Linda Less Than Met The Eye.
Linda. Less than met the eye.
One night when I was sixteen I was cycling home from my job as an improver welder. It was about 7:30 pm (I worked 7:30am - 7:30pm and cycled 10 miles each way). As I cycled through my home village of Sandhurst I spotted a girl walking along the Pavement in my direction. She was all wrapped up in a warm coat and scarf but I could see her hair and face. She had naturaly blond hair and was absolutely beautiful I had never seen her before.
For those of you who are old enough to remember the actress Claudia Cardinale, this girl was her doppleganger.
Over the next few weeks I didn't really give the girl another thought, except to look out for her as I cycled through sandhurst. I was in fact far too busy working hard for my nemesis, sorry my scooter. Plus I was already going out with another lovely girl called Patsy.
Now, I would like to add here that, this propensity of mine when I was young, to date every pretty girl I saw is not something which in retrospect I'm proud of. In fact I'd like to apologise for any hurt I caused to any girls who found themselves being two timed by me. I can say in all honesty that, had I realised how rotten and hurtful this behaviour was, I would have confined myself to one girlfriend at a time.
So on with the story for those of you who havn't abandoned me due to my appalling behaviour.
A few weeks later I was again cycling home after work, but this time it was a Saturday lunchtime. I stopped in Sandurst to buy something at the chemist's.
As I stepped into the shop in my donkey jacket, dirty jeans and heavy work boots my face red from the effort of cycling and my hair a mess from the wind I was stopped in my tracks. She was there! working behind the counter, the beautiful blond vision of a few weeks earlier, even more beautiful at this range than in the fleeting glance that I'd caught of her from my bike I didn't think twice, I decided right there to ask her out. I never gave a thought to my appearance in my dirty working clothes. I allowed another customer to be served ahead of me as the regular salesperson became available then took my turn to be served by the beautiful blond girl.
I made my purchase and then asked her straight out in front of a shop full of customers.
'Would you like to go to the pictures tonight'?
'Erm.... I'll have to ask my parents'
'Oh, right.. when'? She looked at the senior salesperson and asked 'can I pop home in my break and ask'
'Yes of course'
'Can you come back in about fourty minutes'?
'Yea no problem'.
'Ok see you then'.
'Great see you in fourty minutes'.
I was like a dog with two tails, I never even considered that her parents might not agree. As soon as I got in I asked, 'Have you seen that new girl working at the Chemist' Both my parents had, 'Well guess who just asked her out'? My stepmother was horrified and started going on about her being a 'nice girl
'and how 'I wasn't to try any of my funny business'(a direct quote) and how she'd never be able to face the girl again.
My Father remained silent but couldn't repress a slight 'that's my boy' grin. (The five months that I worked in that job. was the only time in my life that my father and I were almost close).
I ignored my stepmothers cynicism and took the stairs up to my bedroom three at a time.I showered, washed my hair, brushed my teeth and put on clean clothes.I was back in the chemist shop after exactly fourty minutes.
When I got to the counter she smiled and said 'Hello'
'My Dad said ok'.
'Fab', where do you live'
'Over there in the married quarters, No9'. She pointed out the window diagonally across the road to the married quarters just outside the back gates to Sandhurst Military
'Right I'll pick you up at half past seven, is that alright'
'Yes that's fine'
'Ok see you then'
'Oh what's your name'?
'Oh'She smiled again.
I left her with a big smile.
At 7:30 on the dot I knocked on the door of No9. A tall, broad, stern looking man answered. 'You must be Robert'
'Yes'He offered his hand, I gripped it firmly and shook it, I was standing as straight as I could shoulders back looking him straight in the eyes.'Come in'. An attractive looking blond lady who I took to be Linda's Mum smiled and said hello.
Linda emerged straight away, much to my relief, and we were quickly on our way. We exchanged small talk. She told me she was 17 and had 6 younger brothers her dad was a Sergeant Major in the R.E.M.E. (royal electrical and mechanical engineers) and he'd been posted to Sandhurst a month ago.
At the cinema I bought balcony tickets and we sat at the end of a row next to the wall. At some point early in the film I put my arm around her shoulders, she leaned closer. Quite soon after I turned my head and kissed her. Linda was no shrinking violet, her enthusiasm belied he demure good looks. We soon moved the embrace onto it's next natural stage. In the near deserted circle. Walking home through the grounds of Sandhurst we could hardly keep our hands off of each other I became a little more surprised by Linda every time we stopped for a few moments. Eventualy we arrivd in the lobby of her building. We said a passionate goodnight next to the stairs that lead up to her parents home.
As part of the agreement that had us working 12 hour days we were allowed to finish at noon on Wednesday although it was slightly frowned on.
Linda and I had arranged to go out for a walk, as back in the sixties Wednesday was early closing day for all shops. We met at 2:00 pm. kissed briefly and set off for our walk around Sandhurst park.
What transpired that Wednesday over about a three hour period, in a small clearing surrounded by a dense stand of Rhododendrons, close growing Silver Birch and thick bracken, was as surprising as it was enjoyable, suffice to say that it became obvious that Linda, working in a chemists shop was going to save me a lot of money.
I went out with Linda regularly for about two months, her passion never abated and as we were enjoying a warm dry early summer our little spot in Sandhurst park was frequently visited. But all was not rosy in the garden. Linda didn't read, she was not especially itelligent and it didn't seem to bother her. On the surface she was very prim and proper, prudish even, and telling her jokes was like talking to a wall.
I began to regret the shoddy way that I'd treated Patsy. In personality Patsy was the complete opposite of Linda. In looks Patsy was very pretty with an Elfish little face. different but equally pretty. Everything that Linda was happy to do that had made her at first irresistable, Patsy was adamant was NOT about to happen but, Patsy had a fantastic sense of humour, she was clever, intelligent, curious and always great fun. A personality to be celebate for.
I began a campaign to get Patsy back, while gradually seeing less and less of Linda.
Patsy was playing hard to get (who could blame her) but always left me with a little
glimmer of hope. Linda was always on the telephone to me.
By the beginning of August I was in limbo. Patsy was giving me some of my own medicine,
an on off unsure relationship. And I struggled to get through an evening with Linda.
The girl had had a personality bypass.
At the beginning of August a mate at work set up a blind date between me and a girl
Lorraine was a whole other story.