The vinceunlimited Autobiography Page

Stories from My Poynter View

Hello. You have arrived at the vinceunlimited Autobiography page, with true stories and anecdotes from a future publication about my life story called My Poynter View.

The vinceunlimited website is currently being remastered and this phase of the project has only just commenced. In time this page will be fully populated with all the vinceunlimited life story content.

Please note that autobiographies, by their nature, are factual narratives. The whole thing would be vacuous without naming names so I have not shied from this, however only forenames are used to prevent libellous thoughts from the protagonists. If you think that I have been disingenuous then email me to advise and I'll consider your thoughts. Just remember though that this is my website, my autobiography, my life. And that means my point of view.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.190 7 Sep 2018
First Published: Version 1.02 in Mar 2004



My Poynter View

From the autobiography of Vince Poynter

Herein lieth the autobiography of the late and dearly but not departed Vince of vinceunlimited fame.

Please noteth that the document in question is a work in progress and clearly incomplete. In fact hardly startedeth. This will eventually be finalised (or at least the first installment will be as no-one really wants their autobiography to be completed) and then publishedeth.

At this point there will be a printed version, a film, a mini-series, it will be subsequently translated into 43 languages and a rip-off sub-series will be commissioned starring an ex-popstar.

The whole document will only be completeth upon the final demise of said subject. Deatheth.

P.S. Note the term lieth at the beginning of this article. If you feel like suing over a matter of stated fact within the text below and on related pages I will reliath on thiseth.



Foreward

Photograph of Vince Poynter stood on a bridge over a river in Eton
Great Scott. Or rather Great Vince. One great man. On a great bridge. Being great. Great

Imagine the beginning. Nothing. Nothing but two men. Two great beings in body and mind. Two great forces, born leaders with unequalled ability, immense strength and pretty fine teeth.

Despite all this they had nothing. Nothing to challenge their intellects, nor stretch their considerable abilities. In short an unfulfilled void.

So one day, I believe it may have been a Tuesday, these two decided to set about creating an existance within a universe of their own.

During the course of the next eighteen months the two worked hard, creating galaxy after galaxy. Competing to build bigger and more magnificent structures and populating the place with every conceivable form of planetary type. Plus a few others that weren't quite to standard pattern.

After a while and with an awful lot of universe to show for it the two guys decided to form the most perfect star system. Then within that system the most beautiful planet. A planet so fantastic that it would embody every conceivable thought, all ideas.

This planet, that they named Earth, although relatively small in size was packed full of extremeties.

Cold polar caps and unbearably arid deserts bounded the plentiful plains and dramatic rock landscapes. The humid jungles and barren wastelands, the rivers cascading wonderously into the open seas. The light of day and cold dark of night even the swirling winds and torrid rains added to the grand spectacle.

A thousand life forms were added to provide noise, movement and energy. A thousand other variants of each were added to enhance the cacaphony of sound. Many with ultra bright colours to dazzle and inspire.

Tiny insects to enormous whales. Microscopic life forms, fur, hair and feather were included giving a range of abilities to move around the seas, land and air.

They even included a baboon with a bright red bum, although each denied that one.

Fire was included to burn waste and allow new life forms to develop. The seas lapped at the land edges constantly changing their shape and clouds kept a fairytale atmosphere around the globe.

The two had indeed created a utopian dream but still it lacked something.

So the two got together to create the ultimate user of the planet. Mankind.

This humanoid lifeform, although closely phisiologically related to many of the other lifeforms was given full biped status to rise over his contemporaries. An opposable thumb was added to help handle his environment and his brain was enlargened to cope with thought and understanding.

Every type was introduced. Colour variants, age differences, ugly and handsome. Charming sweet people and those that others would despise. Every type indeed.

Something was still amiss so they added another fundamental difference. A woman.

Then they thought that she might get a bit busy so they created more. One to match every man.

She two was thin and fat and had every hair colour. That's the description of each of them, not the collective.

