretty horrible too. When I visited Yosemite National Park in 2005, it was late November, it was wet, there was sleet, snow & my runners were drenched. Horrible.] Is raining now. It stopped around lunch time & only started again around 7:00. If it rains tomorrow morning I’ll take spare socks to the bus stop & I’ll wear a torn garbage bag over my skirt!!! NO JOKE! Lucy’s havin’ a party on the last day of school after we’ve been to Green Is. Dunno if it’ll be a success. We have to bring a ‘date’. Who’d have enough guts to go with me? Harry K was going to organise a gigantic party for YR 10’s elsewhere. I think that’d be better. Anyway…

Tuesday 5/11/85

Fran told me today on the way home that I was accepted [to the CAD art course at Cairns High] cos’ she asked Mr Roff. Fiona overheard and said, “now you’ve got to decide”. I looked away in thought and she said “well?” & I said “it’s not going to take me only that long to decide.” She’s anxious to know whether I’m going or not. Ha. Ha. Justine’s B’day. Planned to ‘forget’ on purpose, but she was shitty so we didn’t. So much HW mum came home late. We sat outside. I only got impatient when the phone started to ring cos’ I knew it’d be Lucy ringing to ask if I’d go for our typical ride. [For the younger generation, it must be explained that there were no such things as mobile phones. We only had landlines, so hearing a phone ringing off the hook inside when you were locked outs – and expecting a  call – was quite frustrating.] Ate a lot. Had cake & Kit Kat & yogurt.A Life in Words

Wednesday 6/11/85

My Homework is piling UP & UP & UP & UP all the time. I have 4 assignments to do, + study + outside work (otherwise I’ll have nothing to buy Chrissy presents out of.) I’m going nuts! Riding with Lucy this arvy, ran into Jemima. She congratulated me. I still don’t know whether to go or not. It looks as if I’m leaning towards leaving Smithfield but I must properly decide by writing out the pros & cons & seeing which outweighs which. Have to read now “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck. Only 100 or so pages. Hafta have it read by Friday so (it’s 8:30 now) I’ll read it all tonite. Mad Max II is on TV now. I’m not up to watching it – too tired. Only had 6½hrs sleep last night, cos slept at 11:00 automatically woke at 5:30 Another late nite I can’t hack!A Life in Words

Thursday 7/11/85

Is starting to get very hot and my work load grows higher by the minute. I can’t get myself to work on my assignments on week days. I have 4 assign’s. + the assign’s & studies I must do for exams. (I’m BOILING.I’m not gonna cope. Saw Neville at the park this arvy round 6:00 with a girl who looked like a boy from a distance. It’s his girlfriend. In a way I’m relieved but I’m mostly very curious. Riding again with Luc. We’re trying to get fit for the Green Island trip on the last day of school (there’s a rumour that CHS yr 10’s will be going same day too. Hope so! UNREAL!!) But’s not certain we are going yet. Late nite is 10:07

Friday 8/11/85

School – yuk. Sallie’s “party” (not many people were there) was great! (all the same.) Had fun at waterworks [the Waterworks was a water-based amusement park, virtually in the heart of  the Cairns CBD and apparently the first of its kind outside of the US. It had four ‘pipe’ slides were the main attraction, some of which apparently had razor blades in them if you believed the scaremongers! Eventually it was dismantled & relocated to what would then have been the southern outskirts of the city (Edmonton) & renamed Sugarworld. So far as I know, it’s still in existence.]  it was 5:50 to get in & I only had only $5 to start with. After dad picked me up (cos’ mum’s out somewhere) & went to Crown Hotel till 1:00. At dad’s watched end of movie & late movie the worst movie out “FJ Holden” Aust. of course. So stupid I coulda directed it better!! Anyway I crashed about 1:00 I’d say. Heat is becoming unbearable, almost. Rain has stopped & is hotter. Rode with Lucy & Sharon D. (cos’ she was at her shop) today. FUN!!!

A Life in Words

Saturday 9/11/85

Today was a big waste of time & energy. Got home around 10:30. Read my book & finished it up to 2:30, then watched TV. Yeah! WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!! Ate a fair bit today, too but drank heapsa water. Was BOILING & I am soooo tired cos woke 8:00 and don’t feel good. Watched movie tonite, too. (Waterloo) Am absolutely stuffed but is my own fault went for a walk tonight cos’ we’re minding Auzzie while Dad & Jenny go camping. Saw Neville’s house. Is quite nice. MUST do work tomorrow is my only wekeend left before 4 of ’em are due. SHIT I gotta sleep now – can’t keep eyes open.

