Friday, 28 February 2014

ITS CRACKER NIGHT-"I Hope Your Letterbox Blows Up"

This month Mum tries to work out our family tree. One side of me comes from this fecundate catholic Dutch family. Mum had 9 brothers and sisters. Her mother had twelve siblings. Her father had nineteen. Nineteeeeeeeen brothers and sisters!!!!  All from the one mother. And not one miscarriage, birth defect or serial killer. My very brave baby making machine of a great grandmother didn't boil any extraneous little humans up for dinner, or take any tiny toddlers out for a stroll on a Dyke at king tide, or forever forget where she put anyone. She didn't contemplate divorce at the prospect of just one more baby, or expire with exhaustion after the nineteenth child insisted on squeezing its way out. What a womb! And what immaculate genes.  To any woman reading this who has ever been pregnant, given birth, breast fed for any period of time, and raised even just one child: imagine being pregnant for 19 years in a row! And having babies endlessly sucking your nipples for even longer!  The thought of it turns my head 360 degrees. They didn't have formula back then – it was breast feed or die. At that rate of population growth, it’s little wonder the Dutch were among the first Europeans to sail off their overcrowded tiny 41,426  km² patch  of low lying European  coastal land in the late 16th century. Today Holland is only the 26th most densely populated place on earth thanks to people like half my Dutch family who served their country patriotically by emigrating somewhere else.

The gigantic property where my mother grew up was sold a few years ago through Sotheby’s International for a rather princely fortune - given the lack of space in Holland. Mum has 89 direct cousins. The Ruyters  on one side, and the De Wits on the other, are spread all over the globe Mum told me as we branched everyone out over a sprawling family tree. Between their spouses and offspring, and where everyone is living now, it seemed like I was connected to half the whole world.  I only recently discovered the size of Dad’s family after he passed away in June 2012 when my children and I took his ashes to his home town of Guyra. Although he only had one sister, his parents had almost as many brothers and sisters on both sides of his family as Mum did. Only his sister ever came to visit us. Dad never took us to Aunty Laurel's very outback giant cotton farm in Goondiwindi, or to anyone else in his family.

Dad and Mum’s generation calmed down a bit when it came to procreating: Mum only had the two of us and some of her brothers and sisters went to the other extreme, never having children. What I loved about coming from such a huge family growing up was that the rellies with strange English accents were always visiting, often all the way from Holland. Visitors from Holland was a big event. The house usually had to be cleaned inside out as if
someone had died in it. Sometimes we re painted, carpeted and wallpapered. Then  we would pack into our wide and long Holden Valliant and head for the airport to pick them up.
The airport in Sydney was a million miles away when you were a kid in a car coming from the Blue Mountains. Our Valliant's roaring engine vrooomed in our eardrums, stowaway mosquitoes and flies buzzed around our faces, the stale chemical odour of melting vinyl seats glued to our nostrils like the dirt and dust filled greenies growing with every kilometer in our noses did, parents suffocated us with cigarette smoke, engine fumes knocked us into a stupor, and all with no air conditioning - except for the hot wind that blasted through the front windows. The sorts of conditions that conspire to make kids car sick.  No wonder we were always driving  our parents crazy with “are we nearly there yet? Are we nearly there yet?” “ Are we nearly there yet?!!!” And we had to go through it all again three more times as we returned home with our visiting human cargo and took them back to the airport, or to another relative, at the end of their stay with us. No wonder Dad never drove us to Goondiwindi! Goondiwindi is as far away as it sound like it is - somewhere near Africa.

All other family members, including every person our visiting relative ever knew in Australia, or remotely knew, would be at the airport too. It was a festive occasion, full of love, laughs and a melodic sing song foreign language punctuated with guttural sounds - like the drawing up of spit in preparation for a giant slag .Mums brothers and sisters were slim and attractive, worldly and interesting. They had a really quirky sense of humour and were odd in a nice way.
 They always bought Dutch treats with them: yummy things with funny names like speculass, bitterkoekjes, pepernoten,taai taai, marzipan, stroopwafels, and my favourite, zoute dropjes (salty Dutch licorice): sweet treats full of butter, sugar , nutmeg, cinnamon, almonds, vanilla and anis.  Our exotic visitors would tell us how we should be living and what we should be doing; and they would definitely agree with Mum and Dad when I wasn't allowed out, because I was way too young for anything, especially if it was remotely to do with boys. That's how it was in Holland and so it should be at any De Wit residence in Australia. Uncle John, who served his entire life as an upholsterer in the Australian Navy, is coming soon, so we are fixing up the house for him because he is a real nitpicker….

