Wednesday, 27 July 2016

1976: By the river

The summer of 1976 was the hottest since records began in the UK, which was more than 350 years previously.  Through May, June and July the temperatures just kept going up and up.   Unfortunately for me this was the period when I was studying for and sitting my first set of key school exams; O levels.  I sat in stifling gyms or the school hall. trying to concentrate, as the temperature went through the roof.  People were passing out during exams.  Heathrow airport, just seven miles from where I lived, recorded fifteen days in a row where the temperature exceeded 30 degrees Centigrade (86F).  The thermometer kept on rising: 32, 34, 35.9 degrees (96.6F).  A drought was declared.  There were 45 days without rain in the South East of England, which was unheard of.  There were forest fires (over one million trees were lost) and water rationing.  

There was no heat in Triple P' romantic life, however.  Apart from finding a pristine copy of Men Only Volume 41 number 5  on the train, my life had no external sexual element.  I used to get the train to school and it had individual compartments with no linking corridor. I was in there one morning with several of my schoolmates when, for some unknown reason, they decided to lift the seat cushions up. Underneath was a pristine copy of  the May 1976 Men Only. We all eagerly scanned the pictures and gave our expert critical opinion. "She's got no tits" was the immediate verdict on both poor Dana (Joanie Allum) and Esty and so on. Lilith was almost universally admired and was the main reason I slipped the magazine into my school briefcase (no back packs for school in those days) when the others abandoned it when we reached our station.

I was delighted with the Men Only, however.  My father's collection of men's magazines had all been from the pre-labia displaying era. I hadn't seen a men's magazine in the interim so was surprised and delighted by the wantonly spread thighs of Dana, Lilith, Esty, Karyl and, above all, the three girls in the Love All, Sauna or Later pictorial; the first lesbian pictorial I had ever seen. I had no idea that girls had so much going on between their legs, hidden by all that hair.  Although one of the girls in the lesbian pictorial had a bald pussy, which I found fascinating.  I had never seen such a thing.  How times have changed!

The end of exams didn't mean the end of the school term, sadly.  We had to prepare for the sixth form (the final two years of school) where we dropped from around eight or nine to three or four subjects.  One of the things we were told during these preparatory sessions was that because of the looser structure of study in the sixth form we didn't have to do compulsory sport on Wednesday afternoons if you could come up with an "acceptable alternative". This was good news for me because I hated team sports (I was good at the 400m on the track and that was it, sports wise) and anything to do with a ball, given I had no hand to eye (or foot) coordination whatsoever.  So cricket in the summer and football or rugby in the winter were purgatory.

Fortunately, there was a good archery club in our village which I had joined, through a colleague of my mother's, the previous Easter and I was delighted to find out that doing archery practice on Wednesday afternoon, just ten minutes walk from home, would be an "acceptable alternative".  I had been to a few sessions on the regular Friday evening club nights where special introductory training was given.  Joining at the same time, was a lovely girl, A, from a nearby girl's private school.  As we were both beginners and were about the same age (I was sixteen at this point) we were put together,  I started to look forward to archery every week, as much to see A as for the archery, although we both had exams that summer term,so stopped going for a few weeks.

A was very slightly built, like a dancer, and, indeed was doing ballet lessons.  She had light brown, shoulder length hair, very slim arms and legs and she looked like a good gust of wind would blow her away.  I was surprised every week that she could actually draw a bow but she was stronger than she looked.  She had a pretty, heart shaped face with nice full lips.  What really struck me, on our first meeting, however, was her eyes; as  they were hazel, just like mine.  They looked a different colour, depending on what she wore.  What she wore was not very exciting; invariably a below the knee A-line skirt and a plain long sleeved blouse.  She was about as far as you could get from the leg-spreading, pussy caressing girls in Men Only but she was real (and my previous experiences had taught me to value real girls above photographs, unlike most of my school mates) and she seemed pleased to see me every week.

