When I was 31 I was adamant that I was never going to have children. I had been through the panic stricken ‘my life is over when I turned 30’ phase and was enjoying spending time with my new partner Julian. That same year during a visit to the Melbourne zoo, I clearly announced (somewhere between the bird aviary and gorilla enclosure) that I didn’t think I was put on this earth to have children, nope I said, it wasn’t my particularly destiny in life. As soon as these words left my mouth and as if by some fateful twist a little two year old girl ran past me, tripped over my feet and fell into a heap. She looked up at me, and started crying hysterically. I took this as a sign that my words were prophetic, no children for me.
Move forward seven years to 38. Why is my biological drive not doing its job and urging me to procreate? Is the maternal desire that women often talk going to somehow bypass me? I visualise what my life in 10 years would be like without children. Probably more money, definitely more freedom and more passport stamps. But how quickly those things seem empty and unsatisfying as we journey through our 30’s, the desire to simply experience life from event to event being replaced by a desire to create, shape and nurture, and a need for family, community and greater connectedness with life. So with that in mind we decide to leave the fate of my uterus to the universe and a digital thermometer and sure enough, the universe responds very quickly. Perhaps that event at the zoo all those years back was a sign of having children after all.
Approximately one month BC (before conception) I visit my mother and spy a painting in her art room. Her art is usually abstract, but this is a little different to her usual work, a stylised sun in the left hand corner with three figures floating towards the sun’s rays. She explains that it was as though someone had taken over her hand as she painted, and that it was Julian and myself and one other. Oddly enough, I had not mentioned baby making plans to her, in fact for many years she had been warned to not expect grandchildren, so I feel this painting is quite significant perhaps a prediction of sorts.
Mum’s prophetic painting
20 April We have only been trying for a month or so but yesterday my period was three days late. Most women wouldn’t think anything of a three day late period. However, in all my period history I have never been even one day late so this means it’s pregnancy test time. Thinking back to when I was 19 and I was convinced I was pregnant to my first boyfriend, the very idea made me feel sick so a negative outcome was a cause for celebration, but of course this time is very different.I knew I would be disappointed to see a “-” but at the same time I was convinced that it was impossible to nail it so quickly so I tried to rationalise the outcome and convince myself not to be disappointed if the results are negative. The ‘+ ‘sign appeared almost immediately. Wow 100% pregnant! I decide to take the test again but there is no mistake. that ‘+’ sign that that I once associated with mathematics now means so much more.
Week 5, 25 April
I have a big secret, there is something growing inside me that is the size of a pin head and I can’t tell anyone about it. However, it doesn’t take long before people become suspicious. Note to self, switching from caffeinated to decaffeinated coffee triggers suspicion.
Week 6, 2 May
I have constant hot salty food cravings. Mostly I fantasize about making love to a hot potato cake. It’s possible that I will gnaw off Julian’s arm in my sleep. How can a thing a size of a tic tac me make me feel so ravenous? End of week 6 and the nausea has kicked in. It’s milder than what I thought and thank God nausea’s constant companion, vomiting, has decided not to join me. There are certain smells that are repulsive beyond words and a trip down the meat section of the supermarket sets me into fits of dry retching. Oddly enough, the owner of the cafe at my work asked me if I was pregnant today, how on earth could she know this? Do I have it stamped on my forehead?
Week 7, 9 May
Well tahini is off the menu indefinitely. This week I decide to beef up on my calcium enriched foods and go straight for the hard core unhulled version. After taking a greedy spoonful of the tahini paste, I decide that eating soap is probably tastier. Tahini is now on my blacklist. Although I feel nauseous I am still extremely ravenous, it’s a really unusual experience. Being pregnant is like smoking pot without the pot, you always have the munchies.
Week 8, 16 May
Planking is the new craze in town but who cares, I really want to eat lime jelly. I had my first visit to the obstetrician today. Turns out that we will be $4999 out of pocket.. yum how much lime jelly does $4999 buy? Went to my friends house for dinner this evening, she too asked me if I was pregnant. Must remember to remove that sign from my forehead.
Week 9, 23 May
First scan today (they call it a ‘feasibility’ scan – how very humanless). I am feeling quite nervous about it all, but feel reassured when I see a little blob thing moving around. Blob’s heartbeat is ticking at a normal 163 beats per minute – more importantly I decide that blob is really more bean-like, a kind of lentil in fact. From here on end, the blob is now called ‘Lentil’. Wow, we are going to be a family, a husband, wife and a Lentil and oh a golden retriever (sorry Gypsy, my first four legged baby!). I can’t wait to tell mum, she will never ever believe that I am going to have a Lentil around Christmas time! Deck the halls with boughs of lentils, Fa la la la la la la la la….
Week 10, 30 May
This secret is really hard to keep and it feels like I have to keep it quiet forever! People really notice everything especially laying off the alcohol. It’s not like I am a big drinker anyway but when you have guests over for dinner and you don’t drink their expensive wine I guess it’s grounds for suspicion. Maybe I should just pour myself a glass of red cordial and pretend it’s Wolfblass Grey label Cabernet Sauvignon instead? I have two weeks to go until the magic 12 week scan. It’s a strange business this pregnancy stuff. Anything could go wrong with the baby and I’m trying to remain emotionally detached just in case something does goes wrong. In an odd way I’m scared to want this child too much so that if the worst happens it won’t be too much for me. But then why do we have to be so scared of our emotions? Why can’t we be over the moon and shout it to the world and then if something bad happens will this really make a difference to my emotions, I doubt it. We decide to spill the beans (or in this case the lentil) to our parents this week. So in typical Katherine and Julian fashion we play a little game. Off to my mum’s first. We show her a close up picture of my positive pee test on a stick and ask her to guess what it is. At first, she thinks it’s some sort of technology gadget that Julian is promoting and filming, then it dawns on her. Why bother explaining her reaction when you can see it for yourself.
Off to my dad’s to share the news, out comes the picture and the guessing game starts all over again. Oh what fun this is.
I know this sounds like a contradiction but when I thought I didn’t want children, the other part of me knew that if I was going to a have a child one day, then she would be a girl. I was sure from the moment I was pregnant that Lentil was a girl. So, imagine my surprise and disbelief when I did an early home gender that claims to be 90% accurate (green means boy and orange means girl) and the results came back green. Julian was convinced that the test was right. I on the other hand still firmly believe that Lentil is orange and the test is wrong.
Week 11, 6 June
On the matter of boy versus girl, we are now adjusting to the fact that Lentil might be a boy. I still can’t accept that I am wrong but at the same time I don’t want to be one of these people that have a preference and then get really disappointed when they find out what the sex is. I know that I ultimately will not care if Lentil is a boy or a girl but it’s just that I have this feeling that Lentil is a girl, how can I be wrong? Julian is already excited about the prospect of teaching young Lentil how to mountain bike, four-wheel drive and climb mountains at the ripe old age of two.
Week 12, 13 June
Well the day of the magic 12 week scan has finally arrived. I almost stop breathing when I see Lentil for the first time (not in blob form) doing a head-stand like a little yoga guru. It’s a very surreal experience. For the last few weeks I have known that a life is growing inside of me but I have not really been able to see it, the scan makes this connection. You can see the little profile, the nose mouth, limbs and bone development. Funnily enough the sonagrapher announces that although it’s too early to tell for sure, she thinks Lentil is little girl! Ha, so much for the stupid gender pee test!
12 week Lentil
The 12 week scan is done in conjunction with a blood test that is taken at 10 weeks. The results of are matched up to determine your risk of having a Down’s Syndrome baby. I have yet to receive the results of my blood tests but decide to break the news to everyone at work and a few more people in my close circle of friends and family after being told by the sonographer that Lentil is growing beautifully and that all the measurements show no signs of Down’s Syndrome. Then comes the phone call. As soon as the voice on the other end of the phone tells me that she is a genetic counsellor, I know that she is going to tell me that my blood test results are crap. I try to remain calm as she explains that my results estimate that I have a 1/132 chance of having a Down’s baby and although statistically the chances of having a Down’s baby are actually relatively small, I still feel like it’s the end of the world. The counsellor explains that they usually recommend further testing for anything under a result of ‘200’ and to call my OB to discuss this further. My OB is very good in a practical and informative sort of way. He explains that I have a couple of options by way of further testing and that I could consider:
1. CVS (ChorionicVillus Sampling) that involves inserting a needle into the placenta which carries a risk of infection and miscarriage but can be performed earlier in the pregnancy than any other type of testing.
2. Amniocentesis which involves inserting a needle into the amniotic fluid to collect a sample. Although this test is safer than a CVS), there is still a 1% chance of infection and miscarriage.
Great, a choice between a shitty test or a shittier test. Not to mention the irony – imagine finding out Lentil is healthy only to have Lentil die as a result of the procedure? Then there is the issue of Down’s Syndrome, what if the test comes back positive? Julian and I had both initially agreed that we would not go through with the pregnancy if that was the case, but then could I really go through with a termination? Or what if I decide not to go through with the test, could I stand not knowing? Dilemma after dilemma. In the end, we decide to find out and then see how we proceed forward so we book the procedure.
The morning of the procedure, I crack a joke about how great it would be if the specialist says everything looks fine and there is no need to go ahead with the procedure. However, I really never expect this would be the case. Essentially our very clever sonographer/doctor talks us out of the procedure. This is especially surprising given we live in such a litigious society these days and can sue a doctor for accidentally shedding an eye lash during a routine check up.
The doctor is running almost two hours behind time for our appointment and this makes me even more anxious. When it’s our turn he shows no signs of pushing us through quickly, a good sign. He patiently explains everything to us, what the stupid blood test numbers mean, why the blood test system is not a very good measure of Down’s Syndrome, and how it is only used in this way here in Australia. The doctor also explains the risks of undergoing the procedure and finally he performs an extremely thorough ultrasound to check for the signs of Down’s Syndrome – not only does he recheck Lentil’s measurements again, but also checks for specific heart wave patterns and everything appears to be just fine. Julian and I with mutual relief decide that we don’t want to go through with the CVS. The doc has basically told us that there are no signs of Down’s Syndrome and that is good enough for us.
Week 13, 20 June
Things are back on track now. As much as that whole Down’s Syndrome thing stressed me, it also made me realise something very important, that I could never go through with terminating a pregnancy unless there was a major problem and even then I wouldn’t know if I could go through with it. After seeing a little life growing inside of me there would be no justification for terminating a Down’s baby. I now refuse to interfere with how Lentil is supposed to arrive into this world. Besides, there are so many other problems Lentil could have for example, Lentil could be autistic, dyspraxic, or even worse, Lentil could turn out to be an arsehole.
Week 14, 27 June
Water works week, I cry every day and everywhere. Going to a birthday party is a huge mistake. My senses go into overdrive, the music and talking is amplified by my screwed up hormones, I desperately need to escape so I plonk myself on the couch with a bunch of women in their twilight years thinking that it would calm my mind. The Flintstones are on television, what more could I ask for? Clearly it is not meant to be the escape I had expected. A lady with dementia asks me why I am not mingling with the crowd. When I explain that I am pregnant and tired, she nods her head in sympathy and five minutes later proceeds to ask me the same question, even suggesting that I go find myself a nice young single man. After the fifth time she asks me this question, I keep my eyes focused on Fred Flintstone and just nod my head politely. Then the other women join in, looking at my sympathetically as though I have some sort of disability asking me if I want this or that, some food or drink perhaps. NO! I just want to scream, tell them to shut up and leave me alone in peace to watch Fred and Barney bowl but it just keeps getting worse and worse until it happens. The lump in my throat forms, my eyes swell – shit I am about to lose it in front of all these people. The tears erupt in front of a bunch of strangers on the couch. At that moment I just want to go home and I tell Julian that I just want to leave, but his friend who’s wife is having the birthday insists we at least stay to cut the cake. Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a reasonable request but on this occasion it was like asking me to swallow 100 safety pins and to be honest that would have been the preferred option. There is no way I am going to stay a minute longer. I am a cataclysmic wreck for the entire week. I even cry when my mum tells me that she remembers the name of the doctor that delivered me, Dr Lorna Lloyd-Green – thanks to google, it turns out that she was a pretty remarkable women and quite the pioneer… where are my tissues?
Week 15, 4 July
Lentil is growing in my tummy and I realise that although pregnancy is common, it’s still an extremely amazing , mysterious and miraculous and very personal experience. I feel like the first pregnant woman!
Week 16, 11 July
Thanks to Lentil, I have my first cold in years. Lentil must be sucking all the vitamin and minerals out of me like a little leech.
I go in for a 16 week interim diagnostic scan and bring mum along with me. I think she would get a buzz out of the experience, particularly because there were no such scans availability in the 70s when she was pregnant with me. Although we were told at 12 weeks that Lentil is probably a girl Julian remains unconvinced and this time around the sonographer is confident that she can identify Lentil’s sex if she (or he according to Julian) is in an ideal position. So we decide to ask the sonographer to write down the sex of the baby on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope. The plan is to go out after work, have some dinner and open the envelope. But when the sonographer announces that she can easily identify the sex of the baby our plans for waiting until that evening to open up the magic envelope fly out the window and we ask her to tell us there and then. “Can you see what this is?”, she asks pointing to some obscure body part. Is she kidding, there is no way I can distinguish Lentil’s arm from her leg let alone realise that she is standing on her head like a little yoga guru (again!) and so the sonographer has a clear view and announces that Lentil is a girl! Ha, I knew it. Apparently,Lentil is developing just like a baby out of a text book. Normally the idea of any text book would bore me to tears but in this case, these words are very reassuring.
Week 17, 18 July
I have a little book that I use to scribble down notes and things and a page is dedicated to baby names. As I think of possible names, I just scribble them down. Boys are very difficult, so far I like Griffon but Julian tells me ‘Griffon’ does not sound good with ‘Carson’.. apparently there is a ‘ON’ and ‘ON’ problem. Well at least we don’t have to worry about boys names, although I think I should have a boys name up my sleeve just in case! As far as girl’s names go, I am quite fond of Ginger, Ruby, Alice, Annaleise, Annabel, Lilly, Miranda.. hmm nothing really feels right though. Then one day, the name just comes to me – Matilda Maeve Carson. Matilda, of German origin means ‘powerful battler’ and Maeve, Irish in origin means ‘the cause of great joy’ or ‘she who intoxicates’. Of course German and Irish names have really nothing to do with my Greek heritage but there is no way that I am going to call my child, Toula Voula, Fatoula or Soula (sorry mum). We also toy with the idea of having Maeve as the first name but come to the conclusion that everyone would think we have named our daughter after a colour and she would be forever known as ‘Mauve’. The thing I love about Matilda is that it is one of many of my favourite books written by my all time favourite children’s author Roald Dahl, the character Matilda is a little girl with extraordinary powers. All seems quite fitting to me!
Week 18, 25 July
So we have come up with a boy’s name (like I said just to be on the safe side). Zachary Alexandar Carson . Of course it’s such a clever name because all of the first letters of each name spell Zac and Alexander was my grandfathers name (Alexandros Maniatakis).
Week 19, 1 August
Feeling flutters in my tummy, and not the kind of flutters you feel when you are going on out a first date, I think these are Tilly flutters. How awesome!
Week 20, 8 August
Ok this is definite Tilly movement, my tummy is starting to pop out now but my clothes still fit. No maternity clothes yet, wahooo! My 20 week scan reveals that Tilly is a little wriggle worm and is thankfully growing according to plan. Oddly enough she looks exactly like Julian, or is it just a coincidence? Julian worries that Matilda will inherit his big nose, one can’t help but worry about physical attributes such as big noses at a time like this!
20 week Tilly
Week 21, 15 August
Another cold! Two in a matter of months, this is all new. It seems to be a pregnant thing, from what I have been reading, pregnant women complain about all sorts of things like bleeding gums, haemorrhoids, varicose veins so I should be happy with just a cold. It’s also been said that the second trimester is supposed to be the easiest. I have given up with ‘they say’ and have come to the conclusion that everyone has a unique pregnancy experience. Put headphones on my tummy – get an instantaneous wriggle reaction from Lentil, she either loves jazz…or hates it!
Week 22, 21 August
I am convinced that my tummy is getting bigger although Julian reckons it looks like I have just been eating too many chicken dinners. Humph, what would Julian know anyway. My friend Amber’s baby girl, Stella Rose arrived on the 24 August. This is a really special time because it’s the first time I have shared a pregnancy journey with a friend and when little Stella arrived, it feels like a part of me had given birth too.
22 week tummy – or too many chicken dinners?
