|South Parade - scene of many a mis-spent Saturday evening|
But, no. I was never going to meet the man of my dreams in the bars of Whitley Bay. That happened when I threw caution to the wind in 1994 and decided to go back to college as a mature student (I was 26) to study Performing Arts - and I loved it! I loved everything about that course. It was fun, exciting, interesting - and I realised what an incredible Deputy Stage Manager I was when the so-called actors in our year decided to miss a whole page of the script out one night during a performance of 'The Good Person of Szechwan' and I had to co-ordinate a complete lighting change in seconds to get us back on track. I don't think anyone would've noticed anyway to be honest. It wasn't exactly mainstream drama was it? We lost half the audience by the time they'd read the programme! We'd all wanted to do 'Grease' but the lecturers were having none of it. But the problems would have been far less complicated if all we'd had to worry about was Sandy and Danny forgetting a line from 'Summer Nights'.
But I have so many good memories of those college years, from legging it down to London after lunch one day to see Pink Floyd at Earl's court then legging it straight back up North again to get 2 hours sleep before being back at college the next day for a run-through of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', to the time an ambulance was called because one of the lads "pretended" to fall down the stairs just after our stage make-up module on scars and wounds, (he still had his make-up on) and somebody thought he'd really hurt himself! Our lecturer was not amused, although, on the positive side, it was testament to how good the make-up was!
But one of the best things that course gave me - apart from the knowledge that I was never going to be the next Meryl Streep and was far better on the other side of the camera! - was my husband. Because that's where I met him, and that's when the grown-up stage of my life really began. I'd been faffing about for far too long, still living at home, and still with no real focus. But that Performing Arts course gave me the focus I'd so badly needed, as well as real love of the theatre, and meeting my future husband gave me the chance to embark on a real relationship with a man I actually had some things in common with!
So, the early 90's were my faff-about years, the mid-90's were my college years, and the late 90's were the years when I got engaged, moved in with my husband-to-be, started work as a Media Technician at the University of Sunderland (the best job I ever had!) and started going on holidays to lots of lovely places! Infact, I was so happy and involved in my new life that even Take That splitting up didn't affect me, although I can still remember my then-husband-to-be's exact words as we pulled out of Sainsbury's car park after the news had been announced - "Thank f*** for that!" If only he'd known then that the buggers would be back together in 2006...