Friends a Birthday and a Celebration

Dear Billy

Yesterday was your Birthday, another milestone we never really expected to make, Happy Birthday darling.

I went to my coffee shop at the corner for breakfast before going to do my shift at Orange Sky Laundry.

I had to edit my Opinion Piece from yesterday and I was hopeful it would have made the paper, but it was not there, I just had to swallow my pride as well as my breakfast.

You sent me a message whilst I was at OSL, accusing me of forgetting your birthday, I told you to check your emails – I had sent you a Happy Birthday message before I had left home, Thank God!!

Affy called, he and I are going to have lunch after I finish at OS.

It was great to catch up with Aff, we went to the markets at EQ and just talked as old friends always do. I told him about my Opinion piece and my disappointment that it had not got a run; I had put a lot of heart and soul into that piece.

Affy insisted on buying some flowers for your birthday before we left the markets, I was tempted to tell you they were from me when you got home, later in the afternoon. I am glad I didn’t, you always know when I am lying!!

When I got home about 3.00 pm I discovered a message from Leigh Tonkin at the SMH to tell me my piece was now online.

I was overjoyed, but It is somewhat daunting to have your heart exposed to so many people, the comments on the piece have been mixed, but generally very supportive.

I am really quite humbled that you thought the article was worth sending to many of your friends. Sometimes you never tell me what you are thinking and then I find out you have done something like this and I love you even more.

Of course the comments I feared the most were from Jassy, Annie and Kayla; but they were really wonderful about it.

“Hey Dad, Great article, well done!” From Annie

“Yo Team, assume you have all seen this. Love you Dad” From Kayla

“Awesome article Dad, it reads really well, you should be very proud. Love you” from Jassey

I had tears in my eyes as I thought of you sending the link to people whose opinion you value and, then; reading these thoughts from the girls, the support of you guys means so much to me.

I have never really asked any of you, what you really think of my letter writing and mini crusades, I just selfishly go ahead and somehow you guys always surprise me with your support and love.

You, Bernard and I headed out for your Birthday at the Vietnamese restaurant in Cleveland Street. George was to meet us  there but you were not meant to know this, the surprise was somewhat dampened when you saw George standing on the footpath as we approached the restaurant.

Ah Well; We had a really nice night, a lot of fun and laughs. George had not seen the article and I listened with pride as you told him what “the arsehole had been up to today”, he sent me a lovely note when he got home.

“Hi Bruce, just got into bed and read your article, beautifully written and good on you for standing up for those that don’t have the courage to stand up for themselves”

I love that man!

It has been a wonderful day in many respects and I hope above all, that you had a great birthday.

I fell into bed satisfied and happy.

I was up early this morning, I have to be in Five Dock by 8.00 am to meet Ali there to look at a job, Ali is more than just my painter; he is one of the most gentle and decent people I have ever met, it was great to see him again. I don’t see him as often as I would like, now that I have wound down the business and I have missed him.

I was on my way home when Justine called to say my piece had appeared in the Albury paper this morning. She was very enthusiastic about it, but It did come as a bit of a shock to me, to know that it has now spread to many of the Fairfax mastheads across the country.

She especially asked that I say hello to you, my niece is very fond of you, darling.

I expect we will get a phone call from Terry, full of mock outrage and predictions of ruination for his business. Unfortunately for him, we do share the same surname, and Albury is a relatively small and very conservative community. I wonder what he will really think under his feigned outrage?

When I got home to check my emails I found the article had apparently also appeared in the Newcastle Herald today and I was getting a few notes from people up there who had googled my name, they were mostly nice notes.

The early start and the driving today has really tired me; I am laboring over the keyboard as I struggle to write this letter.

I promise to finish off a few work things and then retreat for a rest.

Love You



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