Saturday 29 March 2014

I'm Gonna Get That Record No Matter What!

Plato famously said "Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." Not that we were taught anything about the Ancient Greek philosopher at school since philosophy and philosophising has been left to religious leaders and economists in Australia. But we knew what Plato meant anyway because no-one’s minds and imaginations were flying higher than that of us teenagers as we moved from one age to the next. There was one thing we all had in common - we were crazy about music.

The 1970’s was woefully gadget poor when it came to teens crazy about music. We grew up with gramophone records, or vinyls, – flat polyvinal chloride disks etched with a modulated spiral groove into which you ever so carefully placed a metal stylis to coax out the music. The 33 1/3rd LP (long playing) albums were about the size of dinner plates and the 45 SP’s (single playing),  a bread plate.  Side A of the SP had the commercially released hopeful hit single. You didn't really listen to the B side, even if that was where some bands put their état d’âme.

Dad used to keep a large collection of older 78 LP’s in the roof of our house. This ancient pile of records exuded an aura of mystery and secrecy to me – no doubt just because it was in the attic, layered in dust, covered in aged sepia toned paper, no-one ever played them, and the attic was dark, except for a ray of light that seemed to beam on them from nowhere - drawing my attention as if something secret was hidden in there, or so my Nancy Drew imagination thought.  

You had to be very careful with gramophone records because they scratched easily. When you scratched your record – usually after playing it over and over and over again, and over again some - the needle would get stuck, and repeat and repeat and repeat the music,  which is where a saying comes from that is now defunct because technology has changed. Mum used to say it me all the time: "Stop asking me Petra, you're like a broken down record". Our records always seemed to scratch at the best part of the song. You couldn't dance to your favorite record in the same room as the record player either because if you bounced the floor, the very light and sensitive needle would jump and scratch your precious disc.

Music was a big part of my childhood. Dad was always singing around the house and in the garden as he pruned the beans, pulled out weeds and planted seeds. He had a crooning Dean Martin style timbre with which he would serenade Mum, making us feel warm and fuzzy inside. He told us that when he met my mother in London he was singing with Rolph Harris. His close friends often lamented the lost opportunity of a singing career but Dad never pursued it once back in Australia.  He also used to sing to us: silly little songs with nonsensical words he just made up to tunes he also invented.

Mum loved to listen to her gramophone records. To set the mood, she would turn on the red lamp in the lounge room with its transparent shell motif , and the orange shaggy ball light,  ignite a few candles, and put on French, German and Dutch LP’s. Unlike Dad however, when she tried to sing along to Heinje or Edith Piaf, nothing came out that didn't make the dogs howl and us kids run for the bush jamming our ears. I always thought Mum was deliberately making fun of herself when she sang, but I caught her singing alone one day. Turns out that her scratchy off key whine is actually her real singing voice. Mum laughs her unendowed vocal chords off with "I always said I had a career on the stage".

I mostly tuned into the radio to listen to the top 100 music hits while doing household chores I was ordered to do and that took as long as the radio did to get through the top 100. Like emptying every cupboard in the kitchen, washing  them out with hot soapy water, bleaching the waxed floral paper that covered the wooden shelves, finding the matching lids to the Tupperware containers and putting them all together, wiping down and arranging the herbs and spices and leaking sticky sauce bottles, putting everything back on their shelves in perfect Dutch order,  then  mopping and bleaching the lino kitchen floor, dusting the house from the top of the paintings and wall hangings to the corners of every room, and vacuuming the whole house, which I timed to do when songs came on I didn't much like

To actually see our cherished bands we had to wait a whole week just to watch Countdown on Sunday night at 6pm. If our favourite groups were not on Countdown that week, we had to wait another week - or even longer. If you were really lucky and could steal the TV time from your parents, you could watch the repeat of Countdown on Saturday night.  Once our idols left the top of the charts though, we had to wait until they bought out a new hit to see them again, unless you went to a concert which not many of us 14 year olds were allowed to do.

Dad sold records at his Eric Anderson franchise so his shop was popular with teens. We  would spend hours just flicking through disks, looking at the hot band members and the artwork on the album covers, and trying to find lyrics to songs we loved but couldn't decipher because the lead singer ate them during recording.  Dad would bring records home for me at times when I relentlessly begged for them like I did after I discovered The Sweet, but mostly I had to save my hard earned pocket money to buy myself records, or wait for my birthday and Christmas.