This Month Dad Gives Me A Good Hiding


Corporal domestic punishment has been an accepted disciplinary duty in Australia ever since England planted people here. It’s still allowed today as long as you are ‘reasonable’, otherwise its assault. Thirty four countries around the world have prohibited corporate domestic punishment, twenty two of which are in Europe. 

wasn't routinely ‘punished’ by my parents. It’s now June and this is my first belting for the year. In practice Dad or Mum would take to me usually to teach me a lesson of honesty. Dad would use the belt or his six foot two male physical force and Mum would chase me around the house waving a wooden spoon - or pull my hair. 

It Is Also Cracker Night, Or Bonfire Night As It Was Interchangeably Known.

Cracker night is a lost tradition in Australia.I don’t remember ever knowing what cracker night was for as a kid. For us it was just one of those best ever festive occasions of the year when you get to build a giant bonfire, set off as many fire crackers as you could buy, and roast lots of food all night in the bright orange embers of the fire.  But Cracker Night was actually a celebration called Empire Day originally cheered in on May 24, the date of England’s Queen Victoria's birthday. It was renamed British Commonwealth Day in the 1950's and moved to June 11 in 1966, to honor Queen Elizabeth II's birthday

We lived on a quarter acre in the bush so we had an abundance of big branches and logs with which to build our fire. We had a permanent bonfire spot where we piled logs and branches up over the whole year and which also supplied our hand built brick BBQ.  Dad would whack the mound of wood before lighting it to give any animal residents time to escape. Much of the back of our house was terraced with bricked in vegetable plots. This is where Dad dimensionally placed the crackers -one vege patch behind the other - lining up the fireworks in the holes of spare bricks . We girls liked the colorful crackers that produced lots of light and pretty patterns: skyrockets, blazing parachutes, catherine wheels and roman candles. The boys liked crackers that made loud noises and which they could throw at people and things for a laugh: tom thumbs, throwdowns, and bungers. Fire crackers used to be as freely available in shops  at Cracker Night time, as Christmas decorations are today around Christmas.

While we oooohhh’d and wooooooow'd at the explosion of light above and around us, naughty boys were out on the street letting off bungers  that deafened the ears, scared little old ladies, made babies cry and set the dogs off on a synchronized barking and howling cacophony. Every house had a dog or two on our street it seemed, including us. In the morning we would check if our letterbox was still intact, being the traditional target boys tried to blow up.

Poor old Queenslanders lost their cracker night in 1972. New South Welshmen had them for another 14 years until 1986. By this time even they had decided that some people just couldn't be trusted with fire crackers because too many people were being blinded and burnt, not to mention what was being done to pets and wildlife. And so Cracker Night was banned and the Queen's birthday is now celebrated by national public holiday on the second Monday of June.

The World in June 1975.



June 5, 1975 is a big day for people in the United Kingdom (UK) because they voted to join the European Economic Community in the first ever referendum to be held through the totality of the UK. As a measure of how important this day was, the next UK wide referendum wasn't held until 2011. The European Economic Community (EEC) was a product of Europe’s attempt to avoid going to war with each other ever again, having lost up 40 million people in two World Wars over a period of 30 years. The goal of the EEC was eventual economic and political union of its member nations. A union that facilitated the free movement of labor and capital, and common or reciprocal policies on social welfare, transport, foreign trade, agriculture, labour and fair competition. The EEC directly evolved into the European Union (EU). British governments and industry have always struggled with the EEC/EU because they feel more economically and politically aligned with the USA, rather than with mainland Europe’s more socialist ideals. But the British people felt differently and voted to join the EEC. Just as momentous for Britain this month:
the UK became an oil-producing nation as the first crude oil was pumped from the Argyll oil field, by the Transworld 58 submersible drilling rig in the North Sea, to the oil tanker Theogennitor. What a great name for a tanker. Sounds more like the title of a sci-fi film.

Early 1970's Environmentalism


Young readers might think of environmentalism as a fad of
the present but concerned global citizens have been fighting since the 1960’s to protect the ecosystems we rely on for our own survival, as well as for the rights of others species to have future generations of their own - even if they are not useful to humans. This awareness evolved as a result of several environmental disasters that occurred after World War II when industry and governments started making more and more stuff  in a very toxic and wasteful manner and releasing chemicals into the environment without really knowing or understanding what effect they may have on human health and the environment, or indeed knowing, but not telling. A landmark in the environmental awareness movement was Rachel Carson’s 1962 “Silent Spring” which chronicled the deadly effects of DDT sprayed by US farmers on crops to kill mosquitoes. The problem was, DDT killed birds around her farm as well. Carson's book sold over two million copies generating significant public fear around pesticides and environmental contamination. It would be a 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in the USA that inspired the first Earth Day in 1970, founded by Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson who witnessed the devastating consequences first hand. 