Week 23, 29 August
My dad has been dishing out some very interesting pregnancy advice. Apparently I should drink lots of milk to ensure that I have enough breast milk to feed Tilly. Quite clearly if one sat down to do the numbers, it would be obvious that drinking lots of cow’s milk does not equal lots of breast milk. That’s the type of advice I would expect my grandmother to give me along with her old gems that chewing gum sucks all the blood out of your body and that butter heals burns. My mother is overly doting and affectionate and has created a ‘count down’ calendar which is stuck to her wall and gets crossed off each day. Each week mum emails with much excitement to tell me that Matilda is now this many weeks old. Mum’s just a little excited I think.
Mum’s tracking calendar
Week 24, 5 September
Matilda’s room is well underway. In typical Katherine style, I decide to avoid a nursery that looks like it’s come straight out of a magazine with matching everything. Besides I don’t think Matilda is going to notice that her white cradle does not match her timber change table. It’s true what they say, don’t go out and buy baby paraphernalia because as soon as you tell people you are pregnant, you get literally showered with baby stuff, cots, bedding, cradles, clothes, clothes and more clothes. Our bank balance thanks us! Figuring out what to buy is a very confronting experience, especially making a decision on a pram, whoever thought buying a pram could be so difficult. Perhaps I can just wheel her around in a wheelbarrow instead? People say that having a puppy is good practice for having a baby. Rubbish I say, how many dogs do you see being wheeled around in prams? Have you ever changed a dog’s nappy or installed a doggy seat in the back of your car?
Week 25, 12 September
Totally given up on reading books pregnancy books, I don’t need to know anymore about preeclampsia, premature labour, birthing plans and breastfeeding plans. Why bother reading ‘What to expect when you are expecting’, when Roald Dahl is far more interesting to read out loud to Matilda. Sleeping is like an Olympic sports event, turning over in bed is like running a marathon and there is a world shortage of pillows because I have them all and tuck them under my various body parts.
Week 26, 19 September
I used to really enjoy our daily hill walks, now I find them equivalent to hiking up the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. I remember on the first day of our Mount Kilmanjaro trek, our guides showed us how to walk poli poli (slowly slowly). At the time, I thought walking at snail pace was ridiculous but I soon learnt that this was the best way to tackle a mountain in high altitude. Who ever thought I would be applying the poli poli principle to pregnancy but hey it works and I can still manage to walk up those hills and plan to do so until the very end.
26 week tummy
Week 27, 26 September
Matilda is clearly enjoying resting her butt on my bladder, maybe this is her way of bonding with me? I counted 15 trips to the toilet in one day, quite impressive. Getting really sick and tired of pulling my pants up and down, maybe it’s just worth wearing nappies instead, at least that way I can get used to how they work.
Physically I am still feel pretty good although some days I feel a little NQR. My OB says everything is as it should be – normal blood pressure, Tilly is growing as she should be and the occasional twinges and jabs that I have been complaining about are normal. My favourite pain is the one where I experience a hot poker like sensation under my right rib cage, it’s so bad that for a few seconds I can’t breathe.
Beware the internet, it’s full of contradictions, sleep on your left not your right the wise sages online tell us, but my OB assures me that I can sleep anyway I want. This sleep thing is getting even more impossible, I went out and bought a body pillow to try, now it looks like there are three people sleeping in our bed instead of two!
Week 28, 3 October
Initially I was excited about having larger boobs as a result of being pregnant, that was until my tummy outgrew my boobs and now it’s no longer a novelty. What I find strange about having larger boobs is that often when I am drying myself after a shower they stick to my tummy when I bend over- weird. Spring cleaning is at the forefront of my mind, now that it’s getting warmer the sun is shining though our house and I notice the dust, spider webs and dirty windows. How can I be a fit mother if I can’t keep clean windows? This week I have a dizzy spell and nearly faint when Julian drops me off at work, quite scary but the OB assures me that this is quite normal, especially in the third trimester with all the blood gushing around and what not. Apparently I am producing double the amount of blood or something insane like that. Thank God vampires don’t really exist. Tilly, you will be glad to know that mummy does not have the onset of gestational diabetes and her vitamin D levels are good. The only thing is that mummy’s iron levels are a bit on the low side but that is OK, apparently it’s common for iron levels to drop in the third trimester because you need all my vitamins…OK I take it back, there are such things as vampires!
28 week tummy
Week 29, 10 October
This week the shortness of breath, indigestion and fatigue have kicked in. I suppose it doesn’t help when Julian and I argue about ‘the walk’. It all starts when I suggest we go for a leisurely walk but make it quite clear that I want to walk the short circuit. We invite our neighbours to come along and when it comes time to turn the corner and make our way back, Julian asks whether we should extend the walk a little. At that precise point I should have shoved my pride up my pregnant belly but I was too embarrassed to say no even though I knew this was going to be a tougher walk. So I shut my mouth and keep walking, the tiredness gets worse and the anger builds with every step, especially up that last hill. Poli Poli doesn’t even save me. By the time we get home 1.5 hours later, I am fuming but so exhausted that I put myself to bed at around 7.30 pm. The next morning I am so grumpy and tired that all I can manage to do is sit on the floor and cry and this leads to a hormonally charged fight with Julian because naturally ‘the walk’ was all his fault. Constantly finding fault with your husband is yet another pregnancy symptom.
29 week tummy
Week 30, 17 October
Feel like I have achieved a milestone, I have some sense of safety and relief knowing that Matilda has a good chance of survival if she is born now, although she has been ordered to stay in the tummy until she reaches full term. I feel as though I have been pregnant for a life time.
30 week tummy
Week 31, 24 October
How peculiar, washing and preparing clothes for a baby that has not yet arrived. Her little socks are so small that they get stuck in the rubber section of the front loader. Julian and I attend a breastfeeding course, the highlight of the course is when a hippy couple speak about their preference to raise a nappy free child. This creates visions of racing down the hallway holding a butt naked Matilda while Gypsy our Golden Retriever trails after us waiting to feast on some baby poo. Um, no thanks. I’m convinced that Tilly went to a rave party on Saturday night and took some speed, she jiggled around all night and kept me awake.
Week 32, 31 October
I had such bad calf muscle cramps during the night that I thought I was going into labour. Then I remembered that labour cramps start in the uterus and not the legs! This week my tummy is so hard that I am contemplating whether Tilly is in fact a rock rather than a human. I call my OB in panic thinking that Tilly’s rock like behaviour is abnormal but he assures me that I am having Braxton Hicks which are normal contractions that are keeping my uterus in good condition. I feel relieved to hear that Tilly is not a rock after all.
32 week tummy- but Gypsy hopes there is a giant bone in there for her
Week 33, 7 November
All this energy and what to do? Julian is exhausted so we think that somehow Magical Matilda is transferring my symptoms to Julian. My OB, assures me that Matilda is on track and things are looking tip top and Matilda is now head down – that’s my girl.
It’s always the same conversation with my OB.
OB: So how are things going?
Me: Good good.
OB: That’s good, any vaginal bleeding?
OB: Good, good
OB: Let’s check your blood pressure – Good, good very good, OK let’s check your tummy – measurements are perfect, heart beat good.
OB: OK so we will see you soon, have you got any questions?
Me: No, not at this stage
And that is what we pay are $5K fee for! But let’s face it I wouldn’t want the conversation to ever go any other way.
33 week tummy
Week 34, 14 November
A growth scan reveals that Matilda is going to have a lot of hair but it’s certainly no surprise given that I was born with a luscious crop! Apparently she is going to be fairly small – in the 25th percentile which means that 75% of babies are bigger than her. The sonographer reports that her tummy is a little on the small side but can’t work out whether it was because she is squished and distorted. This is my last week of work. I have been gearing down for a while now but this week is exceptionally hard. I feel like I have been in limbo, a cross road of sorts, leaving one world to enter another world and have really no idea what the new world holds for me (except a baby with a fine crop of hair). After much contemplation, I decide to host a ‘baby shower’. I dispense with the traditional games and inject some meaning into the event instead. My friend Lisa conducts a little baby blessing as a type of initiation into motherhood and we all sit in a circle and pass an orange around (not just a piece of fruit in this case but a symbol of fertility and new life). Everyone is asked to hold the orange and share something with me, an experience about pregnancy or childbirth or just expressing good wishes for the birth of Matilda. The highlight of the event is my mum who never fails to entertain, you just never know what to expect from her colourful personality and she certainly delivers a brilliant performance. During the gift opening session she unveils a giant box with a trillion presents and proceeds to spend the next 30 minutes explaining each item in great detail to the guests. The box is bottomless, not only does it contain items for Matilda but also items from when I was a baby (I love the fact that Matilda will be wearing my retro 70’s baby clothes). Mum saves her pièce de résistance until last, a painting for Matilda’s room that she had been working on for months. Did I ever mention how excited my mum is about the arrival of her grandchild?
Me and mum
Mum’s box of goodies!
Week 35, 21 November
The lady of leisure time (maternity leave) officially begins and I am already feeling relaxed even though I have made a ‘maternity to do list’ that is a mile long. But it feels different then having a week or two off because this time I know there is no great rush to do everything. The conversation with my OB is a little different this time around as we speak about Tilly’s tummy issues. He explains that she is in the normal percentile in terms of overall growth but her stomach is in the 5th percentile which means she needs some monitoring to make sure she is growing properly. He takes no time to get onto the phone and books me in the very next day for heart rate monitoring as well as an umbilical and placenta check at Monash Hospital. Matilda certainly puts on a show during the heart rate test, wiggling and jiggling and writhing around like a little worm, I think she has gone insane but the midwife seems pleased with this level of activity. All the tests are normal so far, next week I am booked in for another growth scan so hoping that this will tell us more about the state of Tilly’s tummy but I don’t feel especially concerned and this is not like me at all. Usually I am the one that googles and stresses about these things but I have learnt there is no value in doing so. As I said earlier on, I can’t stop how Tilly chooses to come into this world. Furthermore, I can’t stop when she is going to come into this world – so I better put the Xmas tree up in case Santa decides to add one more name to his list!
35 week tummy
Tis the season to be jolly
Week 36, 28 November
I am truly in holiday mode. Normally my tasks are undertaken in an orderly and efficient manner, that is I start from home and move onto the next destination aiming to complete everything as quickly and painlessly as possible without taking any unnecessary detours. Not anymore, it’s now a leisurely affair. Some days I drive to the shops, return home, pick up the dog, go down to the cafe for a latte and sandwich, drive back home, drop the dog off, go back to the shops, visit mum, I just drag out the activities for as long as possible. Mostly, it’s because I don’t want to get bored, I realise that I need to keep moving and I can only sit on the couch and read a book for an hour or so before I get restless. I don’t have much desire to sleep, I once had an afternoon ‘nana nap’ but felt terrible upon waking so nana naps are now officially banned. Matilda is again ‘foetal monitored’ this week. Everything is normal – I like normal for once.
36 week tummy
Tilly’s room progress
Week 37, 5 December
My OB is happy with Matilda’s growth and explains that her brain probably developed faster than her stomach and her stomach is now catching up. I tell Julian that I probably overloaded her brain with too much reading and music. For some reason my dad dismisses the fact that Matilda’s name has been carved in stone and suggests other names like Nicole or Jessica because they are far ‘sexier’ than Matilda. He has also believes that Matilda will be born on the 17 December, hopefully he is not right otherwise I might just have to think of changing her name to something sexy!
This year, I am certainly getting into the Christmas spirit and baking. Well I am not sure if rum balls are considered baking, but for me this is a unusual. I am also getting all crafty and have purchased some owl swap cards from the 70s and have put them in a frame for Tilly’s room. Hmm owls and ‘nesting’. Interesting pun!
Oddly enough when people find out that the baby is due around Christmas, the first thing they say is ‘Oh, I hope she doesn’t come on Christmas day because that means she will only get one present each year’. I think this is a strange thing to say. Firstly, who cares what day she arrives, as long as she is born healthy. Secondly, who really cares about the present thing? It just goes to show how truly westernised we are. Why are we so ‘presents’ focused? Most people in the world get nothing, western society is indulgent so Tilly, come out around Christmas, it just means that Santa adds you to the top of his list!
It’s all about the owls
Week 38, 12 December
One year has come and gone in a flash as Julian and I celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. In a blink of an eye so much has happened. Usually December is the time that Julian and I take some extended time off work, and fly off to some exciting or exotic holiday destination which also means that we escape Christmas duties. This year is just a little different, obviously we have a duty of a different type that we can’t avoid but instead of an exciting holiday package we get an exciting baby package!
My dad is going a bit nutty and insists that we ‘Greekify’ our child by sending her to Greek school and Greek dancing lessons. I decide to zip my mouth until he announces that the Greek priest is going to find it problematic when he converts Matilda’s name into a Greek one during the baptism ceremony. My mouth zipper breaks when I tell him that we are not baptising our child and all hell breaks loose. I guess this happens when two people from different cultures have children but I never expect my father to be so passionate about all this Greek stuff. After receiving a dose of ‘you should be ashamed of yourself for not baptising your child’, I firmly explain to my dad that Julian and I are not in the least bit interested in upholding this particularly tradition because we never attend church, and believe christening our child is hypocritical. Furthermore, it’s quite offensive going to church, lying and falsely pledging our allegiance to God and this would actually be the shameful thing to do. I provide the opportunity for my dad to defend his position but he can only respond by gibbering on about the blessing of God and renouncing the devil. Ridiculous I say, the devil comes in later, when they become teenagers!
During the pregnancy most things have been fairly controlled such as the routine obstetrician appointments and scans but now that I am nearly towards the end of the pregnancy journey and entering birthing territory, I realise this part will be totally out of my control. I have always maintained that I will have an open mind about the delivery process because I have no idea how it will happen or when it will happen. If I am able to have a natural birth, great but if I need to have a caesarean, that that will be OK too. I just want Matilda out safe and sound. Physically I’m still kicking butt but I’m a little on the podgy side due to mild fluid retention.
38 week tummy
Week 39, 19 December
Not sure why I expected an early Tilly arrival given she is not due until 26 December, but I guess I am getting rather impatient now and would like to finally meet my little girl. Julian is now off work and is busily making a ‘to do list’ that is vastly different to the one I had prepared. His duties consist of things like grout front porch tiles, wash and clean cars, stain porch steps, paint pool area. I guess this is a male’s version of nesting although Julian strongly denies this and says this is what he does anyway when he has spare time.
21 December….Something awesome this way comes
Oh wow! Remember when I mentioned that the how and when is totally out of my control? Well the how and when is here now – 39 and half weeks into my pregnancy and my waters break. It’s right after Julian and I have watched a horror movie titled ‘Don’t be Afraid of the Dark’ and I wondered if Tilly wriggled a little too much during the scenes where the bad creatures wanted to eat the little girl’s teeth…
The hospital advise me over the phone that there is nothing that I can do until I start going into ‘real labour’ and having contractions, it’s best I go back to sleep they say – sleep!! You have got to be joking – I have never been more alert and awake in my entire life. I guess it’s a matter of time before something happens so I wait in anticipation thinking that it wont be long before I finally know what a contraction feels. However, nothing happens with the exception of trickling and sometimes gushing of my amniotic fluid with an occasional pink tinge of blood just to add things to the mix. I ring the hospital in the morning and they tell me to come in to check and make sure Tilly is OK and make a further assessment.
It’s been 11 hours since my waters broke and I have experienced only mild and irregular contractions. On the way to the hospital, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ by Rod Stewart is playing on the radio and I look to it as a sign that Tilly is on her way. According to the scan Tilly is as calm as her usual self and the midwife calls my OB who advises me to wait until 7.am the next morning to see if l go into labour otherwise I will have to be induced. Far out, it’s only 9.00 am which means I have to possibly wait another 22 hours (32 hours all up since waters break) for Tilly’s arrival – maybe Rod Stewart is wrong after all?
More waiting, Julian and I kill some time and go out for lunch. In the meantime the irregular contractions continue. I wish I could just order a ‘bring it on’ contraction sandwich.
I am lying in bed waiting bed….waiting waiting for Godot and wonder if I will be induced tomorrow morning. I ask my cervix to dilate (very politely of course). And then low and behold my cervix responds, my contractions feel a little more intense and regular than before. In fact, the pain is not that bad, what’s all the fuss about? I embrace the pain and even manage to laugh my way through each contraction, ahhh such naivety, I have no idea how bad this is really going to get.
