Sunday, 26 July 2015

I Am Sixteen, She is Twenty-Two

One of my earlier posts.

Palaces of Romance, The Cinemas of Croydon.

In the 1940s and 1950s Croydon boasted some of the best cinemas in the UK. 
The Davis Theatre was largest, seating almost 4000, probably the finest cinema/theatre I have ever been in. A truly magnificent building both inside and out it.  Demolished in the late 1950s and replaced by some nondescript pile of drabness - a disastrous loss to Croydon!
(Photo courtesy Google) 

Other cinemas of note were the Savoy in Broad Green, The State Cinema (later The Granada) in Thornton Heath, The Regal and The Astoria, both in Purley. These were well-designed and comfortable places, with the Savoy being the earliest of my cinema memories. The Savoy was almost opposite Hathaway Road, thus being a couple of minutes walk from my home. It was near Sumner Road, with a cafĂ© on the corner, then a sweet shop and then the Savoy. 
Adjoining the Savoy, during the war, there was the Civic Restaurant where I sometimes had a very cheap midday meal. I remember the plates they used for us kids; they had a picture printed on the plate which encouraged you to clean the plate entirely to see what the picture was. Not that I ever needed any encouragement to clean every morsel from the plate! Young boys usually have gargantuan appetites and with rationing in place food was never wasted, (although I hated cod liver oil, yuk).

There were many smaller cinemas, such as The Eros and The Odeon in West Croydon, The Palladium on the corner of Surrey St., and Scarbrook Road, The Hippodrome in Church Street and, of course the wonderful little CLASSIC in South Croydon. This last named cinema will forever have a place in my heart and I'll tell you why (but please keep this to yourself, especially if my wife is around!).

In October 1951 Stella and I were cosily ensconced in the dark back seats of the Classic.
 Now a bit bolder than earlier as we'd been "going steady" for a few months and we had spent many hours in Stella's doorway porch kissing and hugging for far too long after an evening out. 
Stella is seated next to me, my left arm around her shoulder. Now and then her face would tilt towards me and we gently kiss in the darkness. 
And then it happened!

Stella slowly guides my left arm from her shoulder, pressing my hand on her breast. 
This was the most exhilarating experience of my life at that point. We kissed, passionately, with my hand caressing her breast. Time stopped it seemed.  A wonderful rapturous moment.

Of course, I was inexperienced in those days. 
Wouldn't have dreamt, or dared, to fondle a girl's breasts then, even though the temptation was usually quite strong. 
Things seem to go a lot faster today in the dating and sexual exploits of the youngsters but in my day we seemed, generally, to be more restrained.  Anyway, from that point onwards our lingering in the porch, or elsewhere, now included the caressing of Stella's bosom. 
No wandering below the waist, or stroking the thighs and stuff like that. Whether Stella wanted me to venture further I know not. Possibly she did, but being such a gauche or unpolished lover-boy, I just didn't feel it right to risk such a thing as groping "down below". So now you know. Keep this secret. I wouldn't want anybody else to know all this!

We went to the cinema about once every week or ten days. I remember one film in particular, at the Regal in Purley: "An American in Paris", starring Gene Kelly and Georges Guetary singing "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" - which fitted my mood perfectly as I felt I'd already entered Paradise.
I'm now 17. Stella would have expected my call-up to National Service because I'd lied about my age when we first met.
I decided to confess by writing her a goodbye letter, lacking the courage to tell her face to face.
We never met again until some 55 years later.
Pat and I had a nice meeting with Stella, her husband and family.
Sadly, her husband died of cancer; Stella died three years later.
Never look back some say. They are wrong!

Monday, 20 July 2015

A Man in a Million

It's nearly three years since my wife Pat and I decided to move from the Scottish Borders back to Lincolnshire.  This was prompted by some bad news on the health of our youngest daughter.

We spent almost twenty years in the Borders, a beautiful part of the UK.  Tranquil, peaceful, sparsely populated.  What more could a retired couple want?

We got to know some truly lovely people there.  One in particular was Alan Parkes.  I mentioned this chap some years ago when posting something about him. I befriended Alan in an unusual way and was terribly sad when receiving news of his death.

If you care to read that old post and to see a BBC video of Alan then here is the link:

Monday, 13 July 2015

Sensuous Rumba, danced to a Superb Song

Have your sound on, keep your eyes glued to this wonderful dance exhibition.

I have always loved ballroom dancing and especially this one particular Latin dance, the Rumba.

I've seen many couples demonstrating this dance of love but this one is so erotic as well as beautiful.

Not your cuppa tea?  Forgive me, but I just had to share this one and risk it.