Well after all this the two great beings sat back in their Parker-Knoll recliners and started to run and control the whole system.

The longer they watched the more fascinated they became. Their created mass developed a life force of it's own. Decisions were made and actions taken that they couldn't have predicted. It became fun and they wanted to join in and be a part of it all.

So one day, a Friday on this occassion, they agreed that as they were both stupendously powerful and clever that only one was needed to run the system.

They decided on a complex, harrowing, dangerous and difficult strategy to decide who was to go down onto Earth and have a whale of a time and who would stay and control it all. But on second thoughts they decided to pull straws.

Well, God lost so the other guy went down to Earth, to be born a man and live a life.

And my name is Vince.



My autobiography will be subdivided into chapters, provisionally entitled as shown below. You can see I was most inventive in their naming. I hope to complete them generally in sequence, that would suit my logical mindset.

The first links are already up and running, plus an appetite whetter but a flash of inspiration may inspire me to make another out of sequence one erupt first. Colours will indicate which are live and I'll advise those that have altered and which are yet to germinate.

If you want to hear about one section first then I suggest you give me a good badgering. And that doesn't involve the placement of dual-tone, nocturnal mammels in my rectal passage.



Autobiography Chapters

Oniscus Asellus - Me as a baby. Aaah.

Letting The Genealogy Out Of The Bottle - Past Tense

De-smarting - Schooldays

Teenager - Will be completed eventually

Start Working - Will be completed eventually but the first part of the formal version can be found here

Settling Down - Will be completed eventually

Getting Older - Will be completed eventually

Middle Age Onwards - Will be completed after it has happened.

Action Vince - General stories about doing exciting things


Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.108 27 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 1.02 in Mar 2004
The image depicts Vince Poynter stood on a bridge in Eton and was added in Version 5.052 5 Jan 2018



Oniscus Asellus

The Baby Years from the autobiography of Vince Poynter

Black and white photograph of Mark stood next to Vince Poynter in a pram
Mark thinking: Now what do I do with this funny shaped thing

When I first envisaged writing my autobiography I imagined enjoying recounting all the strange and amusing things that have happened to me during my life so far. However, moments in this chapter happened before my brain had actually developed.

So this first part, intriguingly entitled Oniscus Asellus, can only be a mish-mash of anecdote and fiction.

At least history has allowed me to set the scene. It was cold.

Allegedly, I was born around the witching hour on a Monday morning at the end of October 1961. I can't verify this as I wasn't wearing a watch at the time and my eyes were full of afterbirth so I couldn't read the bedroom clock.

For those that care about these things that makes my star-sign Scorpio and my birthstone Topaz, a rather mucky orange hue. The Chinese would say I was born in the year of the skunk, or something like that and certain religious sects would swear I used to be a toad. I've checked between my toes and I don't think they could be accurately described as webbed. I was certainly born Animalia, Chordata, Mamalia, Primates, Haplorhini, Simiiformes, Hominidae, Homo sapiens. Not newt.

The unreasonable o'clock in the morning home delivery meant that Mum could have a bit of a rest afterwards but I do not expect Dad had much rest himself. I had to be educated to 'A' level standard by breakfast after all. Just kidding. I doubt that it would have been even to 'O' level standard. Come to think of it I doubt it was to 'O' level standard when I passed my 'O' levels. But I might just be getting slightly ahead of myself here.

The location was in the South of England in a little known hamlet called Southampton, county of Hampshire within the United Kingdom, Europe, Northern Hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, Galaxy. Although you could leave out the last parts of that locale if you are terra-bound.

Southampton is a city with a long history and a struggling Premiership team, although when the town was first formed the sport was probably hog-back riding. Now it boasts a fine heritage of glistening shopping centres and poorly used docks. It rose to it's prominence by virtue of having two tides, a phenomenon caused by the adjacent Isle-of-Wight apparently, although I've never seen the island shifting about myself.

