You had been with me in Melbourne and when Western Australia became a reality, you were the obvious choice to be my “eyes and ears” in this new horizon.
It was comforting to know we had you in Perth and it provided a sense of continuity we would not have been able to achieve had we appointed someone from that State in the early stages.
It was early February 1994 and I think it was my first visit to Perth after a hectic Christmas / New year period.
I thought I had completely recovered from the broken leg in the second half of 1993 but, with the benefit of hindsight; it probably would have been much better had I taken a month off at the time, rather than lugging that fucking plaster on and off Aeroplanes for six weeks.
I had had a hectic few days in the West, after flying out of New Zealand over the previous weekend.
I had one more day in Perth and my diary was jammed with meetings, but I did have time to catch up with you, before heading out to grab a sandwich for lunch.
That chat with you is about the last thing I remember for the next half hour.
One minute, I was walking down the stairs of the office with nothing more on my mind than whether the sandwich would be Turkey or Ham?
The next minute, I was being bundled into an Ambulance after fainting and falling down those same stairs.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and that night in Royal Perth Hospital, nothing seemed to be overtly wrong, other than I was simply exhausted.
1994 was not meant to start on this note.
I was on a high after a tumultuous 1993, and this coming year was meant to be the time when our massive expansion drive was consolidated.
You came to see me In Hospital that night, as did Brian. He and I were meant to have dinner together and I hated missing the opportunity to discover another great little eating spot in this city which you had discovered and recommended to us.
Appointments for the next few days were put on hold and; after I was released from Hospital; it was straight to the airport with a slightly panicked Barb continually asking me if I was OK?
Perhaps I should have told you I was not, but I refused to believe there was anything wrong with me that a few days of rest could not fix.
At that stage, I really had no idea just how run down and mentally exhausted I was, there were many things that contributed to this.
The sniping battle with Paul and his father had escalated to the extent that Board Meetings were barbed with innuendo, the broken leg had obviously not helped, I had been averaging more than six flights a week for the past six months, I had been through the stress of trying to integrate four, hostile new networks, my mother was dying and I had started the process of “coming out” to my kids.
It never dawned on me that any of these things in isolation, could have had a negative effect on one’s wellbeing. It certainly never dawned on me that there was anything happening I could not deal with.
We hugged at the airport and you put me on the plane, life was slowly getting back to normal.