Countdown was our church, and Molly Meldrum with his casual but passionate party animal/best mates straight to the point style of hosting and interviewing, was our Minister. Countdown had just started the year before, in 1974, on our national broadcaster, the ABC. It was the most popular music program in Australian television history and was one of the first TV shows to be made entirely in colour - although we didn't have a colour TV yet since it only came out a few months ago, in March 1975, so we were still watching Countdown in black and white. 

Australia was off the beaten track for bands on concert tours so Countdown was heavily reliant on music videos rather than live performances. But by 1975 a well oiled production machine began pumping out Australian bands and Countdown was putting them on show for Australia and the world to see. This helped  in no insignificant way to raise the profile, popularity and subsequent record sales and international success  of our own Aussie bands. When bands performed on Countdown they had to mime to their own music, or lip sync. Some artists were better than others at it: it was disappointing as a teen because it looked like the bands were not capable of performing live, when nothing was further from the truth. Back then Australian bands and musicians were real artists – they could play instruments, write lyrics and music, and had amazing voices. Often they looked good too, although not always, and that wasn't important - even if it helped -  because  what mattered was the creative package. This was Australian music – our music, our culture, our style, and it was as good as anything the rest of the world was producing. In those days Australia had space for boys to build a band - land and garages to jam in - and far less regulation of the sort that comes with more and more people squashed together in an urban environment.

The 70's produced a unique Australian sound, whereas music coming from the rest of the world seemed unremarkable and all over the place to me, as it transitioned from the 60's - dominated by The Beatles - to the 80's, via disco of the second half of the 70's. Countdown gave Australian artists and groups oxygen and opportunity: Olivia Newton-John,  Hush, John Paul Young, Sherbet, Skyhooks, Marcia Hines, Mark Holden, The Angels, Little River Band, William Shakespeare, Renée Geyer, Jon English, Ted Mulry Gang, Captain Matchbox and the Whoopie Band, Skyhooks,  Dragon, Air Supply, Rose Tatoo, and Steve Wright with his 14 minute epic, Evie - Parts 1,2, 3 . Midnight Oil, the alternative rock band of the time, refused to play on Countdown because it was too commercial for them. Countdown also nurtured the artists who were founded in the late 70's but would make it big in the 80's like Australian Crawl, Split Ends, INXS, Mondo Rock, Men at Work, Icehouse, Jimmy Barnes, Mental As Anything, Kylie Minogue and the Divinyls. When I was looking for the Countdown performances that I refer to in my diaries, I couldn't find them on You Tube. I was astonished to learn that nearly all of the master videotapes from 1974 to 1978 were erased and taped over to save money: 100 episodes in total were forever removed from television history. Only 30 episodes remain from 1974-78 and just 2 from 1976, and this is only because two ABC employees ferreted them away so they couldn't be confiscated by cost cutting managers.

As brilliant as our Aussie bands were becoming by the mid 70’s, they were singing about adult themes. I listened to lyrics  as much as to the tune and the beat, and the lyrics were too heavy for me in the first half of the 1970's. I was still dreaming of  ‘going with’ a boy I liked, much less getting married, lamenting over my rose garden that was never promised to me, then getting divorced. And the quirky songs  that came from abroad like “Loving You” by Mini Ripperton and Captain and Tenille's  "Love Will Keep Us Together" did not get on with me at all.

Then came The Sweet. Finally a rock band that spoke the language of my 14 year old self. In  Fox on the Run,  Brian Connolly told me I “looked alright befo,o,o,o,ore”: I just had a disastrous 1970’s haircut, and I looked much worse now. I can relate to that. He also didn't want to 'know my name' - just like Mark! Then Brian told me to “take a run and hide yourself away”: yeah, I often wanted to run and hide myself away..... The Sweet were not some older experienced men telling us young girls to 'jump in their car' so they could 'take us home', or some hairy older man with a long beard and an overgrown moustache singing about a 16 year old girl. The Sweet were glamorously hot and stylish in 1975, and musically tight. Their tunes, rhythm, guitar and Micks unbelievable drumming, got into your bone marrow, while Steve spellbound you with his swimmingly seductive eyes. Brians powerful voice  told us 14 year old virgins to 'Peppermint Twist', 'Ballroom Blitz' and 'Teenage Rampage'. They wore funky clothes, had sleek hair and taught bodies, and they wore pretty makeup. Girls thought they were beautiful - all of them. My 15 year old son didn't agree when I pointed them out on You Tube. “I think the guys look like ugly girls” he grunted.

