During our first weeks together we did a little shopping and sightseeing and I introduced him to friends. Because we didn’t have much money we went everywhere on the Underground.
There were two stations near the Hyde Park Towers Hotel. Queensway was the station for the Central Line to get to the West End. Bayswater was the station for the Circle Line to get to Notting Hill Gate for Portobello Road and then on to Sloane Square for Kings Road. We got off at South Kensington to get to the Cromwellian club. We used to get some funny looks on the Tube because of Jimi’s clothes and hairstyle.
The Queens ice rink was just by the Queensway station and one day we decided to have a go at skating.
Neither Jimi nor I had ever been skating before and Queensway ice rink was just around the corner. ‘Shall we try it?’ I asked Jimi one evening when we were at a loose end.
‘Sure.’ Jimi was always game for a new experience.
At the rink they had trouble finding a pair of boots big enough for Jimi’s size eleven feet. They managed it eventually and he tucked his flares in and we set off. Within seconds of hitting the ice we were lying in an hysterical heap, weak with laughter. The other skaters just had to make their way round us as we rolled around trying to pull ourselves up on one another, only to lose our footing and come crashing down again.
By the end of the session Jimi had got reasonably good and had actually managed to let go of the side and still stay upright, but every time I let go I went straight down again. My sense of balance had not improved since my ballet lessons at the convent. By the end my ribs were aching from laughter even more than my legs and bottom were from falling over.
Jimi enjoyed himself so much that we went back several times and by the end he was pretty accomplished, whizzing round the rink, attracting everyone’s stares with his hair waving in the breeze.
This is an extract from my book. To get the book click here.