Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Another Year Already

Albert Einstein was on to something when he said Time is an illusion. I find myself  once again asking: Where has the time gone? It does not seem like a year since my boys and I went to Largs for the day in the scorching sunshine. Personally, it's been a fairly good year over all, can't really complain. Politically, it's been an abysmal year and I complain about that regularly, but at least I am doing something positive about that. Joining the Scottish Green Party was one of the better decisions I made in the past year. By all accounts though, 36 is a bit meh! You're not on the young side of 30-35, but not quite reaching the new and exciting decade of your 40's. So yeh, it's just a bit meh. I actually had to think today, am I 37 or 38?

In my early-mid 20's, my 30's seemed like some time in the way distant future; 35 was my 'scary age',  the tipping point from young to old. In reality, my early 30's were too busy being elbow deep in nappies, pureed 'food' and the growth of my little person to feel anything other than swings of excessive tiredness and "awww" moments. Mainlining coffee ensured my (and his) survival. 35 as it turns out, wasn't at all scary. Nor was it my tipping point. The blah-ness of 36 has transpired to be said tipping point, but not in the way I imagined. I may be getting older, okay, so there is no may be, but I don't feel particularly older or of a particular age, or feel that I should be acting/looking/dressing my age. For what would that look like? Society's conformist ideals of how one ought to present themselves? I think we have already established that I don't really hold conformity in any regard.  I think I don't feel mid-late 30's for 3 reasons :

1.  Age schmage! Physically I am 37 (according to the 'How old is your heart' quiz recently on a health page, it did actually return a verdict of 37 years old!), but depending upon the day/the hour/ the events of previous 10 mins, I can feel youthfully energetic or lethargically geriatric.  When it is said that youth is wasted on the young, I can agree with it.  I think about the stuff I used to do, or used to want to do - and now I can and in some cases, still can! Plus, some things never age - like good music, literature or well made clothes (I still have a jumper in my wardrobe that I have had since I was 15, it has stretched down to my knees now and is only worn when not feeling well or having a day when NO-ONE will see me!)

2. I don't fear getting older. I am actually fascinated by it. My wisdom highlights are fascinating, and while I dye my hair just now, it's not to cover the grey necessarily, it's because I like the colours and my natural colour is really dull.  I accidentally over sprayed dry shampoo the other night and got a glimpse of what I will look like in years to come with full grey; I kinda liked it. Wrinkles are also fascinating. I don't have too many but I have clearly laughed a lot! There is also now the added bonus of having the life experience. With that experience though, comes the more lengthy and more informed constant inner monologue and active imagination. My head won't quit!

3. I don't actually care any more. It's been a work in progress for a number of  years but letting go of what others thinks is good for the soul. It lessens the load and eases the stress. I know who I am, I know who I was, but I don't yet know who I will become. There's nothing to stop me being me, and if that means embracing my 16 year old ideals or letting my hair go grey, then I can and I will. What is growing old gracefully? Who decided the rules? Who cares?? As long as we are confident and comfortable in ourselves, then if someone wants to be a dick about it, that's their problem.

There is much to be said about living in the present, not dwelling on the past or wishing life away looking to the future. This is what I am working on; enjoying each day, or at least something in every day to be joyful about, otherwise what's the point? And trying really hard not to sound like all the sanctimonious bullshit out there on internet and in Women's magazines, embrace everything life throws. The good, the bad, the wrinkly, the grey, the nostaglic; its all experience, it's all part of life. I have my own wee mantra that is relevant, to me anyway : We are always learning and forever growing.

So,  my 37th birthday. It was a low key event; starting with a date with Hubby on Friday (he was working today) to Glasgow. We shopped in the West End vintage shops, with my 'birthday money' I received early from my inlaws, and treated myself to my coveted velvet blazer, a groovy 60's print shell top and a pair of shades. We had fabulous burgers in the place in Ashton Lane (only had burgers because the burrito place wasn't open). We had a lovely evening planned back home once we collected Kiddo from my inlaws as Hubby was night off. But alas our plans were foiled when Hubby unfortunately answered the house phone...sick call at work, and being the only night duty manager, hubby had to go in to cover. I'm sure you can imagine my reaction and choice of language, expressing my feelings towards our employer....
Anyhoos, today I was given a beautiful silver and turquoise ring from my boys, once Kiddo padded through to our room. His first words to me were "Happy birthday Mum, how did you sleep?".

Instead of a tradition cake, I got Mr Kipling French Fancies (and a chocolate orange which I ate for breakfast)
Step away from the yellow ones - they are MINE!!