When, on the club night after my first post-exam week at school, I told her I could practice on Wednesday afternoons instead of doing school sport, she asked if I would mind if she joined me.  I tried hard not to look too delighted.  She said it would have to be after school as their games afternoon was on Friday.  She left her bow and quiver with me and asked me to bring it the following week as unlike me, she had a bicycle, which she rode to and from school every day.  Her school was the other side of the river from my house and the archery club but it was in the same general direction as her home so the diversion to the other side of the river was not too far.  It only took her about twenty minutes to cover the distance and as I had already been there for an hour I had the target out of the shed and already set up. 

We did this for a couple of weeks as the hot summer continued.  When school finished at the end of July we carried on meeting up, increasingly regularly, rather than just once a week, although now she cycled from home not school.

"Are you off to see your girlfriend. again?" my mother asked, one August afternoon.

"She's not my girlfriend!" I answered, blushing.  I certainly didn't consider her to be my girlfriend.  She was just a friend who happened to be a girl.  I had. not, for example, mentioned her to anyone at school, particularly after all the teasing Dobs was getting, for having a girlfriend, from his classmates. 

 "She's flat as a pancake!  Do you like fried eggs?  If she turns side on can you still see her?" were some of the comments he got about her.  Poor, S, the girl in question from next door's school, was deemed sadly lacking in the bust department for a group of boys brought up on Page 3 girls.  In fact, when I went to university I ran into S, on the road to the law library.  She was wearing a tight tee-shirt and looked just fine in the bust department but her school uniform was not the most flattering and, as was common, her family had bought large sizes to allow for growing room.

Given A was even less curvaceous I said nothing, as any mention of her existence would have garnered the inevitable question: "Does she have big knockers?"; the only measure of female worth that mattered. 

One day she asked me if I would like to walk her  home.  This was in completely the wrong direction from my house  This would have been a nine mile walk there and back but I remembered my uncle telling me a year or so before not to "ever turn down an invitation from a girl".  It was a lovely afternoon and we decided to walk along the Thames towpath, which was further than the road route but much prettier.  She pushed her bike along the river and I carried our bows and quivers. In retrospect, I should have probably offered to push her bike but had no understanding of bicycles, whatsoever and was worried about tripping over the pedals.

We chatted on so much (we were both interested in painting and drawing, classical music and science fiction - I didn't think girls liked science fiction) that soon we had actually overshot where she should have turned off for her house and, having crossed the river, found ourselves on the river bank at Runnymede.  Here you could sit on the bank and dangle your feet in the water; a good idea as it was still baking hot. Eventually she had to go home to dinner but not before she had given me a goodbye kiss.  The first I had received from her.  I watched her cycle away and then had to walk the four and a half miles home.  I didn't mind one bit, though.  My mother noticed I had been a particularly long time and also that I looked very pleased with myself.  

Shockingly, that evening I received a telephone call.  I never received a telephone call.  My mother thought that telephones were for emergencies not chat.  This is a view I still hold, largely.  I don't like speaking to people I cannot see. "It's for you.  It's a girl!" said my mother. looking delighted.  Now, of course, in those days telephones were on a short wire.  I couldn't take it to another room so had to take the call in the hallway, next to the kitchen, where my mother hovered, pretending to do things.  As a result the call was short. A wondered if I would like to meet up again the next day rather than in four days time as we had planned.  I said yes.  The call was over. My mother looked disappointed.

The next day was hot again.  A's eye was off in the archery so having loosed off a few arrows together she suggested we walk back to Runnymede to sit by the river again.  We lay by the river talking about music and science fiction films and how bad the modern ones were compared to the fifties ones. Gradually, she pulled her skirt up well over her knees to get some sun.  Her legs were covered in pale golden hairs which glistened in the sunlight.  

After a while, she got up and walked over to the grass below a nearby willow tree so as to be in the shade.  It was like being in a cool, green room cut off from the rest of the world, apart from the sound of the cars on the main road and the occasional 'chug chug' of a river boat. She lay down and pulled her skirt right up to the top of her thighs.  I wondered why she did this as she was now out the sun.  It took some minutes for me to realise that the leg flashing might just be an invitation.  I saw a ladybird crawling along her thigh (there were a plague of them in the hot weather that year) and I carefully plucked it from her leg.  She turned, smiled at me, leaned forward and we slid into a kiss.  A lovely gentle, soft and, to me, rather surprising kiss. I still didn't regard her as a girlfriend.  Girlfriends were people you took to parties and went to the cinema with. You snogged and hoped they might let you touch their breasts.  The kissing continued until she pulled away and made a little 'mm' sound.  She fell back onto her back and we resumed our conversation as if nothing had happened.  Another, more confident goodbye kiss followed, later and we agreed to meet the following afternoon but passing on the archery.

