The night flew by too quick. The DJ suddenly announced the last record, the slow number, which signalled to us would be Heathcliffes to move in for our Cathy, as it were. The song was Cat Stevens’ rendering of Morning Has Broken. I was no Heathcliffe, Will Hay, yes, but no Heathcliffe. Morag, nonetheless was certainly a Cathy worth moving in for. We had been getting along just fine by the time the record was announced. I groaned at the thought of having to move in and go through this date asking ritual. Groan or not it was a tradition. I duly wrapped my arms around Morag’s waist while she draped her arms over my shoulders. We then slowly danced or rather moved cheek to cheek.
I could feel she was nervous as I was as we held each other close and shuffled round and round on the spot. All night we had been sort of dancing while at the same time shouting sweet talk in each other’s ear above the raucous beat. Now in full mooching embrace there was no loud beat but the hymnal sound of Cat Stevens’s singing. Chat up phrases raced through my mind jostling for position while my mouth waited impatiently for the one that succeeded: ‘Can I take you home?’ ‘Do you fancy a walk round Stirling next week?’ ‘Can we meet again?’ ‘I would like very much to see you again.’ The jostling was still going on when the song ended. I loosened my hold, stepped back and sheepishly looked at Morag. The only word that managed to prise apart my hesitant lips was a stammered ‘Thanks.’ Morag stood there stunned; the look of disappointment in her eyes said it all; I felt totally inadequate. Meantime the DJ wished us all a good night and a safe journey home. I awkwardly wished Morag likewise and turned to look for my pal. As ever he had succeeded not only in securing a date with his dance partner but also in offering her a lift home in my car with me driving. Cupid once more.
Morning broke by the time I reached my own home. The sound of a blackbird could be heard in the garden hedge announcing its claim to the territory. Meanwhile this tired and beleaguered blackbird could only lay claim to his bed. That was one Saturday night back in 72. Forty three years later a visit to the village in early March revived a surprising detail of that night so long ago.
Part 3 to follow.