The Scene of the Crime, A Family Gathering & An Innocent Sleepover (13-19 April)

Monday 13/4/87

Almost missed the bus – my pants were wet [I’m thinkin’ perspiration…] & I forgot camp photos ‘n’ everything, but I did just get the bus! Boring day – walked round a lot (Lucy’s put on lotsa weight & smokes now) I tried on some formal dresses- some so gorgeous (my favourite a silver dress $499) [which was definitely mega-expensive for that era, and totally out of my reach] We went to the movies “TOP GUN” yet again. After, I finally bought some shoes – gorgeous white flats with a cut-out heel A Life in Words[and here I’d included an illustration for better clarity…see right] & punched holes [like the patterns in leather ‘brogues’ (see pic below) …which by the way were just coming into fashion in a big way.] only $30 from Sportsgirl (believe it or not!! Gorgeous! A Life in WordsLucy came to our place till her dad picked her up. Got the TV & video rental Gonna watch “About Last Night” tomorrow. Missing Mark terribly already. Wonder when he’ll ring? oooh! 10:30 I’m tired Ate so much chocolate tonight. I feel fat!! [Uh huh, you feel fat …but you are totally oblivious to the more serious damage that rubbish is doing to you inside…at the cellular level…] Another mouse this morning – sick – caught it & ‘fore throwing it down the back, Mike bashed it, to make sure it was dead. [Boys love that shit, huh? I know plenty of ‘fellas’ who’ve taken to toads like they were golf balls over the years. Not to generalise of course: I’m sure some girls may have had a turn or two as well…] Ooh! No more mices! I hope!

Tuesday 14/4/87

A Life in Words

A (marginally) better view of my scar, than in the full picture (below)

We went to the site today (after mum worked in the morning & I finished all the choc. out of my ‘show bags’) we drove to the site. I cried a bit to start with but went down & collected as many souvineers as possible. [Really, all that I gathered up was junk and ended up being binned at a later stage. I think the act of ‘collecting souvenirs’ was itself symbolic or a method of ‘processing'; an excuse to physically return (down in)to the very place where so much trauma had hid me all at once on that fateful day.] I couldn’t believe how different it was, to my thoughts[Memory. In other words, it wasn’t as I remembered it…] Then, stopped at Edmonton to see the bus- yeuch. It’s a bloody mess. [I have included photos of it at the end of this post.] Stopping at K-Mart, then once home, around 5:30 Mark rang – was cut off first & after 2nd time, didn’t ring back – but it was good to talk to him. Video tonight “Best Defense” was stupid. Is 9:40. Only just found out, on the answering machine, that Fi rang, so I’ll have to ring her tomorrow. Damn it! Rainy-Overcast weather set the scene perfectly at the site .. it was so much steeper than I thought .. & the bend less sharp, but also shorter than I imagined. Otherwise I recognised it all. Can’t wait till Mark gets back. Oh I’m tired. Boring day (strange, untalkative mood after the bus site revisit?) [Sounds like a rhetorical question to me: I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that visiting the site would bring ‘stuff’ up… even if I wasn’t exactly able to define what…]

A Life in Words

At the top of the drop (you can’t even see the bottom of the gully) my crouching pose deliberately emphasises the scar that was born in this place. Interestingly enough, this verge on the side of the road seems not to exist anymore: when I returned in 2012, the drop from the guardrail at the edge of the road is almost immediate. The road must have been widened since the accident….?

Wednesday 15/4/87

Boring, boring, boring. I rang Fi _ _ she said she’d rung to talk cos she hadn’t talked to me “for ages” ..said Jemima wanted everyone to go bowling tonite – GREAT! I thought. so I went to town & Earlville with cousins etc. At home, did very little ..sunbaked (lemon juice in hair) & started my camp/crash scrapbook. Then after ringing Fi (not home) & mima, found out they went to Green Island so I decided I wouldn’t go bowling [a reaction purely based on hurt, the thought processes behind being “all or nothing”: if I’m not invited to everything, I won’t attend anything… I won’t be missed…] ..went late nite at Kmart instead. Laughed a lot! Watched “North & South” at home. Saw Linda P & Steven- actually talked rather comfortably with him for a few minutes (shit this pen’s stuffed) [the biro I was using that night wasn’t working so well] cloudy & sunny day – Marks coming home tomorrow I CAN’T WAIT!! Want to see him so badly. Shit, so many late nights since Jo & Mike came (I can’t stand the mess & laziness they show.) Mark..!!! LOVE YOU!!

