You can always tell when September’s here by the sight of my friend Susie. She gets a sort of look, and the postman starts to steer clear of her. It’s the month when she finally realises that Alfonso is far from pining away for her in the Catalonian autumn. In fact, he’s probably chatting up some other bird who is blind enough to take him seriously.
Completely and utterly glorious set of illustrations by the wonderful Malcolm Bird, scanned from Honey, December 1970. They accompany a long article, but I have just left small excerpts under each image. His illustration style is one of the most distinctive and perfect: from the eyes, to the hair, to the detail in the Celia Birtwell-esque prints you see here.
It seems to me that people who’ve been to boarding school are especially prone to the long-distance habit.
How can any Englishman compete with a vision in leopard-skin bathing trunks, cavorting on the beach at sun-kissed Lasagne al Forno?
I suspect, though, that the couples who make a success of a love affair at a distance are the real old-fashioned romantics. They’re the pink-ribbon people who write to each other every day and keep their correspondence under the pillow at night.
By the time the vacation ends he’s getting a bit fidgety. When you mention coming to see him he mumbles about catching up on his work. You arrive a month later, to his consternation, and grudgingly get a cup of tea in the awful refectory building. He spends the whole time talking to the girl who’s sitting next to him. British Railways won’t be seeing you on the Western Region again.
And as for Pat? There he sat nightly in a lonely bedsit, pining for his Laura. He sent her letters every day and occasionally made use of Interflora.