I was in Standard 9 in August 1974, 15 years old and spotty. I didn’t have the easiest of teen years. For a start, I was a big girl — unfortunately shaped with a colossal shelf that collected falling bits of breakfast or lunch. My bosom was frequently covered with a layer of crumbs — sometimes bread, but mostly brown crumbs from secretly eaten Romany Creams, purloined from my mother’s treats cupboard.

So, my foolish notion that I somehow had a fool-proof way to jippo the system was really rather silly. The chocolatey crumbs on my shelf were an instant give away and my lovely dad was constantly saving me from discovery with a side-mouth warning, “Top shelf!” having me feverishly dusting my protruding bust.

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