I think Rod Stewart is right, tonight could be the night after all. The contractions are regular and at least 10 minutes apart, in no time they are down to 7 minute intervals. I am in excruciating pain and any laughter has been tortured out of me. I call the hospital hoping to hear that I should come in but no, they advise me to stay home until my contractions are at least 3-4 minutes apart. Are they nuts? I live at least 35 minutes away and I could be heading into the hospital in peak hour traffic. I go outside and talk to my neighbour to distract myself and pause the conversation only when my cervix bursts into a zillion spasms forcing me to the ground on all fours.
By this stage there is no comfortable position to be had, I have spent most of the time on the bed listening to my 90s trance and dance music to try and psych myself and Julian has been timing my contractions, which are now averaging four to five minutes. The only thing that seems to help is my breathing – thank God for pre-natal yoga and deep breathing experience. I lay on the bed on all fours as Gypsy the Golden Retriever wonders in, wagging her tail wondering what all the carry on is all about.
Three hours spent on bed during stage 1 labour – ouch!
To hell with staying at home any longer. I call up the hospital and ignore there stupid ‘how far apart are your contractions questions’ I firmly insist that I am on my way. The 35 minute car trip is unspeakably torturous and during each contraction I shut my eyes tightly and hold onto the grab handle with both hands grimacing like a maniacal mad women.
We try and time my entrance into the emergency in between each contraction but to no avail as I collapse on all fours in the foyer – talk about a grand entrance! It’s a little embarrassing so I manage to sneak in an apology remembering how important it is to be polite during labour.
The journey from emergency to the delivery room is a bit of a blur but the mid wife CC, is the only one in attendance. Where is the cavalry? CC looks fairly young (around 24) and I wonder how on earth, this yearling is going to get me through the delivery. CC examines me and announces that my cervix is fully dilated at 10cm. I am not sure if I hear right, perhaps the pain has driven me insane but CC repeats herself and happily explains that I have completed the first stage of labour at home. This means Tilly is clearly on her way but the hard work is nowhere near over because stage 2 labour is a totally a new kind of pain and exhaustion. CC advises me that I will not require any pain relief because I am so close now and ‘doing really well’. Far out, I am really going to experience a drug free labour! Something that fills me with excitement and dread.
60 minutes later CC asks Julian if he wants to see the top of Tilly’s head, she has dark hair he tells me. During each contraction I need to breath three times, hold my breath and bear down and push but I can’t seem to get the rhythm going and at times I let out pathetic little puffs or let out my breath before pushing. I can vaguely hear the mid wife correcting me but I’m clearly in my own little world and there is no correcting to be had, I just have to do this my way.
Each rest phase lasts a minute or two, I both welcome and dread each rest phase because I need the time to rest but also I need to psych myself up for the next big push and it’s both physically and emotionally taxing. I am pretty sure I have released my bowels a few times but this is no time to worry about my dignity. Later, Julian tells me that he could clearly see every tendon and muscle in my neck and arms tense during the pushing process, take that Mr Universe!
My OB turns up and I feel a sudden injection of motivation because I know I am nearly there. I dig deep and push a little more until literally the ‘crowning moment’ . My OB tells me that I am going to feel a stinging sensation and I need to stop pushing but the stinging is nothing compared to the last five hours I peer between my legs and see a little black mop – her head is out!! Julian tells me that Tilly is peering around comfortably face down as though she is waiting to slip out into the world… and then she does…
A number of simultaneous things happen when you give birth. Paperwork, APGAR score testing, injections, weighing, the delivery of the placenta, stitches, more paperwork. But when you are holding your baby girl in your arms these flutters of activities are meaningless. Welcome into this world my precious baby, Matilda Maeve Carson. Santa has a new name to add to his list this year!
According to my half glass full husband, I am considered a half glass empty kind of girl. This fact compounded by an impending winter has made the glass even emptier. It’s cold, I want to constantly consume nothing but comfort food (potato cakes, hot chips and meat pies ) and I am waiting for inspiration to strike for my next article with my granny blanket wrapped around my shoulders. I really need a bitter and twisted article so here it is – people are stupid.
Yes it’s true, people are stupid, this is something only I know which actually means I am the smartest person in the world. So how can I make such a bold and malignant statement slighting my fellow man I hear you ask? It’s simple, this is my blog and I can write whatever I feel like writing. So there.
Archaeologists believe that Homo Sapiens have been around for 200 000 years. However, Christians claim that humans have been around for 6000 years ago. Now, I don’t know about you but I think getting it wrong by 194,000 years is pretty stupid. Speaking of religion – how incredibly stupid are those thousands of followers of Harold Camping believing that the world was going to end on May 21st? Harold based this date on obscure numerological calculations of words in the bible (here we go with calculations again). Apparently on this day, God was literally going to rapture away all his Christian soldiers leaving behind all the sinners to suffer through fire and brimstone until the world ended on October 21. Firstly, there is no way that God is stupid enough to rapture away a bunch of boring tambourine banging hippies counting down to the rapture like it’s some sort of New Year’s celebration. Seriously – shouting ‘three minutes to lift off’ and looking up into the sky waiting for the heavens to open is so unbearably cliché that God himself is ROCLHAO (rolling on a cloud laughing his ass off). Secondly if God wants to rapture all the tambourine banging hippies away – do us all a favour, go for it please. At least all the interesting and smart people will be left here on earth.
Let’s leave religion and look at history as an example of why people are stupid. Why doesn’t anyone know about history these days? Most people consider history little but a flashback to the 1980s. No people, Diogenes, Anthisthenes and Xenophon are not names of pharmaceutical drugs rather the names of ancient Greek philosophers. The ancient Greeks interwove science, philosophy, ethics, art and politics to present ideas and theories about the nature of the universe that are still discussed today. Socrates, wanted people to think about what they believed rather than just blindly accepting whatever was passed down to them by tradition or told to them by figures of authority. Where has all this Socratic thought gone?
Thinking has been replaced by new and pointless inventions that have taken us away from actually using our minds, thinking for ourselves, challenging sacred cows, and using our intelligence. The first thing that comes to mind is television and reality television in particular. Our lives are so devoid of intellectual or creative spark that we have to watch other people with equally empty lives carrying on about nothing. What about television cooking shows? How many million more cooking shows do we have to watch – hey, here’s an idea -why don’t we just get off our fat derrières and actually cook something? In fact why don’t we just turn off the TV and do something, anything will do, walk, sing, make something, or even talk to someone new?
Where has our originality and creativity gone? We think that planking – a ridiculous craze that involves being photographed lying flat on your stomach in unusual environments is funny. I have no objection to people wasting their time lying flat between a toilet bowl and toilet brush set – but isn’t it just another totally pointless party trick? The only thing it does is cause people to waste time thinking about how to ‘out plank’ someone. What is even more ridiculous is that people are claiming that it is really called ‘extreme lying down’ and they think they are more clever because they discovered ‘extreme lying down’ four years ago. Hu? STUPID.
The Age Online is a great example of how stupid people are – not because of the articles, though they are pretty stupid (and aimed at the most stupid amongst us), but for the asinine comments that people make in response to the articles. Most people are very quick to make idiotic or hurtful comments . One particular article comes to mind – a woman decided to quit her meaningless job, accept some food vouchers from the Salvation Army to feed her family and went on Centrelink benefits for a while before she put together a collection of online recipes as a way of making money. There was a flood of toxic comments from people that were outraged that this women could rip of tax payers etc etc. People seemed to miss the entire point of the article which was about a women trying to turn her life around and do something more positive with her life. It was very clear that she was not deliberately ripping anyone off and so what that she hated her crappy office job? Are we not capable of thinking and reflecting anymore? Why do we feel the need to be hostile? Why can’t we just put ourselves in someone else’s shoes just for a moment? We are so quick to judge someone else that we actually miss the point of what is written?
The Royal Wedding – oh what a classic example of stupidly. My favourite line in the newspapers ‘designers are on standby for the first glimpse at Kate Middleton’s wedding dress’. You see women will now want a knock off version of her wedding dress – stupid! Why do we define what is beautiful and in vogue by what a famous person wears or does? I’ll tell you why, it’s because we are unoriginal and have no capacity to think freely. Stupid!
The movie Idiocracy tells the story of two people involved in an experiment that goes wrong and awaken 500 years into the future. The world is devoid of any intellect and all humans are literally stupid – people have evolved into a bunch of morons. The movie whilst satirical in nature is actually a cautionary tale and quite clearly we are headed in this direction unless things change.
How do we change? Is there any hope for me – I here you ask. Well of course there is, no need to despair. According to my calculations (based on a series of complex algorithms) I believe that aliens will land on earth on 11/11/2011 and show us the way. Humans will be once again be enlightened! Hooray!
I last saw my ‘Cycas Revoluta’, (aka Cycad) intact on the evening of Friday, 11 March 2011. On the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2011 my Cycad resembled nothing of its former flourishing self, its amputated leaves lay pathetically around its ceramic pot, the trunk nearly eaten away.
I hear you asking – how could such a hardy plant that dominated the Jurassic Period be destroyed in such a way? No chance that my neighbours herbivorous dinosaur had escaped out of their yard again – we’d already invested in a fancy 6 foot fence that could surely keep anything out.
Of perhaps a more sinister nature than a neighbourhood dinosaur, the culprit in question was not of the reptilian, rather feathered – my Cycad killer was in fact a wild sulphur-crested cockatoo.
But there is more to this story than simply waking up one morning to find a cocky tucking into my beloved plant for breakfast. Let’s call this the end result a phenomenon known as the butterfly effect – a theory that suggests that a small change (a butterfly flapping its wings) at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere (earthquake in chile). How can this be so I hear you ask? Well my friends let’s go back in time to when it all started.
6 months ago, my brother in law David gave Julian a birthday gift, but not just any gift. Our house – a Spanish style hacienda needed a little splash of colour in the front court yard so David thoughtfully resolved this problem by scraping together what little money he had to buy Julian a Cycad. A Cycad he thought (after researching the subject with his plant knowledgeable friend) was ideal for a couple who had little time to care for plants – virtually indestructible. We treasured our little Cycad, we watched it thrive, it survived a hailstorm and our neighbour’s inquisitive plant curious puppy.
Around this time Melbourne was coming out of a painful and protracted drought, our garden was lush and green again and overrun with weeds (well weeds were always the case anyway). With the return of rain came life. Our feathered creatures ate from our trees once again, just as it was supposed to be or so I thought.
Now don’t mention this to my dog Gypsy, but I adore birds, love them in fact – especially parrots. Living in the hills is paradise for a bird lover like myself so one day I decided to set up Katherine’s Café, a café not for humans but for birds, with the added bonus of being free. At first it was only the small birds that frequented Katherine’s Cafe, three or four regular rosellas hopping around on the garden rocks pecking away at Trill bird seed.
It didn’t take long before the ‘tink tink, pseet-it’ rosella voices were drowned out by a metallic ‘chack sweeeee’ – the sound of the king parrot. My new patrons must have read the reviews of Katherine’s Cafe much to the disappointment of the rosellas.
For a few weeks Katherine Cafe ran smoothly and had its regular customers, the feeding rock was a fluttery rainbow of red, greens and blues. Our garden was a now looking a lot like Jason’s technicolour dream coat.
Then it happened, an uninvited visitor swooped down on the feeding rocks and began to gorge himself with seed – yep enter stage left, a sulphur-crested cocky. I knew this could be a problem, but I didn’t want to close up shop so I came up with an idea. Birds have very accurate internal clocks and arrive exactly at the same time for their morning feed so I thought I could be tricky and put up the following sign.
Dear patrons, due to unforeseen circumstances, Katherine’s Cafe will now open at 8.00 am instead of 7.30 am.
Not only did I discover that cockatoos are able to read but they also talk to their other cocky buddies and soon enough I had three cockatoos dropping in for morning breakfast.
So I moved to plan B.
I relocated Katherine’ s Cafe to the verandah where I reasoned I could control and monitor the situation, after all only the boldest of birds would venture so close to the house. The plan worked for a while and I had a few regular customers like the king parrots. The bigger birds had scared off the rosellas but I secretly didn’t mind catering to only the rich and powerful. However, it wasn’t long before the cockatoos realised that Katherine’s Cafe was still open for business and decided to eat with the king parrots. The thing about cockatoos is that they don’t need to bully other birds, their sheer size and presence is enough to intimidate the smaller parrots so I found myself a new job – a cockatoo bouncer.
I started to question my values, was it wrong of me to exclude the cockatoos from Katherine’s Cafe? Who was I to decide on which bird would get fed and which didn’t? Was I bird racist? Oh my god – was I going to lead the cockatoos into the garden shed only then to gas them?
So I made a decision, I would feed the cockatoos , after all there were only two, how bad could it get. Right?
It turned out, that the king parrots were too scared to mingle with the cockatoos so it was just me and my two buds – the sulphurs. By now I was officially a crazy bird lady, I had names for them – Knocky (because of the persistent beak knocking on the window) and Greedy (self explanatory). Each morning I would find Knocky and Greedy waiting on the verandah to be fed and this soon turned into an evening affair as well.
Two birds turned into three, three birds turned into five, eventually I had six regular cockatoos sitting on the verandah railing waiting for their breakfast and dinner. And they were LOUD. They would announce their arrival each morning at 7.30 am (and not a minute later) with an ear-piercing screech.
And then the butterfly flapped its wings again and chaos struck.
A visit to my mother’s house resulted in her giving me one of my favourite traditional Cypriot – Flaounes (cheese pies)- a scrumptious cheese filled bread topped with sesame seeds. Over the next two days I turned into my own version of Greedy the Cockatoo – I screeched with excitement every time I ate one. For two days this became my staple diet.
One word, nicely describes what happens to the human body when you eat nothing but cheese bread for two days – CONSTIPATION my friends. It’s no fun when you wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in your side. Unfortunately for me, this pain kept me a wake for hours and only when I realised that I was constipated and not dying from a burst appendix did I manage to get some sleep. That was until I was awoken by an ear piercing SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH at 8.48 am.
Knocky , Greedy and the rest of the dwarfs had been kept waiting for 18 minutes and were obviously deeply offended and embarrassed by the poor service – particularly because they had invited another 10 of their buddies. It turned out that my Cycad was in the wrong place at the wrong time – I guess it’s no place for 16 angry, bored and hungry cockatoos. And that is the story of how my Cycad was a victim of foul play on the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2011.
So my friends I hope my tale of caution has taught you well, just remember:
1. A small business usually fails within the first five years – if you are going to open up a cafe for birds at least have a cover charge.
2. Buy plastic Cycads instead of real ones.
3. NEVER, EVER eat flaounes without fibre supplements.
Feeding wild birds – a word to the wise.
On a serious note, I want to stress that you should NEVER feed wild birds.
1. The feeding extinction process is very difficult for both you and the cockatoos (you become very attached to them and they become very dependent on you), it takes a long time and it’s really heartbreaking to watch them waiting for food every day. The first five days of café closure was horrible, especially watching Knocky and Greedy waiting and crying out for food. One day Knocky and Greedy become very anxious and Knocky started to frantically knock at the window, then he let out an almighty screech and flew and landed on our security door with his crest puffy and erect and his tail feathers spread wide. He was bopping his head from side to side and screeching like a lunatic. Then Greedy flew down and landed on the swing chair repeatedly swinging backwards and forwards. The swinging motion had sent him into a motionless trance. I can’t explain how disturbing it is watching a wild cocky calmly rocking back and forward on a swing chair whilst his friend is screeching maniacally on your security door!
2. In their natural habitat, birds don’t usually feed in one spot, they spread out. When you feed wild birds they are forced to eat in the one spot and this can spread disease – especially beak and feather disease which is highly contagious and parrots are very susceptible to this disease.
3. Feeding wild birds changes their social structure and also makes them lose their fear of people .
4. Bird seed attracts other birds like lorikeets which are different to other parrots in that they eat nectar and fruits. Bird seed can actually deform a lorikeet’s beak.
5. Bird seed attracts rats and trust me – the last thing you want to do is spend hours cleaning up bird seed and bird poo every day!
6. You try and work your whole life around feeding the birds and it’s very stressful – I ended up obsessing about being home on time to feed the birds, it also interfered with my social life – CRAZY! Also think about what happens when you go on holiday? Birds can starve to death if they are totally reliant on you feeding them.
7. Bird seed alone does not give birds a balanced diet and you might think that you can moderate the amount of seed but trust me you can’t. In the end you will become very attached to the birds and you always wind up giving them more because you feel sorry for them and they become dependent for their food – bad bad bad!
8. Don’t be fooled into thinking cockatoos only destroy wooden houses. I thought we were safe because we have a brick house but cockatoos destroy or eat everything they can including the mortar in your pavers!
9. Don’t ever think you can control the situation and feed one or two – birds talk, they spread the word and before you know it you will be host to 20 demanding birds.
