Monday, 11 April 2016

The Chronicles...

Scarlett Knight posted that she was surprised at my recall for the events covered in my first two chronicle entries.  While I do have a very visual memory, which helps in such recollections, in fact I have boxes of written notes of my adventures over the years.  I started doing these seriously in the nineteen eighies but before that I had a lot of letters to draw on..  I used to be an inveterate letter writer and I had several young ladies with whom I exchanged erotic reminiscences.  Their reactions to my letters I still have and, in one case, all the letters themselves as after we broke up one of the girls gave me all my letters back in case her new boyfriend found them. I expected her to throw them away but I am so glad she kept them!

This means that the accounts of my adventures in the seventies are based on letters I wrote to others ,so were not contemporaneous with the events but were written just some years afterwards, rather than my having to recall events from decades ago.  While I can recall much of the events today, details like the name of the street on which the hostel in the second post was on, came from a letter I wrote to my family giving them the postal details for possible emergencies.  

So nothing as organised as a proper journal but the material is all there!

Saturday, 9 April 2016

1972: Babydolls to lacy bras

In the summer of 1972 a large group from my all boys school went on an 'educational' trip to France during the summer holidays.  I was not expecting a very exciting time, as my family spent much of the summer in the South of France anyway, so the prospect of a few days in Paris followed by some time in Pourville, on the comparatively chilly Channel coast, did not hold much promise.  Although I had not been to Paris before, so was looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower, at least.  But the visit proved to be very educational indeed.

The trip got off to a tedious start when we arrived at our brutalist, concrete international schools' hostel on the outskirts of Paris.  Well, perhaps not really the  outskirts but it was near Paris Zoo in Vincennes, so it was not exactly central.  We arrived in the afternoon and, for some reason four of us had to share our eight bed dormitory with children from another school.  Trying to get a clue as to the nationality of our international roommates, we looked under the beds to locate something like a suitcase with a luggage label but found instead three pairs of the biggest boots we had ever seen.  We realised that these probably didn't belong to twelve year olds and our worst fears were confirmed when we discovered from the luggage that they owners of the boots were from Germany. Don't forget that World War 2 had finished less than thirty years previously.  My father had fought against the Afrika Korps in North Africa.  The Germans were the enemy!  We went down to dinner full of trepidation and matters were made worse when we were served horse steak for dinner in the vast canteen (actually it was alright, if a bit chewy).

After dinner we returned to our dormitory but, fortunately, there was no sign of the enormous Germans and we got into bed as quickly as possible.  The Germans had taken the beds nearest to the window so we were in the four beds closest to the door.  Having had a long day, travelling by coach and ferry, with an early start, we fell asleep quickly.  However, we were woken some time afterwards by the sound of a group of people coming through the door into the room.  It was...the Germans, who proved to be as enormous as we had feared.  However, pushing in behind them were three or four very well developed German girls. All were wearing chiffon babydoll nighties with knickers but, very obviously, in at least one case, nothing underneath the top. My friend Dobs and I, who had the beds closest to the door and were the only ones to wake up, were somewhat more mature than the other two from my school at this stage.  In fact we were both about 5' 10" tall.,  We were exceedingly diverted by these gorgeously leggy (one of the side effects of a babydoll is that anyone wearing one looks leggy) young women who were, probably, about seventeen. The German girls thought we were "dear little English boys". Dobs and I thought they were the ultimate personification of female sexuality..  The fact that they then sat on our beds almost drove us insane. One of these girls actually patted Triple P on the head and everything under the top half of her nightie jiggled enticingly. They whispered to their friends in German, still with the lights off and then as suddenly as they had appeared they all left again, giant German boys included. I looked at Dobs in the bed opposite.  "Fucking HELL!" he hissed.  They really were that impressive.

Of course none of our fellows believed us the next day especially, when our other school roommates had no recollection of any female interlopers.  Interestingly, the German boys were not in their beds that morning and they must have left that day as we never saw them again.  However, this first proper encounter with the opposite sex had emboldened both Dobs and I.  We felt that we had seen a glimpse of a secret world which our childish classmates had yet to appreciate. "We need to meet more girls on this trip!" said Dob.

The rest of the time in Paris had been very boring.  We spent a whole day at the zoo, which was completely tedious and not as good as London Zoo. It was full of mangy, bored looking animals (I particularly remember some tragic penguins on an ugly concrete 'mountain' in the centre of the zoo) and was completely lacking in visiting parties of French schoolgirls (as Dobs and I had hoped for), given it was the summer holidays. I remember writing a postcard to my family (who were down on the Mediterranean) saying that I had been in Paris three days and I hadn't even caught a glimpse of the Eiffel tower, even from a distance.  The German girls were the only bright spark during the stay.  Even more annoying was the fact that the teachers all went out to trendy little brasseries for dinner every night and we were stuck with the hostel canteen food which was mostly overcooked, tough meat and those slimy green beans the French seem to love.  I have always thought that ordinary French cuisine is overrated and you are much more likely to get a good meal in an average restaurant in Italy than in France,  Given my father's interest in cooking and the fact that we ate out in restaurants all over France during our annual holidays I had a rather precocious interest in proper cooking and was not impressed by what we were offered.

We were then supposed to move to a town called Pourville, on the coast, for the second half of the trip.  However, at the last minute this was changed to Dieppe, because of bad reports of the hostel from another group. So we were sent, instead, to centre d'hébergement les roches, Dieppe, which is still a hostel for school groups today.  Given we were a last minute booking we were crammed in again and Dobs, I and two other classmates, Lugs and Mutt, were put into a small annex next to the main hostel. This was a much nicer environment than the hostel in Paris, featuring a large nineteenth century house in extensive wooded grounds.  We were in a small cottage by the gate with one of the school's French teachers and his wife in a small room and us in the four bed main room.