Sunday 10/11/85

Got my english survey written out & re-wrote my first history assignment. Wrote a crappy ending which I’ll get Mr Van to help me re-write. as for the other 2, they’re up shit’s creek. Like me. Lucy rang at 9:30. We rode to Stratford News Agent so she could buy a book. I bought milk at Freshy. Julia went to Green Is for Brendan S.’s Birthday Party. Aussie was bored, I could tell – Jenny & Dad came around 5:30. Dad’ll photocopy my survey tomorrow. I have sooo much work it’s unfair. [Hahaha, love that one. UNFAIR?] In a shitty mood. No good razors left so I cut myself & I haven’t done that for yonks. early nite

Last Week of Grade 9 (10-16 December)

Monday 10/12/84

HOT got home at 6:45, to our flat at 7:40. Got to 1st busstop & saw the bus. Panicked but found out that the bus always sits at the stop if its too early. In double BP, had to move typewriters to L7/8. Heat! But at little lunch a giant downpour & wind cooled off. Not hungry tea & toast brekky, choccy thickshake lunch cereal for arvy tea & 2 sausages & sultanas for tea. Sean M. is a spunk. I think he’s terrifically good-looking. Hope he’s seen me. [Meaning, I hope he’s noticed that I exist] Can’t wait for the excursion tomorrow. Maybe something good will happen…?

Tuesday 11/12/84 A Life in Words

Alright. Hot on bus, headache at Brewery. (also a free soft drink!) 1hr at the esplanade, then got bored at the Waterworks. Sean didn’t go on the slides. Kept my eyes open – scanning, but found he spent most of his time on the video games. Hunky, brown trim body. Went to Fi’s tonight while Julia went to her Presentation/Disco/Graduation Night. Late nite. Lysarne P. won the “Citizen of the Year” Award. Jules had been working hard to get that one & bitch features won it. [My opinion of that entire family was evidently tarnished following the attack her mother made on ‘us’ in the previous week]

Wednesday 12/12/84

Boring day. Did nothing in most classes. Di & Kerry are minding us. Watched “Superman” It finished around 12:00. Got to bed about 1:00

Thursday 13/12/84

Great day!! Big bludge. At lunch there was a cricket match – YR8 & teachers vs Yr9. Sean was in the team so I wanted to skip 6th & 7th periods but Ms Clayton kept a few of us in (me, of course) to polish desks & had to go to BP. Just bludged anyway (Talked) In both lessons ¾ of the class were absent. NOT FAIR

Friday 14/12/84

Am not excited, really. Today doesn’t seem as important as it was months ago, i.e. I wish it was still school. Why? Cos I won’t see Sean for 6 weeks, unless he goes to the Bluelight. In PES, sat with Tina, Shelley & Melissa in B4. Mr Martin’s science class was in B1 so I got to see Sean. Left school at 1:00 after a wierd form party & litter parade [enmasse student rubbish collection]. Bored at home. Going to Jay’s party at 6:30. Wish (He) was invited I [some indiscernible word] him. Party was different. Justine & I stayed by ourselves (I had the feeling Jemima was till angry with me) Mum came 2HRS late. (12:30) Anna knows I like Sean now – she thinks he’s up himself. I don’t!!

A Life in WordsSaturday 15/12/84 

Very boring day. Mum finished my orange skirt for the Bluelight. Looks great!! Can’t wait! Rang mim & apologized myself (Polly told me that was wat she was really waiting for) Fiona could have told me earlier. Bluelight – little boring, very hot. Saw Sean 3 times (very shortly) wearing dark coloured clothes.

Sunday 16/12/84

Hot & boring. Made some bikkies, Jules & I basked under the sun (& hose!) Got a little burnt here & there.

Hello 1984! January in one hit…

Another year of ‘minimalist diarising’ because I apparently began in another Calendar Planner rather than a real diary, so entries are limited to a few lines – at least until I gave the Planner away in favour of another inifinitely more suitable, piece of stationery: a (pretty, floral) note book.

