Monday, 14 November 2016

1978: Party Animal

Having had an incredibly sexually exciting summer holiday, I returned to school in September for the start of my last full year.  Many other boys seemed to have acquired girlfriends that summer but, unlike me, they still had theirs.  Still, given my recent success I assumed that another girl would be just around the corner.  I caught up with my arty school friend O during the time we spent in the art room at lunchtimes. We had both been appointed school art monitors and spent lunch times painting and drawing and comparing the non officially sanctioned pictures of girls we had started to do at home, usually from pictures in magazines. O now had a girlfriend too and they had got to the kissing in underwear stage.  

Later that term, unusually, given the distance I lived from most of my school friends, I went to his house in Twickenham so we could compare drawings of naked girls.  He had also acquired a large collection of men's magazines from J, at school, whose father worked for the Paul Raymond organisation, which we were going to investigate.  We also played some records, one of which was another new non-classical one I had got which was Rick Wakemen's White Rock (still a favourite).

Sometimes, when sitting around in the sixth form common room we would have discussions about our fellow pupils; who was best at this who was best at that?  Some people were good at sports (P, for example, was the only boy at school who could do the pole vault), or drama or playing the drums (that was Whiff).  Academic achievement was not rated although E was generally regraded as the cleverest person in the school. I was famous for drawing naked girls. One of the popular discussion topics was: "who is the most boring person in the year?" The answer was invariably JP. He really had no interesting features or interests at all. That is,until he got a Saturday job in WH Smiths in Kingston and had access to their 25% discount.  He immediately became very popular, as everyone got him to buy records at a discount.  He had got me White Rock and he had got O the soundtrack to the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which I also liked.

As we listened to these two very different records (again and again) we looked at O's impressive stack of Men Only and Club International magazines.  These dated from a period when Paul Raymonds's magazines had reached their pinnacle of explicitness.  Glorious colour page after colour page of spread thighs, pink pussies and exposed anuses.  Oddly, at almost exactly that same time, in the Autumn of 1977, they decided to back pedal on this and the magazines became a lot less explicit again.  At this stage the girls were displayed in all their glory, however.

It soon became apparent that what O really wanted to talk about was how to get his girlfriend to strip off so he could draw her naked. He asked me how I had persuaded A and I had to admit that it had been her idea. He looked a bit defeated at this,  Considering myself something of an expert on women now (which I wasn't), I said that he had to separate the nakedness from sex.  This was about art and as he now defined himself as an artist (he was not as academic as I was and was planning to go to art school) then he could ask her to do this as it would be a way for her to help him in his artistic development. 

I had brought my pictures of A with me so he could look at them properly.  Finding a very mild one where A wasn't actually showing anything, I said he could borrow it so he could show his girlfriend what he wanted. 

"Just don't get her to pose like this," I said holding up the centrefold of a Men Only, "as you will just scare her off!"

O later went to art school and tried to make his living as a professional artist. After graduating, he sold two paintings to be used as greetings cards for a grand total of £55. Shortly afterwards someone asked him to design a logo for nothing, which he did on the basis that we wasn't earning anything much anyway.  It is now so famous that, with it in his portfolio, his career was transformed.

The next term saw a new year, 1978, and the headlong plunge towards 'A' levels, critically important exams for getting into university. All my friends had already applied but those like me, who were being lined up for Oxford  or Cambridge didn't have to, as we applied after our exam results came out in the summer and didn't have to worry about hitting university grade targets.

After Christmas, back in the art room in January, my friend O was bouncing up and down with excitement.  "I did it!  I did it!" he exclaimed as soon as the art teacher had gone for lunch.  Oh no, I thought.  He's done It.  It, It, It. Before me!  But, in fact, what he was referring to was that he had got his girlfriend to pose naked for him over the Christmas holidays.  He showed me some sketches and then a painting.  He had done an actual goauche painting of his girlfriend, naked, relining on her back on the sofa.  It was really good and I was appropriately impressed, while simultaneously cursing inside that I had never done a painting of A and no longer had a life model.  Apparently, my 'it's just art' argument had worked perfectly with the girl.  In fact rather too well as she still wouldn't contemplate going further than kissing in their underwear even though O had now seen her naked a number of times.  Girls were strange, we both agreed.