Thursday 16/4/87

Mark rang tonight – 10 minutes after he got home! (I thought that was so sweet – straight away, practically) we didn’t decide what to do tomorrow so I’ll ring him around 9:00 Woken by the phone ([our] mums were at the dump) I answered & it was for Julia. SHIT OFF TO THE MAX! [Ha! “..to the max(imum)” was a great adverbial phrase.] Watched TOP SECRET, while doing my camp scrapbook ..sat in the sun browning myself & then to to work on my scrapbook again (altogether I didn’t do much at all on it today!) A Life in WordsWent to get the video on dusk… and it was soon after our getting back that Mark rang about 7:20 I think. (Watched TV & now the new chosen video – MONEY PIT) I hope we do decide on something to do- I badly want to see him again. Mrs B visited today – and Mr. G. also dropped in – I thought he’d rev me about my assignments; luckily no! warm day Brent finally brought the typewriter back!!

Friday 17/4/87

Well, I rang ‘im about 9:30 – & as I thought, he was still asleep… so I felt really terrible- talked abit & finally decided I go to his place (& take my photo albums too!) at 11:00. Well, we mucked around (& tickled- ouch!) Looked at photo albums- I went into his room (umah) – almost slammed the door on my fingers. Was good, but the time went so quickly ..only 2 little kisses, But some affectionate moments, when we just looked at each other. Ate cheese sandwich for lunch..mum came & was talking for awhile to Mr. & Mrs W (told me later we may be going to Josephine Falls with them on Sunday for a BBQ) HOPE SO!! So I told Mark to ring me, when he wasn’t tired. I love him I know I do… I feel it all through me ..this wonderfully happy, relaxed feeling when I’m with him (ESPECIALLY when we’re alone & at night!) [Um, yeah Liss, that’s a different four-letter ‘L’ word…] Did nothing at home. boring. Watched EUROPEAN VACATION tonight … bore! [I’ve never been fussed on the National Lampoon series. Give me Monty Python any day…] Is now 9:15.. early really! (compared to other nights I’ve had) god I hope he rings me soon .. am dying to see him again soon.

A Life in Words

The last photo I have of my Nana was taken on this day. She was wheelchair-bound by this stage due to her rheumatoid arthritis. See her gnarled right hand? …and by the way, the cigarettes in her handbag? She smoked right up until she was unable to hold anything in her fingers…

Saturday 18/4/87

mmph! woke only after 7:00 (got up around 7:45) this morning – not fair – I can’t sleep in. Did nothing, basically.. watched Between the Teeth [a quite short-lived music programme on the ABC] & that was about it. (all that I did) Michael & I went with mum around 11:00 to get chicken, change the video & get Nana (saw Paul W on the way) When Auntie Thel, Uncle Ross, Michael (mum’s cousin) & cynthia (his wife) & child came, we were watching BACK TO THE FUTURE. Sharon rang me .. we talked for yonks (she did). Auntie Thel helped me make a big (solve a big problem) decision…my CAREER ..She said Libby (daughter) was booming in her interior dec. business & could (does) need help.. so all of a sudden, I’m interested..think of the prospects!! It’s an excellent idea! [That, like the few others I ever had, left my consciousness after that day. What do they say…”all talk no action”?] Anyway, Mark rang after Sharon..talked for ages (mum & Mrs W decided on tomorrow’s trip to Josephine Falls) & after (visitors left) I got ready to go to his place . . . it wasn’t quite as “touching” this time ..we did kiss now & then (not that I didn’t like that – I loved it! But, ah, somehow it was less “touching”… we watched TV, ate dinner late, during the sick movie.. mucked around mainly.. tickling not much talking ↵

