Saturday, 7 March 2015

in our teenage bedrooms

Did you hear A Girl's Own Story on Radio 4?

It was on ages ago, but it's still available. It was a brilliant programme and I would recommend it. 

It was talking a lot about how teenage girls create their own space in their bedrooms. That these are the places where they create and recreate their identities.

What was your bedroom like?

If I had a VHS player, I would still be able to watch the video my Mum took coming up the spiralling stairs to the attic, the music getting louder as she came. At the top of the stairs, the door is open into the riot of colour and noise that is my bedroom. There is not an inch of wallspace left uncovered. Poems are written on the eaves in nail varnish. Pictures and text torn out of newspapers, magazines, and anything else that crosses my path, adorn the walls. There is a Sonia single, covered in glitter, glued to the wall; collages of the faces of rock types, an interview with Dogs D'Amour

Within this cacophony is me. Skinny and black haired, getting ready to go out. Probably on a Saturday morning, before the Phono. Wearing rags created from the things that I found, and tied on, wrapped around, and elasticated. Tutted at by my mother for wearing see-through clothes (now I tut at her).

I spent a lot of time in that bedroom, with its cheap plastic carpet which was easy to burn.


This is me, in my bedroom, later than teens. The first
time I came back. While I was studying at Uni. All the
pictures had gone, so I painted it all purple and black.
Cheerful wee soul that I am.
It still feels like my space. More my space than my bedroom now, or indeed, any of my house now. All of it shared. Not that I mind that. But that bedroom. It was mine.

I had the biggest room in the house because I'd had to share a room with my Mum, and then her boyfriend too, after my parents divorced. This was my space to make up for it. This was where I had my first passionate kisses. This was where I learnt the words of the Psycho Surgeons songs, and practiced my incredibly detailed makeup.

This was my space.

And I've grown out of it. I don't need it. But I still miss it.

What was your teenage bedroom like?