Certain things are now legal – 12th November 1998

Thursday 12th I’m 16 now. It’s no different though, other than certain things are now legal which weren’t yesterday. I got loads of pressies and loads of cards and I’ve had an okay day so far.

People were trying to make me go in the Music rooms at lunch coz Ewan was in there. I would have done too if they hadn’t have kept going on at me. Rach said that he was telling them to drag me in there but I wouldn’t let them. I wish I had now.

He did sign Emma’s card →

And when he walked past me after school we smiled at each other and he said, “Happy birthday Tess.” Roxanna told me he would.

Rach also said that she tuned into a conversation Ewan was having with Harry Preston. He said, “…and it’s her birthday today.” Then, “Do you think I should talk to her?” Yes, please do. I’m fed up of people telling me to talk to him. If he’s that desperate to speak to me, he can make the first move.

I really like him now though.


P.S. Emma announced this morning that she’s going out with Davis. I was right, yet again!


Is that all he ever says? – 8th & 9th November 1998

Sunday 8th It’s Freddie’s birthday today. I think he got a moped or summit. Emma, Suzanna and I were going to phone him from town today but we got an answer machine.

We went to town coz, when I was at Emma’s last night, Connor and Navid phoned and asked us to go down so we did. Connor still fancies Emma and Navid has given up on Suzanna and he was looking for a new victim so they turned up at Suzanna’s too.

They’re both pretty mingin’ in my opinion. Connor’s tall with greasy black hair and a goofy face. Navid’s short with wavy brown hair and looks like a teddy or summit. They’ve both got pierced ears. Yuk! That really puts me off. I’m not sure what they think of me.

Abby just told me that Roxanna was at Ewan’s house yesterday. She said that Roxanna’s going out with or seeing Harry Preston and Sadie’s going out with Robert Osborne so they went to Rick Swann’s party. She said Ewan was there too.

I bet Ewan’s going out with or at least went with [snogged] someone too. I hope not. Mind you, I can’t see it going much further than it is now with me and Ewan [i.e. absolutely nowhere] seeing as neither of us will talk to each other. They only thing is that I’ve got Adrian asking questions in my Art lesson and Ewan’s got Emma asking questions and stuff in his. I wonder if anything will happen this week coz summit was done or said every day last week, I think.

Emma found out that I E-mailed [Yes, this had a capital ‘E’.] Carl last week and she thinks I embarrassed her so she’s threatening to say summit to Ewan to get me back. I’d rather she didn’t embarrass me but maybe it’s a good thing if she does keep saying little things then he doesn’t forget I like him.

I get the feeling that Emma doesn’t tell me everything he or she says. She doesn’t like to know bad things that are said about her so she doesn’t always tell me things coz she thinks that I don’t like to know things either. I think I said that before. Yeah, I did on Friday.


Monday 9th The Ewan thing’s started up already this week. This time, Roxanna got involved. She saw me on the stairs this morning and asked me if I fancied Ewan. I was a bit less panic-stricken than I was with Adrian and I said he was alright and asked who’d told her. It was Abby.

Roxanna also spoke to Ewan at some other point today coz she told me on the phone that she asked him if he liked me and he said yes but that he wants me to talk to him so he can get to know me better. Is that all he ever says?

Emma was also speaking to him in Art with Harry Preston who asked why I wouldn’t talk to him and was it because I was shy but Cat made some sniggering noise behind them which suggested that I wasn’t. Emma said, “Well, what d’you expect her to do? Just go up and start taking to him?” They said yes. Yeah right, like I’d do that!

There was summit else they said to her after school but I can’t remember what so it’s probably been said before.

Roxanna also says I have to go to Ewan’s village with her when she next goes then we can go to Ewan’s house. Hmm… and that wouldn’t be awkward?! She also said that she’ll tell Harry to bring Ewan with him next time he comes to our village so they can call for me here. They’d better not!


I think he meant the sort of fancying-type want – 6th November 1998

Friday 6th Emma didn’t go to school today coz she said she’s ill. Davis says it’s probably a hangover.