Next day I took the bus into town, saving a mile and a half of walking and met up with her under the willow tree again. Another kiss in greeting.  I had decided I really liked kissing girls and A in particular.  She was gentler than the sister I had met at New Year's Eve and was more like the French girl from four years earlier.  I lay on my back and she lay on her side next to me.  She put her arm across my chest and stroked my bare arm as we chatted. Occasionally, she would stop talking to give me another kiss.  At one point she was lying on her back and her skirt was up above her knees again. I was lying on my side, this time and I risked a tentative stroke of her naked thigh with the tips of my fingers.  She didn't flinch, as I had half expected she might. I tried another one and then left my hand resting on her warm skin while we talked. I started to gently caress her leg and she helpfully pulled her skirt up even higher.  I was literally feeling out the boundary with her as my hand went higher and then lower along her thigh.  Up and down, caressing that silky skin.  She kissed me again.  I was now completely erect. She rolled over on to her side, facing me and I thought I must have gone too far; my hand recoiling from her skin like a frightened creature. Instead, she climbed on top of me, her legs astride my trunk, and initiated our most serious kissing session to date.  She stroked my bare arms and I stroked her hair and neck, remembering how much the French girl had seemed to enjoy it. She undid one of my shirt buttons and then another and started to kiss my bare skin. This, I thought, was what boyfriends and girlfriends did!

She kissed my neck too but didn't indulge in what the boys at school talked about all the time: necking and love bites.  I couldn't get my mind around what this was, in reality.  Did boys and girls really rub and bite each other's necks?  I started to stroke her cotton clad back and, using the same approach I had done with her leg, slowly slid my fingers down towards her bottom.  I never reached my target, however, as we could hear some people approaching along the towpath so we disengaged, looking at each other and grinning, as if we both knew the greatest secret in the world. 

We kissed goodbye before she headed home on her bike and I made the long walk back along the towpath.  This time she slipped her tongue into my mouth for the first time and put her hands on my bottom.  It was about half a mile's walk before I lost my erection.  I had a girlfriend!  I think! Now what?

She rang again that evening and said that she couldn't meet me the next day as she had to go shopping with her parents in Kingston but we could meet the following day, if I liked. "That would be completely wonderful!" I thought.  "OK" I said.  I went to bed that night and for the first time masturbated to a mental image of a girl I knew rather than a picture in a magazine.  I could still feel her warm skin against my hand and smell her slightly sweaty girl skin scent.  I was listless and distracted the next day but delighted when she rang again after her shopping trip confirming our assignation the following day.

The next day I didn't want to scare her off, in case the day before's activity had been a one off. so although we had our now usual greeting kiss I did not, despite desperately wanting to, make a grab for her.  We started to talk about music and Sibelius, whose music she didn't know, in particular.  At one point she sat on my lap and I tried and failed to not become erect.  She wriggled on me, enticingly.  I was stroking her leg again, right up under her skirt.

This sort of interaction continued for a week or so with some archery mixed in.  I had to be rather distant towards her at archery club as the man there worked in my mother's office.  I had to explain this to A in case I upset her.

 One day my mother was taking my sister to see a friend of her's for the day and I bravely asked A, if she would like to come over to my house and listen to some Sibelius.  She readily agreed, rather to my surprise and a few days later turned up at the front door with her bicycle.  Unfortunately, A was early and my mother was late in leaving so, contrary to my carefully planned timetable, the two met.  My mother was delighted with this and fussed about, explaining what there was in the fridge for lunch and perhaps we might have a picnic by the river and here was a blanket etc etc.  My sister just looked at A in stony silence as if I had let a particularly unpleasant dog into the house..

