A long, hot summer in South London and Jamie Gangel is bunking off school more than usual, scurrying back to the TV and the flat in the vast Thamesmead estate where he lives with his mother Sandra. Next door lives Leah who's been kicked out of school and spends her days listening to Mama Cass records. Also in the same block is Jamie's classmate Ste, sporty and athletic, but who nevertheless receives regular beatings from his father and brother. One night, to escape the violence, Ste takes refuge in Sandra's flat and sleeps head to toe with Jamie. As Sandra struggles with a job promotion and her relationship with her hippy-dippy boyfriend Tony, Jamie and Ste gradually discover their affection for each other.