I wasn’t complaining!! – 17th July 1999

Saturday 17th I had to play in Swing Band again today coz it was the Carnival in the Quad thing at school. It was okay but very windy so out music stands and sheets kept blowing about.

Finn out of Hollyoaks, or James Redman, opened it for us. He’s very nice and Emma and I got him to sign the front of our music folder, the yellow ‘Belgium 99’ sheet. He just put summit like, “To Emma and Tess, Best Wishes, Love” and then he signed it and put “Finn” in brackets at the end. Apparently he came coz he’s mates with a Food Tech teacher’s (Miss D) brother.


I hung about for a bit after we’d finished playing with Emma, Freda, Rochelle and Zoe. We just sat about and talked mostly coz there wasn’t actually a lot going on. Emma was being normal with me again, quite nice in fact, and her mum gave me a lift home afterwards which hasn’t happened for a while. She as saying stuff like it’ll probably just be me, her and Keira Osborne in Belgium coz Cat’ll go off with the older ones. At least she seems to want to hang round with me there but probably only coz there’s not really anyone else.

Mind you, Ed, Davies, Suzanna etc. all went to Chester today but she didn’t go. She also seems to still be able to tell me certain things and trusts that I won’t say anything to anyone coz she was saying how Rachael Hollins was staying at her house tonight (coz Rachael’s parents are going away) and she told me how she didn’t really want her to and said how pathetic and immature she is. At least she knows Rachael’s like that!!

I went back to the carnival later this evening to see what was happening. Nothing much was so Hayley and I ended up back at the Sports Club. There was a wedding on and Ste Rollinson was there. He came over and said, “I think I’ll come over here and talk to you two lovely ladies.” [Smooth.] I wasn’t complaining!! He was a bit drunk I think coz we couldn’t always tell what he was saying.

Hayley went very quiet (I think she was in shock coz she fancies him!) so I ended up doing most of the talking. We were talking about jobs and he said he’d had about 5 since he left school (he’s only 17) including joining a printing business. He asked where we lived and what we were doing for the Millennium. He said he’d probably go into Manchester coz there’s a massive street party or summit.

Then we talked about GCSEs and he said he was still only 15 when he left school coz his birthday’s quite late on in the school year. He said he passed all his exams with one B, four Cs, two Ds and an E, I think. He also advised us to stay on at college and not go out and get a job straight away like he did.

Then he asked us what we wanted to do so I told him physiotherapy. He seemed to like that idea, as did Ewan when I told him on the park at Zoe’s party. Funnily enough they both mentioned nice, young footballers’ leg injuries. I don’t know why?! Hee hee hee!!! He was also asking if we enjoyed the prom.

It was quite a long conversation actually. I think Hayley’s probably still recovering now!


I got my hopes up about a possible better social life – 14th July 1999

[On the off chance you’ve been wondering, I’ve not keeled over from my Mozambican spider bite, I’ve just been mega-ridic busy with work and visitors and weekends away and cats and things. Diary posts will be a wee bit sparse for another couple of weeks as the mega-ridic busy-ness continues but I’ll hopefully get back to normal at some point in November. Soz.]

Wednesday 14th The Au Revoir 2 concert at the Legion tonight seemed to go pretty well. Not as many people turned up as usual but it didn’t really matter.

I got disappointed again this evening after I got my hopes up about a possible better social life. I’d heard Emma and Davis and people talking about going to town on Friday night but I’ve got used to just ignoring the arrangements coz they don’t tend to involve me however much I’d like to go – a bit more exciting than going to the Sports Club!

Anyway, tonight, Ed came up to me at the interval and said, “Are you coming to town on Friday night?” It was a sort of ‘if-you’re-not-going-do-you-want-to?’ type of question so I just sort of shrugged and someone else talked to us instead. To add to that, Emma was waving me over to go and sit down next to her at a table with Davis and Charlie Wilson and some others so that made me feel like I was wanted and in with the crowd.

