As part of National Novel Writing Month, (#NaNoWriMo) I've set myself the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel (1700 words a day), consisting of short stories about my memories of primary school. Just so that you know, all names of people have been changed unless they are publically known. Each story is based on my own memory, so may not be an exact representation of events, especially since I am writing this over 40 years after things happened! But I hope you will enjoy each story all the same, and that perhaps it will spark your own memories of life at primary school.
The second of my 'BMX' biking injuries, even though I didn't have one of the actual BMX bikes, was very silly indeed. I knew that it was a silly idea, even at the time I attempted it, but unfortunately for me, I'm the kind of person that once I have an idea in my head, I get excited about it, and have to follow it through, even though I know it will probably end in tears. Sometimes you just have to live a little, knowing that you will learn from the consequences!
Mum always told me it was because I was born in November, and that meant I was born under the star sign of Scorpio and Scorpio people are famous for being strong willed and stubborn, even when they are wrong.
Our house on Trickett's Cross was what they call a 'semi-detached' house. That means the neighbours on one side of our house shared a wall with us, but the other side of the house (the neighbour's house) was not attached to ours.
The unattached side was perfect for me to play by on the days when I wasn't allowed to venture too far from home because it was almost tea time, getting dark, or we were going out, or the parents just needed to know where I was, which was thankfully not often. But it made for perfect ball throwing and catching practice on our wall (which drove mum and dad mad with the sound of the ball at each bounce), and for my aspirations of being the next Wimbledon champion (even though I had never played tennis).
But further behind the house, was a wall that dad had built around our back garden (which I took great pleasure in helping him with), and on the other side of the narrow alleyway between the gardens was the neighbour's wooden fence.
As a personal challenge, I had a flash of inspiration to see if I might be able to cycle the short distance between the wall and the fence, no hands on the handlebar of the bike, and over the uneven ground and step right before the start of the alleyway. I knew it was impossible, but couldn't resist the sense of success should I make it through alive.
It was no surprise to me that I failed at the first hurdle - the drop from the wobbly step before the alleyway proper, and I soon found my bare arm and knee on my right side, making contact with the gritty and very solid brick wall that dad and I had built.
In the process I had scraped off my skin to a now red and weeping mess along the length of my arm and my leg from knee to ankle. Not a great start to a summer of painful exposure to seawater and sun, at least until the skin scabbed over, and lent itself to hours of picking fun!
Those big raw grazes stung like crazy that night, but thankfully looked more impressive days later when the dark brown scab had formed, and the story of how it happened had grown into something a lot more fanciful and epic crash like. A grand tale of how I managed to live through what could have potentially killed me as my BMX bike sped into the side of a large brick wall!