I am eleven, and am just beginning to realise, that girls are different from boys, in lots of ways, especially, the older girls, like that Jean Hutchinson, in the top class.
Today, we have the school Christmas party. My mum is doing her best to make me look respectable, she stands back to admire her handy-work, but I can see on her face, that all is not well.
Here I am, an eleven-year-old, nearly six foot, 9 stone boy, in short trousers, nothing seems to hang properly.
“Alan, do you have to stand like that?”
“I don’t know any other way mum.”
“Pull your shoulders back, and take your hands out of your pockets.’
I sigh, and to make things worse, Teddy Bolton is now at the door and looking really smart.
Then, on top of everything, and right in front of him, mum spits on a hanky and gives my face a final wipe.
I am so glad to get away to school.
Our lessons are much easier today, all the girls are admiring each other, and I must say, that for the first time, I think the girls are quite nice to look at.
The dinner bell goes’, and we all rush into the canteen to see what all the fuss is about.
We say Grace, and thank Mr. Denyer the grocer, and Fyson’s the butchers, for their kindness.
And a special word for Mrs. Edwards, and her American soldier friend, who works in the kitchen of the local US base. American army ham is lovely.
I stare at my dinner, there is more food, than I had ever seen in one place, let alone on one plate, ham and chicken, and is that a turkey leg? No, it turns out to be an overcooked sausage, but I can’t wait to get stuck in.
We are all boys on our table, and there is such a racket as we dive in to our dinner.
Then, suddenly it all goes’ quiet, I look up, to see what is going on.
And there she is, the lovely Jean Hutchinson, arriving late, and walking down the hall like a film star, as if she has springs in her shoes
She is wearing a fluffy woollen jumper, which seems to have something inside, a small rabbit perhaps, or possibly two.
I now realise her nick-name; ‘Jersey Bounce, Hutchinson’ is nothing to do with her love of Dixie-land music.
As she judders toward me, everything about her is moving so fast, I don’t know where to look first.
Knowing, that in front of me, is a plate with ham, chicken and Brussel sprouts.
A dinner, the like of which, I had never seen before, I have a lump in my throat, and a mouthful of roast potato and a few peas, and I can’t even look down at my dinner, let alone eat it.
Is this what they call love?
If so, I would rather have my dinner, thank you very much.