It's funny how a time defines us. For me it was the late 1980's because I think that was when I began to realise what type of person I was going to become (which is different from having a clue as to what is going on!). I was fortunate to have my very own 'summer of love' in the shape of 1989, and a sixth form common room that I dressed with daffodils, lenient teachers (dress code wise, anyway), finding an identity of sorts and playing with the boys a little. But not too much! I've always been a dreadful prude...
I spent that summer and probably most of that year in a goth-romantic haze. I have no diary entries for this period, they petered out after the horror of being sixteen. I read Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Mists of Avalon', T.S. Eliot, excessive amounts of Thomas Hardy and John Fowles 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' - an A level text that held a satisfyingly puzzling narrative (including several endings, a description of prostitution in Victorian London and the nature of condoms, plus probably the most unsatisfying sex scene in history). I ADORED David Eddings Belgariad books and read my copies into extinction.
I started going to concerts proper, either with friends or the current love interest (Jeff). I was content with my peer group and knew my place within it. I saw Evil Dead and The Lost Boys for the first time, and I knew film heaven. I lost my heart to Keifer Sutherland's vampire David and posted him next to the consumptive Ian McCulloch in pride of place at the side of the bed. At the head of the bed was The Master - Robert Smith looking unbelievably delightful in a Betty Boo t-shirt. I ran round Tish's back garden in a t-shirt and silver tights with an unbelievably high backcombed fringe and leather whip (don't ask...).
It was a time and a place where I felt beautiful. Radiant even, though you'd have never guessed it from the demeanour, dress and music! I played the Mission's Carved in Sand, The Mary Chain's Darklands and anything by All About Eve I could get my obsessive little mitts on. I learned which Cure albums to love and which to avoid. 'Just Like Heaven' on white 7 inch vinyl was my prize acquisition.
I wrote down my life goals on a piece of paper that I kept with the Sisters of Mercy's autographs (now sadly lost):
- Go to university (big thing - first in family)
- Go to see The Cure (Rob was god, after all)
- Pass A 'levels (which I did, all three though I can hardly say I stretched myself in the sitting)
I Tunes is currently playing 'Where were you when I needed you?' by the Bangles, a satisfyingly '80's band that Angela idolised. There's a picture below that shows us all on New Year's Eve that year, and she's at the front with the bare legs. What that picture doesn't show is me two hours earlier frantically rubbing sunshine tan into her milkbottle legs to give her a glow that our winter sun couldn't. Note I'm palm down on the right: I had stunningly brown hands that contrasted rather sharply with my magnificent translucence!
All things end. At the start of 1990 I dumped my big haired Jeff for a number of reasons (young, callow stupidity being one of them, prudery another). You see everything changed for us that night, as a group. Just after midnight we received a call to say that my friend Tish's mother had collapsed with a stroke and died. She was so young, only in her fifties. Our secure little world was irrevocably breached. Ties shattered and reality hit home. I don't think that is any coincidence that my sound track to 1990 was Depeche Mode's Violator, a far cry from 'Flowers in our Hair' and 'Shelter from the Rain' All About Eve staples. The world was becoming less pretty. Grunge began emerging and I threw myself into Doctor Martins and Nirvana with equal fervour. A dark decade for many reasons.
It scares me to realise that the first decade of the twenty first century is nearly at a close. I have better hair, better frocks than the nineties, a far more developed sense of self and liberalism. I read far wider than ever before and I write my sad little stories wondering where they stem from. I dared to dream and now I intend to take wing. Age takes no prisoners and life is fragile.
Bon nuit, sweet readers. Enjoy the pics - I enjoyed the taking of them!