Last week, I found this in a box at a car boot sale:

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It’s a 1981/82 diary, and it’s been filled in by a 14 year old girl from North Wales, who we’ll call ‘S’. I’ve decided to share this simple yet heartwarming tale of teenage life with you, if only for the fact that it proves someone, somewhere, once bought a record by Dollar.

A few notes before we begin: I have, to the best of my ability, removed S’s full name from the following pages. Notes by me are in italics. Also, I apologise in advance to any Welsh readers if I’ve spelled things wrong. But, you know, she had bloody terrible handwriting at times.

So join me, dear reader, as we follow S on her journey of buying miniature cans of coke, attempting to phone her crush, and watching Herbie Goes Bananas…

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I don’t think you need me to point out that she likes someone called Paul Bateman. 

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School timetable for the coming year. Not sure what commerce is. Exemplary penmanship thus far.

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S doesn’t much go in for books, preferring instead to trade records with ‘Maggie’, Mandy’, and someone called ‘Chips’.

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31/08/81

“Woke up 10.05. Went to get paper in shop, but there were none left. Bought little cans of coke for 12p. After dinner went for a ride in the car, to Mynydd Eilian, and Bull Bay. Got a cup of coffee and a choc ice. Watched Sinbad film, Coronation Street, Benny Hill.”

01/09/81

“Woke up 9.05. Maggie came to call for me. Went to village to cut my hair (Lady Diana style). After dinner went to Auntie Eleri’s, and went to Caernarvon. Got pot noodle for tea, watched ‘Keep It In The Family’, and Morecambe and Wise. Blackie went missing.”

Oh dear, is Blackie a cat? A dog? A deadly but loveable python? Hope he/she is ok. S doesn’t seem that fussed either way.

02/09/81

BACK TO SCHOOL

“Woke up 8.05. Found Blackie by back door. (Wasn’t bloody missing then was he, he was what’s known as ‘outside’.) Went to school, got my timetable. Had present from Newton Abbot, from Nain. (Welsh name for Grandma.) I like Form 4. Watched Coronation Street. My indigestion started.”

03/09/81

“Woke up 8.20. Had breakfast, went to school. Mam went to see headmaster. I am allowed to go to Tech. Watched Top Of The Pops, Ain’t Half Hot Mum finished.

04/09/81

MAM TO OPTICIANS

“Woke up 8.15. Went to school. Had double Gym first two lessons, with Annie Agro. (She sounds delightful, I bet she has a hairy chest.) After school went to Margaret’s birthday party. Got hot dog, doughnut, fairy cake, trifle, can of coke. Watched Spider Man film.”

05/09/81

“Woke up 10.00. Patches comic gone up to 18p. (Bloody outrage.) Watched telly.”

06/09/81

“After dinner, went to Auntie Joan’s.”

A good solid first week. Still don’t know what Blackie is, or our heroine’s relationship to ‘Paul’.

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07/09/81

“Woke up 8.15. Went to school, had double Welsh. Had school dinners. After I came home from school, went out to play with Maggie. Went to Auntie Eleri’s house to give her birthday present.”

08/09/81

“Woke up 8.20. Went to school. Had school dinners again. After school came home. Did my homework. In the evening went to pictures to see Herbie Goes Bananas. It was good.”

09/09/81

“Woke up 8.15. Went to school. Had nice dinner. After I came home did homework. Went to disco in new club in Menai Bridge. It was great, going again soon, I hope. (Me too. If you could get off your tits next time and write about that, us here in the future would appreciate that. Ta.)

10.09.81

“Woke up 8.30. Had chips for dinner. Had loads of homework.”

So much homework, in fact, that S was too busy to write diary entries for the next three days. I’m guessing Welsh homework. Those vowels won’t take themselves out.

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Wait, back up, who the fuck is Tony? I thought Paul was our guy? S, are you cheating on our guy Paul with this upstart Tony? I thought you were different. Victoria Principal clearly approves of this behaviour.

Join me for part 2, where we solve the mystery of ‘Who the fuck is Tony?’ (maybe).

11 thoughts on “Diary of an 80s teenager part 1: meet our heroine

  1. More of this please. I used to live down the road from Menai Bridge and know of no clubs there. Suspicious.

    Is she from Bangor? There was a cinema there which I frequented. Next one: Llandudno Junction. I hope for more clues as the story progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having researched the matter (by which I obviously mean I read some Wikipedia), I can confirm that there were two Specials albums out by 1981.

    While I liked the image of her and Maggie continually lending the same Specials record back and forth between them, that’s probably not what happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every time someone older makes disparaging comments about kids on their phones these days, and how much they used to get up to when they were young, they should be forced to read S’ diary and relive the true horror of their youth.

    Liked by 1 person

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