2/2/89

“CITY UNDER A NOR’ WEST ARCH”¹
BUILDINGS ROLLED AWAY LIKE HILLS,
PYLONS STOOD LIKE LIFELESS TREES,
THE DISTANT ROAR WAS MERELY TRAFFIC.
BILLBOARDS FLASHED LIKE WILDFIRE
AND GREY, STONE WALLS STOOD, AS THE
HIGH BLUFFS DO
AGAINST THE BUFFETING WIND.
CARS TRICKLED DOWN GULLIES CREATED
BY SHADOWED, HIGH RISE WALLS.
CHROME WATER SPARKLED.
MOVING FAST I LOOKED OUT
ACROSS THE BROAD SWEEP OF HILLS.
BUT SAW ONLY A CITY UNDER THE
NOR WEST ARCH.

¹I wrote this on a commuter train as I was on my way into the city to work. I was attempting to compare the city outside the train’s window with the hills of the South Island High Country where I had worked as a shepherd.

01/02/89

The first day of a new month on the first page of a new diary. Linda and I have settled into a routine here in Melbourne with both of us now working. I am working as a kitchen hand-come-builders labourer at the Saint Andrews Hotel in Fitzroy. Linda started yesterday in the laundry of the Southern Cross hotel in the city.

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We live in a little one room flat at 24 Princess Street, Balaclava, which is the Jewish area of town so there are a lot of shops selling Kosher this and Rabbi that around!

The other day we went into the British Consulate and got our visas for England. The visas pose no problem at all, but the woman told us in her cute Pommy accent that we would need to be able to prove that we had a minimum of Australian $5000 each before and we would be allowed into the UK. So, I rang Joe and he’s going to put as much money as you can get hold of into my check account and get a statement showing the balance and send it to us. Then he will take the money out again. In addition to that statement, we will have our actual cash and my Visa account which is worth $1,500.

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On Saturday night we went along to a fireworks display at Albert Park Lake. It was brilliant! Sponsored by Fox FM, the idea was that everyone took along an FM radio and tuned in to Fox. There were hundreds of thousands of people there and the music completely surrounded us while the sky was lit by three tons of fireworks. The bursts of the fireworks were brilliantly choreograph to the music which included great songs like “Waterfront” by Simple Minds, “What a Wonderful World” by Lewis Armstrong, “Thus Spake Zarathrustra” by Strauss and, best of all, “Man of Colours” by Icehouse. The performance lasted about 40 minutes and also included huge spotlights and lasers.

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