My diary entries on The Sweet this month are amusing for the generational gap they reveal: I think my parents "have no idea whats it like to be crazy about a rock band'. Dad  mutters that The Sweet "would be OK if they could sing” and  wont let me go to a  Sweet concert because I would be "a screaming girl", while making jokes about whether or not I had served myself some 'Sweet' potatoes from the roast dinner. 
When I asked Mum at the age of 72 if she was ever a screaming teen, she said  “But of course I was! We had the Beatles!”. She didn't dare admit to this when she was a teenager's mother.

The World in 1975 - Heads of State

While The Sweet rocked my world in the last half of 1975, ruling the dominant world and rocking it in an entirely and often terrifying way, were the following men and one woman: 

creative commons
Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister. Australia
creative commons
Leonid Brezhnev. General Secretary. USSR 

creative commons
Valery Giscard d'Estaing. President. France
creative commons
Pierre Trudeau. Prime Minister. Canada

creative commons
Gerald Ford. President. USA
creative commons
Harold Wilson. Prime Minister. United Kingdom

creative commons
Aldo Moro. President. Italy

creative commons
Helmut Schmidt. Chancellor. West Germany
creative commons
Indira Ghandi. Prime Minister. India

Takeo Miki - Prime Minister.Japan
Luis Echeverría. President. Mexico 
Ernesto Geisel. Military President. Brazil.


My mother used to list all the important heads of state on a piece of paper at home and whenever they changed, she would cross them out and write down the new leader. 

I'm Gonna Get That Record No Matter What!

August 1975

It is now my favorite month of the school year because we have a sports competition with a Newcastle high school called Jesmond, and to practice for Jesmond we play against Penshurst Girls High and Hurstville Boys High. These were fun and exciting exchanges when we fraternised with students from far away schools  and backed our own school's sporting teams as they defended our honor. Sebastion Hardy, Australia's first symphonic rock band, play at our school this month - a privilege lost on me as my attention was firmly directed at our boys.  

I am babysitting at the age of 13 while my parents go out and am scheming as to where to plant my sister so I can go to a party where a teary drama erupts. And I'm about to be nauseatingly infatuated with  new a boy. As I typed up “He hates me, I love him, it’s not fair" , my 15 year old son told me “You’re a retard Mum”.

It’s the winter school holidays already. I'm stuck at home but Mum takes us to the Museum for the first time - on the same day as The Sweet concert I'm not allowed to go to! I can almost feel the concert hall breathing down my neck from the dinosaur exhibition. I'm already interested in extinct species  as I was not happy that the Museum didn't have a Dodo.

My friends are all on holidays.  When our friends went on holidays they wrote letters and sent post cards, which took soooo long to reach us that we usually didn't get them until after our friends were back at school. When the cards were sent from unpronounceable places in  far away lands, it took even longer, if they ever made it to Australia at all.

Friday August 1 “Dad reckons I’m too young to go to concerts in Sydney”

GUESS WHAT? Now I can’t even go to the party - and not just because of Mum, but Mum and Dad are going out and I have to babysit. Dam! Dam! Dam! If my sister goes to the Girl’s Brigade then maybe someone can drop her off at JB’s or something, but I doubt it. Why do my bloody parents always interfere with everything? It’s not bloody fair. I’m sure JB wouldn't just cancel it to Saturday for me. So it looks positive I can’t go. I reckon she should have it on Saturday. So then everyone can shower and wash their hair if they want to, but what's the use of thinking? If I can’t go I can’t go. I’ll just bawl my head off. SHIT. Oh another thing Mum’s put her foot into AS per usual. I wanted to go and see The Sweet in concert on the 18th of August but everything Mum said made it look even more of a positive NO . Dad reckons I’m too young to go to concerts in Sydney. He reckons I’ll scream my head of like everyone else. CHRIST. I so much wanted to see them, they are my favourite group - and with all my friends.

Monday August 3 No Wonder I Dreamed Someone is Trying to Choke Me - Someone Always IS Choking Me!

