Apologies to anyone who was expecting this to be a retelling of the famous fairy tale, but to me it’s far more valuable - a rare diary-like insight into my eight-year-old life. I don’t actually remember anything about this, so it’s all news to me, but I can probably fill in a few gaps. I do remember going to see a pantomime at Castleford Civic Centre once, so I have to assume it was this one. I also remember my Gran telling me that we went to see a pantomime once and, after being a bit reticent at first, I eventually got into it way too much and ended up yelling at the actors louder than anyone else, even getting quite angry with them when they didn’t respond. I told you he was behind you! For God’s sake, why won’t you LISTEN?! So that might explain both why my Mum was so tired and why my tonsils hurt so much. My Dad’s reaction to all this is interesting, and my reaction to his reaction even more so. A bit of context: Dad was firmly non-violent - he’d been smacked as a kid and didn’t like it, so swore he’d never physically hurt a child of his own and, to his everlasting credit, he kept his word. Instead, he liked to deploy what he called ‘psychological tactics’ - usually to do with the threat of depriving me of something I enjoyed. So more like ‘If you do that again, you’re not watching Doctor Who this week” - which worked incredibly well, at least for the half-a-year Doctor Who was actually on. As a friend of mine once said, he’d rather have had a smack than miss Doctor Who. Fortunately, I was a good boy most of the time - OH YES I WAS - so he didn’t need to deploy these tactics often. This one - I suppose you’d call it ‘Call My Bluff’ - was one of Dad’s favourites. I complain my tonsils hurt and he says “Well, you’d better get to bed then.” The reasoning being that if I really was ill, I should be in bed, but if I don’t want to go to bed, maybe I’m not ill and I should stop complaining. It’s probably a good one to use in this situation - I haven’t had kids so I don’t know. I clearly wasn’t lying, but having spent all afternoon shouting at actors, there was reason to think I might be mistaken. So I guess it was a good way to find out how serious I was. I don’t know what good it did him - apart from getting me to stop moaning, which was probably pretty irritating - but I imagine he did need to know how ill I really was. The interesting thing is how quickly it worked. I’m sure his intention wasn’t to cure me, but I’m basically Pavlov’s dog here - Dad uses ‘Call My Bluff’ tactic and I’m instantly OK. You can even detect a bit of amazement on my part - “As soon as he said that, my tonsils didn’t hurt” - like he’d suddenly cured my blindness. Except it was more like, I knew I wasn’t really blind - he just helped me to stop thinking I was. I knew it was a psychological tactic - in fact I’m pretty sure Dad would usually tell me so, just so I knew how clever he’d been - but it didn’t stop me admiring him for it. It worked, didn’t it? The trouble is, I did have a history of tonsillitis - you can tell that by the way I say ‘tonsils’ rather than ‘throat’. I’d had it several times already by the time I arrived in Fairburn. It plagued me right the way through my early life, through high school and beyond, though for one reason or another - usually lost test results or GPs not believing I really had a problem, when in fact it was worse than they could possibly imagine and I’d just managed to cultivate a studied calm in order to deal with the pain - no one ever thought I should have my tonsils removed. They just gave me antibiotics and painkillers and told me it would go away. Until I was 28 years old, and as anyone who’s had a tonsillectomy as an adult will tell you, it’s probably the most acute and savage pain you’re ever going to experience in your life. Have them out as a kid, no problem. Have them out as an adult, lie in bed unable to eat, drink, speak or sleep for two weeks while trying to cope with the constant feeling of having your throat burnt out with hot cheese graters and sulphuric acid. The fact that my friend (Wayne Old, if you want to know - the first in a long line of blonde boys I befriended at school who liked sci-fi and comics, who just happened to live next door to my Gran on St Nicholas Street in Castleford) was also ill the next day makes me wonder if there was actually something going round. But he definitely didn’t have a non-violent Dad so the psychological tactics wouldn’t have worked on him. And I carried on being at school all week (as referenced here and here) so I obviously didn’t succumb. It would be a good while, in fact, before I was genuinely ill in Fairburn. But when it finally happened, it was epic. More on that in Term 4…
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
Tedosaurus Prehistoric fun with a teddy bear the size of a dinosaur!
Apeth Badly-spelt high-jinks with a purple gorilla from outer space!