Sunday 19/4/87

But, anyway when I rang a taxi at 11:15, no answer… Mr & Mrs W came home after their dinner & suggested I stay.. I thought so..Mark didn’t want me to..wonder why? But anyway, I rang mum & it was O.K. I was in Sandra’s room, with FM4CCR on her clock radio (Mark set it up for me!!) I went to sleep around 12:30, I guess woke around 7:00, but snoozed till 8:15 – Mrs W got me up (I heard Mark play “Candy” – he played it to me last night) this morning) Had brekky & finally around 9:30 mum & the gang came. I went with the W’s.. Mr & Mrs & Mark and Keith too..trip up there & swam ice-cold water (not many people looked at my leg – I wasn’t really embarrassed at all!) After lunch (BBQ) left (I went with them again) stopped in for a look at the Bus at Edmonton. Left Mark’s ..went to Nana ..BORING!! Got a video SHORT CIRCUIT after that & watch it this arvy .. then dad came (I got $15 believe it or not) ..then we watched the movie again. Mark was working 3pm to 9pm tonight, so unless he rings me soon, or tomorrow, I’ll speak to him again Monday night before school. J&M and Julia & A.H. are going to G. Island 2morrow – I’m staying home to do the work I should’ve done over the hol’s. Saw Lyn. C. at the BIG TOMATO today (working there) Ugh! Am tired… have had an unreal weekend!!

A Life in Words

The bus wreckage was housed at Edmonton Police Station for quite some time. Here, I’m pointing out to my sister & cousin approximately where I had been sitting. The window struts caved in as we rolled so the roof sheared off the vehicle as it came to rest.

 

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All of the deceased had been sitting on the left-hand side of the bus & mostly toward this rear corner.

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the front of the bus

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The rear righthand side just behind where I had been sitting. This is the luggage compartment: the extra weight in the rear most likely decreased our chance of staying on the road…

A Boiling Pool & Camp Couture (26-27 January)

Only two days in this post? What’s going on? Where’s the rest of the week?

A Life in WordsWithout giving anything away, there is a major event approaching: the kind of thing few people experience in a lifetime, and I had the …foresight? …to record as much detail about it as possible, in order to “never forget”.

The upshot is, for the next nine days – beginning Wednesday 29 January – I will be posting daily because of the volume of material (and potentially extra commentary) I recorded about the event. Buckle up and enjoy the ….”ride”…..

Monday 26/1/87

AUSTRALIA DAY. Couldn’t get to sleep last night till around 12:00-1:00 or something – TV & lights were on – Mrs P asleep on the lounge. Eventually Monique got her up. [Apart from the annoyance of sleep deprivation, I have a vague recollection of being a little shocked by this: I’d never seen either of my parents fall asleep in front of the TV. They were The Parents, the Adults – they were the ones whose job it was to wake US up and send us to bed!] Slept in not long. Fi came while Monique was in the shower. We watched Night Patrol again for Fi, then went swimming. Bored … just talking after that. I was “hanging out” for a call from Mark, but I didn’t get one. After another swim, we returned the video, then waited outside for Mrs D. Talked a lot today – mostly about Fi’s trip. . .and the camp – CAN’T WAIT!! So hot at her house! And the pool’s boiling. Well, Martin came – car load of Stew’s friends & one of Martin’s. . made a few stops but I got home. Ate dinner, unpacked etc. Rang him .. he was at Keith’s. Stuff him. A Life in WordsI’ll ring tomorrow arvy – see if he wants to see Golden Child – I think I’m going to town tomorrow with Fi & Moni. Will ring in morning 9:30. Gonna watch this comedy then bed! Oh Mark, I have to see you before I go back to school!! Especially! [Why especially? *shakes head* So… insecure…]

Tuesday 27/1/87

Went to town – took Monique. Was boring. Walked round – I got blisters of course. Saw Joannah, Megan & Marge. Monique looked for shoes, then we walked to a disposal store – trying on army shorts for the camp. A Life in WordsAnd to 2nd hand store looked for old jeans- nothing was “right” there, either. [We would’ve been wanting to cut the legs off them…] Damn – caught bus back to monique’s just after seeing Fi. Swam in hot pool… “bludged”, and finally went for a [bike] ride … ended up going past Mark’s place (at 100km/hr!!) which embarrassed me. Talked to Nelly, next door & Leonie while mum talked to Mrs P. finally got home around 7:30. Rang Beka back and then Mark – a good phone call – talked almost nonstop – hardly said any “lovey-dovey” words… I thought he was being really “friendly” & that was it. See, I got his (4th) letter today. And it is gorgeous – so much about “us”. Oh I’m in love! It’s 9:40… time flies …must get to bed now or I’ll never wake up in the morning.