We had a free afternoon and Lugs and Mutt joined most of the rest of the school in the canteen where a TV was set up so everyone could watch the swimming heats at the Munich Olympics.  Seeing our teachers were out of the way, Dob and I left the annex and instead of turning left to the main house we turned right and stepped onto Avenue Gambetta and headed downhill towards the town. We soon found a local magasin and Dobs bought food (crisps, or 'cheeps' as the French called them) as we didn't think we were being fed nearly enough food. Also by the door were large glass bottles of local cider.  Dobs stuck two on the counter and the French shopkeeper was very happy to take our money without asking awkward questions about our age.  As we left the shop to make the long, hot walk up the hill we fell in with two pretty girls who had also been inside it. It turned out that they were staying at the same hostel.  I remember an anxious discussion between the teachers when they realised that all the other pupils staying at the centre were French schoolgirls.

The girls were older than us, fourteen as against our twelve but we didn't admit to our age as we were both much taller than them.  Fortunately, Dob's French was very good (he had a French mother) so communication was not a problem.  By the time we reached the hostel again we were all quite hot given the mid afternoon sun. "Perhaps they would like some cider?" I suggested to Dobs, the very first time I had offered alcohol to a girl.  The two young ladies were in to our quiet annexe like a shot.  The prototypically French shutters were closed, so it was dim and inviting in the room after the bright sun and heat outside.

There were no chairs so we had to sit on the beds.  I sat on my bed. Dobs sat on his bed and after a quick glance between the two of them the French girls sat one with each of us.  I can't remember the name of Dobs' girl but she had blonde pigtails and I thought that she looked more like one of the German girls we had seen in Paris.  My girl, however, was called Françoise and had long black hair, dark eyes and looked very French indeed.  We opened the chips and Dobs opened the cider, as I had no idea how to open one of those complicated wired on corks but Dobs was much more mechanically minded than I was.  We had no glasses and I went to look in the bathroom for a tooth glass but there wasn't one.  When I stepped back into the dormitory, Françoise was happily swigging cider from the bottle, however. The bags of crisps were passed around, as was the cider.  The girls took it upon themselves to hand feed us crisps which they seemed to find vary amusing.

You would have thought that I would have remembered exactly how I ended up kissing Françoise, given she was the first girl I had kissed but it was nearly forty five years ago.  I do think it was me that initiated it and I think I expected her to immediately rebuff me.  I didn't expect her to start snogging me with her salty, appley lips. I became aware that Dobs and his girl were looking at us but my universe had shrunk to an area about three feet across.  As Dobs later told me: "I didn't expect it to be you who made the first move."  I didn't expect it either.  I also didn't expect Francoise to kneel astride my thighs, to get a better angle of attack, as I sat on the bed. I do remember her unbuttoning her plain white blouse (neither were exactly provocatively dressed) to reveal a pretty bra (it had lace on it for heaven's sake) and then pressing her barely concealed bust against my shirt as she dived in for more kissing.

I had no idea how to kiss a girl, of course.  I knew that adults kissed each other on the lips but I was a bit shocked when her tongue started to probe my mouth.  It was literally, as I later found out, French kissing.  I did have some recollection from reading an Ian Fleming James Bond book (I think) that you were supposed to caress their heads so I started to stroke Francoise's hair, then her neck, which she seemed to really enjoy.  I was also very conscious of her smell which was, basically, hot skin but there was some other musky scent evident, although it was some time and several magazines I should not have been reading at my age, before I realised what was causing this.  I do remember being almost painfully erect in my jeans.  Françoise wriggled closer and shrugged off her blouse.  My hands were now able to access what seemed like acres of warm skin and I stroked her like a cat.  Although I had no idea how to stroke a cat as we didn't have pets.  I do remember tracing the bumps in her backbone up to her neck and down.  My hand slid around her side and, almost as if  it was undirected (which of course it wasn't), I closed it over her satin and lace clad breast. I could actually feel her hard nipple on my palm. I seriously thought that I might actually come in my jeans at this point.

Unfortunately, just as she started to undo the buttons on my shirt, the wife of the French teacher, who were staying in the other room in the annexe, burst in.  Dobs was lying full length on his bed with the blonde next to him, snogging away.  Both of their tops were unbuttoned.  I had Françoise astride my thighs, undoing my shirt, her blouse already discarded next to me.   Everyone froze and I was expecting an explosion from Madame.  Fortunately, she was French herself and seemed generally amused by the whole situation.  She politely told the girls to get dressed and disappear, which they did with a cheery wave.  She poured the rest of the cider (not that there was much left) down the bathroom washbasin but never said anything to the French teacher.  The possession of alcohol issue would have been a lot more serious than the being found with girls issue, as I later found out. In fact she was obviously trying not to laugh throughout the whole process.

While there was no comeback from any of our teachers, the French teacher's wife must have said something to the teachers at the girl's school as when Dobs and I tried to sit with Françoise and her blonde friend at dinner, we were shooed off by their teachers.  We were then laughed at by our schoolmates for wanting to sit with girls.  Dobs and I didn't care.  We had made a great discovery.  Girls liked us.  We liked them.  And much enjoyment could be had between the two.

Dobs became the first boy in our year to have a proper girlfriend, from the girl's school next door, at the age of fifteen.  He was laughed at and teased and he didn't care.  He became a City property lawyer and I see him for dinner once in a while, along with Mutt who had been in the annexe with us but watching Mark Spitz rather than feeding cider to girls.  It was him who told me last year that he had discovered that the wife of the French teacher wasn't his wife at all but his mistress, who he had brought on the school trip, illicitly.  No wonder she was so understanding!

Next time we move on to 1975 and more kissing lessons...