Jason said “Gaday Petra”. Jason’s beautiful. I walked past Mitchell Pash, and he said “Oh you again!” and I said “Yes me again. What are you going to do about it?”, and he grabbed my neck and started squeezing it, so I did the same. At the end of 8th period Denton ran past and goes See-ya Petra” and I said “I’ll race you!” and so I did.  Debbie dropped Craig just to go with Ian straight after, and now she wants to go back with Craig. How low can you get. The party’s still on Friday and I've written  a letter to Mrs  Lennon asking if my sister can stay overnight with her, but I don’t think it’s gonna turn out. I bet I can’t go. I bet, I bet, I bet. Oh yeah, now we’re on the balcony - AGAIN. I’m not going!

Wednesday August 5 - “But I like you better”

You know how Debbie was going with Craig and then dropped Ian and went with Craig again? Now she wants to go back to Ian. So in choir we wrote a note to Craig explaining all this about him - always flirting with other girls  - and Debbie started blowing me up cause Craig likes me better than Debbie. Yesterday he goes “I dropped Debbie” and then he goes, “Stir stir” and then “But I like you better” and I said “Stir stir”. And he said “Why do you think I asked you to go with me before I asked Debbie?” and she blows me up for it. Trudy wrote this great long nasty letter calling Debbie and Jo a bunch of moles  and all this. Fancy doing what Debbie did, cheap thrills whoop whoop.

Oh guess what? There’s going to be a whole of 2 boys coming to JB’s party and I can go! I’m staying at JB’s over night and catching a bus home. Glenn isn’t coming cause bloody Michael reckons he’s gonna bash him and Mark up so that knocks them out for boys. Carol Irons reckoned David was gonna see me after the bus stopped for netball but he wasn't there, thank God. Jason waved at me and I waved back, and I waved at Denton who was in the car with his mother. I think I embarrassed him. Oh I hope not. Then I tried to hurry Cathy so we could walk behind them, mainly for Jason’s sake, but then he walked back to catch a bus. He smiled and said hello and I asked him how he went in hockey but they lost 4-0. I said “bad luck” and “Seeya”. He’s beautiful. Then we slowed down cause I hate the B guy. Cathy was smoking on the way.  Then Craig met up with me. I didn't talk to him much but he walked me all the way home. He just asked about Mitchel Pash and Chris Dixon. I was walking past these guys and they said "Chris Dixon likes this chick in 2nd form called Petra", and they looked at me and whistled. I've seen Robert Evert and Elis lately.

Thursday August 6 “I didn't feel very brave”

I said gaday to Jason and he said it to me, and then on the way to scripture he said “Gaday Petra” and then he said gaday at woodwork. He’s beautiful!  Craig keeps looking at me and I feel terrible. We played handball and then the boys took off with the ball. Ann Blackburn and all them kept looking at me and I didn't feel very brave.  I ran into the boys and they were all trying to hit me, and Trevor said hello and so did Jason.  Denton and all of them are in the Hurstville hockey isn't that great! Glenda, Jo and Debbie had a good old talk about me. I hope they enjoyed themselves because I’m not talking to them tomorrow. Takes G to bring it up. JB invited Robert to the party. I hope he comes.

August 7 Friday  - JB’s Party

An entry is missing….."X kept going down Y’s jeans all the time. I reckon he was coming. X goes “ God I love you Y” and Y goes “ I love you too”. We walked from Debbie to JB's through the bush and I lost one glove, one tassel and my brush. Bloody fantastic.  Guess what my mother went and told Mrs. Baily? That she thought Debbie might have organised the party just so she could be with the boys. Debbie starts blowing the shit out of me just because my mother has a f’ing big mouth.  Then I started to cry and Debbie came and said sorry. Then Mrs Baily came to find out what was wrong and Debbie started crying and said “ I don’t like people saying things about me which aren't true”, although everything in here is true. Debbie WAS organising JB’s party and not even asking whether ‘so and so’ could come or not. Anyway Mrs Baily was raving on about not trying to cause trouble and how my mother is protective and all this crap. When we came out and told the other kids, JB started crying, and then I started crying again. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't see how Mum could possibly have done something like that. Debbie then had the shits with me and later she had a fight with Ian cause of Craig and they still haven’t made up. Serves herself right. In one week she went with Craig, dropped Craig, went with Ian, dropped Ian, went with Craig, dropped Craig and went with Ian. And now they’re having a fight. I don’t know. I stayed over night at JB’s and Stephen Stricton nearly had to stay cause his brother forgot to pick him up. The party was really boring, I tell you, really boring.

