It was 30 years ago today…

BritMums in conjunction with Special K have asked bloggers to take a trip down memory lane to look at what we were up to 30 years ago. The recipe for Special K has changed for the first time in 30 years, but how have the rest of us changed over three decades? 


They say that if you can remember the Sixties then you weren’t really there. I say that if you can remember the Eighties then you probably wish you weren’t really there. As decades go it may now be vintage but it wasn’t exactly Vintage with a capital V at the time.

I was 14 in 1983 – just discovering music and hairspray. I hated my convent school with a passion and I dare say that, for the nuns, the feeling was mutual.

Belfast was a thoroughly grim place to be in the Eighties. I was once in a cinema in the city centre when a bomb went off outside. Most people screamed and ran out, but I stayed put – I had paid my £2.50 and wanted to see the end of Beetlejuice. My dedication to movies remains undimmed.

Not quite 30 years ago but close enough, here’s a picture of me in the Eighties. I’m on the left. I like this picture because my hair looks cool and I am being kind, looking after my friend who is throwing up.eighties



I still try my best to be kind, even to people who are throwing up. As you can see I was wearing a paisley pyjama shirt and some rosary beads. Neither are still in my wardrobe, alas.

This photo was taken at the Thursday night disco at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. I am amazed to see that this place is still open and has a website and even its own app. Back then it barely had functioning toilets.

I was woefully under age and it was a school night but I still managed to sneak in past the bouncers. I would have an attack of the vapours if my teenage daughter tried that one on now. If you’ve seen the film Good Vibrations then this was just after the era depicted there and many of the people from those bands would come along to the Crescent on a Thursday.

And what were we dancing to? 30 years ago in 1983, three classic Smiths singles were released – Hand in Glove, This Charming Man and What Difference Does it Make? I had a ruffle through the records in our attic and found two of them:

 smiths singles eighties


A man’s bum on a record sleeve! That was considered pretty racy at the time. It wouldn’t raise an eyebrow now. 

People have come and gone in my life over the last 30 years. The big change in me mentally is that I’ve gone from being a technology refuser to being a big time geek-freak and proud of it. I’m still watching Doctor Who. I still like music but I don’t go to discos on a school night any more.

And here I am with the best things I have produced in that time: not the eighties


From what I remember, when I was growing up Special K was a fairly exotic diet cereal which my mum refused to shell out for. Now it’s one of my children’s favourite cereals, when they can get me to shell out for it. As part of this linky challenge we were sent a box of the new version to try. The recipe has changed and they’ve upped the number of grains involved from two to three. We all enjoyed it, to the extent that the box only lasted about two days.

But the brand has lasted 30 years, and not many manage to do that.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – the more things change, the more they stay the same. 


This is my entry for the BritMums/Special K How I’ve changed Linky challenge

  • I love this! You’re only a year older than me so we’re similar with music (though mine was the Cocteaus, New Order and Aztec Camera) – this challenge has been a good laugh, I’ve enjoyed it!

  • Thank you Jo! I agree, this has been a really interesting challenge and I have enjoyed reading the posts a lot. I definitely saw the Cocteaus and New Order in the Eighties but I don’t think Aztec Camera came to Belfast.

  • Aargh! Now I’m jealous of you! I never got to see the Cocteaus live – I was that bit too young (I was 13) – although in 83 I did my first gig seeing Duran Duran – screaming the whole time, ha! Did my first festival the following year and saw the proper Sisters of Mercy, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Chameleons and Spear of Destiny! Then I felt a bit cool.

    I don’t think I got to see New Order until way into the nineties – and that was probably at a festival.

  • Loved reading your post. I am a year older than you. Somehow my post came up not as I planned, and probably too grim for Kellogg’s to like, but I don’t care. 🙂

  • Jo, you saw some great gigs! Not that many bands came to Belfast (too scared)so we just used to go and see who ever came. So I saw plenty that in retrospect were pretty cool, but also saw Kid Creole & the Coconuts. Who were very good BTW.

    @Galina – thanks for reading, I will pop over and read your post. It is hard looking back so far not to also contemplate the tough stuff which has happened and the people who are no longer with us. But this is our journey and we should be proud to have travelled it so far.

  • Great post and some fab pics. Commenting for BritMums and thanking you for taking part

  • Thank you Susanna, it’s been a fun and interesting challenge.

  • Thanks for bringing back some old memories. I had forgotten the Smiths and Aztec Camera. Smiths were (and still are) classic. Neither made it to Swindon. (We peeked with Showwoddywoddy) but New Order did. Sadly, I never managed to make it.

  • Thank you – I hope those old memories were good ones. I would’ve liked to have seen Showaddywaddy, they were ace.