I recently decided to gather my posts together and to start my photo/scrapbook.
I intended to add a photo or drawing to every page to illustrate the story.
Now, having read through the posts about my early life—these random stories were just jogged from my memory and as I started to recall one thing, it led to another, and so on.
When I read them all in one go, I realise that I was an extremely odd child.
They were, of course very odd times, nothing in our family seemed to be anything like that of my friends.
For one thing my mother—who must have been a super woman, whizzing from one job to another and keeping a herself and six kids washed and fed, was never quite up to the mark when it came remembering all our names.
Sometimes she would go through the whole family before arriving—with a bit of luck—with the right one, or in my case the name of the cat we used to have ( Trevor).
Then there were her malapropisms, either intentional to avoid unseemly words or accidental where she just tangled the words—I have never had any difficulty with this though, as I still do it today.
Add to that, just about everybody in Chertsey had a nickname, some were obvious; Chalky White, Fatty Zubiana, Porky Turner and Dusty Miller. and such as that.
Only my best friends were known to me by their first name, Dave, Tony, etc.
The most puzzling ones are still a mystery to me; Kipper Field, Syky Balchin—I sometimes wonder if that was originally psyche or psycho—he could be a bit naughty.
My favourite was Stinker Fuidge, a quite unfair name as we all must have had an aroma, the poor boy did smell a bit though, his mum worked in a fish and chip shop, and on a hot day you could have the equivalent of a full meal by just standing next to him.
Some of these nicknames were quite cruel, Four-eyes for some-one with glasses, Humpy for that poor lad with a deformed spine.
Although our headmaster had no nickname, I have recently realised why he disliked to me so much.
If ever I was in trouble, I would make out I had hurt my leg and limp to gain some sympathy.
It could all have been different had I known he had a wooden leg,
The arrival in 1942, to our school by the PMVH girls from Addlestone—Princess Mary Village Homes—placed another layer of confusion to my life, they were largely from London and had a level of swear- words completely unknown to me.
In pre-war times children at risk because of their living conditions, were often placed in safer homes such as PMVH—I was placed in a similar home, ‘St Dominic’s Open-Air School’ for frail children for seven months myself— now that the blitz had caused so many of their own homes to be destroyed, the girls were spread around local schools such as ours.
Besides having a London accent, they would use Cockney slang—even if they were not Cockney. but even more confusing was what they called ‘back-slang’, this caused mayhem.
Back-slang was quite simple once you knew the rules; you remove the first letter of a word and placed it on the end, followed by an a, for instance; penny would be; ennypa and so on, needless to say I never managed to say or understand a single sentence.
These were just the people around me, it’s no wonder I was so odd.