Saturday August 8 “Mum and she reckons she never said it”

Mum came and picked me up and Mrs. Baily told her about last night. I was all shitty with Mum and she reckons she never said it, only that she thought Debbie had organised the party not JB. I didn't umpire today and I didn't play. 
André played goal attack and she played fantastic . Mrs Goetze wants Robin out of the grand final and I bet I’ll have to be goal shooter and André goal attack. I played in the Panthers and we played the Eagles and lost 83 to 9. Isn't that disgusting.

August 9 Sunday  - “Dad hit me real hard with the end of the hose attachment”

Played netball today and lost against the sharks 22 to 10 because we only had 4 players. Van Dyke didn't turn up, neither did Campton or De Grath or Stafford - great team. Boy were we bad tempered. I told Debbie about my party and she goes “oooo” and “is your Mummy going to be there” and I said “yes” and she said “UGH” and later gave Mum a dirty look. That started a real war between me and Mum and Dad. Mum came in and I didn't look at her because I was real cranky. She pulled my hair like crazy, and I didn't change the look on my face or cry - until later. Then Dad hit me real hard with the end of the hose attachment and threatened me with the strap if I gave Mum the dirty look.  God I HATE them. I hate their guts and I wish I was dead. I just want to get away from them. They make me sick up to my head and to my toes. If only I hadn't have gone to the party.

Monday august 10 “It looked like her eyeball was all squashed”.

Went to Penshurst today. Jason and Denton were at the bus top and Jason kept looking at me. When we get off the bus I met up with all the boys and they all said hello and we had morning tea. Jason was next to me in line and he gave me a cup. The lady that was serving slopped the soup all over my hands and then Tracy Greenaway hit my cup and the soup splashed everywhere. Then we went to the change rooms and got changed and came out for a welcoming speech. Then I went down to Penshurst Park to watch Denton and all them play hockey. Denton, while he was playing, said hello several times and I was cheering them on. They lost 3-0. Jason was reserve so he didn't play and I should have talked to him but I didn't. Jenny Morisson got hit in the eye with a hockey stick and all the blood went over her eye. It looked like her eyeball was all squashed.

We walked back to the school with Jason and all them and then I started to talk to some Penshurst girls. Gees they were nice, they really were. I met them again at the corridor of the school and they asked me if they were allowed to walk through there cause some of the boys went through there in studs and they went flying. Mitchell Pash went flying and got caught on the door and went flying through the air. God it was funny. I got lost millions of times. We had lunch and we sat down to eat and Jason and all them sat next to us. Jason went to get seconds and I said “oh you guts” and got another one myself. Oh yeah, Trevor got his hair cut. Somewhere Jason tapped me on the shoulder and said “gaday Petra” and then he smiled and said "did you win?" And I said “we haven’t played yet” and he goes “oh”.  We lost 2-1. One time we were losing 8-16. I started serving, and from my serve we came from 8 right up to 20 to win the game. Wasn’t that great! Anyway we got changed and went to the presentation: the girls won and the boys lost. We then went home and I waited for the boy’s bus to come in but Jason didn’t get off. When I was walking home this bloke in a car gave me they eye, and he lifted his eyebrow and smiled and then a truck drove past and the bloke in it waved at me. Altogether I had a fantastic time, especially with Jason and all them.Im glad I went.

Tuesday August 11“Gees  he’s beautiful. Not in looks, but plain old beautiful"                                                                                                                                                                  
Jason hates me. He didn't say hello at all today.  He had plenty of chances to. He was in the library at lunch and he was right behind me and he could of said hello on the way home as well. He did say Hi once, just a plain old Hi, because he was sort of pushed into it, cause we were walking in an open area and he was by himself and I passed him almost touching him. Gees  he’s beautiful. Not in looks, but plain old beautiful. I was forced into saying Hi to B in the library. UGH. Denton wasn't at school and Chris is back, seeya

August 12 Wednesday - I'll be looking for you in the magazine”

We had our photos taken for sport and mine was taken almost first, but I hung around for the rest. Mark asked me if I had my photo taken and I said “yes” and he said “I'll be looking for you in the magazine”. Then Chris came over and asked for money and asked what Mark wanted. Got off the bus at Cathy’s and Paul Sharp was there. Just as we were leaving Raegen's train came in and he looked at me all the time.

