I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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* One exception: short stories.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Often new, usually banned

I don't yearn for youth as such; these days I'm cleverer, more in control, less disadvantaged, familiar with subtler pleasures. It's the experiences of youth that tempt me.

Tomato juice. It had just become available in quart tins. The flavour was unbearably piquant and I was convinced its attraction would last for ever. Fatally - because youth can never envisage the predictable - I drank a quart within five minutes. Never touched it again for at least a decade. But I'd love to relive that period of gustatory innocence.

Climbing trees. Now I'd be reported, suspected of  something undesirable, probably sexual. But then the tactile pleasures of the bark mingled with the thrill of going higher. Trees with thick branches sometimes allowed you to emerge into fresh air. Regally.

Girl ignorance. How did they differ? More frustratingly - why? What happened to a group of three boys when a girl was added? Why was everyone so damn secretive about these effects? (Not that things are entirely clear now.)

Comics. Do you know what? Adults read pages and pages of stuff without pictures. To show off, obviously.

Dirt. It simply had no untoward effects. Why did parents go on about it?

Pop. You gulped it down then belched. A searing pain scoured the insides of your nostrils. A sensation so alien it was kind of thrilling.

Pegging off. Who on earth wanted to wait until the bus had come to a halt? What was the fastest speed you could manage and still stay upright?

Death. Nah, it'd never happen to me. I mean... it's unimaginable. Innit?

5 comments:

Lucy said...

I think you should go out and find a suitable tree and climb it forthwith.

Can you just clarify about pegging off?

Joe Hyam said...

Pegging off sounds northern. We jumped off while the bus was moving and equally exciting ran beside it until we reached the same speed as the slowly accellerating bus and jumped on.

Roderick Robinson said...

LucyJoe: Pegging off. As Joe explains. Jumping off the bus while it is still moving (decelerating) approaching the stop. The trick is to dissipate the body's energy by starting to run (in the same direction as the bus) as one's feet hit the ground. Having learned the technique the next trick is to apply it further and further away from the stop (ie, while the bus is moving faster).

Eventually after several experiments one reaches one's own chicken-dare point: the conviction that the next time one drops off, the bus will be travelling so quickly that it will be impossible to match this speed with an appropriate running-legs speed and one will fall forward towards serious abrasion from the tarmac.

Now it's time to take one's swimming cozzy down to the railway bridge where the main Bradford - Yorkshire Dales line crosses the Leeds to Liverpool canal and contrive to jump off the bridge into the canal (idiomatically called "the Cut") just as a train is crossing the bridge. This rite of passage eventually lost favour when a causal link was established between the water in the canal and the contraction of polio.

Ellena said...

Yes unimaginable to be reading the last line of this blog some day.

Roderick Robinson said...

Ellena: Yup, but in those days, aged 10, i believed myself to be immortal.