The next five months were heads down on school work.  I was also doing my Art A level work in my spare time but instead of pliant teenage girls my drawings were of things like artichokes (got A+ for that one!), fruit, old oil lamps and such like.  The exams went quite well but not as well as I had hoped and Economics was a bugger.  The end of term was odd because most people were leaving to go to university the following year but those of us doing Oxbridge would be back for one more term starting in September.

We left school early, after doing our exams in May and I had a long, boring, girl-free summer in prospect,  But then I got a call from O who asked if  I wanted to do some unpaid work at Shepperton Studios, which he had been offered through a friend.  I could actually see the tops of the sound stages from my bedroom window in the winter so I readily agreed.  We ended up doing a lot of painting of sets (rocks mainly) for a science fiction film that they were making there.  Everybody seemed to be cashing in on Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and as this film didn't star anyone I had heard of and was directed by someone I had never heard of, either, O and I both thought it would disappear without a trace. It was called Alien.

Coming out of the studios late one night (we always worked late at night as I suspect we weren't on the official books) I ran into J from school, who lived down the road from the studios.  He was having a birthday party the following week and asked if I wanted to come.  I never got invited to parties and if I did they were all too far away to get to.  I could walk to J's house from home, though, so I said yes.  J wasn't one of my close friends at school but I quite liked him as he liked SF as well.

I wasn't sure what to wear to a party or what to take as I hadn't actually been to a party of any of my contemporaries before.  My mother reckoned I should take a bottle of wine which she kindly supplied from our stock.  My sister told me not to get drunk and not to bring "some ugly girl home".   My mother dropped me off at J's house but I told her I would walk home.  Much to my surprise there was no sign of J's parents who had gone away for the weekend.  I asked J if they knew he was having a party and he said yes and his older sister was in charge of the house and was there to keep things under control.  I knew J's sister, D, because she used to get the same train as us as she went to the school next door.  She was now at university but home for the holidays.

In fact there were quite a lot of D's friends there, many of whom were girls but they, like D herself, were not very attractive.  There were some girls from the school next door but rather more boys than girls, disappointingly. The dining room had been cleared of furniture for dancing so I vowed to keep well clear of that area. None of the main lights were on, with rooms illuminated by lamps on the floor or, strangely for July, Christmas fairy lights.  Boringly, I spoke mainly to my friends from school about which universities they were going on to.

I managed to find a corner to settle into with my glass of wine.  It is a joke about British parties in the seventies that they all featured snacks like Twiglets and cheese footballs which tasted disgusting but people ate anyway.  That's what was on offer, however.  There were also cheese puffs, which left an orange residue on your fingers and then got on everything you touched.  There were no tortilla chips or Pringles in Britain in the seventies!

I looked around to see if there were any nice looking girls but there really weren't.  There were one or two blondes with frizzy permed hair who seemed to be attracting the attention of the pushier boys from my school.  These characters used to go down to somewhere called the Walton Hop, billed as 'Britain's first disco', which had been holding dances for teenagers since the fifties.  It took place in the Walton-on-Thames Playhouse three times a week and was very popular with teenagers.  Bus loads of them would be disgorged on dance nights into Walton's far from interesting town centre.  It was also very popular, we found out thirty years later, with gay paedophiles, including, at the time, the notorious Jonathan King.  King was a well known radio disc jockey who later had a host of TV shows on the BBC, usually on American subjects because he really, really wanted to be an American but wasn't.  He was later jailed for seven years for sex offences. I never went to the Walton Hop but many of my friends, including Mutt and Dobs did.  It was, I gather, cramped, noisy and full of sweaty teenagers of both sexes.

During what seemed like an endless evening I suddenly found a girl sitting next to me on the sofa.  I had just picked up a handful of cheese puffs and was desperate to wipe my fingers on something.  I looked at her white dress and could almost feel the orange food dye ready to leap onto her outfit.

"Dja go to the 'op?" she asked.  "Ain't seen you there!"

"No," I replied.

"It's great!  Lots of boys!" she continued.

"I'm not really looking for boys," I said, suddenly wondering if my purple velvet-effect trousers and pink shirt might have created the wrong impression.

