I was sent away. I was scared. I was eight years old.
‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ is a sometimes sad, sometimes horrific and sometimes humorous account of my first year at boarding school beginning in September 1971.
In the days before the abolishment of corporal punishment, this expensive school found many opportunities to wield slippers, canes, plimsolls or just hard flat hands for the slightest of reasons. By today’s standards it would be called barbaric. Did we suffer? – Yes we did. Did we behave? – Mostly. Did we learn? – You bet we did!
This was a strict regime where if you didn’t have friends, your life was a living hell; where telling tales would get your lights punched out; where talking after lights out resulted in six of the best on your bare behind with a hard-soled slipper; where talking back to teachers meant you couldn’t sit down for hours. This was my home.
The food was bad. Bullying was rife. Beatings were the norm.
Welcome to boarding school!
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