1996? All a bit of a Blur to me…

In the midst of my diary-keeping days, I went to my first ever open-air big concert. It was June 1996, and at the height of Blurmania. I was always on the side of Damon Albarn. I had no time for stupid Oasis and their big hairy faces and mad sneers. So, being almost eighteen, I was allowed to go to a Blur / Supergrass / Black Grape concert all by myself. To say I was excited was an understatement. It was such a big deal it got a two-page spread in my diary. Yup, THAT big. Here in its entirety is my documentation of the day (as written). Well, as much as I could write before I got distracted by something else just as awesome. The picture below is the first page, and I’ll transcribe the rest so you can actually read it. There’s so many cultural references in it your face will hurt by the time you’ve finished reading. Names of participants have been changed, naturally. Enjoy.

I was in a collage-type mood in the 90's. I regret nothing. Except the 'Doin' him tomorrow' phrase. Ugh.

4th July 1996

Omigod. The Concert was Fantastic! It’s 4th July at 11.45am before I get ready for Summer Camp. Let me take you through the day of Saturday 22nd June 1996 from start to finish.

11am – left house wearing white v-neck t-shirt, ‘short’ shorts, Levi’s hoody and Doc Marten boots. I brought a pair of knickers with me to throw at Alex. (Bass player from Blur – I didn’t get to thrown them. To this day he doesn’t know what a lucky escape he had.)

11.30am -In town chillin’ with Jo, Sharon. Laura + friends went their own way. We followed this Jonny Depp lookalike around Arthur’s Quay, buying drinks n’ stuff along the way.

1.30pm – The ticket said ‘Coach departs 1.30pm Sharp – LIAR!

2.15pm – Finally left Spaights. Bored already. Sharon dying for ‘drink!’ Good craic on the bus all the same. I sang along to every song played on Atlantic 252. I swear if I don’t hear ‘Mysterious Girl’ by Peter Andre ever again, it’ll be too soon! Good all the same, though. Stopped in Portlaoise at Supermac’s, and we just got worse –> maxi-hyper would be an understatement!!

5.30pm – Saw queues outside RDS, plus a multitude of empty beer bottles –> Sharon is muttering about what a waste it is, just because she didn’t get any….

10.00pm – Unbefuckinglievable! This is what I want! Screaming crowds, singing along, mass hysteria – YES! I WILL do this….I will be there soon…! On the way back, Peter Collins played ‘The Universal’ on the radio for all the Blur fans at the concert!

So there you have it folks. That was my first concert. Knickers and all. Thanks, Blur…

 

 

If A Young J-Ro Made Greeting Cards…

I knew there was a reason I hated all those stupid Facebook slogan pages that people ‘liked’. You know the ones; face-melting cringey slogans like “If you love someone, let them go..” and other such wishy-washy bullshit that people latch on to in order to make their existence more palatable. The reason I hated them so much was because I used to write that very same shit myself in my diaries as a young ‘un. At least I made them up myself. Maybe I should go into business. I’d make a fortune selling them in Easons.

This one that I found recently nearly made me turn inside out with the mortification. Naturally I’m showing it to all of you. Don’t worry. I have many volumes of diary-related gold just waiting to be unleashed. You lucky things. Enjoy…

Date unknown, probably in my late teens / early twenties...note the symbolic illustration of the disembodied hand, and the irony of the 'Don't let Go' slogan next to it.

 

A Teenage Manifesto

It’s 1994, you’re 16, and all you want in life is a brand new tattoo of Sylvester the Cat holding a red rose. It holds the answer to all life’s problems, and will sum up everything you are as a person to anyone who sees it. You will be a badass. A person to be reckoned with, someone who is far too cool to be concerned with the likes of bullies, grades and stupid homogenous girls in a rural secondary school who all look the same. Not you though. Oh, no. You’re an individual. You loudly proclaim that you prefer ‘Bleach’ by Nirvana, as opposed to their more obvious ‘commercial’ release ‘Nevermind’ like the rest of Transition Year.

So you gather up your courage, turn down your Soundgarden CD and casually stroll up to the sitting room to put your case forward for getting this life-altering skin picture to a woman who can’t understand why you would willingly put needles on your skin for fun, and thinks tattoos are for soldiers and prisoners. And so far, you are neither. She says no. You’re devastated. This is an affront to your civil rights. You are being oppressed. You can no longer express who you are as a person. How is Alan in Sixth Year going to know you’re cool and not like all the ‘normal’ girls if you don’t have a Sylvester the Cat tattoo?? Life is as good as over.

So you storm off down to your room in a rage, full of righteous indignation and an ever-expanding martyr complex. Then you decide to do what many afflicted artistic souls have done before in the face of adversity and suffocation on behalf of a corrupt authority. Something which will shake the system to its very core, and lead to your mother throwing herself on your mercy and begging for forgiveness and even paying for your tattoo which will change your life for the better.

You write a poem. In your diary. That’ll show ’em. An unpublished tour de force that that nobody will ever see.

Until now. God bless the internet.

I regret nothing.

Viva La Revolution!

I haven’t changed a bit…

I got a notion this morning to have a look at my very first diary, after seeing @anniewestdotcom chatting on Twitter about her youngest child finishing primary school, and I remembered I had started writing a diary around the time I was embarking on that new exciting phase in life. When I found it and checked the date, I got an awful shock. Twenty years ago exactly (plus 3 days) I sat in my room armed with my favourite Staedtler red pen and my brand new hardback, peach-coloured crushed velvet effect diary and sat down to write my first ground-breaking masterpiece. I’ve been writing ever since. So here’s the second entry, the first one mentioned names and I didn’t want to drag any poor unsuspecting souls into my madness! I had to smile when I read through it. Life is pretty much the same now, just add bills and paperwork for added adulthood.

So here you go, a little glimpse of my past, a small snippet of how an ‘almost thirteen’ year old thought on this week in 1991. Don’t get all misty-eyed now…

I love that I tell you straight up that my thoughts are 'very interesting'. Cocky young one, so I was...

I called myself a 'dufus'. Must have been watching a lot of 'Saved By The Bell'.

Before you ask, I can’t remember which boy that was. I had a list of about five boys at any given time who tickled my fancy. I hadn’t quite grasped the concept of ‘narrowing down’. I also can’t remember which friend that was either. ‘Copsewood’ is the secondary school I went to, what a place. The six years that followed in that institution deserve a book all of their own.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this mini trip into the mind of a 90’s adolescent Irish girl, with all her insecurities about her looks and her height and getting nervous about talking to boys…and an apparent ability to feel ‘good, angry and depressed’ in a single mood moment. As the title says, I haven’t changed a bit.