I don’t know if it’s my impending 30th, my grungy new blonde do, or an early mid-life crisis, but I’ve been feeling slightly nostalgic for my childhood lately. But seriously, weren’t the 90s and Noughties just the best years? Blue eyeliner, embroidered jeans (Thanks, B*Witched), Adidas popper pants… The list of fabulousness is endless! I’m pleased I grew up when I did; at the risk of sounding like a fuddy-duddy, kids these days are too aware of everything and try to grow up way too quickly. Unless everyone around me grew up quickly, and I was just naïve- a definite possibility.
I’m going down the self-indulgent route today, and I’m going to reminisce about some of the things that brought me joy during the 90s and Noughties. How many of you feel the tingle of excitement when you think of taping the top 40, being ninja-like to stop it before the DJ cut in? Or watching SM:TV with Ant, Dec and Cat? Just enjoy those memories. The future can wait for a minute…
90s: Matilda (Roald Dahl)
Ok, so this was technically an 80s book, being first published in 1988, but at 3 years old I couldn’t read it, so my love came for this in later life… Probably around 1993! What’s not to love about this Roald Dahl masterpiece? C’mon, it’s genius! A young girl with brain powers so strong she can do almost anything. The best example of how education, learning and reading are good for you. Of how they can get you out of awful situations. Of how having books as your friends isn’t a bad idea. Hats off to you Mr Dahl, you shaped my childhood through this book!
This was my first “dirty book”, and it must’ve been passed around the girls in my year five times over. It was a hidden gem in our school library. Good old Judy Blume, giving us insights into teenage life! Teaching us the ways of the world. Her books were a guide through life. Detailing friendships, relationships and first times, at 13 years old we thought we were so sophisticated! I spent my teens thinking all boys named their willies (Ralph, in this novel). This book may be the reason I stayed away from sex for a long time- I think the thought of any Ralphs coming near me was disturbing at the time. When I started working at my old school, this book was put into a sale, and I now own the copy that we used to fight over!
90s: Spice Girls SPICE
What can I say? I was a wannabe through and through and loved these ladies! My big sister, Kate, bought me “Wannabe” in 1996, I think to help me through Take That’s demise. I remember saving money to go to Woolworths when the album finally came out and I fell in love. Definitely the best CD of my childhood. The Spice Girls remind me of my sisters, Kate and Lucy, and of school friends, doing performances, arguing over who got to be Sporty or Scary. I always wanted to be Posh… Hmm! One of the greatest moments was when my sisters bought me tickets to see the Spice Girls at the MEN… I cried when I opened the tickets! From their debut, Wannabe, to their Christmas hit 2 Become 1, this CD has all of the classics. So much so, I’m going to listen to the album now (alas, on YouTube not on CD- I fear discs are a dying breed). “I’m, giving you everything, all that joy can bring, this I swear…”
This was a very difficult decision. So many albums remind me of some stage of growing up. Destiny’s Child, Outkast, P!NK, J Lo, Westlife… In the early Noughties I had very questionable tastes (wall to wall Westlife, anyone?) but I think my favourite album has some level of integrity- which is rare! In 2004 I was leaving Sixth Form (it’s still counts a growing up, dude! I’m still growing up now), and I had discovered pubs! I was introduced to The Killers and had a deep and unwavering connection to Brandon Flowers. Everything about Hot Fuss brings back an incredible memory. Whenever Mr Brightside comes on, my friends and I go completely crazy, play the air drums and jump around uncontrollably. There are teachers, doctors, nurses amongst us, but one bar of that song and we’re a bunch of crazy folk who, to an outsider, look like we’ve never heard music! Andy and I picked All These Things That I’ve Done as out closing song at the wedding do; I will never forget the pride and happiness I felt, dancing around with my new husband, literally surrounded by our favourite people. As soon as that chorus kicked in we were bouncing around like Tigger on speed! Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll reminds me of “my person”, those Thursday nights we’d go out in our Wilkinsons uniforms. One of the best concerts (I’m not cool enough for gigs) I’ve been to was seeing The Killers at Blackpool Winter Gardens, where Zane Lowe was the warm up act. I got to the front for about 20 seconds, and loved every second! The memories are endless and each track will be in my heart and soul for eternity. And I will, some day, snog Brandon Flowers (sorry Andy!)!
Whatever! As if!
This film is still, twenty years (yes, mother truckers, it’s 20 years old this year) on, my all time favourite film. I’ve used it in lessons to show how novels can be adapted to suit a modern audience- you all know it’s based on Jane Austen’s Emma- and I watch it whenever I want to feel good about life. This film, along with my big sisters, taught me everything I needed to know about life. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but you know what I mean. Cher is wonderful, and Josh is the perfect man. A total Baldwin!
Noughties: Two Weeks Notice
Hugh Grant has always been a favourite of mine- and this is no exception in Two Weeks Notice! The film is pure cheese, predictable and crass in places. But it’s my number one film from the Noughties. Sandra B is amazing in it, and I find it incredibly funny. You know when I watch TWN that I’m recovering from some kind of stress as its my go-to film to cheer myself up! I don’t care that it’s tragic!
Basically, the 90s and Noughties were by far the best era! My childhood/teenhood was wonderful, and I couldn’t have got through it without Shout magazine, rollerball lip glosses and glitter gel! Thanks Mam and Dad for bringing me into the world in time to enjoy this period as a child!