Greenpeace was established 1971 because its founders could see that political will was lagging on environmental protection, and critical mass understanding was not happening fast enough. They took to non violent action to direct attention to the issues of environmental destruction. As I write his post, Greenpeace's conservation ship, the Esperanza, is attempting to intercept a Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru, from their illegal whaling in the Southern Oceans. The thing is, Greenpeace has been fighting whalers for 39 years now. This month in June 1975 and for the first time, Greenpeace's vessel, the Phyllis Cormack, put itself between the huge Soviet whaling ship Dalniy Vostok and helpless whales who were being over harvested . For thirty nine years this battle has been going on. This is how resistant industries, nations and cultures are to the idea that the world's resources are not theirs to squander and animals are not theirs to make extinct. The United Nations Environment Program came to exist in 1972, the same year Australia gave birth to the first political party in the world to campaign on mostly an environmental platform , the United Tasman Group, which contested the April 1972 election in Tasmania. The New Zealand Values Party and European Green Parties were formed at around the same time.

It was also this month 39 years ago in 1975, that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was created in Australia and put under government - the people's - protection.It is ironic then that as I write this same post, a petition is going around social media to stop the dumping of toxic waste water into the Great Barrier Reef from a nickel refinery, right on the heels of another petition to stop 3.5 million cubic meters of seabed being dug and dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, while many groups are now lobbying for UNESCO to put the reef on its endangered list. Endangered it is indeed looking. 

In other news, MacDonald's drive through is born in June 1975 at Sierre Vista in Arizona: most exciting for the impending US obesity epidemic

And in a mysterious far away keystone desert of flowing robes where only men's faces could be seen, Faisal bin Musaid  is publicly beheaded at Dira Square in Riyadh for assassinating his uncle a few months earlier, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Most Saudi's believed it was a US backed conspiracy.



               

            

         YAY – ITS CRACKER NIGHT! June 1975


This is the mushiest marshmallowy of melting over Mark months. My daughter and eldest son have now gone on strike and won’t come back until Mark is gone, they told me. My youngest has stayed on because I’m now paying him pocket money to read out my diary entries while I type them up.

I use the "f" word for the first time in my dairies. Apologies. I'm still only 13.


Monday June 1 - Billy Looks Like a Sharpie

Well we’re all friends again and Michael and Ian don’t stir me anymore about being a cow and all that. Guess what!! Billy Cannon got his hair cut and he looks like a sharpie.  Since he kept calling me frizzy, I could call him sharpie, but I won’t because he’ll start hating me. We’re not on the stairs anymore. Mark, Craig, Grunk and Denton walked past and Denton goes “Hi Petra”, and I said “Gaday”.  I like them all especially Mark but he hates me I know he does but I love him so why is it so unfair – WHY. We’re seeing Sunshine with T’s gang – worst luck. Oh yeah, I got a jumper but Dad won’t pay for it cause he hasn't got the money. 

Tuesday June 2 – God Billy’s hair is horrible but I have to say ‘hello’ cause I know what it’s like to have your hair cut at school”

I saw my luscious beautiful Mark and he said “There’s Frizz” and a kid kicked him and he goes “oh will you rack off”. The darling. I just kept smiling. Then later on I passed him and he goes “Hi Frizzy” but I didn't realise he was there, worst luck. Then again he said “Hi Frizzy and I wanted to cry, he’s so beautiful. I told Debbie and she said he must still like me if he talks to me but I don’t know. I’d love to find out who he likes the best. I wish it were me. He didn't pick anyone to dance today. Speaking of dancing, Robert Q asked me to dance and of all the times to get the lunches, Mark had to get lunch today when I was dancing. He saw me dancing with Robert Q. Oh Diary, what am I going to do I luv him but I don’t know if he likes me. God Billy’s hair is horrible but I have to say ‘hello’ cause I know what it’s like to have your hair cut at school.

Sunshine cost $1.40 instead of 50 cents. WOW. I won’t be able to afford it. Only trouble is I've got no one's shoulder to cry on. I want to hint to Mark or  ask him if he goes to the theatre much and tell him I’m seeing Sunshine on Friday or ask him straight out if he’d like to come and see sunshine with me. Wouldn't it be fantastic sitting with Mark? Maybe even kissing him, and it could turn out that I’ll go with him – but what’s the use of caring if it’ll never happen – Never. I’m back to admiring him from a distance.

Wednesday June 3  - “Dad said I’m not allowed to shave my legs ever again until I’m 18.”

