Today is the 22nd, so it’s one month until my birthday and 13 months until my 30th. Which I am looking forward to. And which people think is very odd. Apparently you shouldn’t look forward to turning 30, but I don’t see the point in dreading it. It’s an inevitability and it’s not as if I can stop it. I’ve never felt my age. When I was 16 I wasn’t hanging out in the park drinking booze from a bottle hidden in the bag whilst sitting on the tyre swing over the bark flooring. (How was that bark meant to be good to fall on? It got mouldy, it gave you splinters, it got stuck in your tights, it was rubbish, although granted better than falling on concrete. Ok, I’ll just carry on now…) At 16 I was in at least 6 choirs including Brackley Jubilee Choir and Bicester Choral and Operatic Society and I brought the average age of singers down to about 40ish. I went on holidays with my Mum’s Morris team, Owlswick Morris. They were great fun and yes, I am that cool, I’m a Morris baby and proud of it.
When I was about 18 I did do something a teenager is meant to do, I went to Gatecrasher Summer Sound System – it was an all night club with various tents pitched on Turweston Aerodrome. My Dad’s friend was running the security for the event and popped by to see if any of his kids would like to go, so my sister and I each said “Yes please!” and found ourselves being walking through the security office with 4 free passes. I took my friends Ben, Chris and Liam and we had a great time. The main things I remember are wearing combat trousers, a black vest top with a dragon on, my hair in two messy buns (yes, I was heavily influenced by the style of All Saints, I’m not going to apologise for that, it could have been worse) drinking Smirnoff Ice from plastic bottles, blue, pink and purple lights in the Happy Hardcore tent, water dripping on us from the ceiling from the condensation, a pretty rugby boy snogging me and walking home at 6 in the morning with the boys (probably mostly Ben and Liam) nicking the signs from the car park and throwing them in the hedge. If you were one of those people in 2002 who couldn’t find their car that quiet Sunday morning then I apologise, but it was really funny at the time.