a PE kit in a jane norman carrier bag

Kickers shoes and skirts rolled up

As we prowl the corridors of school

Our bright pink plastic bags

From River Island and Jane Norman shops

Slung over our shoulders

And bulging with our unwashed kits

For netball and the hockey teams

Sprayed with Spice World spray

And playing Aqua on our Discmans

Knowing that the world is ours

But not that all this shit will slide

From fashion in a year or two

And soon we’ll be just middle aged

Like those teachers that we mock

Reminiscing on those starlit times.

Charlotte’s Web and Kipper’s Party

The books that lined our primary school shelves,

Stickered with their reading levels

Like a rainbow ladder leading to the library

Where picture books will fade away

And books with words alone will dominate,

Opening the gates of love, of hate

And every shade of hot emotion

Burned into the page.

When you are at Primary School, here in the UK, we begin our reading journey with books that belong to a series called the Oxford Reading Tree. They are predominately about a family of five who live with their dog Floppy.

I remember the first day that I was allowed to go and pick up the first book and take it home to read to my mum. It was the first book in the series and it was called Kipper’s Party. It was literally the most exciting moment in my life at aged four and a half, and that love for reading has never really left me.

Every step along the way has felt equally as exciting and I still feel sentimental whenever I come across any of those old books from my childhood.

When I was seven I progressed to the ‘real’ books that weren’t full of pictures and it was Charlotte’s Web that catapulted me into this new world. I had to read a section for my SATS when I was in Year 2 and I was hooked so I had a copy bought for me during the summer holidays.

Every so often I stumble across one of these books in the library or a charity shop and it just reminds me of the magic of those early reading days. When I find them my heart actually beats faster and I feel a bit like I’m coming face to face with an old boyfriend who I never really got over.

Here’s to the books that will always have a special place in our lives.

Much Love

Rachel xx

making the album covers

set of retro vinyl records on table
Photo by Matthias Groeneveld on Pexels.com

Make up is called and the lighting guy

Is climbing a ladder with a flash bulb

While the prop lady plays with the car

Submerged in the pool, such a waste

She thinks as the band all take their place

And the man behind the camera shouts

Prepare for magic, an image that will not

Be lost within the folds of time,

This will be a legendary shot.

Apparently, it’s twenty five years to the day that the Be Here Now album cover was shot at a posh house in Hertfordshire. I was, therefore, having a look at that album cover and then some of my other favourites from the last thirty years or so. And there are so many good ones.

Not everyone reads books, so not everyone gets quite as excited as me about a beautiful book cover – sad, I know. But music is almost inescapable. Just driving in your car to work with the radio on opens you up to an hour of music a day and there is going to be something that you fall in love with.

And along with any good music there comes a great album cover. I guess some of the magic has been lost recently with lots more streaming and downloading, but those days when you used to take your pocket money to HMV to buy your favourite band’s CD was something very special.

I wonder what it feels like to have worked on one of those iconic shots and to have seen it in the making? I bet it’s quite a special feeling to know that you have created something that is so ingrained in the public psyche that everyone knows it, even if they don’t quite know where they know it from. That must be magic.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the great musical bookmark

gray book with gray lace bookmark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Transported in a moment,

One strike of the key

Or that first sultry tone

And there you are

In space and time

A place you’d rather be.

I have spent this evening watching back to back music on BBC2 and it’s totally transported me to another time and place. I started with Top of the Pops 1994, and then carried on to watch Mariah Carey on the BBC.

So many of those songs from the mid 90s are so special because it was just before I hit my teens and things become so complicated and emotional. My memories of that time are a bit hazy now, but I do remember the feelings I experienced in the summer before I went up to secondary school.

Some of those classic songs stayed popular for a long time and I remember playing some of those ballads really loudly and feeling heartbroken or madly in love when I was about fourteen or fifteen.

Similarly, I find I can watch Dawson’s Creek and feel the same way. I feel a bit sad watching and listening to these videos as they just remind me of a much simpler time when only rich business men carried mobile phones and social media was just a whisper in the wind.

Much Love

Rachel xx

don’t let me get me

silver colored microphone
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

It hits you normally, when you’re driving,

Inevitably it will be raining

Just to add to the broody mood.

And then you cry, the day hitting you

Like a double decker bus and you know

That you need some Pink to heal those wounds,

And you know that other drivers

Look at you like you’re mad as you belt out

Don’t Let Me Get Me, with tears streaming

Wondering what’s the point; what’s the meaning

If not to sing those classics

At the top of your broken little voice?

I was driving home the other day and I was feeling a bit flat; that was until the radio presenter put Don’t Let Me Get Me by Pink on. My reaction to it was instant. It was an almost primal reaction that just forced to me sing.

I was born in the mid eighties so when Pink and Britney and NSync were all at their peak in the early 2000’s, I like to think I was also at my peak. So, whenever I hear those bangers, I’m instantly taken back to being 16 or 17 and feeling like I had the world at my feet.

And then Pink is just the perfect artist to shout an cry to. I’m sure anyone who pulled up alongside me at the traffic lights must have thought I was mad.

Not so long ago, I watched an interview with Megan Fox and she said that if you are feeling anxious and you feel like the ground is swallowing you whole, listen to some early Britney and everything will be OK- nobody can die while listening to Oops I Did It Again.

I normally wouldn’t take my life advice from Megan Fox, but I feel like that is solid advice to live by. So there is now a Britney / Pink / Christina playlist in the car, ready to go for those anxious days.

Much Love

Rachel xx