10. Cockatoos are extremely noisy and your neighbours won’t be happy when you have 20 screeching cockatoos in your front yard. Not to mention they will be nervous – particularly if they have a wooden house because cockatoos don’t mind waiting next door as well! (Lucky I have great neighbours who put up with my cocky madness).
Remember cockatoos are not pests- they become pests when humans interfere with their natural habitat. Enjoy them from a distance.
Cycad – post cocky
Greedy the wild cockatoo
Greedy the poser
You can never control the situation!
Sifty the wild King Parrot
Katherine’s Cafe first location – the feeding rock.
Sifty the King Parrot with Girl Twirl waiting at Katherine Cafe’s (male has the red upper body)
180 years worth of harsh and brutal history is a lot to absorb in two days, even so Port Arthur’s famous historical convict settlement makes for a lasting impression.
There are many hours to be had exploring the crumbled ruins and derelict buildings. Prison cells so small that spending one second too long is enough to bring on a claustrophobic related anxiety attack. Most entertaining is the night ghost tour where you are treated to theatrical stories of hauntings and ghost sightings of the past. Flickering lanterns add to the effect and it’s not long before you both welcome and dread the idea of feeling an ice cold hand touch your shoulder.
Aside from the historical convict settlement, Port Arthur is also well known for the 1996 massacre, whereby a gunman sadly killed 35 people and injured 21. Understandably, no one in Port Arthur utters a world about the massacre. The only physical evidence that remains of this fateful day is a little memorial garden and the shell of the Broad Arrow Cafe – the cafe in which many lost their lives.
My observations and learnings from my two days in Port Arthur? Well, prisoners were subjected to harsh punishment and an inhumane reform system, hundreds of people died over the decades, some say that there are many Port Arthur ghosts and that the Parsonage is one of the most haunted sites in the world – it seems that Port Arthur is a place of pain and torture. But what of the massacre? Are there no ghosts here too, was this not a place of pain and torture? Anyone noticed the elephant in the room?
For me, the most spine chilling moment at Port Arthur occurred when I passed through the doors of what was once the Broad Arrow Cafe- I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I had to leave almost as quickly as I had entered. Does a place have to have ghosts for it to be considered haunted? I say no. I dispute that the Parsonage is one of the most haunted sites in the world – I say the Broad Arrow Cafe is.
Whilst I think it would be wrong to promote the massacre as a tourist attraction, I do think it raises an interesting question, how long does it take before a society can openly talk with emotional distance about a violent or calamitous event? The tour guides at Port Arthur were certainly quite cheerful discussing torture and killings some 100 years hence. But how long does it really take – 5 years, 10 years, 50 years? Perhaps society can only speak freely when everyone who knew the victims is dead? However we know it’s not that simple, the perceived guilt or innocence of the victims seems to mix things up even more. If 35 gangsters had been killed in a gangland attack no doubt within a short space of time the site would form the highlight of any tour to Port Arthur.
Do we as a society revere the innocent and scorn the guilty, in death as in life? The elephant at Port Arthur would suggest we do.
Most ordinary teens work part-time at their local McDonalds but as the owner of the blog – nothing vanilla, you would expect that the words ‘would you like fries with that’ were never uttered by me. Nope, not I. Whilst all my friends cleaned McDonalds pickles from ceilings and scanned groceries each week I had a range of interesting jobs that shaped me into who I am today – a crazy writer!
I am not sure why, but when you’re desperate to make some cash, telemarketing jobs are readily available to even the most horribly unqualified and are written in such a way that promises that even the most incompetent amongst us will earn loads and within a few short months hit the top 100 most wealthy list. When I rang up to make an enquiry about an ad in the paper, I was told I had a ‘very interesting voice’ and was asked to come in and start the next day. When I got off the phone I realised that I had forgotten to ask about the product but I assumed it was going to be something normal, how bad could it be?
The next morning I made my way into a massive room lined with rows of tables, chairs and 40 or more people in the room speaking on the phone. My boss directed me to the front row and dropped a script and a computer printout of at least 100 phone numbers in front of me and instructed that I read exactly from the script. That was the beginning and end of my induction and training. My boss made his way to his desk to ‘watch over’ his flock – conveniently a metre away from me.
The script read:
Good morning or Good afternoon(smile when speaking as smiling will ease the tension between you and the customer).
My name is(insert name and keep smiling)and I represent (insert company name and keep smiling). We are committed to serving our customers with quality fertilizer products…(Oh Christ – I am selling SHIT!).
Who is the person in your household that maintains the garden, may I speak to them please? Briefly highlight the features of our product. The purpose here is to get your customers so excited about the product that they will want to immediately buy from you. (Is this a sick joke people, who is going to get excited over SHIT!??).
Your calling script must include an offer they can’t refuse. Concentrate on pointing out at least 3 features, then follow it up with 3 benefits. First benefit:
1. Our fertiliser has a unique plant food that is organically based and formulated to meet the specific requirements of a wide range of plants – your home garden will flourish….
I put my script down, my hands shaking and sweat is rolling down my cheek – there is no way in hell I am going to pull this off – especially with the added pressure of having my boss sitting metres away listening to my cringe making spiel. Then it hits me – I am literally going to be a shit talker.
So I take a deep a breath, pick up the phone and make my first call. I get half way through my script before I realise the person on the other line is a teenage girl who, clearly embarrassed for me, is politely listening before equally politely declining my wonderful shit.
My next 20 phone calls are a dead end. It’s actually a myth that most people are rude to telemarketers, the majority are friendly enough, but are simply not interested, and even less are interested in buying manure.
By my 30th call, I decide to change tactics – my routine clearly isn’t working so I ad-lib thinking my initiative will make a sale and clearly impress my boss. I am mistaken. My magnum opus call fails to deliver and my boss is not impressed with my new sales pitch. ‘Katherine, all new staff MUST stick to the script, we only allow the experienced telemarketers to speak freely’. So I revert back to my shitty sales pitch in order to sell (or not sell) my shitty shit.
And so this was how my quick career in telemarketing came to an end. I lasted 8 hours and when I tell people this story they are quite amazed that I actually lasted that long.
Please smile when sweeping
When a large toy chain company first came to town in the 90s I was first to jump on board and applied for a job as a casual staff member. Being a new age American company, it was clear that the management approach was going to be fairly un-Australian and in true Disney Land style we were expected to be jolly and theatrical. Our sunny disposition was expected at all times–even before the store opened.
Weeks before the grand opening, we worked hard to transform the giant empty floor space into a toy haven, hammering, building, cleaning and toy stocking. The company wanted us to feel all fuzzy and warm because we were such a big part of putting together the store.Yep apparently we were one big happy nuclear American family, which also seemed to resemble a few cults I’ve read about.
One of my particular jobs during pre-opening was sweeping, nothing particularly demanding about sweeping is there? Well that is where you would be wrong my friends. My manager pulled me aside one day and told me that she wanted to speak to me in private, the stern tone in her voice set me desperately recalling my recent actions for some possible wrong doing- maybe I had stacked the barbies with the cabbage patch kids by mistake? But no apparently my crime was much worse.
‘Katherine, I am worried about your attitude lately’.
Silence from me.
‘I have been watching you sweep and you don’t seem particularly enthusiastic. We expect all our staff to be enthusiastic at all times – even before we open to the general public. You really need to smile more often, if you can’t smile now than how will you manage to smile when we open?’
I was incredulous, I had no idea how to respond, although somehow the words ‘go f*ck’ yourself seemed quite appropriate whilst delivering a perfect kung fu style kick to her head. However, my grade 5 teacher hadn’t given me the ‘Manners Plus’ award for a reason so I offered a weak smile, muttered something about trying to improve my ‘smiling whilst sweeping’ skills in the future and walked out of her office with a face no doubt the colour of beetroot.
The next day I came down with a ‘mysterious’ illness, and phoned it to say I would not be coming into work. But I never turned up for work again, It was the end of my toy career, and I knew that I could never be part of a cult employer again.
The strawberry donut caper
Thanks to family connections myself and my step sister Eff landed a job in the production line of a baked goods factory during our high school mid-break. For two straight weeks we packed and boxed Christmas puddings, clocking on at 5.00 am and finishing at 5.00pm. However, working at the factory had its advantages, every lunch time the staff were allowed to sample some of the donuts and pastries in the tea room. The strawberry iced donuts were my favourite whilst Eff preferred the Danish pastries sprinkled with freshly ground nuts. Speed was critical because the freebies went fast, so Eff and I had a pretty simple plan. As soon as the lunch bell went off, we would tear down two flights of stairs to the tea room, beating out the older slower workers.
Then one day it happened. I was dreaming about my strawberry iced donut when the lunch bell sounded. I missed it but Eff snapped me out of my reverie only to find we were behind the rest of the staff who had nearly reached the stair well. ‘I will break you’, I snarled at an old Greek woman who worked in the frozen pie section. But no breaking was required; with youth on our side we ducked and weaved around the crowds until we made it to the stairs just ahead of the crowds. In my haste to feast on donuts I tripped on the stairs and tumbled down two flights until I came to a halt on my bottom. All was lost- it was clear that Eff would be missing out on her nuts and my donut would probably be snapped up by the old Greek women from the nut section (karma my friends).
This was my first crisis in the work force – a sore ass sustained by failing to achieve a deliverable – no pink iced donut for me.
Would you like sauce with your wedding ring?
My steady income came from a weekend job in a bakery where I happily served customers pies, sausage rolls, éclairs, cream buns and pastadura loaves. The customers were predominately Greek and Italian and I am allowed to say this because I have a Greek background -the older Greek customers were the most annoying!
They would point at the various loaves of ‘Karveli’ and grunt (I got used to understanding what they wanted by the tone of their grunts, loud for a sliced, quiet for a unsliced and so on). But they would also choose the loaves based on their sizes and if one loaf appeared smaller than the other they would ask for a discount!
We tucked orders away for our regular customers and one particularly elderly customer Con would come in every Sunday for his wholemeal loaf sliced thickly for toast. Occasionally I worked on the weekdays during my school holidays and Con had a regular order on Tuesday, same loaf as the weekends but he did not want it sliced. I didn’t know this so when Con came past on Tuesday I gave him his bag of sliced bread and off he went..half an hour later he stormed back into the bakery – he was enraged beyond belief and demanded to see my boss Stan. The bakery was quite busy so I continued to serve the customers while Con proceeded to explain to Stan how incompetent and evil I was. Had I missed something here? This was just a loaf of wholemeal bread that I had accidently sliced- imagine I had given him a white loaf instead, I am sure he would have gone to the police to lay a formal complaint.
But we also had nice regulars as well. Every weekend, George used to come and say hello. Now George had been involved in a serious car accident a few years prior which left him with a visible disability and speech problems. Most people could not understand George but I had become used to his way of speaking so we could carry out a decent conversation. After 9 months of regular visits from George, he came in one hectic Saturday when I was in the middle of serving pies to a group of hungry tradesmen. George desperately wanted to speak to me but I could not spare the time so he patiently waited in the queue. Finally it was time to serve George, I thought he might want his usual curry pie with sauce but George wanted to ask me for something different today. ‘I have something for you Katherine,’ with a small nervous smile he continued, ‘it belonged to my mother and I really want you to have it’.
And there it was, George presented me with his mother’s wedding ring and proposed to me – right there in the bakery amidst 20 or so customers. I froze with one pair of tongs in one hand and a brown paper bag in the other whilst George stood there beaming with his usual spittle of saliva hanging by the side of this mouth. What to say? At the age of 19 I was not exactly the pinnacle of sensitivity but I had enough decency to let him down gently. ‘George, um..er.. well, that ring is just beautiful and I am not sure that your mum would want me to have it and um… I think I am a little young to get married and well the thing is… ah.. I have to keep working now but see you next week huh?’
My first marriage proposal – amongst the chocolate éclairs, custard tarts, meat pies and loads of customers!
So there you have it four stories about my previous employment history – what an impressive curriculum vitae. Oh yes and there was one time when I worked as a waitress in a fancy restaurant and spilled red wine all over a customer’s white mink coat…
It’s not uncommon to find stuff that has fallen out of someone’s pocket. The odd coin or watch, a cigarette lighter, perhaps even a set of keys but today we found something quite unexpected.
Julian and I were in the midst of returning from our routine walk with our beloved (although at times scheming) Golden Retriever Gypsy when we both looked down at the same time and noticed a little plastic bag on the pavement. At first I thought the bag contained green thread however on closer inspection I realised that the green part was right, but thread it certainly wasn’t. Our find was the green of the plant variety. Yes folks, Julian and I stumbled on a bag of weed.
Gypsy the sniffer dog, raised her foreleg, pointed her nose towards the find and froze in this position. Actually she did not really do this – Gypsy would never dream of acting in such a normal dog like manner.
Naturally we questioned the circumstances of our find.
Interestingly enough, the bag was found right outside an organics store. What did this mean? Were the owners of the store selling marijuana to their customers? Perhaps all these years I was fooled, the shelves were lined with bags of weed instead of oregano and tea leaves.
Or perhaps, we had stumbled on a major drug cartel whereby the Columbians were growing a rare and potent strain of marijuana in their ‘hairdressing’ salon’. I always wondered how the salon could get away with 10 dollar haircuts and no customers in sight. Maybe the store room caught on fire (due to Columbian drug lord who left his cigar burning near a supply of hair bleach) forcing a mass evacuation of staff and stock and leaving behind a precious little baggie in their haste. Nervously I looked around for a couple of Pablo Escobar types holding Uzis looking to reclaim their little piece of horticulture.
Let’s look at another possible scenario. Maybe there was a hidden camera located in the fish and ship shop opposite the organics store, perhaps Channel 10 are filming a new show called ‘Skunked’?
OK, time to get real – some poor guy with cancer was using marijuana for medicinal purposes and in his frail state of being he dropped his bag of weed outside the organics store after buying some St John’s Wart and Echinacea.
Or even more frightening perhaps it was trap set by a fundamentalist and extremist religious zealot with a hatred for mind altering chemicals. Strategically placing the bag in an obvious place he or she lies watching and waiting for an unsuspecting sinner to snatch the bag now laced with rat sack or some equally death inducing toxin.
We considered handing the weed over to the police , would the grateful owner give us a reward? Or perhaps it was better to treat the situation with a little more subtlety and advertise our finding as follows:
One green skunk.
Female – friendly yet anxious and has the munchies.
Very pungent odour.
Well I guess the true mystery of the lost weed will never be uncovered – does the weed belong to the hippy organic store owners or perhaps the Uzi loving Columbians. Maybe the cancer guy had a bad night without his marijuana or the new show Skunked airs next week.
Does the religious zealot finally get his way with the evil sinner dying in a choking haze. There is only one way to find out – who wants to smoke it? Any volunteers?
Remember the days of the wafer thin eyebrows in the 90s?For the average person, this might not be terribly difficult to recover from but if you are of the Greek persuasion you would know that growing out your thick black eyebrows without humiliation can be quite a laborious and lengthy process. When my steps-sister Eff decided to grow her eyebrows back she decided to cover the awful regrowth with an eyebrow pencil.This was a painstaking process, particularly before a night out on the town. Watching her I dared not breathe for fear that her hand would slip and she would end up with an eyebrow drawn across her nose and she would have to start all over again.
One night after spending two hours perfecting her pencilled eyebrows (an hour for each eyebrow), we hit the first club and Eff met a young gentleman.It wasn’t too long before they retreated to a kissing corner…. sometime later my sister found me on the dance floor and dragged me into the toilet. For some reason when you are under 20 it’s never possible to go to the toilet alone.Like a bimbo girl out of one of those B-grade horror movies, I let out a ear shattering shriek – Eff’s face was covered in thick black smudges. I pulled her in front of the mirror to let her see what she had become. My first thought was that the kissing dude had bitten her and she was changing into a creature of the night but then Eff came up with a more practical and likely answer.‘Oh my god’, she announced, ‘it’s my eyebrows – they must have smudged off when I was kissing that guy!’ So that was that (or so we thought) and we washed and dried her face off and left the toilets – minus a set of eyebrows.
Eff retreated alone to a discrete part of the club and continued shaking her groove thing on the dance floor when out of the corner of my eyeI spied her kissing companion making his way over to her – he looked a little different – he had Eff’s eyebrows all over his face, and clearly this had been the case for at least 3 hours.Then I understood where the rest of Eff’s eyebrows had gone.
