Thursday, 14 February 2013

Remember the 80's? a tribute to my friend having a kidney transplant.

A very dear friend of mine was having life-changing transplant surgery last night. He was in my thoughts all day. I first met him when we were both aged about 13 or 14, back in the 1980's, so with some understandable nostalgia I have been reminiscing about what life was like back then - and my thoughts have inevitably found their way into my blog.

I remember the first time I saw Damian. He attended a different secondary school to me - he went to the same one as my next door neighbour. They were walking home together and I joined them when I got off the bus from my school. He had a long floppy fringe and the makings of a moustache. He was loud, chatty, friendly and totally OTT, and believe it or not back then I had not developed into the bigmouthed brassy blonde I am now and I was both overwhelmed and impressed.

He was my boyfriend for a while- that didn't last, but we stayed friends and I now consider him not only one of my best friends but sort of the big brother I didn't have.

He came to my infamous 15th birthday party. We had broken up and he brought his new girlfriend. So the night was not off to a great start.

Then we got gatecrashed. And even though this was pre-facebook, we still had serious numbers of complete strangers turning up.

I remember hearing noise upstairs and seeing a crowd of boys, yes boys, helping themselves to the contents of my makeup bag, preening in front of my mirror, applying fresh eye liner. My bedroom window was open and more teens were hurling themselves out of it, onto the roof of my parents caravan, then sliding down onto the drive.

Downstairs a fight had broken out. The kitchen door got broken. It was a nightmare. When we finally got rid of everyone Damian rolled up his sleeves even more ( they were already rolled up Miami Vice style of course) and mopped and swept with me.

I laugh thinking about the clothes we wore. Frankie says Relax t-shirts, belts and pixie boots with chains. Legwarmers, lace fingerless gloves like Madonna and for a brief time in my case I favoured the Mod look. Anything dayglo was popular. Hair was permed, puffed up and set solid. Makeup for boys and girls was heavy on the eyes, with liner and electric blue mascara. Blusher was creamy or powdery, but it was never natural-looking.

me (in pink) with 6th form friends.
Sharing cake on my 17th b'day
A lot of the fashion recently seems inspired by 80's fashion and shopping with my (younger) friends I always remind them of my rule of thumb - If I wore it the first time round I probably shouldn't be considering it now! This rule does not extend to leg warmers which I now wear not because they look good ( did they ever?) but because they are extra warmth for my ageing cold legs!

I am very wary of leggings - No-one should have worn them the first time round and I cant believe they are back! I blame them for my late 80s weight gain - they stretch to accommodate any meal and I never knew when to stop! I did allow myself a pair of black leggings this time round as they work well as an alternative to tights which I hate, but I see the patterned ones are back and I advise everyone to avoid them, or at lest avoid being photographed wearing them. I have photos from the 80s of me in patterned leggings and even with skinny legs I looked dreadful.

As the 80's rolled into the 90s, the fashions changed,  our lives changed, my address and phone number changed several times but we stayed in touch and Damian and I attended each others weddings.

He was one of the few people who saw the truth of my difficult home life throughout the 80s - suffice it to say that my father was difficult to live with- but he never let that put him off coming round and when my dad died in recent years I was touched to see that although we were hardly ever in contact at that point due to miles and busy family lives, Damian was there, standing in the car park at the crem, waiting for me and DH. He offered a big hug, support and sympathy, not just for the loss of my dad right then, but for the stressful years that had gone before.

Spandau Ballet
Cover of Spandau Ballet
I'm waiting to hear news of how Damian's surgery went. I pray that it gives my mate his life back. And in honour of my brave, lovely friend I want to have an 80's moment. So all of you that ever swayed to Spandau Ballet at the end of the school disco-hold up a candle or a lighter, clear your throats, run your fingers through your imaginary bubble perm and sing with me;

Thank you for coming home 
I'm sorry that the chairs are all worn 
I left them here I could have sworn 
these are my salad days 
slowly being eaten away 
just another play for today 
oh but I'm proud of you, but I'm proud of you 
there's nothing left to make me feel small 
luck has left me standing so tall?

Gold 
always believe in your soul 
you've got the power to know 
you're indestructible 
always believe in, because you are 
Gold , glad that you're bound to return 
there's something I could have learned 
you're indestructible, always believe in 

after the rush has gone 
I hope you find a little more time 
remember we were partners in crime 
it's only two years ago
the man with the suit and the face
you know that he was there on the case
now he's in love with you, he's in love with you
and love is like a hard prison wall
but you could leave me standing so tall 

UPDATE: Damian's sugary was a huge success and he is now fully recovered.



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2 comments:

  1. Lovely post- hope your friend's surgery went well. Fab 80s photo!!- is that a play suit you are wearing?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. no its actually a shirt and white trousers combo. But a rare sighting of my actual, real original hair colour!

    ReplyDelete

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