Rupert The Teenager: Surviving Brock College

My hormones stepped up into overdrive. The pale, gingery goddess with crystal blue eyes stared back at me.

My heart pumped in my chest. My body tingled all over with that warm fuzzy feeling. My mind was aghast in a cringey teenage tornado. I even got goosebumps.

The following blog entry is from the perspective of my virginial, awkward teenage self. People who read my blogs often ask ‘why did you do that’ etc, but I am older, wiser, and far more cynical these days.


This teenage moment happened back in the 2000’s. Our phones weren’t smart and neither was I.

As you have read before, I had decided to become a gothical emo alternative schmuck. A year later from this decision, disappointing facial hair had now grown, and I adamantly refused to shave the fluff. My theory was that if I shaved, it would grow back into a scary full-on man beard I would never be able to get rid of. Hipster was a mere trend-foetus at this stage.

My new life ambition was to become a charismatic and popular rockstar – despite not knowing how to play any instruments and only drinking Watermelon Barcardi Breezers. I was studying at Brockenhurst college – and my goth, I was having a social renaissance.
I could wear what I want!
Well, what I wanted back then was a t-shirt advertising Iron Maiden. Complete with TK Maxx leather jacket and various bandanas. Said jacket was worn so much, I was known as The Fonz around the Hard Brock Cafe. Yep, it was actually called that.
This fashion had replaced the Matalan red fleeces and T-shirts with pressable sound effects (the only clothing I’ve ever worn that came with it’s own battery pack.)
On went the tight drainpipe trousers (with great difficulty), black shag bands and dangling chain then went around my jeans pocket for no reason whatsoever. This infographic pretty much sums me up:

Each day seemed more amazing than the next. I wouldn’t get told off for not turning up to college! However, GTA: San Andreas ruined my education and I didn’t get the A-Level grades I probably should have got.
Everyone at colleague was friendly. I could even call teachers by their first name!
I had gone from shy wallflower to someone who would just sit next to someone on the college bus and strike up a conversation. I was giddy and no doubts could stop me.  My confidence was growing at a great rate, but my decisions, like my unbeard, were ridiculous.

I aimed to be part of the Goth clique at college. Not by talking to them, but by dressing like them and listening to their music. My logic was that my alternative aura would naturally pull me into their black-cladded, growling ensemble that looked like an economy Lost Boys mixed with the Addams Family. Their leader had nostrils that looked like the arches of a viaduct.

To further my transformation, I decided not to have my hair cut for about 14 months. It grew into an unkept mane with the colour of mocha, of which was wrapped up in a burgundy bandana. My Dad said I looked like Jim Morrison. Looking back I resembled  like a poor man’s Tarzan.

Everyone was banging on about Natasha Bedingfield and Britney, but my dream girl back then was Amy Lee.


Bring me to life :p

At the time girls were confusing and elusive (this is still true!), yet I yearned for a girlfriend. I would see prancing couples at college, and goopy long haired barons doing handstands on the field, lapping up the attention. I’d think, ‘what is the boyfriend saying that is so magical? What is he doing?’
I lived in a town (New Milton) where the average age was 70 and fun was outlawed. Any women my age were mostly likely pregnant or were aiming towards their first ASBO.

There was Michaela, a girl from Winchester. She was very lovely and talkative, we could have a potential future, but there was one stipulation.
We never actually met.

So in summary, my love life was pretty much dead. Maybe my destiny was a microwaveable Meal for One – or like my once stepfather, order a Thai Bride off the internet.

I went to visit my Nan in Wales, over Easter and we’d just popped to see Auntie Vi. She wasn’t even an Auntie, it was just one of those affectionate terms, like Nan. Vi’s accent was so thick with Welshness her voice sounded like she swallowed a cheese grater.  She always gave me money so I could buy sweets, as would many of my Nan’s friends. I instead saved all these coins enough over the years to buy my own Playstation. My inner businessman started to salivate when any of them got their purses out around me.

On the way back from Vi’s, my pocket now full of well-earned coins, I passed by something that usually escaped me.  I was wearing a grungy black T-shirt with a mud design, the fashionista that I was, with my mocha mullet flowing and my Will-from-Inbetweeners spectacles on.  I saw a ginger girl. She had a slightly pale complexion with ocean blue eyes. She was very pretty, and I think she smiled at me.

