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Mansel
Here is a nagging mother, "Now, don’t you go and get your clothes all muddy again today, bach. I don’t have time for another wash and there’s nothing clean left." Here is a Walter Mitty, "rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat", gunning down the Gestapo officers around the hall with a Gatling gun ingeniously constructed from pens, rulers and compasses from the geometry set. Here is an all-consuming worry over another forgotten homework, with a dissolve to past scenes of being humiliated by a sarcastic maths master, panning to the unsympathetic smiles on the faces of the other boys. Here is a rugby forward, flashing with supernatural speed between futile outstretched English hands to score the winning try for Wales. Supporters’ voices are raised in hymns of praise for his triumph. Here is a recollection of a teacher’s cane on outstretched hand that smarts still at the memory. Here is a sexual fantasy, much more satisfying, in which the cane has changed hands, and the black gown is now all that hides the charms of a girl from the girls’ school. Here is a replay of a Western - The Lone Ranger, or Maverick - from a black and white TV which is still very much given the place of honour of a welcome newcomer in the house, to be watched as a privilege. Here is a DJ presenting another song from the Top Twenty on Radio Luxembourg, "Brought to you by Horace Batchelor of Keynsham, Bristol". Here is a boy who, with Horace’s helpful "Infra-draw method", has won the Football Pools and is coming to school in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, and is showing off his brand new football boots to envious friends. Here is a memory of Sunday Chapel, with sermons far longer than a school lesson, still of interest to adults and still connected with guilt and painfully tight shirt collars. Here is a memory of finding birds’ nests, and an egg collection to be proud of and not yet to be guilty for: ivy-clad trees, feather-lined nests, the flash of a mother bird, the sky blue magic of smooth shells, the thrill of the search for treasure - all blended into one long daydream.