Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things left unsaid

Stewart had sortingoutitis, he is in the garden now sorting out the plants having earlier sorted out the garage and yes actually thrown some stuff away. Last week he was sorting out what we laughingly call our office at the top of the house; once one of our kids' bedrooms it is painted from floor to ceiling in Gandalf and hobbits, a masterpiece of my Dad's that I am forbidden ever to touch by aforementioned kids. While doing this he found an old school diary of mine which we had found this time last year while sorting out my Mom's house, or my house really; it's where I was brought up.

It is the precursor of my blog; an almost daily record of what Jean aged 8 did next. I hope my literary skills have developed somewhat since then as despite being perfectly accurate in grammar and spelling, it's little more than, got home from school, played out with my friends, came in for my tea, played out some more (a social history there, all this playing out on roads with no cars and seemingly no fear of kidnap or worse) went in and went to bed. I fear I may have been playing to an audience a little, as I often mention helping my Mom but I was famously bad at that and going to church on Sundays. This may have been partly true as I did join the Girls' Life Brigade when I was 8 and you had to go to the church it was attached to or they threw you out. I mention my friends Anne, Lynda and Frieda a lot but there is another girl called Christine and try as I might I cannot remember who she was; the diary gives no clues as it just mentions she doesn't have a bike, maybe I made her up.

It also made me think about all the things I didn't mention in my diary that I now remember or have since been told. These include:

* I had been moved from my school the year before because my old school was going to be made into all secondary and I had to go to a new school a bus ride away; while writing this diary I was actually terribly unhappy at the new school because I was put into a class of second years when I was only a first year; also they were the B stream when I had been A stream and I felt I may never make my way back to where I was supposed to be; also the big girls bullied me which made my Dad rush up to the playground and tell them directly that if they didn't stop he would etc etc; he was no man for using official channels; my teacher was called Mr Hague and Dad use to write Don't be vague ask for Hague (a current advertising slogan for a blend of whiskey much beloved by my Dad) on the bottom of my school notes; you just had to learn to live with his idiosyncrasies.

* My Dad would at this time have been "seeing someone else" probably Margaret who later became a policewoman; he later told me they used to "see" each other behind the hoardings around the bomb sites next to the Blues football ground. She has unfortunately morphed into Princess Margaret in my memory as she too was dark and attractive and clearly a bit of a girl.

* I used to come home for my dinner (lunch to you poshies) even though Mom was not there as she was working as a dinner lady at my old school; so dinner was only sandwiches but better than risking the big girls in the playground; I was still not safe, however, as my brother's friend from over the road who was a big boy, ie about 13 used to come over to teach me how to kiss, his hand used to wander too. I suppose it was sexual abuse, I certainly didn't feel comfortable about it and soon drifted back to having school dinners. His lessons stood me in good stead however in those supposedly innocent playground games like kiss chase, and true, dare, kiss or promise that I excelled at as soon as I was returned to a class with my own age group and made some new friends. So much so in fact that when I left that schoool three years later, my teacher penned the following immortal lines in my honour:

An elegant schoolgirl named Jean
The love of Church Road boys had been
But no cupid's arrow
At Harrison Barrow
Only girls to be found on the scene

* Then there were the revelations that Aunty Vi over the road was having it off with the bloke who used to visit on a motorbike and sidecar; her husband, Uncle Charlie was after my Mom as was one of the teachers at my old school. No worries there my Mom was a bastion of virtue and anyway thought the whole thing was terribly overrated which probably explains, but does not excuse, the Margarets of our world.

So readers you will have to imagine what I might be leaving unsaid in this my latest series of daily records; how afraid I might be; how close and how often I get to saying " well I wont be around much longer so you wont have to put up with x,y or z" and who fancies who, has fancied me or whether I ever ....

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