Since this business with Lindsey Bullman and Lena leaving me and Hayley out, and Emma (my ex-best friend, however much I’d rather it was how it was before) going along with it all so she wouldn’t be the next one rejected, I’ve not really felt like part of a group (even though I’ve got loads of friends) and groups tend to be more fun.

Well, I was sat there with them in the interval and I was quite enjoying myself and then they started talking about Friday, saying that Emma, Suzanna, Ed, Davis, Gavin Bilson and maybe Robert Osbourne were going to town. So when we got back to our seats on stage, I asked Emma what was going on on Friday night and I explained that Ed had just asked if I was going. I was really expecting her to give a full explanation and ask me if I was going to go. I wished I hadn’t bothered mentioning it coz all I got was, “Oh, er, we’re just going to town.” Then she shut up.

I thought nothing of it really until the concert was over. Then Emma went straight over to Ed and started talking to him. I was stood behind her and I don’t think she realised but I’m sure part of what she said was, “Why did you ask her?” I could’ve been wrong and I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice and just passed it off as a conversation which had nothing to do with me if Ed hadn’t have been glancing, wide-eyed between me and Emma once he saw me behind her. Also, Emma said to Ed, “Ooh, I’d better shut up now!” once she saw me.

If that didn’t make them look guilty enough then the fact that Emma rushed off home and straight past me certainly did. Normally she’d at least have said goodbye. Oh well, I won’t be expecting any invitations out again and even if I get any I won’t get my hopes up too much.

At least Ed asked me I suppose. He came and talked to me before leaving as well but with no mention of Friday, just who we thought might be gay in our year!! I like Ed (but just in a friend kind of way). Not many people do like him really. That’s something we seem to have in common.

It’s usually for no reason that people don’t seem to want to associate with me. Well, not one that I can come up with anyway. Actually, with most people I’m not bothered what they think of me but I think it hurts my feelings more when Emma doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere with me anymore because we used to be such good friends until quite recently.

Mind you, some of the reasons I’d like to still be best mates with her for maybe aren’t exactly because of Emma herself. I think it’s more because of the good times out she seems to have and the people she has them with e.g. Ewan Swann sometimes.

It’s just tough really coz there’s not a lot I can do about any of this.


My suspicions about him were right! – 5th June 1999

Saturday 5th I went with Swing Band to Haydock Racecourse today coz our sponsors, Holts Brewery, were doing summit there while the races were on so we had to play as people were arriving.

It was okay actually and there was this bloke with Mr P (the Music teacher) called Paul Hooper we thing (who supports Bolton) and he was about 20-odd and very nice looking I thought! He looked a bit like Ferny actually which is probably why. Mr P’s youngest bro’s alright too! Other than them, a lot of lads my age had been employed as litter pickers so that added to the atmosphere!

My dad won £40 and Cat’s dad won £220 which wasn’t bad!

Other than that, there was a bit of drama going on amongst some of our Swing Band members. Emma was talking quite openly about how she was now going out with Davis Nolan (this American lad who I’ve never really trusted and this just proves my suspicions about him were right!) and Keira Osborne was listening and looked a bit confused. She thought he was going out with a Year 9, Heidi Warner, and that he wasn’t going out with Emma anyway. Or that’s what he’d told Keira.

He’d told Emma that he was going out with her but he told her he’d told his parents he was going out with Heidi so she could go into his room without his parents being suspicious. So, Emma confronted Heidi first and the 2 of them went to Davis together. I don’t really know what he said but Heidi seemed to forgive him more easily that Emma who’s making him suffer a bit. Good for her!

I think Heidi was enjoying it actually and only forgave David knowing that Emma wouldn’t quite so easily so she could have him to herself for a while. He’s got off with it too lightly with her.