‘Rocket Rog’ was an old red rebuilt 1970s Datsun. There we were one night, Rocket Rog, Simone (Rog’s owner), Eff and myself heading out to some club or other. Wehad been regulars at this particular club and we were excited on this particular night because we had met some guys the week before and had agreed to hook up the following week.We were chatting away excitedly about the prospect of catching up with Tom, Dick and Harry when suddenly Rocket Rog came vigorously into contact with another vehicle and CRASH just like that Rocket Rog was seriously banged up. Thankfully no one was injured, but while Simone exchanged details with the other driver, Eff and I sat in dreary selfish silence both thinking the same thing.Did this mean we would have to go home? Rog was in pretty bad shape and we figured Simone was in no mood to go clubbing.Simone hopped back into the car looking stressed and tense, and we knew it was all over – there would be no club and no guys tonight.But then, low and behold, Simone announced that the clubbing mission was still on!We sat in sympathetic silence the rest of the journey listening to poor beaten up old Rog – the only sound coming from the left hand tyre wobbling hitting the front guard with repeated thuds.Ah, if only we had focused that determination on more significant challenges back then – we could have ruled the world!
Most teenagers will remember, or at least remember flashbacks from pulling an all nighter with the help of alcohol Me?Well I never relied on alcohol to have a good night especially because I had a part-time job on the weekends with early morning starts. Howeverone particularly night I decided to break the rules, be a rebel and drink myself silly (but not before responsibly calling into work the day before and advising them of the need to find a replacement).
Wasting no time, I headed for the bar to choose my poison – a shot of green chartreuse.Now for those of you have no experience with chartreuse, let me enlighten you.Chartreuse has a 55% alcohol rating and is extremely pungent, and remarkably potent – after you have downed a shot of chartreuse your entire world as you know it changes.Justimagine what it’s like to knock back some herbal mouthwash on steroids –this spicy elixir will set your body on fire and it’s well advised to have a glass of water on standby. Well naturally after a few shots of chartreuse, my memory was fragmented but I do recall moving onto tequila shots. Then from a distance I spied my cousin dancing on the podium – wanting in on the action I stumbled across the dance floor (but not before knocking several few people over and falling over a bar stool in the process).
By this time my coordination was nonexistent, not only was I unable to physically lift myself onto the podium, I was very confused about the process – how could I lift one leg onto the podium in order to swing myself up there with the other?The mystery behind the pyramids is one thing, but working out how to climb a step when you are drunk is even more bewildering.So there I was staring up at my cousin in awe swaying like a poplar tree in a gale when suddenly the heavens opened up and the hand of God (my cousin) reached down to help me.Alas the task was impossible for she too was inebriated, so the only thing left for us was falling to the floor in a mangled heap of fumbling arms and legs.
Sadly the story of the podium does not end well, the bouncers were not impressed with the commotion and escorted us outside to our waiting chariot – our taxi. The unimpressed taxi driversighed… he was obviously used to seeing people failing to reach the top of the podium so I greatly expressed my grief.. all over the black vinyl seats.
Idon’t recall ever taking another day off work again.
You wouldn’t think that burning my hand with hot wax could get me thinking about how lies and other assorted pieces of misinformation are served by our parents, peers and society in general. Yes it’s a leap but then again I am famous for just this type of disjointed thinking.
It all started with a few superfluous calve hairs I spotted last Sunday whilst catching a few rays of autumnal sun. I headed off to the kitchen with my plastic container of wax humming a happy little tune (well I wasn’t really humming but I certainly should have been). I proceeded to heat the wax in the microwave – probably a few seconds too long than what I should have (but who keeps count of these things). Little did I know that beneath the wax’s seemingly calm surface lay a superheated cauldron of pain primed for eruption. Sticking the wooden application into the wax resulted in burning hot liquid exploding all over the floor, on my clothes, and oh yes, did I mention the flesh of my left hand? So, this is what it feels like to have the sun fall out of the sky and land on me. Ouch. I quickly found myself at the sink running my burning hand under cold water and then I saw it – a big white speech bubble with my grandmother’s words in bold Greek font ‘ Vale Vootiro’ – for those who can’t read Greek – ‘Apply butter’.
Enough with the Greek lesson. We all know that butter really has only one purpose – if you eat enough of it clogs your arteries and makes you fat. Butter is certainly not intended for burnt skin – unless of course you are a cannibal that prefers a barbequed limb with a knob of butter on the top. (For health reasons however, I do suggest cannibals lay off the butter).
But getting back on track, my burnt hand and butter experience got me thinking about lies. I wrote an article a while ago called ‘Tale telling – the unusual stories parents tell their children’. In this article, I explain that older people often tell children stories (such as mandarins grow in your stomach if you swallow pips) to either keep young children safe from harm, or to manipulate their behaviour to align with the social norms of the day. In my grandmother’s case she probably got told by her mother that butter was good for burns and she believed it without ever bothering to question it. Whilst this was not a blatant lie, it was a hazardous untruth so I was curious to explore the subject of lying further.
Going back to my body parts again to illustrate this point, I went to a peridontist (FYI a gum specialist) to help me resolve a persistent swollen gum problem. I was surprised to learn that mouth washes and toothpastes are relatively useless when it comes to optimal gum and tooth care, instead effective brushing and flossing and other such inter-dental practices are the key to healthy gums and teeth. More interestingly, fancy electric toothbrushes are no more effective than plain old fashioned boring toothbrushes.
After learning this fact, I did some quick mental calculations to discover that I could have saved so much time in my life if I had known this! All those hours wasted on deliberating over the flavour of Listerine. All lies designed by clever and creative marketers to make us believe that we are required to buy these products to keep our teeth from falling out. So now I use an ordinary looking toothbrush, my brushing technique is spot on and with the aid of dental picks – voila, healthy teeth and gums. Although I must admit I can’t fathom the idea of not using toothpaste – hey I have an entitlement to pick and choose which lies I like after all!
We know that marketers claim that products can do things that they really cannot i.e. make you more attractive to that guy you like, slimmer, smarter, richer, younger and so on. Have you ever noticed that most products appeal to our most base desires and needs? But that’s another story.
What about the lies that are handed down from generation to generation i.e. genetically inherited lies like religion. A most contested and touchy subject for most. We are born into our religion, no argument there, have you ever seen a devout Catholic family decide to raise a protestant child? I was once told by my grandmother (the same one that prescribed butter for my burn) that the Greek Orthodox religion was the right religion and all the other religions were wrong. So who is misguided here, the Greek Orthodox religion or every single other religion in the world? Either way someone is telling porky pies. I recently read an article on the top 15 examples of Christian propaganda, one of which used some rather dubious statistics to persuade people that homosexuals are serial killers. Perhaps the players think they are ‘enLIEtened?’
How about the lies we tell ourselves? These can be lies about our feelings and emotions or lies about our behaviours. For example smoking. As an ex-smoker I have a personal entitlement to tell you that I am familiar with every self deception in the big fat book of deceptions. Hey that could be a bestseller. Here are some examples of lies we tell ours in order to feel better about smoking:
• My grandfather smoked and he lived to be 101 years old…
• But smoking relaxes me…
• We are all going to die of something in the end anyway…
• At least I have cut down from two packs a day to one.
The cold hard truth is that all smokers are looking for an excuse not to quit – don’t bother lying to yourself just be honest… go get yourself a packet of alpine cigarettes with a low milligram number – the fresh menthol taste is good for your red blood cell supply and the low tar count makes the cigarette much safer and healthier.
Lies, lies everywhere. They exist in aisle 11 at the supermarket – peppermint, fresh-mint gel or herbal? A few more in aisle 3 will make that girl at the gym want you, and a couple more in aisle 13 may even make you some serious money so you can get the girl at the gym and the one in who lives in Unit 3. They are handed down by my family (genetically modified lies) and are even handed out to me by my very own self. – you mean gold packaging on cigarette packs doesn’t prevent lung cancer? Ultimately where does the truth lie? Certainly not in words, nor in emotions, both are the vehicles for colossal fibs and fibbers. Perhaps truth can only be found in the slow silence of a quiet soul. Maybe you know?
Have you ever been so obsessed that you lived and breathed someone? Well I have and as a teenager my obsession went on for 3 long years. To make things worse the guy had absolutely no interest in me yet I would agonize over his every word and action, looking for any sign. If he said hello to me I would spend hours analyzing how he expressed this one word to me – if it was a positive hello it meant he liked me, and if not well then it was bad news for me!
I realize now that my feelings for this guy were of course ‘real’ but based on complete fantasy. I was in love with a romantic idea, a projection of what I wanted love to be and not an actual person. In love with love. This youthful romanticizing caused many problems for me when it came to meeting ‘real guys’. When a guy showed interest in me, it wasn’t too long before I was turned off – the smallest thing would do it., whether it be white socks and black shoes, a dance move (as you will find out), a word or action – you name it I was turned off (or ‘put off’ as I often describe in my entries). Yep I was officially the ‘put off Queen’. No one could live up to my fantasy. The fantasy all started with a New Year’s kiss……
1989 (16 years old)
New Year’s day was hard to handle. Believe me, this year will be very strange. Well Effie is totally in love with Mario, I mean obsessed with Mario. I went and got on with him. It was an accident but what a kisser! It was my first ‘real’ kiss. Effie thought I went for it, I told her I didn’t but to be honest I think I may have but I am not really 100% sure. I did enjoy it – I am a bitch. In the middle of the kiss I told him to stop it and pulled away. I am confused. F*CK! It had all started from earlier on in the day. We were hanging out at the bus stop and it was the first day I had met him although I knew Eff really liked him as she had told me all about him when she moved into the street. He was acting like a total sleaze bucket towards me and I felt uncomfortable, then later on he called Alex over and told him to come let us know that he wanted his New Year’s kiss so Eff gave him one on the cheek, then he wanted me to come over but I had a strange feeling that I knew what was about to happen so I acted all shy and avoided the situation. But later on he told Effie to come get me so I got mad and walked up to his car and said ‘You sleaze bucket’ and bent down to kiss him on the cheek but then he went for my lips and that is when it all started. Later Eff and me had a massive fight over it, she wanted to know if I had went for it deliberately and whether I liked him. So confused – I really like Claudio anyway.
2 January Effie was acting as though nothing was going on between us but we both knew that yesterday had changed us all. We acted as if nothing was wrong. This was my first day that I started smoking. I had tried it a few years back but today I used depression as an excuse. Effie and me sat there smoking like idiots. We bumped into Mario, it was so embarrassing.
Eff and me went Claudio hunting. We saw him, God he is gorgeous, dark tan and beautiful blue eyes. I am so shy in front of him, I never know what to say so I look into his blue eyes and just want to die! But for some reason he seems to like Effie, I can tell. Ah well payback!
Went to Chapel Street with Simone, on the way back on the bus a guy said I had a nice bum in Greek. He obviously did not realize I was Greek and understood what he had said, so I turned around and thanked him in Greek – it was just so funny, we all started laughing. Mum and me talked about Tim. She wants to build a little granny flat for her at the back of our house because she is such a pain. Tim will move in but if my gran continues to annoy us mum and Tim will move to the county. I bloody object! Bullshit I am staying in Clayton!!
Effie and me went to my house to watch a video, then she went to get a facial and then something funny happened. On the way to my house, we were on the bus and I got off first. Eff was talking to Kathy’s older brother Tony and was being sarcastic to him when all of a sudden I heard a thump. She fell off the bus and landed on the bus steps in front of everyone! After the facial we went back to Effie’s for a smoke. I hate myself for smoking.
Went to Eff’s and went for a walk, Mario was outside with a group of guys, he whistled to grab our attention but we ignored him. Then he sent Alex and his friends to tell us he wants to go out with anyone of us! What a total dickhead. Effie sent him a message saying that we were not available to sleaze buckets. We later found out from Alex that he went bright red in front of his friends when Alex gave him our message.
I started work at the Hot Bread shop in Clayton today, it was fun but I made a lot of mistakes! Later that night Eff and I went to the hang out at Safeway and have a smoke and two guys started talking to us, then another came up to me and recognized me from Primary and High School. We hung out until the cops showed up at 11.30 and asked what we were doing out so late and took our names, address and date of birth and we started packing shit! We left and on the way home, we saw my dad, Vicky and Alex around the corner with the car – they had come to look for us and were very shitty. Eff and I went to try and get rid of the smell of smoke and went straight to bed.
I went to Effie’s to hang out and she told me that Mahzed had told her that King (that 22 year old likes me). Oh God that is all I need – he is way too old. We saw King later on and talked for a while. King is a nice guy but there is no way I would ever want to go out with him – he puts me off in that way. So there we were, Effie, King and me. Eff told King she liked Mario. King told her that Mario liked to be with a lot of girls, at one stage Eff left me along with King, I was embarrassed, he asked me if I had a boyfriend. I wanted to run away and kill Eff for leaving me along with King!
Went to the pools with Eff, Mario was there, I couldn’t stand the sight of him, he thought he was ace, I thought he was pathetic. We bumped into Johnny and Claudio on the way home, they invited us to watch them play soccer later on so we went home to get ready but Vicky told us we were invited to Gran’s for tea. We told her we had something urgent to do and we had to go somewhere else and after a lot of squabbling she let us go but told us to be back at 9.30. She said that Dad had a man following us and that if he found out we would all be dead meat! So off we went but guess what – no one turned up at soccer so we got mad after waiting for two hours and then left. On the way home we bumped into Nick but then my dad drove past and saw us talking to guys so I started to shit myself. Later, Alex told us that my Dad was really mad but as usual I saw nothing of it – he just keeps it bottled up. Parents suck, they don’t like us doing anything, my dad hates it when I talk to guys. The folks went out to get a video so we went out and saw Mario on the street. Eff talked to him and I didn’t and when I opened my mouth to say one word he said ‘oh so you can talk’. F*ck he is a dick.
I met up with Michelle, her boyfriend Leon and his friend Fernando that Michelle has been trying to set me up with. He is pretty damn hot, we went into the City. At first Fernando was shy so I thought he wasn’t interested but then I found out differently. We went to the movies, we were sitting down one end and Fernando sitting at the other end. Then everyone got up and moved one seat up so Fernando could come sit next to me, it was really embarrassingly obvious. He was shy, like really shy. Later that night I spoke to Michelle who said Fernando likes me.
That night I sat down to do some serious thinking about Claudio, Fernando and Nick. I don’t know who I like most. I think I like Claudio more but because Fernando likes me and I have a chance with him so maybe I should like him more. I really don’t know what to do. I think it’s out of Claudio and Fernando. If I go out with Fernando I will be thinking of Claudio, If I went out with Claudio I wouldn’t worry about Fernando probably because he lives so far away where as Claudio I see a lot. Maybe I will just go out with whoever I get first – that’s if I get anyone.
Effie and me went to Clayton to post the love letter we had been inspired to write last night. That morning we had finished it off. We finished it off by saying ‘I’d die for you Mario’ and wrote a poem. We put red lipstick on it and sprayed it with perfume. At the time it seemed like a good letter, but that night we realised how stupid it all sounded.
We hung out in Mario’s court with the guys, King was still wearing my bandana that I had leant to him a few days ago and asked when I wanted it back. I really wanted it back but I told him to keep it for as long as he liked, so he said OK and that he would give me something of his in exchange.. Ewww I don’t want his stuff! Eff and I walked home but the folks wouldn’t let us in the house because they thought we had come back too late so they locked us out till 1 pm.
Eff and I got ready for our walk – it took 2 hours to do our hair! Anyway we walked up and down the street for two hours, we decided to head for home when it got late but then we saw Mario, so we stopped then Mario asked Eff for her bandanna so he took it and tied it around his wrist, then he asked us to go for a walk so I decided to leave them alone so I made up an excuse that I had to go make a phone call but she didn’t like that idea and made a fuss so we all just stood there. Then Mario started behaving strangely telling me that I played hard to get and how he doesn’t like being rejected. Later that night Effie told me there is something funny going on between me and Mario. This made me nervous for some reason.
Well tonight was the night I finally coped it from my dad. My mum came over and finally my dad exploded with a vengeance. He tried to hit me but I backed away so he missed, he called us sluts and accused me of stuff I had not even done, he said someone has been following us reporting on the things we do. Every time I tried to tell him the truth he would not listen and just kept shouting. He said he heard me and Effie talking the other night we got locked out about some party we had gone to and some guy had apparently touched me. What f*cking drugs is my dad on, he is so way wrong – I have no idea what he heard or where he is getting this information from. He went on and on saying we are never allowed to hang around the streets and how everyone thinks we are sluts trying to pick up guys. This went on for an hour. I had no choice but to be quiet, all I knew was that he was wrong, all we have done is talk to guys – but he thinks we have done much worse. Me and Eff cried our eyes out later that night.
