It’s Australia Day.
Since 2009 (or is it 2008?) I have a different name for it.
Hang on, I have to go ask…
The Mister says 2008.
OK, so first thing’s first.
I met The Mister in Kalgoorlie on Australia Day.
I know what you are thinking.
Good grief, this is all shades of bogan.
Well, it is. Now shut up and listen.
I moved to Kalgoorlie in August 2006 – the same time as one of my besties, gorgeous Georgia (aka The Flame-Haired Journalist).
I didn’t really know her very well to start off with, but I do remember her introducing herself to me as one of the new journalists for the Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper. I had just landed a producing job with the ABC.
We weren’t fast friends – it was more of a slow burn.
It wasn’t until we knocked about at the one place where bored single girls like to hang out – The Goldfields Rep Club that our friendship was sealed for life.
When we weren’t involved in theatre antics, our favourite pastime was bitching.
We would hang out a lot at her place, reading That’s Life, drinking wine tea and muse incessantly on why two outstanding young women such as ourselves weren’t properly snatched up by now.
You could sense the stench of oestrogen and outrage all the way down Victoria Street East.
Well, be careful what you wish for*.
Australia Day 2008 was just another hot weekend to be spent at The Hyphens.
Mr and Mrs Hyphen (which at this point they weren’t married, but are now) were like the so-called true north of our circle of friends. You could drop in at any time and something would be happening.
So I rocked up to The Hyphens, the little pool had been pumped up, the drinks were cold and continuous and Triple J’s hottest 100 countdown was on (Kings Of Leon’s Sex on Fire won that year).
But the plan wasn’t to stay at their place – we had all been invited to have a swim at a friend’s place a few blocks away.
Kalgoorlie + pool = friends
So we all jumped into a cab and headed over to our friends place to have a proper swim.
Just quickly, at this time, The Goldfields Rep Club had just wrapped up it’s annual Christmas Show that was called the Coolgardie Stockade and my friend, who is now my BBF (best boy friend) Harry, directed it.
My character wore a typical bar wench’s outfit from the 1800s. I wore lots of makeup and a **corset that held on for dear life.
Back at the pool, I was lolling about in the shallow end of the pool with Mrs Hyphen and my other mate Haley.
Basically we were talking about everyone at the party and there was a lot of ‘kill/marry/make wild passionate love to’ (my mum might be reading this) banter between us.
Then I spotted a new face among the crowd.
I immediately became self-conscious and asked both Hyphen and Haley whether they knew of this cutie Tin-Tin lookalike that was in the deep end of the pool in a pink swim-ring.
They said they did not know him but there were whispers he must be one of the ‘new journos’ in town.
I thought I’d best introduce myself.
I took a pool noodle or pool pony or whatever non-emergency floatation device that was closest and coolly paddled up to ‘the new guy’.
He had just moved up from Perth. He’d been in Kal for two weeks. He said he had seen the Coolgardie Stockade Christmas Show (already supporting local theatre!). He said he noticed my sporting of a heaving corset in the play (oh dear).
He said his girlfriend was moving to Kalgoorlie to be with him in a few weeks’ time.
Umm, say what?
I made my excuses and swam back to Hyphen and Haley who witnessed the whole interaction.
They asked me what was so wrong. I told them that Tin-Tin over there dropped the G-bomb.
They immediately disliked him. As did I.
After we scowled for about ten seconds, I said something weird and completely unexpected, considering him being in a solid, five-year relationship.
“I’m going to end up with him.”
And for a time, that was that.
The weeks that followed got pretty complicated.
Anyway… that’s what Australia Day means to me.
*Georgia was married last year to her own blonde bombshell she met while covering a City of Kalgoorlie council meeting. Not a random ratepayer that was loitering, but a proper chap.
**I have a decent rack and I’m sure that during the dance numbers, people were staring with eyes as big as saucers as they probably thought they were going to cop a wardrobe malfunction right in the eye. A couple of occasions they very nearly did.