Diary Excerpt: The Tudors

April, some years ago, age 9

Going on a trip! We’re going to the museum, to learn about Tudors. Just started to drink my milk. I can’t wait till the trip! Went to the trip! First we did object handling. Then we explored the stone hall and done some dancing, in front of the mayor. At home I’m, well I was watching the Flintstones.

Wednesday, therefore diary time!

I have three main things to comment on this week’s entry. Continue reading


Diary Excerpt: New Glasses


April, some years ago, age 9

Today, we did puppet plays in the theatre, in front of Miss Jamieson’s class! I think ours was really good. Everyone liked it. I got some new glasses today! I rather like the shape and frame! Anyway, I’ve had my dinner and, we’re just mucking about. I’ve been on the computer lately. Soon I’m going to bed. Boy, I can’t wait till tomorrow!

Another Wednesday, another diary excerpt! Continue reading

Favourite places: No 1

I still remember the first time I visited the little library in my small home town. At six years old, I felt that it was a vast treasure-filled cave, and as I sat in the carpeted children’s corner with the rest of my class, I spent much of my time simply gazing around, slack-jawed and starry eyed.

There was no grandeur as such, the building being a modern, average ceilinged, purpose built affair. But it had several rows, filled with all kinds of books, which I noted when wandering around were labelled things like ‘historical fiction’ and ‘cookery’ and ‘art’…almost immediately the idea of growing up and being able to understand the contents of these sacred shelves, especially those bearing fictional works, became cemented as a primary goal of my existence. Continue reading

Childhood memory 1 – untitled

A bit of truth, a lot of fiction – isn’t that the magic mix, and how most great things come about in the world of literature?! Anyway, enjoy.

When I was quite young, and we were new to this country, there was a particular incident that took place at my primary school which is firmly cemented in my mind, even though many other memories from the time have been erased. In particular, I remember my teacher.

In order to fully understand why the situation arose in the first place, it is necessary to understand my family’s position at the time. My parents had come to this country with nothing but qualifications and me. My father had only just landed a permanent job. Every penny that came into the household was as precious to us as each drop of rain was to desperate farmers in our home country.

Naturally, my parents were saving these pennies scrupulously. This meant that if I didn’t need something – I did not get it. Even now, when I make a purchase based on desire rather than necessity, I still hear my mother’s voice: ‘Honey, but do you really need it?’

As such, I only had a few sets of clothes.

“You were wearing that yesterday!” An accusatory finger accompanied this sentence, and it was pointed at my chest. Bewildered more than anything else, I looked down at my t-shirt. It was a pink t-shirt, with a picture of my favourite Disney princess on it. It was my favourite and best t-shirt, actually.

Failing at the tender age of six to even understand that I had committed a crime, I said, grinning, “I know. It’s my favourite!”

The girl grinned back at me, and now I had my first indication that something was wrong. Her smile didn’t match mine. I couldn’t quite understand what the difference was, but things started becoming clearer as she let out a great big ‘ha!’ of laughter, and yet clearer still when others started laughing as well.

My ears started to burn. It’s often the first physical manifestation of embarrassment for me even nowadays, preceding flushed cheeks and gathering tears.

This was all taking place just before story time, at the end of the school day, when my whole class was gathered cross legged in the carpeted section of the classroom. Looking back, I doubt a lot of my classmates even knew what they were laughing at; it was more likely that they were following that seemingly innate human instinct: laugh along and you shall not be laughed at.

Even though my ears were well and truly aflame by the time the fourth person started giggling, I remember a sense of defiance, and I said boldly to the girl, “So?”

“So? Don’t you have any other clothes? My mum says – ”

The teacher, a warm hearted, middle-aged, genuinely lovely woman, had up until that point been silent. Oh yes, she was present from the start – she had been turning the pages of the storybook on her lap to find the part we had left off at yesterday, seemingly oblivious. Now, however, she spoke up, cutting right across the girl. I never did find out what that girl’s mum said, because of the teacher speaking up.

“That’s enough, young lady. We all have our favourite clothes. You were wearing that dress only on Monday! And I was wearing this skirt yesterday. Now, shall we start?” The discourse was short, matter-of-fact, and delivered pleasantly. The class fell silent. The teacher gave me a piercing look, her eyes full of concern, and then a smile that not only cooled my ears down, but also steadied me somehow. I hadn’t realised how shaken I had been until she steadied me with that smile.

I felt thankful to her at the time, for stopping everyone laughing at me. I feel even more thankful to her now, with the famous power of hindsight. It is very likely that I will never see her again, but I hope that she knew how grateful I was then, and am still now.

Thanks for stopping by, constructive/polite comments always welcome 🙂

To all readers and to followers – I thank you all and hope that you are enjoying this blog 🙂

Ro x