I just want to go home I thought to myself on Sunday morning, bored, tired of reading, tired of watching kids in the pool, but at the same time it felt like I WAS home, and it was difficult to accept that somewhere I’d never been before could feel so comfortable, could encourage my body to so willingingly reduce itself to a content hum rather than its usual internal whine and yet at the same time I knew that my body hummed every night I slept beside him: the mad Malteser, his run down apartment in the outer-inner suburbs, its view, his ancient bed in which I felt so welcome and warm, the same way I felt sitting in the sun watching the children quietly revel in the coolness of the water, then dive under and swim the whole length of the pool, unaware of how lithe their tiny bodies are, how quickly it can go, and all the time Lulu chases ants, snapping, beating them with her paw, gagging when one crawls down her throat, which makes the kids on the grass scream with a stunning mix of terror and delight, leaping, bombing into the pool with shiny limbs and chattering teeth.


– Telling Simon Younger to “fuck off,” and the way in which it seemed to silence the entire bus.
– Michelle Lowenstein and her boyfriend timing their kisses. There was
no tongue, there was no moving of lips. It was 2-3 minutes of static mouth against mouth. But I was jealous. So jealous.
– A knife fight at the back of the bus. With real knives. And Stuart Wilcox screaming “Fuck me he’s got a fucking knife!”
– The day I went to school with very bad heatstroke, survived the day, but was beaten by the country roads on the way home. I threw up into my mouth, tried to swallow it (unsuccessful), and promptly covered mine and my friend Sally’s blazers with vomit.
– Receiving a note from a boy that read “do you want to go to the Cat & Fiddle?We could have a fiddle.” I wasn’t sure I wanted my first kiss to be observed by an automated dish and spoon. I politely declined.
– Harry the bus driver deciding that for a week he wasn’t going to stop the bus at our stops, he was just going to slow down enough that we could jump off without rolling an ankle.
– Incredulously watching the girls I caught the bus with crying, because Stuart Wilcox had died in an accident the night before. I thought we were united in our hatred of him and his cruelty, not in our ability to turncoat!
– Harry insisting on attempting to drive through a bushfire, only to be turned back by the CFA. The back axle of the bus snapped mid turn, leaving 45 school kids to run back down the road, away from the heat, dodging the embers. Pre mobile phones, we all had to use the Shot Towers phone to call our parents at home. We had to wait til they GOT home. They had to wait til the roads were unblocked.

I learnt a lot about the Shot Tower that day.