I didn't just have French Fancies for my cake, oh no, I also had cheesecake. Key Lime no less. Are there any better birthday cakes? Well, yes according to both Kiddo and Hubby - they are both particularly fond of my mother in law's home baked dumpling (the recipe of which I have yet to learn).
The evening rounded off (before Hubby headed back out to work) with the 3 of us watching a film. Tonight's choice was selected by Kiddo and was one I hadn't seen; Jurassic Park 3. He loved it.
The most comical part of the day has to go to the telephone conversation with my Mum, who had just returned from her holiday and been in the door about 10 mins before she called me.  We were chatting about her holiday for about 5 or 6 mins when she asked: "Have you heard from your sister?"
Me : Aye, this morning
Mum : What did she say?
Me : Happy birthday! (in my ever so slightly sarcastic tone...)
Mum : Well she's a day out
Me : No she's not
Mum : Eh? What day is it?
Me : Tuesday, 16th June. My birthday.
Mum : No, it's tomorrow. We fly home today and tomorrow is your birthday.
Me : I can assure you, my birthday is today (by now, Hubby and Kiddo are in fits of laughter in the background, snaffling the pink and brown French Fancies. Turns out Kiddo doesn't like French Fancies. What sort of person doesn't like a French Fancy?? Maybe he would have liked the yellow ones...)
Mum : (calls to my Dad) : Here, it's your daughter's birthday today
Dad : (from somewhere in the background) No it's no, it's the moarn"
Mum : No, it's today!
           Sorry, hen. I was convinced it was the after we came home. I didn't even text you this morning
Me : I know
Mum : (to my Dad) You'd better text your daughter!

Yes, they're not going to get to live this one down! Happy birthday to me!

In keeping with my refusal to acknowledge my age, here's Bob Dylan.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The 90's are making a come back

*This post is photo heavy*

I saw a tweet yesterday referencing the fashions of the 1990's and a facebook conversation about childhood, which then got me reminiscing. I loved the 90's. It was a freaking awesome decade! It seems like just 10 years ago, rather than 1990 actually being 25 years ago. 25!! When the hell did that happen??? Next I'll realise that Definitely Maybe was released 21 years ago.  Argh!! Stop!!! I am not that old!!! Oh, wait a minute.. I started high school in 1990...

So what was so good about the years that took me through my teens to early 20's? Where do I begin...? This is my nostalgic trip down my 90's lane

TV programmes - in no particular order

Blossom (and Joey Lawrence "Whoa")

 Films - in no particular order 
(saw * these at the old pictures in town, where we had to queue up outside 
in the rain before getting in to watch the film)

Music - again in no particular order
(Grunge and Britpop were most definitely my favourite genres of music. Not going to list ALL of the bands I loved, just a little flavour)



Almost all Britpop bands as well as the fantastic soundtracks to accompany the above films (Pulp Fiction, Resevoir Dogs) .  Of course I can't forget big 90's tunes and dance moves of The Macarena or Saturday Night.

Fashion - the 'fashion' of the decade started and ended quite differently, 
from grungey to indie-kid and babydoll dresses to Ally McBeal mini skirted business suits.  
The key pieces (in my wardrobe) were as follows: 

Very Early 90's -

(Aged 12 in 1990)
Chav! Hooded tops, dungarees, Benzini /Mackenzie/ Naff Naff jumpers, big ski jacket, Benetton duffle bag (mine was pink and was my school bag, which cut into my shoulder)
large multi-coloured swatch watch (with pop-off face), lots and lots of bangles and friendship bracelets and hair scrunchies, Bodyshop perfume - Dewberry or White Musk. Got my hair permed for starting high school - it was straight again within 48 hours. Permed again in 1992...who can say poodle? (Never have and never will perm again. Shame, as I loved the smell of the perm lotion. I know, weirdo!)

Early to Mid 90's -

  (check out the dungarees, chokers, high waisted jeans, 
blouses, circular sunglasses, braces and lumberjack shirt. 
Aged 14/15)

Grunge! (although the photos aren't exactly 'grungey' - need to raid my Mum's photo albums) Velvet chokers, homemade jewellery (leather thong and bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings), circular sunglasses, as many silver rings as I had fingers, short dungarees, blouses (preferably chiffon or lace), crop tops, clunky shoes, braces (on teeth and with trousers), floppy velvet hats (gutted not to find any pics of my hats), matt lipstick, long cardigans, lumberjack shirts, Dr Martin boots (8 hole, black, covered in tipex doodles and laced with tartan ribbon, odd bags (patchwork trousers from Pie In The Sky on Edinburgh's Cockburn St), Guerlain Samsara perfume.

Mid 90's -

Indie! Dr Martin boots (10 hole, cherry red, steel toe cap), velvet blazer, denim jacket, over the knee socks, gutties, short choppy shaggy hair (loved Winona Ryder's and Natalie Imbruglia's hair), babydoll dresses, high waisted jeans, dark purple nail polish, Vanilla Fields perfume, tartan (trousers [worn with trainers] and dress [worn with docs]), floaty skirts, big jumpers. Canvas army satchel shoulder bag.
Inspired hair  Justine Frischmann & Louise Wener

Mid to late 90's -
- much of the same but had a phase where I tried out stripey 'Ginger Spice' hair (!!!)  and maintained a ridiculous love of crop tops. Rennie Mackintosh jewellery was very popular and I wore Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue perfume or Cerruti 1881

Late 90's -

- Glam! Mini skirts, going out outfits - short and tight! High heels and small box handbags. Thierry Muglar Angel perfume, first tattoo (Japanese symbol for 'friend'). Since I had chucked uni, it was all business dress during the day, and a love of matching twin-sets, infact I still love those little cardigans! And an array of hair do's.

