Like walking in the park

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Permalink

For reasons completely incomprehensible to mankind, I had a bizarre trip down memory lane on the weekend.

It started out innocently; I was unable to sleep and having spent some time during the day looking through my upcoming school reunion Facebook page, I pondered on the things that obsessed me 30 years ago.

11Back in 1984 I’d just turned 16 and had succumbed to the allure of Dolly magazine – an Australian icon of sorts (using the term loosely!) – and all things associated.

I clipped pictures of clothes I loved and I too wanted to be a model. In fact a girl in a nearby town won the Dolly cover girl competition a year or two before, so it seemed that fame and fortune was surely attainable.


Anyhoo, like every reader of Dolly magazine back in the mid 1980s I absolutely adored model Sarah Nursey.

In fact, I had a spiral perm in the hope that I somehow could channel her stunning looks and carefree vibe, just through a few curls. There was much to adore about Sarah. She wasn’t reed-thin but looked fit and healthy AND she did not look like she was a bitch. (Perhaps that was cos she didn’t have to starve herself? Who knows?)

So, as you do when you can’t sleep, I googled Sarah’s name. I actually didn’t expect to find anything so was shocked when an array of blog posts and pictures appeared.

The reminiscing however, had little to do with Sarah herself. Rather… when I looked at the pictures I was transported back to the mid 1980s in a way I didn’t expect.

I recognised each and every photograph as if I’d seen them just days before. I obviously poured over those magazines and pictures and seeing them again was like slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans (not that I’ve ever really had comfortable jeans, but comfy slippers isn’t quite as attractive a simile!).

Oh. My. God. For a few seconds I could almost remember how I felt back then. My envy of Sarah and her (obviously?!) fabulous life (including a boyfriend identified as Barney*, who was tres cute!). My desire for the clothes in question. My attempts to emulate the ‘look’ of the day. And… of course… my despair at the realisation that I would NEVER look like that or have that life.

Glossy Sheen shares pics from magazines of the 70s, 80s and 90s and WOW! The memories.






I have a photograph of me wearing a back-to-front cardigan like this!




My mother made me tartan trousers which I wore with a tartan ribbon bow-tie… just like this picture!

Have you ever had a similar experience? Seen something which (though it’s been long-absent) is frighteningly familiar?

Linking up with Trish from Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday (which I continue to fail brilliantly!).

* The cynic in me now wonders if Barney really was Sarah’s boyfriend or just a model faking it.

PS. Like Walking in the Park – Compliments of Aussie group, Little River Band’s lyrics from: Reminiscing.

  • Bron
    March 19, 2014

    Visiting via Trish. As soon as I as the cover I remembered wanting that hair and legwarmers! I was about 10 and my sisters and I would read Dolly all the time! Seems like yesterday.

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      I know. I couldn’t believe how familiar they all were – the Glossy Sheen site also has a heap of other pics from that era and so many were very recognisable!

  • @Kanga_Rue
    March 19, 2014

    I loved Dolly! And I wanted the backless jumper. My Owen was a disaster though… my hair was too short & I looked like a frumpy old-lady poodle.

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      I had longish hair so my spiral perm actually worked ok! Of course brushing it (ever) was an issue!

  • Trish
    March 19, 2014

    I remember Dolly mags too but I would never have remembered the models names.You are a fashion genius.

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      I know! I was quite into Dolly back then. Think I progressed to Cleo or Cosmo when at uni but never really found anything to take its place in my heart! 😉

  • Lee-Anne
    March 19, 2014

    Love the pics, Deb – a trip down Memory Lane indeed (and to think we actually wore those gorgeous creations!) 🙂

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      Oh yes and they’ll probably be back in fashion again sometime….

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    March 19, 2014

    Ahh those magazines were just the best, dad had them ordered at the book shop and he picked them up from the newsagent once a week, usually when he went to the doctor! Those clothes, gotta love ’em

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      You should have seen some of the pics I DIDN’T include!!! Oh. My. God. Strips of material wrapped around various parts of clothing and the body. Why, I ask you?!

  • Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    March 19, 2014

    Oh I had the spiral perm and the backwards cardigan!! And Sarah was definitely the most gorgeous of them all.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane 🙂

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      You’re welcome! And yes, she was wasn’t she.

  • Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    March 19, 2014

    I was only just born in 1984, but I was into Dolly and Girlfriend magazines as a teenager too. I remember my mum having a perm like that.

    • Debbish
      March 19, 2014

      Oh yes… the 1980s (and early 1990s I guess) era of the perm!

  • Char
    March 20, 2014

    Oh my goodness. You just took me back. That was awesome – thanks!

  • Jess
    March 20, 2014

    Oh my gosh he fashion! I was very much the same way about Dolly when I was in year 9. Miranda Kerr won the Dolly model search competition. Every time I see her name I cant believe she was discovered in Dolly and still feel those twinges of high school jealously!

    • Debbish
      March 20, 2014

      I was like that about the girl in the neighbouring town when she won the covergirl comp. She was a bit older than my friends and I. I still remember though seeing her a few years later in a shopping centre and it seemed that winning the comp didn’t help her break into modelling.

  • Sandie (alias Mrs Organised) @ AppleBee Lane
    March 21, 2014

    Well, this certainly takes me back! I used to read Dolly religiously and as a teen in the 70’s and early 80’s, Dolly was nothing less than the “bible” of fashion, makeup and everything else a teenager would want or need to know!

    • Debbish
      March 22, 2014

      Oh yes absolutely. I was surprised that it was still around as my niece was growing up!

  • Janine
    March 23, 2014

    Ah the good old Dolly model comp. I think I possibly entered it a few times myself!

    I girl crushed on the winners during my teenage years too! I think I was a decade behind you. And 90s fashion was just as tragic!

    • Debbish
      March 24, 2014

      True! I guess any fashion we look back it looks a bit sad. Strange that ‘parts’ of it come back in vogue, but not the entirety.

I'd love to hear your thoughts