Green light for a red bottom

The year was 1975, and I was six years old. I had been disruptive in class for most of the morning and Mrs Taylor, my teacher, had clearly had enough. She looked at me sternly and said: “Nicholas, you will be kept in at break time, since you are clearly unable to pay attention to my lesson.”

I don’t know what came into me, but I was more angry than chastened, and in my innocence I flicked a ‘V-sign’ at my teacher. I had seen some older boys making the gesture (though not in the classroom, I should add!) and I had absolutely no idea what it really signified, although I knew it was a ‘bit rude’.

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