Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Me and maypole dancing

I am in my last year at primary school and my  moment of glory is fast approaching.  Annually the school held a May Day festival (yes -  it was a bit like Larkrise to Candleford - this being rural Oxfordshire). The maypole is wheeled out in its milk churn and children from the top class (this being a three-class school) are drilled to dance around, to lovely tunes such as 'Black Nag'  weaving coloured ribbons into patterns.
 But best of all - the oldest girl in the school is always crowned Queen of the May and gets to wear a long dress - usually satin (I just love satin - so nice and slippery - and if not too tight will  hide a multitude of sins - not that this occurred to me aged 10) and on the head she wears a circlet of flowers (I am almost salivating as I write)   The May Queen also has a bouquet of flowers (sadly this would usually include May blossom;  looks nice - but for the uninitiated smells  remarkably like cat pee - to be avoided).  She would be accompanied - no rewrite that - she would be fawned upon by a couple of attendants (think Beyoncé and the other two - see who actually cares what they are called?).  And that year the eldest girl in the school was ME.   There might have been a May King - some poor boy dragged kicking and screaming I expect - but frankly who would be looking at him anyway?  I have no memory of what they wore - and even less interest.
But - there is always a but - a few months before the May Day parade a new girl came to school; goodness why she had to - we were all leaving in a few months to go to secondary school - why couldn't she be home schooled until then?  Anyway my arch-rival appears on the scene and her birthday is September 6th (I remember the date to this very day.  Susie Newall  - where are you now?  Did it never cross your mind that without you I could have been a contender?) and mine is in December.

So Susie was May Queen with the lovely (satin - grrh!) dress, flowers, pictures in local newspaper and two sidekicks.  I had my chance to be the Kelly Rowland of May Day, but pride would not allow it so I told everyone I was born to dance and that the maypole was calling me.  The clothes for the dancers were not so good - I had a white shirt, a tangerine-orange skirt with matching hairband made by Mum (not my best colour, but at least she went some way to acknowledging my pain.)

As an aside - the delights of the internet - I'm innocently searching for May Queen and I keep getting this very hairy gentleman - yes, Brian May of Queen - not quite what I had in mind.


  1. I think Freddie Mercury would have made a better May Queen than Brian. So satin feels cool and slippery, does it? That reminds me of Mickey Rourke rubbing an ice cube on Kim Basinger in Nine and a half weeks.

  2. Certainly does - but let's not spoil it by association with the most 'unerotic' erotic film in history (in MHO)

  3. I doubt you were as irritating as Kelly Rowland :P