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Chapter 9 “Sandpits and Building Blocks”

My first memory of childhood was of being bullied in the schoolyard. A stocky little roughnut called Peter Maskell pushed me over in the sandpit. I bolted for the gate. With faeces streaming down my legs and tears welling from my eyes I rushed home to the comfort of my mother and a hot bath.

I was only four years old. The headmaster at local primary school had asked my mother if I could start school early to bolster the numbers and keep the infant teacher. Peter Maskell was in Grade 1 and looked intimidating to me with my spindly legs and slight frame. Despite having a younger brother, I had never really been roughed up or roughed anyone else up.
As I got older you might have thought I’d learn to give a bit of my own back in the sandpit wars, to start to assert my superiority over a few of the schoolyard bullies. But it was not to be. I wasn’t made that way. I hated contact sports and getting into rough and tumbles with other boys. I was much more interested in spending time the girls, and was often passing notes between this one and that depending on who was my girlfriend of the moment.

Extracts from 'Positive' copyright David Menadue 2003, Australia.

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