Friday, 7 October 2016

Thursday 10th March 1988

Nothing much happened today apart from I think Stuart might be jealous of me because I sat next to Jaime all dinnertime.

I am going to post this on Facebook and ask Stuart if he was jealous...

It's like time travel innit? Really shit time travel.

Wednesday 9th March 1988

Nothing much happened today only I found out why "head" bags are so expensive because they have compartments that come offandyoucancarryaround separately and the zips lock up.

Head bags, (or "head" bags if you will... you shouldn't) now there's a name I've not heard in a long time, a long time... 

I eventually got me a Head Monte Carlo, in this exact colourway:

But imagine how blown my tiny mind was by the fact that they had zip off compartments (at the end, never used by anyone ever) and that some of the zips had locks - to which there was a key which was universal, given their popularity in the late '80s - early '90s this rendered them as secure as Donald Trump's ego. 

Compound words appear to be my new fad. I'm already bored of it. 

I suppose this counts as a diary entry, it documents something I learned that day... 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Tuesday 8th March 1988

As I was playing in the playground Rory came upto me and pulled my trousers down, and in the middle of the playground!!!

This kind of thing rarely happened to me, I was bullied a bit when I was 12-13 but I went to the headmaster (lovely bloke, Mr Scott) and it got stamped out immediately. I was quite a meek child in general, my confidence was mainly delivered to me in a giant lump sum when I got to uni 7.5 years after this diary was written. 

But still, Rory pulled my trousers down. And in the middle of the playground!!! Not completely sure how mortified I was, I guess it depends on how many people saw. Don't worry about me though, I turn out alright in the end. 

Monday 7th March 1988

We've got the new suite it's quite nice I think the head rests spoil it though. Julian and me did a T.V. ad' for a new fizzy drink and we took the mickey out of lucozadesayingitcomesinabouncybottle but when you drop it it just goes straight down and doesn't bounce atall and he pretended to give me some and said "what do you think" and I burped put my handover mymouthandranoff thats all for now becausemy dad might comeupanyminute.

Ooh, check me out with my interior design cattiness! Head rests? Head rest is short for head restraint, I'm not sure if the new suite needed to have whiplash reduction mechanism and therefore I agree with 10 year old me, the head rests do spoil it. Still not completely sure it's the pink one but that doesn't really matter.

So the next part needs a bit of an explanation. I've tried to find the Lucozade advert we were 'taking the mickey out of' but to no avail. From what I remember it was in the days when most 2l soft drink bottles were in 3 parts, the cap, the bottle itself and a black moulding around the bottom to keep it upright on the shelf (I know a lot about plastic now and the fact that they didn't used to be able to make bottles which stood up on their own still baffles me). The advert showed a bottle without the black moulding around the bottom but the main selling point they were using was that if you dropped it, it bounced... nothing to do with the 'health giving' nourishment within the bottle, just that the bottle itself bounced.

So, Mr Julian Batty (another school friend who is no longer with us, RIP sir) and I were comedy geniuses at school. We rigged a bottle by sticking loads of plasticine in the black bit around the bottom. We then recreated the advert but the crucial bit where it bounced back became the part where it just dropped and stayed! So funny! The denouement was the killer though, I had discovered relatively recently that I could burp on cue, so I did and pretended to be embarrassed. 

Oh and the random compound words, I seemed to have forgotten how to put spaces between the words in my diary... I am hoping this is not the beginning of a trend as it was weird to type. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Sunday 6th March 1988

Pamela and Matthew came today we were playing hide and seek most of the time. I can't wait until tomorrow because we are getting a new three-piece-suite I wonder what it looks like? 

We played a lot of hide and seek. A lot. Even though there were only a very finite number of places one can hide in a 3 bedroom semi-detached house. Matthew has been mentioned in two entries in a row, once in my 2016 notes and this time in 1988 (and subsequently here). Our parents are best friends and we grew up together, mainly watching Star Wars on Betamax at their house. Pamela was born in the bed next to me 3 minutes after I was born, my mum and her dad went to school together, her dad and my dad refereed together and we ended up living very close to each other at university. Our parents now go on holiday together a lot, which is nice intit?