At lunch I was in C Block with Rach talking to Dougie about possibly going to the cinema and Ewan came round the corner. He didn’t say anything to me. Then I was stood by a radiator talking to Rach and he went into a practice room with his guitar.

Then Adrian Ford came and was stood in the doorway talking to Ewan. Then he turned round to me and started pointing to the room whispering, “Tess, Ewan’s in there, go and talk to him.” When I asked why (like I didn’t know!) he said, “Coz he wants you!” Then he walked off.

By saying “wants” I think he meant the sort of fancying-type want. Not that I think he fancies me but that’s the way Adrian made it sound.

Rick [Ewan’s brother] also said hello to me after school and had a sort of knowing smile on his face.

Ewan had come into our form room today to give someone a message from Mrs O. He was stood in the doorway grinning and I think it was coz he was looking at me smiling away to myself. I couldn’t quite tell where he was looking though coz his eyes go like this when he smiles:

But his head was turned in my direction.

I spoke to Emma over the phone before and she said nowt happened with her and a lad last night. She said the Andrew Bailey thing was true and also said that Davis said that if I tried I could look really nice coz I’ve got a good figure and a nice face.

I’m not quite sure how to take it but he also said I was alright (personality-wise) at the moment too. Emma said she thought of it as a compliment or she wouldn’t have told me. That worries me coz she could know summit bad that someone’s said about me and I won’t know and could make a fool of myself coz she won’t tell me.


Confidence boosting for me but agonising for them – 5th November 1998

Thursday 5th It’s Bonfire Night and a week until my 16th birthday which I’m dreading coz Hayley’s going to embarrass me and no doubt Emma will too.

I just thought I’d actually got through a day this week without any Ewan embarrassments today. That is until last break. Rach was on prefect duty in C Block with Harry Preston and I’d told her I’d go and stand with her. But I didn’t realise until I got in there that Ewan was with Harry P, did I?!

I couldn’t exactly run out again so I talked to Rach and Emma. Then Emma decided to call over Ewan and start talking to him about the Xmas party. I thought that she was going to tell him he had to come coz I was going but she didn’t. He was stood there grinning and so was I.

I made eye contact with him at registration for ages. He was sat in his form room eating and I was coming up the stairs. I looked and he looked for ages it seemed until I was in my form room (next to his).

Ferny’s starting at the 6th Form college probably. I thought he’d be joining the RAF straight away so I was prepared to force myself not to like him towards the end of the year coz I thought I’d never see him again. Now there’s no need. Maybe he’ll actually start to like girls by then too. I wonder what Ewan’s doing. I’ll have to find that one out.

I was on the phone to Emma before. She’s got Davis, Charlie Wilson and Jake Taylor all at her house for some neighbour’s bonfire and, as soon as she realised it was me, she said they’d all just been talking about me.

She said that they were talking about Austria and that Jake said that his mate Andrew Bailey (a saddo who was in my ski group) fancied me on that holiday and that he was dead disappointed when he didn’t get to go with [snog] me at the disco. Well, if it’s true, I never realised. If someone had said something I could have had some fun and led him on but not actually done anything. Sort of like a Ralph type thing where it’s confidence boosting for me but agonising for them. Mean, I know! [Very mean but, however much I tried to deny it, I know I lurved Ralph because it’s all written down and I failed to destroy the evidence.]


I ended up lying through my teeth – 3rd & 4th November 1998

Tuesday 3rd I got questioned by Adrian Ford in Art today. He’s one of Ewan’s mates and was bound to say summit sooner or later coz he’s got a big gob on him. He was just sat there grinning at me and when I caught him he said, “Hello Tess. You alright?” I just nodded, gave him a funny look and carried on working.

A few minutes later, he came over and said, “What do you like being called? Tessa, Tez, Tess, Tezza? What?” I told him I didn’t really care so he asked what Emma usually called me. I dunno where that was leading. Then he asked what I was expecting him to ask. He said, “Do you like” then he mouthed “Ewan”.

