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Torfaen Tales


There’s this boy at school who’s a bit of a bully. His name’s Morgan Pipe, which is a bit of a funny name and I expect people take the mickey, but that’s no reason for him to be mean to me. He took my daps out of my bag, tied the laces together and flung them up into a tree so high that I couldn’t get them down. I tried climbing the tree, but the branches were too thin and bendy at the top. Then I tried poking them with a broom handle, but I nearly fell out of the tree and I still couldn’t reach my daps.

Miss Jones wasn’t very impressed when I had to do gym class in my ordinary shoes, and Mum went mad when I went home minus my daps. It was Morgan Pipe she should have been going mad at, not me. But the slightest thing seems to set Mum off these days. Our Megan says we can expect another little brother or sister before too much longer, that’s why Mum has got so big in the belly. That will make four of us. Megan says she can’t wait till she’s old enough to have babies, she wants at least a dozen. Frankly I don’t see the attraction. All they do is cry and mess their nappies, and sick up all over their clothes. And yours. Yuk!

So that accounts for Mum being a bit short-tempered. I too would be less than happy if I had to carry a baby around in my belly. Dad says we must all be helpful to our mother and not cause her any trouble, but it wasn’t my fault that Morgan Pipe threw my daps up in the tree. And now I have to run errands to earn money to buy another pair of daps. What will I do if Morgan Pipe throws them up in the tree as well? I could be working all the hours God sends to earn money for daps, and the tree will look very odd with them all hanging up there.

Anyway it wasn’t really the daps I wanted to tell you about. With Mum being so tired Megan has been doing the washing, but she’s not as organised as Mum, and last week I ran out of clean knickers. Megan got a bit cross and said if I was that bothered I should have swilled through a couple of pairs by hand. Then I had one of my clever ideas. I have a pair of summer pyjamas. They’re made from white broderie anglaise, with a red ribbon trim. Ever so nice. The pants are like big, frilly knickers. So with nothing else to wear, I popped those on under my skirt. I didn’t give them another thought until we were playing hopscotch at dinner time. I bent over to mark the outline with chalk, and Morgan Pipe started laughing.

“Lowri Roberts, what is that you are wearing under your skirt?”

I blushed and clutched my skirt around my legs. But it was too late, he’d seen my frilly white pyjama pants.

Determined not to let him rattle me, I ignored his taunts. Having laughed to his heart’s content, Morgan Pipe eventually departed to pick on some other poor soul.

However that was not the end of it. When we went back into the classroom for the afternoon’s lessons, a chorus of laughter went up. For there, written on the blackboard for all to see:

“Lowri Roberts is wearing bloomers.”

Mr Herbert tutted and buffed the words away with a cloth, but the damage was done. And now Morgan Pipe is even more unbearable than before, calling me Bloomers, and begging every morning for a peek under my skirt to see what I’m wearing. I’ve tried to make light of it and turn the joke round on him, telling him he’s only jealous ‘cos he wants a nice pair of bloomers like mine. But it doesn’t seem to be working, and now everyone is going out of their way to tease me about my knickers. Yesterday in class Mrs Watkins suggested we plant some seeds in the school garden so that we could watch the flowers grow, and Colin Griffiths piped up that we should make sure to grow plants that would be good bloomers. Everyone fell about laughing, and I had to bite my lip to keep from crying. Mrs Watkins of course didn’t get the joke, and had to shout for silence.

Needless to say, since that day I’ve been washing out my own underwear to avoid further embarrassment. Megan says they’re sure to forget about it one of these days, but I’m not convinced.

By Karenne Griffin

Forthcoming Events

Generation Games Exhibition

27/04/2018 - 28/10/2018
This exhibition is a history of home computer games consoles throughout the ages

Amanda Denison Jewellery Showcase

04/08/2018 - 22/09/2018
Amanda Denison is inspired and intrigued by the traces left behind through decay and dilapidation and by the marks stamped on the urban environment. She is drawn to repeated elements that distort and change; her fascination with pattern and surface textures translates into her jewellery.

Leto & Ariadne Craft showcase

04/08/2018 - 22/09/2018
Craft showcaseLeto & Ariadne is the studio label of Nick Ozanne, a handweaver working on hand operated wooden looms. All parts of the process are carried out by hand in the studio, from the initial design and preparation of the warp, through to the final washing and hand finishing of the fabrics.

Portal and One Year On Art Exhibition

04/08/2018 - 22/09/2018
Portal and One Year OnFeaturing the work of this year's top UK graduates in the applied arts
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