Monday, 23 July 2007

The importance of big knickers



This is my big sister’s favourite story about me. It’s one she loves to tell but I am not so sure.


Sunday afternoons saw us both packed off to Sunday school. I now realise my parents’ religious fervour had little to do with our spiritual well being, and more to do with, ‘a little lie down’, on Sunday afternoons.


However, after lunch, the woman who ran our local G.F.S group, (Girls Friendly Society - an organisation deserving a whole blog to itself) would pick us up in her little green van. Off we’d go to endure an afternoon of stultifying boredom. In the little ones’ group I’d cut out pictures and copy an uplifting text. ‘Suffer the Little Children …. was one of the most appropriate.


I was a free range child and being indoors when I could be out playing on a sunny afternoon was torture to me. My 8th year was a year of rebellion. One inviting Sunday afternoon, lunch finished, we were sent to wait in the lane for our lift. I rushed out in front of my sister and shot up the big old yew tree that grew close to our garden boundary. There I hid among the dense branches.


My pious sister called and called but I couldn’t be found and off she went on her own.


I waited until the coast was clear and started the descent.. Topping forty five feet, the yew tree was mammoth and I’d scrambled right to the top. Getting down wasn’t easy. Yew trees are dusty and bits got in my hair and eyes. Irregular twigs stuck up from the massive branches and I got caught up.


Scared, grubby and stuck fast on a branch about twelve feet from the ground, I waited for my sister’s return. Seeing her just about to enter the gate I called out. She appeared beneath me, more than usually pious and disapproving. I tried to explain I was stuck and caught up. She tutted and said,


“Oh just jump. You’ll be O.K. The grounds soft”.


I was doubtful but jumped. My knicker leg was hooked firmly over a sticking up twig and, after falling forward, I was left dangling. Far from helping me, my rotten sister collapsed with laughter as I was slowly lowered by my tearing underwear. It says something for the quality of the fabric and quantity of the material that it was some time before, with a sudden rip, the navy interlock gave way and I was dropped unhurt onto the ground.


Pious sister was hysterical, she’s still laughing about it fifty years later. I guess if she had a computer this is the first blog she’d write. She never let on to our parents though. As I’ve reminded her on more than one occasion since, some things are better not disclosed.


13 comments:

Faith said...

Oh thats brilliant! I only had time to read one blog so chose yours and what a goodie! Do tell me the knickers were navy? Maybe I ought to dredge up some childhood tales for a blog. Really enjoyed this.

ChrisH said...

I've just caught up with your last couple of blogs and thoroughly enjoyed them. It brought back memories of our school knickers which were enormous, thick bottle green jobs which we grimly referred to as 'rape-proof'. Since we had to do gym in our knickers there was no point in trying to get away with 'scanties' as one of two of those who tried to subvert the system found out to their cost!

Elizabethd said...

We wore big brown knickers, as our school uniform was a very boring brown!
Except in Summer when we wore pink 'button through' dresses, designed to flatter no one.
Priceless story!

Milkmaid said...

Thankfully we didn't have skool knickers, but i do remember wearing mens boxers with frogs on underneath my hockey skirt, as it got a bit parky in the nether regions. great blog I can just imagine you slowly descending from that tree

Blossomcottage said...

We had brown knickers with a pocket in them, my Nana used to say keep the top of your legs warm and the bottom of your back and you will be fine, I think what she was saying was keep the Brown Knickers on and of course she was right!
Blossom

The Country Craft Angel said...

That was so brilliant!! And such a lovely picture!!

My Nan always made me wear those great big navy/bottle green knickers! There wasn't a bit of lace or feminity in sight until I was 16 and bought my own!!

warm wishes
xx

CAMILLA said...

Lovely blog, I had to wear horrid thick navy-blue knicks,for school, absolutely loathed them. I love reading your nostalgic tales, more please!!

Camilla.x

Suffolkmum said...

Great tale, brought back memories of my 'navy knickers' that I had to wear for gym at school!

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

Ah so that is why one should wear big knickers I did wonder....

Fennie said...

What a lovely story. And kind of your sister not to have let on. You illustrate wonderfully what ought to be known as Tigger's dilemma - that it is a sight easier to go up trees than to come down them, with or without knickers catching on the branches.

lampworkbeader said...

She didn't let on at the time but she's been going on about it ever since. Quite recently I went to stay with her and a couple of her old cronies greeted me with, 'So you're the wee girl who climbs trees'. Grr!

annakarenin said...

"Called me conkers" had me in stitches. Oh what a young rebel you were. I too hated being dragged off to Sunday school on glorious sunny afternoons, wouldn't be a problem anymore, at least it would be somewhere to keep dry.

Pondside said...

I don't know how I missed this one! It's a great story - loved the knickers! We had dark blue interlock undies but we called them bloomers - I hated them!