I was flicking through a book I was given the other day called "Dear Me - A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self". Pretty self explanatory but in it is a bunch of celebrities who have written letters to themselves aged 16, giving themselves advise on what to do as a teenager with the knowledge now learnt. Some are boring, some quite funny - coffee table book really.
I suddenly thought today - I want to do that. I sort of think everyone should have a go so here goes.
Dear Stephen (or Steve as everyone now calls you)
How's things going? It's 1980 there and 2013 here. Sounds like ages away but the time just flies. Therefore I thought I would write and give you some advice so you don't waste too much of your life and get on with the important bits.
First off - music. I know it's really important to you - or so you think. Believe me, the last 3 years of the stuff you have been listening to and probably the next 3 years are the best ever. Music is OK from the mid 80's on but it doesn't get much better than it is now for you. I know you are already going to gigs but do as many as you can. And look after all those punk singles.
And whilst on the subject of music - your guitar playing. I have to be honest - you are crap. You won't get any better so stop believing you will. And please please split up the band - whatever the name is currently. Again, you all think you sound OK but I have heard some of it recently and I hate to say it you really are shit. And if anything else, please don't sing - especially at the sixth form gig in a couple of years. Just split up and save us all the embarressment.
You are probably working for your O Levels at the moment. Slow down. You will be alright. Stop worrying about exams, college, job etc etc. My advice is take a year off before or after college and travel. Your career and life can wait. Visit far flung places and have fun. Again these places will soon become trendy so do it soon. You will get more time later in life but it will be too late - other commitments come along (but I won't give too much away)
Let your hair down a bit - and whilst on the subject of hair, get a proper haircut.
And girls - they won't bite. Rejection is not something to worry about - try and deal with it and start practising sooner rather than later.
Your love of Spurs will remain - but stop getting so down when they lose (which is most of the time back then) It doesn't get any better over the years. And don't believe any hype over England - that too doesn't get any better.
Talk to Dad more as you get older - find out about his youth and his Dad. These things have a habit of being too late by the time you realise.
In about 10 years you will start having an ambition to to work for yourself - keep that path going, it will reap rewards. And whilst your at it, in about 20 years create a dormant company called Facebook - I won't say why but it will be fun.
And one last bit of advice - in a couple of years you will go out drinking in some real ale pub in Harrow on a Sunday night. Keep clear of the Old Peculiar beer - or at least stay within range of a toilet the next day and don't go walking down Kensington High Street.
Spanky (yes I have now embraced that hated old nickname)
PS - 2:30 Chepstow tomorrow - put a fiver on Morning Dew