Tom and Harry, insist upon handicapping them - as is only fair. (cartoon from 'Punch', July 7 1877).
Well, bring out the snow-white tennis balls, the strawberries and cream, and the frilly panties, Wimbledon is upon us again. And that means drowsy summer, the buzz of bees in hedgerows, the warming sunshine of the Cornish coast, and the gritty, uncofortable heat of the City of London.
In Australia it is winter, although the very word 'June' still has an afterglow of summer warmth for me. In the 1950s there were advertisements to encourage British citizens to migrate here, which suggested a land of eternal sunshine, laughing girls in striped bikinis, and merrily bouncing beach balls. Up in Queensland that may be true. On the south coast however, June can be as cold as the Glascow docks in January.
I am quite happy though. My good friends Mary Beth and John, long-time contributors to 'Petticoat Discipline Monthly', have convinced me of the supreme comfort of bloomers of different materials for all-year wear, and so I am as warm as toast, in well-tailored slacks and a pullover of the best quality Australian merino wool. There is a very good letter about woollen clothing, and its role in male submission, in the current issue.
We are also honoured to have one of PDM's articles as a reference on another site. This is the site for old pupils of the William Baker Technical College, Goldings, Hartford, and the online old boys' magazine is called 'The Goldonian'. The school was one of Dr Barnardo's Homes. Dr Thomas Barnardo was one of the 'Great Victorians', a man who established a network of homes and schools for orphans and neglected children.
The pupils at this school had a special opportunity to act as ball boys at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis championships, and my article about 'Gorgeous Gussie' Moran is presented there as part of the memoirs of Johnny Leach.
Enter the site, and then choose > Ballboys > Your returns > Johnny Leach > Link at the bottom of the page.
It is good to know that Wimbledon offered this great adventure to these boys, whose lives must have been a good deal more austere than those of the vast majority of children at the time.
There are some excellent 'specials' in this issue, including some marvellous undie ads from the 1960s, lovingly preserved by Barry, and part 7 of 'Petticoat Punishment in Erotic Literature'. The reason for the long break in this series is that part 7 was originally set for publication in the July-August 2002 issue, which was never published because I had to take leave from the magazine after being overcome by exhaustion and mental staleness.
The 'Country Views' are my own photographs this time. I think that old-time readers will agree that I have
improved since I published my snapshot of Louth Market. So unfold a gaily striped deckchair, and enjoy your summer reading.
We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights, and - in contrast with Islamic countries - respect for religious and political rights.
Don't forget to
write to me and tell me your birthday. It is always pleasant to be able to
wish my devoted readers birthday greetings.As always, the staff and I wish all
of you beautiful summer babies a very
happy birthday, and many happy returns of same.