If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday 3 November 2013

Aye, Laddie!

I can't remember ever learning to read.  It was just one of those things that came to you, like walking or eating.  I think I was fairly surreptitious about it too, as I surprised my mother with my facility for textual decoding (can you tell I used to be a teacher?) one day when I was about three years old.

We were out for a walk somewhere (at a guess, Stanhope Park, in Darlington) and I needed a wee.  I told Mum and she said I'd have to wait.  But no, I said, there is a toilet here.  No, that's not for you, she said. You can't go in there.   But, but, I said, I can.  Look, the sign says "Laddies"!

OK, not perfect decoding of the double-consonant rule, but nearly there.  I made her laugh, and she got her revenge by telling friends of the story when I was in my mid-twenties.  And thirties.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I was browsing Facebook recently, and came across this advert in the sidebar.

Do they think I was born yesterday?  Those are gurls.  I know.  I'm nearly four.

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