I was doing Spanish CSE, the two local comprehensives got together and took Spanish students to Lloret de Mar. I watched our Spanish teacher and her sister copping off with the other school’s Spanish teacher and his sister. We were let loose in the Costa Brava. This was my first trip abroad apart from the school day trip to Calais where I smuggled back 5 flick knives for boys because the teachers didn’t search girls. I loved everything about being away from home, this was different from church and Brownie camps.
On the first evening we snuck out to the disco in the dingy basement of the 2 star hotel. Reg Hood from the other school was kissing me and had one hand down my knickers when a boy punched him.
I’d been eyeing up this boy at breakfast and I guess he thought I was his for the night. Gary Jackson was 16 and from Hackney, he was staying at the hotel with his friend. Gary didn’t like that Reg was all over me. After a few punches, someone ran for the teachers. They rushed separately into the disco, red-faced from the sun and sex. They pulled the boys apart. We weren’t allowed out anymore, I was disappointed because I’d wanted to lose my virginity in another country. I gave Gary my address. His letter arrived the same day as the postcard I’d sent my parents.
“Dear Mum and Dad, I arrived safely. The plane was good but my seat had been double-booked so another person had to get off the plane which delayed us, it would have been me if I’d been over 16. We have just been down the town. The things are expensive! We are going to the hotel disco tonight. Love Liz P.S. make sure Dad feeds the fish and finishes the jig saw!”
“Dear Liz, I hope you still love me because I still love you. When the football season is over I will be coming down regular starting from Sunday, after Spurs have played Southampton that is. My mate Robin Bingley wants to know how old your sister and friend is? Robin is 16. I hope you don’t mind but I scratched Liz on my arm, don’t worry it didn’t hurt. We nearly got nicked down Brighton when Spurs lost 3-1 we didn’t have a ticket so we had to bunk in. Robin’s mate Brian got nicked for kicking a copper in the ______. I still got a bump on my head from where that Spanish bloke hit me over the head with a metal chain. Mind you, lucky I was drunk then. Robin wants a photo of your sister and your mate and I want a photo of you. I’ll see you soon then. Love Gary”
Two weeks later Gary turned up at my house with his drunk uncle after Spurs had thrashed Southend United. My mother got out cups and saucers, I was mortified. Getting to and from Hackney wasn’t an option for us and I ignored the next letter that came from his uncle.