Everyone knows the ‘80s was the best decade. Especially, if like me, you’re in your fifties.

Of course, my granddaughter will think the ’30s or ’40s are the best.

And that’s weird; thinking that we’re now in the twenties. The new twenties 😳.  
Anyhoo, I digress.


To write this newsletter I thought it best to consider some reasons why the ’80s were the best. Otherwise, it’s just subjective.

The whole decade would be too much. The ’80s were 3,653 brilliant days.

So, I’ve narrowed it down.

To a year: 1984.

A month: December. 

And a day: The 14th

Exactly 39 years ago. December 14th, 1984.


There were no significant historical events on this day.

But I do know it was a Friday…

…The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was No. 1.

I’d passed my driving test.

had a new girlfriend.

was working as an apprentice slater and tiler.

…joined a band. 

lived with my mum and dad.

…everything was simple. No internet. No mobile phones. Only four TV channels. Half day closing on Wednesdays.

And I believe it was one of the happiest times of my life.

What were you doing on December 14th, 1984? I’d love to know (and you don’t need to share all the details!). Please let me know below.


And the message?

Simple is best.

Next week is my last message of the year.

I think I’ll keep it simple.

Be Brilliant!



  1. December 14th 2023 by David Palmer

    Guarding you from Russian military threats, then from Brynmawr criminality.

  2. December 14th 2023 by Jayne

    Oh I remember this date well – I was 25 and I was getting married on the 31st. Friday 14 December was the works Christmas party and I was so looking forward to going to my last party single! You see my future husband didn’t want to go preferring a night down the pub with his mates. And … my ex boyfriend was going to the party haha. I danced the night away and drank way too much but I laughed and laughed maybe for the last time. I got the cold shoulder when I got home and he didn’t speak to me all weekend. I was so sad but the wedding went ahead but I never laughed again like I did on Friday 14 December

  3. December 14th 2023 by Steve

    Michael, to get back at least a small part of your younger self, just wander up the South Tyne to Alston and you’ll find that some shops still have half day closing on Wednesday!

  4. December 14th 2023 by Chris Berrett

    I too was an apprentice, 3rd year engineering apprentice in ’84, I’m still an engineer, I also had a girlfriend I haven’t seen her since about 1985 wonder what she’s doing now.
    I was living in a 1 bedroom teraced house that cost me £15 per week in rent, & that included the rates, council tax for the younger viewers.
    Yes life was a lot simpler, but I don’t think it felt that simple at the time.

  5. December 14th 2023 by Janet Mary Clarke

    I had just moved into a new bungalow with my son and husband. We were getting ready for Christmas, my son was just two. My first year as a housewife. My husband was still a computer programmer about to be 41.

  6. December 14th 2023 by Milly

    21 years old and manager of my first department. I wasn’t able to go out dancing as often as I used to because I had to be up much earlier for work but Fridays still remained Girls only night. I would have zoomed straight over to my best friends house on my moped. Up to her room, a glass of Cinzano Bianco and lemonade, we would try on clothes, put on makeup, bob along to 80s music and finally rush out the room leaving a disaster zone of clothes and chaos behind. Filled with great excitement we would have met up with the other girls and our night of fun would have begun. Every Friday night was a sacred girls only night. No boys were ever allowed to join our group because it was the one night that gave us the freedom to be completely ourselves. To express female only humour, share advice, drink, be merry, have plenty of fun and dance most of the night away. It’s a different kind of fun that you have when its all girls or all boys together than when its a mixed group, which is why it was so important to keep it girls only. Most of the early 80s whilst at college or university we spent every night dancing seven days a week as a mixed group but Fridays remained girls only until we were about twenty four when we finally compromised and allowed the guys to join us at the end of the evening 🙂

  7. December 14th 2023 by Nick Finney

    what a brilliant question, so specific!
    I was 4,160 days old (11 years, 4 months, 19 days in old money)
    I was 3 months into secondary school and madly in love with Sharon Anderson who was going out with my new best mate, Peter Bone. Yes, it could’ve been a storyline from the soap opera that had not actually started yet, EastEnders.
    I love this question because although I never got the girl, 1984 was an amazing year for me as a young lad. A new school, and new friends, many of whom I still see today. Everything from then is so vivid even now. I had watched ‘V’ for the first time, an obsession I still have; I played football all the hours God (or my mum) would allow. Spurs had won the UEFA Cup in May and were about to sign Chris Waddle in a few months. I worshipped him (along with Madonna), and it is his 63rd birthday today too! I think Madonna is probably about 28 now.
    Thank you for the impromptu trip down memory lane. 🙂

  8. December 14th 2023 by Simon Lowe

    Michael. I’d be teaching PE in the West Mids, living with two girls I’m still in touch with. Probably have gone out on a Friday. Was big into Spandau Ballet at the time

  9. December 14th 2023 by Chris Bjornmose

    December 4th 1984, I would be either on my way or already at Puy St Vincent in French alps.I had been hired as a ski guide/instructor, and ready to have the best time of my life, which I did. What a blast! Four months of fun!

  10. December 14th 2023 by Chris bjornmose

    I was in Puy St Vincent working as a ski instructor/ ski guide and having the time of my life . Great fun, never wanted it to end! I was the tender age of 28.

  11. December 14th 2023 by Lesley Renault

    I was looking after my 17.5 month old daughter, and my son who was 4 weeks old.

  12. December 15th 2023 by Deb

    I was in the Whistle Stop in town underage drinking and celebrating the end of the term with my mates Lusa A and Anna L

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