What’s changed since 1983?

May 9, 2013

Special K is thirty this year and to celebrate they’ve launched a new recipe. We’re linking up with the iconic brand and BritMums to see what’s changed over that period.

The Eighties was a hugely significant era for me – particularly 1983, the year I became a teenager. My bedroom wall was dominated by the likes of Wham! and James Dean not to mention an array of Athena posters. Maggie Thatcher was in power and we’d just come out of a recession. Cabbage Patch dolls made an appearance – someone reportedly broke their leg they were so desperate to get hold of one. The Compact Disc had recently launched proving far more successful than wrist watch TV which, let’s be honest, was never going to take off. 1983 also gave us breakdancing.

You’ll see from the photos I donned an attractive perm. A look achieved only by sitting in the hairdressers for several hours. A considerable amount of time was then spent on the daily upkeep of the big hair – greatly assisted by mousse and hairspray.

My style was initially inspired by music and film, the branded T-shirt phase, step forward Frankie Goes to Hollywood and U2, with ripped sweatshirts, leg warmers and drainpipe jeans courtesy of Flashdance. I skipped the goth period completely instead getting jiggy with the likes of stripes and turquoise.  The mid to late Eighties saw me morph into a Madonna clone, messy hair tied back with lace and bangles to my elbow, before finally adopting a cowboy boot wearing rock chick look.

Culture Club was at the top of the charts with Karma Chameleon, closely followed by David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Every Breath You Take by The Police.

We also listened to Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Wham!’s Club Tropicana, Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield, Whitesnake’s Here I go again, U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday and The Cure’s Love Cats to name a few classics of the era.

I remember singing to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart to the top of my lungs, I wanted to be her. How my brother and his mates laughed when they caught me singing into a hairbrush.

Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean was one of the best-selling singles of 1983. The 13-minute video for Thriller arrived later that year. It was MTV’s first World premier and remains one of the most influential pop music videos ever.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood released Relax (Don’t Do It) which, after being banned by the BBC, stayed at the top of the charts for five weeks in 1984.

Music was hugely important to me at that time. At one point I’m proud to admit I had all singles from the top 40. I’d play them on a portable record player in my bedroom. Sunday nights consisted of ‘attempting’ to record the charts from the radio. A minefield of finger and thumb control which often resulted in missing the end of the song or including a DJ’s waffle.

I saw my first film at the cinema in 1983 – it was Flashdance (certificate 15). I loved the idea of being a dancer but I couldn’t even do a crab properly so it was short lived. Perhaps that’s where the fondness for Dirty Dancing stems from.

Other films around included Star Wars, Superman, Octopussy and Terms of Endearment. Not forgetting Risky Business with Tom Cruise.

In 1983 there were only four television channels, hard to imagine now. Breakfast Time, the UK’s first ever breakfast show, launched. Blackadder, Taggart and Tuckers Luck, the follow-up to Grange Hill, also had their debuts. We were already watching Crackerjack, Saturday Superstore, Doctor Who, The Young Ones and The Tube.

Top of the Pops was essential viewing every week as was Dallas, Dynasty and the A-Team. Not forgetting Tom Selleck as Magnum PI.

Today I’m thankfully bubble perm free although my locks have become curly of their own accord. It’s not dyed yet, pretty good going for someone in their forties with dark brown hair. My style is far more reserved these days although I love colourful clothing – red is a personal favourite. I met my husband at work in 1999. We married in 2004. After a decade living together in London, we moved to Surrey in 2010 – our daughter arrived on Christmas Day that year. In December 2012, following twenty years working in the marketing communications industry, we launched our own marketing and new business consultancy. This blog came a month later. My fondness for Eighties music remains albeit more refined.

Special K has changed a lot too since its “Can you pinch more than an inch?” campaign in 1983. Their new 3 grain recipe contains rice, wheat and barley so it’s a great source of fibre and with 8 vitamins and iron. Having been a fan of Special K for many years,  I was slightly apprehensive about trying the new recipe. I needn’t have been, it’s the same crunchy Special K just a little sweeter and more flavoursome.

To see the full range of Special K products and find out about their free slimming service, head over to www.myspecialk.co.uk.

This post is for the Special K/BritMums ‘How I’ve changed’ Linky challenge. I received a box of the new recipe Special K to try for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.




