“That’s my bike, I never stealed it.”
Mrs Berry gives Scoundrel one of her Hard Stares; always effective and now finely honed by her elevation to Deputy Head in one of the toughest areas of the borough. I like to think that at this stage she looked sternly over her spectacles, a move guaranteed to send fear into the most hardened of miscreants. I’ve seen her do this to great effect in many a staff meeting.
“I know you stole the bicycle. We now need to decide what to do about it.”
“No, I never. It’s mine. Ten years I’ve had that bike.” Scoundrel sniffs, defiantly.
Mrs Berry sighs. “For one thing, we’ve seen you stealing it on the CCTV. And for another, you can hardly have had it for ten years when you’re only eight years old.”
I think it was the CCTV that convinced Scoundrel that he was banged to rights, arithmetic not being his strong point. However, Mrs Berry tells us, he does do a useful line in apology letters: his epistle covering not only the fact of his sorrow but also advising the rightful owner of the bike that it should be chained up in future, and suggesting that he goes to the 99p shop to purchase said chain.
It’s something of an occupational hazard, as a teacher, to speculate on how your charges might turn out as adults. Generally, when you meet them again, it seems almost a miracle that they have grown into such lovely young people. By chance, our very competent cook at Thrush Woods was in my first ever class; it’s good to know that in one case, at least, I didn’t do too much damage that year.
I still maintain that my lessons on dribbling skills in Year One PE were a major factor in the success of the lad who is now a premiership footballer. Strange that he’s never acknowledged the fact.
Perhaps Mrs Berry will come across Scoundrel in future, having grown into a fine, upstanding pillar of the community, always grateful that she turned his wayward feet onto the paths of righteousness. Let’s hope so.
Every day, it seems, something pops into my in-box about promising trials and research into neuro diseases, PD included. There was some very heartening news about successes in an MS trial a couple of weeks ago: let’s hope this paves the way for something more widespread very, very soon.
Most of these research projects depend on funding from charities, which is why I urge you not only to sign up for GiveAsYouLive but – and this is the tricky bit – remember to use it when buying online. This week, a whopping £4.71 has gone to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust from John Lewis, 17p from Moonpig and 10p from Amazon with no effort from me whatsoever. Whatever cause is close to your heart, chances are GiveAsYouLive will donate to it. Just saying. The link is here.