Not much to work with but this does at least give a little vignette of my life at the time - very innocent, playing and looking forward to seeing the new seating. And no moaning about not much happening, or complaining that my arm hurts.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Saturday 5th March 1988

We have got no settee and we've only got one chair so I'm sitting on a sofa cushion with another for a back rest. Went to chesterfield mum got a pair of boots and a pair of shoes and I got some peanuts and a little jotter!! we saw millions of policemen and women. I know why because there was a football match one. Sheffield Wednesday lost to Notts Forest 0-1,


Shitty content but content nonetheless.

Let's break this down:

We had no settee (for foreign types, that's one of our many words for couch/sofa). I think (I could scan ahead to the next entry in my diary but where's the fun in that?) this is where we went from a giant beige suite that we'd had since I think before I was born, to a fancy new pink one which lasted so well that I had the armchairs from it in my flat in Nottingham in 2006. I also remember it being a bit of an adventure briefly having no furniture, kind of like camping in the front room.

But seriously, no one was looking at that bit and wanting much exposition, let's talk Chesterfield shall we? Mum got some boots and some shoes. 

I can't remember if I've talked about me and shopping on this blog before, adult Neil I mean. Well I think this is the kind of thing that was maybe the genesis of my problematic shoe buying habit. I had the option on Saturdays of going to the football with my dad (not always, but sometimes) but he was a referee so my introduction to kickball was a baying crowd shouting rude words at my dad whilst I burnt my tongue on cups of Bovril. I remember at one point eating way too many hot sausage rolls with my friend Matt whilst our dads were linesmen and getting very very ill. All in, I think I had probably the wrong first impressions of football. 

My other option was to go shopping with my mum, and whilst some peanuts and a little jotter doesn't seem like much right now, at the time I was overjoyed enough to write 2 exclamation marks after it. 

So yeah, I like shopping and I don't like football. Those things have helped me with ladies over the years and have caused me to end up with about 30 pairs of trainers. 

And let's touch on the last 2 points. Look how smug the 10 year old me was for working out why there were so many polices in town... and I am going to get some anger from the fact I said Notts Forest, I know (now) it's Nottingham Forest. Sorry. By the way, the Wednesday - Forest match was not the reason for the police, (we were in Chesterfield, I imagine it was a Chesterfield match.) that there is what could be called a semi sequitur.

Oh and it was fashionable in the late eighties to end a sentence with a comma.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Friday 4th March 1988

Went to racing club came 32nd out of 35 rubbish!!! it's been a boring three days because thats all that happened!!!!!!!!!

That's the spirit little man! To be fair, finishing 3 from the bottom at the only competitive thing I've done in my life was a bit disappointing but that was a fairly uncommon thing as I was pretty averagely ok at RC car racing normally. Although I had to sometimes sit and hold the button on my battery charger for half an hour so that it charged my batteries properly - at home this was always whilst The Paw Paw Bears were on, so the theme tune which sometimes still pops into my head reminds me of my thumb hurting and the smell of electrics frying slightly. 

I hope things liven up for 10 year old Neil soon, it's been a fairly dull patch.

Thursday 3rd March 1988

forgot to write yesterday but nothing happened apart from we had an hour off school. Nothing much happened today really all that happened is I went to school.

I'm so sorry.

If this doesn't convince you that the stupidly over-long URL I picked for this blog is appropriate then hold tight and pay more attention.

You know when you type/write/read/say a word so many times in quick succession that it stops looking like an actual word (there's one word that has always made me question myself even after one utterance or use - that word is 'glimpse')? The word 'happened' stopped being real after transcribing my pitiful entry from 28 years and 23 days ago.

Two days, two whole days... all I can think to talk about is that I had an hour off school? No idea, I presume some kind of teacher training or something? I don't think it was a bombscare but even if it was all you'd get from 1988 Neil would have been "nothing much happened today apart from we got evacuated from school when someone found an unexploded WW2 bomb in the long jump pit. Got to go now my foot is cold".

I'm just annoyed with myself for not realising I didn't have to only talk about that day, I could have written more about London but no...

Tuesday 1st March 1988

Went to london with school today I went in the Science museum there was missiles allover and space rockets. I saw a Ferrari F40 the fastest road going car legal stopping now because I'm tired.