Thursday August 13 – “I wouldn't go with him if you paid me”

Jason said "Gaday Petra" and I smiled. Ann was behind him. She gave me a real dirty look. Had one free period for maths and I went out to the quadrangle. Jason, Craig and Mark were out there and about five minutes later, I had to go back. I met Mark along the way. We started talking about photos and what English class we were in. Then 5th period we were suppose to get our photos taken but they didn't have the time so we had to do it in 6th period. Anyway, we were shooting goals with the rubber ball and it kept going down near the metalwork room.  Paul Irons kept saying "How’s R going? And I said "I wouldn't go with him if you paid me" and he kept saying how’s R? UGH. Later I walked passed Jason and Denton and Jason saw me and he didn't say hello or smile or anything. He just gave me a dirty look. He hates me. I love him. It’s not fair. I was sweeping the woodwork room for open night and Big Craig goes “Keep on sweeping”. Went to open night and I had to cook a cheese cake in front of everyone. Brenden was there. I didn't go to school today because I was sick (  I still am). I’m all dizzy and I have a headache, it’s terrible.

Saturday August 16 I feel just awful

I played netball today, and I umpired. Now I feel even worse.  I just about fainted on the court. We won 20-8 we were suppose to play tomorrow but the other team forfeited. Thank God. We probably would have lost cause we would've had only 4 players. I thought I would've been better but I’m not and feel just awful. Seeya.

Sunday august 17 - Countdown had an interview with the SWEET (YEAH)

I feel even worse than ever today. Boy do I have a big headache. I slept for a while and got rid of half of it, but it just came back again. I want to go to school tomorrow but Dad said if I’m still sick I have to stay home. I miss Jason. Countdown had an interview with The Sweet (YEAH) and then they put FOX ON THE RUN (YEAH) Gees they're a fantastic group. Tomorrow’s their concert and I can’t go (boohoo). Oh well. Seeya

Monday August 18 - Well I’ll just have to find someone else

Well none of the boys even said hello. Later on though Jason smiled but he was forced to. I love his smile, and him. At lunch time they kept on looking my way every now and then but I doubt that it was me, probably Debbie. Jason’s got all the third form girls after him, especially Anna, Gaye and Debbie Grace, and he would rather them then me. Oh Bum. I wish I could go with him but he likes all the third form chicks. Well I’ll just have to find someone else. So there. Seeya (sadly)

August 19 Tuesday - Debbie bought me The Exorcist

Well Jesmond came today. Some of the boys were quite nice but surprisingly enough I didn't talk to any of them except one girl, (oh a couple of them) and 2 boys. Jason wasn't here today, worst luck. Mark and Brenden and all of them sat near us and Mark kept looking at me. I don’t like him now. He picks now to like me, doesn't he? Why not when I liked him? Wherever I went Mark was there. Oh yeah, Debbie bought me the exorcist, WOW. Fantastic eh? seeya.

Wednesday august 20 - I spent most of the day looking at Jesmond boys

Denton was here today and he played in the Open Hockey. Didn't see much of Mark today. Well we won against Jesmond (YEAH) and we had a great assembly. I spent most of the day looking at Jesmond boys. There was one really nice guy but he already had a girlfriend. I was talking to Graham Stanton and Jim Mackenzie at the farewell to Jesmond. God it was funny. Collin Boyd was really flirty because I waved at him yesterday. I miss Jason and he hates me. Not fair. Denton winked at me and smiled again. seeya.

Thursday august 21 “and that’s all”

Jason was at school today, hoorahhh. But he never said hello or even smiled or anything. I waved once to Big Craig and that's all I had to do with those boys all day except Denton who said hello too. Seeya.

Friday August 22 Sebastian Hardy Play in Concert at Springwood High School
It was mufti day today. I wore my green skirt, my top, and a pair of thongs and a coat. Mum tried to make me wear stockings today. Ha!!! Jason was wearing these overalls and great big boots. Chris Dixon asked me to go to the pictures with him (God) and then he hung around for a while talking. Glenda reckoned Jason kept looking at me but if he liked me enough to look at me then he would say hello, don’t you think?  