Mucking Around, Love Signs & Jaffles (19-25 January)

Monday 19/1/87

Blitz day! I got a letter and a card! In his letter there were some really gorgeous things. – it started Hi cutey! The best I’ve received yet. Um, I went with mum & Jules .. we stayed at [dad’s] work a long time talking to dad & Jenny (mostly about my career) A Life in WordsShit what am I going to do? [The very same anxiety pretty much all high school kids experience…] After went to Earlville. I bought 2 cards One for mark for ‘fun’ like his and one for Valentine’s day. Also, Countdown Diaries have been sold out everywhere. Shit. Then after a very hot, boring afternoon, Mark rang, inviting me to Angie J’s party Wed. night. That means Robbie’ll be there (saw him in town too; dodged outta sight!) OH NO! No worries; I’ll be with Mark. [so you think: things rarely go to plan] So we talked for ages when I rang back. We’re going to Devil’s tomorrow. I have to ring him 9:05. God it’s hot. We still need more rain than we’ve been getting.

Tuesday 20/1/87

Well today, mum woke me with 2 letters from Monique. She’s having a ball by the sounds of it. I waited till about 10:20 to ring Mark. At 11:30 I got there. He was already there – had been for a dip. At Devil’s I jumped off the “cliff”. once. (!!) [I don’t know if you would call it a cliff – but it was a sheer, sudden drop into the water from its edge. It wasn’t a very popular swimming hole.] we were talking & mucking around. Went to Brimsmead shop sat for ages. Mucking around. Saw Judy (Judy F.) walking past. And she saw us. (!!) [the double exclamation marks potentially referring to the thought “great, word will get around”…] We went back to another nearby (shallow) place for swim again. Mucked around. Was really nice there. Got out & talked & mucked around. Then finally back to the shop. And there, while mucking around, I (looking through his wallet) [I have a feeling this was not as bad as it sounds… almost like I’d been given permission… he may have been sitting right there…] found an ‘old’ love note from Nicole. I didn’t read it but it was signed off, “from [privacy omission] Nicole” (typing) I thought why is he keeping it? I’m a little worried now. A Life in WordsAnyway his wallet, sunnies & tape (UB40) are here – thought he’d be seeing me 2morrow. Rang him. & Fi. She’s coming to the party. It’s 11:30. Gonna watch a show now, then flop. I’m exhausted. An O.K. day. Wished it could’ve been a bit different. [How exactly?]

Wednesday 21/1/87

Waste of time waiting up to watch that show. Wasn’t good at all. So today mum woke me at 8:00. I was tired & grumpy. Went to Nana’s. Was boring I was so hot. [From memory, Nana lived in a little brick shoe-box of a unit, that had very poor ventilation. Back in the 80’s air-conditioning was not standard in rental properties.] Went to town after to do various things. Saw Mark & Keith on the the way!! Got my new skool shoes (just like my other ones) & did grocery shopping. At home I thought about the party. [As you read on, it turns out that we weren’t actually invited, so I was feeling uncomfortable about potentially gate-crashing…] I rang Fi. She didn’t want to go either. When Mark rang, he made “compromise”. He’d ask Angie when he got there if Fi & I could come & ring us up. That we did. At about 8:45 we left. Martin took us there. Talked to Mark a little; walked round. It was BORING. At 10:30, Mark, me, Fi, Sharon, Keith, Michelle (W) walked to Croc. Rock. → only 2 or 3 streets away. I got in easily Fi didn’t but later; yes – without even paying [the cover charge, evidently …that was probably only $3 or something dirt cheap like that]! Mark & I spent a lot of time in Smithy’s talking – mucking around. The “others” came & went as they pleased. We held hands for sometime ..later in the morning. A Life in WordsSoon it became natural holding hands all the time. then, arms → [the arrow led across to the next page of the diary…]

Thursday 22/1/87

round each other.. then I was meant to go with Fiona (& Martin) but she, being really happy [for me] & great friend convinced Terry to give me a lift home. Then it happened after she left. We were standing near a bar when Heather (blind)  came over, raving on. Told us how “fucking gorgeous” we looked together and to “kiss”. Yes but it was yuk.. [because… awkward! But…] when she left… It wasn’t. we stood there for ages. It was beautiful. [Of course! What other descriptive would a lovestruck teenaged girl use?]  Then eventually, they were coming in the same car. At 4:30 we left. We made so many stops. Mark was being gorgeous. [Privacy omission] Then he left at his place. Sad. Terry & Harry wanted to go to Freshy Ck. Sharon didn’t mind. So we stayed there till it got light. (Boring for me – my mind on Mark.) [of course…] Sharon rode my bike home. I had ≈ 2hrs sleep. Couldn’t sleep again, the rest of the day. Watched TV. Mark rang around 6:15. Saying ‘nice things. Gorgeous things. He wants to see me tomorrow. I rang Sharon – she’s gonna ride my bike here. I can’t wait – I want to see Mark again too. I’d spend my time with him rather than anyone else Is 9:40. I’m not even tired. Just boiling hot. Mark ♥♥♥