I saw Mark again today. I was going to talk to him but Lynn W was with me. Dam. We stirred Paul Sharpe again today. He’s nice. I have another lump on my kneecap from shaving and stupid me went and told Mum it and Kerosene (the bitch) said “do you shave your legs?” and Mum felt them and said I did. Boy did she get SHITTED up. Then she told Dad about it and he was really putting me down.  And Dad said I’m not allowed to shave my legs ever again until I’m 18. FUCK. Now I’m gonna be stuck with black hairs on my legs. God Mum makes me sick, she’s so old fashioned. HELL! I guess I had better stop dreaming about Mark coming to see Sunshine with me cause it’ll never happen, never. I wonder if he’s even kissed a girl before. He’s so beautiful Diary, really. If only I could get a picture of him.

Thursday June 4 –“ I just don’t understand boys”

I forgot to tell you Peter asked me to go with him yesterday. I said no though cause I want Mark and I thought he only wanted a pair for sunshine. But he isn't going. Mark hates me I know he does. I walked passed him and he gave me a really FILTHY look. Oh God why me. Why can’t he just like me? I just don’t understand boys.  There’s no way I can find out if he likes me except to get someone to ask him and he hates that. I saw him in the library. Gees he’s gorgeous. Simply beautiful. I walked passed Billy and he pushed me. Oh diary I love Mark so much. I cry all the time. It's amazing you’re not pouring wet!

Friday June 5 – “ He called me the sex symbol of Springwood High Kindergarten and I should entered Miss Caltex!!"

Boy have I got a lot to say. Well first of all we were back on the quadrangle today but that won’t last very long. I found out that Chris wants to go with Yolander but he is too gutless to ask her. I was giving him all this advice and when she was finally alone, he was too gutless to ask her. Anyway Jo said to Denton gees you’re small” and I stuck up for him and said he can’t help it (da-da). Then he said “Well I’m in 3rd form”. I clicked my finger as if to say worst luck. Then the bell went and I was walking to class hoping Mark would meet up with me cause I knew he was behind me.

Anyway I told him about Chris and Yolander and I asked him if he likes sad stories (hint hint). “No, why what’s on” he said, and I told him Sunshine and he said he had read the first 10 pages and said he hated it. Damn there goes my hope of him coming to watch Sunshine with me. Anyway after science I asked him if he liked my groovy pencil case and he smiled and showed me his. I said “bye” and he said “Seeya”. All through science I was in heaven. Oh the joy and ecstasy in talking to him again and being able to see his warm and welcoming smile. He also smiled at me on the way to 8th period but I didn't see him. THEN – on the bus Lynette told me she had talked to him. And she reckons I said I  had broken off with him. And you know what he said to that? “Tell her that I’m deeply in love with her and that wild horses could take him away”. Ooh! I was furious. I was OK until she stuck her nose into it. Now look what she’s done you know what she did last year? She asked him what she thought of me and he called me "the sex symbol of Springwood High Kindergarten and I should enter Miss Caltex!!"  I was furious but curious at the same time. That’s why he was leering at me. I don’t know whether to hate him or like him, I could talk it out with him I guess. I hardly ever see him. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. When we were walking home Lynette said, have you ever seen a Zombie? Well you’re standing next to one, and I just ran away in tears mixed with a bit of everything. Gunner was having a go at me and he made me miss my bus.


The Theater –Sunshine was sad. I didn't cry though. Deb and Ian and Joe and Mick hardly saw any of it, the way they carried on - and that made me long for Mark. I WANTED HIM WITH ME!

Saturday June 6 – “there were all these boys in this little mini”

We won netball 77-20 and are now tied top with Viscounts and Blue Jays. I went to Aunty Mary’s to pick up eggs and we stayed for supper and Brendon and a bunch of other guys were there. Brendon goes “Its Petra” and I just said “Hi”. When we were going home I saw a mini and there were all these boys in this little mini. They all waved and beeped the horn. Went to a cocktail party and was helping serve the food and wine. I was also helping eating but since I was helping I didn't have to pay $3. Boy I have never seen such a big washing up in my life and guess who had to do it? Yes, me and Cindy. Claire is a little spoiled brat she was helping eating but not working. Mr. and Mrs. Schwears and the Quirks and Cabells came, but only half showed up. It was great! Mum is constantly nagging at me:  "don’t do this don’t do that do this do that, why aren't you? Why do you?” God she makes me sick sick sick. I’m making myself a top to go with my skirt. It’s quite difficult to do.

Sunday June 7 -" We were working out a family tree. Gees its big".