"Nah.  Girls too! Girls like me!" she appeared to be drinking some sort of clear spirit from a white plastic cup. I assumed it wasn't water as it had a slice of lemon in it.  J's parents had banned glasses.  I told her that the building that housed the Walton Hop used to be the electricity generating building of Walton Studios, a film studios dating from the very early years of the cinema in the nineteenth century.  It had closed in 1961 but we had both seen a film on TV called the Navy Lark (1959), based on a popular radio comedy series, which had been filmed there.  She was fascinated by this, or pretended to be and I was grateful to the technician at Shepperton Studios who had told me about it.  She was very, very impressed that I had been working at the studios themselves.  I decided to practice upon her.

"That is a lovely dress!" I said, holding my hands out with spread fingers, the orange, slimy residue of cheese puffs clinging to them like engine oil. She smiled and looked pleased.

"What you drinking?" she asked.


"Don't like wine,  Like Bacardi!"  she raised her cup and I touched it with mine, leaving orange stains on my cup.   For some inexplicable reason, this girl, who was called Mandy or Chrissie or Julie or one of those other hairdressers' names, had taken a shine to me, no doubt attracted by my splendid purple, velvet-effect trousers.  She had mousy brown hair, a slim body and while not particularly pretty wasn't actually unattractive either.  She was wearing quite a lot of makeup and had turqouise eyelids. She swigged back her drink in one go and stood up, much to my relief. "Don't go away!" she said.  She asked me if I wanted more wine and I said yes.  Excellent, I thought, as she left the room, I can find something to wipe my fingers with.  I contemplated my purple thighs but thought that would be a very bad idea.  There were no paper napkins or tissues visible on the coffee table in front of me. I was wondering about using the pages of TV Times magazine, which was in one of those upright magazine racks people used to keep next to their sofas.

Unfortunately, Mandy, as we will christen her (my journal from that time just, rather dismissively, refers to her as a 'trainee hairdresser) soon returned with a bottle of something I recognised instantly as Mateus Rose, a Portuguese, sweet, slightly sparkling wine in a distinctive flask shaped bottle.  You can still buy this branded wine and I actually had some in the summer with my friend A when we decided to have a retro seventies evening and watch episodes of Charlie's Angels but they have made it less sweet than it was then and it is almost palatable now.   It was Bob Marley's favourite wine but it was also Saddam Hussein's.  My father would have turned in his grave if he had seen me drinking Mateus, however!  But there was no escape.  She filled up my cup, even though I hadn't finished the red wine I already had in it and then filled hers too. She declared that this was the best wine she had ever had and she must have been drinking the wrong stuff previously.  She sat down next to me again.  Nearly everyone else had disappeared to the dining room to dance to dreadful (as I then thought of it) punk music.

J, unusually, had espoused punk at a time when most of the rest of the boys listened to Yes, Deep Purple, Genesis, Led Zeppelin or other such groups who I had no idea what they sounded like.  He used to go to The Roxy Club in Covent Garden with the official school punk (he came to school once with a bath plug hanging from his ear (briefly)), D, who was actually related to Sigmund Freud.   D was a terrifying character and most of the other boys were scared of him.  Apart from punk and piercing his body in class with a school compass he was into martial arts and was always bringing into school rice-flails, throwing stars and other dangerous weapons, which were immediately confiscated.  At the end of every term he had to go to the staff room to retrieve a box full of confiscated stuff.  He had a terrible temper and would go into uncontrollable rages and attack people.  He did it to me once over some perceived slight but I was standing by the school dustbins so when he went for me I picked up a dustbin lid and hit him with it. He looked so surprised that I hit him again and after that he left me alone and later we used to get on quite well and had a shared interest in post-imprssionism (he was a complex character).

"Dja wanna dance?" asked Mandy.

"No," I replied quickly.

"Music's shit, innit?" she said.  Mandy, it turned out, liked disco music. Donna Summer's music was her favourite, which she found "sexy",  She wriggled her body on the sofa when she used this word.  I told her I needed to wash my hands.  "I need to pee too!" she said.  "Make room for more wine!" she brandished the bottle and waved it about like a banner over her head.  I told her I had cheese puffs on my fingers.  She grabbed my hand and sucked one of my fingers into her mouth, much to my surprise.  "So you do!" she said.

