27 AUGUST 1983, Page 28

No. 1281: The winners

Report by Jaspistos: Competitors were asked for an extract from the pre-war memoirs of a precocious teenage aesthete, of either sex, at a public or boarding

school. ternher.

There in the massive hall walking up and pac- ing down at times emitting soft trills and squeak' ing with compressed lips, the Master in College plans plans plans to secure it from the abyss to which it is rapidly plunging — demons of NW' preciousness and epigonatics flock round him Delves-Broughton troubled by his body and fur' Lively promulgating sickly theories of hedonism. that creep like stealthy weeds in the dark — Blair amid a litter of cigarette ash drinks tea from a samovar which hisses insidiously to Eastwood and Watkins who try to run away but a horrible magnetism detains them — he oozes distrust from Miss Oughterson — tracts flutter round his head and in the seclusion of an upstairs room Cannon), lies not alone — in his armchair.

There it is, a prize-winner if ever there '414 °Ile, the authentic article, Cyril himself at Eton (see David Pryce-Jones's Cyril Con- y). Not many of you managed to evoke the mixed odour of old gym-shoes and fresh Incense. The winners below receive £10 each. and Tom Cochrane captures the bonus bottle of Pimm's No. 1 .

mancier the Patronage of Bobo Fyffe, the French Ester, I organised a production of Cornus. Edith Sitwell had agreed to play the part of The Lady', but she got food poisoning at one of her 'ea Parties, and sent Sir George instead. He gave too unforgettable performance, although it was late to change the programme to read 'Red- aced man with bad temper', Poor old Bobo was kalled during the war, when a picture fell on him his first one-man exhibition. CM!1Plsory sport took the form of scoring for "e third eleven, but .1 escaped even that when it was discovered that there was nothing in the so rebook but my cycle of poems, on life as a Parrot in the Ottoman Empire. school I put them in the magazine, CB saw them and asked me to vulgeer! musical, but I felt that would be too (Tom Cochrane) 4Pril 4th. Yet again Matron failed to appreciate alY objections to meat balls. She persists in thinking Onot,

that 1 do not like the taste and repeats

know 'If you don't try them you won't . onously Depressing that almost no one at Topley under Depressingthat aesthetic awareness can — nay, s (Midi — extend to one's response to what turns LID On One's plate. April Sth, Even the infiltration of spring sunlight ef„a;Incit redeem the dorm. (Especially when it falls digit uPon Dorkins, who sleeps with one grubby top his nose while the others repose shud- Steer P think where.) Once up, we encountered Tn h 's uncouth determination to 'toughen us Y getting us to imitate his bizarre convul- oinoris and the flag pole and to go sprinting off whathe c lls a 'cross-country'. In my Plans came t case his to naught since the nauseous cloud of sweat which makes its home in the changing rooms caused me to pass out.

(N. J. Warburton)

I rirst encountered Brenda, absurdly, at hockey; t4Isi bullied off our sticks jarred together with a tilling electrical charge, and I sensed that futerieath the irredeemably plain exterior (her alas, were in trade) pulsed a heart yearn- tag for companionship and beautiful ex- Plicriences. Eugenie, of course, was sceptical of wnoNne with so preposterous a name, but was bonn over when the dear little mouse knocked hre",hclur study door bearing an 1860 Wuthering :oakg ts bound in the softest call. The three of us to Bronteolatry, acting out our roles with '„et!sh. Brenda was Ann, of course, but there was gli!earful tussle over who should be Emily. Our ha`I.I? 'Haworth' ended in acrimony when Brenda,

"4 unsettled Eugenie by reading Radclyffe flirall during prep,

aril now on,. insisted on 'being Branwell

(Peter Norman)

Th cocoa for supper was sosp revolti tt 1 wrote at once to Harold to despatch meng absinhathe

with one of his 'doctor's' certificates for the eyes of matron MacDonald to the effect that it was a herbal tonic essential for my health.

Baudelaire and Cocteau had stirred my interest in opium and I felt it might heighten the air of languor I was cultivating, but 1 dropped all thoughts of pursuing it and postponed the pleasure till old age once 1 heard it might take the edge off my sexual appetite. Beres ford, now cap- tain of cricket, wore my amethyst day and night. Thanks to his Berber great-grandmother he did not turn a vulgar post-office red in the sun, but to my relief toned into a lovely sand-gold that made his eyes even more falcon-like and savage.

(George Moor)

They wanted to give me my colours. (1 only con- descended to deliver off breaks for the eleven because I wished to try out certain sportif choreographic inspirations I'd picked up from Vaslav's Jeux. Nonetheless my friends were kind enough to say I was rather effective at taking wickets.) It was an exquisitely overcast day — that dove- grey Sergei used to insist on for his spats. They burst.into my room — sweet puppyish louts just when 1 was composing a prose poem for Cyril's Eton Candle. (I was only half way through a thank-you letter in terza rima to Edith, Osbert and Sachie too: '1 would give you some triolets, but they withered „ , ' I had scribbled.) 'Not that blue, my dears,' 1 protested between sips of Eau d'Appolinaire. 'It clashes so with my eyes. No, it's the old scug-cap for me, I'm afraid. Undistinguished perhaps, but such tonality of tints.'

(Charles Mosley)