Z’s anecdotage. The prologue

Not having slept much for the last week, I’ve been thinking about other things and going back to my childhood again. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I was a shy child – it was my defining attribute, I must have. When I first went to school, I was small for my age. My mother bought the smallest size in everything and it had to be taken up and in.

I surely must have said this – oh, go on, it’s a funny story so I’ll tell you again. My sister was still down in Weymouth, she hadn’t moved schools yet and stayed in the week with friends and at weekends with Grandad. She liked this arrangement and still rather resents it having ended – but the point is, that meant that the momentous First Day Of School was faced alone by little Z. I remember clearly being dressed in my bulky new uniform: navy gym slip, light blue blouse, dark blue tie and sitting in the back seat of my mother’s Daimler. We arrived at school. “Well!” said Mummy. “You’d think they’d have the gates open, at least. That’s not very welcoming on the first day of term.”

I’m not sure how long it took for the penny to drop, but a brief discussion between my parents established that we’d arrived a day early. I took it in my stride, being taken home and undressed again and put into mufti. Grown-ups inhabited a different planet from mine and I took life as it came.

This isn’t the story I told Tim yesterday, merely the preamble. Tomozz, darlings.

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