Family, Friends & Future Fears: Farewell ’86 (29-31 December)

Monday 29/12/86

HOME! I’m HOME! We woke (well, I did) at 5:30 (4:30 Qld time) got ready – finished packing. After [family] photos drove to airport. A short wait, and we were all (almost all) in tears.. I didn’t expect I would [cry]. A Life in WordsOn the plane, tears as we waved goodbye from plane & I absolutely gushed when we taxied down the runway & took off, over Sydney. Trip was boring. Didn’t really want to stop at Brissy but…. [back then there were less flights per day, as well as fewer routes, so a stopover in Brisbane was probably unavoidable, but with more family living in Brisbane anyway, the extra time was easily put to good use] Uncle Steven looks so much like dad. Only other person I see in him is papa. [My grandfather. Contrary to the way people usually pronounce it, we used to call him “paa-paa”] Dad & Papa mixture. Simon (youngest) is so cute) Daniel (hmm..) & Ben rather shy. Auntie Bev changed little. day was boring there. Glad (almost) to get on the DC-9 (hate those planes – always get sick/feel sick) Boring flight short stop Townsville  (lotsa cloud & turbulence between Bris & Townsv.) Nightime in Cairns. Dad, Jenny & Geoff there [at the airport, I assume]. Feels so good to be home. Yet I still love Sydney! After I unpacked rang Sharon – not home, monique – not home & mark – not home. GREAT, GUYS! I’m home, but no one else is. [Funny that: the world doesn’t revolve around you!] Oh well 10:05 sleep in 2morrow

Tuesday 30/12/86

Boring. Disappointing. No one answered when I rang Sharon. Monique was home. She invited me to town with her. About 11:00 I got there. Went to Richardson’s [a local department store that primarily retailed textiles] (sometime) and spent ages there ‘looking for a pattern’, then went back to Monique’s. Pool water was so “warm”. Camille & her uni friends Sam and Gayle there & soon Lyndon his friends Ian (cute!) and Tim (blech!) came. A Life in WordsI was bored. Later watched a video (Eddie & the Cruisers) and I rang mum. She was mowing. I swam again & watched TV till she came, about 7:30. At home, after bath & dinner rang Mark. Was at the Waterworks Paul (I gather it was) said he’d be back after 9:00. I asked him to get him to ring me. Hasn’t yet – it’s 11:10. [Um, are you seriously still expecting a call?] I been reading Dolly since phoning him. SO HOT, HERE! Not used to it yet!! Jeez, I realized I haven’t a diary for ’87. What’ll I do for N.Y.’s Eve? Woke [this morning] to a light bedroom & revving of lorry engines next door SHIT

[In the Notes section at the back of the diary, I further analysed myself …in relation to Mark, of course:]

END OF THE YEAR; I’M REALLY “GOOD FRIENDS” WITH HIM, BUT STILL SO DAMNED INSECURE. CAN YOU BLAME ME? I need to be REASSURED CONSTANTLY +ves outweigh -ves. If I hear good stuff lots more than bad, I’ll worry less.  I’m so sensitive and insecure; just too emotional. How am I to believe what I’ve heard, even from him? Why do I worry so much? It’ because I care so much SO MUCH. I wish I could believe everything said to me. But I think of bad things, anything that goes against what’s been said – so I am curious, and anxious. ← that’s insecurity

A Life in Words

The arty record of the final days of 1986 per my school diary

Wednesday 31/12/86

Well, Mark rang, after Sharon this morning. He’s (possibly, but most likely) going to Croc. Rock. It was only in town with Sharon that I decided I’d go- (our phone call [with Mark, that is] was not really happy – told him I wasn’t going out.) We met Ben & Robbie A. in Good Time [a local clothing retail store]. I was introduced. We stayed with them the rest of the afternoon. I got really relaxed around them. (Ben, anyway) Robbie really wanted us (me) to meet them tonight. “You gotta go out – my, Ben’s, your first New year’s Eve Out. So I did. We were late (Sharon & I). Ben was there Robbie was at Nighthawkes. Walked there. [to Nighthawkes? From Crocodile Rock? Sheesh, that would’ve been damned long way…] I got in, on my own .. NO SWEAT!! We danced. Ben & Rob are so good at dancing. Then midnight came. Goodbye ’86. You were a really enlightening year. I matured a lot this year. FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT’S STORY, SEE 87 DIARY 1st JAN [I created this ‘strict’ habit of quitting the story, my diary entries, right on midnight. Because – of course – that’s when the years ended, right?]

