beatlesI was born just a little too late to experience England’s glory in the ’66 World Cup and being only three at the time I sadly have no recollection of man’s impressive landing on the moon in ’69 either. The Beatles were probably the biggest thing of the sixties and my tentative claim to fame is that my uncle met them once.

I do have fond memories of sitting in our homemade, secret paddling pool in the long hot summer of ’76. We were whooping and shouting and my poor dad was shushing us and, fearful of arrest, repeatedly glanced over the fence to see if the neighbours were reporting him. I’m pretty sure there’s photographic evidence of me dressed in red, white and blue at the street party of ’77 to commemorate the Queens Silver Jubilee, although I no longer possess the free mug we were given. I think going to the cinema with my friends to see Grease in 1978 was probably the most exhilarating and independent thing I did that decade. Watching John Travolta gyrating to ‘You’re the One That I Want’ on the big screen may well have moved puberty on a good few stages for me.

Thus I move onto the eighties, a time of power dressing and big hair. So many regrettable perms and shoulder pads. I do still have a love of the music of the eighties, Depeche Mode, Human League, Duran Duran and A-Ha to name but a few. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to. The music of that decade was uplifting and happy, except perhaps for Morrissey! During the eighties I changed from a teenager to a woman and it was not entirely a bump-less journey. Looking back I’m annoyed with my former self, I had a figure to be proud of and yet I was a mass of insecurities and fears and too embarrassed to show it off. If I could bring one thing forward from that time it would be my flat stomach and thinner arms. Ahh yes indeed, you’re right that’s two but they are pretty much part and parcel of the same thing.

The nineties was the decade when I had a year off work and took my flat stomach and thin arms to visit Australia, New Zealand and part of the USA. An amazing year spent meeting people and learning much about myself. Not least the fact that I was able to board a plane alone on more than one occasion and make friends within hours of landing in a new country, quite an achievement and probably partly responsible for the more confident person I am today. Taking part in what is now termed as a ’gap year’ is indeed a brilliant experience. I would encourage anyone to go for it – except perhaps my own children! . In the second half of the nineties some major life changes happened. Meeting my husband in ’96 is, of course, one of the highlights and getting pregnant in ’99 was amazing. I had thought that we might time things so that we had the first baby born in the year 2000 but as it happened our son was born in May so clearly nowhere close to being the first child of the new Millennium but a little miracle for us, no less.

The noughties flew by in a haze of having another child and sadly losing my dad. Having young children is an amazing, exhausting experience and not one that can be covered in a single paragraph. Suffice to say that becoming a parent is my single most important achievement.

I’m really not sure what the decade we’re currently in is called, is it the teens? I guess it might be. Anyway, you’re smart enough to know what I mean. In 2011 we moved to the Isle of Wight and have been so happy here. A move that caused some people to state how brave we were to move here without jobs and others to suck in their teeth or make a cat’s bum face and declare us to be reckless and mad. We are indeed both of these but the fact is – we live by the sea and couldn’t be happier.

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