*More photos can be found here from my hair styling dilemma post*

Sayings which became popular during the 90's
Snogging (moved on from winching. 
I STILL hate the word winching. Ugh, makes my skin crawl)

The cool, the bad, the memorable
The Bodyshop/Miss Selfridge/Topshop
Mix tapes
Sun/Moon/Stars everything
Getting a TV in my own room
Getting a midi hifi with a CD player
Slumber parties
Athena Posters
Telling my mum that Kurt (Cobain) had died and her thinking it was the 
big samoyed dog that lived over the back...he was called Kirk!!!
Penpals - I had loads
Teletext - to get penpals.
Trolls (I had a substantial collection of the colourful longhaired lovelies)
The annoyance of waiting to get on the phone,
 only to be told after 5 mins to get back off it.
Mrs Blythe, Mr Beaumont, Mrs Stewart (best teachers in school)
Just 17 magazine/19/Cosmo
Getting first job at 14 in local paper shop working for an old curmudgeon for 
£24 per week (after school and weekends)
The Babysitter Club books
Jackie Collins' Lucky Santangelo series
Helen Fielding's Brigit Jones's Diary novel
Freya North novels
Getting a 'half' (fare) on the bus on a Friday/Saturday night and using fake ID to get into pub
Driving lessons for £14 (and no theory test)
Going to so many live gigs
Sang Let's Get Rocked by Def Leppard on Clyde 1's Tiger Tim with 2 friends,
and we 'won' the Jive Bunny 3 pack...
Pub quiz team name was always the 'Ribena Berries'
Skipping school one day to go to boyfriend's house, only to remember it was 
parent's night that night, so had to get my arse back to school quick smart!
Flying down to London on my birthday for interview assessment with Virgin Airlines. Passed with 'flying colours' (see what I did there? Apologies...) right to the end, until 1-2-1 when discovered training was when I was on holiday. Didn't get the job after asking if they would compensate the expense of lost hols....
Disposable cameras
The underage haven that was our grunge/indie disco den : Pennies.
Hooch - alcopops were just new
Getting drunk for the first time
My mum's "It'll kill you or cure you" approach to looking after mine (and pal's) hangovers 
with glasses of resolve
Long vodkas, Blue Bols or Peach Schnapps  with lemonade
(have not been able to stomach Peach Schnapps since passing 6th year exams - hellish hangover)
Tequila shots with midouri chasers (!)
Getting drunk from the feet up on Malibu, Jim (gin) and fresh orange
Marlborough Lights
Vodka and Fresh Orange (for Vitamin C, obvioulsy)
Mobile phones towards end of the decade
Holidays with friends by bus - to Amsterdam and Spain
Going veggie for 5 years
18th birthday in Spain
Joined Greenpeace, WWF and The Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society
Princess Diana died - found out in a taxi at 5am 
as I sneaked out of then boyfriend's house, trying not to wake his parents
Went to and dropped out of university
My first car was an aubergine coloured Ford Fiesta called Dolly.
Getting paid double time on a Sunday and Bank Holidays when working for large supermarket
Weekend ticket to T in The Park was £50 (incl camping)
Never being able to forget the prologue to Romeo & Juliet:
"Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,"
Going to Florida with friends the year BEFORE we could drink there
Being ill at the end of 1999 and not taking Prince's advice to party.
The summer of 95 was roasting
Lying to the police in Florida then hoping the taxi driver wasn't going to kill us
Being a bit tipsy on last day of school and having to leave the church ceremony...
Group of 7 friends all went on holiday to Spain when we were 17,
Being a total 'do-gooder' in school
Broke my arm on the Speedway at the Tryst Fayre,
at the same time my sister broke her arm when our dog took her for a walk...

It's crazy to think how much has changed since the turn of the century - internet, social media, smart phones, downloads, how we communicate with friends and family, how family lives are different, how friendships have changed,  how we choose to spend out spare time.  It's comforting to appreciate what hasn't changed, for example I still love the same music. And it's funny to see how people and relationships have evolved, and how some people have come back into my life again while others never really left.
I loved the 90's, and all the memories held within that time; possibly because it was when I grew up and all stuff that happens during that time, it holds a special place in my heart. Would I want to go back and do it all again? Sometimes, but generally no (although I do want a new pair of docs, a velvet blazer and I still wear over the knee socks and am still really tempted to get a short shaggy cropped hair do). The 90's are of its time, and my rose-tinted bubble will keep it preserved in all it's grungey glory.


ps - once I go through my parent's photo albums, hopefully I'll be able to add some more - like those awful perms!!