At least he didn’t yell it but I still wouldn’t have admitted it to Adrian. I panicked again really and took the easy way out and said, “No, I don’t” then started asking who told him that. He wouldn’t say. He started saying the Ewan was a top bloke and stuff before asking me who it was that I did fancy. Ed then chipped in and told him I fancied Ferny and Adrian said, “Tallboy! Ah, you don’t?!”

Taking the hint that it was likely that he’d take the piss if I admitted to that, I denied it and told Ed (loudly so Adrian could hear) that it was Hayley who liked Ferny, not me. Then, to my relief, I managed to turn the conversation round onto Emma and Davis and Neil Kennedy.

I’d planned beforehand what I would say if the Adrian situation came up with anyone. But when I was finally asked if I fancied Ewan, instead of giving a fairly neutral answer of “he’s alright” like I wanted to, I ended up lying through my teeth.

Adrian’s probably told Ewan all that now so he’s either going to think I really don’t like him or that I’m shy or summit. Maybe if it hadn’t have been Adrian that asked and nobody else had’ve been listening then I might have said what I meant to say instead of complete bollocks just coz I was feeling intimidated.

Emma also decided to let Ewan’s brother Rick know who I like. He seemed to find it quite interesting. I did a similar thing there too. When Emma went, I said to Rach loudly so Rick could hear, “I wish Emma’d stop saying that. It’s not even true.” But then she came back and pissed it all up so he knew I was lying, I think.

I’ve got bloody Geography tomorrow again too. ARGH! [Ewan was in the same class.] This isn’t good. Some people think I like him, others think I don’t. I’m going to have to make up my mind which to tell people from now on. I want to say “he’s alright” but my mind tends to go blank in pressurising situations.


Wednesday 4th There’s not really much to write tonight. Rick Swann gave Emma a message to give to me though. He said that Ewan wanted me to talk to him so he could get to know me better.

Emma’s also found out that Ewan’s not coming with the Swing Band to Belgium coz he’s going to Barcelona and he may not be at the garden centre Xmas party.

I also had to nearly site with him in assembly this morning coz he and Adrian sort of pushed in the line just behind me and my mates. I managed to get further forward though somehow.


Ewan Swann is dead good at sketching – 26th-31st July 1998

Friday 31st I’m back from Paris now. It was quite good but not as good as Austria. Different type of holiday, that. I’ll tell you what happened briefly on each day…

Sunday 26th We had to get up at about 4:15am and get ready to go to school. I was worried where I’d be sat and we ended up with Emma and I sat together and Olivia and Cat Elliot sat behind us which was good. The journey was boring and so was the ferry crossing coz it was dead calm.

We finally arrived at Hotel Monfortel and it wasn’t anything special. It was cramped in our room and hot. We couldn’t actually get into our room to start with coz the handle was knackered. We got the hang of it eventually.

[This horrific early example of a selfie was taken in the room described above which perhaps explains the apparent misery.]

We discovered that you could ring each other’s room without charge so that was good.

The food was okay but not brilliant.

We also spotted this freak stood on his balcony all the time and watching us. We thought he was a paedophile or something so we started calling him Peedo then Peedy then the name Peeday stuck.

Monday 27th We played in the Swing Band at Jardin de Luxembourg in the afternoon and we visited the Eiffel Tower in the morning. We went right to the top.

[The numbers on the tower were counting down the days until the Millennium.]

[The numbers on the tower were counting down the days until the Millennium (which I still think is only about 6 years ago).]

The concert went really well and we got asked to go to Toronto in Canada and loads of other people were getting our address and stuff.

After the concert we were allowed to get lunch and walk round the park. Olivia, Emma and I found some fit French lads. Most of them were black and I liked the one with a baseball cap. He was gorgeous.

Some of the girls in our year spotted them talking to us and walked past and the lads ignored them. It was so funny coz they’re not used to lads preferring us over them coz a few of them are right slappers.

Tuesday 28th We played at Notre Dame today.

