Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?


Astle, Boots, Butler,
Cole, Cooper, Chadwick,
Doré, Edwards, Goddard,
Gough, Guard, Iles,
Jasper, Lovegrove, Maisey
New, Newman, Newton,
O’Neil, Watkins and Wheeler.
Other names lost in the blizzard.


What of Hardy? Headboy 1957.
Patrolling first year boys' cloakroom
Where I lay prone, pretending to have fainted.
Hardy summoned, leans over
“Kiss me, Hardy” I say.
(Although some say I said "Kismet").
First detention.


Newman asked to read in History.
Mrs Winchcombe.
Minoans sat warming their hands on a brazier.
Says brassiere.
What was funniest was watching her try to keep a straight face.


Break time, into the lavs
Before smoking,
Quiffs coiffured.
Mac asked me “Do you use a Spooly?”
TWW advert “For beauty truly, use a Spooly”.
Commercial telly new in 1958.


School dinners.
Doling out pink custard,
Police call me out.
Staccato spoons on the table.
Missed interview with the Chief Constable.
I didn’t want the job.
Eddy Edwards did.


Where have all the flowers gone?
All those lovely inaccessible girls?


Beveridge, Brown, Cole,
Hinder, Holloway, Horne,
Ingram, McGloan, Newport,
Sedgewick, Whiting, Windslow.


How do you talk to girls?
Some knew how, not me.


Later, Jenny Beveridge and I smoking.
Skiving assembly in UE12’s
Sewing fitting room.
Wasn’t considered at all fitting.
Another detention.


Cold war and hot feelings.
If the siren sounds,
Four minutes to ward off
A nuclear blast.
By hiding under your desk.


Blonde girl in the aisle next to me.
Name forgotten, face remembered.
Exotic, she lived by Ernie Hunt.
We had an agreement on how we would
Spend those minutes.

I was left hoping for a false alarm.