A decade of great music
My most vivid memories of the 1980s involve driving all over the North West of England to watch live bands.
A crowd of us from my hometown of Blackpool, Lancashire, would set out (usually on a Friday or Saturday night) to various venues to see some well-known and some more obscure bands.
As soon as I passed my driving test, at the age of 17, I was lucky that my wonderful dad didn't mind lending me his car to go on some great adventures.
I didn't realise how lucky I was, to be honest. As long as I put the petrol in and didn't bring it home on the back of a breakdown truck, dad was very easy-going.
I recall he had a red Morris Marina, his pride and joy, which became our ticket to freedom as we cruised round Lancashire and Yorkshire, music blasting out on the cassette player. (This was before the days of CD players and if there was a track you liked, the laborious job of fast forwarding the cassette to the correct place - very hit and miss - had to be endured).
Packing in as many passengers as possible, we would set off down the M55 motorway to venues as far afield as Sheffield, Manchester, Lancaster, Leeds and Preston.
This was also before the days of sat nav and we were reliant on our own sense of direction - it makes me wonder how we survived sometimes! I would take an old-fashioned road atlas with me if we were going somewhere new and rely on my front-seat passenger to map-read and give me directions.
We must have travelled hundreds of miles in the six years (1983-1988) that we used to hit the road and drive to see bands on a regular basis.
Black clothes and big hair
The '80s to me meant having really big hair and wearing mainly black clothes, with plenty of leather, studs and lace.
I was labelled "Goth" and "punk" (and some more unmentionable names by drunken strangers in the street on a Saturday night) due to my appearance, but I was happy as I was and didn't want to be a "disco dolly".
I remember having each ear pierced eight times and then my nose pierced. This probably seems pretty tame by today's standards, but in those days, it seemed quite outlandish to my long-suffering parents and my elderly grandma, who lived with us.
However, again, I was very lucky, as they took it all in their stride and never once objected to or criticised my appearance - except on one occasion when I first wore a chain linking my nose ring to the gold sleeper at the top of my ear and mum panicked that I would catch it on something and rip my nose open. (I never did).
One of my good friends was Nila Myin, whom I had met in around 1982 through hanging around in the same circles in our home town and sharing a love of punk, post-punk and indie music.
I always admired Nila and her sister, Jenny, who were both stunning and wore the most fabulous outfits.
I remember Nila could wear just about anything and always added her own unique style to it. She had some fabulous, black, stilleto boots, with plenty of buckles, zips and chains, which I loved.
She was very petite and I was envious that she could wear high heels without towering head and shoulders above everyone else.
She wore them with a leather jacket and mini skirt, sometimes wearing a hat too.
I was never a hat person - I recall the only hat I wore was a PVC biker cap that I bought in Manchester on impulse. However, I think I wore it only once after someone joked I resembled one of the Village People - not really the effect I was hoping to achieve.
I did much of my shopping for clothes at Affleck's Palace in Manchester, where there was a huge assortment of unusual, independent designer outfits mixed with retro and vintage clothing.
But I was always careful what I wore - you would never see me in heels, as I was 5ft 7ins tall and they made me almost 6ft!