Letters to Myself 13

Letters to Myself 13


47 Bristol Road



November 9th, 1952

Dear John,

Thank you for your last letter.  It’s nice that writing these letters helps you remember things you thought you had forgotten. Sometimes I forget things, too, but it’s mostly when I’m trying to conjugate a Greek or Latin verb. But I did forget Elizabeth’s birthday in August, and nobody reminded me.

And last week I nearly got into a lot of trouble at school because of forgetting. I was sitting in Miss Lancaster’s English class, and I was in the back row next to Traps (my best friend), and Miss Lancaster said she saw me talking during the lesson. Which was unfair because I wasn’t talking , all I did was hand Traps a note which I had scrunched up into a very small ball. But when I said I wasn’t talking she got in a bate, and she told me to go and stand outside the door until the bell went off. I was really angry that she accused me of doing something I didn’t do. After a bit I saw the key was in the door on the outside, meaning on my side. So I managed to turn it very quietly, which meant that everyone was locked in but they didn’t know it! I meant to turn it back again as soon as the bell went off for end of class, but I must have been dozing off or something because the next thing I knew someone was pulling on the door from the inside, and of course they couldn’t get out. I unlocked the door as quickly as I could, but there was Miss Lancaster, and she shouted at me and told me to go and see the headmaster, Mr Tolson, in his study at once. Then she stormed off.

Well, I knew that he would probably give me a caning, and I was really frightened, so I went down to the locker rooms to change for Rugger instead of going to his study like she told me to. I thought perhaps he would never hear about it, and everything would be all right. But I had just got changed and was about to run out to the football pitch, when suddenly I was picked up from behind and swept high into the air into someone’s arms. I couldn’t even struggle, and when I managed to look around I found it was Mr Tolson! It looked like he was laughing but trying hard not to. So after a bit he put me down and I felt really silly, especially because everyone was looking at me and must have been wondering what was going on. And I was still worried he was going to take me straight up to his study and cane me. But instead he just told me that I did something really bad, and I had better be on my best behavior for the rest of the term. Then he said I had to tell Mummy what I did when I got home.

I think telling Mummy was the worst part, because I knew she would be really upset. But I knew she wouldn’t spank me because she has never spanked me, though sometimes she’s threatened to. She told me I was very bad as well, but she didn’t sound very angry, just disappointed. I know I won’t do anything like that again, because the worst thing was feeling like I had let her down.

Please write again soon,

Love, Johnnie-Boy

P.S. I am still playing at centre threequarter at Rugger, and I scored three tries last Saturday.




  1. Well Guinea . Good to know that you are alive and well and looking much like my chum from the early 50s.I’m enjoying your memories of my favourite school although I don’t remember the latest incident. What was written on the scrunched up piece of paper I wonder ?

    I remember Ravenswood very well. I was introduced to table tennis, dampers, a board game involving Parfum de Paris and trying to trap Spike in sofa cushions. He always came bursting out !

    Keep your letters coming and let’s keep in touch . Traps

    1. Wow, Traps! There you are! Guinea here! Ain’t social media wonderful… I’ve looked for you a few times but got stuck on too many “Michael Trapnell”s – I could have tried them all, I s’pose…

      It’s lovely to know you’re reading my blogs – I will indeed continue with “Letters to Myself” until my younger and older self “meet in the middle” at about the age of 36 – a time of great crisis in my life… but I’ve got diverted to shamelessly promoting my memoir just published…

      I love your memories… I remember so many wonderful times with you and your family – your dad was almost a father figure to me… I remember endless games of French cricket (you were always the winner) and monopoly (ditto) and of course your fantastic stamp collection (do you still collect stamps?), and we had such fun holidays in Westward Ho!

      It’s easier to write emails now I have yours, so I will email you right away… But where are you? I’m retired in Nova Scotia, but will be in Britain from July 29 till Aug 11… more details please!

      ttfn, Guinea

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