This was me at 15/16 yrs old.

I fucking LOVE my hair. That ‘do’ did not MOVE. Every six weeks I’d go to the salon in the village where one of my mum’s friends would do the highlights, violently dragging strands through a plastic cap with a metal hook while you’d weep.

And check the eyebrows. Readers under 25 yrs old (are there any of you?) take note: in those days our brows were not plucked and re-drawn to become ‘on point’. Our vaginas were also hairy. It was all about the hair back then…

The eyes would have been achieved by building up mascara applications over five days, each time separating the lashes with a pin. My best mate would be like, ‘stop it you stupid cow, you’ll poke yourself in the eye’ and I’d be all, ‘I’m fine I do it all the time’ until I stabbed myself in eye EVERY TIME, resulting in a weepy-eye for 24hrs which looked totally hot.

I’m looking at old pics because I’m working on my memoir-book thingy and pics help to fling you back to where you need to be. I remember Dad taking this one. We had a photography session with me in various tops, refusing to smile. Smiling made me bulbous of cheek. How completely crap that I still feel the need to dick around in pics so as to avoid looking like a gigantic peeled potato.

This was around the time my mum died in 1989. I was heading into my final year of GCSE’s which I didn’t fuck up which was miraculous not because I was in deep grief, but because I was also in deep love with my first proper boyfriend.

He was older (21) and had a car and a job and money and a top-floor flat scenario in his parent’s house which meant we didn’t always have to have sex in his car which meant all my friends were well-jel (a phrase that didn’t exist then, but should have).

They say you never forget your first and I’m lucky in the extreme that my first was such a brilliant fella. I adored him right up until I didn’t, which occured only because I spotted other adorable fellas on the horizon (across the pub carpet) and also because I was heavily in to trying to be either Janet Jackson or Jennifer Saunders or a famous writer and wanted to ‘focus on my career’…which I actually said out loud and actually meant it when I said it, aged 16…

People always said I looked older than my years which I loved back then (that they still say it now is less loveable, obvs). All I wanted was to be grown-up and free and wise and capable. I acted older too (that skill has been left behind) so that people would let me be grown-up and free and wise and capable.

Looking at that heavily made-up face now, I can see she’s actually just a kid. A sad and confused girl, younger than my daughter is now. I was no wiser than any other teenager. And am still no wiser now. Except I don’t stick pins in my eyes anymore…and thank the lord for foil-wrapped highlights…