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Sex in the Snow

A true story from A Rocket for the Lodgers


The Christmas Midnight Mass had just finished and the richly coloured interior of Th’ Owd Church was bathed in mellow candlelight. The Rector said the final vestry prayers and the men’s choir prepared to process back to unrobe in the song room behind the church. Billy Cowen, the Verger, swung open the heavy gothic door and the lamplight spilled out into the churchyard. It had been snowing for perhaps half an hour and huge feathery flakes floated gently down onto the worn paving stones and onto a young couple who were feverishly making love right in front of the open door.

There was a brief reflective pause, then two of my elderly colleagues delicately lifted the hems of their cassocks and stepped, daintily as duchesses, over the prostrate bodies. The couple were so absorbed that several seconds and half the choir had passed before they noticed what was going on. Then they leapt to their feet in embarrassed confusion and fled down the churchyard, the girl covering her face in horror and the young man hopping unsteadily on one leg as he attempted to insert the other into his jeans. He turned and glared fiercely at us.

‘What do you lot think you’re gawpin’ at?’

Well, I don’t think we had any doubt about the answer to that, and I can remember supposing that my older colleagues, all round about the age I am now, would be scandalized or embarrassed by the experience. We arrived in the Song Room and there was another thoughtful pause, then:

'Poor kids! To be as desperate as that!'


'And snowing too!’

‘We used to tek our lasses down th’ canal bank to do yon. Dosta remember, Jack?’

'We did that, Arthur, but, my God! Never in December.’

‘Well, Merry Christmas, all!’

‘Aye, Merry Christmas!’

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