Welcome to My Life

This first post is basically a primer: a little pre-history to give you an idea of where and who I was when I began this journey, and a couple of ‘disclaimers’ of sorts…A Life in Words

Firstly, I’d like to stress that, while everything I have written actually happened and involves real people (whose names have been reduced to initials in an attempt to somewhat disguise their identity), my descriptions are entirely subjective. This is the nature of a diary. My personal take is just that, an opinion. To any reasonable mature adult, it should be completely clear that my subjectivity does not define other people and events – these are simply experiences you will view through my eyes… my 12 year old eyes, in the beginning. I will be the main bearer of any embarrassment, believe me!

1983 meWhich leads me to my second ‘disclaimer’. The opinions, feelings and such that I express in these journal entries are historic. Three decades have passed, and I have matured and grown considerably (well I’d hope so) so those opinions – in most cases – will not reflect the person I now am and the beliefs I now hold. This is one of the main reasons I am putting everything out there: to wear some responsibility for my Life, and to be as open, and true to Me as I can be.

Born in ‘BrisVegas’ in 1970, we moved to Cairns (the Far North) when I was five because my father was appointed to manage the dying Chrysler car dealership there. We lived in a beautiful north-western suburb, Freshwater, close to our primary school and some of the girlfriends I still have to this day.

Unbeknownst to me, Dad lost his job, but began a ‘family’ business in commercial cleaning (which ultimately led to the cleaning supplies business he still owns to this day). Whilst our new house in Freshwater was being built in 1980, my parents’ relationship began to encounter difficulty and when the inevitable split finally occurred, my sister and I chose to live with Mum, who set about living her life for us: working, building (yet another) A Life in Wordsnew home as well as lovingly doting on the two of us.

I did well at primary school academically, though physically I was neither athletic, nor beautiful. I was chubby and had buck teeth (from nocturnal thumb-sucking) with the added charm of a huge gap between the front upper incisors, so open-mouthed smiling was almost torturous for me. I always lucked out at parties when Catch’n’Kiss or Spin-the-Bottle games were played. My primary school crush was long term, and he never knew I existed.

The diarising began with a crazy ‘calendar planner’ I’d bought from our school book club at the end of Grade Seven (1982).

It had stickers and lots of silly trivia, but I realized soon enough that it didn’t really give you much space to write a lot in each day. So I sought out a proper diary.  At twelve years of age and about to start high school, I didn’t yet have enough self-discipline – or drive – to stick at this new ‘hobby’, so there are a great many days missing from my life in 1983.

From 1 January 1984 there are very few days missing, right up to this very point in time (and most of those were the result of excessive partying in my late teens) so very little of my time on this planet remains unrecorded. Please, enjoy the ride…

Ringing Ears, Ticklish Spots & Roses for Monique (24-30 August)

A Life in WordsMonday 24/8/87

It’s 10:50. INXS was cool! I had a really great time despite the lack of people I knew [Why do you have to know heaps of people at a concert? Aren’t you just there to enjoy the music? No; in case you hadn’t previously gathered, I preferred social events to involve lots of people, and particularly ones I knew, because I’m innately shy. Another fact, which no one seems to believe…] .. Jo came, tho (late, but) Sharon, Sandie & Donna were there – Sandie hung around Jules & I. It really was a cool rage!! Now my ears are ringing bad & I’ll never wake up in the morning!!  The drummer [Jon Farriss] looked so much like Mark – was unbelievable. Sometimes he didn’t, but lotsa times he did!! [And it wasn’t just ‘infatuated little me’ that thought so: my friend Jo agreed wholeheartedly.] Speaking of whom – we got on pretty well today, considering. […considering the way things had been between us for the previous 3-4 weeks…] (I’m into running writing at the moment) [This comment isn’t so random in context. Basically, I wrote this entry (and the next 3 days) in my diary in ‘running writing’ – the Aussie term for longhand or cursive script. I considered including a snapshot of it but it’s not terribly attractive (neat!)] Talked a bit (at big lunch I was in A block room for careers meeting – not many people in the group turned up – including Mark.) No HW done again (To be expected) Mark’s really bored with life- wants to move out of home- live in Keith’s caravan by himself. Oh dear. Must get to sleep! Nite!!