Did a lot of work today, cleaning my room and removing the wallpaper from the kitchen wall and washing the ceiling. There’s a lot of fuss on which paints to have and all that cause Uncle John’s coming home soon. We were working out a family tree. Gees its big. It’s impossible to work the whole thing out. It’s far too big. seeya

Monday June 8 - "So why do I dream? Why not face the reality–I'll never go with him again"

We are up on E Block. Mark and Billy walked past but I pretended I didn't see them. Ian said to me that was a good “moooo vie” (movie). I just said “yes it was”. I was watching the netball when Chris came up to me and said he was making Yolander jealous. And I gave him all this advice again, anyway all the other boys started cheering and yelling. Then Mark moved to sit next to a girl whether to make me jealous or to sit next to her because he likes her I don’t know. But it worked. I doubt it was to make me jealous because why would he want to do that because he hates me. So why do I dream? Why not face the realty. –I'll never go with him again

Wednesday June 10 – “Mark wasn't at Training –Pooh”

I found out today that Yolander doesn't want to go with Chris but how would I tell him. I just won’t. Saw Mark a couple of times. Mark wasn't at training - pooh. Mark’s brother walked past with Billy's brother and they said he used to luv me and they said boy have I grown up. What nuts. Ian, Deb, Mick and Jo have the shits with each other.

Thursday June 11  “Yeah there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but I want Mark!”

Everyone’s still fighting. We were at the quadrangle and were playing handball with a super ball and Denton and all them were under the covered way.I bumped into Mark several times, he just looked at me too. I want to cry. I walked past Chris and he put his hand around me and grunted and put his hand on my body, the dirty old man. He’s not going to ask Yolander he told me when he rubbed against me. Maybe I should forget about Mark. Yeah there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but I want Mark! Mum’s credit account came through now I’ll be able to get my clothes, isn't that fantastic?  Cathy M rang and asked me if Paul Sharp rang me yet because he asked Cathy what my last name is but I don’t believe her. The more I think about it the more I don’t believe her. I started crocheting a hat to wear to school but because of my bloody homework I couldn't get it finished. I hate school. I really HATE school, and bloody Mum wouldn't even finish it for me, she wouldn't even start. I slammed the bedroom door on her real hard. Debbie’s giving Ian until Wednesday to apologise and if he doesn't he’s going to drop him. Good on her. It’s about time!

Friday June 12 -  He actually beat me and beat me and beat me, and then he threw me in the corner and beat me again”

Dad, or should I say Mr. Campbell, just belt me up. He actually beat me and beat me and beat me, and then he threw me in the corner and beat me again. Then he threw me onto the cupboard and hit my head on it and then he threw me out the door. My fingers and back are aching and I've  got this monstrous headache, and Mum just sat there and watched. How she could let him, how could she? All because Mum told me to turn the stove on low and then she reckoned she didn't, the lying son of a bitch - or should I said daughter - just to protect herself. She did say on low - she did. I screamed and I screamed and cried till I could shower in all my tears - and I’m not going to apologise if it’s the last thing I do. 

I don’t go with every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes along”

Now to get on with the brighter side of things, well they weren't that bright. Everyone reckons it was bad luck today. Maths test – I flunked . Sure was bad luck. We were in the library and Craig was there and so was Denton and some other guys. Anyway I borrowed a book and I dropped my glove. Denton just kicked it around. He knew it was mine and yet he didn't pick it up. He didn't even say Hi. I felt an outcast, a dumb dumb- 2 inches tall. There must be some bad rumours going around, there must be! Deb’s back with Ian. And Joe with Mick (She wrote him this long letter). And I said "at least I don’t go with every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes along and Salmon said “ that’s cause no-one will go with you”. That really hurt me. He gave Joe and Debby a sandwich and I had no lunch but he wouldn't give me any. Oh No, the bastard. I said ‘f--k’ and Debby started blowing me up. What’s it to her what I said anyway: its none of her business. Mark was behind me when we were going to sixth period and this great dick ass grabbed him on the neck so I couldn't talk to him. Jason said hello to me today but he’s only stirring me.

" I hope your letter box blows up

I was going to catch my bus when Joe saw me and said Craig C wanted to go with me, and she was dead set. But I said No. Mark was behind me and he said “have a nice cracker night” and I said “thanks and are you having a bonfire?” And he said “no. I hope your letter box blows up. I said “oh thanks, we just got a new one”, and he said “well I’ll come around and blow it up. Oh I hope so I really do, but I doubt it. I wonder if he heard about Craig wanting to go with me but then I had to go otherwise I would've missed my bus. I almost did too. I got a phone call from one of the guys at the station, it wasn't Paul because he kept saying ‘Paul said so and so’, but it sounded like him. He said they were going to come down and watch netball but I told him we aren't playing. 

