From Sarah Belle…
The ‘Mad Cow Tavern’, as the name suggests, was the epicentre of sophisticated and glamorous entertainment amongst Townsville’s elite – i.e. skint University students and Army Jerks (AJ’s). And it was there that Jason (AJ), the man who was to become my husband and father of my four sons, tried to flee in terror as he saw me (skint Uni student), approach him.
See, this was our second meeting – the first was six weeks prior when, out on a Hen’s night, I gave him a third degree that would have made interrogators at Guantanamo Bay proud. He was selling his car to a colleague of mine, and I just wanted to ensure that my friend wasn’t being ripped off. Well, apparently that’s what happened. I can’t remember very clearly because my beer/bourbon goggles blurred my hindsight.
As his eyes grew wider and he backed himself into a corner, I approached with much gusto – because I had to apologise for what must have come across as rudeness in our previous meeting. Once he saw that I was not going to stab him with the lime wedge from my Corona, he relaxed and we began to chat.
Even though he was the complete opposite of every male I had ever lusted after, something special passed between us- a connection, a spark, I don’t know what it was, but he had me hooked. He poked fun at himself and made me laugh. It was as though we had been friends for a very long time.
He did the usual military pilot thing and mentioned, twenty seconds into our conversation, that he was, in fact a pilot. It was at this point that I was supposed to take off my panties and fling them at him ala Tom Jones. But I didn’t because it didn’t impress me. What did impress me was his sense of humour – and his biceps – they were huge, like granite grapefruits! Swoon!
As a Blackhawk pilot he worked odd hours and was away a lot, but on night sorties he’d always fly directly over my house. Romantic for me; annoying as hell for my neighbours and housemates.
Three months after we met he was sent to East Timor for 4 months. I was devastated and missed him like crazy. But he asked me to house sit for him and rang me nearly every night. We emailed each other and developed a friendship that wouldn’t have been possible without that tyranny of distance. Even though that period of time was hard for us both, and seemed to go on forever, it resulted in two things:
1. We had fallen in love, and
2. He still had swoon-worthy biceps.
Sarah Belle started her professional life in the hospitality industry, working in some of the roughest hotels in Melbourne in the late Eighties, surrounded by drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, and undercover police. Tiring of the inherent dangers of her working environment, Sarah completed a business degree and went on to work in the recruitment industry and the Department of Defence, where she met and married the man of her dreams: a dashing, romantic Army Blackhawk captain, Jason. They have four young sons and live on the beautiful Queensland coast, where Sarah’s days are spent being a frazzled mum, an admin superstar for Jason, a writer, a Bikram Yoga devotee and the only woman in a house of five males.
Sarah’s ro-magic comedy Hindsight mixes humour, wit, and just a touch of humility. It’s the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before.