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EARLY LEARNING EXPERIENCE

 

 

 

          It’s funny how life sometimes takes us in a full circle. When I was eight I had a harrowing experience involving a handbag, a river, a railway bridge and a forbidden gate which recently revisited me in my adult life.  All those years ago, it started off as an ordinary enough day. Ignorant of the distress that awaited me I woke with the sunlight streaming through my window, twirling lazy dust motes over my bed. I yawned, stretched and stumbled from my lair, fumbling for my spider man dressing gown and yelping as I stepped on Optimus Prime, who only the night before had been involved in a terrifying battle to the death against a coalition of the care bears led by Bobba Fett.  My immediate destination was the spare room to see if my cousins (who were gloriously staying with us) were awake. Sure enough, when I got there my eldest cousin Michael was also awake, blinking in the morning light with the slightly stunned expression of someone who has just woken in an unfamiliar bed and is taking a few seconds to readjust. Incidentally, this is a sensation I have become very familiar with in my adult life, usually quickly followed by embarrassed apologies and hasty retreats.  Michael was nine years old at the time and I worshipped the ground he walked upon. If Michael had told me to go back to bed (which considering it was only five thirty in the morning, would not have been wholly unreasonable) I would have dutifully done so. Michael did no such thing however. He magnanimously arose from his bed and suggested we go downstairs and make ourselves breakfast. I could not have been happier to oblige.  Downstairs we therefore trotted, our simple mission to fill our stomachs with sugared corn flakes and contemplate new and ingenious ways to spend the never ending summer holidays. We were mindful not to wake both sets of our parents, not through any altruistic desire to allow them some well deserved rest, but rather to avoid the inevitable scolding and irrebuttable order of “GO BACK TO BED!”

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