We started off with Sibelius' second (Scottish National Orchestra, Gibson) and sat on my bedroom floor next to each other.  A wasn't wearing her normal skirt and blouse but a floral sundress, which made her look older. We did, in fact make some ham sandwiches and go down to the river, which was only a couple of hundred yards from our house, to have them.  There was an ice cream van there, as there often was and I had taken enough money to buy us both ice creams, which she seemed delighted with.  We had several ice creamy kisses sitting by the river bank.  Her kissing started to get more passionate and she suggested we went back to my room.

She asked me to put some more music on, but not classical.  This was something of a problem. Apart from three late Beatles LPs given me by my aunt when she got married a few years before, all my music was classical or 1940s swing. I didn't buy my first pop LP until the following year (Rick Wakeman!).  I went downstairs and retrieved my mother's Burt Bacharach LP, which I had danced to with New Year's Eve Debbie six months before.  Going up the stairs I was worried that it would be too low brow for A, who played the clarinet and liked Mozart, but she seemed happy with it.

As soon as I had put the record on she jumped me, grabbing me around the waist and pushing me to the floor.  I later asked her what brought on this sudden passion and she said it was because I had bought her an ice cream!  She started to kiss me and tried to undo my shirt buttons at the same time,  She was trying to take my clothes off!  Or, at least some of them.  I had a flashback to when the French girl had started to do this and we had been interrupted on the school trip and I had a sudden panic that my mother would return and walk in on us.

I remember kissing her shoulder and neck and the thin strap on her dress dropping to one side.  I managed to pull my unbuttoned shirt off and she was kissing my upper body and arms.  I did not really know what to do in return.  Should I try and take her dress off?  Would that be too pushy?  I still expected, when dealing with girls, a slap and being told to behave.  I was still thinking about this when she straddled my thigh and started to unbutton the front of her sundress.  Surely not?  But then she was shrugging it off and revealed that she wasn't wearing a bra,  I couldn't believe it.  Tits!  Actual real life naked tits!  They were small, it is true but a very nice deep saucer shape with pale pink nipples with erect teats. "Lovely!" I said,  Which she later told me was exactly the right thing to say as she thought hers were too small and was nervous about revealing herself.

I could feel her heat on my thigh through her plain white knickers and she was gently rubbing her crotch against my leg. She leant down and lay on top of me and I could feel her hard nipples pressing against my chest.  She was grinding against my leg in earnest while kissing me at the same time.  I slid my hands down her lovely naked back and then cupped her cotton clad bottom.  I started to gently thrust my hips up against her, rubbing my denim clad erection against her hipbone. She was gasping and sweat was dripping from her face onto mine.  Her back was becoming slippery and our naked torsos were sliding across each other.  Suddenly she clamped my leg between her thighs and her body went rigid. Then she relaxed and put her head on my shoulder, giving me little kisses.  It was just as well that she stopped as I was about to come in my jeans.

"Oh!" she said, after a while.

"What happened?" I asked, stupidly.

"I think I just had an orgasm!" she said. "First one!"

"Oh, wonderful!" I said.

"It really was!  And you gave it to me!" she smiled. Or rather my leg did, I thought. She had actually left a damp patch on my jeans.

Well, we spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around in our half naked state, kissing each other's upper bodies.  I took her nipples into my mouth and rolled the teats with my tongue.  Oddly, I thought, she did the same to me.

We both jumped when we heard the key in the front door and had to grab our clothes and get dressed as my mother and sister had returned.  I walked her back towards her home along the river in the early evening. It looked like it was about to rain and was very hot and humid.  Usually A would chatter away but she seemed quiet. As we reached the lock I stopped and took her chin in my hand and asked her if she was alright.  She just smiled and said very, very alright indeed and gave me a soft, lingering kiss.  There was a duck paddling about inside the lock and she told me that I had to give her a kiss every time we passed a duck.  As a result it took us twice as long as usual to do the walk. At one point, underneath the railway bridge, we were kissing again and I felt her hand on the crotch of my jeans. "You are all stiff!" she said.  I told her that I had been for most of the afternoon. "I know!" she answered.

