If you missed Part 1, here it is.

Welcome back to S’s diary. In part 1 we learned that S has seen the seminal work ‘Herbie Goes Bananas’ at the cinema, and that she likes Paul Bateman. On the last page, however, some young upstart called Tony made an appearance:

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What we know about Tony so far:

1: He’s called Tony

2: He probably looks like this:

ac slater

He seems to have successfully seen off the competition anyway.

Let’s crack on.

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Oh I’m so fucking surprised. Poor Paul Bateman. On the next couple of pages we have an article about how you should turn the lights off and sit in the dark, or something. Possibly ok to skip.

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A crossword! I suspect S had better things to do than come up with the answer to “Norman’s wine”. Print it out and fill it in if you’re bored of reading this.

On the next page we have Steve Strange, and Mrs Strange, I assume. S has done a good job of making them look stranger.

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Mini posters of C.H.I.P.S. And the Harlem Globetrotters, and S’s Christmas-present-getting list. She likes Maggie enough to buy her 2 singles, but not enough to buy her 3 singles. Mum is getting tapes and refills (?) while Dad is getting… hankies? And… shavers? Slavs?

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11/12/81

“Sian Roberts was not in school. (Who?) Went to Christmas fair in school. Bought three books. Mr Grinwalds collected money by door. Walked home with Darren and Neil (And what do Paul Bateman and/or Tony have to say about this?) Wrapped Xmas presents.”

I can only assume that S spent the whole of October and November in a state of catatonic lust over Tony, thankfully getting her shit together in time for the Anglesey art group dinner.

12/12/81

“Went to Bangor, bought two singles.”

No idea which singles she bought. Looking at the charts for that week, I’m having a punt on “Cambodia” by Kim Wilde, and “Mirror Mirror (Mon Amour)” by Dollar.

13/12/81

“Went out to play in thick snow, after putting trimmings up.”

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14/12/81

“Woke up 8.30. Went to school. Water ran out, we had no water all day, and it will probably be like this for a long time. (the water RAN OUT? Are you sure? I reckon there was probably some water somewhere in Wales.) Dad told me that Mam was going to hospital. Watched film, ‘A Star Is Born!’.”

15/12/81

“Woke up 8.25. Went to school. After I came home, helped Mam with tea. After tea, finished off Christmas magazine for English. Watched Disco championships and Cowboys.”

I feel kind of cheated that we don’t get to watch Disco championships on TV now.

16/12/81

“Woke up 8.30, went to school. Mam going to hospital today. She will be home on Friday hopefully. Went to free disco in Menai Bridge. Barnie and Laurence were there. Got Christmas present off Andrea, and Joanne.”

Get well soon Mam.

(17/12/81)

“Woke up 11.30, no school today, because there was no water. Cooked mince pies. Dad brought fish and chips for tea. Went to Kwiks. Saw Mam after, in hospital.”

‘Kwiks’? Please be Kwik Save. Please start talking about the Kwik Save flaps. I love those. Since you didn’t get shit-faced at the Menai Bridge disco like you promised last time, this is the least you can do.

18/12/81

“Woke up 8.30, went to school. (Guess they found some water then.) Had volleyball in Gym. Mam came to school dinner-time to say she was home. That really made my day. (This makes my heart happy.) Went to (NO IDEA, SEE BELOW), it was fantastic. Tony was there.”

Oh, Tony would we? Anyway, I have no fucking clue where she went. Here’s the word:

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Seriously, we’ve tried everything. Answers on a postcard I guess. If you can decipher it, let me know.

19/12/81

“Went to Bangor. Went to Bethan’s Christmas party.”

20/12/81

“Went to church. Put Xmas tree up. Watched half of David Bowie film.”

Which film? And which half? Probably whichever half had Tony in it.

And here we leave S to continue with her festive preparations, such as buying Slavs for her dad. Join me for part 3, where we find out what S gets for Christmas.