"Mum got my skirt and top of lay-by"

couldn't stop laughing today. We went to the library and I was reading these jokes which had all these ‘knock knock’s’ and all these stupid poems - I was in hysterics. I laughed so much that I cried. so did Glenda. Manzie wants to go with Glenda. Mum got my skirt and top oFf lay-by. They’re  gorgeous, I love them. She also bought some corduroy to make some jeans but it was the wrong colour and she can’t take it back either. Better go now my hands are killing me, seeya.

Saturday June 13 – “tonight was cracker night we built a fantastic bonfire and had over 150- crackers! "

Well tonight was cracker night we built a fantastic bonfire and had over 150- crackers! The bonfire itself was beautiful and every time I looked in the flame I thought of Markkkkk. The crackers were so colourful and happy. I kept thinking about how I could be so very happy when everyone else is so happy. Mum was on my back all today do this, do that, and we are getting fined 50 cents if we don’t keep the cupboards in order. CHRIST! Dad was too. I hate them. We just don’t get on. It’s as if I’m some sort of hated criminal who they have to live with. I try to see things from their point of view but it just doesn't work because they don’t try to see things from my point of view. We stayed up all night barbecuing things in the fire. And we lit all the crackers too. It was great - EXCEPT THE PARENTS!

I got a phone call from that HARRIS dick, and he wanted me to come to his place. I said I couldn't and he said he’ll come to my place then cause he thought there was no-one home, and when I told him about the bonfire he said he’d come but I said ALL the neighbours are coming and he said, “We wouldn't want that would WE!" God! I wonder what he’s got in mind? I hate to think. He said he’d ring me back so I could come to Katoomba with him. I don’t know the jerk. Well he rung me today (Sunday) and he wanted me to come and watch him play football but I said that Uncle John hadn't come yet and I hadn't seen him for over a year (the last time I saw him was about 4 weeks ago), and he said we’ll be back by 4 and I was begging Mum to say no, but she just looked at me.

Monday June 16 -" God Uncle John’s a dirty old bugger"

God Uncle John’s a dirty old bugger; he keeps talking about things that will develop ME! And then he kissed me hello and he did it on the lips and for a long time. UGH! Last time he tried to feel my back to see if I was wearing a bra. Christ! That boy rang again but Uncle John answered and said I was out for the day and then later he rang and he said I was with a friend cause she’s going back to boarding school tomorrow. Phew. What am I going to do about Wednesday? I won’t go to netball training or I’ll ask the bus driver to drop me off, and I’ll have to. All this haS gone too far. Had a big fight with Mum and I went up to Sharon’s. She forgot about the 2 weeks. When I came back she was finally nice to me, maybe she’s finally seeing my way. Mum still reckons I’m too young to go out with boys and Uncle John agrees with her. They’re just too old fashioned.

Tuesday June 17th  - “Saw a bad bitch fight today, it reminded me of me and The School Bully.”

We’re back on the balcony AGAIN. God is our group gradually breaking up. The only reason we’re up there is because Debbie’s up there and the only reason Debbie’s up there is because T’s up there. T – she talks to much, she goes on and on and she won’t let anyone talk. She’s like a broken down record. Saw Mark a couple of times: he gives me these funny looks, not nasty but affectionate (sort of). Said Hi to Denton a few times, I wish I had gone with him. 

"I don’t understand boys I just don’t understand them".

Walked passed Billy and he pushed me again. Why does he do that? Jason said gaday and I said it back, then later he avoided me. I don’t understand boys. I just don’t understand them. Paul I asked me if I was going to go with DR. I said I never heard of him, then I remembered. I told Cathy to tell him to stop ringing me because I wouldn't answer the phone because I already had a boyfriend. I saw him at the station this morning- gees he’s a creep. I got 60 out of 100 in a maths test. Isn't that bad! I think too much about boysTrouble is I like them. Oh well. Saw a bad bitch fight today, it reminded me of me and The School Bully. We’re actually allowed to wear slacks to school now. Well tomorrow’s the day, and I’m terrified. Tell you all about it tomorrow.