This is the last day before school begins again boo hoo. As I sit here I think about all these things that have happened this summer, it sure has not been boring, this summer has changed my entire life. On one hand I have met stacks of guys, on the other hand the folks are really pissed off at us – thank god my dad exploded at the end of the holidays! I started smoking but I decided to quit, it’s horrible anyway. That night Eff called to tell me that King wants to buy something for my birthday – oh my god, my life sux shockingly.
First day of school was OK, I can tell Year 11 is going to be a hard year with lots of work ahead of me. Anyway after school I got a huge shock, mum told me she had found out about everything – someone had seen me and Eff smoking and getting into guys cars. My dad had also found out about Safeway as the cops had called. My dad came over but I think he was tired of yelling so he spoke to me calmly but sternly. He told me about the risks of smoking which I found ridiculous given he smokes like a chimney! I told him I had only smoked a few times and had stopped anyway but nothing I tell my dad seems to make a difference.
I don’t like staying at home anymore. Mum doesn’t know what to do with me, I don’t know what to do with me! For some reason mum thinks I will turn into a slut and get pregnant. Of course I won’t – why don’t parents understand that just because we know a few guys and try out smoking, this doesn’t mean we are ruining our lives! We are just doing normal teenage things! I am so frustrated. That night mum told me I was no longer allowed to go to Effie’s so naturally we had a huge fight. My life is hell, my mother doesn’t trust me, we fight for stupid reasons. All I can say is that I can’t wait to turn 18 so I can do what I want!
After work I went to Effie’s and we saw Mario. We were sitting on the fence and he came and started talking to us, I noticed my feelings for Mario and had to stop myself because of Eff.
Found out something really hilarious today at school. In maths I sat next to Lorella and Suzie who I often saw at the pool during summer talking to Claudio a lot. I thought he liked Suzie but then she laughed and told me they were just friends and she was actually going out with his best friend Emi. She then asked me why I called him Claudio, so I looked at her strangely and said well isn’t that his name? Then they told me Claudio’s name is really Ian and instead of having an Argentinean background, he has a Scottish background. Oh my God, what a put off!
Off to three day camp destination Mt Eliza to ‘strengthen our spiritual development’ and all that bullshit.
My 16th birthday! After work I went to Effie’s, we bumped into King and his mates, they all sang Happy Birthday and invited us out to eat but of course we could not go and we went our separate ways, then we saw Mario who asked us to go to the beach with him but of course we could not go. Oh well.
I got nothing for Valentine’s Day – how depressing, not even one card! When I got home I saw a bunch of letters in mum’s room but no cards for me. I did my homework unenthusiastically – God that word took up half a line, and then retired to bed with a book.
19 February OK, so I am finding myself quite attracted to Mario, sigh.
Eff called me to tell me she had spent an hour talking to Mario last night and that she really really likes him so much that she cannot concentrate on her school work. She must really be in love with him. I need to stop liking him.
At school today I found out from Lorella and Suzie that Claudio or Ian or whatever his stupid name is has a fake tooth, laughed so hard! I had a huge fight with mum after school, she was tired and hot and got mad at me for nothing which she admitted later but only after she rang dad telling him how bad I was! I am telling you this is a mess.
Jacquie told us her parents were going out on the weekend and asked us over so we could go to a disco called Tochach. My friends weren’t planning to tell their parents but I knew that I had to ask mum otherwise I would feel so low after all the trouble I was in. I don’t feel like any more trouble.
We all organised the details about Saturday, everyone was telling their parents lies except for me – I could tell that some of the girls could not understand why I had to tell mum, but I really needed to. I am sure if I lied to her she would find out and there would be big trouble and she would never trust me again. I had to tell her even if it meant her saying no – which is most likely.
Tonight I told mum about Saturday. I got straight to the point when she came home from work, I told her my friends were going behind their parents back so we ended up having a deep talk but she said no. I got really upset and did not talk to her. Deep down I knew that if I had a 16 year old daughter who wanted to go to an over 18 disco I would probably say no.
I was so embarrassed at school today. Mum rang me during class and I had to leave to go take the call in the office. She wanted to tell me that she loved me and if I told her the details of the disco and if my cousin came she would let me go. I was happy but did not get my hopes high, after school I dropped past mum’s work so we could talk it over. Now the only thing is to ask my cousin if she could come but when I rang her she told me she had made plans that she could not cancel. F*ck I still can’t go!
In a way I didn’t feel that bad about not going out on Saturday but with me and my idioticness, I acted as though I was still angry with my mum. I thought it through, my friends were going to get there early and leave during the time most people get there anyway, besides I could not get home as mum was not able to pick me up and there was no way I wanted to get home by train or taxi. I rang Eff and we talked for ages about everything.
I was over my madness of not going out tonight so I went to Chadstone with Eff to buy some clothes. I ended up buying a top and a record.
I found out how my friends went at Tock – or rather how they did not go. First they went to a party but left soon afterward as it was dead. Instead of going to Toch they ended up at Amadeus because it was closer, the bouncers were asking for ID and since my friends did not have fake IDs they did not get in so they end up at McDonald’s, then ended up at Sharon’s roasting marshmallows.
Had a great girl’s night at Helena’s house. We bought Simone a kitten for Easter to surprise her and decided to name him Soda Pop. Soda pissed all over the house! We all had huge D & Ms and talked about the good old primary school days and pigged out on junk.
Eff rang and told me that Mario out of the blue asked Alex ‘where is your sister, I want to ask her if she likes me’. I don’t know if Eff thinks this but which bloody sister did he mean – the real sister or the step sister!! F*ck why do I always write about him – I think I kind of like him and I think I want him to like me. I am so f*cked.
Eff and I saw Nick at the milk bar, he was completely dumbfounded and then he said hello and went red in the face. He then started flicking the magazines and absent-mindedly picked up a Playboy magazine without realizing so I started to laugh but had to hold it in. Eff convinced me that he liked me, I had to hear it from her to be 100% sure.
I finished work at 2 today and I wished that I hadn’t because I wouldn’t have done what I what I did when I got home. It was so bad. I rang Eff and she convinced me that she should ring Nick to tell him I liked him. So I agreed but only on the condition that she told him that I didn’t know what she was doing. While she was ringing I was so nervous. When she got off the phone, she told me that he was speechless and confused and was silent for a minute or so then he said he had no idea I felt this way and then said he was sort of with another girl at school. He kept repeating that he had no idea I liked him. I swear I got so mad with him for leading me on as I knew he had. I was really shitty.
I found Eff dead this morning. Well maybe I should explain that. I had four gold fish and arranged their names based on couples – Effie and Mario and Kath and Nick. Eff was the cute little fat one (not that she is fat), The big black one is Mario, the other two me and Nick. Well I found Eff dead. Anyway that night I told Eff (the person) that if she ever saw Nick again that she should tell him that I am over him, it was just a crush and I that am seeing someone else.
Eff rang me in tears to tell me that Mario was going out with another girl. I felt bad for her, sometimes I think she loves Mario more than she loves her mum.
Well tomorrow is the big day that we move into a flat with Tim. I felt sad and took my budgie’s cage into my room that night because I was upset that I could not take him with me to the new place because there is no where he can fly around. He will be happy with my gran and I will come visit him all the time.
Moving day today, I had a tough day because my room is a lot smaller than my old one and could not fit much in. By the end of the day I was frustrated because nothing fit and I could not organise my stuff. Later I went to Dad’s because they were having a big party for his Name day and I rocked up with my tracksuit pants only to find everyone dressed really well. Dad was not happy with me.
I already miss my old house, my room, my budgie, even my fish and grandmother.
12 May Tonight I went to an underage disco. We went to pick up Effie in the car and on the way my mum started giving me shit. I called her a bitch because she told me I could pack up my bags and leave for no reason. I called her crazy, so she was going to turn back and not take us so I had to say sorry. I said it but I did not mean it. My mum said it was all my fault that Tim (her boyfriend) was upset and things were not working out. I hated her so much, she was laying into me for no reason at all. I really hate living in his house. I want to ask her if I can go and live with my grandmother because I have bad feelings towards Tim. At first the disco looked like it was going to be shit but then we danced like crazy and caused a scene.
I slept in till late, mum was at work so I was alone with Time and decided to stay in my room until mum came from work. I didn’t want to see Tim at all. Then I packed my bags so I could go stay with my gran. I slept in mum’s old bed which was hard and uncomfortable and even though I was alone, I felt happy.
I had another fight with mum today, this time it was about going out for Sharon’s birthday. I swear she chucks the shits badly lately.
At my social, there was one guy to every 20 girls and I was not in the mood to dance or have fun, the night was heading for a huge FLOP until… this guy wanted to dance with me, his name was Arthur who goes to CBC which coincidentally have their social this Friday and Simone and me are going. As the night went on we got closer and he put his arms around my waist, put is hands in mine and his head on my shoulder etc etc. There was a slow song so he led me to the dance floor put his arms around my waist and we slowly danced. He then took me into a corner and began to kiss my face and neck but I would not let him kiss me in in front of my teachers. But I felt as though I was in a movie, everyone was staring including my teachers who were smiling at me. My art teacher started teasing me. I loved every minute of it…but I still like Mahzed… what am I going to do?
Had a girls night at Simone’s. We watched videos and stuffed our faces until we were sick. We at McDonalds, lollies and then Kentucky and then watched the tennis and then ate some more. I had the worst stomach ache, we all stayed up the whole night and finally fell asleep at 5 in the morning.
After a few hours sleep we woke up but stayed in bed and watched another video. For breakfast I ate a left over hamburger and some more lollies and felt really sick again. None of us bothered to get dressed so we stayed in our PJs until late afternoon.
I met Arthur at his social. On the dance floor it was hilarious, we danced in a group with my friends and his friends, Simone had already seen him dance so she knew what was coming and held back her laughter but Christine and Effie cracked up – we all did when he did a 360 degree spin, he thinks he is Michael Jackson! We ended up kissing but I didn’t like the way he kissed. As the night went on I realized I was getting more and more put off him. His black shoes and white socks did not help. Then he was telling me about how jealous his ex girlfriend used to get when he talked to other girls, he was very friendly with my friend Amanda and had the nerve to ask me if that made me jealous. By the end of the night I actually hated him.
I slept at Eff’s and I told her that I don’t think I like Arthur, then went I went back to gran’s, mum came over and seemed upset and told me there was something wrong that had to do with me and Arthur. I was confused so mum told me that someone had seen us at the social yesterday and had told their parents who then told my dad. I tried to figure out who knows me and my dad but I have no idea. So I rang dad to ask him but he said he wouldn’t tell me anything until Thursday and that he does not know who told him – Bullshit. I am sick and tired of my parents and their weird bullshit and being accused of stuff. I did not even do anything apart from a few kisses which I did not even like so it was not even worth getting into trouble over!
Saw Mario on the train today, he was staring at me with a stupid smile on his face. Weird, but as much as I try to ignore it, I am pretty sure I like him.
So excited, have two weeks off from school, went to work today and after work mum came to see me at gran’s and began to lecture me on at least five different topics. We yelled at each other a lot and she told me that every time she goes to dad’s house, Vicky and dad tell mum that I do wrong things. I was so mad about it and then felt bad that mum cops it every time she goes there. I don’t even do anything wrong so I just don’t understand and can’t even explain it to the parents. That night I wanted to go to dad’s and planned to tell them a few things, so I caught the bus and went over. Dad was not home but I told Vicky that I was upset at finding out that my mum cops it every time she comes over here – I told her everything that was on my mind. Pity my dad was not there.
I spoke to Arthur on the phone, we had long moments of uncomfortable silence. I really think that I need to drop him, I can’t go on with this any further, he puts me off.
I called Arthur and got straight to the point, but then I felt bad because he was upset and did not want to break up. He asked me the reason for the break up but I could not tell him that I was put off him so I told him that I was too young to have a serious relationship! So that is the end of that!
Today I really and truly admitted something to myself. Mario walked past my work today and Angela noticed that he was staring, I could not serve him when he walked in as I was serving another customer but I could feel my face going hot and red. When he left even the customer told me he was really staring. Angela asked me if I liked him so I told her I was attracted to him, anyway she knows about the New Year’s thing and Effie liking him and she told me that she thinks deep down I have feeling for him but I hide them because of Eff. Apparently my reaction when he came in was quite strong and gave me away. Damn I think she is right but she reckons he likes me too. I don’t know about that but I am so damn confused.
Sharon, myself and Simone decided to make some fake IDs, we changed our date of birth on our birth certificate and then photocopied it so it looked like we were 18. Good idea!
Had a scary experience on the bus today on the way to Eff’s. There was a Asian guy sitting on the bus with his girlfriend and a huge bikie looking guy got on at the next stop – he reeked of beer and started to pick on the Asian guy, there was huge fight and the bikie guy took out a knife and then grabbed the Asian guy’s girlfriend and threw her across the seat. It was really bad, everyone was really scared.
I wanted to go to Warehouse with Eff on Saturday because Mario might be there. My mum agreed only on the condition that my cousin would come and we could get a lift there and back. My cousin said she was able to come. My friends also wanted to come but were not telling their parents and wanted to tell them it was a sleep over at my house but my mum would not let that happen. I felt a bit crap about it all. I got my school photos back, man I look so ugly!
Tonight is the night – disco night. I was feeling a bit nervous on the way wondering if we were going to get in, we told mum to drop us off before the entrance so no one would see that we were getting dropped off by my mum but she said she would wait around for a while in case we got knocked back. Thankfully the bouncer let us in, it was fairly early and there were not too many people there but the place was huge! We went upstairs and I checked out the DJ who was cute! By 10.30 the place was packed and we could not move, I noticed it was a very woggy scene which I did not really like – some idiot guy started blowing in my ear, what a dickhead. Mum had told me to be back by 2, so we left at 1.30, overall it was a good night and I love dancing!
Mario came into my work today, I actually spoke to him, he asked me how my mum was – he is so gorgeous, his smile gave me shivers. I told my mum about how I kissed Mario on New Years that night and now I have a big crush on him.
Work was OK, I finished at 2pm so I ended up going to Effie’s after. It was funny because I thought we weren’t going anywhere so I wore my tracksuit pants and moccasins. Effie wanted to go for a walk but I didn’t want to go in my moccasins so we made up a bandage for my left and pretended I was limping – ha ha ha. We saw Mario four times.
I saw Arthur again at the station, he was talking to some girl and then as soon as he saw me he grabbed the girl and started getting on with her – I swear he is a disgusting put off, as if I care! He makes me sick.
This whole past week has been f*cked. Bad luck is following me around. Firstly I saw Arthur, he tapped me on the shoulder – Yuk! Then I saw Mario and got rolled because when the train came I thought he didn’t get on as the carriages were too packed. I didn’t know he was standing behind me and I said to my friend, ha ha he is going to be late to work and he heard – oops! Then at school I got f*cked on by my principal, he wanted to see me in his office most likely I guessed because of my hair. In first class in Art, I cut myself with a tool and cut some flesh out of my little finger – ouch. At recess I went to the principals office and I was right it was my hair. I convinced the principal that it was my natural colour but the gel made it look lighter, so he then picked on me about my gel – he is such a bastard. My friends dog also died and I opened my big mouth. I noticed she was upset but she did not mention why. During Art I said ‘ oh yeh, Pet Cemetery is on at the movies’ and that made her cry. I didn’t know that her dog and been run over and had to be put down.
Today at school was the start of the Year 11 Christian sexuality program – BORING and STUPID.
At school we had to watch a program on abortion, it was absolutely disgusting.
Eff, me and Kath were going to Warehouse tonight with Kath’s brother Tony. After a busy day we realised we had only under two hours to get ready so we had to hurry it up! The place was unbelievably sleazy as but I really liked one of Tony’s friends who was very quiet the whole night. While I was dancing this guy came up to me and started kissing my neck – he was a put off so I pushed him away. Yuk. I just wanted to dance – I love dancing.
Found out from mum’s boyfriend Tim that he got me a full time job at Hoechst in the public relations section during for a month during my holidays in December. Cool can’t wait.
F*ck I hate parents sometimes. My mum rang me in the morning to tell me that she had talked to Effie’s mum and we could not go to Warehouse. Effie chucked a mental and then a big fight went on and my dad told my mum I had caused Effie to be slack in her work and before I came along she was fine. F*ck them all I thought.
Today was the day that Eff and me started to admit things. Well it all started with Mario, he came past my work like 50 million times so Christine from work told Eff that she thinks Mario likes me. Anyway Eff rang me to tell me what Christine told her but I denied it She also asked me if I liked him and I denied it too. I could not admit it. She told me that she had been so jealous after New Year and that she had always wanted revenge. I was so shocked! She told me a few months ago when we were all on the same bus that he had made some sleazy move towards me whilst I was not looking and that Eff was convinced he liked me. I told her it can’t be true. I don’t think I am his type, what would he see in me, he is older as well, why wouldn’t he want to go out with someone his age?