The Sebastian Hardy concert was on today. I sat with all the boys. When they sat down Jason only smiled at me. Big Craig got grass all over him. I brushed it off and he goes “thanks, my Mum won’t have to clean it now”. Jason only turned around a couple of times and smiled but I mostly watched him and not Sebastian Hardie. Someone bought a can of beer and everyone was into it like they’d never had a drink before. Jason turned around and stuck his thumbs up: “beauty mate”, as if to say. Sue Stephens said out loud in front of everyone, “I know why you're sitting there” and points to Jason. Jason and Denton turned around and said “who?” but Sue reckons she never told him. Anyway Denton got really upset and his face was really sad. God she’s got a big mouth. 
Then Craig wanted to read the part in The Exorcist where Regan sticks the cross up herself, and then Denton wanted to read it. And as I was putting it back Jason goes “is it there where she sticks the crucifix up herself” and he starts going on. God he’s beautiful. I wish he’d like me. I’m going miss him now that the holidays are on. Two weeks of doing nothing –how boring. Better not complain. Nothing I can do about it.

Saturday August 23“Mum and Dad reckon I'm going to be a good cook”.

Sorry Diary I haven’t written to you for a while. Today’s Wednesday and I’m writing in it for

Saturday. Disgusting isn't it. Well it’s the holidays finally – UGH. God it’s boring. I made some biscuits and a cheese cake, and I cooked a veal dish. Dad and Mum reckon I’m going to be a good cook but I doubt it. I watched the Time Machine! Boy it was good. It was much the same as the book but in so many places it was quite different. Seeya

August 24, Sunday -  “God it was embarrassing!”

Just think. Debbie and JB are on the same ship and probably in Queensland now getting ready for their trip back on the plane. Wasn't much of a holiday though - just the weekend. Oh well it’s better than none. I got a letter from Jo. She’s at Ayers Rock having a ball I s'pose. I forgot to tell you, on Friday, Turnbull tried to get rid of me by sending me around with a card to sign for Mr McAlpine . I had to go into every classroom in the school! God it was embarrassing! See-ya.

Monday August 25“Her’s pants were down to her ankles. CHRIST. How could she!”.

Mums still pretty sick. I had to cook the tea. I made meatballs. Not being modest or anything but they were nice. Well I liked them anyway. I've started on my Thailand project. It’s really boring. There’s nothing to do except sit around and listen to the radio. My sister found out about my periods cause there was blood on my pants cause they lasted 8 days, and Mum said she’s going to have to put me on the pill just to regulate me. I’m pretty well regulated now, except for the last time. Can you imagine all the fun I could have if I were on the pill? Not that I would. I wouldn't, not yet anyway. Christ. But can you imagine for a girl my age who was that way inclined, who was put on the pill. God. Christ. Speaking of that. At Neil Wadells party G went to bed with W and when the covers were lifted off them W’s pants were down to her ankles. – CHRIST!! How could she! Seeya.
Wednesday August 27“I’ve done it again”
I've done it again dairy. Today is Saturday and I’m writing for Wednesday. Well I’m sorry. I worked on my project today. That’s all.

ThursdayI Go the Museum for the First Time: “They didn't have a Dodo!”

Went to the museum today. It was great except for Mum got all cranky cause I didn't stay with her. We caught a train from Glenbrook to Penrith. Boy the train was cramped. Then from Penrith to St Marys. From there we caught a bus to Blacktown where we caught another train to Central and from Central to the City Circle, and from there another train to the museum. Wow. The train we caught home was just from the Museum to the City Circle and from there to Central, then straight through to Glenbrook. 
On the bus a lady said “well if the children stood up so we adults could sit down”, so we moved over and I said “excuse me there’s a seat here” and she just stuck her nose up and didn’t sit down, the hack. I did my good deed for the day and let a pregnant lady sit down (dada).

The museum was really fascinating. There were about 3 floors downstairs and at one part there was 3 floors upstairs, and to the side another three floors up. They had dinosaurs and all that, and another place of fossils where they also had dinosaurs or remains of dinosaurs, and then another place of dinosaurs  where they were painting pictures. A bloke asked me if I would like to paint but I didn't. They had millions of birds (stuffed) everywhere! And another place of stuffed furred animals. WOW. And they even had the Tasmanian Devil! Precious stones and other stones; they had millions of them, and a couple of places of sea animals and insects and snakes and all of these things. It was really good.

