Stalking part 3. We knew he knew he was one of us.

Passport photo of me at 14 years old
A teenage stalker

Please Note: This blog does not in any way advocate stalking!

It was a Wednesday in autumn when we first decided to follow him home. He’d been getting popular at school. The traitor! We’d never actually talked to him, but we knew he knew he was one of us.  Now damn it he was beginning to betray us, finding other friends. We had to take action!

We both bunked our last lessons that Wednesday, spent the time wondering round Erith market looking suspicious. We returned to the school gates at five to 4. It was a large school with 2000 students, a lot of them spending time hanging round the school gates, so we weren’t conspicuous. He came out on his own, late, head down, hands in pockets of a well designed overcoat, looking very much alone. We felt a little waft of emotion, he was one of us! Though the overcoat did suggest a level of expensive fashion that we could, despite our shop-lifting escapades, never hope to meet.

We were quite good at stalking. You might think that as teenage school girls we’d be all giggly and silly. We weren’t, we were taking it very seriously. Barely talking to each other at all, just nods and eyebrows.

He walked fast. Down the small roads and alley ways that cover Northumberland Heath. We had to almost jog to keep up with him. It was only because he stopped to get a coke from a grocers that me managed to keep on his track, though Sasha, red faced and gasping for breath, almost gave us away outside the store . We pretended to be fascinated by the marrows. They were big.

On and on he went, till I didn’t know where we were. It was posher than Erith, big houses and large trees lining the roads. He turned a corner into a wide quiet street full of detached houses, and vanished.

We were exhausted, Sasha was almost bent double wheezing and I was feeling very light headed. It was about 6 o’clock and quite dark, we had missed our usual post school activity of stuffing spaghetti hoops in front of horror movies at Sasha’s. We needed replenishment. So it was agreed we’d continue the hunt the following night but right now what we needed was an extra large Mars Bar each and some Nightmare on Elm Street.

To be continued…

Stalking part 2. The Lust of Teenage Girls

Part 1. A Bit of Old Fashioned Stalking

Part 4.With thunderbirds



Memories of A Foam Breast and Fish Bones

Egyptian Dancers
Nan had an Egyptian style plastic vase with dancers like these on it.

Last week I was nearly overwhelmed with an irrational need to cry and cuddle a man with a large single fake breast under a pink satiny nightdress. To place my head where the other breast would be and where I’d be safe. I managed to resist luckily but it was disconcerting and took me a few moments to work out why. The man was of course Stanley Bad (my arch nemesis) but that is somewhat irrelevant. The reason I wanted to cuddle him was because the dress with that single breast reminded me, at some deep non-conscious level, of my Nanny Queen.

It always surprises me when I remember Nanny Queen (Queenie Fisher was her real name). She died when I was about six and I don’t really remember her as a person, I remember her as moments. She had one breast removed due to breast cancer and a foam breast to replace it. Sometimes when she was indoors the foam breast would become uncomfortable and she’d take it off. I have a picture of it in my head now, biege coloured, a bit like someone had torn off a lump of sofa foam and stuck a nylon flesh coloured pop sock around it. I don’t remember her being there but I remember me and my brother playing with this foam breast.

I remember she used to make delicious moose deserts in fancy wine-like glasses but only when we deserved something special. I remember her slapping my brother, he was climbing the shelves where she kept all her china and glasses. She must have been terrified he’d hurt himself, but I was just shocked that she was angry.

Her and mum used to go to the fresh fish market together and come back with lots of stinking fish that they’d behead and bone in the kitchen. This fascinated me. I’d sit at the large pine kitchen table and Nan would give me a plate with bits of fish on it for me pick out the bones, so I felt just like a grown up.

These memories are very vivid but picturing her face is difficult. In my head I can see a picture from a photograph of her in which she has a big smile and looks well, and then I remember her face in the hospital under the breathing apparatus when she was nolonger my Nan and I realized the poem I’d drawn for her about sunflowers, which I was so proud of, was never going to be seen.

And I remember the plastic egyptian style vase she used to have in the bathroom with dancing figures painted around the middle. If I turned the vase in my hand the picture of the figures would go on and on and on forever. It was magic.