Sunday, 15 March 2009

Were you often into mischief as a child? How strict were your parents?

I didn’t get into much mischief when I was small. Incidentally, doesn’t it drive you mad when people say michievious instead of mischievous? It really irritates me!

Anyway, as I was saying, I was a pretty good kid.  My parents weren't too strict – we lived in a small village, so until I could drive, having a curfew wasn't exactly an issue.  And after that I was old enough to do what I wanted.  It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I started getting into a bit of trouble.

The first time I was in serious trouble was at the private school in Edinburgh. Four of us were caught for smoking on the roof at night time. Some parent had driven past the school and seen four girls on the roof all smoking. Our dormitory was called down to the housemistress’s (complete and utter bitch) flat and we were made to confess our sins! She did that old psychology trick – “I know who it was so you may as well own up”. We did as well…what a bunch of mugs! Anyway, we were marched off to the sanatorium because we had to be quarantined for our badness! It might be catching! Our parents were called, and they came to get us the next day. We all had to go an see the headmaster, which was a bit of a waste of time – I can’t even remember what he said now. We had to pay a fine of £30 each (well, our parents did) which allegedly went to Cancer Research. I bet it didn’t though – it probably went to line the school coffers – grasping bunch of bastards. More on that in a sec. Anyway, it was the week before half term, so the four of us got two weeks instead of just one! Our names were read out in Chapel the following morning because we were so bad, and our names were up on the message board.

What drives me mad about that school, is that they keep sending me begging letters. Please donate to a scholarship fund, please donate to this, that and the other bloody fund. I wrote back to them last week telling them not to send me any letters as I wouldn’t donate to any fund in order to put someone else through the misery I suffered there.

That was my one major transgression. My mum told me that I should tell the housemistress when I got back to school that I had been to confession and that I had done my penance and that the priest had absolved me from my sins!

I was pretty good after that – the rest was general teenage stuff. I remember one weekend I stayed with my best mate in Dumfries. We went out for the evening, and because we were skint we went into the local off licence and bought cheap wine and sat by the river drinking it and getting pissed. We had told her dad we were at the pictures! Apparently we were late home, so he had gone out looking for us, and ended up following us back up the road. We were staggering and falling over and being generally pissed and extremely silly! We crept into the house, supposing that he was in the sitting room. My mate went off to the bathroom, and her dad knocked on the bedroom door. I opened it, holding myself up by the door handle on one side and the radiator on the other. He started to ask me about the film we had seen so I spouted some shite about a film I had read about, knowing full well that he knew I was lying but couldn’t seem to stop myself. He asked me if I expected him to believe me – that he’d been a justice of the peace for years and he could tell when someone was lying. So I admitted it and my mate came back into the room then – her dad said it would be a long time until we spent another weekend together. I was back the next weekend – but we were a little better behaved – or maybe we just hid it better!!

I think that’s the worst trouble I ever got into when I was younger – like I said, I was generally very well behaved, but even the best behaved kids can be a bit bad sometimes!!