Year of austerity’s end when Atlee

and the dying King launched the festive concrete

of the second half of the twentieth

century. That spring, at Uncle George’s

hotel, we had chicken. Labour defeats

tumbled from the wireless in the chintzy

lounge. I read Five Go Off On Holiday

and Biggles In The Orient. I heard

a family playing tennis, laughter

and plimsolls, stared at a girl sunbathing

by the empty pool. I was Julian

taking command, Biggles shooting up Japs,

me thinking of knickers

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