[Again, in the Notes section I summarised the year and set the scene for 1987:]

1986: This year I have grown up (?) or changed (yes) a lot. So many beneficial things happened due to my shift to Cairns High. I’ve made more friends – males like I’ve never had before. I’ve opened up more – gained in confidence because of it. But a subsequent downfall in schoolwork due to increased (dramatically increased) social life. [I have to admit, I totally nailed it. To this day, even with the benefit of hindsight, I can’t deny that the shift to Cairns High was a notable turning point or life milestone.]

NEXT YEAR I WILL HAVE TO KNUCKLE DOWN. MUCH MORE THOUGHT & CONCENTRATION IS REQUIRED. MY LIFE LIES AHEAD – MY CAREER WILL HAVE TO BE DECIDED. A Life in Words[There’s a hint of the pressure that a lot of teens feel even to this day. Even at 44 years of age, I can totally identify with the stresses many of senior secondary school students feel with regard to their futures. This is most definitely a timeless, universal sentiment.] MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE

LOTS OF HOPE.. NO HELP.

Sydney Touring, Trouble Pooping & A Greedy, Mental Christmas (22-28 December)

Monday 22/12/86

mima (& Fi) rang this arvy (tonight) they wanted to know if I’d like to meet them in Chatswood tomorrow. I must ring them back tomorrow – we’re going to Manly instead (the hydrofoil!!) We went to Chatswood by bus today. shopped. Got all my prezzies ‘cept Mike’s. (Now, can do that tomorrow) At home, ate lunch, wrapped presents, then caught train to Hornsby → 10 pin bowling. EXCELLENT! I even won one game! (out of 3 – Mike won the others) we went home about 3:30 on train → to Linfield – had to wait till 4:14 for train to Roseville. Mucked round at home. I shaved my legs tonight. Had to. The hair was too long – I’m gonna wax ’em next time tho. Is 10:30 (9:30 Qld) Nana sent up [down; down to Sydney, from Cairns] a letter …on Tuesday it was 43º in Cairns. Wish I was there to go to Crystals with Mark & everyone. would’ve been the biggest rage. [and if that didn’t happen, you’d be happy to be there in 43º heat? I don’t think so…] Oh well. Not long now Ni, nite.

A Life in Words

my white ‘ray-ban type’ sunnies

Tuesday 23/12/86

Jodie & I went to Manly. Julia just didn’t want to come (same for mike) we caught the train to circular quay and then the hydrofoil (just like “cats” [catamarans] in Cairns to the Islands) to Manly; walked round. I bought a pair of white (ray-ban type) sunnies for $6 and diamonte’s for $3 (a real steal!!)(not that!) [not stealING, I meant] and mike’s prezzy and a new ring. $2 – it’s a little big. I’m a bit warm. When we got back we watched ½ of Lampoon’s Vacation and got ready to go to a BBQ. There, we watched videos: Summer Rental and the Jewel of the Nile. ← that was great. Um, I realised, at school next year I’m gonna be a different person… I’ll be more well-known to the guys. more friendly. Great friends. [uh-huh…] Is 12:10. Not too sure what we’re doing tomorrow. Found mima’s phone number; thought I’d lost it.. only a few days & I’ll be home. Still have to get prezzies for moni, mima, fi, sharon, geoff (?) got some today.

Wednesday 24/12/86

Guess what? Mickey’s back! Remember Mickey my mouse watch? He’s been out of order for ages and I bought him down here to get fixed mum took him in yesterday. A Life in WordsI picked him up (only $15 it cost!) today. Jo, Jules & I went to Chatswood, yet again today. I have blisters – I thought I’d “broken in” my black shoes – obviously not – my feet are in agony. Not to mention my stomach pains. A big gut – talk about constipation! I’ve never had as much trouble pooing as I have on this holiday. [oh dear] It’s 11:26 (10:26 – so 1½hrs to Xmas Day – not ½ hr!) [I figured Queensland time was ‘true’ time because we didn’t change our clocks for daylight savings, and we therefore not artificially altering Time!] Wouldn’t it be great if Mark rang me?! But that’s expecting far, far too much. I know I’d be pushing to get even a ‘note’ in reply to my letter. Oh well – home soon! (Dammit reminds me of all the prezzies I have to buy yet and all the things I wanted for myself – all out of $50. That’s about all I have left. REMIND ME. I have to get a new diary. Damn that too! G/night. (Hi Santa!!!)

