Jaqui's Daily Blog

The Adorable Debs and a Dip into the Eighties

My lovely niece, the Adorable Debs, has just turned 40. She is living proof that you can, indeed, be Fab at Forty. Happy Birthday, Debs!


She is celebrating the inescapable fact not just this weekend but next weekend, too, when Mr B and I have been invited to her Birthday Party. Which is fine by us, as we are always up for a party, Mr B and I. But what’s this?  The theme of the party is The Eighties. Which would be similarly fine except that I can’t remember anything about popular culture of the Eighties. What on earth was I doing for the duration of an entire decade that it has slipped so totally from my memory?


I do what I always do when troubled by such problems and take myself off to the health club in the hope that, over the course of sixteen long, slow lengths of the pool, it will all come flooding back to me. The memories that is, not the pool – I don’t exactly make enough splash to create a back-wash.


As usual, it works.  Ah, the Eighties, I think to myself as I push off on my fifth length (it takes me four lengths to get going) that was the decade when I started working full-time for the first time and also when, just over two years later, I made a life-changing career move and transported the whole family from rural Kent to seaside Worthing.  It’s the decade during which I lost my dear Dad, and knew that hollow feeling that tells you life will never be quite the same again. It’s the decade when my family nest, which had been so cosy, such fun, began slowly to empty as the first two fledglings (aka Darling Daughters) flew off to Uni on eager wings.


So, quite an eventful decade altogether I concluded by the end of my swim. What I was no longer any nearer remembering was what people were wearing in those days, who were the heroes of TV and film. In short, who could Mr B and I dress up as, come Saturday next? Back home I resort to the good old Internet for inspiration.


Mr B comes upstairs to look over my shoulder as I tap away at various Fancy Dress websites. He says he is not going to wear anything that makes him look stupid. No, not stupid, I agree, in my best placatory manner, but perhaps there’s nothing wrong in making people laugh?  We scroll through the photographs and get the giggles.


The Eighties was the decade of the Wild Child, of Adam Ant, of Baywatch and of the Ghostbusters.  We can’t quite see ourselves as any of these, though a tiny bit of me does hanker after being a Rock Chick.  More like a Mother Hen, says Mr B, uncharitably.  We could go as Johnny and Baby from Dirty Dancing, I say. We could do a party piece, half way through the evening, when I could throw myself off the stage into Mr B’s waiting arms. Mr B says Baby can stay in the corner as far as he is concerned.


We could go for ET outfits and go round pointing long fingers at people all evening telling them to “Go Home...” but they cost £38.95 each and we both think that’s a bit extreme, even for an extra-terrestrial.


In the end we each find an outfit which we think we will be happy enough to wear. I won’t give the game away here and now because I want it to be a surprise. The last time Debs gave a Dress Up Party (I think it must have been her Thirtieth, don’t the decades fly when you are having fun?) we went as Sonny and Cher and even my own sister didn’t recognise me.  Look out for the photo which will accompany Sunday’s Daily Blog.


Wait a minute, I have just remembered another significant event that happened in the Eighties. I turned 40, the very age that the Adorable Debs is now.  It’s a sobering thought – though not for long. Life, after all, is too short for sober thoughts.


Come Saturday, rain or shine, we will be all dressed up and ready to party!

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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