Category Archives: 64 YEARS ON THE BENCH

1985 : things begin to change

Things began to change around about this time. I went to AA for the first time. I became more and more physically ill from drug and alcohol abuse. I had a hysterectomy in Port Macquarie Hospital and I went on methadone not long before that. Seemed to be the worst of times.



Jim developed into a very funny baby boy.  He could always make people laugh and did a good Chad Morgan impersonation. We went camping one night in 1982. Perhaps 2 nights, Once to Digger’s Camp on the Clarence and once to South West Rocks. We didn’t do very well either time and almost stabbed one another with the tent poles. The Picture on the tent bag showed a smiling happy family erecting the tent easily but we didn’t manage to do that. It was more like spears. 

On the second camping occasion a wild wind hit and the children almost blew away in the tent. We gathered coins and retreated to a motel for the night. 

scan0007 (2)

We moved into a wee house in Urunga. A little old yellow cottage.  Cass and Kate grew more and more into being twin cousins and we laughed and played while the men went to work on the Railways and RTA.  Once a month my parents travelled to Sydney where my father was employed by Neeta Homes.  


1981 – JIM

I have included this shot even though I think its 1980 because its one of the family legendary shots take in the yard of my sister’s home in Urunga. My parents, my sister’s family and me and mine.

scan0003 (2)




In 1981 Jim was born. A quick birth like his sister’s but moreso. He was a character as a baby and he has remained a character and a joy. We moved in from the farmhouse to a unit in the block of units where my parents lived. Tambar Court opposite the Caravan Park in town and close to the shops and the waterfront. I won’t be writing much about 1981.

These years of the early 80s are painful years for me to write about and so I shan’t. Years filled with bright promise and hope which were consumed by the Monster.


IN 1980, WE went to live in a farmhouse in Fernmount, a village just up the road from Urunga. Halfway between Urunga and Bellingen. Alcohol and drugs continued to weave a noxious thread throughout our lives but I was also in love and had no idea of how that thread would thicken and twist so there were days in the sunshine and a beautiful little girl. There were cousins and grandparents and community and an very big green Falcon Futura.

It was strange for me to live as a married woman in a real house. Tad worked on the Railways and we spent time in Sydney at Parramatta where he trained and travelled down to Canberra where I had once taught.

I saw a willy nilly carry off a picnic down there at the Cotter Dam.

I had rifles too and wanted to shoot my husband when he stayed out late partying . The farmer grew spuds in the paddock beside the house and sometimes the river flooded out the back.