THE MORNING AFTER by Richard Henley


The Killerton Summer Ball of 1968 was a grand, and very well attended affair featuring one of the top groups of the time. I want to say the 'Moody Blues', but I could be mistaken; it's a long time ago. We had a rental company supply a large marquee to accommodate a tempory bar on the west lawn, and a local contractor built a tempory stage for the main attraction. The whole evening went off very well, and by shortly after midnight everybody had gone home. Or at least, we thought they had!

A dozen of us had worked the bar that evening, and believe me, we worked very hard, to the point that at the evenings conclusion, after we had cleared away most of the litter on the lawn, safely stored the remaining bar stock back in the House, and given the till proceeds to Sir Richard, we were still sober, and pleased to get some rest. Another good reason for getting some sleep was that we had to be up at the 'crack of dawn', (about 8AM by Killerton standards), in order to complete the clean-up and help the rental people take down the tent.

We assembled in the dining room for a quick breakfast, and were about to get on with the job, when another Killertonian, having just completed his morning jog through the Gardens, said he had something to show us out in the rhododendron bushes, but in order to see it, we must be very very quiet. In single file and complete silence we followed him out over the lawn to the bushes.

There, in a clearing, were a young couple snuggled up in a large double sleeping bag, I can still remember it had a tarten cover, and as we arrived they were just commencing their morning sex.

I am reasonably sure that he expected to be completely satisfied after a few minutes; which he evidently was.

I am also reasonably sure that she expected to give him a passionate, thankful  post coital embrace; which she did.

I am, however absolutely sure, that neither of them expected the rousing round of applause, and calls of appreciation, from a dozen Killertonians who had just witnessed the entire event from the bushes twenty feet away !!

The young couple took it very well; what else could they do?

We politely asked them to leave at their earliest convenience, and twenty minutes later, by which time we had the tent half down, they emerged

from the bushes with their rolled sleeping bag. All smiles, they waved us goodbye, which lead to another hearty round of applause.

That young couple may have stayed together; they may have gone their separate ways; who knows?, but I will give you 'six to four' that, as they went through life, neither of them ever forgot that particular Killerton morning.