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At eighteen I was a paratrooper in an elite and specialist unit.  I expected the girls to throw themselves at me.  They did not.  Instead I spent most of my time sleeping in woods or out on Salisbury Plain with four or six smelly and soggy wet Paras.  Other times we slept rough on the East/West German borders, the warm beds of welcoming girls only a figment of imagination.

True, back at base camp and the locals pubs, the girls did cluster round but before I had a chance to get close I was sent off on another sortie.  I began to suspect that’s why the girls liked us.  We never stayed long enough to get intimate, we were safe.

When posted to the Royal College of Military Engineering for six months, I at last had an opportunity to form a relationship.  I also discovered the Saturday night dance.  In those days, every town, every village had a Saturday night dance and every girl went to one.  Another girlfriend came and left, too respectable for a wild Para.  For some virginity still remained a virtue, lost only on the marriage night.

Fortunately some girls thought differently.  One night stands after a beer soaked night at the Saturday night dance gave what I assumed to be the ultimate goal, but in the end nothing more than a brief moment of pleasure.  Like most young males, I experienced lust and the drive of animal instinct while having no understanding of sex embraced by love and compassion.

When posted to the Gulf and the Oman, women became a distant dream.  Again I wrote stories, all eagerly devoured by my fellow soldiers.  I would sometimes spend the night laying out in the surrounding desert, staring up at the stars, a great place if trying to understand the purpose of existence.  One thing I did decide was that sex without love held no more than a brief moment of self-gratification, sex seemed ninety-nine percent mental and one percent physical.

Jim in the Oman

Back from the desert I felt a wiser person and soon after I left the army.  London in the swinging 60s held hedonistic joy.  Sex in every deviation seemed there for the taking and the Saturday night party gave ample opportunities to mix and enjoy.  But then I fell in love.  The world changed, sex changed and in the bond of marriage, I found true and ultimate pleasure in the unity of man and woman, the creation of a child.  At last I had arrived.

Time for another beer.  The bar maid’s called time so this is my last meditation from this bar stool for some time.

Next I will write about my book The Mind Traveller, an action adventure story for young adults and older readers.  Click here to go to my Mind Traveller page on Amazon http://tinyurl.com/njld54r

I’ll start with extracts from Chapter 1 so you can get in the mood to read the whole book and my new book, The Witch’s Shadow, which will be out 1st June.