This morning I found it hard to get out of bed. Not because I was tired. Not because it was cold outside. Not because I would rather do anything than work on the bloody book.
No, it was because of Mary Kidd.
We had a real teenage pash, Mary Kidd and I. Lots of what we called necking, VERY steamy, but not, of course, going "all the way" - we didn't do things like that in my day. Someone - it could have been the Admiral of the Fleet - described this kind of heavy petting as "a navel engagement without loss of semen".
And during last night, without warning and for no reason, I dreamt about Mary Kidd. It was a lovely dream, full of love and warmth and cuddles, and that's why I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.
Mary Kidd was a big girl, tallish and plumpish and blonde and buxom and blue-eyed and eager, with a labial grip that could have raised the Titanic. We used to play duets on the piano between snogs (Her favourite composer was Leroy Anderson, bet you've never heard of him). And when her mom and dad came back from wherever they went in the evening, we all made polite conversation, the four of us, until I could decently escape and leg it the three miles back to my adolescent bed and my adolescent fantasies.
I loved Mary Kidd. In my fashion.
And I think she loved me. In her fashion.
But mostly, we both seemed to float on a sea of pneumatic bliss, waiting for the next grapple.
I haven't seen her since I was seventeen, and I have only heard about her once since, when someone told me she was married with two children and had put on a lot of weight. By which time, I was married with two children and had put on a lot of weight.
Please don't read anything into this event. And I would like it to be clearly understood that the fact that Mary Kidd was my oneiric companion during last night is no disrespect to, erm, Janet Lovatt, Maureen Partridge, Alicia Ball, Maureen Jones, Cynthia Brown or Cicely Whatshername from Shifnal, or Deirdre Thingummy from Attingham and the rest. Their turn will come if I have anything to do with it.
Can't wait for tonight's instalment. I might even strike really lucky this time and dream about Hornby Dublo trainsets.