I’m sharing the limelight with an awful lot of people in this photo. The more observant among you will remember I also used it as a SatCap a few months back. I have so many photos from my younger days, it could have been hard to choose what to share, but there is just so much to laugh at love about this one.
It was taken in Sochi in Russia – where the winter Olympics will be held very soon – and I was on a Russian exchange with my school. A Russian exchange! This was 1990, so it was pretty ground-breaking. I was 16 and had just finished my GCSEs. Oh, and I’m the one in the black and gold skirt wearing lipstick and looking hot. That’s a SKIRT and LIPSTICK – two things I would run a mile from these days. Oh, and I’m not hot in THAT way. I’m hot in the overheated kind of way.
The girls around me are assorted girls from my school and Russian girls. I’d like to say you can should be able to tell the difference, but I would probably be seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses because now all our clothes look equally naff. The old bloke in the middle is my Russian teacher and the girl in turquoise is my Russian exchange partner. The girl with the stonewashed high-waisted jeans is her sister who came to our house a couple of years later as my brother’s Russian exchange partner!
So what do I remember of that holiday? Not that much, memories are pretty hazy. But I do remember:
- Long waits at the airport and being very tired
- Sleeping on arrival in the morning and waking at 11am to a bottle of warm Pepsi by the bed
- Drinking Pepsi with every meal
- Having three full cooked meals a day – including meat, vegetables and potatoes
- Being bought endless presents by the family
- Staying in a high-rise flat
- Being constantly told to be careful when crossing the road and being asked if I needed the toilet when I was out
- The heat – it was very, very hot
- The loudest thunderstorm I’d ever heard