To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

The first boy I fell in love with, was a new boy at my primary school. The first time he raced against the other boys and out-paced them all, I was utterly smitten. I think I was probably about eight years old. But he was a year younger than I was, and it just didn’t seem right at that age to have a crush on a younger man.

I started this post intending to write about my teenage sweetheart James. However, somehow it seemed right to go back further and mention all the boys who touched my heart before my teenage sweetheart.

Then a couple of years later there was a boy who was a year older than I was. He found an axe when we were playing in the woods. He picked it up and swung it back behind his shoulder and started to strike an old tree root. I was mesmerised by this wild exciting boy! But then he went off to high school, and he didn’t want to be seen with primary school children any longer.

At high school, I didn’t like any of the pimply gangly-legged awkward boys, until I was around fourteen. There was one. He had dimples and an adorable grin. I liked him. Unfortunately, I was not the only girl who had noticed he was starting to look like he should be in a boy band.

When I had just turned sixteen, I first met Rick He was eight years older than me! He treated me like his little sister, and took me to parties and to Pizzahut! He took me to so many interesting places and introduced me to many people from Liverpool to Manchester. It was very exciting for me at the age of sixteen to have Rick being the older guy who was taking me places I had never been, and at the same time keeping a close eye on me to make sure I was safe and happy.

Rick was one of the most energetic and lively characters I had ever come across. He was full of enthusiasm and had a sense of humour I was enthralled with.  He could make anyone laugh, I guess he was a bit of a clown really.  But he was responsible and he took me under his wing in quite a brotherly way.  He gave me great advice, which was useful as I was entering a part of my life that was fraught with hazards that had the potential to cause me serious harm.  Rick really did have his head screwed on the right way! I thought the world of him. In fact, I do believe he had a massive influence on my character during that year after I had left school.

I guess a crush was developing in a way. My Dadda teased me about having a crush on Rick. So did some of my Dad’s friends. But Dadda seemed to trust Rick, because he allowed me to accompany him to Manchester and Liverpool along with his friends.

However, my adoration for him proved fickle in a way. You see one of my best friends Jill told me that she was in love with him. She was also sixteen. She said I was hurting her because I was flirting with him (I was not aware of that) and that everyone thought he and I were going to get married. Now although at fifteen, marriage was not a word I was even beginning to contemplate, I was grieved by what Jill had told me. Jill and I had been friends for as long as I could remember being alive. At the end of the day, my love for my long-time childhood friend Jill was more important than my crush on Rick. I didn’t want to hurt Jill. Se had told me she was in love with him. I might have had a bit of a crush, but it was too fragile for me to voice to anyone. Whereas Jill was bold and brave in her love.

I was really heart-broken about being in the situation where this young man who I was frankly smitten with, had become a thorn between one of my best friends and I. Jill was always going to win my loyalty and friendship. So…I changed my behaviour around Rick. I started to be less cheery and became rather stroppy and argumentative with him. I even told him not to speak to me in public because I did not want anyone to think that I liked him! The odd thing was, I was sitting in the front seat of his car with him while he was driving at the time. Rick was bewildered by my change of mood around him.

Anyway…Rick ended up marrying another girl my age, a very good friend, actually a very special friend of mine, named Keziah. I will tell you more about Rick and Keziah I am sure. They have remained close friends throughout my life. I love Rick and Keziah so dearly.

I should briefly mention a very big crush I had on another young man when I was about seventeen. We were on the same training course as each other and he was such a charmer. I remember him dragging his desk across to be right next to mine and him playing with my hands and hair during classes. He was also very “cool”…everyone our age was under his influence.

What put me off him, was a very cruel practical joke he played on a man who had a severe physical health problem (he had been involved in a massive car accident which had seriously damaged his spine). It was the most stupid and unkind things I had heard of anyone doing. So wrong to humiliate someone like that. Honestly…everyone was disgusted with him. He was suddenly not at all “cool”. My crush evaporated.

Well….these were the boys who touched my heart before my teenage sweetheart James. I will save James for another post.

