The Goldcoast Hour
That sacred time between 5-6pm when you left your life and headed for Australia. Home and Away first – Meg dying in Blake’s arms on the beach/Shane dying on his and Angel’s first anniversary/Dannii Minogue everything/Pippa and the caravan park/Marilyn marrying Donald Fisher. Then Neighbours. Scott and Charlene fully tonguing at the altar/Daphne giving birth still wearing her tights during a picnic/Bouncer everything/Sarah with the incredible hair coming between Susan and Karl. All deeply important. All discussed in detail at school the next day.
Being allowed to stay up to watch Dallas/Dynasty
Watch these shows now and you realise that what you thought was serious drama is actually full-blown comedy. Krystle and Alexis dress like Russian hookers. JR Ewing is wittier than Noel Coward. Catherine Oxenburg’s acting as Amanda Carrington. Pam Ewing being wrapped in bandages like a mummy after crashing into an oil tanker, but with her eye make-up still totally perfect. At the time though, this might as well have been Shakespeare.
Eating sweets normally
Remember when eating sweets was totally normal? It wasn’t full of emotion – the contemplation of eating them. The internal debate. Then buying them, eating one and then immediately feeling guilty. Forcing people to share them with you. Throwing them out halfway through. Then fishing the bag out and finishing it. Worrying about your teeth. Worrying about processed sugar. Feeling a headache coming on that probably isn’t really there. Thinking, ‘For God’s sake, it just doesn’t matter’ to talk yourself down from the ledge instead of just eating the damn sweets because you felt like it, the end.
When a sandwich was just a sandwich made with one ingredient, like jam or honey (really missing the jam, actually). Not an entire eco-system between the bread that sandwiches are now where all the food groups are represented. A simpler time. When did life – and sandwiches – get so complicated?
The ability to sleep
Top of the Pops
When you knew about the top ten and what was number one and cared. Taping your favourite artists on Top of the Pops, like Madonna’s first performance of Like A Virgin when she rolled erotically around on the stage in a long pink wig or the video for When Doves Cry and watching them both over and over again like you were studying them for a degree. (Um, anyone else keep a book where they wrote down each song on the show every week and scored it out of ten?)