  • Reply Xandi | The Mummy Scripts May 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Serious Nostalgia trip!! This whole post took me back to really what can only be described as an amazing time. The music, the music!! I was also Madonna mad and couldn’t help myself singing Here I go again (Whitesnake) at your mention of it. LOVE IT!! Heading to iTunes now to create and 80’s inspired playlist. Fab post xxx ps you rocked the perm my dear 😉 x

    • Reply Charly Dove May 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      So glad you like it – definitely trip down nostalgia lane! Like you, I absolutely loved the eighties 🙂

  • Reply Anne May 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I can’t believe you are nearly as old as me 😉 I love your perm, mine was terrible, when I had it done long I looked like Crystal Tips, so I always had it short. Great post, good luck with the competition x

    • Reply Charly Dove May 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Ha ha very funny – young at heart Anne! Looking back I can’t believe how much time I spent on that hair – silly really! Thank you x

  • Reply Notmyyearoff May 10, 2013 at 7:58 am

    My hubby would love this post – he is 80s crazy, we have all the movies and everything! I think its because the 80s was our childhood – love your perm 🙂

    • Reply Charly Dove May 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you so much – feel free to share! The perm is slightly scary. I loved the Eighties though 🙂

  • Reply Sarah MumofThree World May 10, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Fabulous post! So many memories. Feeling like one of the older mum bloggers on the block, it’s nice for me to read a post from someone who is a little bit older than me! Although I’m not so young I don’t remember this stuff. My favourite memory is trying to record Top of the Pops/ Radio 1 charts with a mono tape recorder and my brother shouting in the background! All my music had an argument recorded over it in those days. Found you on PoCoLo.

    • Reply Charly Dove May 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah – I keep forgetting how old I am. Young at heart though! I loved the Eighties, it’s great a lot of the music is so widely recognised. The dramas of trying to record the charts 🙂

  • Reply Jaime Oliver May 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Charly I am loving the perm!! reading this it was like going back in time for me too although my first real memories and were thriller, flash dance, foot loose and no legwarmers! im a 79 baby 🙂

    • Reply Charly Dove May 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      It’s a superb hairdo is it not – not! Quite funny now, it used to take hours to get done. Shame this post shows my age although you’ll be pleased to hear I don’t act it 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne May 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Yay, we’re the same age! I was a huge Wham fan and also had the horrible hairsprayed hair which took pretty much a whole can each day, to keep it looking that way! My sister had the poodle perm and the short sides (Kevin Kegan style!). What fab memories. Thank you x

    • Reply Charly Dove May 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Hurrah – young at heart though right??!!! So glad there are more Wham! loving hairspray fans out there! Your sister’s hair sounds brilliant. It’s like a trip down memory lane this post, might have to do another one 🙂

  • Reply Dragonsfypoppy May 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Oh my goodness what a brilliant post. I’m going to come back and re-read this one. I always wanted a perm, but my mum wouldn’t let me, and a cabbage patch doll, but they couldn’t afford one! I even entered a competition on Going Live to win one!! Oh the memories….Thank you so much for this xx

    • Reply Charly Dove May 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Thank you so much – it took ages, I kept reminiscing! The perming took ages, like hours, so your mum definitely saved you there! I didn’t have a cabbage patch doll, sounds like you may have won one 🙂

  • Reply Lou May 12, 2013 at 2:27 am

    What a wonderful trip down memory lane! Your perm was definitely prettier than mine. I think the 80’s put me off colourful clothing for life, I prefer muted colours these days 😀

    • Reply Charly Dove May 12, 2013 at 11:10 am

      That perm needed a lot of work let me tell you! Quite funny looking a cringey 80’s photos although I loved going down memory lane. I’m off the fluorescent colours 🙂

  • Reply Verily Victoria Vocalises May 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Woohoo! I REMEMBER all off this so very well. Music was such a big deal for me too and my favourite group remains with me – Go West :). The eighties really was the best time. I’m one year behind you in age. It’s funny because the other day Ross and I were talking about an eighties themed cafe – would be fab! Thanks for linking to PoCoLo xx

    • Reply Charly Dove May 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Me too and I loved Go West as well! The Eighties were just brilliant. I love the idea of an Eighties themed cafe, what a great idea 🙂

  • Reply Actually Mummy... May 15, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Athena! I’d totally forgotten that. I had a ring binder with the gorgeous Athena girl on it! And I also remember my tape recorder held up close to the radio on a Sunday evening 😉

    • Reply Charly Dove May 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      The gorgeous girl in the tennis skirt with her bottom out?! Loved the L’Enfant one and the one of a couple on a motorbike. Oh how we adored the Eighties 🙂

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