I delayed the publication of this very frivolous post but friends on the east coast of the US now seem to be okay. I hope. So, in the spirit of Now For Something Completely Different:
On my parents' kitchen wall there is a photo of my school hockey team, (or half a team - there were only 5 girls in the class) - now mercifully faded by the sun. I reproduce it here for the purposes of evidence:
I am that one, in the middle at the back. I am eight or nine in this picture and I am five foot tall.
I also have marmalade-coloured hair, for your further information, and couldn't stand out more if I jumped up and down, singing RAH RAH RAH, look at me, I'm over here.
Fast forward to The Teenage Years. I am now 13, still extra-tall and of the orange mane, and I have done what my rather proper family sees as falling in with The Wrong Crowd. I have a wild friend, who makes it her business to Lead Me Astray. She is in a school called (unbelievable this, but true) Al.exandra College for Young Ladies. I go to a co-ed in another part of town. One day, for some reason which now escapes, we (the co-eds) have the day off while they (the gels) are in school, and for another reason which also flees my adult mind, we decide that the right thing to do here was clearly for me to dress up in her uniform and go to her school with her.
They'll never notice, she airly declared. Rhino is so ancient (headmistress of the day: Miss Ryan) she doesn't even know us. It'll be fiiine.
So it was that I trooped along with them to Assembly that morning. During which Rhino had a long look at me, not surprisingly, perhaps confused by this apparition. Who IS that? Am I meant to know that child? Maybe I am losing my marbles. But who would..? ..and why?
Yes, well. There are no answers.
If I remember well, we nipped out of Assembly before poor Rhino's brain could catch up, and legged it to Science. There I was, an intruder into Science, in my borrowed brown uniform. In Al.exandra College for Young Ladies. Ah, yes. Teenage Kicks might have been written for moments such as these.
The fortunately young and very decent science teacher (Miss Poole!) was, naturally enough, somewhat perplexed to have a new member of the class just sort of suddenly there. As we were explaining to her what we were up to, another more senior teacher came in to survey the class crossly - presumably not able to believe what she thought she'd seen at Assembly - But, how peculiar! There can't be? Can there?
Oh, there can, and there be.
Miss Poole, showing admirable presence of mind, quickly hid me underneath the desk. Bless you, Miss. And after Science, it was deemed by My Wild Friend best to maybe.. just sort of.. bunk for the rest of the day? And so it was that I found myself hiding in the outside changing rooms, bunking off (someone else's) school. On my day off.
[Teenage stories welcome. Mad or not.]