I told you in the last entry that the London visit has lived on in my memory/imagination since... good job really as this is the report from what I definitely remember being a really fun day out with so many things to see and do...

Great work again little Neil.

I saw an F40 though, that happened, they're pretty rare and I was very much into spotting awesome cars. I remember being slightly obsessed with an Alfa Romeo that looked like a brick, I've still never seen one in the flesh. Let's Google '"alfa romeo" brick' and see what happens eh?

Middle row middle-left, the red one in the same photo as the white Giulietta, and conveniently the car directly above Brick from Anchorman with whom it shares a similar facial expression.

I think this tells you a lot about me. It may explain why I love most of the architecture in my home city of Brum that is currently being torn down as it doesn't fit with most people's ideas of what architecture should do. I like lumps I guess, big lumps with unexpected angles in em.

So, I was legitimately tired this time I should probably concede. I'd had a big day out in London and had done a lot but so much was lost which could have been fleshed out later. Next time I'm 10 years old I'll try to do this better.

Monday 29th February 1988

Me and Fay are almost in love with each other. I have got another verucca on the other foot and I have to get to school for 20 past 7 because of the London trip stopping NOW!!!

Almost in love with each other? In that you're in love with her but she's not with you? No more detail you think you might want to give to the emotional subject you started with maybe? Nope, let's move on to more important matters like foot health. 

How were you to know that 28 years later you'd be reading this and remember nothing of the events which led to such a bold statement? 

I think I remember the school trip though, it formed the basis of the archetypal 'turned up to school naked' dream for many years to come, with one slight (and very Neil Dowling) twist - sure, I was in my pyjamas on the coach and around the Natural History Museum, but the thing I was freaking out about more than anything else was the fact I had bed hair. Anyone who knows me reasonably well will attest to the fact that my Achilles' Heel has and will always be my hair. I have made situations very uncomfortable in the past when my insistence on definitely going home rather than staying out and sleeping at someone else's house/getting a hotel lest I wake up with unmanageable bed hair and instantly lose friends/potential girlfriends when they see the 'real me'. It's something I really only got over in about 2005. 

It's also anthropologically and pedagogically interesting to note that aged 10 I had no idea how to write the time properly, although I'm reasonably certain there have been other entries with time in them that didn't jar like this. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Sunday 28th February 1988

I wore my jazzy trousers to go out tonight Mum and Dad and me went to The Mosbrook I had a Mr Man meal but you feel a right twerp eating it because of the name I had chicken nuggets, chips, beans and for afters I had Ice cream got to get to sleep now (school tomorrow).

Yesterday they were snazzy trousers, today they're jazzy trousers? My vocabulary is stunning isn't it? The inconsistency of my punctuation is a little tiresome though, just the one full stop at the end there. The whole thing could do with a little breaking up I feel. 

I'm hoping that the bit "..but you feel a right twerp..." made you at least crack a smile, it made me laugh and I have already seen it a number of times. I'm fairly certain that at the age of 10 it is perfectly reasonable to be eating a Mr Men themed meal at a restaurant, I wasn't on the pull and I like chicken nuggets (and 'Ice cream'). Also, 'afters' means dessert for all the foreign/southern types reading this.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Saturday 27th February 1988

Went to town today I got a pair of snazzy trousers got to stop now because dad's getting angry.

When was the last time you used the word 'snazzy'? When was the last time you used the word 'snazzy' to describe legwear that wasn't your yoga/gym leggings? 

I remember this, the trousers were from Littlewoods or BHS and were grey but had threads of different colours running through... they were snazzy as funk. 

I've just performed one of the worst Google image searches of my life (apart from the very early days when not many people had heard of goatse).

but luckily for you guys, I found it after only 3 and a half hours of staring.

told you it was snazzy.

So, yeah, I got some snazzy trousers. I remember keeping them for best, which when you're 10 means you wear them about 4 times before you grow out of them.

And, we should probably address the fact I had to stop writing (so soon! Maybe there was more I could have written for this momentous day, what I had for dinner maybe?) because my pa was getting angry... angry at what? My pencil made little to no noise on the paper, I had only written a sentence. We will never know.