My First… Blogging Challenge #3

This week’s topic is My First Obsession. You can find Kerri’s post here.

I had the usual pre-pubescent obsessions with horses but living in a flat in Bondi meant I never owned my own horse and after a few school holiday horse riding camps my equine obsession faded and was replaced with possibly my life obsession: boys.

Representing the beginning of this journey is Leif Garrett.

Leif 1


Leif 2


Surfin’ USA came out in 1977 when I was 9 years old so more than likely I simultaneously loved horses and boys.

Just like today when young girls fall madly (and totally inexplicably) in love with Justin Bieber, One Direction and their annoying ilk, I fell madly (and totally inexplicably) in love with young Leif and his cohorts Shaun Cassidy, his (more mature) brother David Cassidy, The Bay City Rollers, the embarrasing list goes on and on.

I listened to their awful “original” songs and their slightly less awful covers (which at the time I did not know were covers because young girls are idiots) on constant rotation. The cassette tapes played and rewound and played and rewound.

I thought they were the most wonderful humans on the planet: beautiful, talented, smart (!!) and just a gift to all us mere mortals. What I wouldn’t have done to somehow fall into their orbit… goodness only knows what I would have done should I have been granted my pathetic wish.

So this early obsession has led to a lifelong obsession with boys and music… I’m a lot older now but quite obviously not a lot wiser.

My First… Blogging Challenge #2

Continuing with Kerri’s “My First…” Blogging Challenge here is her post about her first moment of terror.

Here is mine…

This is the moment that sprang to mind immediately when I read this challenge and while it is probably not genuinely my “first” moment of terror it is the one that clearly stands out. It is probably my first moment of real life terror rather than movie induced terror (for example the many nights my friend A and I would lock ourselves away in her rumpus room basement while her parents were out, turn out all the lights and watch the Evil Dead over and over until we were so scared we couldn’t even go down the hall to the toilet until her parents returned).

Anyway, I’m thinking of a night (and I could be wrong because my memories of those times are mixed up, people and events jumbled together, often randomly to form inaccurate pictures… perhaps my friend KG who has remarkable memories of this time in our lives can chime in) in early December 1983. I’m reasonably sure it was the last day of Year 10 and my friends and I had gone into the city to celebrate. I am fiften and I am about to start my first full time job the following Monday. I feel incredibly grown up, immortal, invicible.

Our main hang out at the time was the Central Markets Hotel which stood where the Pumphouse (if that still exists) stands near the Entertainment Centre. This was pre Darling Harbour and that part of the city was dark and rat infested and pretty bloody awful. Just perfect for a bunch of suburban teenage girls hanging around the outskirts of the Sydney skinhead scene.

So there we were at the Central Markets Hotel. We’d ordered schooners of beer and for some reason (was it a hot night? probably) we found ourselves outside, in the lane. My memory is of standing in that lane, or possibly sitting on milk crates and looking over at a group of the “senior” skinheads (Stretch, Spider, their underlings) standing nearby. These were the scary boys; probably they were only a few years older than us but they were big and mean and capable of real violence. We knew their reputations but we were not really in their orbit.

The moment that I remember and that still fills me with some sort of fear was when they turned around and looked at us. We had floated around these people for a couple of years but I had never felt them notice us. They were our dubious celebrities; we knew them but they didn’t know, or could possibly care less about, us. Suddenly they noticed us. But it was not a good moment. So clearly I remember being filled with dread because I suddenly and for the first time saw the situation for what it was. Big, violent grown men looking at a group of ridiculous teenage girls.

It had never occurred to me before that we were in danger but suddenly the possibility of that danger hit me very hard. It was almost like having a panic attack. I realised how vulnerable we were and how reptilian they were, looking upon as sport.

It’s funny that I don’t remember how that evening ended. I have a feeling we got out of there. Even thinking about it now I want to run out of that scene; did we run? I can’t remember. Did we stay away from the skinhead scene? No we did not. I know we stopped going to the Central Markets Hotel around that time but possibly that was because it was about to get knocked down.

This is the memory which makes me understand how and why young girls (and boys) get themselves into serious trouble. There is just no risk assessment mechanism in a teenage brain (at least there wasn’t in mine). I look back at this moment and many others which were to follow and realise how lucky I am to have made it to adulthood. It was certainly much more to do with luck than with any sensible behaviour on my part.

My First… Blogging Challenge #1

Kerri over at Life & Other Crises has started a blogging challenge which I think will be quite interesting and I certainly need some motivation to get blogging again.

Here is her post about the challenge and her first act of rebellion.

Here is mine…My First Act of Rebellion:

I was such a goody goody in primary school I’m fairly sure there were no open acts of rebellion until high school but something happened in Year 7… I like to call it hormones… which turned me from the aforementioned goody goody into a full on, snarling, manic rebel.

Apart from the hormones I think just annoying my parents would have been a major motivation for my oppositional behaviour. I probably didn’t think about it like that at the time but I certainly see it pretty clearly with the benefit of hindsight.

1980: Year 7, Term 3 I moved from St Catherine’s (a private C of E Girls’ School in the Eastern Suburbs, where I attended for two terms due to a scholarship) to Malvina High School in Ryde (a very much public school known affectionately as Molevina). This was the start of the what I now know to be the best years of my life.

I met my soon to be best friends A and F and we plunged head first into the world of subcultures. This is probably what I consider my first act of rebellion.

Our first forray into pissing off our parents by dressing “differently” was what I call the Rocky Horror phase. It wasn’t a true subculture but it had all the makings of one. Specific clothes, a group of people who identified with each other, music, “style”.

My memory of this time was dressing in a black tutu with leggings (one leg black, one leg red), a stripey red and white t-shirt, very vintage very pointy shoes and a giant bow in my extra frizzy hair (arrived at by braiding wet hair overnight into a 100 tiny plaits). We hung out at the newly opened Hoyts Cinema in George Street with the older Rocky Horror crowd – we loved the movie though we had never been to the midnight screenings ourselves, being only 12-13 at the time.

Our crowd was gay boys and slightly creepy (in hindsight) older men – I clearly remember a 30 year old sailor. (I now ask myself, why the fuck were these people hanging out with barely teenage girls.)

I felt at my most rebelious during this time sitting in the cafe at Hoyts, smoking a cigarette (how I hated smoking but how I loved the idea of how cool it made me look – ha ha) and sipping a cappucino… waiting for whoever would drop by to hang out on any particular Saturday afternoon.

If our parents were confused and upset by this phase it was just the entree… soon enough the Konaraki boys came to our school and introduced us to the world of punk and it became much worse very quickly on the rebellion front.