I feel very lucky that my dear (late) Mum kept lots of my early school “stuff.” She finally handed them over to me when I was about 21 I think. She was about to remarry, and said, “Here, you better have these things now.” And just as lucky, I have not lost them despite many house moves, and a flood in Bundaberg in 2013 that went over my floorboards. I had a large plastic bag of all my childhood stories and drawings – in a low shelf. Glad I moved it to a high cupboard prior to leaving my unit on “flood day.”

So here are but two pages from a little illustrated diary that we had to keep at Parkgate Infants School, Neston, England. I was six and a half. And I can remember many of the things I did then, from this booklet. But perhaps most of the lion story  was just in my head. A circus in town every year, yes. And maybe I saw a lion in a cage, poor thing. But the lion tamer bit is courtesy of my  child mind. It was what I wanted to see, as a child. So, it did happen. I love the spelling of “lions” (liyins) – which my then teacher thought should read “Indians,”as her correction in biro indicates. I remember being naughty and walking along the railway line too, at some stage. It was a different time, when kids were kids, and walking up into the fields alone, and to the abandoned Parkgate railway station at age six, was not entirely unusual.

I don’t really know  the six-year-old who wrote these mini-stories and drew these pictures. Even though it is me. Was me. I am now 64. Like looking in a mirror and recognising oneself. But at the same time, not.



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