Tuesday 25/8/87

OK day. not great; rather hot in the afternoon. Got on rather well with Mark today – talked a bit more than usual (or at least hung around him more) we’re going to movies Saturday night. Boring day actually – nothing worth noting. Hung around cameron a bit too, today. (Lunchtime) Jeez, I’m into running writing lately (it’s messy- but, well, I don’t know why I like it!) [….and it takes up a lot more space. It’s just as well I didn’t have much to say: check out how ‘short’ this entry is …thanks to my big, clumsy longhand writing.] It’s 9:00 – need an early night cause school dance tomorrow night. My ears were still ringing this morning. Had a parade in the new covered area, tho’ its still officially out of bounds. [Still technically a construction site, I guess?] God I’m tired. Hope someone goes tomorrow night (the guys are – I know that) [Someone WHO? It doesn’t sound like I was referring to Mark because I’m quite sure I’d include him in ‘the guys’…] Justine visited this arvy – she’s got a bad habit of talking all about herself !!! […..ummm…..?!]

Wednesday 26/8/87

O.K. day again. I talked a bit more to Mark, tho’ I saw him less- pretty affectionate (compared to what we’ve been over the past 2 weeks (or 3??)) at the dance (which was piss-poor for an open [meaning open to students from other schools] dance) Went in this arvy & bought 12 red roses (for delivery to Perrems tomorrow) [it would have been Monique’s 17th birthday] + another 3 to put under the [memorial] tree at school. + at home, we rang Cairns Post & placed the ad in (I’ll cut it out & stick it in) [Because the lyrics resonated with me, Chrissie Hynde’s track ‘Hymn to Her’ became one of my anthems for Monique after her death and since they were so apt, I chose them for her birthday message. See Thursday’s entry (below) for the news clipping.] It’s 11:45 & I’m not even tired. So hot for summer. At soccer, our teacher wasn’t there, so we mucked around playing silly games (fun!) The walk was long & hot & boring! I’ll be glad of the sleep tonight. Did no HW again – so rushed! Tomorrow I’ll have to go late nite to get mima’s present + I have an english assignment + a textiles minor [assignment for art] due Friday. SHIT! So tired, now.

A Life in Words

My birthday message for Monique, followed by Mima’s and one by Elizabeth, the Year 9 student whose own sadness made me tear up.

Thursday 27/8/87  monique’s birthday

I almost forgot the roses: we had to turn around at Stratford & go home to get them- there were lots of flowers under the [bus crash memorial] tree by the end of the day: (& notes) I cried a bit in the morning – then Elizabeth (Gr 9.) made my eyes water when she came up to me after big lunch (crying) I sang Happy Birthday to her 3 times. Mark (& quite a few others) didn’t know it was her birthday. I went into town at big lunch & got Jemima’s present – 2 charms. (Barely saw Mark today- but he gave me Cameron’s & his silly letters & stories – I read them this arvy) [These guys had very vivid imaginations and interesting senses of humour so these made for entertaining reading…] Got started on my art tonight (the printing material was excellent but) – I stuffed up the sewing: total waste – so I didn’t even start my english- will miss double english 2morrow – going for 3rd period on – give me time to do my bag [for art] & make mima a card etc. Mr & Mrs Perrem rang tonite – thanking me for the flowers & message in the paper. (mima put one in too) [Aunties came 4 tea] [This little sentence was fully bordered: an impossible thing to reproduce in here in print…] Auntie Ruth bought my old diptych from the art exhibition last year – $80!!!

