Tuesday 8 September 1987

…My lunch money got stolen today.
I don’t know how it happened, but it was in my pocket at break time and
wasn’t in my pocket when it was time for lunch.
I had to borrow some money off Edward.
It was lucky he had some change instead of a single one pound coin, otherwise
I would have been famished…

There might have been an innocent explanation for this, but it being only a few days into my first term at a new school, I instinctively thought the worst.

Rather than report it or take practical steps to stop it happening again, me being me I merely entertained fanciful ideas of how to give the thief an unpleasant surprise if he* tried a repeat assault. A mousetrap in my pocket? Stinging nettles? A small polythene bag containing cold baked beans?

Instead I ended up spending much of the following day with my right hand clasped around a one pound coin. Yes, that was all the lunch money I was given by my parents. And no, I always ended up with some left over.

*I assumed it could only have been a he. But I would soon discover that my secondary school had just as many girl troublemakers as boys, and that all my primary school gender-based assumptions were in ruins.

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