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Good Old Days



I'm at inner peace with my condition! By that I mean I have total acceptance of the way I am. I never went through denial, in fact I was more relieved to discover that the symptoms I'd been having were, in fact, not in my head but had a fancy name to boot, even Greek by origin!


That was 8 years ago when I thought I was going out of my mind! The word Hypochondria raised its ugly head on more occasions than I'd like to admit. Even my own family thought I was looking for attention or sympathy and that hurt the most.


Moving on -- I hate to dwell on the past. I have my humour to be grateful for and see the lighter side of life wherever possible. I've never been a serious person, and believe me it's got me into trouble over the years! Yes, I've always been the clown, so I guess my family was right in one way -- I did warrant attention.


I can't be serious, and as I said before, it has got me into trouble in the past. My husband's friend, a work colleague, once told me that he tested lightning conductors for a living. This started up visions of a guy 30ft up a pole, embracing it for dear life in the middle of an electrical storm, hair stuck up on end, charred clothing, blackened face and shouting, "This one's okay mate." I even remarked that he probably didn't do much overtime or work on sunny days. I could imagine the phone ringing -- "There's a storm on the way, get out there." Of course he didn't find it remotely funny and went on to explain the correct procedure for testing lightning conductors. Some hours later I was wondering why I had the will to live, he was such a bore.


I remember one occasion in the seventies when I almost got sacked from my place of employment -- this was just one occasion, there were many more!

We had a boss, the type you put your head odwn without raising it until he'd passed by. He was the original stereotype boss who made you quake in your boots with mere mention of his name.


It was late Autumn and a lean period. Work was very scarce and there were 12 girls all seated in a room waiting for work to do. We were'nt allowed to talk and had to behave impeccably. We had a drinks dispenser in which you got the most awful coffee in a plastic cup -- we drank plenty of them of course, and the waste bins were always full of used cups. We were a finishing department, all of us bookbinders, and ait was a pandora's box of scrap paper, clips, string, in fact all the things a good school cupboard would long for.


I scribbled on a piece of paper -- doodling. Everyone else just whispered conversation, and the only place you could talk freely was upstairs in the ladies toilets, but if you got caught, there was the wrath of David (David was our boss).

We used to disappear for a short while but dared only to spend 10 minutes at the risk of being caught. I pondered for a while and then began to put together a plan that could enable us to spend as much time in the toilets, chatting and then be alerted without his knowledge the minute he entered the department.


I learned at Brownies when I was 7 how to make telephones from paper cups and string. I put my plan in action and made a set of phones -- this was before cell phones and in the 70s. They worked a treat -- pull twice on the string and answer, "David's coming." Out the girls woud come just in time for his entrance. He must have been pretty impressed by his very well behaved bunch of girls because he even said. "I've never seen you so quiet and disciplined." It wasn't long however before we got caught. He crept in one day and caught me on the plastic phone. He grabbed the cup and hollered down the line. "You lot out of there!" he fumed.


The girls came out of the toilets head down, trying not to snigger, but everyone else thought it so funny that the place erupted just like David's face and he marched out and then returned with written warnings for us all. I wonder how he would cope today with cell phone technology. I think on the whole he quite liked us and I'm sure that some of the antics we got up to made him smile behind closed doors, if not, then he must have been the very sad person we all thought he was.


I miss those days and we still laugh about them whenever we meet. We've all taken different paths in life but the very best days were back then and nothing has ever come close.


I have hundreds of stories like that and I'd like to share them with you -- if you'll allow me.


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