Playing with fire

The first ‘real’ corporal punishment that I ever received – and the first time that I had to wear nappies since I was a baby – was in my second year of infants school. It must have been during the autumn term, because I remember that there were piles of leaves in the corners of the playground, so I would be a few months past my seventh birthday.

In those days, we all had to wear school uniform and ours consisted of a brown blazer, a brown V-neck jumper, white shirt, white vest, white underpants, grey shorts (with button flies), grey socks and black shoes. The pants that I had wear were not the Y-front type (which were only just coming into fashion then) but more like shorts. They were fairly thick, made of fine woven cotton but loose at the legs, stopping them being quite as warm as they might have been.

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