I was full of mischief as a kid. One day during school dinners, I decided to play a trick on one of the boys on my table by unscrewing the saltcellar top and handing it to him.

“Do you want the salt?” I asked him.

He took it and shook it and the top came off and emptied salt all over his dinner. I laughed at the look at the dismay on his face and everyone at the table seemed to join in. However, I didn’t realise the prank had been watched by one of the dinner ladies. The next thing I knew was a tug on my ear as she lifted me off my seat and wagged her finger in my face. She then kept hold of my ear as she took me to the teacher on duty, who wasn’t amused by what I had done.

To show her displeasure, she put me over her knee, raised my skirt and gave my bum several good smacks with her hand. She was actually quite young and very athletic, and the smacks really hurt, as she intended them to, of course. These were the good old days. I returned to my seat with a stinging bottom and a red face to finish my dinner. My erstwhile victim was now grinning hugely at my discomfort as I wriggled on my seat.

To add to my troubles, the school sent a note home with a report of my misdeed and a request that if I was to stay to school dinners I must behave myself. This of course led to an investigation by my mother into the prank, followed by a time over mum’s knee as she completed the work the teacher had begun on my poor little bottom. By the time she finished, my rear end was virtually sizzling.

I was sent to bed early that night nursing a sore bum and fell asleep on my tummy. But not before having a grin to myself at the sight of the boy’s face as the salt landed on his dinner. Years later, dad confessed to me he had a chuckle about it too, but mum insists to this day there was nothing funny about it!