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Ginger Rogers - 1940s.jpg

Chlamydia sighed, They’ll be starting ‘Strictly’ again soon.  Maybe

the formula is played out now.  I mean, where’s the glamour?  It

seems to be all about sex.

Hmm, I know.  I used to love the ballroom dancing programmes in

the Fifties- dresses with tulle, wired underskirts and women with

slashes of smiling scarlet lippie.  At least, I suppose it was scarlet,

since the programmes were all in black and white!

Did you go to dance classes?

Ballet- for about six weeks.

Why did you stop?

‘cos my granny bought me black ballet pumps, instead of pink,

like the other girls had.

Didn’t your father have his own band?

Yes.  He had a quintet. He played the drums and my uncle played

the piano.  My mum and dad met at the ‘dancing’.

Pity you didn’t stick at it.

I loved dancing at home, with my grandfather.  Here!

Not another one of your…

Yes, read it.  Go on!


Image by Michael Foskett

Sometimes we’d shuffle round a room, backwards,

with me balancing on his feet, dreaming

I was Ginger Rogers.  He’d teach me words

like ‘tapselteerie‘.  When it was teeming

down, he’d say,‘It’s raining cats and dogs!’ and,

idiom-proof, I’d stare outside the door.

Hand in hand, we’d go to the park bandstand,

to listen to the pomp of brass.  Adore?-

I worshipped him, with his tobacco tin

full of small change.  He never short-changed me.

At my command, he’d show his shrapnelled shin;

eject his dentures, ape-like, suddenly,

to make me gasp.  I’d taste his pipe sometimes,

although I retched.  He’d draw around my hand

and taught me all the tables, nursery rhymes.

He waltzed into the sunset and I stand

on my own feet, but find I cannot dance

in step with others, with such elegance.