Yesterday while rummaging through some papers I came across an old blue exercise book that I hadn’t seen in donkey’s years. It was a diary I’d kept in 1986, when I was fifteen years old. I was in one of the last years to sit O Levels and, with Michael Gove currently using his wide experience of secondary education – inasmuch as he once went to school – to haul us back to the educational dark ages, it might be timely to revisit the anguish of the system he in effect wants to restore.
Or, you know, just marvel at what a knob I was. Pompous, pooterish and pretentious, it soon becomes clear that my writing and personality will change little in the following years.
So here’s part one of My Teen Diary. As the new year dawns our thoughtful hero is on the brink of some life-defining moments – and he knows it. Yet little does he know as the ‘auld lang synes’ fade away that the creeping spectre of death is just around the corner.
JANUARY 1st 1986. (Wed). It’s two years since Orwell. It’s four years since the Falklands War. It’s sixteen years since The Beatles split up. It’s sixteen years after I was born. Well, it’s the sixteenth year of my life, anyway, I’ve to wait another eight months now. This is probably the most important year of my life. This time in 365 days I will either still be at school or (with bad results) at work. Simple isn’t it? Last night was Itch’s new year party. At midnight everyone was happy. Did they realise what was in store before the next New Year’s Eve? I certainly didn’t until much later.
JANUARY 3RD 1986 (Fri): 1.30pm. I’ve just heard on the news that Dustin Gee has died. I suppose in ten or even five years’ time I’ll be saying to people ‘Do you remember that Dustin Gee bloke?’ and they’ll say ‘Who?’. I’ll probably have forgotten all about him as well. It’s really tragic because he was dead funny. Poor old Les Dennis. It’s going to be like Rod Hull without Emu, or Wise without Morecambe. I bet he’s well choked. The year can only get better now, Les.  9.50pm: Actually I’m a bit choked about it. I mean you don’t expect people like that to die like that do you? Meant to do some revision tonight but didn’t get round to it. Fairly average kind of day apart from poor old Dustin.
JANUARY 4th 1986 (Sat): Phil Lynott died today. Why is it that these people all seem to die at the same time?