We set off together, looking for the bathroom.  J's family didn't have a loo downstairs, like we did at home, so we went up the darkened stairs where, half way up, we encountered S, from school, sat down with one of the frizzy haired blondes sat on his lap, astride his hips.  They were snogging away and we stepped carefully passed them.  S looked up at me and gave me an approving thumbs up. I thought we might escape the pounding music upstairs but it was almost as loud.  I wondered if the police might make an appearance later on, this being the school approval mark of a good party, apparently. There were four doors off the landing and they were all shut.  "Which one is the bathroom." asked Mandy  "I'm  desperate!" I did a quick assessment based on the layout of the house downstairs and pointed at the door at the end of the corridor

"That one!" I said, confidently.

"It'll be locked.  People inside doing it!" predicted Mandy, obviously knowing what went on at these sorts of parties.  It actually wasn't locked and it actually was the bathroom. "You're very clever!" she said, disappearing inside.  The cheese puff residue had dried on my hand like a crust and I couldn't wait to wash them, Mandy reappeared and I told her I would see her downstairs.  I went in and joyfully washed my hands first before having a pee as well and then washed them again.  I noted that J's parents had a very tidy bathroom compared with ours.  We had bottles of shampoo and bubble bath and stuff everywhere at home whereas they seemed to store everything neatly in the sort of plastic bathroom cabinets, with mirrored doors on them, you could buy in Johnson & Clark in Staines.

As soon as I opened the bathroom door I was surprised to find Mandy still standing outside.  "Back inside!" she ordered, pushing me back into the bathroom.  I suddenly found her pressing up against me and putting her hands around my waist.  She bolted the door behind her, turned to me and looked expectant.  This must be one of those make the first move scenarios, I reasoned, in my slightly wine befuddled state.  I put my hand behind her neck and pulled her in for a kiss. There was no introductory tentativeness.  She slipped her tongue inside my mouth from the start and put her hands on my bottom, pulling me in close.  I happily reciprocated and squeezed her bottom too.  I pushed my thigh between her legs and pressed up against her groin where I could feel a familiar heat, even through my purple, velvet-effect trousers.  "Turn the light off!" she said, disengaging from my lips briefly.  "I'm shy!"  She didn't appear very shy, I thought, but I pulled the light cord so that we were in the dark.  It wasn't that dark as it was a clear night and almost a full moon so the bathroom had some illumination. She was unbuttoning her long white dress.  She looked up at me.  "Take your clothes off!" she said

"You take them off!" I said, thinking that it solved the 'how many clothes to take off' dilemma I had had with J from Finland the previous summer.  She obviously thought that this was an excellent idea and set to on my shirt buttons.  She was now dressed just in her bra and knickers which were both white and rather lacily grown up, I thought.  I realised I had no idea how old she was but assumed that as she was working in a hairdresser's she must be more than sixteen.  As soon as she had my shirt off she started kissing my chest and stroking my back.

"You're nice and tall!" she said.  "Tallest boy here!  I like that!"  I was the second tallest boy in the school at six foot one.  These days I would be average height!

"Shoes!" I said.  We broke apart and I pulled my slip on shoes off (I didn't get on with knots) and pulled my socks off too.  She was kicking off her strappy wedge sandals which, I realised, had added at least two inches to her height.

"Lie down!"  I did so and we resumed snogging.  She stopped briefly to undo her bra and pressed her small conical breasts against me.  She had long nipples, the feel of which I was enjoying as they slid over my chest. I slipped my fingers inside her knickers and felt her soft bottom. She was writhing about on me. pressing her groin against my erection.  She reached between us and fumbled with my belt buckle but made little progress.  "Off! Get them off!" she said. I undid my belt, fly button and zip and she pulled my trousers down.  "These too!" she said, grabbing the waistband of my pants and pulling them off as well.  "Have you got a rubber johnny?" she asked, as she pulled her knickers down to reveal a darker fleece than her hair colour.

"No!"  I admitted.

"Shit! Have you ever done it?" she asked clasping my erection.  It! It! It! I thought.  Was I really going to do It for the first time on J's bathroom floor with Mandy the hairdresser?

"No!" I said.

"Me neither!" she said, climbing astride my hips. I could feel her pubic hair and her heat on my cock.  She started to rub her groin against me.  She took hold of me and pressed my cock head against her wet slit. It! It! It! I thought. At last! Now!

Somebody tried the handle of the bathroom door. We tried to ignore it. They knocked on the door. "Hurry up!" said a girl's voice.

