Proof Reading, Princess Turd & Dead Cats

Friday, 19 February 1993

Dear S

It’s fucking ace to hear from you, I got your aerogram today from Sue’s daughter Donna who works here too.  (That’s how I got the job in the first place)  Sue has been collecting the mail for us while Mum’s over in Old Blighty with you?  How is she? Fussing like a maniac I’ll bet.  And how are you?  How’s your job going?  How’s Jack?  How many questions can I ask in a row?  So your house purchase went through, that’s fantastic!  I can’t wait to see it, it sounds like it’s full of “old world charm”.  Sounds like something out of House & Garden.  And a loft!

I went to Queensland just after Christmas with Leah for her birthday just for something to do really.  It was hot and boring in Melbourne so we thought we may as well be hot and bored in Brisbane instead.  Leah’s got loads and loads of relatives up there and one of my conditions was that the trip was not going to turn into a Rellie-Fest spent nursing dribbling, vomit smelling babies and meeting old farty uncles, but Leah’s Mum blew our cover and rang them and let one know and then the whole bloody state of Queensland knew we were coming.  I was a bit pissed off, but at least we always had somewhere to stay.  Leah’s Mum has TWELVE brothers and sisters and they’ve all got about nine children each I reckon.  The first thing her Granddad said to me was “What the bloody hell’s that hangin’ out yer nose?”  I acted cool and just smiled like I thought he was joking.  What a stressful visit that was.  But it was nothing compared to meeting her Dad.  The man doesn’t talk.  I’m serious, he doesn’t speak to anyone, not even Leah.  I reckon he said about fifty words to her over two days and about twenty to me.  I mean he looks mean as hell, but Leah says he’s just shy and doesn’t like talking.  He is damn weird S, damn weird.

Brisbane does have the best shopping though, Leah and I spent about a day and a half just buying records, T-shirts, clothes and stuff.  It’s really good, you don’t have to look through tonnes of shit like you do in Melbourne.  We spent New Year’s Eve in Brisbane with Aunty Tia and she says hi and all that stuff.  It was really good to see her and Uncle Russ, Darren and Louise.  Oh actually, guess what! I don’t know if Mum or anyone told you but Louise is living in sin with her man in a house next to his parents!  Scandal!  Not really, she was joking about it herself.  Looks like a nice house though.  Darren’s got a girlfriend too, she’s really nice, I can’t remember her name.

Queensland is so much slower than Melbourne, I never really noticed it before but Melbourne everyone is in a rush to get somewhere, Queensland is so much more laid-back.  We spent a lot of time up on the Sunshine Coast too, up around Caloundra.  Hot, but nice.  We flew up on Compass (dig those doggy-bags) and came back by bus, an experience I do not care to repeat in the near future.

It was the first lengthy bus trip I’ve had being full grown.  The seats are so much smaller than I remembered, and the little turd in front of me kept her seat back on my knees the whole 23 hours.  That’s TWENTY THREE HOURS!  I wanted to ask the Little Princess if she could just lift her seat forward just a little for Mr J, but the Little Princess’ Daddy had tattoos on his face.  Three in fact.  So Mr J’s knees coped.

I’m coming over soon baby, on March the second so I guess I’ll be in England on the third, or maybe the first, I’m not sure.  Can’t wait to get over, Dad’s paying my airfare (Heh, heh, heh!) so I’ve got about $6,000 to blow and baby, am I gonna blow it!  I’m gonna buy a whole bunch of records you can’t get over here and sell them for an unconscionable profit.  Same with shoes and clothes.  I’ve got a few friends living in England now so I can stay with them for a few days too.  Dean, a friend of Leah’s is a window dresser at Harrods, so he can show me around London perhaps.

I’ve been living in Richmond for the past two months now in a three bedroom house with Josh, his girlfriend Zoe, and a crusty/hippy chick called Penny.  It’s ok, smallish but cheap (about $47 a week) and it’s in a really good position, just off Bridge Road so I’m walking to work these days to save money since the Liberals put the tram fares up.  It takes me about 45 minutes if I take the scenic route (through Fitzroy Gardens) which gets me away from the smog.  It’s ok but Josh has no sense of privacy and I’m going to have to say something soon because it’s getting on my nerves.  Like a few weeks ago, Leah and I dropped in to get something for the weekend (I still spend my weekends with Leah) and Josh and Zoe were dressed up to go out and suddenly Josh says to me “Oh yeah J, I’m wearing your jeans, I didn’t have anything clean.”  I was a bit pissed off but I didn’t really have the guts to say anything because I know that he would lend me anything of his without hesitation, but after they left I discovered he’d been into my wardrobe to get them and just left the coat-hanger on the floor and then he threw the jeans on my floor when he’d finished with them and didn’t even wash them  this sort of stuff has happened before and it’s a bit much really.  I’ve just got to get my nerve up to say something.  But my main whinge is their fucking cat, Lucy.  The little slut’s had kittens and they won’t feed her outside and the house stinks of cat food because the fussy little slag won’t eat dry food and this big white cat keeps eating her food if it’s outside.  I say let her starve if she can’t defend her own food.  Luckily two of the kittens have died, there were four but they got cat flu, the remaining two are looking shaky too.  I pray that every morning I will find a cold little black bag of fur in the lounge room, but so far no luck.  It’s not that I hate cats, I quite like them, it’s just that they’re blind because their eyes are completely gummed up with pus and they’re not pleasant to have around, you know?

My book is getting really close to being published now, we’re doing the final proofs and let me tell you, proof reading is a real bitch, man.  By the end of the day you get what’s known as Proof Reading Psychosis i.e. you want to kill someone, anyone, it don’t really matter who, as long as they’ll bleed.  A lot.  But it’ll be good to finally have something concrete to show for all these months of hard labour.  I’m getting a raise after the book goes to press too, as long as there’s no major stuff ups.  Let me tell you, I want Big Bucks, no more of this chicken feed shit.

Anyway, I’d better go, gotta keep proofing, only two weeks to go.

See you soon.

Love J

PS I’d love to stay at your house if there’s room.  I’ll bring photos of Richmond over with me.

PPS I hope you’re still at Station Street, or that Jane passes the letter on, ring and give us your new address, cos there’s lots of people in England.

PPPS I’ve included a copy of my itinerary (Dad faxed it to me today! Can you believe it?  I’ll bet he got someone else to do it, he’s never been a real techno –freak)  I’ll be arriving at Heathrow.  Let me know which bus or whatever to take.  See you in 12 days or so.

Love ya.

dead cats 001

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