Monday 8 September 1986

…This afternoon we did music with Mrs Wade which is
always boring because I know about everything she says…

I’m afraid I was starting to get a bit cocky when it came to anything to do with music.

Mrs Wade was the person who played the piano in our school assemblies. She looked phenomenally old, but I believe she’s still alive, so she must only have looked ancient to my 10-and-a-half-year-old eyes.

She was, however, extremely hesistant at matters musical. This was no youthful perception. I knew and believed this to be a fact. Dammit, I could hear her making mistakes when playing something as simple as Happy Birthday To You.

Believing myself to be a better than her (which I was), I launched a brazenly unsubtle campaign to literally unseat her from her 400-year occupation of the school piano stool and install me in her place. My tactics? Drop a few arch words in the ear of my new teacher, who himself was looking for an opportunity to establish a reputation in the staff room as a mover and shaker.

This cruel if simple strategy was to have remarkably swift results…

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