My new national role required a move back to Sydney in the last half of 1992. We had managed to see quite a lot of each other while I had been living in Melbourne, we had enjoyed Christmas together with the kids in Melbourne in 1991, but this would be different.
I was looking forward to coming home and to having the kids close by once again, I was also happy to be able to see you on a more regular basis.
I had heard garbled and colorful reports on Mum’s forays into the dating scene and you and I had spoken often about your new emerging life.
I was happy for you, and looking forward to being able to take on the role of second parent in residence when you wanted time for yourself.
I settled into Brougham Street, just off the strip at The Cross, it had three bedrooms and it was a rare weekend when at least one of the kids, was not in residence there for at least one nigh,t when I was in Sydney.
The main part of the Cross at the time was a seedy replica of the bohemian centre of Sydney life it had once been, but Brougham Street was an oasis with stunning views across the City and the Domain.
There were to be many happy times at this apartment, the kids and I would wander up to Fitzroy gardens and the Fountain Café for Sunday brunches and the Botanical Gardens became a great place for family get togethers.
One of the memories of this time are the occasions when I would have the kids in the car, trying to get out of the garage. We would often have to wait as a Junkie was shooting up in the secluded space behind the wall just outside the gate.
Over a period, this almost became a ritual, the kids would come to develop a waving relationship from the safety of the car with some of these unfortunate people. Neither you nor I, needed to do or say anything about the dangers of drugs, the kids saw it with their own eyes.
Hopefully as well, through freely talking about what they were seeing, they developed some empathy with these people who had fallen foul of life and were crippled by their addictions.
Whenever possible I would come down South for our regular family dinner at your favorite Chinese restaurant.
These were wonderful time for the kids to see both you and I as parents, talking happily together and laughing with, and at; our developing and raucous brood.
Whatever other mistakes we might have made, Sas; the bond between us and the relationship with the kids, is something we can be very proud of.
Jassy was now fifteen and you and I would often discuss how and when would be a good time to start the “coming out” process to my girls, it was not something I was looking forward to but the time was fast approaching when this issue had to be dealt with.
Nothing could have emphasised this more, than when Marco arrived on the scene. To the kids, he was simply Dad’s flat mate, I think we were almost hoping the kids would put two and two together especially, when Marco became a part of almost every family gathering.
I am certain our children were not dumb but as things would soon show, they obviously did not see what they did not want to see.
Annie, in particular, became very close to Marco, they would spend hours laughing and talking together and she was fascinated by his background in South America.
These were golden times Sas