Sunday, September 29, 2019

Blue knickerbockers and the seven dwarfs

Small boys often have a problem learning to control the bladder.  I was no exception and at school was frequently asking to leave the classroom.  Despite teachers and others  knowing this I was often put in a situation which made it impossible.

The earliest I recall was being one of the seven dwarfs in the school pantomime.  Make up your own mind as to which one I was.  Being no more than  toddlers, we had very little part to play but were under strict instructions not to move about or to leave the stage.  By the end of the performance where I stood on the stage of the St. George in the East Town Hall was a very large puddle.

The Catholic Church of St. Patrick had an annual May procession.  Quite a long one, three bands and  all the school children, girls in their white communion dresses and the boys in best clothes.  The May Queen had several attendants including two page boys in blue velvet suits, white stockings and buckled shoes.  No doubt based on Little Lord Fauntleroy.  For some inexplicable reason one year I was chosen to be a page boy.

 The procession took some time  to go around the parish, stopping frequently at the kerbside grottoes put up by the parishioners.  By the time we got back to the church my white stockings were as blue as the knickerbockers.

Even when a little older being an altar boy still presented problems particularly during longer services so the strain of holding myself became too much.  Even after passing out in the side benches on the altar I was still included until on one occasion there was quite an spectacular fall while the Bishop was preaching, so I was not an altar boy again.

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