Wednesday June 18 -" The phone kept ringing and when we picked it up they hung up"

Didn't go to school today. I said I had an earache - I did, believe it or not. The phone was ringing all afternoon for me. Cathy rang about four times. She said she told that Harry dick that I already had a boyfriend. He said “Oh Damit.Then he rang me and asked me if I was going with Paul, plus he reckoned he was going to ask me to go with him. Then Cathy rang again and said Harry had asked her to go with him. Christ! They’re just as bad as T’s gang. Then the phone kept ringing. When we picked it up they hung up. I've got a good mind to tell them I already have a boyfriend plus I’m getting sick of their phone calls. They’re stupid plus I’m not going to answer them anymore - and I will not. Mum’s getting sick of it too and I don’t blame her. Seeya

Thursday June 19 – “Gees I was jealous”

I saw Mark flirting with Grace, and maybe even Schwarz. Gees I was jealous. I really was. Craig Campbell asked me to ask Debbie to go with him. Oh groovy, we might be out on the steps but if Jo goes with Mark we’ll be in a big muddle. I got some green slacks to wear to school.

Friday June 20 - "Craig, Debbie, and Jo and Mark were getting under their parkers and pashing each other offThey nearly got sprung by a teacher"

When we came to school we were standing right next to Denton’s group and when the bell went Mark walked past and looked at my slacks and said oh swarvo”.  Now Glenda’s after Mark. Debbie asked her if she liked Mark and she said she loved him and would go back with him and also Glenda was crying last night over it. I went to the canteen to buy some lollies and Mark was in front of me. He moved out and let me in. Wasn't that sweet?  He was behind me going to 6th period but he didn't talk to me.  He kept looking at me though not that that means anything. Denton got kept in and I met up with him and he said “Hi Petra” and we started talking not about much. I didn't know what to talk about. I should have asked him about Africa. He’s sweet and I like him a lot. I walked past Jason and Trevor and Jason said “Gaday Petra”. He’s nice too. We were in room 30. You should have seen what was going on. WOW. Craig, Debbie, and Jo and Mark were getting under their parkers and pashing each other off. They nearly got sprung by a teacher. We need one more boy to invite and I want Glen but Debbie doesn't. It will probably be Geaoff Maurice.

Saturday June 21 to Monday 23rd -" I got really scared cause I thought they were after me" 

Didn't do much over the weekend. Went to Aunty Judy’s and Uncle Paul’s but Sue wasn't there so I had a boring time. I’m going to use the rest of the space for Monday. I crocheted a hat to wear to school and I did. Now I’m crocheting a long scarf. Some kids said I look great but others, well. Mark keeps looking over but I doing think he likes me. We were playing handball and the group of boys got our ball – Trevor Anderson was almost about to throw it on the roof when he looked at me and said “It’s Petra’s ball, we can’t throw Petra’s ball on the roof”, and he gave it to me. He’s cute. He has really rosy rosy cheeks, curly hair and is short and podgy. At lunchtime Blackburn and all them started walking over my way and I got really scared cause I thought they were after me. God I was shaking like a scared rabbit. It turned out they wanted to see Mitchell Pash for something. Schwears still likes Mark and none of that group is going with anyone, gees their weak. Debbie decided whose coming. Its Glen, Peter Yates and Jeff Maurice. My periods are late and I’m going to have them while the sports carnival’s on and Debbie’s Party. Christ I’m beginning to wish I never had them,

Tuesday 24 June - "That’s supposed to me you’re sexy"

Gees Denton’s beautiful. I said hello to him. I was in the library and Denton was at the table next to me but Emma Smith and Tracey Greenduds was at it too. He came up to me and I was all red, I looked up to him and said “HI”. He’s beautiful. He asked me what I was doing, then he said “history?” and I said “yes, yuk”.  and he went away. Chris patted me on the bum and Waddell keeps putting his arm around me and pinching my bum. That’s supposed to me you’re sexy. We were in the library and Mark wasn’t in it. He was still sitting right behind me with Bradley Cabbel. And he reckoned Mark wanted to go with me. I don’t know what I’d say now. Anyway we got kicked out and I came back and said “oh your pen, do you want a pencil, you’ll have to sharpen it?”. And Mark said “girls” but I didn't hear the rest. I’m fighting with Mum. AGAIN! She’s really got the shits with me and I with her. When Mum and Dad go out I’m going to find that stir note we wrote to Downard and say I burned it - but I’ll put it in my dairy, OK. Seeya.

June 25 Wednesday - "Yesterday she stuck her fingers at my throat and my necklace"

Was going to woodwork and Denton was close to me. He smiled and said Hi. I luv him. I should have gone with him. Chris and Billy was behind and Chris said “oooh there she is Cannon, what a sight”the goons.  I keep dreaming I’m going to America and I’m writing all these letters. They’re great. Paul rang Cathy and asked her if I’d go with him. They weren't at the bus stop today thank-god. Said Hi to Mark. Cassandra was nice to me at training when only yesterday she stuck her fingers at my throat and my necklace. I’m fighting with Mum AGAIN. They thought I was on a diet because I wouldn't eat one of my two shishcababs. They won’t even believe me now!