Southampton in the early sixties wasn't like the romanticised view of London during the period. For a start I wasn't born in Carnaby Street. It was a modest lane in the Maybush area. Hardly the best start in life.

A modern estate agent may try to describe the building as a retro-style apartment block featuring balconies with views across the city. In truth it was and is a pretty grim ground floor flat featuring a tiny balcony with a view across the street.

Yes, a balcony on the ground floor with a drop all of three inches! But it's still standing now and someone out there in the world of non-virtual actual reality may well be in that room today.

My parents were working class when the word was literal. My father had followed his own into the Post Office and I'm not talking about collecting a few stamps.

Grandad had started his career as a Post-boy at fourteen delivering telegrams by his company vehicle - the pushbike. My laziness at genealogy prevents me telling you what his father did although there was some sort of dock's policeman in the family once.

My father joined the Post Office and was a Telecommunications Engineer. My mother, at the time, was flat on her back. She was far too busy, along with most of the other good women of Britain re-stocking the nation after the war years had depleted the number.

I was the second born, having been beaten to the post by my older brother, Mark. He was two years old at the time giving him a head-start I shall never regain.

Until my sister was born, I would be the cute baby of the family. The blond hair helped, along with the dumbfounded expression shared with so many other babies. And owls.

Black and white photograph of Vince Poynter in a pram chewing on a strap
Lovely chewy strap but not my favourite food, apparently

Many people claim to recall things from their childhood. Not me. I can hardly remember anything from before puberty and am, quite frankly, a bit hazy about things further back than last Wednesday.

However, a story has been told so many times that I now feel I remember it clearly. Nothing exciting or comparable to what was going on at the time such as the commencement of space travel and the onward trips to the moon or Twiggy or the first skirts named after a car.

Personally, I was discovered, I am reliably informed, chewing on a woodlouse.

If it happened today my mum would be in front of social services before you could even say "Can I have ketchup with that Oniscus asellus please?"

So that's it. An entire childhood beginning summarised in a debatable woodlouse scoffing anecdote.

I guess if you want to know more you'll have to ask my parents to write their stories.

For me I'm moving on to the next stage of my saga but you will have to wait until I write it. Ho hum.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.062 29 Jan 2018
First Published: Version 1.03 in Feb 2005
The images depict Mark and Vince Poynter taken around 1961 and were added in Version 5.062 29 Jan 2018 along with minor editing



Letting The Genealogy Out Of The Bottle

The Family History from the autobiography of Vince Poynter

Genealogy is a growing pastime and I am a mere amateur at it. I have only managed to trace my paternal family back for four generations and that data came from one family Bible source.

The trail leads to a couple who were probably born around the early 1800s, a mere 200 or so years ago, still some way off William the Conqueror. Mind you, I have no grand illusions and probably trace back to a mere woodsman rather than a King or even Courtier.

My blond hair and fair skin would suggest Germanic or Northern European roots and my accent places me square in Hampshire.

However, I never personally knew anyone that I could call great or great-great in the grandparent sense so my particular family story starts with my grandparents.

A photograph of the author's paternal grand-parents, stood, dressed formally for a wedding in matching light grey outfits
It’s all their fault. My paternal grand-parents. Blame them, not me. Planning Ye Olde Oak Ham sandwiches, no doubt

One of my fondest memories of being young is the visits to my paternal grandparents. They lived in Bassett, a posh part of the city and it is surprising the positive effects of fitted carpet and Ye Olde Oak Ham could provide.

I recall sitting in the bay window with my brother Mark for hours on end watching the traffic ebb and flow at the junction. It was my first taste of being a petrol head and I could name every car that passed by. Eric, Fred, Davina, etc. No, not like that!

This vehicular voyeurism was interrupted by the call of afternoon tea on proper china, followed by the card game whereupon the adults had to contrive to stop me winning all the cash. As a kid I was unaware of all this blatant cheating against me but I still came away with pocketfuls of old pennies. Financially it was the luckiest period of my life - the Pools and then Lottery never repeated this good fortune.