Since my ultimate goal is to catch up to current date (not year) so I can post a day at a time (matching dates – day and month – just 29 years out of whack) I’ll still be logging a number of days at once, for awhile. In fact, the next three posts will comprise entire months. So, get comfy!

Sunday 1 January

Geoff stayed the night but I drank some Champs!! (Champagne). Played scrabble & records all day Was quite boring.

Monday 2 January

Geoff stayed again – becoming a habit, huh? Saw ‘Octopussy’ with Fi & Stewart – was unreal!! Slept at Fi’s! Slept at 11:30

A Life in Words
A close-up of the newly pierced ears

Tuesday 3 January

Went to Earlville, then got my ears pierced at Kevin Shorey’s – 1.30!! Fi slept here

Wednesday 4 January

When started Nana’s car, Fi, Jules & me played a game. [While my grandmother was away on holidays, she’d left me the very important job of ‘starting’ her car…to make sure the battery didn’t die…or that the spark plugs didn’t rust? Who knows? I didn’t care – it was fun to pretend to drive, with the motor actually running]  11:30 – got this diary!! [‘This’ being the calendar planner’ – not the aforementioned floral notebook] In Arvy, Stew, Fi & I rode in the rain. No one stayed.

Thursday 5 January

Ears are alright, ie not hurting!! Went shopping, got money for trip to Green Island on 6th. Read a book, rode with Fi. No one slept.

 Friday 6 January

Last night went to ‘Staying Alive’ dancing (but wasn’t on). Karen wasn’t allowed to come to Green. Fi & me didn’t go either, due to clothing problems. Went to Crystal Cascades with Fi in the arvy.

A Life in Words
@ Green Island, Sat 7 Jan

Saturday 7 January

Glorious day at Green Is: Fi, Jules & me swam, sunbaked (but got burnt) ate, drank & walked. Sunny & no stingers! Saw a ‘Ray’. Had chook for tea.

Sunday 8 January

Watched the day cricket match – West Indies won. Dad came back from Perth last night, stayed today. Geoff was supposed to come over but dad was here. Mum rang him and dad was bout to say they ‘bury the hatchet’ & become friends, but Geoff hung up on him. How childish!! [the scorn of a child towards ‘potential’ step-parents can be unrelenting…]

Monday 9 January

Last night watched movie – ‘Ice Castles’ Touching story of a champion girl skater who went blind. AM: Took car for check-up. PM: read & rode with Fi.

Tuesday 10 January

Slept at Fi’s last night. Jules slept at Petra’s Sunday night. Played restaurants (with Stu & Brad) then Auctioneers. Had a game of cricket (Liam, me, Stu, Nyree & Fi) Had a black out [electrical power failure – not a ‘momentary loss of consciousness’]  while I wrote this!!

Wednesday 11 January

Small Gale last night; rain & wind. Is rainy today, too!! Tidied my knick-knack drawer in the morning, watched TV movie & in arvy played chasey game on bikes around the streets with Brad, Stu, Jules, Fi, me & Gina (“Black Gin”) [note to the Politically Correct who may be immediately incensed by this …this was a nickname of Gina’s….one she was aware of & accepted. Remember, we are kids, and it’s the early 80’s…]

Thursday 12 January

Went shopping – Kevin Shorey checked ears; “Good!” Fiona came round to sort out arrangements with Karen (about getting to town) Rode in rain.

Friday 13 January

Fi slept – went to town. Was fun!! Took $50 – came back with none!! (I had to buy stuff for school – skirts etc) $46 spent – ($4 on food & transport, of course!) Jules came with Karen, Fi & me. [Yes, back in the day, we could get a bus into town, have a meal and get the bus home, all for $4…Incredible.]

Saturday 14 January

Worked all day to spend time & earn money to use in last week of the hol’s. Made pizza, which took to C.’s (Geoff’s boss & family) for pre-dinner snack.

Sunday 15 January

Stayed at Fi’s while mum & Geoff went to Joss House. Recorded half of Michael Jackson special on ‘Airwaves’ (on tape recorder), Cleaned Geoff’s car. Got $3.