Thursday June 26 - "I just passed English by one.Christ, how bad can you get"

My periods have come and I won’t have them for the sports carnival or Debbie’s party thank-god. I think. But I will have them for the trials, worst luck - but still. Glen said he might pair up with me. God. I came 22nd in English and got 64 out of 135. I just passed by one. Christ how bad can you get. Got to go . seeya.

Friday June 27 –“ I came fourth in Commerce and second in Woodwork”

I think Mark is going with Amanda cause they dragged him over to her and something happened and Amanda was very happy. Then I saw him come out at lunch time and then Amanda and the rest of them. I don’t really care anymore. I like Denton and he waved really nice at me. I wish we could just stay on the stairs. Jo got the shits with me cause Ian and Michael kept on following us. The loutsTrudy hates Debbie so she doesn't want to invite her. She wants to invite Robert Mason and Steven Stockton. This party isn't going to work out. Joe and I sat with Glen and Mark in science and we couldn't stop laughing. I came fourth in commerce and second in wood work. Neil Waddell said to me " your not going with anyone is you?" And I said "nope" and he said "will you go with me" and I said "nope". I thought he was only joking. He got real cut. I tapped Craig on the shoulder as I walked passed him because he did it to me yesterday, Debby rang and we had a good old nag. Seeya

Saturday June 28 - "Cassandra was nice to me. Would you believe?"

There was this beautiful guy at netball. He’s gorgeous. When he walked passed me he looked at my legs. I wish I had legs to look at. I didn't have a chance to change my pads, so when I got home from netball it was really messy. It was right through the pad and all over my pants. Yuck. You should see them when I wake up. We won 20 to 5. I played shocking, and Cassandra was nice to me. Would you believe? Debbie wants me to ring her up tomorrow. Seeya

Sunday June 29 -  "That horny kid rung"

Mum came home from golf and was in a real bad mood. When I started taking my clothes off she said “you’ll catch pneumonia” and I said “I know” and then she said “I’m just thinking how much money it going to cost” and she told me to get inside. I like the way she’s concerned about me. I wish I did get pneumonia - that would show her. That horny kid rung and reckoned he was Paul S and asked me if that David R was a dick and I said yes. He hung up on me. GOOD! Dad fixed the high jumps.

June 30 – I came first in Discuss. HOORAH

Well I came first in discuss, HOORAH. Denton and all them were up there and I was practicing hurdles. I had my 2 top buttons undone and when the bell went I was walking between them and one of them said “how's your shirt going Petra”. I said “very good” and went all red. The Bunsen Burner set the methane alight in science and I put it out and everyone’s going, “what it likes to be a hero act”. God it was funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny. Jason was on library duty. Went to the plaza at DJ's and bought presents. I got Mum some chocolate and my mallet I made in woodwork. Mum is still cranky from yesterday and I know her and Dad are fighting because of meeeeeeeeeeeeeee SEEYAAA LATER ALIGATORRR


Written By Petra Campbell

Web: www.petramcampbell.com
Email: kpmm@ozemail.com.au
Twitter: @petraau
Facebook:www.facebook.com/petra.campbell.31

4 comments:

  1. Springwood High School.......keep it coming Petra
    I might add comments when I work out the "comment as" part of this web page
    Teenagers in the 70s didn't grow up on computers and hence I've got learn how this works-but- I do recall you explaining the internet to me in the 80s and the benefits of shopping online... I thought you were nuts !
    check your email subscriptions for the 10 th march

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    1. Dear Anonymous - you did well. Better than me: when I work out how to find you in my email subscriptions, I guess Ill know who you are :-) Very surprised to hear I was a visionary back then LOL, though when I started writing I was always used the latest technology. Years of baby raising and fell a bit behind. But Ill find you soon!

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  2. Hi again
    I found your blog from a random look at facebook( I rarely -like once a year check facebook out) Last night I had a brief look and decided to read from the beginning tonight.. I'm up to Wednesday 3rd June and have to admit its well written but a wee bit hard to digest for me. Why-I'm Mark D
    I promise I will continue to read but I'm not sure I could be as brave as you and put it all out there. If you want me to make comment ,let me know but I understand its your journey.
    Its late , bed beckons

    There were a lot of girls with a dutch background in the neighbourhood now that you mention it- Cassandra VD, Cathy DG, Yolanda ?

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    1. Dear not so anonymous anymore :-) Well, I WAS only 14 :-0 Even my Mum and kids have excused me LOL. It must be sounding hilarious to you. Comment boxes are there for that - though I hope not to embarrass me any more than my diaries already do :-) There are a few points to publishing these diaries, which readers will figure out eventually.

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