She’s Growing Up : Looking back

So with Nia, my tween, in her final days of primary school, I’m feeling very nostalgic.  Looking back at her time so far at school, and forward to future years at her new secondary school.  With this in mind, I was asked to take part in a challenge to come up with my favourite and cherished memories from my tween and teenage years.  So here goes :


Amanda Cottingham


I couldn’t find a photograph of me in my teenage years online, apart from the one below, but this brown haired version of me will have to do.

1.     Name your group of best friends during school – are you still friends?
Well, in secondary school, I think of two friendships as being the strongest, and meaning the most.  Dom Botto, and Rachel Russell. I look back on our time at SJH very fondly.  I was so happy to discover both of them, on the wondrous world of Facebook, its great that we now in touch. With no teenage alcohol restrictions, we should so go out on a night out now!
2.     What would your typical weekend look like as a teenager?
In later years, I would have been working, at The House of Ashley Peake for a wonderful lady called Sally. I love it there, and I definitely got my taste for the expensive from the job.  In younger years, I remember spending so much time outside though, on roller skates, and bikes, generally having fun.
3.     At 14, what did you want to be when you were older? What do you do for a living now?
I don’t think I had a clue at 14, I was blissfully unaware of money and working.  By the time I was 16 I had dreams of being a Meteorologist, or an Archaeologist/Geologist. I did do qualification in both those subject areas. I’ve had a few different professions, but currently I am a blogger, and I love it
4.     What artists/bands did you love as a teenager?
I loved music, and had many favourite bands/artists.  Some of my favourites were Hothouse Flowers, Levellers, Lloyd Cole, Susanne Vega and the Waterboys. I started to go to concerts,as a teenager and loved live music.
5.     Who was your first celebrity crush?
I’d hazard a guess at Kevin Bacon for a film actor, or Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot for a singer.
6.     What was your favourite film? Is it still your favourite?
Pretty in Pink AND The Breakfast club, and yes, they are still my favourites to this day.
7.     What were your hobbies as a teenager?
I read, an awful lot I honestly couldn’t read enough, I would spend hours in my room reading.  I can’t remember having any other specific hobbies, unless you count annoying my younger brother.
8.     Growing up, who were your inspirations? Has this changed and why?
Hmm, this is a tough one.  I loved reading about film legends of the 50’s era, and I suppose my love of vintage, that I still have today may have come from this. I loved people like James Dean, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.  My love of the era is definitely still alive and kicking.
9.     What is your biggest regret?
I don’t regret a thing, I really don’t believe in regrets.  Oh ok, maybe this….
Strawberry Queen
10.   What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Don’t be so hard on yourself.  You know who you are, and that’s OK.  Oh and Gareth Williams, I know you’ve had a crush on him, in like forever, but believe me, he is so not worth it!


  1. says

    That is such a lovely post and made me very nostalgic about my teen years although there was far too much angst and drama. Hot house flowers?? I had forgetten about them. I loves music too as a teen but ended up being a bit of a rock chick. Good times eh? Great photos btw
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