The Centrefold, his dog and me.


It takes a really long time for every other Thursday to come around, from break time, I’m on tenterhooks, just wishing the day away and of course, Thursday afternoon is the worst lesson, double history with Mr Turner. He sits at the front of the room, reading out the history book and we’re expected to write it down and the mad thing is, we do.

Even the scary girls, like Maria and Lisa, the ones who listen to John Peel and like bands like Southern Death Cult and once pierced another girls’ ear in the toilets with a safety pin during a wet lunch break. We all write down what he dictates.
I keep looking at my watch, wishing the paws of Truelove Bear to move faster, to actually reach 3.30 and home time.

Ali and Nikki are going to Andys records cos they reckon that the boy who works there looks a bit like the singer in The Jam, but its Thursday, so I shake my head, grab my bag and I’m gone.

I’ve got a whole routine for every other Thursday, straight into the newsagents, I don’t even need to ask, Mr Pritchard sees me coming and has it ready for me, I look quickly at the front cover, just to see who’s on it and then I think about sweets. I used to like strawberry bonbons or sherbet lemons, but now I usually get aniseed balls, not because I like them much, but they remind me of that wedding we went to when my uncle said I needed a drink to match my dress and got me Pernod and black currant, my mum was furious, said I was far too young, got me a coke instead.

When I get home, there’s nobody in, because my mums still at work. It’s funny, when I was in Juniors, nobody had a mum who worked fulltime and didn’t have a dad at home, but now I’m in 3rd year Seniors, there’s loads of them, I reckon by the time I get to 6th form we’ll be laughing at the weird ones who have a mum at home and a dad who goes out to work.

I go straight upstairs, put the magazine on the middle of my bed, shove Rainbow Bright and Truelove to one side and put on the tape from last weeks top 40, it’s a good one, hardly any talking and I got the writing on the label just perfect, no mistakes at all and the Dexies are still number 1.
I watched them on top of the pops and I reckon their look is easy to do, I could use my school plimmies and buy dungarees a couple of sizes too big.

I’ve got my own way of reading Smash Hits, I like the interviews cos they ask really sillly questions and then I check out the lyrics, sometimes that’s good cos they have a song you really need to know the words to and then last, cos I save it to last, is the poster inthe middle. The one you can pull out and put on your wall. So far I’ve got the Stranglers, The Jam, Adam Ant, Kevin Rowlands and the one with the mental hair from the Human League.
The best posters are the ones where they are looking at the camera, so it’s like they’re really looking at you and i can imagine that they’re in the room with me. Adam Ant is the best cos he’s got lovely eyes and he looks a bit sad too.

This week the poster is someone new, he was on top of the pops a couple of weeks ago, although he’s only number 28.

The photograph is a bit different, it’s a real close up, his eyes are looking out of the picture, I quite like his hair, it’s a bit like Paul Wellers and I like him, so I take the staples out carefully and I think about where to put him. I reckon I can shift Kraftwerk over a bit cos I’ve gone off them.
I have to be careful, cos my mum only decorated the room last year and she had to use 2 days holiday and I’m only allowed to put posters on one wall and not use Sellotape, cos it leaves a mark.

I step back when I’m finished, yeah it looks alright. I wonder if he’s in the top 20 yet. I decide to take the Kraftwerk poster down if there’s another poster of him next time.

I quite like the dog too.

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About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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