Hang on. Oh my god.

I loitered around the town centre, contemplating this rare phenomenon. I later saw her with three African girls perched up near some steps.

“Hi” they said in chorus.

I almost did a double take. Were they speaking to someone behind me? Were they drunk?









Rupert…. the Goth?

Picture me attempting to use black nail polish. Think of some long, unkempt hair. Imagine a confused mass of mad hormones.

Puberty and awkwardness had hit, and I looked like a lollipop that had unexpectedly grown spindly legs and arms. I believed my appearance was absolutely epic with a cheaply-designed band T-Shirt. Such T-Shirt looked like it had be stitched together by people with hooks for hands.

That was pretty much me back in the day. Here’s me as a sweet innocent teenager. Awww.


Look at that tender, caramel mane. My dad said I looked Jim Morrison.  The girls seemed to really like it. From behind I looked like one of them. One flight attendant accidentally called me ‘Miss.’

At the time, I used Microsoft Paint to add in some devil horns to show what level of bad ass I am. Level 666 of badassery don’t you know. (It was my MSN messenger photo for a while.)

At the bottom of the page, is a picture of me at 17 years young. Which is somehow, even worse than the above.

Summer 2003

We had been hit by a heatwave. Being British we all simultaneously jumped out of our houses to lap up the sunshine before it disappeared, our clothes flying off and the beer bellies bouncing out, complete with dodgy tribal tattoos and a penchant for bad body odour.
After 5 minutes of bathing in sunny glory, we then moaned it was simply too hot.

Musically that year, Blu Cantrell was telling people to breathe. Peter Andre was grabbing us with his Insania. The Darkness (Remember them?) were being hailed as the best thing ever.
Sadly they didn’t realise we thought they were a novelty act. We don’t believe in a thing called love anymore, sorry guys.

Neither did we believe in Brexit or President Trump. Keeping up with the Kardashians – that was unheard of. It was a better time. Blissful in fact.

Smartphones didn’t exist yet, and the public fashion wasn’t exactly smart either. People were wearing socks with sandals, and ponchos were a thing. Onesies were coming next. The public were not the only ones with a fashion crisis however…

I had become a goth, with long hair everywhere. I didn’t want to buy a brush as that is what women used. I also turned avoided hairdressers at all costs. So, most of the time I would look this:


I often wore a dusty leather jacket, worn over a Iron Maiden T-Shirt. I thought I was pretty cool.  I think I was just trying to fit in, but like most teenagers, I stumbled around awkwardly, whinging for approval, and listening to incredibly bad music. Limp Bizkit anyone?

My Uncle Derek offered to take me to Camden Market. I was spending far too much pining over women (who at this point were an alien, confusing species. So not much has changed) and watching Big Brother, so I think whisking me off to London was a blessing.


I assumed Camden would be one of those dull places that he likes- he would often drag me around museums about the industrial revolution or exhibitions on tapestry.
Instead, I found a little taste of heaven.

Camden Market was a series of stalls selling lots of alternative and uniquely interesting things- kaleidoscopes, paintings, Egyptian carpets and shisha pipes. It was very long and sprawling, and to the right of it was Camden Lock where you can go on a boat ride, which years later, I still have yet to try.

I remember almost getting lost in the midst of hectic commuters at London Waterloo station on the way. I often feel completely bewildered in the bubbling emotionless crowds of London, where everyone’s rushing about in different directions, often barging into you if you dare stop for a second. The people all seem to be in a rush, accidentally knocking people out in their haste.
I grew up in Lyndhurst, New Forest, where the population is just above 200 and public transport consisted of one bus leaving the town a day. London was still a new concept to me, so the sheer amounts of people was overwhelming.

When we got off at Camden tube station it felt like another world, inhabited by an assortment of Gothic creatures. They were dressed in a myriad of black and purple clothing, with Mohicans hair styles and towering platform boots.


