on hearing the humming of hot chocolate

I do not think I have ever recounted this story on my blog before, or, if I have, it has been a long time since I did so. Either way,it is a good story, and good stories deserve periodical retellings. Lyn and I were just at the cafe, enjoying a mid-afternoon coffee. Mitchell, our PA for today, started humming You Sexy Thing by hot chocolate. I hadn’t heard that song in a while, but it always reminds me of a chapter in my life now quite bittersweet.

Back at school, in about 1999, my class were involved in a wheelchair dance competition. I’m not sure how we became involved – I think our PE teacher, miss stoolberg, entered us into it. The class, mostly boys, weren’t that interested, but we thought we’d give it a go. We decided to have a bit of a laugh, and to base our display on The Full Monty, which was quite a big film at the time. We did our display to the tune of You sexy thing, at one stage ripping off our shirts to reveal Tshirts with things like ”you should be so lucky” printed upon them. Thus, as soon a Mitchell started to hum the song earlier, I automatically felt the urge to spin my chair to the left.

That competition now seems a lifetime ago. I still have the trophy for the disco competition that followed the main display competition; it’s still on the shelf in my parent’s conservatory, where, incidentally, it caught Lyn’s eye on Saturday. She and Dominic asked how I won it, so dad recounted the tale to her. Yet that tale for me is tinged with sadness, as three of that class have passed on, including the two ‘leaders’ of the display, rich Simpson and Andrew fox. Drinking my coffee outside in Charlton earlier, I remembered the day when my friends and I danced to Hot Chocolate with great glee, but those memories cannot help being tainted by events since then, by regret that my friends are not here to reminisce with me. I suppose it’s a consequence of going to a special school. I suppose, too, that most of all, such memories must be recalled with happiness – after all, not man people can say they performed the full Monty in a wheelchair.


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