Monday, 13 April 2009

Night Swimming…

Brian Adams may have thought the Summer of ’69 was good, but for me 1979 was by far and away the best ever.

18 years of age, single, singer in a band, good apprenticeship in printing with good wages, a bunch of really good friends and living in the small market town of Evesham on the banks of Shakespeare’s Avon.

It really was a summer of sex, ‘n’ drugs, ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll – although in my case the only drug has been alcohol. Weather was not as hot as ’76, but good none the same, with parties nearly every night at someone’s house or other – these were the pre-Barbeque days in the UK, you had to be really posh to have one of those!

The night in question revolves around someone’s 18th birthday party which was held at the Hampton Ferry Café – now a really nice restaurant, but then pretty seedy, and smelling of all things angling (maggots, fish, river water etc).

Disco thumping out great tunes, cheap beer – probably Whitbread Trophy – wonderful weather, but with a chance of a shower later. I spent quite a bit of the evening chatting to girl from Lloyds bank who I had fancied for years. Things were looking good and as the evening progressed we sat outside to watch the sun go down with a bunch of our friends.

Back in those days pubs closed at 10.30pm during the week and 11.00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. So ‘last orders’ time arrived and it is time to make our ways home. Feeling a bit courageous I asked if I could walk Bank Girl home to her prestigious part of town. To my amazement she agreed.

She popped back into the café to use the conveniences and collect her unneeded umbrella. While waiting I suddenly got a call of nature and trundled over to the river bank, and out of view to crowds there started to relieve my bladder – well it would have ended up in the river anyway!

Next thing I know I’m looking up through murky river water and feeling decidedly wet! In those days I was significantly slimmer than now. However the bank had given way, leaving me to plummet the 10 feet or so into the Avon.

Scrambling up the bank made me even more like the Monster from the Black Lagoon and I surfaced to cheers and laughter from my so-called friends.

Bank Girl had rejoined the party and was looking decided anxious about my appearance. Needless to say I was no longer invited to walk her home. The thought of me in my sodden, mud caked clothes too much for her to bear.

I squelched off home, to the opposite end of the town from Bank Girl’s abode, stopping off briefly to get a Chinese takeout, paid for with dripping wet money!

Needless to say I never did get to date Bank Girl!!

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