I asked my Uncle if I could get my eyebrow pierced, of which replied with ‘I’m not sure you’re Mum would like that.’
I didn’t let that deter me, so in a statement of teenage independence, I carried on anyway and found a piercing parlour. Another Gothic looking person told me to go downstairs and there was a Chinese lady waiting there with a table full of needles and tweezers. A hospital bed laid await, and she wore a wry smile on her face.

To be honest this could have easily been the villain’s terrorism chamber in a James Bond film. A Pierce Brosnan one. I’m not sorry about that pun. One thing that hasn’t improved since 2003 is my sense of humour.

I was a little apprehensive at being pierced. The Chinese lady inserted a needle through my eyebrow- a slightly sharp discomfort. Quite similar to how I lost my virginity.

As she put the jewellery into my eyebrow (a banana bar) I surmised the piercing experience didn’t feel as bad as the measles, mumps and rubella jab at school, nor did it have the mass hysteria and people collapsing overdramatically.

We continued our adventure through the market. I purchased a Bart Marley T-shirt, which had Bart Simpson smoking a spliff, and I also bought a marijuana flavored lolly that tasted more like cucumber. I felt proud as punch, showing the world I was an utter anarchist, but with a posh voice and a posh name.


I saw a trilby hat I liked. I didn’t understand the reason why nothing had a price on it. The idea was to haggle with the marketers for a cheeky bargain. It was like the Apprentice, but without having Karen Brady stalking your every move.
Eventually I managed to barter, and said trilby came down to a tenner after my compendium of hmmm noises coming out my teenage mouth. I wore this also with pride. Apart from at train stations. One sudden zip by of a train and my hat would have gone orbital.

I also managed to purchase Kill Bill on DVD before it out was in the cinemas, I was so excited at the time, I had some much rebellion points with all these controversial purchases – the world could not stop me!
Piercing, a weed lollipop and now a dodgy DVD. I was the man.

Although when I got home, I realized I had to watch Kill Bill not only  upside down, but with a Japanese translator present. The cover had clearly been printed out of a Fisher Price Printer.

Back in Camden, we walked through the takeaway section, the scent of Oriental food flooding our nostrils and causing our mouths to water. The vendors started to talk to us,

You try Chinese??”

“Chicken for you??

Enticing us over with free delicious samples,  the smell of exotic spices and aromatic sauces was hard to ignore. They got very upset when we did not buy any, yet I was quite happy to stuff my face with as many tasters as humanly possible.

Sweet and Sour chicken balls. Chow mein. Spring Rolls!


Camden didn’t just have stalls, it also has alternative and boutique shops- like Cyberdog.

Cyberdog is the best shop ever. it felt like I had been catapulted into a 1990’s version of the year 2089.


It was a club merged with a neon clothing store. Bass reverberated across the shop as futurist rave music pumped through the venue. These days dancers, provocatively in neon bikini’s, prominently dance on podiums on a high platform.


On sale, there was UV facepaint and all sort of club rave gear . Not to mention the staff, who had purple hair, glow in the dark piercings and looked they had stepped out The Matrix and then assimilated by the Borg. They were adorned with wires and devices; it felt like I had stepped into the future.

There were racks of elaborate T-shirts with LED slogans that flashed, glow in the dark accessories, jump suits, spacecraft… I loved it all, but would never have the guts to buy or wear it. I wanted to go to a rave dressed like them. However, most of my friends preferred hanging out at Lidl or reading the books but not buying them at Borders Bournemouth. As Uncle Derek and I got the train back, I smiled at how amazing this place was, and how at home I felt.

This day out in Camden led me into my  Gothic fashion renaissance. I now had the look to go with my mood. I didn’t get my hair cut for at least a year. The hair was then dyed black, my eyebrows stayed brown, my nails went black, my  clothes went black, one day I even wore eyeliner. I was a culturally and aesthetically awful nightmare, but these mistakes were part of growing up and finding out who I was.

It could have been worse. I could have been an early form of hipster or emo.

Please vote in the poll below about the following look :




Other topics:
The Worst Job Ever
The Craziest Valentines Ever
How I Got Catfished By My Best Friend
How I Got Evicted
How To Break Your Heart. 
How To Save Money
How To Tackle Depression
Who Wet My Bed?

Currently breaking the Internet at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

I’m now on Youtube !

I’m raising money for charity and achieving goals at