I took to remembering my own early years and have come to the conclusion that this realisation must occur around the same age in all young boys. Unlike Vicus, I cannot pinpoint an exact moment my hormones became correctly balanced although I'm guessing it would have been around 1966. There was one episode a bit earlier that probably would have had pub Raj Persauds shouting "gayer" but all was not what it would seem. Most young children have a comfort toy of some sort, a blanket or teddy. Mine was one of my sister's cast-off dolls, Jane. I thought she was beautiful and not in a Judy Garland way, either. But it wasn't Jane. My moment came through the black and white 405 lined blurry haze of some jolly variety show. It was Dagenham's finest, the mini-skirted and bare-footed longhaired songstrel, Sandie Shaw, who set my extremely juvenile pulse racing. Gosh. Blushy things happened. I found I couldn't watch her on telly without becoming extremely coy, as if I was withholding some guilty secret that would soon be found out, making me a target for extreme mockery from other family members. Even now I've got a bit of a thing about women with long dark hair. All the more surprising then that my first wife was blonde - what on earth was I thinking of?
I eventually put that right when, this very day 6 years ago in St James' Park, I clapped eyes on Mr Scurra's distant cousin, another gorgeous woman with beautiful long dark hair who within a few seconds would change my life completely. She would argue that that change was not always positive indeed, she would probably just argue and make me argue back, hence our current predicament. Still, she stole my heart that day and she won't give the bloody thing back. It's a situation I don't want to change, either (except for the being 250 miles apart bit).