Childhood in the Seventies II

In 1979 I was a thirteen year year old kid with one friend and plenty of enemies. I spent my nights doing my homework or cutting out articles from the Guardian and sticking them in scrap books (yes, really). I could tell you who was in the cabinet, name the last ten prime ministers, I could talk you through the history of the Second World War, and have a good stab at the First.
In the world of sport I could name you the scores of every post war cup final, and who scored, and who the managers were. Now, was this because I was a complete anorak? (Very probably) or was it to do with the fact that, during that particular decade, there was absolutely nothing else to do? Yes, you could play out in the summer, but what about the winter? I lived on a long country road with no other kids living anywhere near. In January the early dark descended around our house like a straight jacket, barring any hope of escape. With only three channels on the telly (yes, three) when my Dad moaned that there was nothing on the box, there really was nothing on the box.
So studying the battle of the Bulge (that’s a skirmish from WWII, not a diet programme), really was as exciting it got.
So that was my life in 1979. Girls? What about girls? Well yes, exactly what about them?Girls to me were a terrifying species best ignored. The thought of talking to one, never mind chatting one up, filed me with a gut wrenching dread.
Standing on the terraces watching the game versus Ipswich Town at Anfield in 1979, I remember my mind wandering to what I would be doing that night. I imagined a call from a make believe gang of pals, insisting that I walk over to one of their houses to play twister and drink blue pop.
I imagined laughing and joking with a mix of cool guys and pretty girls, blowing cigarette smoke at each other and snogging some gorgeous bint on the back step.
None of that ever happened of course. I would just sit in my room watching Sargent Bilko on a snowy black and white remote and then nodding off at midnight. If I could just talk to a girl, or even better, if a girl could talk to me…
The Ref blew for the end of the Ipswich Liverpool match and me and Dad filed out. It was then that a tall girl with patchwork bel bottom jeans and a crazy frizzy mass of brown hair pushed past. She was giggling with her mate and chewing gum.
I noticed her cute smile and chocolate button eyes as she looked past me, searching for some unknown friend.
Now, why couldn’t I be friends with a girl like that…..

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