It was English double period. Mrs Bateman was droning away about Shakespeare. “Who is ever going to need to know this tripe?” whispered Vicky, whom I sat next to. “Too true,” I confirmed as quiet as a mouse, because Mrs B had the hearing and stealth of a barn owl. And the looks too, actually. I am sure her head could swivel the whole way around. Mrs B finished the lesson. Vicky dashed out of the room. “What did the old bat say at the end? I missed it,” I asked Chelsea, who was sitting in front of me. “She said to

I was in the supermarket yesterday when I bumped into a woman I had been at school with. We got chatting about the usual stuff, what our children were doing now, grandkids, the hideous new office development blocking all the sun from the town hall square, etc, when suddenly we heard shouting. Looking around, we saw a younger woman and her daughter, who looked about nine or ten. I don’t know what the girl had done, but the mother had had enough of her doing it, and was letting her know. To make sure she understood, her words were followed by a

On Thursdays, it was my habit after tea to go down the street to my friend Lisa’s house and watch Top of the Pops. My sister Rebecca was at Girl Guides on Thursdays and my parents had the pleasure of a few hours to themselves. On this particular Thursday, I had gone round at about half past six and Lisa and I were in her kitchen getting drinks of squash when she said she had something to show me. “Look at this,” said Lisa. “It’s amazing. An unbreakable cup. Watch.” She picked it up and dropped it on the floor where it

I walked home glumly on a cold, windy January Friday afternoon. I had an envelope for my mother in my school bag. It had the ‘official’ results from the mock exams I had taken two weeks ago. My mother, who happened to be a teacher at another school, had been warning me through the Christmas holidays that I needed to get my head down and study, but that, as usual with a teenager, fell very much on deaf ears. Even the threat of being punished at home if my grades were poor did little to galvanise my attitude and work ethic. Needless to say, I had struggled on

When I was in my mid-teens I suppose, like most that age, I went through my rebellious phase. My mother was a school teacher and was very keen on discipline, both in terms of self-discipline and also it’s administration where necessary. On this particular day, I had been in town with a couple of girl friends from school and we had experimented with smoking a cigarette. I think we all went green around the gills, to say the least. My friend, Daisy, was physically sick and we swore never to touch them again. However, on the way home, as I had the packet in my

It was the first day back to school after Christmas and the New Year in 1969. The first men ever had just orbited the moon in Apollo 8. The world was full of love. Yet here we were, stuck in an English O level class with it blowing a gale and rain beating against the windows of the classroom. The mood was very blue. After all the festivities, we were studying ‘The Canterbury Tales’ and being taught by Miss Yates. Miss Yates was usually a bubbly young teacher whom we had had since the third year. There was great excitement when we noticed a rather nice diamond on her ring

The doorbell rang and gran opened the door to see me and a police woman standing there, and a police car at the end of the driveway. Mum was away for a couple of days with aunty Sheila and so I was to spend the weekend at gran’s. It was the summer holidays and the weather had been warm and dry for some time. I had been in the Old Priory, an old house which was attached to a long since ruined priory. I thought no one was in and so had been swimming in their large pond, almost a lake, fed by a fresh

It is a bit sad when you get to the age when, thinking back to your school days, you remember the spanking, but not the name of the spanker. It was the geography teacher, and we’ll just have to call her Mrs Gee. I think it began with a ‘g’ or maybe that was a nickname, or ‘g’ for geography even. I don’t know. One of my class-mates, Linda, not a particular friend, had asked me if she could borrow my homework essay if I had already done it, as she’d lost some time off-sick and she just needed to

Mum had been on my case all morning before she went to work. Tidy your room, wash your breakfast things, comb your hair. I am sure you remember being 16 and in the school holidays. The last thing you wanted to do was, well, anything really. It was the Easter break and after school went back it would be solid exam work so I wanted down time. Fortunately, my pesky sister, April, was away on a girl guides camp or something, so once mum had gone to work I could just chill and do nothing. I did venture out for a game of football in the

My friend, Vivien, and I were at the local shopping street getting a few things for a sleepover I was having at her house. My mum was going to a work conference and she had asked Myra, Vivien’s mum, if I could stay over. We stayed over at each other’s house probably once every month or so, and we both looked forward to it. The last time but one we got into a fight and Myra had asked mum’s permission to spank me as she needed to do the same to Vivien. My mum gave her permission and told her if she ever needed to again,