Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That Nineties Show

Well, this made me feel very old.  Our two eldest boys had Spirit Week and Harley, 16, went dressed as Nineties. Whaat? People tell me it's a real thing -  Nineties parties are huge now. What was the fashion, what were the bands, what was I doing? It's not long ago enough for me to remember.

That Nineties Show: Harley and friends during Spirit Week 

Driving home the next day (from where...I can't remember, it's too recent) I saw a boy walking along the road in a huge faux fur coat. It was our Jackson, 14, -  turned out he was dressed as Macklemore doing his Thrift Shop song for Famous People Day.  Funnily enough I'd bought that coat in a thrift shop a couple of years ago for my Margot of the Royal Tenenbaums. Then I wore it again on my trip to Berlin: this coat has kind of taken over my life; it's old school, hasn't realised the cold war is over.

Jackson, 14 in his Macklemore coat
Jackson's photoshopping

I've been thinking a lot about the eras because Sue, another childhood friend from this photo, came to visit. In the photo she's the one in the yellow bibbed shorts; she had bright blue eyes and a constant smile. We talked about the mean nuns who taught us. At primary school, headmistress, Sister Stanislaus, used to thump kids repeatedly on the back for imagined misdemeanours. And at high school you risked a bloody good punch on the arm from the bullies if you ventured into the wrong corridor. But we agreed that somehow it hadn't really scarred us; we still had good memories of our schooldays. Not that I recommend either of the above.

Me and Sue at our house. What amazed me is that we weren't the same height!
Sue graduating in her officer's uniform

Sue was a bit of star at school. In 1979 she was the first female university officer cadet to be accepted into the New Zealand Airforce. Once in, she applied to be a pilot and was declined - they wrote back saying they didn't have any "separate facilities" for her. She still has that letter.

Speaking of childhoods, we just saw a documentary called Crash Reel (available on the HBO website) about a young snowboarder, Kevin Pearce who emerges as the only real rival to his friend Shaun White. He suffers a horrific crash and we then see his two-year journey to recovery and back to snowboarding. The most amazing thing is the filmmaker only met him after the crash. Most of the footage had already been taken: he and all his snowboarding friends had recorded everything about their lives.

An equally compelling documentary is This Way of Life (available on Amazon) about a family with six small children who live in the bush in New Zealand.  The children live a free and fearless kind of life, including killing their own food and galloping bareback on horses and the footage is utterly beautiful and lyrical.

Both will make you laugh and cry and think long and hard about your childhood and how you are bringing up your own children.


36 comments:

  1. Argh! Am upset hearing about the airforce. I was once told in my twenties that I would've gotten the job but I probably would get married then quit so they patted me on the back thinking that was a compliment. I didn't get it in writing otherwise I think I'd have used them!

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    1. Ha! The most incredible thing is they felt confident enough to actually TELL you that! Wow beggars belief - some things about the old days were not as great...

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    2. CSW - love your post today about the Chanel jacket and what it says in Blue Jasmine, something I would read in the Times Style section

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    3. Thank you :) PS I meant to say i would have sued them!

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  2. Oh yes I agree I am officially ancient if people are dressing as the nineties. I was lucky enough to have been thought by nuns who although one or two were not the full shilling most were kind. The two programmes sound great will have to check if I can see them here.

    That coat has a personality all of its own.

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    1. We definitely had the very bitter ones. A sweet guitar-playing one who wore her habit very short (just below knee) arrived and scandalised the rest with her sweetness but apparently later got married

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  3. Yes, apparently the 80's is almost Jurassic now!

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    1. And that's why I remember the 80's so well!

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  4. Jody, I have no idea how one would dress for 90s! Yes, it seems just a bit ago... Jackson is quite a cutie. I admire his guts to wear the coat! I know my Jackson wouldn't. My Grif might.

    I am going to check out these films. there's been a dearth of good stuff out there lately...Lovely you reconnected with your friend. That is some of the best parts of life- reminiscing about the past!

    Sorry I'm behind reading! Missing your blog. xKim

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  5. Geez making me feel old
    If the nineties are told
    Be interesting to see those too
    Living in the bush and my ocd would not do

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    1. Yes I'm a wuss,
      I'd probably be sweeping the dirt with twigs
      And wanting to carpet my tented digs

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  6. why thank you for the kind comment about our film This Way of Life - it's also available direct from the filmmakers (we share profit with the folk in the film) www.thiswayoflifemovie.com

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    1. Hi there, re Jay's comment - what is the best way to get the movie in the UK?

