Ok, maybe not so hot weather wise, but, in 1983, having just left my schooldays behind along with the moody eyeliner boys, it was time for this wallflower to bloom.
After securing a job as a secretary (much to my typing teacher’s shock) at the local ice rink, it was time to smarten up my act. The ice rink was famous for its glamorous glitzy summer ice extravaganzas and I was swept away amongst the sequins, spandex and glitter to a new world of make-up, big eighties hair and the inevitable credit card clothes debt.
The hair got lighter, longer and curlier, the skirts got shorter and the heels got higher. While still retaining my tomboy status with my love of fast cars and football, I had finally developed a girlie side. (When I say developed, there was still little to shout about in ‘that’ department but nothing that a push-up bra wouldn’t fix!)
I began to notice the boys a little (ok…a lot!) and to my surprise they began noticing me. Dates came and went along with the odd falling out with girlfriends over boys, but nothing serious and in fact I was having way too much of a good time to think about anything long term. Holidays to Spain racked up on the credit card and two weeks in Tenerife playing two guys off one another, then going off radar on my return home, avoiding phone calls and returning letters unread. (Yes this was the days when people called each other when dating or, God forbid, wrote on paper to each other…life is soo easy these days.
The only spanner in the works during this hedonistic period, was, that at 5″2′ and just under 100lbs, despite the push-up bra, I still looked about 14 and was endlessly turned away from pubs, bars and clubs, spending the evening sat in the car outside while my older-looking friends partied the night away. These days I could just mock up a fake ID faster than you could say “how old are you”, but back then it wasn’t so easy, so I just had to wait until I officially turned 18, then the nightlife in my home town didn’t know what hit it!
I’m determined to get to the present day, so, fast forward through my late teens, swiftly past one ‘doomed from the beginning’ engagement (which annoyingly included an apartment repossession… well I didn’t want it and apparently neither did he!) and into my twenties. Bored with small town life, at age 21 I decided to go out into the big wide world and apply for a job in Spain. Actually my Mum applied for the job for me and off I went to London for the interview and to my surprise found myself on a one-way ticket to Malaga airport and a new career as a travel rep in Torremolinos.
I guess from then, I never looked back, travel was in my blood (still is) and after a great ten-year career climbing the ladder and living in numerous sunny places around Europe, another ‘doomed from the beginning’ engagement (no property repossession this time) I decided that stage two of my career was ready to take off…literally.
I landed my dream job as an air stewardess for British Airways on the long-haul fleet where I lived in the lap of luxury in top hotels around the world, some places more glamorous than others (Mumbai v Mauritius, Karachi v Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh v Rio…you get my drift), shopped ’til I dropped and had the added irritation of actually having to work on the flights! But seriously, I had a ball and reluctantly hung up my wings after ten years.
Working as a flight attendant only increased my desire to look my best, as pretty new recruits fresh from college came through and the long night flights take their toll on your body, the need to take care of one’s health and appearance became more apparent in such a competitive world. The credit card debts of my teen years long paid off, the shopping malls of the world became my mecca as I discovered new make-up brands, designer clothes and don’t even get me started on shoes. The tomboy in me still managed to find plenty of time to develop a somewhat unhealthy (for the space in my wardrobe) obsession with Converse sneakers and the ubiquitous fake football tops from the markets of the far east.
Since putting my feet on the ground, I set up a successful real estate business in Spain with my husband…oh didn’t I mention that serious romance finally got hold of me and I found my soul-mate while watching Man United vs Liverpool… you see, even tomboys get the guy eventually! This ‘not doomed from the beginning’ engagement lasted and a wedding date was set and a wonderful day was had by all! To my parents’ surprise, I actually wore a dress, I am sure they expected me to turn up in my Man United kit, but my concession to the inner-tomboy was that under my beautiful, shimmery ,silver dress, I wore a pair of custom sneakers, silver of course!
Having always enjoyed writing a few years ago I decided to make it my career, I undertook a number of distance journalism and writing courses before starting work for a local newspaper, some freelancing and more recently building my portfolio as a social media guru.
So there it is, that’s me in a nutshell, laid bare (well ok, I wouldn’t go that far) but, we’re all friends now and friends tell each other everything..!