This memory relates to my later school career. I very seldom earned a school detention, so it was unfortunate that I should get two in the same week, because that meant an automatic summons to the headmaster for a caning. I don’t even remember clearly what the detentions were for, but I certainly do remember the consequences. As expected, the summons came during the lesson immediately before morning break on the Friday. I was to report to the head’s office as soon as the class was dismissed. I didn’t want to hurry, but knew it would be very unwise to

When I was about thirteen, just after going up to the second form at school, we had a minor family hiatus. My mother had to go into hospital and my father had no way of cancelling a business trip to Holland. So what to do with me? Opposite us lived an elderly widow, or so she seemed to me. She was actually popular with us lads; for example, she always found us some tasks for Scout Bob-a-Job week. The money went to our scout troops, not to us, and there was always a lavish tray of cakes etc when the