We were given these on the way in so we could go in a certain areas →


I went online tonight and Barney Greer was on and Ronan was at his house. We had a bit of a confusing conversation coz the timing of questioning and answering each other didn’t quite link up. They then went without warning and they were probably left with the impression (coz of the way the conversation went) that I wasn’t single and that when I go to Alton Towers I’ll be staying overnight somewhere. They left before I had chance to put them straight. Oh well, I’ll have to mail one of ‘em.


Ewan Swann loomed out of the darkness – 9th March 1999

Tuesday 9th Jazz FM came to our school today to do a workshop with the Swing Band. It was quite good – once it was over! You see, they made us improvise parts and then play them to the rest of the band – alone. Not very nice as I’m sure you can imagine.

There were 4 blokes altogether. The lead one, Nat Birchall who looked like a cross between Billy Connolly and the devil, could do this mad thing with his neck while he was playing the sax. It sort of expanded a lot when he breathed in and no-one could take their eyes off it.

My sister fancied Richard Wetherall, the keyboard player (cross between Stephen Houghton and Ferny and who was stoned I think, judging by the expressions he made when playing). [Please note that I didn’t really know what ‘stoned’ was.]

We also had to do a concert thing at the British Legion club with them. We played only 4 pieces and then they did the rest of the evening. I had a bleeding shock though when I was sat on the stage. As I looked up to see where my mum was, Ewan Swann loomed out of the darkness. Luckily I couldn’t see him when he sat down or I’d have been in a major state of panic.

After we’d finished, we got to sit in the audience and watch the blokes play. Ewan was sat pretty much on his own so Emma and Davis sat with him. So of course, as I walked past, Emma grabbed me and said, “Sit here with us”. There was two spaces. One on a bench thing next to Ewan from which he moved his coat to clear a space for me and one on the other side of the table by Emma. I took that one. [Argh! Why?!]

I did speak to him a bit but it was just in general conversation. He did ask me if I wanted a drink and what music I liked though. [I hope I didn’t say ‘Steps’.] Emma said she thought he was trying to get a conversation going but I, being dense, didn’t realise and didn’t carry it on much.

Every time I turned round to watch the band, Emma and Ewan were leaning across the table and whispering to each other then Emma nudged me and stuff or asked me what he’d asked her to ask me. Why he couldn’t have done it himself, I don’t know but still, I got the messages through Emma.

One thing was just after a debate (not including me) as to whether he looked better with his glasses on or off. Then I think he said to Emma (whispering), “Ask Tess what she thinks” so she did. I told him the answer. He looked better with them on. Then Emma nudged me again later and said he kept asking her to ask me if I’d phone him. I dunno what for though. I don’t want to either. Why can’t he ring me anyway?

There could’ve been more coz Emma had that knowing sort of smile on her face but she didn’t tell me anything else. Oh well, it looks like there’s still hope for me yet!

I don’t know why he was there actually coz his parents weren’t and he wasn’t with any of his mates really either. Hmmm. [I hoped he was there to see me, didn’t I?]


There was this really fit trombone player – 14th-16th February 1999

Sunday 14th  I did a concert at the RNCM in Manchester today with Swing Band and then we went to see their band. There was this really fit trombone player called Paul Bright or summit. Actually, there were quite a few that weren’t bad.

I got to hear all about Emma’s night out yesterday from her. She told me that she went with [snogged] 8 people (slapper!) and that it was really good fun and it really boosts your self-esteem. She said that bit like I should try it. Well, I would if I ever got asked anywhere. I felt so left out again.

Yet again though, Emma was being pretty normal and I was getting on pretty well with her and she was showing me the Valentine’s card she was sending to Davis Nolan and stuff like that. There’s such a big difference in the way she acts around me on her own and how she is with the rest of them. It’s really frustrating too coz I really want to comment on it but I know it probably wouldn’t do me any good.

My mum made me feel even worse in the car on the way to take Grandma S home coz she kept pointing out places in Manchester where she used to go out. It would have been okay but then she told me that she was my age when she did that.