Thursday 25/12/86

I was “literally” dragged out of bed at 7:00. Didn’t get many prezzies, but am happier (generally) with what I got compared to last years. There’ll be a list in the back [of the diary] of overall prezzies [funnily enough, I must have forgotten to make the list: there’s definitely no record in the back of the diary…] still have a few little ones to get from others: Bev, Steven etc…. listened to all our music all day. Had “drinks” visitors from about 11:00 on. Then our Christmas lunch. I felt so gutsy. But I was practically running to the loo (!!) [hooray!] mucked round Lazed in the arvy. Had no specific dinner – everyone was still full (rather) from lunch. [Isn’t that the ‘expected’ Christmas ritual? Food comas after huge festive meals…] On the scales – I’d prefer not to talk ’bout my weight. OH! Also, about 4:30 we met Greedy Smith [lead vocalist] from the Mentals (Mental As Anything) – got an autograph. [His mother lived down the road from my cousins] Seems nice enough, but a bit “off” cos of tummy. upset. […or maybe a bit ‘off’ because his parents’ home was invaded by pesky little fans on christmas day? I’ll always associate their single “Live It Up” with that experience because it was Mental As Anything’s current release/hit single at the time…] 

After a massage on uncle Peter’s prezzy from mike (electric “fingertips” massager) went to bed. 10:14 (9:14) SO THAT’S XMAS 1986. NO BIG DEAL. [No big deal? How many people get to visit (or potentially annoy) a popular musician on christmas day?]

Friday 26/12/86

Today, after waking late, we caught the train (Jules, Jo & I) to (Town Hall station) Sydney – the city and and went to see The Three Amigos. A Life in WordsIt was excellent. Once at home, a phone call for me and it wasn’t just mima & fi: ..it was long distance, Sharon!! Told her about letters. Really short conversation – gonna do something (go out) when I come home (on Mon.) Went for a swim up the road, at Lee’s (Michael’s friend & friends of the family) place – Jo, Mike & I. Short swim. Then mum’s cousin & his family came – the ones we went to see, when they were visiting Cairns. Up late – is now almost 11:00. forgot to ring fiona and jemima about Luna Park on Sunday. MUST do that tomorrow. Found the phone number. Read almost a whole book this arvy. Sweet Dreams – crap romance story. [Sweet Dreams novels were a series of teen romance novels popular in the 1980’s. I read quite a lot of them many years earlier but am quite certain I was well and truly ‘off’ them by this stage. I imagine the one I read this day would have been my cousin’s.] Anyhow busy day tomorrow (VERY!) so must get some sleep. Night!

Saturday 27/12/86

Mark rang, about 7:00 (6:00 down there – I mean UP there) Didn’t sound very pleased, but I haven’t talked to him for so long. He also sent me a letter but I won’t get it before I leave – they’ll have to forward it to our Cairns address. Can’t wait to get it. But there is doubt… I’m pretty sure he likes me – why would he write me a letter and spend money on a long distance phone call? [Well, HE wouldn’t’ve paid for the phone call – it would’ve been billed to his parents…] Well, today, I changed one of my prezzies – a purple singlet I got And refunded another – extra $38 cash. in Chatswood. Then (got lost) went to Paddy’s Markets. Not bad – but boring. Then (lost) found the Rocks & walked around. In Paddington saw the old terrace houses – they are GORGEOUS. A Life in WordsBeautiful. Then finally (lost!) got home. Went with Uncle Peter to get the dinghy. [?] – then at home. after Countdown I got the call. Oh, I’m worried. Why? Elissa, you dit! [Dit? Hmm, not sure where I got this expression from] I still haven’t rung mima & fiona. It’s only 8:41 now, so I still can. Um, early night tonight. exciting day, I s’pose you could say!!

Sunday 28/12/86

Jodie got her own way today. She is so, so… rude, demanding… lazy… they [she?] wanted to go to Australia’s Wonderland ’cause it was better worth it (moneywise) [than Luna Park, I assume] and was bigger. (when I rang) mima said they had no way of getting out there [Australia’s Wonderland was a good 40 kilometres west of the city, at Eastern Creek.] Of course, the person taking us couldn’t take them. So I had to go, Julia saying it was our last day & we want to spend it with our cousins. And then she [my cousin] turns round & invites across the road friend (her dad was taking us, tho’.) so it was good. A huge amusement park [it was the largest in the southern hemisphere, but closed down in 2004] – I went on every ride (excluding only about 2) they were “slack” most of them except for the roller coaster. A Life in Words“Bush Beastie” EXCELLENT!! Jodie then went to a party when we got back, leaving (expecting) Jules & I to clean out the rabbits cage. Can you believe it? We didn’t [clean the cage out] of course. “last day with the cousins” & here she is at a party. Bullshit. Fran rang too! She’s coming to Cairns on 1st Jan. Is 9:52. I’m going home. Oh Mark!

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

Monday 15/12/86

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

Tuesday 16/12/86

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

Wednesday 17/12/86

A Life in Words

Pulling up a park bench at the zoo

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

Thursday 18/12/86

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

Friday 19/12/86

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

Saturday 20/12/86

A Life in Words

the Mean Machine

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

Sunday 21/12/86

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