Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

A pencil behind a radiator.

without comments


Dear Boys,

I saw this today – a pencil behind a radiator and it triggered a memory. When I was 10 years old I went on a camping holiday with the school to Clipston near Nottingham. The idea of the holiday was to go canoeing and that is what we did in between informal lessons and sleeping in tents.

We had to keep a diary while we were there which involved writing half a page of stuff and then drawing a picture. The teachers brought with them packs of coloured pencils for the drawing part. Every evening we decamped to a barn for tea and then do our “homework”. The tables were made from barrels and had a pole through the middle. I got bored and started putting the coloured pencils in the pole in the middle of the tables.

When it became time to tidy up the teachers noticed that some of the pencils were missing as the packs were brand new and the teachers were not impressed. The teachers told us that all the pencils had to be returned or there would be consequences. Now I was a little scared, I don’t think anyone had seen me putting the pencils down the pipes but I wasn’t sure. None of the usual kids who liked to grass other kids spoke up so I calmed a little. What if the teachers had seen me – I hadn’t been checking to see if they had been watching, I was just bored and did something to eleviate the bordem. I knew I had to get the pencils back but another wave of fear hit me – what if the pipes were blocked at the bottom? If they where the table would need to be turned upside down to get the pencils back. I walked over to a table which I knew had a pencil in the pipe and lifted it up and to my delight I saw the bottom of a coloured pencil. I tried to pull my best “how did that get there?” face. Other children saw what I had done to unearth a pencil and tried the same with the other tables and before long all the coloured pencils were returned.

I haven’t thought about that incident for many years, but a pencil behind a radiator reminded me.


Written by Administrator

May 23rd, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Memories

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