Not sure precisely just how old I was but I am sat in a very noisy dining room at school. Obviously too noisy because Matron calls for silence and we know we are in for the next ten or more minutes of silent boredom when we want to be chatting to our mates. So I surreptitiously, unknown to everyone else so I think, gently touch Tony in the rib. ‘Roger, don’t be vulgar’ came the voice from out in front. Being the only Roger, it was a fair cop, although even then I did not think I was being vulgar. There were then several options open to her in charge. Hands on head, stand out in front, wait behind and miss what’s left of my playtime. I did not care; It was all part of the silly power charade game she played every day.
The interesting take on it all for me at that time was how on earth did she know what I was up to below table level. I was beginning to understand that sight or lack of that sight thing which seems to have dogged my life and stamped itself upon me and my personality and doings. I was realising I had very little of it and grown-ups had lots of it. Or, at least most grown-ups. There were two teachers, one who taught braille and another who taught music. I sought of knew that the music teacher could see nothing and needed guiding help to get around the complicated environment of the school, big house and grounds. The braille teacher may have had a bit of seeing and walked mostly alone but needed a companion sometimes. I had thought about sight matters on and off and seemed to have the idea that all would be sorted out as I grew up. But it was really the magic of being able to know what was going on across a room amongst a crowd of people and a multitude of happenings that exercised my wonder. How could Matron know about all of us at once? How and why could she pick on just one of us as earning her favour or her wrath? And she certainly had favourites: ‘Would any one like more toast, David’ I certainly remember her saying.