The fact that I have a big lack in my social life, Emma going out everywhere and my mum saying that has made me feel really great. NOT!


Monday 15th I got my Food project back today. Mum asked Mrs P about it last night and she said that the school would be open today so we went down and luckily my coursework was still there in the blue box. I’ve just got to get round to finishing it now!


Tuesday 16th P. [Period]

I went to the Trafford Centre with Hayley today. I enjoyed it actually and I spent over £100! I bought:

– a bluey-grey skirt
– black knee-length boots
– black shoes
– 3 CDs which were Britney Spears ‘Baby One More Time’, Lenny Kravitz ‘Fly Away’ and  Offspring ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’
– a bottle of CK Be
– a lip gloss

I think that was it anyway.

We’ve also been offered a job for Friday night. Hayley just went off to see who was in the snooker room at the Sports Club but she was gone for ages. I was just about to go and find her when she came back and showed me some business card. She said the lady at the food bit had called her over and asked if she and a mate (me!) wanted to do some waitressing on Friday night from 6:30pm to 10:30pm at Greenhalgh’s in Stockton Heath. She said that she’d take us and drop us at home afterwards.

So, Hayley said she’d let her know after she’d asked her parents and me. She was really unsure and didn’t really want to do it but between me, her mum and my mum she got persuaded into it and Lyn (the woman who asked) said she’d ring Hayley with the details tomorrow. She also said that Ste Rollinson (the year above us) and someone called Rob and Chris were doing it too. It could be a Rob from school but we’re not sure.


Been there, done that – 25th-28th September 1998

Friday 25th I went to the Sports Club tonight. It was only meant to be me, Hayley and Lindsey but when we got there, Freddie, Ed, Dougie and Emma were there. We just watched TV and played snooker until everyone but Hayley and I pissed off to wander the streets of the village in the dark. Stupid if you ask me.

Emma reckons Dougie fancies me coz on the phone to her, he kept asking if I was going and then why I wasn’t going to Ed’s. She said that at Ed’s he suggested going to the Sports Club coz Emma had told him that I was in there after he’d asked. Hmmm… I’m not so sure myself. She said he kept looking at me too.

Then after most people went, Gethin Turner and Brian Short started talking to me and Hayley. They’re both really sad and Greg is so gay. Really, he is. Hayley thought he liked me but, as I said, I think he’s gay so it’s pretty unlikely.

Emma said that Connor phoned her today and she said he said to bring me on Sunday coz Navid wants to meet me coz he’s given up on Suzanna. Connor’s told him I’m alright according to Emma. From what she’s said though, he sounds pretty minging. I’ll have to wait and see.


Sunday 27th We had a recording session (hey, that sounds good!) with the Swing Band today in he Drama Studio at school for our new CD. It took hours but it should be good.

I think I was starting to fancy Dougie again today. I’m not so sure now. It think it was probably more to do with the fact that there was nobody else that I vaguely fancied there and that I thought there was a slight possibility that he liked me. I don’t know now, I think he likes this Nicola girl and Sophie Rowling.

Anyway, I’m going to try not to let myself like him too much. Been there, done that. Not much else to say really so…


Monday 28th Grrr! Ben McFarlane’s got a girlfriend. Rhian was telling me on the phone that she saw him and this Sarah holding hands. Bugger! I s’pose I can’t expect him to stay single forever.

I was talking to Jez in Geography today. We had a room change so he and Graham Baxter were sat in front of me and Lizzie. He was just talking to me about stupid things like what we’d be doing in P.E. next and when I was going to need the Sports Hall or gym for my project.

He’s also got some ice hockey match on TV sometime on Sky Sports 3. I can’t remember when he said it was but he’s number 83 (I think) and it’s got Greenhalgh written on his shirt anyway.

I think I’m starting to fancy him again too. NOOO! Control yourself, Tess!

P.S. Ferny’s even more gorgeous now. He’s shaved off his horrible furry sidey bits and his face is much smoother. Luverly!

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.