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How I hated P.E.!

Oh, the embarrassment of jumping “over” the horse…only to get stuck on it.

No one would listen to a wee lassie, “You’ll be fine”, “You’ll soon master it”.

They lied.

Cross country running? Dear God, it was a form of torture.

How can you possibly look good in a pair of brown shorts, a shapeless Aertex shirt and trainers?

Short answer: you can’t.

I needed heels, I still need heels; even today I do not own a pair of trainers.

I decided in second year there would be no more P.E.

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Why do you get all the feelings, dreams, hopes which can't ever be used?

Paul is well educated, well travelled and well spoken. Tall, smart and interesting to talk to. He loves the theatre, painting classes and opera.

On his 40th birthday Paul went to The State Opera House to see Madame Butterfly for the first time. He cried hoping that nobody was looking. Nobody was.

Was it the intuition's voice about his own future?

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Peter In Limbo

Peter was getting more and more agitated. He was desperate to speak. But, you couldn’t contradict a priest; especially not a parish priest! Peter lowered his head and took a few deep breaths.

“Here! Have you been listening to a single word I’ve been saying?” Father Kerr’s eyes seemed to bore straight through him.

Mr. O’Brien was surprised by the way the priest reacted.

"Me, Father?” Peter tried to keep the fear out of his voice. He grabbed hold of the desk seat with both hands, pressing down, trying to control his shaking.

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Picasso's Rebel

They entered the cafeteria where everyone was to meet and waved over to this one and that one. She didn’t really get too involved with the other parents and carers…as her own mum said, ‘parents with special needs children are all nutters’ – the implication being that she was included in this assessment of fact. She could see that they were looking at her girl with eyebrows raised, passing judgment on the green haired creature.

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Powder Girls

When I was a little girl I lived on the island of Mull with my family. Although most of the time my older sister Catherine and I were pretty good, sometimes we got up to mischief when our parents were out.

One day when we both had chicken pox, we decided to put talcum powder on, to help with the itch. Catherine, who was getting over it, got the talc from the shelf in the bathroom, and brought it through to the bedroom where I was still in bed. 

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‘As I stood on the precipice I felt the weight of my past pushing me closer to the edge.’

The day began as they usually do for me. I slept till mid-morning until my thoughts prodded me awake with the normal deluge of dark contemplation and brutal put downs. I was awake and wishing I could return to an unconscious state.

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I never wanted to be a prefect. I suppose I just didn’t like the idea of having something forced on me. I was being told what to do and I’ve never taken to having roles thrust on me, by anybody, at any time. At the end of the previous year I’d even rejected my prizes saying that I would not be part of the establishment’s rigged, ego-massaging, prize-giving ceremonies. Despite some attempted and extensive re-assurance to the contrary, my annual placing on the league table of such esteemed nonsensical elite seemed ridiculous to me.

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Primary school: Learning rebellion logically

Child, you can’t talk with your mouth full
You can’t seriously think maths is dull
Child, you can’t listen and talk
You can’t sing and walk 

Child, you can’t fidget in your chair
You can’t leave your coat there
Child, you can’t break a rule
You can’t be late for school 

Child, you can’t pick your nose here
Do you understand, is it clear?
Child, you can’t draw in handwriting class
You can’t go slow if you want to pass 

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Prisoner of suits

I was sitting down, my bruised knees peeking out shyly from a skirt a little too short. I was watching the purple kaleidoscope of pain forming on my skin. I was surrounded by smiling strangers, their faces grey and sorrow. The mindless silhouettes – females wearing long skirts and blazers, mainly brown, grey or black.

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