I’ve had an old metal trunk for years. It’s starting to rust and it’s covered in dust (and here I’ll stop Seuss-ing about) and it’s full of valuable and vital documents, photos, books and memoribilia and I moved it from house to house through my house-sharing years. I moved it into and out of storage during my travelling years and again, moved it from house to house over the last dozen or so years of family rearing. For the last five years, it’s been resident in the dusty under parts of our Red Hill house, carefully placed on what would have been the old septic tank until last week when it needed moving to allow a plumber to do plumbery things to our hot water system.
After I got a hand from beefy number two son to help me remove the dust and cobwebs and lift it out into the open I decided it was time for its quinquennial opening, whereupon tradition dictates I should look at the contents; comment on their condition, and; close the lid for another term. The condition inspection phase was sadly ambushed by an outbreak of mould, mildew, algal bloom and an infestation of silverfish and their less excitingly named cousins, cockroaches. A large chunk of its oozed and gooed together vital and valuable contents were consigned directly to the bin, along with innumerable insects fat on years of dining on my history.
I commenced a forensic survey of the remaining contents with torch at my shoulder and squinting eyes and managed to rescue a small number of artefacts among which were two diaries – one each from 1984 and 1985. 1984 was a little lacklustre, full of banaal entries like, ‘work 8-5’, but 1985…
It seems the young urban gent had taken pen to paper and begun to record and review each day’s comings and goings, meetings and moments, thoughts and interactions. Well written – no. Clever – nup. Ready to be reviewed, re-written and remembered – I’d say so. In an ideal world, I would have commenced this at the start of the year – but the diary was still cocky fodder then – so, I’ll summarise and review the the first three months in three blogs, then start a day-by-day review of my life 27 years ago when I catch up.
To those of you who shared my life in 1985, and there are still a few left – I will pull no punches. Except of course where my natural cowardice dictates that I should prevent reporting activities, thoughts or deeds that might re-coil into the present (sounds a bit Dr Who-ish). For my younger readers, of whom there is the potential to be two (I have two sons), I will link to historical tomes and articles to provide context and explanation. For my contemporaries, I will link to whatever I can to prod memories and evoke the era and will ask questions – like where the hell was the Colony House? I seem to refer to it as a regular providore of breakfast, but have no memory of it at all – would Seinfeld forget his diner? If you happen to stumble upon this – you’ve probably stopped reading by now, but it will provide a record of an urban life in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 1985 – which coincidentally seems to be about where our new 2012 government is searching for it’s mojo. (It won’t find it!)