13 thoughts on “Diary of an 80s teenager part 2: Who the hell is Tony?

  1. Hmm. All my mind will accept for the mystery word is ‘Skielbongs’. It won’t budge from that spelling. I wonder what Skielbongs is, and what you could do there, oh the possibilities!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, Skielbongs…

    I think I’m going to be awake for the next three to six weeks trying to figure out an answer to this totally inconsequential piece of information, so thanks for that, yeah? Time to go full Benedict Cumberbatch on your ass (not like that). Only without the blinding conclusion. I haven’t got one, so don’t get excited.

    First, this is North Wales, so it could be almost any combination of letters, let’s be honest… you know the address, have you tried looking at the map?

    Second, it was a Friday, and the fact that she mentions it last in the entry suggests it’s the last thing that happened that day. If she was a grown-up I’d assume it was a bar or a club, but she isn’t, so I’m thinking youth club? School disco?

    We know she goes to church (see Sunday) so maybe a church youth club? If that’s so could the first two letters be ‘St’ for Saint, being the name of the church? Problem is that a) she’s written it as one word, not two, and b) as far as I can make out there is no St Urlong (Check that with the pope, they’ll canonise anyone these days).

    Now, this is where we get fully CSI. The final letter is an o, not an s. Look at the way the pen has travelled – she doesn’t do final ‘s’s like that. See the word ‘was’ immediately after.

    I’ve checked films that came out in 1981 and that’s a dead loss.

    Expect more of this useless thought-dribble. This has, for some reason, caught my imagination.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, you should get a job as Columbo. I have looked at the map, but there’s nothing at all around there that matches up. Someone will eventually come on here and go “Durr, it’s obviously THIS…” (fingers crossed)

      Like

  3. I have spent A LOT of time on this.

    First of all I can confirm that there WERE two Kwik Saves in Bangor. I used to live just down the road from one – which has now become a soft play centre – and used to pop in for their late night reduced offers. I can confirm that the high street one did have “the flaps” on one of their aisles.

    However I see now she mentions “went to Bangor” so assume now that she must live somewhere between Bangor and Menai Bridge, or somewhere on Anglesey beyond Menai Bridge. Bangor is so small and all-encompassing that you’d have to be quite far out to say you “went to Bangor”. I think I found evidence of a Kwik Save in Menai Bridge too.

    Do you know her address from the full diary?

    I spent a lot of time looking at her handwriting like I did with Jack the Ripper and she keeps changing styles so I can only assume that “S” is some sort of sociopath/psychopath and went on the kill by the end of the diary. My reading of the word is that it is DEFINITELY Sterling’s (she’s not big on apostrophes) or Skierlongs. AKA Ski-a-longs.

    With Mum back from hospital suspiciously quickly I reckon they went to the Sterling’s restaurant for tea. With my local knowledge it would help if I knew of a Sterling’s in the area, I know, but there we are. Either that or a kids’ “ski along” on the dry slope at Llandudno, at the Ski and Snowboard Centre. I mean, I’m pretty certain that these wouldn’t have been open in 1981, but there we are.

    Case closed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it’s Sterlings, but only because there aren’t any uses of the letter i in the word. Everywhere else she uses the letter she draws a very definite loop instead of a dot over the top, and there are none of those.

      I wish I’d found that before my two-hour search for things/businesses/places called Sterlings in North Wales…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve looked too, but used to live there (well in Bangor) twenty years after this. I guess we’d need records from that period, which the internet doesn’t seem to throw up, assuming that this place is no longer there. Worst case scenario: what if it’s a school friend’s name?

        Liked by 2 people

  4. ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ was released in “76 (‘A Star Is Born’ is a 1976 American musical), I’m guessing she watched them on video. It’s rated as PG-13 if that makes any difference.

    Maybe the boiler broke? December can be pretty nippy.

    As to that word! Gah! “Skirlongo”?? Maybe she put that in to confuse future archaeologists.

    Liked by 1 person

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