Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Lie-in, the Ditch and the Wardrobe.........

Or...............the day I went missing..............

This story has almost nothing to do with Narnia, other than the fact that, as I was an avid reader as a child, and sometimes my imagination would get the better of me. (Nothing new there, then!)

It was the wonderful Summer of 1966 and England had just won the World Cup............

It was the six week long Summer Holidays from school.

My brother was almost 16, I was 10, and my sister, ("ickle ditder") was 5.

My brother, Les was an apprentice butcher but he had Tuesdays off.

Mumsie was at work, so we had a young woman called Georgina who came round to look after us.

I shared a room with Ickle Ditder, Mandy. She would drive me mad! I have always loved my bed - Mum never had a problem getting me to go to bed at night.

Not only was I keen to get into my bed - I was just as keen to stay in it too!

One day, I promised Mandy that if she went down quietly for breakfast, allowing me to have a lie-in, I would play hide and seek with her later.

When I eventually got up, Mandy, Les and Georgina were all out in the garden.

I crept down to where they were, hoping Mandy didn't see me. I wanted to go in and finish reading my book "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe." Whenever I wasn't sleeping I was usually reading - Mumsie used to call me "Bookworm Belinda."

Georgina, Les and Mandy were all digging a ditch. Some of the other local kids were there too.

Three years earlier we had had the Cuban Missile Crisis, and there had been a genuine threat that we could have been involved in a nuclear war.

People were still worried that it may still happen. There were nuclear shelters featured everywhere - on TV, magazines and newspapers.

My parents have a huge garden, and we convinced them they we ought to dig a shelter. They were humouring us, of course, but at least it would keep us out of mischief!

We'd torn pictures and plans from newspapers, and so it was, that we began to dig our shelter.

Daddio showed us where we could build it and suggested that we should begin by digging ditches where we would eventually put the walls of the shelter. He knew that we would soon get fed up with this project.

The area just happened to coincide with the bit of the garden that he needed digging for growing potatoes. (Ooooh Daddio - you're naughty!)

Nobody spotted me behind the gooseberry bush, so I decided to leave them to it - much too much like hard work!!

I went into the living room where it was nice and cool and picked up my book.

Half an hour later, Ickle Ditder came in to find me.

"Come on then, play hide and seek with me." she pleaded.

I closed my eyes, Mandy hid behind the sofa.

I strung the game out a bit - she always hid in the same place.

(Except when she was three and sat herself in an enormous open drawer with her eyes closed, convinced that made her invisible!)

"You hide now" she told me.

I set off upstairs, "Where shall I hide?" I wondered.

Taking the idea from my book - I decided to hide in the wardrobe in Mum and Dad's bedroom.

They had an old utility wardrobe - the sort that closes with a key.

I studied it for a minute and realised that if I half turned the key, I could get inside the wardrobe, and then carefully pull the door closed and push the lock the rest of the way with my finger. This closed the door.

Never one to miss the chance of a good read, I had also taken my book and a torch in with me.

"She'll never find me in here," I thought.

This was a sort of 'spare' wardrobe, there was plenty of room for me as all that was in there was

Mumsie's fur coat. (100% Genuine Nylon)

Her one and only ball gown (This was altered slightly each Christmas, to make it look like a new one!)

And last but not least my ballroom dance dress. (I took Old Time Dance lessons in those days, eventually perfecting the art of curtseying in the Military Two Step without catching the heel of me shoe in me frilly knickers!)

Not only did she not find me, when she got fed up of looking, she went out into the garden and forgot all about me.

I was ok for about 20 minutes, then the battery went in the torch. Then I panicked, then I cried. Then I panicked again!

In the meantime, one of the lads noticed I was missing. With the precision of a Major General, Les organised the Search Party.

Dennis, Sue H, and two Kevins went to look for me on the nearby playing field. (I'm not sure where my BBF Carol was, I think she had the mumps!)

Georgina and Les went in to look in the house.

I was quite hysterical by the time they let me out of the wardrobe.

Still, at least I'd finished my book in peace, but it's no wonder that I get claustrophobia!

The Nuclear Shelter? We never did finish it....................................

.............................But we did have a lovely crop of potatoes!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

As always a wonderful story :-)
Hope you are well?

Rose X

Kelly said...

your stories make me giggle!

ted and bunny said...

I just love the nylon fur coat!

Taz said...

My Mum lost my brother when he was little, the dog eventually tracked him down to the toy box where he'd fallen asleep. :)

Hey you could always have used the wardrobe as the nuclear shelter if the need had arosen.