For reasons I won't go into, I was just admiring the cover of Cheryl Ladd's classic 1978 eponymous album, which I have on vinyl (a real collector's item), when I noticed something uncanny. Compare and contrast:
I was sitting in a restaurant in Derbyshire with a colleague last night. I had already repositioned all the radiators and was searching for a network connection under the tablecloth, when the actress Cheryl Ladd, of 1970/80s Charlie's Angels fame, entered the restaurant with a small entourage and sat at the table next to us.
"That's Cheryl Ladd," I hissed to my colleage. "…of Charlie's Angels fame," I added, just in case he was wondering.
My colleague couldn't hear what I was hissing and asked me to speak up.
"That's Cheryl Ladd out of Charlie's Angels," I hissed, slightly louder. "She was my heart-throb when I was younger. I used to have posters of her on my wall. I've even got an album of hers. It's called Cheryl Ladd."
My colleague didn't seem too impressed—even when Cheryl rose to make a short speech to the press pack that had followed her into the restaurant. She was promoting the new Charlie's Angels 2 movie.
Then I woke up.
Earlier that night, I'd had another dream in which Jen and I were on holiday in Antarctica. We'd found a nice little pub in a picturesque, snowy village that sold London Pride on gas (eugh!), and a very decent real ale. Unfortunately, the latter soon ran out, so I volunteered to catch a helicopter to Autralia to bring back some more beer.
Cheryl Ladd, Charlie's cutest angel, is 50 today. This cannot be!
Cheryl (along with her angelic co-stars and my friend Carolyn) left an indelible impression on my formative years. Especially in the Hawaiian episode where Cheryl went skuba diving in that black bikini. How can she possibly be 50?
Of course, when I was watching Charlie's Angels, the 14-year age gap between Cheryl and me was inconceivably large; now it seems alarmingly small. Is it really only 14 years until I will be 50? Just think: by then, Cheryl will be 64 (cue Beatles song)!
My infatuation with Cheryl wasn't some temporary whim, however; it required profound dedication. I bought all the posters (the one of her in the white dress, showing a lot of leg and holding a revolver was my favourite); I managed to acquire her eponymous LP (the track Skinnydippin' conjured up all sorts of images in my impressionable teenage mind); and I even wrote a letter to the Mayor of Huron, South Dakota (Cheryl's birthplace), suggesting that she be given freedom of the town. I still have the reply: the people at the Huron Chamber of Commerce were inclinded to agree.
The only criticism I would ever level at Cheryl was that, even back then, I didn't much appreciate all those 1970s clothes; I would have much preferred it if she hadn't worn them!
Anyway, enough of all this nostalgia! The world moves on.