 

 

A Secret I Have Not Shared With My Family Or Friends

I have a secret I was embarrassed about for many a year…but I don’t feel embarrassed now.  It is ancient history!  So I am going to spill the beans on myself at the tender and incredibly foolish age of 14.

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Photo credit Public Domain Pictures @ pixabay.com

Since my parents had seven children, family holidays were fairly rare.  We had lots of days out, but not many week or fortnight long holidays.  My parents were always kind of grateful when other families with children our age would ask us along on their family holiday.

So one summer I was invited to go camping with my friend Kitty and her parents Uncle Ron and Aunt Agnes (they were not our real aunt and uncle, we called them that out of respect).  Only this was not a camping in the rurals and getting closer to nature.  Oooooh no.  This was camping at a music festival in a huge park in Chelmsford, Essex, which is not a million miles away from London.  I was living up near Liverpool at the time, so this was an area I had never visited before and it all seemed very exciting.

If you have camped at a music festival you don’t need me to recite details of the “facilities” – the temporary shower and toilet blocks which when we arrived were just about human…but by the end of the weekend were simply beyond description.

I remember the music.  I watched (amongst others) Hot Chocolate, Suzi Quatro and Mud, Lesley Garratt and the RHO, Boyzone (do not ask) Sean Maguire, Peter Andre (please please do not ask) and many others.  I remember meeting Jo and Jo from Basildon who told me that they were drinking meths and coke – and kept offering it to me.

But my outstanding memory is the fairground that popped up within the grounds of the park.  Kitty and I spent a lot of time and money there.  During the day before the music ever started we would hang around the fair and straight after the concerts were finishing we would go to the rides where we were sure we would find the young men who worked on the fair ground that we had become so giddy with excitement about.

It was one of the first experiences of my teenage years when I was taken over by a huge crush on the tall slim young man with dark curls and beautiful eyes.  My advice to parents is “DO NOT LET YOUR FOURTEEN GO CAMPING WITH FRIENDS”.

He seemed to like the attention he was receiving.  He was very friendly!  Thinking back I feel embarrassed I was so shamelessly persistent.  He let me.  He gave me piggy backs and swung me round and showed me how to operate the rides.  I am not sharing any other details.  But as a fourteen year old – it was just about the most excitement I had experienced.  Up to then, boys were just friends who were better at football than me no matter how hard I tried and they were usually fun to climb trees and ride our bikes with.  The young man at the fairground awakened hormones I had no idea were within me!

I did not want to ever go home.  I was determined I would follow him and follow the fairground attraction wherever they went next.  I imagined myself living in a caravan and helping to operate the rides and take payment from customers.  I truly truly wanted to run away with him.  I thought I was in love and no matter where he and the fairground went, I would go too…forever and beyond.

I am glad to say…it turned out to be a case of unrequited love!  He clearly had no intention of a fourteen year old running away with him!  Thank goodness!  Can you imagine?

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/worth-a-thousand-words-10/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/unrequited/

Cheerful Childhood Chums

I spent two nights at the home of my parents.  They moved to the village where Granddad was living a few years ago.  In the guest room are lots of pictures and other personal items that were in my bedroom in the old house.  This is one of the pictures on the wall – sorry about the reflection.

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Milly, Mandy and I are in the drawing along with three other friends.  The three of us in the middle were inseparable for some time and when the younger three left school they used to spend a huge amount of time with us also.

Goodness we were an incredibly happy bunch!  Looking at this sketch made my mind flood with memories of our adventures in our late teens and early twenties.  We travelled near and far away from our home town and made friends up and down the country.  Our teenage years and early twenties were rich with experiences I am sure none of us will ever forget.

Another friend of ours drew this for us.  Our friend in the middle (knee-length purple dress) was the first to leave home.  She was moving to Wales.  It’s her little dog that is in the sketch also.

Ironically, she is back up in our home town near Liverpool with her husband, as is our Mandy.  Milly and the two girls with short dark hair are all married and living in Wales.

Then there is me – long red dress, short black jacket – I think I had that exact outfit.  Me – the only one who has never married and has been living in the south of England for eleven years.

But today I am in Wales!  I am staying with Milly and her husband and my gorgeous niece who is so much fun.  Can’t wait to get outside and start taking photos for you.

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