This is a photograph of Bodrum taken in 1974. In March of that year, a group of school girls from Rugby High School got their first taste of Turkish Delight and weren't very impressed. We had already had our bottoms pinched in Italy and were getting used to the amount of attention a gaggle of 15 year old girls attracted in the Eastern Mediterranean, but we were unprepared for the Bodrum men and boys who took every opportunity to put their hands up our skirts. So time-consuming was the effort needed to avoid this that I can't remember where we went or what we saw in Bodrum. Our PE teacher, Miss Munden, a wonderful woman whose ample derriere, in my memory, is always encased in a grey tracksuit, was driven almost to distraction by this unwelcome intrusion and spent a lot of time shepherding the more delicate souls (me included), trying to keep our honour unsullied. I vowed never to set foot in Bodrum again - so much for that resolution.
I have only one other memory and it has stuck with me for 45 years. As we were about to leave, Miss Munden realised that someone was missing and I can still see her dashing around Rasit's cafe shouting, "Pauline Garratt, Where's Pauline Garratt?" until the eponymous young lady turned up, as cool as a cucumber, on the back of a scooter. I was so impressed. How I wanted to be Pauline Garratt that day. She'd been off to see the Mausoleum.
I lost touch with Pauline 40 years ago, but her name comes to mind every time I walk through the square by the castle, so it was fantastic to find her again last Saturday, and she still the sort of person who would be up for any petty rule breaking.
|So glad to have found Pauline Garratt.|
She is sure there were a few of them that nipped off to the Mausoleum, but I only recall her name echoing around Bodrum. She does remember coming back on the moped though, which is reassuring as I had begun to wonder if I'd made the whole thing up.
Forty years on, the RHS class of 1977 is still looking good and one afternoon wasn't enough time for all the stories we have to tell. We must do it again soon.
* It may have been 1973, long enough ago to be forgiven for not being sure.