Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I posted this new photo of myself in 1986 on my facebook profile.

What with my minor obsessions with '80s music (due to the recent '80s night fundraiser I helped organize) and the '80s movie book I've nearly finished, and then seeing this photo, I wasn't too surprised when my five-year-old daughter asked me what it was like in 1986.


* I was 12 and starting high school, as the photo might imply. I also still wore glasses (they would be replaced by contact lenses three years later) and didn't much care how my hair looked (a new haircut two years later, that came with a good blob of gel a day changed that.)

* I had yet to fully discover the beauty of Aston Villa, and was something of a Liverpool fan as many kids my age were because they won everything. Truth be told, I was pretty indifferent to football at 12.

* I owned a ZX Spectrum computer. It had a 48K memory and loaded games via tape.

* For my 12th birthday, I received a whole bunch of Transformer toys - at least two Insecticons and Perceptor, an import-only Autobot who transformed into a microscope. They were the closest I had to an obsession at this point in my life. I convinced myself I would never tire of my Transformers and would have them on display in my living room as an adult. I then sold some and gave the rest away aged 13 (to buy Bacardi, probably.)

* My favorite pop group by far was Five Star. I would go to my first ever pop concert a year later - the aforementioned Five Star at Wembley Arena. The tour was sponsored by a toothpaste company. I was in the second row and Denise looked at me and waved.

* Girlfriends up until that point hadn't been anything more than a kiss on the cheek after school. It would still be a year until my first real girlfriend, a romance that lasted maybe a week.

* I had my own income from a paper round that brought in less than five pounds a week. I would spend it all on Saturday afternoon (Saturday morning was payday.) For this money I had to wake up at 5:30 and ride a bike carrying a heavy bag of The Sun and The Daily Mirror over a three mile-or-so route, seven days a week. It was a crime.

* My best friends in 1986 were Ed, Matthew, Simon, Deon, Fitzy and an assortment of supporting characters. Over the next four years of high school that hardcore would remain and be supplemented by the likes of Aaron, Marc, Desmond (who was always a friend, but moved in different circles until we were 15) and Richard/Scrapper/Bouncer (all the same person.)

Of course I was a very different person then from now. But I still laugh at BlackAdder (my favorite TV show at the time) and still stay in touch with many of the people I met that year, despite being 2,000 miles away from most of them.

I now understand what "old" people say about how time flies.

No comments: