Chailey Heritage School Old Scholars Association
OOPS The dormitory at St. Martins seemed a long one. I spent a lot of time lying in bed looking at the ceiling and wondering “what’s up there?” The wondering was a direct result of my reading too many adventure stories. “What’s round that corner?” “Where does this path go?” and “Where do those stairs go?” Oh dear! Curiosity was and still is my weakness, my “I just can’t resist...” When I saw that the green door was ajar...the door only a few paces away from the nurses’ room where we were combed for head lice...I had to open it, and found a short flight of steps. I couldn’t resist, I just couldn’t...it beckoned me...there could be treasure, or something hidden, or maybe a prisoner I could rescue...so I started climbing those beguiling stairs. Two steps up and a light switch was barely visible to my right and, daring adventuress that I was, I turned it on. Now I could see dimly, the light was so weak, but looking upwards I could see high wooden beams and the light was casting shadows that stretched upwards. Up I went, one step at a time, my hands helping to pull me up until I reached... a floor! Well here I exaggerate it was a series of rafters but there were a lot of boxes and odd lumpy shapes and cobwebs and truly I thought that I might find something of interest even though there didn’t appear to be any prisoners who needed rescuing. The spaces between the rafter/flooring were quite wide; it was going to be tricky sliding from rafter to rafter but we intrepid adventurers tend to think of obstacles as annoying rather than dangerous so I started out across the unknown landscape with happiness rather than fear. Of course the more successful I was the more careless I became but it was only one more rafter and I would reach the first treasure mound. I didn’t go carefully enough, my heavily callipered left leg slipped and hit the space between the rafters. I had cracked the ceiling. It’s a well-documented fact that calliper covered legs are heavier at night and whilst struggling to lift my leg a voice hit me like a hammer blow. “Patsy Ann, what do you think you are doing? Get back here this instant!” Easier said than done. With the magic of the adventure rapidly disappearing all I could think to say was “sorry I was exploring”. I made my way back towards the voice but I knew it was the NIT NURSE. It was an early night for me, I examined the ceiling as I lay in my bed surely there was the faintest shadow of a crack on the ceiling...and I had put it there. I never got a chance to explore again...the door was kept firmly locked from then on...
Annie’s Page
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