Friday, 25 May 2012



          During my early days at Blackdown I had many problems with bed wetting and wetting my knickers.  Miss Lane, who was the housemistress, kept a weather eye out for me. Miss Lane was an albino.  She had snow white hair, beautifully waved, and clear blue eyes, with just a hint of red rims.  She had a natural love and understanding of children.  Often she would come up to me and lead me away, take me upstairs, remove my knickers, wash me and dry me, and put a clean pair of knickers on me.  All this was done without any fuss and bother.  There was no judgment, only kindness, and gradually these symptoms of my anxiety disappeared.

           I first encountered Dulcie when we were both in the sick room together with a mild case of chickenpox.   She was three years older than me and much bigger than I was.  I felt intimidated by her.  One day she suddenly jumped on top of me in bed, pulled down her pyjamas, and said:  “Lick my pussy."   I struggled and screamed, but there was nothing I could do.  Miss Lane, who slept next door, was not there.  Reluctantly, I did what she asked.

            After that she left me alone, and the incident was forgotten.  We found a common interest in comics, and soon we were immersed in Beano and Tiger Tim.  By the time we came out of the sick room we were firm friends:  she had just as suddenly taken a liking to me.

             From then on we became inseparable.  We did everything together:  we played together, we were naughty together:  she was the one who always led me on.  We both loved animals, particularly cats.  Dulcie was not bright and though older than me, we were in the same class.   She had a sweet nature.  She liked poetry and wrote little verses.  She had common sense, too, which I did not, and she remained a loyal friend throughout my life.

            Dulcie and her sister Maureen came from New Zealand.  Their father had owned  a tobacco plantation in Malaysia and their mother had been a native Malaysian woman.   Their father, on his return to New Zealand, had married a white woman  and had sent his two daughters to England to become educated and civilised.  Mrs Hastings told my mother that they had both been like little savages when they first came to England.

            Both Dulcie and her sister had round, freckled faces.  Maureen had black hair and brown eyes, but Dulcie’s hair was auburn and she had green eyes with flecks of gold in them.  Maureen was eighteen months older than Dulcie, so already a teenager.

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