As may be imagined, one thing girlfriends 1-23 had in common is that none of them lasted very long. Indeed, a couple of them only lasted one day. Moreover, one girlfriend features 4 separate times in the series; I never learned, did I?
These girls had thus been coming into and out of my life at fairly frequent intervals over a period of 2 years, starting in summer 1970, which fell midway between my 14th and 15th birthdays, and so ended when I was sixteen and a half.
Girlfriend 24 was going to last an amazing five and a half months. That was about 5 months more than any other girlfriend had been retained, and was extraordinary for that reason. I really felt, for the first time, that this might be the one.
In the closing days of April 1973 I learned that she had left me for one of my mates from school. This shock came 6 weeks before I started sitting the “A” Level exams. This was not a good time in my life. From the doggerel just then:
“You’re nothing special, just a kid;
What was it that you had?
What was the magic thing you did
To finish this poor lad?”
I was left with the dubious comforts of cigarettes and alcohol, but also of course with the more wholesome one of music. Things had been happening on the Fairport Convention front which led me to believe that the brand name would survive, in one form or another.
Next time, therefore, we return to the autumn of 1972 to pick up the story from where we left off.