Monday 16 January

Mim came back – We (Polly, mim, fi & me) went to town. These three boys followed us around from Stereo World right into town on bikes – frequently kicking or punching us. A lady (who mim & Pol knew) from Suzie Cue got rid of them and we caught the 4:15 bus in peace. Was awful – were all shaking with fear! Mrs B.’s birthday so no one could sleep at Fi’s. Also mim gave Fi & me a cute candy-stick shaped pen each from Malulabah [as in, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast. I was quite a ‘phonetic’ speller.]

Tuesday 17 January

Thought Fi slept at mim’s last night but was wrong. I was quite upset previously, though. Lazed around today. Sunbaked – HOT DAY. Julia went to Polly’s for a swim. Mulleys came over.

Wednesday 18 January

Polly slept last night. Went to Mulleys in the morning for swim. At home watched TV, rode with Polly, Petra & Jules. Swam at mim’s with Fi & her. Seeing ‘Staying Alive’ with mim, Polly, Fi, Jules, me, Mr B. & Mrs B. and am staying there.

Thursday 19 January

Am tired. Is boring. Read & watched TV. Went shopping 4:00. TERRIBLE HOT DAY. Early night.

Friday 20 January

In Morning just read & lazed. In arvy, went out for various (uniforms etc) Mrs Shorey said my ears were perfect.

Saturday 21 January

Lucy came back yesterday from USA (Fiona slept at mim’s without me) Fi, Karen, Mim & me went to Lucy’s. Got our gifts. Karen & me stayed for lunch. Karen is staying at Lucy’s. They want me to go over tomorrow. Went to Pizza Hut with mum & Geoff. Lucy & Karen went too. On their own.

Sunday 22 January

Went to mim’s instead of Lucy’s (Um-ah!) Fi came up after lunch of Frankfurter’s and took Jemima’s attention from me. Early night. Am going to Fi’s tomorrow – our free day.

Monday 23 January

Others will be at school but Smithy (Year 9 & 10) kids aren’t (cause Year 8’s must settle in) Fi & I went shopping with mum. PM: Rode, then met mima (after school) Nin & Ruth came back [my Nana and one of her many sisters]

Tuesday 24 January

Non-hectic morning – I don’t believe it!! My ears will be used a lot (people looking at the earrings)…. I hate my form 9D. NO ONE is with me except Michael F. & Jay B. This is going to be one unlucky year, I know.

Wednesday 25 January

Went to busstop – 20 kids!! Our old bus is now in two parts – the Machans bus (Machans Bech to Stratford) and the Freshwater bus (Freshy to Redlynch). I think Shane likes me – kept looking at me when I saw him. Melissa C. (from 8C last year) is in my form. We sit together now.

Thursday 26 January

Went to Freshy Creek yesterday arvo. The gang (Martin, Patrick, Shane etc) & Lorelle were there so I didn’t swim with Jules & Melinda. Toni & I had laughing fits on the way home today (on the bus)

Friday 27 January

I’m sure our form teacher is a POOF! Mr H. (we also have him for science) has an earring, a long rat’s tail and long, filed fingernails (one is about 2cm long!!!!!) Dense, huh? I’m getting sick of day 1!!!

Saturday 28 January

Went to Rusty’s Bazaar this morning followed by a cold bath. IS BOILING. 1:00 – preparing for Toni’s party….

It was terrific!! Beka, Fi, Angela, me, Karen & Justine are sleeping over (We got to sleep at 2:00am) Laughed & Talked all night

A Life in Words

Sunday 29 January

The party continued today – went to Waterworks with the group. Last night watched two movies: “Valley Girl” & “9 to 5”!! Got home at lunchtime. Bathed & spent the arvy reading Sweet Dreams books which I borrowed from Toni. Leanne H. is staying tonight.

Monday 30 January


Read books all morning. PM: went to Gordonvale for the Aussie Fun Fest. Stayed 4½hrs in pouring rain. Got my white shoes wet. BORING!! Kim N. was there – said hello. When got back, had Kentucky Fried for tea!!

Tuesday 31 January

Boring school day. Great big thunderstorm in the afternoon – Lotsa rain!! On the bus Fiona yelled out “Elissa hates Shane!” I blew her up!! I was red as beetroot. Went to Kevin Shorey’s. He changed my earrings. Am now wearing the dark blue hearts which I bought to go with my uniform. I’m so happy!!!