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  7. Oh great! Thanks for letting us know that - is there a sequel in the offing?

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  8. Hee! It's funny to see how kids interpret 90s fashion, because it's done through the lens of what is cool now. Did that make sense?

    And that Macklemore costume is great!

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    1. Jen - yes jackson has that same red hair, shame he didn't get the Macklemore top quiff thing.
      I see from the latest Vogue that 90's was grunge and it's back in. I'm not sure I did the greasy hair and florals with Docs back then but unlikely to re-visit.

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  9. haha i laughed at your comment that the 90s are too recent to remember. i so get it! thanks for the recommendation about the docs--they sound intriguing. when you talk about your childhood in new zealand, it seems so very similar to my childhood in jamaica. go figure. i'm all caught up on the posts i missed now. always good to visit here! xo

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    1. Hi Angella - good to hear from you. Also just remembered that we were caned! Well things have changed for the better in that respect. We used to line up in our Houses - mine was Gold and march into class to marching music, very odd now i think on it.

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  10. I was taught by nuns too, they'd whip our hands with rulers! I never got it but plenty did. I was absolutely terrified of them.
    I just hope I'm not messing up my kids, sometimes I think I don't know what the hell I'm doing!

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  11. I'm still wearing my 90's clothes, come to think of it quite a few are from the 80's too! I need fashion help!
    Those documentaries sound really interesting will see if I can find them.

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  12. Nineties! Grunge or minimalistic? I'm still trying to master minimalistic... but I can do grunge without a moments thought.
    Sx

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    1. You're good to go at all these new parties!

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  13. Awesome jacket that clearly wants to have a long life. I remember when the snow boarder had his accident. He was a lucky young man and seems to have a wonderful family. Thanks for sharing the documentary info. My nephews might want to see it when it's released this Dec.

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  14. It will make them wear helmets forever! Even if you are not a snowboarder you will love it, I used to snowboard but was reluctant to watch this when y sister recommended this, it was the family part I loved and his incredible determination which also held him back

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  15. The 90s are not near as distinct as the 80s in my mind. The music was trash and the clothes just meld together as . . . I'm not even sure.

    Love the fur! I'm certain you nailed Margot.

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    1. It was a fun costume to put together - you could totally do it too. I found a 70's lacoste dress that stood up by itself it was so nylon-y - I stayed away from all flames that night

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  16. Love this - the 90s - good god, that was last week!

    Love your son and your friend! We are having a hard fall kid - wise, so I need the club!

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  17. If the 90's are old, then I am ancient, oh goodness! I didn't realize it was that long ago, haha! I loved the 90's though :)) Highschool time for me, we were into grunge and all that stuff, haha! Everyone looks great!! x

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  18. I too went to Catholic school although in my case we wee girls in pleated skirts were the tyrants the rather than the Nuns.
    As for the nineties they are a blur for me. Largely due to the fact it was my child bearing decade. At the beginning of the nineties pregnancy and a transfer from my husbands employer saw me go from a Sydney career woman who worked for Loewe and wore designer clothes to stay at home new mum in rural Queensland addicted to Days of our lives who wore ugly thick strapped maternity bras under her husbands T-shirts. Australia was behind in DOOL so i was 'lucky' enough to witness Dr Marlena's possession by the devil beginning to end. Maybe the blur is my memory's way of protecting me from the reality that was. The good part is towards end of the nineties we were transferred to LA, kids went to school, Sheryl Crow released a new album: what can I say things picked up. Love and always look forward to reading your posts.

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    1. That's what my mother said about the Sixties and Seventies when I ask her about the freedom era, she was grappling with a manual washing machine in Paraparaumu. I was helped through the full fat Marks and Spencers Mac and Cheese years with the help of Eastenders. However I will forever by haunted by Rickaay.

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  19. This whole post was so good! The 90s parties freak me out, I can't remember what I wore in the 90s much less anyone else. How is that possible, and I'm in fashion? I will have to research it via Jackson's cues. I love the then and now photos of you and your friend Sue, so sweet and Crash Reel sounds like something I need to see.

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  20. I would LOVE to go to a 90s party. Best. Decade. Ever. :)

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  21. OH, MY............thought provoking!

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  22. This way of Life sounds interesting. Must look it up.

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