Back when we used videos and we had to finish a roll of film before we could see the photos.

Thursday, 22 October 1992

Howdy Sis,

Sorry I haven’t written in so long, but I’ve been on holidays while Mum was over there with you and I haven’t had access to a keyboard, and I’m so damn lazy these days that I really can’t write letters by hand any more.  So how was Mum?  She got back here last night and she seems so much happier, she was really cheery last night.  She showed me the video too, it was great, I’m thinking about hiring a camera myself for a weekend or so and showing you the sights of Brunswick – What a Hoot! I dunno, I’ll see how expensive it is.

Guess what, I bought a lizard!  A Bluetongue, he’s a cutie, you’d love him.  I’ve stuck in a few photos of him in for you.  I called him “Aldrich Bancroft McKinnon” .  You’d really like him, he’s really affectionate, he crawls up my arm and curls around my neck and watches telly with me, and there’s this special spot on his back, above his back legs where you stroke him and he wags his tail (well sort of wags – in a reptilian way.)  I wish I could bring him over with me.  I’ve had Aldrich for about three weeks now and the best part is you only have to feed him once a week!  Is that brilliant or what?  Lizards make the best pets, completely non-demanding, but they’re there when you need ‘em.

I also got my nipples pierced!  Can you believe it?  There’s a few photos of them in here as well.  I tell you, I am going to be complete Girl-Bait now.  I can’t wait for Summer so I can go down the beach and just kick back and wait for the onslaught of Girlie Passion flooding my way.  Can you see it, me in a pair of sunglasses saying “Hey Ladies, come and get it while its HOT! (Oh God the thought of it).  If you’re thinking of getting it done – be warned.  It was probably the most painful experience of my life.  Colin (the guy who did them for me) actually congratulated me for not passing out.  Apparently it happens a fair bit.  Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m on first name terms with a tattooist.  Actually he’s really nice, after he put the first one through I was feeling a bit faint and he went and got a drink of water and a wet towel for my face.  You should see the needle they put through – it’s as thick as a fucking nail!  Thank God I didn’t see it before he put it through.  I didn’t get both of them at once either.  Leah paid for my first one (on the left) as our six month anniversary  present and I paid for the other one myself.

Its damn expensive too, $45 a pop!  But I figure I’m going to have them for the rest of my life so it’s really not that bad. They take from six weeks to three months to heal, and I can see the left one (two weeks old) is starting to heal already, so by the time I get over to see you they should be fully healed.

I decided to finish this by hand because the Cappo Oppressors have been marching past the door and looming so I printed the letter and deleted it.  I tell you, I am so fucking sick of the shit that goes on here, it’s disgusting, but I’ll tell you more later.

Now I’d better tell you not to tell Mum about the nipple rings, she doesn’t know yet and you know what she’s like, she’s liable to think they’re cosmic antennae for communicating with Satan, the horned one.  I’ll tell her soon though, I mean she’ll find out sooner or later wont she?  As a matter of fact, I’m kind of looking forward to it, it should be a good laugh.  Shit now I can see why I type my letters, my handwriting’s a disgrace!

But let me tell you about work, I realised on Monday, that if Dad will pay the airfare (and he’d better) I could afford to go now.   And at the moment, they really need me here, so I’ve been thinking in a week or two it’s going to get very hectic, and then I think I’ll tell them that I could afford to quit and backpack around Europe for 6 months, or they can give me a raise and I’ll finish the book, go for the 5 week holiday they owe me and I’ll come back.  BUT knowing them, they’ll either tell me to fuck off (which doesn’t bother me that much) or they’ll give me the raise until the books done and then take it off me or get rid of me.  But unbeknownst to them, I’ll quit just after the book is done anyway and I’ll be gone, off to England to see you.  I’ve decided to backpack across however much of Europe I can afford, and at the moment I’ve got $5,500 but I’m saving about  $1,000 every six weeks, so if Dad pays the airfare, I will have about $7,500 spending money.  How long do you think that will last me?  Theresa (girl who works with me from England) reckons if I’m careful I should get about 8 months out of it.

I know I should stay here as long as I can but I’m really beginning to absolutely hate it.  The conditions are abominable, we’re in a converted warehouse that has lime crusting all over the inner brick walls, the paint flakes off the ceiling every time the wind blows, so every morning everything is hidden under a layer of black dust.  There’s no heating or air-conditioning and the roof’s corrugated iron so its hotter than a hen-house in Hell during Summer.  The chairs are mostly broken and at the wrong height so your shoulders ache from typing all hunched up.  The fire escape has been blocked off with excess stock so come a fire we’re all dead.  And to top it all off I’m only getting $247 a week clear.  I know there are people starving in the world and people who have absolutely nothing and worst of all people with cysts on their noses but I’m sick of this shit.  I tell you, when the job market picks up, crappy places like this that have been treating their staff like shit are not going to have one staff member left.

Anyway, I’d better go, don’t tell Mum about my work plans, you know how much of a liberal she is.

Love J

PS I’ll send the photos next week, I haven’t finished the roll of film.

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