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Having had a nostalgic conversation regarding childhood reading matter, I went

home and unearthed a poem I had written years ago on the same topic that

Carrie, Clammie, Brassie and I had discussed in Costamuchamoulah cafe earlier

in the day.

Here it is!

What MI6 Didn’t Tell Us

That summer Enid Blyton had a lot

to answer for. We all turned detective,

solving mysteries, prying into what

was forbidden fruit, having invective

shrapnelled at us by parkies and wardens.

If someone chucked an Embassy packet

over a hedge, into neighbours’ gardens,

we deduced that a KGB racket

was involved.  Honor Blackman and Mata

Hari, The Man from UNCLE, Keyhole Kate

were our role models.  We conserved data-

benchmarks, registration numbers lent weight

to our magnified evidence.  We saved string,

coins for the phone, balloons, Elastoplast,

an old police whistle, chalk and anything

useful for a rescue mission.  We passed

some hours on a cemetery wall,

keeping watch on a newly-opened grave,

convinced that bodysnatchers at nightfall

would steal the corpse and we would be the brave

Famous Five, Secret Seven, defending

decency, earning a Blue Peter badge.

There would be no use in them pretending

innocence, as by our espionage,

we had collected many fingerprints

with Cherry Blossom, to eliminate

the guiltless from our enquiry.  Hints

on disguising one’s appearance and gait

were avidly studied,  But penknives’

blades suddenly folded, keys were returned

when one gang member divulged human lives’

origin, so-called facts of life.  Cheeks burned

and we decided to investigate

no more.  Shortly after we would trail boys,

but only in the manner of I-Spy,

and not with the sophisticated poise

which fabricates an instant alibi.

We were to some extent still in the dark

and flaming angels barred us from the park.