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Happy Easter! A home made Easter card I made for my Mum and Dad
Sleeping Beauty
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
Sleeping Beauty
Apologies to anyone who was expecting this to be a retelling of the famous fairy tale, but to me it’s far more valuable - a rare diary-like insight into my eight- year-old life. I don’t actually remember anything about this, so it’s all news to me, but I can probably fill in a few gaps. I do remember going to see a pantomime at Castleford Civic Centre once, so I have to assume it was this one. I also remember my Gran telling me that we went to see a pantomime once and, after being a bit reticent at first, I eventually got into it way too much and ended up yelling at the actors louder than anyone else, even getting quite angry with them when they didn’t respond. I told you he was behind you! For God’s sake, why won’t you LISTEN?! So that might explain both why my Mum was so tired and why my tonsils hurt so much. My Dad’s reaction to all this is interesting, and my reaction to his reaction even more so. A bit of context: Dad was firmly non-violent - he’d been smacked as a kid and didn’t like it, so swore he’d never physically hurt a child of his own and, to his everlasting credit, he kept his word. Instead, he liked to deploy what he called ‘psychological tactics’ - usually to do with the threat of depriving me of something I enjoyed. So more like ‘If you do that again, you’re not watching Doctor Who this week” - which worked incredibly well, at least for the half-a-year Doctor Who was actually on. As a friend of mine once said, he’d rather have had a smack than miss Doctor Who. Fortunately, I was a good boy most of the time - OH YES I WAS - so he didn’t need to deploy these tactics often. This one - I suppose you’d call it ‘Call My Bluff’ - was one of Dad’s favourites. I complain my tonsils hurt and he says “Well, you’d better get to bed then.” The reasoning being that if I really was ill, I should be in bed, but if I don’t want to go to bed, maybe I’m not ill and I should stop complaining. It’s probably a good one to use in this situation - I haven’t had kids so I don’t know. I clearly wasn’t lying, but having spent all afternoon shouting at actors, there was reason to think I might be mistaken. So I guess it was a good way to find out how serious I was. I don’t know what good it did him - apart from getting me to stop moaning, which was probably pretty irritating - but I imagine he did need to know how ill I really was. The interesting thing is how quickly it worked. I’m sure his intention wasn’t to cure me, but I’m basically Pavlov’s dog here - Dad uses ‘Call My Bluff’ tactic and I’m instantly OK. You can even detect a bit of amazement on my part - “As soon as he said that, my tonsils didn’t hurt” - like he’d suddenly cured my blindness. Except it was more like, I knew I wasn’t really blind - he just helped me to stop thinking I was. I knew it was a psychological tactic - in fact I’m pretty sure Dad would usually tell me so, just so I knew how clever he’d been - but it didn’t stop me admiring him for it. It worked, didn’t it? The trouble is, I did have a history of tonsillitis - you can tell that by the way I say ‘tonsils’ rather than ‘throat’. I’d had it several times already by the time I arrived in Fairburn. It plagued me right the way through my early life, through high school and beyond, though for one reason or another - usually lost test results or GPs not believing I really had a problem, when in fact it was worse than they could possibly imagine and I’d just managed to cultivate a studied calm in order to deal with the pain - no one ever thought I should have my tonsils removed. They just gave me antibiotics and painkillers and told me it would go away. Until I was 28 years old, and as anyone who’s had a tonsillectomy as an adult will tell you, it’s probably the most acute and savage pain you’re ever going to experience in your life. Have them out as a kid, no problem. Have them out as an adult, lie in bed unable to eat, drink, speak or sleep for two weeks while trying to cope with the constant feeling of having your throat burnt out with hot cheese graters and sulphuric acid. The fact that my friend (Wayne Old, if you want to know - the first in a long line of blonde boys I befriended at school who liked sci-fi and comics, who just happened to live next door to my Gran on St Nicholas Street in Castleford) was also ill the next day makes me wonder if there was actually something going round. But he definitely didn’t have a non- violent Dad so the psychological tactics wouldn’t have worked on him. And I carried on being at school all week (as referenced here and here) so I obviously didn’t succumb. It would be a good while, in fact, before I was genuinely ill in Fairburn. But when it finally happened, it was epic. More on that in Term 4…
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
The Fugitive A man runs - but who is he? And what is he running from?
The Flame in the Desert An evil fire threatens the safety of the world
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