 "Fuck off!" called out Mandy. "Piss in the garden!"

"You shouldn't be having sex in there when people need the bathroom!" said the voice.

"Just fuck off!" said Mandy again.  Whether the girl left immediately or stayed we couldn't tell, as the music from downstairs was so loud. "P'raps we shouldn't do it!" said Mandy letting go of me.  Bugger, I thought. "I know!  I could suck you off!"

"Have you ever done sixty-nine?" I asked her. I could see her face in the moonlight and a big grin appearing on her face.

"No, never!" she said.

"Spin around!" I said.  Mandy positioned herself, and started to suck me enthusiastically.  She was not a first-timer, I guessed. I placed my hands on her skinny arse and licked up the length of her hot wet parts.  She made appreciative noises and then stopped sucking me just at the point I was about to come.  She was grinding her pussy against my face so I just assumed that she wanted to concentrate on enjoying herself. I started to rub her clitoris with my finger and she started to moan and swear quite noisily, gratifyingly. She took hold of my cock with her hand and started to rub it as I lapped away at her.

"Fuckin' 'ell!" she gasped at last, my tongue tired with the effort. She paused in her grinding and then set back to work on my cock with her mouth.

"That's it!"  I said, shortly afterwards.  I felt her pop off my knob and then I came and came.  It wasn't of course, a year's worth of spunk but it felt like it and I spurted and spurted all over her chest. We stayed, frozen in place, for half a minute. Eventually she stood up, crossed the bathroom floor and reeled off some toilet paper which she wiped her chest with.  She used some on me too.

"Bucket loads!" she laughed.  "Never seen so much!" She gave me a rather tender kiss.  "You're the first bloke who made me come!" she said, rather to my surprise. "Christ, look at me lipstick!" she said switching the light on above one of the bathroom cabinets.  She tried to tidy herself up with more toilet paper while I got dressed.

When we came out of the bathroom there were, embarrassingly, about four people waiting outside but fortunately I didn't know any of them.  S and his girl had disappeared from the stairs, luckily.  Mandy and I went into the back garden which was full of snogging couples.  I sat on the dry grass but she was worried about grass stains on her white dress so she sat on my lap and we resumed our own snogging.  I slid my hand up under the hem of her dress and massaged her lacy groin until she got hot again.

I walked her home, as her house was on the way back to my home.  She told me she had had a really nice evening but she didn't offer her phone number and I didn't offer mine.  In fact, I didn't discover which house she lived in as she left me at the end of the street, no doubt deliberately.  It had been an unexpected, passionate episode but we both knew it was a one off. She kissed me goodnight, rather shyly and I set off on the remaining mile of my walk.

The following month the family had a week's holiday down in Sussex, staying in a flat belonging to a friend of my mother's.  It overlooked the sea but we didn't spend much time on the shingle beach, preferring to walk along the downs.  One of our favourite walks was down the Cuckmere River to the sea.  It is the only undeveloped river mouth in Southern England and, because of the river meanders, a favourite place for school geography trips.  One day, we arrived at the curving shingle beach on quite a hot afternoon.  We hadn't brought swimming things but quite few others were swimming, although the beach never got that crowed because it was over a mile's walk from the car park.   I left my mother and sister sitting on the beach and walked along the shingle to the river mouth.  I saw a family who had just emerged from the sea and meant to walk behind them.  As I approached the group I looked sideways just as a teenage girl, with a beach towel around her shoulders took her bikini top off to get changed.  Her breasts were perfect hemispheres, with no droop or sag at all.  She caught me looking at her, or them, to be more accurate.  I blushed.  She smiled, before covering herself with the towel.  Somewhat shocked by this unexpected display, I  hurried off along the shingle and made sure I returned behind the high bank along the beach so she wouldn't see me.  It gave me something of an erotic frisson, as much because of her smile as her magnificent bust.

That was it for my erotic experiences of 1978, though.  In September I went back to school for the senior sixth form and the last few weeks before doing the Oxford entrance exam.  A couple of days in to the more relaxed timetable we had, I found myself on the train home with Dobs, who was also applying to Oxford.