I discovered that Ewan Swann is dead good at sketching coz he was drawing Gemma Crowther. [He was trying to be like Leo DiCaprio in Titanic, probably in an attempt to make all the girls swoon.] I started to like him a bit coz I’d been watching him and he’s not bad actually. [Draw me like one of your French girls, Ewan].

I spoke to Ewan on the phone too coz he happened to answer when my room rang his room. We were just talking about nothing really and then Charlie Wilson came on the phone.

We also got the chance to shop in Paris and Olivia and I got a bit lost.

Monmatre too. Got my hair braided.

Wednesday 29th Very bad day at Euro Disney.

It started off when we were on our way to Space Mountain and I stopped to talk to my sister, Abby, for a couple of seconds. Olivia and Emma saw me but just carried on. I tried to follow but lost them. I saw Emma further up the queue so I waited at the exit. Then I started seeing people who’d gone in after them come out. That included Mr P and he said if I hadn’t found them within 10 mins I should meet the teachers by the pink castle.

That’s what I had to do and I was trying so hard to hold back the tears. Then I saw Abby again and just cried with relief. Then her mates disappeared. We found Mr P again a lot later with Rina H and Caroline Middleton. We went on some pirate thing, Indiana Jones and Space Mountain overall. We did find her mates again and that’s who we went on Space Mountain with.

I fell out with Emma and Olivia until I was sure they were feeling really guilty and were genuinely sorry. Later I found out they’d been with Ewan and Charlie and James (gotta call Dougie that from now on) and people and I could’ve been too if they hadn’t run off.

Thursday 30th Journey back. Me and my mates got the back seat. I reckon (and so does Emma) that Ewan may fancy Olivia coz he kept asking her stuff like what music she likes and he was being nice.

The ferry crossing was top! It was dead rough and everyone was puking. I didn’t coz I stayed outside. [I’m much less likely to be seasick if I’m distracted by being freezing cold.] I spoke to Ewan a bit too. He had a baseball cap on so that increased the amount that I liked him.

[Not wearing his cap but he was holding one of his Leo DiCaprio wannabe sketches.]

[Stealth photo of Ewan. Not wearing his baseball cap but holding one of his Leo DiCaprio-wannabe sketches.]

Well, I’m home now and bored. All holiday, Emma was flirting with Charlie. It’s so unfair on Freddie. Slapper. Dougie went with Sophie Rowling and Gemma Crowther had an affair with Davis Nolan coz she’s going out with Adrian Ford.

Emma never went with Charlie even when he asked her but she bloody well encouraged him.

I like Dougie. I don’t fancy him, he’s just a nice guy. [How times change.] He was asking Abby how I was after Disney and he said he liked me to her.


I was thinking about Finn. Babe! – 8th & 9th July 1998

Wednesday 8th I had an even better day at work today. We were doing the mosaic thing again but it was mostly finishing off in the morning. I thought that Finn and Adam weren’t coming coz every time I heard the door open it wasn’t them. Eventually they arrived but they went up the other end.

After break, I went up and helped them with the caterpillar and so did Bella. We were just sticking on loose tiles, cleaning them and painting the grout black. They looked good when they were finished. We were all just talking and messing about a bit.

We went home for lunch and Adam walked with me and Bella. They were talking. I was thinking about Finn. Babe!

It was even better in the afternoon coz Adam didn’t come back coz he had to go to school but Finn came back and was there when we arrived, although I didn’t expect he would be. We carried on with the caterpillar and then a photographer came from the Warrington Guardian came. We had to carry out all the flagstones and lay them on the grass then all the kids lay on their stomachs behind them. Then when we went back inside it was all tidying up. We had to sweep our area, put the tiles in a storeroom, chip the tiles off the ones that didn’t get finished and then we had a game of rounders at the end of it all.

All day Finn was being nice to me. He and Bella kept having water and cement fights and he kept taking the piss out of her saying ‘wicked’ all the time and her injuring kids. At the start of the afternoon, Bella went off to help sort summit with a woman who was tidying stuff and Finn and I were left. He just brushed stuff into a pile for me to get in the dustpan. Then he went off to store spare tiles and I had nowt to do.