Friday 23/1/87

Today I ate nothing – only tonight – for dinner. I had a piece of bread & butter and an egg waffle. A Life in Words[I meant ‘jaffle’, but I think we might have grown up calling them waffles (which explains why I was so puzzled when I first heard about North American waffles years later, served up with bacon & maple syrup). Jaffles differ from ordinary toasties in that they’re sealed shut at the edges. Before electric toasted sandwich makers, there were a ‘jaffle irons’ (see pic) which we used to take camping.] See, sharon came round about 8:30 and I rang mark at 9:00. he said to ring him back when Sharon had gone (which was about 10:45) and we’d leave for Devil’s. Spent 1st 2hrs or so in water, mucking round with a stone few little kisses. Lying in the shade, together for another 1 or 2 hrs, then for another swim some other place for an hour or so. After sat for another 1/2hr & 1/2hr “saying goodbye” That was a yummy part. I rang him tonight. We can’t decide what to do on the weekend.. I must ring him tomorrow arvy with more suggestions. Watching the movie now. Was 36º at 10:00am today – dropped back to 35º rest of the day. Reckon be the same tomorrow. I’ll watch the cricket I guess. Tonight’s phonecall was boring – I said he’d get sick of seeing me. [Oh gawd…] He said never. I hope so. Am proud about my appetite. I wasn’t hungry with Mark. Wonder if that means anything. [Um, duh! Loss of appetite is just one of many symptoms or side-effects of ‘Being in Love’ and there’s science to back it up! Check out this article on live science.com website: it lists all the Signs… my little 16 year old self was displaying pretty much all of them…] 10:35 now. Should ring Fi sometime. And moni’s comin’ home sunday!! ACE!

Saturday 24/1/87

Slept in till about 9:00. I watched TV for a while in the morning, then for the rest of the day cut things out of my ’84 Dollys and tidied up (sorted out) the pile of junk on a dining chair, that has been there for days. Am watching the movie. . .a special about the history of musicals/broadway. It’s 10:00. I rang Mark around 5:00. He sounded fine for the first few minutes but the ultimate boredom of the phone call soon took effect. That must change. Anyway I’m ringing him tomorrow night to find out about going to Crystals on Australia Day with Terry (& the “mob” – Monique!) Was so hot – 36º max. But got a (kind of) storm late this arvy – and it’s still raining. Oh, I’m now being overwhelmed with fatigue: I’m bloody tired. Ate more today 3 pieces toast, banana, 4 shredded wheatmeal biccys & some crumbed steak & cheese & milk. And water & diet coke. [Ugh! Diet Coke. It’s frightening how much of that crap we consumed; sometimes mum, Julia and I would go through a 1.5 litre bottle in one day. Disgusting.] Pity, that!! Oh well. I’m looking slimmer I think. monique left Brissy today! HOORAY! [She would have been coming home by bus, which used to be the cheapest way to travel back then. It took a painful 24-26 hours as well, but airfares were just way too expensive in the 80’s.]

Sunday 25/1/87

Woke to a putrid, stinking hot day. Mum washed the windows. After helping a little, I cut out magazine pictures. Did that all morning (under my fan) till we went to see Nana. In hospital [to this day I am not certain what exactly my grandmother’s health issues were, apart from rheumatoid arthritis, and therefore have no idea why she was hospitalised], we just sat watching cricket, Jules & I. Was boring. When we got home, Monique called me, asked me over for the night. I rode over at about 4:20. A Life in WordsGot there about 4:45. Her pool is HOT!! [No shade = tepid pool water] We talked, then rode to the video shop & got out NIGHT PATROL (embarrassing the guy made us ring Mrs P. to get her consent cause it was an ‘R’ rated movie.) Back home, we rushed off to Pizza Hut to get our pan pizza. I rang mark when I got back. He hadn’t decided what he was doing tomorrow. I suggested he ring us, tomorrow. Then after saying bye, Moni & I had pizza & during the video (sick!) [as in, crap. “Sick” had not positive connotations back then] Fiona rang. She’s coming over tomorrow for the day. Had a late night.