Myer rang me today, they want to interview me for work during Xmas. I have the job at Hoechst now so I don’t know what I am going to do. Had a lot of trouble trying to figure it out. I guess I have not got the Myers job yet but I am confused about everything right now – the Myer job and Mario.
At the bus stop these two guys came up to me, they introduced themselves as Dougal (ha ha) and Joff from New Zealand. They invited me over to their house for ‘a beer’ and that instantly turned me off. I hate beer! Then they said there was a party at their house later this evening. They seemed fairly loutish and I did not trust them, I knew better than to go off with two strange guys but they kept insisting so I told them to give me their phone numbers so I could get them off my back. Anyway their accents were off putting as well!
Dougal and Joff came into my work today and kept hassling me so I told them I would meet them later and then I ditched them. Later at Eff’s Alex said he saw Mario and Mahzed go past my work and look in. Then Eff sarcastically said, ‘we all know why, don’t we Kath’. F*ck this is bad, I don’t know what to think or believe but I do know that she must know I really do like him because Eff and I know so much about each other – we always know what the other one is thinking.
What a start to the holidays, tonight me and my friends were going to Amadeus nightclub. I am not telling mum though even I feel bad because she know trusts me. Anyway there was a huge line and people were getting backed not only for ID problems but they did not meet the dress code. Fortunately we got in but had to fill a stat deck which stated we were 18 – whoops! Ended up having a great night on the dance floor though.
Saw Mario today, he asked me some really weird questions about what I was planning to do when I finished school, if I was passing and then when was I leaving to go to a ‘proper’ school. What the f*ck does that mean! Idiot he is sometimes. Anyway I hung around with Simone today at Chadstone and then went to see Eff, I had to ring mum to tell her where I was and she told me she knew everything about going out to a nightclub last week. Apparently someone rang her at work ‘anonymously’ and said ‘ha ha my dear lady, you think your daughter stays over her at friend’s house but she is going behind your back and goes to discos and parties’. Mum said the person was trying to disguise their voice. Thankfully mum was really nice and understanding about what I did and I promised never to lie again – but who the f*ck was it that rang and wants to get me into trouble?
All I can say is that I love Mario, I saw him with Kath today and we went over to say hello. We kept sneaking looks at each other and I could tell he was flirting with me. Then later on I caught a bus to Eff’s but no one was home so I walked back to the bus stop and waited for the bus. Mario drove past and then things turned strange – he stopped right in front of me for a second but then drove off again as if he did not know what to do. The he drove into Safeway, around the car park then drove past me again, I just sat there wondering what on earth he was doing. So weird. Anyway then Brendan and his mates came up to say hello, I think Brendan likes me -he seems like a nice guy but I can’t look at him as a boyfriend. As soon as I got on the busy, Mario drove past again very slowly. Weird.
I saw Arthur wearing tight red bicycle shorts – yuk put off! Later on I was at home alone and had this urge to ring Mario and tell him the whole story about liking him etc etc. I wanted some advice so I called Simone who told me to go for it, then I rang my cousin who also said to go for it. So feeling nervous I rang up a few times and then hung up before dialing the last number. Then I finally decided just to get it over and done with so I rang and his brother picked up the phone and told me Mario was at night school and wanted to know who I was. I did not tell him but asked what time he would be home, he asked me again who I was, I said ‘oh it’s alright’ and then he said that it was not alright but I still did not give him my name! I lost my nerve and did not try to phone back later.
Went to the U2 concert – it was unreal. Bono was sexy. I thought about my call to Mario yesterday, thank God he wasn’t home because I would have regretted it shockingly.
I stayed at my Gran’s, Eff came over and we watched a video. She absolutely insists she does not like Mario anymore, she likes this Jim character now. I think she still likes Mario but is trying to get over him.
Work was good, I saw Mario a few times, in the morning he drove past 3 times, twice in a row. Then I saw him on my lunch break, he drove past with his gorgeous smile and flashed his lights and beeped and waved. Eff came into work and told me she wanted to tell me something but she did not have the courage to tell me, I asked her it had something to do with Mario, and she said yes. I asked her if I had done something, she said that I know what it is and it would have been better if I had come to her first. I am not sure what she means.
I have decided to not bug Effie about what she has to say even though I am dying to know what it is. Anyway I have to focus on my exams and I have lots of studying to do.
Today Eff told me what was on her mind. I felt really shit, she told me to go for Mario because she knew for a fact that he liked me. Apparently he had asked Kath if I had picked up at Warehouse that day and other stuff I did not know about. She said she was learning to get over him and really wanted us to get together. I did not know what to say, it just did not feel right but she said she has had enough of all the bullshit and said that we are all in awkward positions and she feels as though she is in between us. I was speechless, she is actually giving me her blessing. Wow! I told her I did like him but I am not really certain he likes me, I am just not sure even though other people seem to think so too. Eff wants to talk to him and tell him that she feels she is in the way.
Eff and I saw Mario after work, I can’t hack this anymore – I told Eff to ring him tomorrow and ask him to meet her so this business can be settled once and for all. So tomorrow is the day we will know the truth once and for all. Whether it hurts or not we will all be relieved because I think I have had enough.
Today was finally here. I was nervous by 6 but deep down I had a gut feeling that he would tell Eff that he did not like me. I was right. At least now I can get on with my life and forget about him. Effie asked if he like me and he asked he where she had heard that from, then he asked her if I liked him and kept asking until she told him that I did. He then told her that he did not like me. Eff then said ‘I have heard you go up and down the bakery to see her every weekend’ -I can’t believe she said that. Anyway I have to admit that he gave out some mixed signals and at times he really convinced me that he liked me – especially when I go back through this diary, the evidence is clear. Why do guys do that, Nick seemed to do it too. Oh well at least now I can continue my life without him on my mind. It’s all over.
Well I am calm about this, the less I think about it the better I feel. He said what he said and I know now that he lead me on. I am angry more so because he is a tease.
Went to Eff’s and discussed the Mario thing. How I wish I could put it all behind me, now he probably thinks that I think he goes past my work to see me – how humiliating. And on top of that he probably thinks I am going around thinking he likes me. Shit I feel like crap.
I saw Mario during my lunch break at work and felt really embarrassed and flat. Eff rang later that night and told me she talked to Alex today and Mario asked her how Eff was, then added ‘and how is your other sister – what’s her name – oh yeah the one who I am supposed to like’. What a bastard! I want to smash his brains in.
Dreaded going to school to find out my exam results – I did not really study at all so I expected some failures. I noticed a few girls crying but when I opened up my English folder I was so happy that I had passed all my exams!! OK I had just passed maths but all the rest were OK! Phew. Year 12 here I come and note to self – study next year. I was lucky I passed this year without hardly studying.
Second day of working at Hoechst – I hate it so far and I can’t stand the thought of working here for the next four weeks, the people are very snobby and the girls are bitchy cows. I can’t seem to do anything right but there is a cute guy who is fixing the elevators – he is blond and sort of stupid looking but he has a great body.
The elevator guy was working with another guy who I met called Matt. Matt is very hot – sexy green eyes. Yum. I had to pack 200 calendars and wrap 100 presents and tie ribbons on them – exhausting work and so boring.
I got a shock today, Eff rang to tell me that she was leaving for Greece in a couple of days, the folks bought her a ticket and did not get me one! I bet they want to split us up during the summer holidays.
Went to the airport to see Eff off. I still can’t believe she is leaving and she won’t be around for the holidays. Peri was at the airport, he used to go to the same school as me, his dad was on the same plane with Eff so we all sat to watch the plane take off. Peri asked me out tomorrow so I said yes, what am I getting myself into?
Peri came to pick me up at 2pm. We decided to hang out at the museum out of all places. He held my hand and we kissed but he spoiled it and one stage and said ‘guess this means we are going steady?’ . Ewwww who uses the word ‘steady!’, Oh my god, does this mean I have landed myself a boyfriend? He wants to go Xmas shopping and wants to take me to a 21st, he wants me to spend Xmas Eve with his family.. God he’s got plans!!!!! Shit I don’t know how I feel about all of this.
Today at work I had time to sort out my feelings and decided to ring Peri to tell him he is going fast and that I am not ready to get involved in a relationship. I told him that I am just not ready for a serious boyfriend. He was really upset but I can’t help that I am put off!
I bumped into Shane at work, he is another of the elevator crew, he is creepy because he keeps staring. Shane offered me a lift after work but I said no, for all I know he could be a bloody rapist.
Worked at the chemist today, man I have been working three different jobs every single day during my holidays, bakery, Hoechst and chemist – very tired but making a lot of money! I feel left out at the chemist because the girls are a lot older than me and seem close.
I hate working at Hoechst, it’s depressing and they make me feel like shit. I rang up today and told them I was not coming in, I could not face it today so instead I decided to go Xmas shopping with Sharon.
Last day at Hoechst, goodbye Hoechst, hello beach! Shane asked me out but I can’t get over his creepiness, good looks not enough in this case. Later I did an evening shift at the chemist.
Merry Xmas. I fell in love again today, this time with George. We spent the day with Eff’s cousins – Vivi and Paul. George is a family friend, he has a great tan and body. Yum.
Last day of diary. Last year of the 80s! Went to Christine’s for a pool party, loads of fun. What is in store for the 90s?
Stay tuned for the next action packed Katherine diary entries – what happens to the obsession in the 90s?
Recently I stumbled upon my diaries from age 11 – 20 stashed away in my old keepsake boxes. Curious to re-discover my youthful thoughts and secrets, I plonked myself down on my beanbag. After thumbing through a few pages, the addiction kicked in and I found myself spending days wading through pages of my self-centred and boy crazy thoughts. Sometimes I would laugh but mostly I cringed with embarrassment. Nevertheless I pushed on and even found the courage to share my most embarrassing entries with my partner Julian (who understandably gave me the most disturbing looks each time I would read out a humiliating paragraph).
Although my diary entries are cringe-making, they captured moments that I would otherwise not have remembered and I am grateful that I wrote them. In my younger days I would have rather let Satan extract my nails and teeth with one by one with pliers than let anyone know my secrets, thoughts and feelings but now with the distance of time I have absolutely no problem with sharing my most private thoughts from my world many years ago. (but I better do it quickly before I change my mind!).
And so the humiliating journey begins…..
1984 (11 years old) The pre-boy years
The front and back of my diary is scribbled with nonsense like ‘this diary is messy because I do a lot of mistakes’. I also see that I have crushes on ‘Boy George’ and ‘George Michael’ .. Obviously I have some understanding about the term ‘gay’ because I insist that ‘Boy George is not gay but Marilyn is’. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Rob Lowe get a mention as well. In regard to my favourite football team – well to sum it up quite eloquently ”Collingwood are the best, chuck out the rest’.
Fascinating how my entries are so factual, I provide descriptions of how my days played out including from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed- absolutely riveting stuff! I am surprised I don’t mention how many toilet stops I take during the day! My punctuation is absolutely appalling – it seems I have not discovered the art of using apostrophes or commas as yet and to think my favourite subject was English! Shame on me.
We went to a lady who cooked and we ate everything. I played a bit with a dog named Astro, he was good. Then we left and came home. I went to bed at 11.30. It was fun. 5 January
We went out to these peoples house and ate they have got a vidio (sic) and we saw a bit of Raiders of the Lost Ark but Carol put the Beatles Story on. That was pretty good. That was a nice day. 23 January
I watched the Restless Years. Then I put on music and danced in the lounge room. I played barbies. 25 January
Mum went to work. And I stayed home. Then I watched cricket. I got my monopoly cards out (Piccadilly for yellow) and (Bond for Green) and used them as Australian flags. 1 February
First day of school. I am in grade 6R. It was fun. I played with Maria Kovacks. 2 February
I went to school and got a badge for red house. It said Vice-Captain. 3 February
I went to school and played with Maria. In class we had to sit next to some boys. Maria cried because she had read a dirty book. 12 February
It was my birthday. We went to McDonalds. Dad took my budgie Bluey to the vet. Dad said Bluey might die. 13 February
In the morning I found Bluey dead. I cried and cried. I cried a bit at school too. But then I got over it. 17 February
I went to school. In the afternoon Clayton North came to our school. Some girls including me played softball. They killed us 32 to 2. We never had practise (sic). But after our coach teached us (sic). 19 February
I went to a pool party. It was terrific. They had a dog called Pepi and a cat called Tiger. 21 February I went swimming. I was in group 3B. After that I went to ballet. Then I went to dad. I had to finish my project. He put on a video tape about a bird that ate people alive. The movie was really about my budgie. 3 March
I watched a really scary movie with my cousins called Evil Dead. I was very scared. 16 March We had interschool sports today. Clayton primary school won 9 to 8 but we think they cheated. We were meant to be 10 and them 8. That is not fair. 23 March
I went to Greek School a boy chased me and I hated him. Then I went to Myers with my mum and I spilled my coke on the floor a bit. 9 May
I saw Footloose for the second time. I love that movie it is ace. Kevin Bacon is a spunk. I slept at my friends house. 1 May
My dad would not let me go to my friends slumber party. He said no and I started crying and I went to bed not talking to my mum. 25 September
I broke up with Michelle, Tania and Maria because they said they wanted to go the dunny and ran away. Me and Kathy got in a stink. I told Michelle that she thought she was the top dog from all of us. She never wanted to be our friends again. 26 September
Made friends with Tania and Maria. But not Michelle. 27 September
Listened to a tape at school called War of the Worlds about marsions (sic) invading earth. It was ace. 28 September
Listened to the rest of the War of the World. I made friends with Michelle again and we also watched War of the Worlds. We played British bulldogs and rounders. 2 November
I noticed that Charlies feathers were falling out a lot. My friend told me that he needed more vitamins so I gave him apple and silverbeet. 21 November
I got trophys and ribbons for inter school sports. I was very happy because I really like playing sports and running. 25 December
Merry Christmas. Got stack of presents. Went for a ride to lots of different beaches.
1985 (12 years old) ‘Hunk’s and ‘Spunks’
At the age of 12, my diary remains factual but I start to notice two new words have been introduced into my vocabulary – ‘hunk’ and spunk’. My writing is maturing somewhat with the introduction of the occasional coma and exclamation mark – particularly after the use of the word spunk or hunk!
Ah the mid 80’s – how can I forget my obsession with lace, neon tops socks and black rubber ‘jelly gummy’ bangles (thanks to Madonna). Oh not to mention my first year of high school at Huntingdale High where I learnt how to go ‘spunk hunting’ – clearly I had a top class education.
We are staying at a holiday house in Rye which is great fun. At lunch time we went outside to eat lamb for New Years day and Con was there. Con is a spunk! We all went to the beach, I liked it because I got a nice tan. 2 January
Me and Simon played murder in the dark. We watched the Elephant Man – then my mum farted three times and pissed herself laughing in front of everyone. 4 January
I went to a wavy beach with mum and when we came back Con and his mates came from the beach and gave me a huge fright when he knocked on our window and I screamed my head off. We had to pack most of our things because we were leaving the next day. Drat I don’t want to leave Con. 6 January
Mum came in to tidy my room and chuck all my bad clothes out (while my radio was on) and I was TRYING to listen to tape good songs from the radio but I never got the start of the songs. 11 January
I went to Mandy’s house, she wanted to sleep at my house. Her little cousin came, she is a pain in the neck. We went for a walk later, this black man in a car waved at us and stopped his car and we ran away down the street into the pet shop until he left. 13 January
Went to the beach to check out the hunks, we bought some ice-creams and some guys were spunky. This guy kept looking at me, he was nice – that was a good day for me. I had ace fun. 15 January
Olga came over, we mucked around and played monopoly, hiding the monopoly money, blind man’s bluff, bobbing for apples, ludo and jacks. When she left I went outside to sunbake and came back inside to tape some good songs from the radio. I only got to tape one song. 18 January
Olga came over and we played hide the jacks. Before she went home she told me she could get Cons address and telephone number from a girl she knew. We posted a love letter to a boy she liked called Michael. On the weekend she was going to call Con and tell him that I liked him. 22 January
Olga came over today with another girl called Michelle who I hate. I was bored later so I sat outside waiting for my granny to come back from the shops. She came back late. I was watching these two spunks fixing the house across the road. 30 January
I was in my room all day trying to tape ‘Do they know it’s Christmas Time’ from the radio and didn’t have much luck, I tried on my favourite outfit with my pink fluorescent socks and black Madonna bangles. 31 January
In the morning I went to get my uniform for Huntingdale High School, I am going to start high school soon. Then we went to pick up my text books. I spent the afternoon tidying my room and reading my books for high school. 5 February
It was my first day of high school. I had Mr Chibert from Maths – he was really BAD. Then English, lunch, Greek, Geography. I have trouble closing my locker and keep asking my friend to help me. We did not do much work on the first day fortunately. I went spunk hunting with my friends. 12 February
I went to school, it was my birthday today and I got lots of birthday bonkers on my arm. Mum gave me $10 and I went to my first ballet class for the year. 18 February
Drama and English are my favourite subjects. I got into trouble in Maths class and had to write all my timetables up to 12×12 7 TIMES! Would you believe it, naughty me. 23 February
If you notice this notice you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing. 24 February
I was here, here I was, was I here, yes I was.