I wandered up to where he was and he beckoned me over to help carry boxes and stuff. We then decided to go out and see what Bella was up to. She was chipping off bits of tile so we helped. A bit. Bella slapped his arm for some reason and he had a hand mark and kept showing me. She then shoved a kid against a wall accidentally and he cut his finger and Finn kept getting me to agree with him that she was snidey. I did, of course.

We all went in again and started tidying around the sink area. I was mopping up water with paper towels and Finn got a paint brush (one of those big, soft ones) and started tickling my nose with it gently. I told him to get off (nicely) and he did it on my cheek instead.

He also put some black paint on my arm gently and looked at me. I tried to do it back but there was none left in the bottle.

All day he was stood really close to me and was usually touching me. He’s so gorgeous I just didn’t mind. I could also see him looking at me out of the corner of my eye and smiling to himself a bit.

When we were playing rounders, he got picked before Bella and I did and then then he said summit to the kid and I got picked. The kid wouldn’t have known my name. Bella was on the other team and I think he thinks she’s soft anyway coz she was moaning about a broken nail, being wet and coz I wasn’t on her team.

Anyway, we were fielding 1st. I went to 3rd base, he went to 1st base but moved to field over my side and he came closer and closer in towards me. I wasn’t complaining! It was our turn to bat and he stood by me in the queue. I missed 1st time then I got a rounder (yeah!) but then he got 2 more for our team.

Some little girl threw the bat as she ran and it came spinning and hurtling towards Finn’s head. He just ducked out of the way as it skimmed his head. I nearly swore extremely loudly but remembered there were kids about so changed it to flipping heck. It was so bloody close though!

Finn kept saying he had to go coz he had to get food from Marks + Spencer for a camping trip. He didn’t go, he came back in with us, said bye and left just before we did. I’ll probably never see him again now. I tried to get a photo but I think he put his hand in front of the camera or walked off it.

He wears like a gold chain round his neck and a cygnet ring but it sort of looks nice on him. I really liked him as well. You see, you never know where you could meet someone.

I got loads of info about him as well today. I found out:

  • He’s 17.
  • He’s called Finn Ashworth which I found out when he was signing a tile for a girl.
  • He’s lived near there all his life and I heard some girl said, “You live in Duckson Grove, don’t you?” to him.

So, when I got in tonight, I got the phone book and looked him up. He’s under J Ashworth and his address is 45 Duckson Grove and his phone number’s (01925) ******.

I also found out he played cricket at the Sports Club but he’s not in the club. He likes cricket and rugby but not football.

Then I started thinking about one of the reasons why I wouldn’t go out with Ralph. It was because of the fit lads in the Sports Club whilst the World Cup was on. There was one particular lad that Hayley mentioned who played cricket there who she’d seen a couple of times. She said she’d seen him on a bus which was going or coming from the direction of where he lives. Funnily enough, the description she gave me fits Finn. I think it’s him you know.

There’s also an explanation as to why he wasn’t watching the World Cup there – he doesn’t like football. Also, he’s not there every time the club is as Finn’s not actually in the club. It’s gotta be him.

I phoned Hayley up and told her. She said the same thing. Maybe I will see him again. The only thing is that if I did I bet he’ll have forgotten me or he’ll be with his mates and won’t say hi. It’s unlikely we’d be there at the same time though. There’s a chance it might not be him too. I hope it is and he recognises me and talks to me.

I’m so worried that the photo didn’t come out and I’ll never see him again.


[We were so deprived. Teenagers now can gaze at their beloveds all they like with some simple social media stalking. What luxury! Even if Facebook etc had existed in the ’90s, at the speed our dial-up internet chugged along at, there was no way I could’ve had a successful internet stalking mission in my allotted time (half an hour from 7 pm) anyway.]

Thursday 9th I want Finn.

I’ve been pretty miserable all day and Miss C made me feel worse. All you have to do is look at her face and you’re suicidal! No, maybe she doesn’t have a very good life but it’s still no need to take it out on the kids.

I still want Finn. He’s not gonna come back.