It Wasn’t Me!

My eldest sister, Marie, all my life and to this day, insists on telling everyone my middle name is Sidney!  It’s not.  And I have a birth certificate to prove it…  I was named after my mum’s father, Robert Sidney, however, I did not inherit the Sidney bit!  She also insists on another story from my infancy – but of course, there isn’t a grain of truth in that one either…

I went to an infant school that had a big white line across the playground, and further white lines near the gates that led into and out of school.  The yard line was to separate the boys from the girls – why I don’t know?  And as much as you’d like think we’d wander over those lines more often than not, we dared not!  Those lines were patrolled by nannies you just wouldn’t risk the wrong side of.  Nor were we allowed sweets in the school; of course not inside and during class but even out in the playground.  Should you be caught with sweets, and many were, they’d be confiscated and you were made to stand in the corner of the yard with your back to the whole playground!  Needless to say, I found myself in that corner more often than out of it…

On her way from the shops, mum called by the school one lunchtime and on hearing her voice calling when she’d spotted me, I dared to cross the gate line.  She gestured I go to her.  I stood for a while and expressed my fear of doing so, however, the lure of a packet of Rolos was too hard to resist; I crossed the line and talked with mum while I demolished the prize!  She told me to ignore the dragon stood not ten yards behind me in the yard, glaring and itching to come and move me back – my mum had presence and dragon had no mind to draw wrath from her!  It wasn’t long before mum was gone and I was back in the corner.

Sweet tooth satisfied, however, huffing in a corner, I was determined that no matter how nice those chocs were, I wasn’t about to let this go.

Back in class, as was usual, we got to go choose our workbooks for the afternoon – naturally, everyone took the easiest workbooks they could find; or what seemed the easiest.  These books contained explanations then questions – be they English or maths, if you were lucky, you’d get a reasonably decent one that didn’t require much thought or taxing of tiny brains full of daydream and absolutely no urge to learn…  We also had jotters to write our answers in.  They were narrow and tall, blue-covered jotters; I still have one…full from front to back.

Still bruised and huffy after my time in the corner, and swearing that my mother would know of this when I got home, in the hope that mum would visit the school and sort out the dragon, I took up my workbook – not the easiest – and tackled it less than enthusiastically.  Took me a while to actually think about writing something in the jotter and when it came to it, I thought it might be fun and less boring to simply fill up the pages with dots.  I did this for about six or seven pages before I was spied – once more unto the corner!

I’ll never forget that day because at some point during the afternoon playtime, someone had been in the toilets, stuffed the plug holes in the sinks full of loo paper and turned on the taps!  I remember the mess well!  Yes I had been to the loo – but it wasn’t me…although Marie insists otherwise…


About Robert

A fifty-something, retired Celestial Travel Agent. Walked many paths; some good, lots bad. Meandering through the past, plodding in the present, crawling toward the future.
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