1987 (14 years old) The ‘mod’ years.
At the age of 14, I was clearly on way to being an annoying teen. Boys were on my mind right after my number one interest – me, me and me. After my love affair with all things neon and lace was over, I became obsessed with dressing like a ‘mod’, anyone that didn’t dress like a mod was a bogan. My clothes were 90% black, and were supported by a black pair of converse runners which I loved, grandpa tops, faded jeans, black shoes with shiny buckles. I thought I was very stylish and cool – I even wore my grandmother’s dress and thought that was so cool but looking back now it was really ‘so embarrassing!’ Surfie guys were known as ‘Skegs’ and they were on my hot list!
I changed schools in Year 9 – it was a difficult transition going from a co-ed state school to an all girls catholic college. Not only were the rules and regulations strange but the whole Catholic thing never made sense to me. All the girls used to carry around brown paper lunch bags or lunch boxes. No one would ever be caught dead at Huntingdale High with a brown paper bag or lunch box.
Went to the beach with Eff, Alex, mum and some of her friends. Eff and I went to the shops to get some sun tan lotion and on the way back three guys rode past on their bikes, the best looking one looked back at me so I looked at him. He asked me how I was, I said I was good. Later on Eff and I went for another walk, we saw them again, the good looking one smiled at me so I smiled back. On the way back I saw him put his top up when he saw me so I laughed. Then 10 minutes later they walked past us, he kept looking back so I waved and he waved back and smiled. Then we walked their way and noticed they seemed to be looking for something. Then he smiled at me. He was absolutely gorgeous, tall, tanned skin, light brown hair with blue eyes. He said he lost his key and asked us to help look for it. He did not find it, so he asked us our names. His name was Christian and he was checking me out badly. Then he said he was walking the same way and asked if he could walk with us. I didn’t think and said no. I could have killed myself! I should have asked him if he was coming to the beach tomorrow, I was such an idiot. 16 January
I went to visit some family friends and we talked the whole afternoon about different things, real life horror stories, guys, smoking, drugs, the lot. I went shopping with mum to buy some clothes for a christening tomorrow. I bought a black mini skirt, a purple grandpa top, purple socks and black shoes with gold square buckles. 5 February
It was my first day of my new school today at Sacred Heart Girls College. I actually did not feel nervous at all until mum’s car did not start so the neighbour had to take me to school. I hated it from the moment I got there, I made a few friends, the girls seemed friendly enough but everything felt so weird and I just wanted to go back to Huntingdale High. When I got home I cried and cried. My best friend Tonka rang and filled me in with all the details at Huntingdale. This made me feel even worse. Sandra called me later, this made me officially depressed. 6 February
I had drama which I usually love but it was shit. The day was not as bad as yesterday though. I got lost once when I could not find my maths class, I also had a typing lesson which I found hard. I miss everyone though and the school has so many strict rules and codes. 9 February
After school I rang a friend up who happens to know Christian, the guy I met a few weeks ago at the beach. She gave me his surname so I looked him up in the phone book and rang him. He couldn’t believe I had found his number, we talked for a while and he asked me to call him again. 10 February
I burnt my toast in home economics today. After school I told my friend Sandra that I want to have a big party on Saturday night for my birthday. Mum said I could so I am planning to ring Christian tomorrow and ask him to come along. 11 February
After school I rang Christian and he said he would come to my party, then my friend Tonka said that Vince, another guy she knows likes me so I told her to invite him as well. Phew guys everywhere. 21 February
I got ready for my party in the afternoon, well most people turned up but Christian didn’t. Vince did and I really like him but then my stupid friend Darlene opened her mouth and said that I had bad taste in guys. Vince heard her and got upset and said he had to leave. My friend Tonka knows him well so she went outside to see what was wrong, he told her he likes me but is really upset with Darlene. I really wanted him to come back. My party did not turn out well at all. 25 February
Went to school camp at Bacchus Marsh, at night we couldn’t get to sleep, we were all laughing and got in trouble when the Sister told us off really badly! I took lots of photos. I met a new group of friends, Sharon, Simone, Amanda, Helena, Georgina and Christine. I am going to hang out with them. 2 March I got Vince’s phone number from my friend Tonka and when I rang, he just hung up on me. I don’t understand what I have done wrong, it was not my fault my friend opened her big mouth, I still liked him. Oh well. 4 March
A friend of mine at school told me that Vince hung up on me because he does not like talking to girls on the phone. I think that is bullshit though. On the bus on the way home from school there were some girls who thought they were tough shit. One told Aileen to move her bag and threatened us by saying they put two girls like us in hospital. They called us ‘brown cows’ because of our brown uniforms and so forth. 5 March
After school, the girls were on the bus again and tried to hit Aileen in the subway, this time they had more friends with them and they all stated calling us rude names. I felt scared and embarrassed, it was time to take action! 6 March
In the morning we went to Mrs Mackie and told her about our problem on the bus. She sent us to Mrs Visintene who then sent us to the Vice- Principal Mrs O’ Toole. We had a long talk and she told us that our parents should ring the bus company and complain, they would take action if they received a few complaints. Thankfully we did not have to face them afterschool, they were not there. 20 March
I went searching for a pair of converse runners in the city but most stores did not have them in stock yet. The ones that had them only had smaller or larger sizes. I really want a pair of black converse runners. 23 March
Our principal was hiding in the subway waiting to catch us walking more than 2 abreast on the sidewalk. I got in trouble along with two other girls for walking 3 abreast. We got called into his office tomorrow morning, I was very mad because I wasn’t even walking 3 abreast! 24 March
I was scared about the meeting with the Principal. We arrived at his office and waited for about 15 minutes. He was in a good mood so he let us off with a warning. As soon as we left his office we started laughing our heads off! 27 March I bought a pair of faded jeans and a pair of – get ready for it, yes folks, a pair of black converse runners!! 30 March
New P.E teacher at school, she is blonde. Why are all P.E teacher blonde? It must be a rule. 18 April
I went to the city and got a heart attack when I saw there was a skateboard competition in Burke Street. There were about 15 gorgeous skegs with their skateboards. Yum. 25 April
We had a surprise party for my dad. Later Eff and Alex and me decided to go knick-knocking on doors which was a terrible mistake. After we had knocked and run away from 2 houses, we decided to knock on a house on a corner of the street. I ran up the stairs and knocked and then we all ran around the corner for a few minutes and then decided to go and knock on someone else’s door. As we turned the corner we saw that all the lights had come on at the house we had just knocked on and there was a man looking out his window, so we began to walk fast and walked right past Eff’s house and Alex turned back and said Oh my God he is following us. So we began to walk even faster and turned into a block of flats. As soon as we were out of sight we ran into someone’s open garage and hid in there. My heart was beating so fast! After 10 minutes we checked to see if he was there – no sign of him so we ran home. Our parents were looking for us so we told them that there was someone following us but we left the knick-knocking part out of the story! 8 May
Mum took Eff and I shopping to buy some wedding clothes but we could not find anything we liked and mum was getting very mad and fed up so Effie and I found something very quickly or else mum told us she would pick something out for us! I am wearing all black, black skirt, black top, black shoes and black stockings. I am going to wear a big black and white bow in my hair. 13 May
I got my maths test back and go 29/40 which is such an improvement, my maths has not been going so well lately. 30 May
I was meant to being doing the 40 hour famine but I ate things! 27 May
Back to school this week, there was a mass in the church which I thought was funny. I am still not use to all this Catholic school stuff. Then we had a hair and uniform inspection, we are not supposed to have our hair hanging all of our faces or are we allowed to have colour in our hair. We are not able to have more than one pair of earring and they have to be gold or silver studs or small sleepers they are not allowed to be dangly and trendy. They are also strict with uniform lengths, your skirt is not supposed to be higher than your knees. Gee things were so different at Huntingdale High – the girls always wore their skirts very short! 1 June At school we did more Catholic stuff, we watched a program called Chastity Before Marriage. I thought it was crap. I think people should be entitled to make their own minds about having sex before marriage. What if you are 40 and are not married – are people supposed to wait that long! 2 June
My friend Melissa from Huntingdale asked me to come to a blue light disco, when I asked mum she said no but I am not giving up so I am going to ask Dad. 3 June
I asked Dad about going to the blue light disco, instead of saying yes Dad gave me a big lecture telling me there are bad people at discos. I told him there were police supervising but he still said no so I got mad. 5 June
I sat down to prepare a speech for mum giving her all the reasons why I should be allowed to go to the Blue Light after all I am very responsible and I don’t do anything bad but before I got a chance to tell her, Melissa rang and wanted my mum to speak to her mum. After the phone call, mum said I could go, Melissa’s mum had convinced her! 6 June
I got dressed in my mod clothes, black converse, black and white knee high socks, black grandpa top and my jeans. The disco was packed and I nearly suffocated waiting in the line. They had to body check us before we were allowed to go in. My friends Tonka, Janet and Sandra were there and they all had flannelette shirts on and looked like Bogans. Overall we had a good night and had a dance. 18 June
I rang Tonka to tell her I am coming to see her at Huntingdale tomorrow as I have curriculum day tomorrow but she said she was wagging school to go hang out with Janet and her boyfriend. I did not want to go because Janet’s boyfriend is a real Bogan – a head banger and he hates mods. 22 June
I made up a poem today in class when I was bored.
Birds fly, people don’t
Pigs eat rubber goats
Cats meow, dogs dont
Porky’s feet smell gross 26 June First day of school holidays so I caught the bus to go to Huntingdale High as they are not on holidays as yet. I felt embarrassed as everyone was staring at me, I think it was my clothes, then all these guys from my old form started yelling out ‘mod’ and I was more embarrassed and wanted to leave but Sandra made me stay and I stayed in the back of the class for 5th period, this was so embarrassing! 29 June
My nose started bleeding and it got so heavy that I had to go to the doctors. It wouldn’t stop bleeding. The doctor told me I may have a weak blood vessel, it took ages to stop and I felt scared. 2 July
I have decided that I would like a part time job so I can earn some money to buy stuff because I feel bad asking mum for money all the time. I went into a small bakery they took my details down and I went into Venture to fill in an application form. 6 July
I had to go into the city to pick up my glasses with my grandma. I decided that I would wear one of her dresses because it is a mod look. I wanted to hurry up and come home because I didn’t want to be with her, she took me into daggy shops – so embarrassing! 12 July My room is a pig sty, so I decided it needed a thorough cleaning and I vacuumed in every corner and tidied everything. It took me 8 hours so I was very tired when I finished and went to bed early. 29 July
Kevin is gorgeous, a spunk, a hunk, sooooo cute, handsome, unreal and more! 14 August
What a day! Firstly Helena and I had a play fight on the bus but everyone thought it was a real fight, we were just mucking around. Then at homeroom Sharon and I were hitting each other with rulers and I broke Amanda’s ruler. Then on the way to the train station I borrowed Joanne’s ruler to hit Sharon and then I broke her ruler. Then we were all really noisy at the train station and started to act like idiots and I saw Sister Julianna frowning at us but my friends did not believe me so they starting yelling more. I went to Chadstone with Eff at 6 pm but we had a black out and I could not fix my hair properly so it must have looked bad at Chadstone. 20 August
After school at the train station I noticed a group of guys, one in particular looked like Vince – that guy I used to like who got angry at my party and never spoke to me again. Anyway, I wasn’t sure it was him until he gave me the dirtiest look I’ve ever seen so I knew it was him so I turned my back on him and my friends kept telling me he could not keep his eyes off me so when I turned to look at him , he was giving me a poisonous look. Boy I felt like bashing his head in! What is his problem? I didn’t do anything to him. I really don’t get it. 27 August
School is a bore, life is a bore (sometimes), my love life is a bore, my budgies are a bore, everything is a BORE. 28 August My friends and I decided to go see a movie tonight so I went home feeling in a good mood, but then I saw Vince at the train station which put me in a bad mood. He was talking to some girl and then tried to get my attention when he saw me – like I care! Seriously what a dipstick. Then my dear mother would not let me go the movies so we had a huge fight, she wanted me to come to Chadstone with her but I wouldn’t go, so she got in the car and started beeping her horn and came back in the house and begged me to come and I said no again. 10 minutes later I got a call from her friend Voula telling me that mum was at her house and was upset that we had a fight and she wanted to come pick me up. I said no again even though I felt mean. 3 September
Mum had decided she wants to get fit and wanted to drag me along to jog with her even though I was reluctant to go with her. I was so embarrassed when a bunch of guys laughed at us, then we got caught out in the rain – we got absolutely drenched. I was so angry. 6 September
Dad came to pick me up for Father’s Day. On the way home we saw a rabbit crawling on the road, his back legs were crushed and mutilated so it was dragging on its front paws. I was so upset and we tried to help it but it was too scared. I was so sad and cried myself to sleep. 11 September
School term is nearly finished, only 3 days to go but who is counting! I went to Melissa’s slumber party. We watched 3 horror movies, one was stupid, the second one was funny but the last one Demons was the best! I love horror movies. We had the best night and talked all night. 1 October Lately all Eff talks about is food, she has been on a diet and cant stop talking about food, it’s been going on for a month now, she always wants this and that and every time we go to the shops she spends all her time in the food area. I don’t get it. 22 October
I went shopping with Eff to buy food for her mum’s birthday party, she said she was breaking her diet just for this. We bought so much junk food, Effie wouldn’t stop and overbought food. We ate so much junk that we made ourselves sick. 15 November
I went to a teenage mind powers course- it was fabulous. They teach you how to be confident and think positive. I met lots of people and had lots of fun. I can’t wait to go back next Sunday. 21 November
I was nervous, it was my ballet concert tonight and all my friends were coming so I tried to think positive. Thank God it turned out well and I didn’t make any mistakes! I have to focus on my studies now that the concert is out of the way, I have been spending too much time practicing my dance movies and not enough time studying for my exams. I am worried about maths, I hate maths. 3 December
Got our Science exam back -got 70% which is a B – Yippy. Got geography exam back – got 50% – Boo. Got religion exam back – got 82% which is an A but who cares about religion anyway – Boo. That night we went to a restaurant, we met some people including three guys called George, Con and Con. George and Con are brothers and can’t speak much English. The other Con is very smart, rich and ambitious with excellent table manners. 14 December I wrapped some presents and put them under the Christmas tree but it doesn’t feel like Xmas- every year the Xmas spirit seem to be fading. 19 December
We had a Xmas party at my friend Caroline’s house, we stuffed ourselves with junk and went for a walk to the Clarinda shopping centre. Sharon jumped in a shopping trolley and Georgina took her for a ride but let go of the handle and Sharon went rolling away in the trolley and it tipped over and Sharon flew out – it was son funny! On the way back we bumped into a huge bunch of bogan guys – about 20 guys and they started to tease us about our clothes, one of the guys knew Sharon but she ignored him., then they yelled out ‘mods suck’, we made the mistake of yelling back ‘bogans suck’. They got mad and chucked rubbish and bottles at us. All of a sudden I heard one guy yell out ‘DIE’ and turned back to see the group of 20 start to chase us. I yelled out ‘RUN’ so we bolted as fast as we could all the way back to Caroline’s house and locked the door and collapsed on the floor terrified and out of breath. We settled down to watch a video but we were all jumpy so we kept looking out the window but no one was there. We told ghost stories, which led to discussions about God, the Devil, this led on to bad things like murder, child molesters and other bad things going on this world of shit. 25 December
Merry Xmas! Got up to open my presents but it was 9.30 before mum got up so I waited for her. I got heaps of great presents including a fantastic present from my mum. We spent the day at mum’s uncle and auntie’s house in Dromana and in the afternoon I went to see my dad and cousins. I had a great day, overall I got some great presents and $145 -wow!