"I hear you shagged a sixteen year old over the summer!" he said, as we climbed into one of the individual compartments. I looked baffled.  "At J's party.  A hairdresser!"  J was actually the only person from school at that party who was staying on into the seventh tern at school, as he was applying to Cambridge. "Everyone's talking about it.  J's sister heard you at it in the bathroom!"  I realised that she must have been the girl who had knocked on the bathroom door.  Oh dear. I was non-committal as it became apparent that this had given me huge kudos among my schoolmates.  I didn't really want to deny it because of this but I felt I couldn't outright lie and we had nearly done it.  I really wanted to talk to O about it but he had left to go to art school.  I had to put up with a lot of ribbing from the others over the next few weeks.

"You really need a haircut.  Know anyone who could do it?  Oh, of course you do!" etc.  Hilarious.

There wasn't much hilarity when I sat down in front of the Oxford University entrance paper in the school library in October. I had applied to do law, or jurisprudence, as they pretentiously called it.  However, you had to nominate a subject that you had done at A-level for the exam and I had chosen English.  The key essay question was extraordinarily vague and I couldn't think of anything in my study of DH Lawrence, Jane Austen or Keats I could use to talk about heroism (I think it was). In despair but knowing I had a guaranteed place at Southampton University, I wrote an essay on the barbarian ethic of Conan, mixed in with stuff about science fiction magazines of the nineteen thirties, Arthur C Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey and gave it up as a bad job,  I wished I had chosen history to do my exam in, instead.

I was, therefore, completely staggered to be invited up for interview at the end of November.  I had chosen my college for two reasons: it had twice as many law places as any other college and it was 50% female.  Until the year I started, all but four colleges were either men or women only.  Having been at an all boys school and discovered girls I couldn't bear the thought of single sex again.  In fact, that year, most of the men's and one women's college went mixed but it certainly wasn't a fifty/fifty intake. Dobs did best, as he applied to the one girls college which went mixed that year and found he was one of twenty boys amidst 350 girls.

Arriving at my chosen college for interview, I discovered. much to my horror, that my college had so many law places because it was the best college for law in the university.  There were dozens and dozens of candidates all chasing around 10 places.  The odds did not look good. I couldn't even look around the town as the weather was horrible.  It poured with rain solidly for the three days the process took.  We were all stuffed into the rooms of existing students all day to await the call for interview.  These students, who seemed to  do nothing but constantly smoke, drink beer and listen to terrible heavy metal. were starting to get on my nerves.  I now knew, given all the other swotty types there, who seemed to have all arranged jobs at courts or law firms in their year off, that I had no chance.  I was given an interview at another college which I duly went to.  The others said that meant my college didn't want me so my interview would be at the end and they would just go through the motions.

There was another candidate there, a girl with long red hair and rather unfortunate blue framed spectacles, who seemed as uncomfortable as I was, among all the tweed jacket wearing super-keen candidates.  We naturally gravitated towards each other. as everyone else had their interviews and went home and we were left, looking at the rain spattering the leaded glass windows, while Mr Beardy third year played albums by someone called Alvin Lee.  Having checked the board for interviews that morning and not found our names again, I suggested we go out for a cup of tea outside college.  This we found in the Covered Market, where we sat and both derided the other ghastly candidates and decided that we didn't want to study with them anyway.

We both had our interviews on the last afternoon.  The others had been right, the three tutors did not grill me on the law but chatted about what makes a balanced society and mentioned my Conan themed essay with much amusement.  The hour was soon up and I left the room to find, the redhead, C standing there looking as sick as I felt.  I squeezed her hand and told her she would be fine. I met her briefly afterwards and she confirmed everything I suspected about my interview, as hers had been entirely about the law.

We did not exchange contact details and, I confess, I did not think about her again after that, as she was remarkably plain, from Birmingham and I had no idea where that was.  Somewhere up north.  So, that was it.  I now had ten months before I would start at Southampton. But now I needed a job to earn some money. 


  1. I am totally addicted to this series. Triple P, this is your masterpiece! It reminds me of Henry Miller. Nothing is more erotic than real life.

    Keep going!

    1. Thanks so much, much appreciated! The next episode won't have such a long interval between the two!

  2. Clearly we're about the same age, Triple P. Although I'm a Yank, and had different experiences, your memoirs ring true and bring up a lot of memories. Looking forward to more!

    1. Thanks. I have now found the right letters from the next period so I can reconstruct that period. It's almost like archaeology! Digging the past!