Boy was I scared. I was shaking like mad 

The only thing I was looking for, that they never had was a Dodo. They didn't even have a picture of him – oh well. They had stuff on Aborigines and the beginnings of civilisation . They had Mummies – UGH, and stamps (not many of them). It was really great. I could have stayed there for ages. Oh yeah, they had a Hall of Life which was really good too. It was on the very top floor with no-one else except this bloke. I walked to the entrance and he looked at me for a while, but he just stayed near the entrance. I walked around once and he was still there, and when I came to the end he was waiting at the entrance so I waited for him to go but he wouldn't. He just kept staring at me so I raced out and looked at snakes. A little way down the stairs and he started walking towards me so I ran down the stairs, and he came to the railing and sneered at me. Boy was I scared. I was shaking like mad. I looked all over the museum for Mum but I couldn't find her. You know where she was? Watching I film – God. And on top of that she reckons she was looking for me and that she was dead tired and dying from looking for me – CHRIST! My sister said that Mum sent her to look for me, and that my sister was the one who was looking for me, not her. My sister was the one who found me and took me to the films. Mum wanted to go home but Dawn didn't and she goes, “we’ll have to come another day kids”. Not to make it obvious – gees. We went to a Greek restaurant. God it was filthy place. Altogether it was great except for Mum’s cranky mood. Seeya,

Friday August 29 – “that night I got a great lecture from Dad”

I had a massive fight with Mum. She tried to sneak out this morning to go shopping. I got up early and got dressed just so she wouldn't get cranky and she wouldn't let me come shopping with her. She finally let me come. I had to walk next to her ALL THE TIME! CHIRST! Because I walked by myself yesterday. She walked out the front door and I shouted "I hate you" and "God you're a Bitch" – GOOD. She reckoned I wanted to go for a special reason. Then that night I got a great lecture from Dad. SHIT.

Saturday August 30“ I got her postcard the day before she came back!”

Debbie rang this morning. She has come back from Canberra. She’s sent me a postcard but I haven’t got it yet. We talked about the holidays and what we were wearing to school (which uniform that is). I told her that Craig was going with Jenny Higgins but she already knew because Glenda told her. Oh yeah, Glenda sent me a postcard. I got it the day before she came back! Jo sent another card to Debbie and not to any of us! Debbie goes “there’s a spider in the woods here”. Oh well, Debbie is Jo’s best friend anyway. Seeya.

Sunday August 31 – “They just don’t understand what it’s like to have a crush on a pop group.”

Well I bought a scrap book today and stuck in all my things worth remembering. I've got all the letters that have ever been sent and postcards (plenty of them) and all my Christmas cards and birthday cards, school magazines, and photos. And I've got a page on hair. So far I've got Mums, mine, Dads, my sister’s  and Tigers, our cat. My sister was nearly in hysteria when I tried to get some of Tiger’s hair. Oh well. That’s just my sister. Countdown was really FANTABULOUS! They had Sherbet announcing, and Pilot - LIVE! And John Young and the Bay CityRollers live! And David Essex and a whole stack of others. You should have heard all the screaming for them. Wow.

Last but not least they had THE SWEET!!! They got a gold record for Ballroom Blitz and another one for Peppermint Twist, and they’re getting a gold record for “Fox on The Run” (yeah) and also for their album “Sweets Greatest hits”. Isn't that great! I’m gonna get that record, no matter what!. I've gone nuts over the SWEET. I don’t know why but I simply love them and all their songs (WOW). To think I was in Sydney, Thursday, the day of their other concert. I could have easily gone. Boy does that make me mad. But every time I hear their record, Fox on the Run, I go nuts. And then I get this funny feeling inside me and I just have to see them. It’s weird. But I love the SWEET. On Countdown they and Ballroom Blitz.
Dad was going off his brain and saying they might sound alright if they could sing”. Ha! Dad asked me if I had my potato and then he said “what have you got –a  SWEET Potato?” Boy he’s funny ( ha ha). I’m in hysterics. He has to knock me just cause I happen to like a pop group. Mum or Dad never did such a thing. Mum’s so God damned perfect (so SHE reckons). Is shits me up the wall. They just don’t understand what it’s like to have a crush on a pop group. Oh well, that’s parents. I must remember though, they were kids once, and I’m going to be an adult (if I ever get there). Dad tries to see my point of view (sometimes) but Mum won’t even TRY. It’s sickening. I've got a letter from Debbie. Seeya.

Written by Petra Campbell

Twitter: @petraau