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Found on the shores of The West Midlands. The Coventry Conch tells the tale of a young girl's experience growing up in Coventry in the 1990's.

Sunday, 8 January 2017



I’ve got an hour to find a fancy dress outfit in Nanny Pam’s wardrobe!

Sammy from my class is having a fancy dress party tonight in the church hall. At break time today she asked if I wanted to go because Rachael’s got diarrhea and can’t go anymore and her mum said she had to ask someone else.

I only said yes because Tom’s going to be there and Amy’s going too. Amy got invited ages ago because her mum works with Sammy’s mum at the doctors surgery. She didn’t want to go but her mum’s made her and even bought her a proper Baby Spice outfit for it.

I go for tea round Nanny Pam’s on Thursday nights because mum’s at college. Usually we just sit around eating choc ices and watch all the soaps but I won’t even get to watch Neighbours tonight, because I need to sort my costume out!

Maeve’s round Nanny Pam’s. Usually I like seeing Maeve, she tells funny stories. Once she said she saw Chris Akabusi in Marks and Spencer’s buying his underpants, and another time she said she won a conservatory in The Daily Mail, but they wouldn’t give it to her because she lives in a top floor flat. I don’t have time to listen to her tonight though and luckily she’s too busy reading a story called ‘I HAD SEX WITH A GHOST!’ in one of Nanny Pam’s Take A Break magazines.

I start panicking about the party and my costume to Nanny Pam, while she takes some fish fingers out from under the grill. She says ‘Look love, if you could go as anyone who would it be?’

I think for a bit. I’d like to go as Jet from Gladiators but I’m not wearing Nanny Pam’s swimming costume and I think that all the other girls will be going as Spice Girls, so I probably should as well.

‘A Spice Girl’


I eat my fish finger sandwich faster than ever, and go upstairs with Nanny Pam to find an outfit.

Nanny Pam says, ‘Right well, my joggers are in the wash after bums and tums so I can’t do you a sporty spice, I sold my blonde wig at a boot sale last week so that rules out Baby, I don’t like that miserable Posh one, and I’m not getting a bollocking for dressing you up as that slapper Ginger. What about Scary Spice? I’ve got a leopard print blouse in here somewhere...’


Nanny Pam finds me some black leggings and I put them on with her silky leopard print blouse. All of Nanny Pam’s shoes are too small for me so I put my school shoes back on.

Nanny Pam starts crimping my hair and Maeve comes upstairs to help with my make-up, I look up at the orange lipstick on Maeve’s teeth and the sparkly blue circles around her eyes and start worrying again.

When they’re both finished I stand up on Nanny Pam’s bed and look in the big mirror on her dressing table. I look like Nanny Pam Spice.


I’m late for the party because we had to drop Maeve off on the way. When Nanny Pam say’s goodbye to someone it usually means it will be another hour before they actually leave, especially if it’s Maeve! Just as she was getting out the car she started telling Nanny Pam a massive story about the time her friend found a dead mouse in a Crunchie, and that she always chops them up before she eats them now.

I walk into the church hall and through all the Spice Girls I can see Tom in the Corner with Matt, apart from Sammy’s dad (who’s dressed in a really tight Elvis costume) they’re the only boys at the party. Tom’s dressed as Liam Gallagher. He’s drawn sideburns on his face with black felt-tip and has a long green parka on. My tummy flips and I go to find Amy.

Amy’s sat down on her own by the buffet putting Hula Hoops on her fingers. I grab a handful of skips and sit down next to her. We watch all the other Spice Girls for a bit. Sammy’s dressed as Posh and Lisa’s dressed as Ginger. They keep running up to the boys and saying stuff then running back to the rest of the girls to giggle.


Sammy comes over to me and Amy, and we shuffle up to let her sit down. The other girls are acting really daft across the room, whispering and giggling. Sammy says to me ‘Tom wants to know if you’ll go out with him.’

I feel really shaky and hot. I look at Amy, she smiles and bites a Hula Hoop off her finger.

Sammy stands up and pulls me up with her then pushes me towards Tom.


I wipe my Skip fingers on Nanny Pam’s leggings and smooth my hair, which has gone really frizzy from all the crimping.

I walk up to Tom and say hi, he nods at me and then carries on talking to Matt. I stand next to him and Matt for a bit without saying anything. I look across the room. Amy’s still sat on her own watching me and looking nervous, Sammy’s dad’s at the buffet pulling his Elvis trousers out of his bum crack and eating sausage rolls, and all the other Spice Girls are laughing their heads off in the corner near the door.

Tom shouts to the girls, ‘What are youse lot laughing at?’

Sammy shouts back, ‘Holly thinks you’re going out with her!’

Tom looks at me and I look at my school shoes. Then he say’s ‘Eugh, yeah right’.


I run out of the hall crying my head off with Baby Amy Spice following me.

Outside I cry so much I sound like my brother when he was a baby. Amy asks if we should go back in the hall and ring her mum to pick us up early. I tell her that there’s no way we’re going back in there, and that we’ll just have to wait in the car park until her mum comes at seven.


I finally stop crying a bit, and me and Amy decide to walk to Londis down the road and come back at seven so we don’t have to see anyone or hear the stupid music coming from the hall.


Tasha the goth is smoking outside Londis with all her gothy mates. I tell Amy that we’re going to have to go back to the car park because the last thing I need is Tasha taking the piss as well.

We turn around and start walking back to the Church Hall, but it’s too late. Tasha  shouts, ‘HOLLLLLLLLEEEEEEE’.

Tasha’s drunk, she runs up to me, gives me a big fat hug and tells me that she loves me. Her coat smells like a hamster’s wee corner and fags. When she eventually lets go she looks at me and asks, ‘Have you been crying? Why are you dressed like a twat?’

Baby Amy Spice tells Tasha everything and I start crying again.


We hang out with Tasha and her mates for a bit, they drink cider and smoke loads of fags, and me and Amy share a Bounty.


Tasha and her mates walk us back to the car park. Everyone from the party is stood outside waiting for their parents to pick them up. Sammy’s with them saying goodbye, when she sees me she starts laughing again with the other girls.

Tasha looks over at them and shouts ‘Shut the fuck up you tragic little slags!!’ All of Tasha’s mates start shouting too, one even say’s the C word!  All the Spice girls stop laughing, and Sammy starts crying. Sammy’s dad comes out and tells the Goths to piss off but they just start laughing and Tasha say’s something about seeing Elvis’s ball sack.


Amy’s Mum pulls up and we jump in the car. Through the back window I watch the Goths shouting at Elvis and the Spice Girls. Then I notice Liam Gallagher looking straight at me and I stick my middle finger up at him.

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