Tuesday 23 September 1986

…This afternoon we had Mrs Gibson.
I got told off for saying that the thing we were doing was boring.
Watched the James Bond film O.H.M.S.S…

The “thing” we were doing was so inconsequential that I failed to record what it actually was. Mrs Gibson was a supply teacher, and I’m afraid I succumbed to the eternal, universal temptation of treating her like an interloper and an idiot. In other words, I talked back.

But it was my turn to be made to feel ridiculous later in the day during our weekly swimming lesson at the town leisure centre, when we had to go into the pool wearing pyjamas. This “very strange experience” – as I described it – was fun for about five seconds, then irritating for another five, then humiliating for a further five minutes. Why had my mum given me an old pair of pyjamas that were two sizes too small? Didn’t she realise they’d end up even smaller once wet?

Even later, though, came the thing I had been looking forward to ever since my letter from Veronyca Bates of the Central Television press office. Inevitably I was only allowed to see about an hour of it. Even more maddening, though, was the fact my mum and dad, despite not even being James Bond fans, made a point of carrying on watching it after I’d been sent to bed.

How did I know this? I crept to the top of the stairs and listened.

Weirdly, the film sounded far more exciting and persuasive at one remove than when I was watching it up close. Years later I realised this might have had something to do with the majority of George Lazenby’s lines being dubbed by someone else.

This never happened to the other fella - thank goodness

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