This month’s chunk of Birmingham Post-lite due to be published Thursday 29th May 2008. Enjoy…

Next week marks the 16th birthday of my daughter, Emily. Being the eldest of three children, her 16th is a major rite of passage for her. Whilst those of us of an older persuasion may have felt similarly about our 18th or 21st birthdays, since the cringingly awful MTV show ‘My Super Sweet 16’ hit our screens, things have since changed. Whilst I am unable to fund brand new BMWs or hire the services of those such as Kanye West as the MTV equivalent regularly does, I will be taking her and her friends to one of Kinver’s finest Indian restaurants. No expense spared.

Thinking back to when she was born in 1992, I feel as though I should be more worried about my increasing years than I actually am, running immediately to the bathroom with a bottle Grecian 2000 in hand. Sorry to disappoint, but if I’m meant to suddenly feel old, then it’s not kicked in just yet. In fact, I’m happier today than I have for many years even with a growing number of grey whiskers beginning to poke through and with a forty-something birthday tucked under my belt just two weeks ago.

So what did a ‘pre-Emily’ 1992 look like?

Well KWS (who?) were number one with “Please Don’t Go” having sold a shed-load of CDs to all and sundry (none of whom can remember today, I hasten to add). Nowadays, it’s the click of a button on i-Tunes and hey presto, the song is yours (apart from when your Mac loses everything as indeed mine did just last week).

In Britain, John Major had recently won the General Election with the Conservative Party despite opinion polls suggesting Neil Kinnock as likely victor. The Channel Tunnel opened its (metaphorical) doors for the first time. ‘Black Wednesday’ was an accident waiting to happen. The Church of England voted to allow women priests, and the Queen described annhus horribilis due to various scandals that damaged the image of the Royal Family, as well as the Windsor Castle fire.

Beyond our shores, the Bosnian war began. Bill Clinton was elected American President. Sinead O’Connor ripped up a photo of the Pope live on US television (how could she, he was the good looking one !!!). Disneyland Paris officially opened. And Denmark – yes, Denmark – won the UEFA European Championships. Unlike in 2008, England DID qualify for the tournament drawing upon the unlikely talents of such household legends as Keith Curle, Andy Sinton, Tony Daley and Tony Dorigo amongst others. Kind of puts the likes of Rooney, Lampard, Terry and Gerrard to shame really, doesn’t it???

How things have changed…or have they?

Whether 2008 or 1992, we all still want to feel as though we belong: belong both to where we are and where we live, as well as to those we love. To do this we need to have friends and family that we can rely and depend upon when things get tough: that we can laugh and enjoy being with when things are not. We also need to have those people around us that make us feel special and make us feel loved: people who make you feel alive and who you want to love in return. None of this has changed since 1992.

Love your family, enjoy your friends, love and be loved. Do all of this and you won’t go too far wrong in life whether it’s your 16th or 66th birthday.

Happy birthday Em, love Dad xx

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2 thoughts on “From ‘annus horribilis’ to ‘My Super Sweet 16’

  1. Salaams Chris,

    Nice post. God, I remember KWS now that you mention them – please don’t go awaaay!!

    May God bless your daughter on her 16th birthday, and you in your forty-somethings.

    Abdur Rahman

  2. Hey all!!

    Many thanks for the comments and all the b-day messages!!

    Thank you for the page dad and the newspaper report!!

    Love you loads dad!! Best dad ever!!

    EmBem

    xxXXxx

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