Friday 28/8/87

A Life in Words

All ‘cosied up’ at mima’s birthday sleepover party

MIMA’S B’DAY Well I missed not only double english, but also 3rd & little lunch. Got the bag sewn roughly together then Mrs Marsland said she wasn’t looking at the stitchery anyway. So by the time I talked to Mark it was big lunch & he barely spoke at all. I saw him barely at all. He seemed to be not talking only to me. So I spent nearly all the day with mima & fi & the Yr 11girls (& Jo) Mima’s cake was yummy. I went with Fi to her shop after school & we had to wait till 5:20 before Martin brought the car back, then trying to find Thorstein’s place, we got to Rugby Union around 5:45 (started at 5:00) Mark hurt his knee – but talked a little more to me. At home I got ready [for Mima’s birthday party] & made a card. The party was quite good, indeed! Quite a few people turned up! […including a number of fellas I found attractive!] Philip (N), Glyn & Thorstein found my ticklish spots 2 [‘too’, not literally ‘two’. There’s definitely more than two!] that was unreal [I’ll bet! And you’d’ve absolutely cherished the attention…] – I laughed so much! Fell asleep during a video after 2:00 (the guys left – they had to) [a parental order] Slept badly – squashy, hot (now & then) between Juliet & Jo

Saturday 29/8/87

Woke around 7:00. So tired. Everyone left pretty early (for work etc) Mum came and got me around 9:00. Bad news from the plastic surgeon- he reckons the scars will fade & flatten, but the dents & actual scars will never disappear. I found it so hard to hold back the tears till I left the surgery. [Kudos to me for even doing that. While I am usually pretty hard on myself (especially my younger self) I can’t put myself down for this. It was a huge deal. Realising the permanence of this huge deformity goes beyond simple aesthetics: similar to the loss of a limb or the loss of use of regions of your body (think blindness or para/quadraplegia) there has to be a corresponding mental & emotional adjustment that necessarily involves grief: I would never be ‘normal’ (as I’d experienced or defined it in my life up to that point in time) again …even though I have gone on to achieve things I’d never have dreamed possible – especially at that very moment in time – how was I to know?] At home, Keith rang & they (him, Mark & Glyn (B)) took me to the beach. Only one problem (fucking big, tho)- Mark was back to not talking to me. Why? Keith reckons (all night, too) that I’ve done nothing.A Life in Words BULL SHIT BULLSHIT – why will he only grunt when I talk to him? Sometimes he wouldn’t even answer my questions. We went to my place, Mark’s & Glyn’s – we got stuff for the movies ..at Keith’s I slept – had nothing else to do-Mark being like that. (My affectionate advances fell flat, too, except at the movies: we held hands) But after, he still seemed so bored, moody or angry .. that, when they dropped me off – I simply said goodbye. I think he was waiting for me to give him a kiss, but I couldn’t. Now I feel sick sick & upset with worry. I’ll have to ring tomorrow & apologise, [are you serious?] but I’m POSITIVE there’s something concerning me, wrong.

Sunday 30/8/87

I did nothing today- felt nothing but sickness .. a kind of nausea. Wasted away the morning – talked to Amanda when she came up, then slept when she left. At 4:15, I rang Mark & (it was very short) asked him if he could come over. He came around 4:30 I think – the talk was absolutely fruitless. I wish I could give up & just leave him. Why does he have to be so [physically] attractive? He says I’m crazy to like him – he doesn’t know why. Well, news for you; either do I. All I know is that I can’t [break up with him]. Now that must mean something. Of course it does. [Yep…] I fucking love him. A Life in Words[Nope. It just means you’re ‘hooked’ and afraid to let go. You’ve created a pattern based on an Attachment to something/someone you Desire and like the majority of people on this planet, you’ll (continue to) endure Pain rather than face (the) Fear (of relinquishing your ‘Need’).] When was the last time I wrote something cute or nice about him? He’s bored, so bored & it’s rubbing off on me. [Oh rubbish.] I want the magic and romance, but it’s just not there. [If it’s not there, it’s just not there…] God it hurts to realize this. So Mark left around 5:45. I did no HW. I’m really in a very deep rut & I can’t, won’t get out. Warmer weather. Ate only 3 meals today – no snacking- wow. What the fuck can I do to make our relationship exciting? [Not much if there’s no reciprocated effort or interest…]

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.