I thought she would want to turn off towards her house but she kept walking until we reached our willow tree by the river..  Just as we got there it started to rain. We hadn't had any proper rain for months and it just hammered down. There was some shelter under the tree but we were still getting quite wet.  We stood under it, kissing again.  This time I felt comfortable caressing her bottom and she was stroking the crotch of my jeans again. "I want to see it!" she said.  I looked around but there was no one about.  She knelt down in front of me and unzipped my jeans, fumbling inside to extract me.  She looked at my erection.  "Cock!" she said, uncharacteristically earthily, and put her fingers around it.  I thought I might hyperventilate. "What do I do?"  I told her and she started to rub it.  Then she kissed my tip and then I watched in disbelieving fascination as she enveloped my glans with her mouth.  My root was rubbing against the sharp teeth of my zipper but I didn't mind.  She looked up at me, her eyes smiling and that did it.  Half a day of kissing and caressing and watching my first girl reach orgasm had built up a huge erotic pressure which needed release. I pulled out of her mouth and literally spurted around three feet, my first emission hitting the trunk of the willow tree beneath which we were sheltering. I was amazed by the distance I had achieved.  I had always come into my hand or a tissue when I masturbated.  I had never watched an unencumbered ejaculation before.  I spurted  again, this time spattering her neck and shoulder.  And again.  And again. "Spunk!" she cried, picking some up with her fingertips and looking at it closely before licking her fingers.

After I had come she went back to kissing my prick although I had to gently dissuade her from touching the tip which was super sensitive. Eventually we pulled ourselves together and she said she needed to "spend a penny", which  she did, squatting at the river's edge. I looked away, of course. but I could hear her stream hitting the water even through the rain. Then it was my turn although I was conscious of her watching me from slightly behind where I stood. Drenched with rain we made our way back towards our homes.

My friendship with A would continue into 1977 and I will examine this in the next  two chronicles.


  1. What a wonderfully evocative and vivid recollection! Ahh, girls of the 1970s...

    Yes, you might have letters from the time to draw upon, but it's still told in such a stirring, candid way. The Chronicles.. are one of my favourite features, so keep them coming (if you pardon the pun).

  2. Thank you. Nothing encourages a writer like an appreciative reader! I've already started the next one, having dug A's letters out from the loft!

  3. You're welcome. A's input is definitely helping to bring the experiences back to life!

  4. Minor typo four lines from the end: "her her" should be "hear her".

    A beautiful account. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

    1. Thanks for the correction. I always spot half a dozen or so afterwards. Oddly, they don't appear so easy to see on the draft as on the published version. It is the same with on screen and printed versions for some reason!

  5. You write well and everything rings true.
    It was 1968 and we had been playing tennis at the Club of our farming district in Rhodesia.
    After a drink in the clubhouse this girl asked me to walk with her to the tennis pavilion to pick up her racquet. we started kissing, lying on the ground. She was squeezing her legs together and her breathing got faster until her whole body shook as she made herself come. I knew what she had done but I was too shy to ask her to do the same to me. Memories!

    1. Yes, I knew a number of girls who started off having fun by squeezing their thighs together like that. It's not something you read about a lot in erotica, although I suppose it is quite common.

  6. I remember those small train compartments. One day I idly lifted up the seat and like you found a mag (some sort of Playboy anniversary commemoration, and unlike most Playboys of the time, packed with pictures rather than words). From then on if I was alone in one of those compartments, I would always lift up the seats (though I never again found anything!). I find it unusual that your mum encouraged you to spend time alone with girls - did she think you would spend the time eating cucumber sandwiches and discussing philosophy and art! I don't think my parents or my friends parents were always on their guard and imagining the worst... Just one aside, I can't help picturing you as Will from the Inbetweeners! Not a very complimentary thought I know. I am sure you were nothing like him, and clearly a lot more successful with the opposite sex!

    1. Yes, I never found anything underneath the train seat again, despite looking many times! My mother was always encouraging me to be with girls but then she was arty and liberated. Never seen the Inbetweeners but having looked at photos of the actor there are some similarities (I was much better looking, of course, and I didn't have glasses!)