Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Playing at grannies and grandads.

I've just returned from Derbyshire where I attended a School Reunion, sixty years on since our first day at Grammar School. It was a bit disappointing at first because none of my friends had attended; they'd all sent their grandparents along in their place.

After that disappointment, things improved considerably and I was very pleased to be told by one of the tastier grannies that she'd fancied me something rotten when I was 16, but nothing had happened. Now she bloody tells me!

To be fair, I was a bit slow in these matters and I expect it was my own fault that I didn't notice the dropped glove or whatever it was she was prepared to drop for me. I was busy mending my bicycle most of the time, or running round ploughed fields training for the cross-country team, and anyway I recall that I was definitely saving myself for Marilyn Monroe, who was at that time wasting her assets on an elderly playwright called Arthur Miller, who obviously wouldn't be around for very long, since he was over 35.

Although I do distinctly remember a film where Brigitte Bardot, in a tent, stripped to her bra and panties and climbed into a sleeping bag to join her boyfriend. I think she'd have been in with a chance. I recall discussing this scene with a mate and we agreed the lucky boy-friend's excitement would have been 'intents' (geddit? We were like that in those days).

So, what an opportunity I missed! Though the would-be-girl-friend-turned-granny reassured me that actually she and all her friends were virgins when they left school. There was no Pill in those days, and decent boys who 'got girls into trouble' had to marry hurriedly, leave school and start work in the steel mill or down a coal mine ('darn t'pit', in our dialect).

The type of frank conversation we had is one of the few advantages of old age, since you can both now have a laugh about it with none of the embarrassment, guilt or toe-curling humiliation that was such a regular and inevitable part of our adolescence.

Another advantage of reaching retirement age is that you can have a glass of wine at lunch time followed by a lovely snooze.

Apart from that its all downhill.

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