I’m not mad about birthdays. Not since my 13th, when the movie projector jammed, forcing the party to find amusement elsewhere. To cut a long story short, that’s when the dairy’s window got cracked — leaving me in a fretful state for days after being told detectives had taken fingerprints and the outcome would be worse than six of the best or being gated for life.

Anyway, I "celebrated" my 55th last week, and got an alarming perspective when being wished well on Facebook by my standard 3 teacher, Mrs Hartley. It dawned on me: I sat in that class 45 years ago. But I can remember it like yesterday. Fighting with Shaun Turner over desk space, the dreaded garlic polony sarmies, and the indignity of being dropped to the 11B cricket team...

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