At Christmas he handed me a photo he'd kept in his sock drawer for 30 years | relationships - petsitterbank

At Christmas he handed me a photo he’d kept in his sock drawer for 30 years | relationships

I was at high school when my mother decided I was old enough to accompany her to the Christmas party at Artransa Film Studios where she worked as a film and TV director. (Mum was a widow.)

I remember what I wore and would again today, though I’m past one-shoulder dresses: simple, soft fabric, muted stripes of violet, dusky pink and pale apple green.

I knew a lot of the studio staff. But I became aware of a group prodding a handsome young man who finally asked me to dance.

So this was Boris Janjic, the cinematographer mum had mentioned. He did not say a lot, worried about his faint Croatian accent. But we danced and I think I flirted.

Unbeknownst to us, the studio photographer snapped a photo.

Over the next decades Mum would mention Boris to me, he’d moved to another studio, he was married. He had kids.

me too.

Eventually I divorced and moved back to Australia. In Sydney, I worked as a TV presenter and in my late 30s it hit me that my childhood dream of writing novels was not eventuating. I quit and moved to some “backwater” a friend told me about called Byron Bay. (Now overrun with film stars, wannabes and influencers.)

These were great years. I had little money, rented a small shack from an eleven-famous footballer and his wife from him who ran the local pub. I lived alone with my dog ​​Sheila and finished my first novel.

It was published, sold well and I was away.

In retrospect I had the ideal rustic beach isolation, apart from when my kids came to stay from college. I wrote and wrote. Nine (published) novels later I lifted my head.

Friends in the film business invited me to dinner whilst making a major animated movie. I sat opposite a bearded chap with a throaty accent that rang a bell.

“You’re Zoran, the animation guy! Boris’s brother from Artransa! How es Boris? I asked.

He gave me a look and in his heavy accent announced, “Borrrris is single.”

I left with Boris’s phone number in my pocket.

And so the phone calls began. Boris admitted he’d always had a crush on me and kept asking my mother how I was, dropping hints.

I go to Sydney to visit Mum. Boris takes me to lunch at a beachside beer garden. I was charmed by the freesia and frangipani flowers sitting on the dashboard of his car.

We talked for hours as the sun went down over Pittwater.

Months later Boris comes to Byron Bay. We hung out with Mum who had moved there too.

So Boris moves to Byron, and we buy a house.

That first Christmas together Boris hands me an envelope. I pull out a photo – the one of us dancing the first time we met, more than 30 years ago. Sheepishly he says the photographer gave it to him the week after it was taken and he’d kept it in his sock drawer ever since.

In my mother’s last years Boris promised her he’d “always look after me”.

And he does.

  • Di Morrissey AM is the author of 29 novels, including The Night Tide, out now through Pan Macmillan.

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