When they do it's diabolical. In hospital one friend of mine was suddenly discharged for some reason. He went home at the weekend and killed himself. (“Local Boy in the Photograph” makes me cry and cry).

“Don't tell the others” a psychiatrist said to me, after taking me aside “It would upset them”.

Yes, he put his foot right in it! It hasn't killed me, nor have the anti-psychotics (though they'd have succeeded if the Intensive Care staff hadn't done such a good job healing the Psychiatry dept's mistakes), and ....


…. spending summer holidays at a NUDIST CAMP when I was a kid didn't kill me either.

It was all jolly happy families in it. A wife-swap pair of couples got thrown out, and as soon as I started to grow tits every Dad became a DOM having a good look. Just what a girl that age needs, mind, my younger sisters and I spent hours comparing the men's willies so as to decide whose looked the most disgusting. We were insane with BOREDOM.

We all – the kids – watched the BBC News reports of the '67 “Summer of Love”, cameras lingering on girls removing their bras. One young lad went beetroot red, we were curious “Why're you blushing? You see tits every day in here”. He spluttered out “It's 'cos it's on the telly!”

When I was 14 a family from Warrington were camping in the NUDIST CAMP and the red-haired (yes down there too) elder son joined nubile little me swinging off a rope into the swimming pool. Why was my Dad refusing to get the hint to buzz off? Why was he being unfriendly to this gorgeous tall lad? (He'd said lots about how nakedness was oh so natural, so had Mum)

Too young to see the obvious. Stupid, as was starting this awkwarder and awkwarder conversation with my mother as she lay naked sunbathing...

Mum, hip-bones just poking up her milk-white skin
lay naked in the sun. Her pubic hairs were coarse, 
brambled, so it seemed (to me anyway) I ought 
      remark on them casually, show broadmindedness 

(I was just that age) so after dragging a comb 
through the cotters of ideas, I came 
            out with this (priceless thought!) 

                    “Pubic hairs trap flies attracted by the smell. 
They're coarse, so good at enmeshing. 
                                          Flies I mean”.
Sun spotlit my crimson face, 
               its crimsoning hotted up, beat into a hotter
 sun (that's what it felt like) glowing red 
hot ironwork like an arch between my unmovable 
eyes her scrubbing brush pubes
                      So, owlishly, I pretended
 to be standing, matter-of-fact, on grass, still staring down

 at her, through hot emptiness, through
            tons and tons and tons of air....