YOUR MOTHER DOESN’T like the school holidays. She has to run the shop as well as keep an eye on you. Your brother and sister are older and seem to be able to take care of themselves. Your brother vanishes for hours on end to play football with his friends, but you have no interest in sport, and he doesn’t want his little brother tagging along anyway. Your sister belongs to some alien world of older girls you have no place in. So it falls mainly to your mother to keep you occupied. She does her best to respond to your constant complaining about how bored you are.
Since you’ve graduated from comics to Enid Blyton novels, she gives you money to go to the newsagent’s and buy yet another in the Famous Five or Secret Seven series. It isn’t long before you exhaust their small range of titles, which you read over and over until you’re sick of them. You try watching daytime television, but the shows are for adults: shows like Bellbird or Divorce Court or movies that depict endless conflicts between adults – mainly, it seems, between wives and their husbands. You continually nag at your mother that you’re bored, although you give her no ideas what you might do. At least her helpless concern is some kind of emotional response, something to fill up the endless hours until the cartoons come on later in the afternoon.
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