Grandma and Granddad were excellent in their roles. I only knew the very nicest side of these wonderful people. To me and my siblings they were warm, generous and funny. We only visited once a month and at Christmases so they, like us, were on their best behaviour.

Granddad started his working life at fourteen as a cycling telegraph boy and worked hard to forge a career in the Post Office, making Manager before his retirement.

His work was not interrupted for the various wars that his generation seemed to have at frequent intervals due to being in a reserved occupation although he once recounted a journey during a blitz where the bombs obliterated each building he had just vacated.

Another war-time story saw him shoved headlong into a bunker by an enormous clump of earth that had just been liberated by a local bomb. The earthy clump had landed square in his back. What a sod. The earth, not Granddad.

Grandma, to my knowledge, never worked. She must have done something for the war effort but its significance never warranted a mention that I recall. She did produce my Dad though so that counts and she had a smile to melt chocolate.

My father also worked in the Post Office although it had become BT, via British Telecom, by the time he retired.

His early years were disrupted by National Service where he trained, then tutored at Catterick Camp in Yorkshire.

He also changed his career collar from blue to white and retired with a reasonable pension and a lot more time for his beloved bowls.

BPhotograph of the autho's parents, sat at a meal table, father with a camera, mother with a glass of wine
It all started with a whistle. The wolf is the one on the left. My parents

Dad hooked up with my mother in the mid-fifties. Apparently the grinning, wolf-whistling cyclist swayed her and they married shortly afterwards, bearing three children, including my older brother, the aforementioned Mark, and younger sister Dawn. It must have been a successful whistle as they still remain together, ready soon to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

Mum also worked, although sometimes part-time whilst we were all young. A series of shop, waitress and petrol attendant roles in the early years then mostly administrative roles for the NHS. But unlike today's parents, she was always home before her children. Which from my side of the fence was a bad thing - no after school parties.

My mother's father died relatively young. A disease causing an imminent blindness gave thoughts to being unable to support his large family and in the late thirties that was unacceptable. He elected to take a cowardly way out in the confines of his gas oven and left my maternal grandmother alone to bring up several children.

She was a hard working woman who later married the man I knew as Granddad. A giant of a man with huge weather-hardened hands and a booming voice.

They were the chalk to my paternal grandparent's cheese. Hardship was a memorable feature of their lives but I'm convinced that things wouldn't have been so bad had 'Nanny' not spent so much on trinkets and cigarettes.

Their home, for a large part, was a centrally located flat in a major town. Nowadays someone would rip out the guts, call it Manhattan Loft living and charge a fortune. In those days it was a cold, concrete, council owned property with nasty metal railings following the urine-aroma'd stairs. I still find it hard to reconcile the modern trend of apartment living without invoking those earlier memories.

Although splendidly rich in aunts and uncles on both sides, with all their attendant siblings I called cousins, the extended family were not overly close.

A couple of times a year we would visit or be visited by my mother's closest sister and her pack and at Christmases we did the rounds but the fact that the families roots' stretched all across the town and my family are inherently localised meant that we never really grew up together.

For the large part family only meant the five of us in the old house at the end of 'The Close'.

Although the three-bedroom house I called home was not my first residence [see the chapter entitled Oniscus Asellus to read about the first] it lasted long enough to remain a fixture in my thoughts where I guess it shall remain forever.

It was a semi-detached sixties built house with cold walls and horrid metal framed windows that would freeze inside on most winter's mornings. Central heating in the sixties and seventies was restricted, by law I believe, to my Grandparent's house.

All we had was electric storage heaters. Apparently, these enormous tin blocks were full of house bricks that were roasted at night when the electric bills were low and emitted their heat the next day. Or rather the next morning. To be precise for about six or seven minutes in some ghastly hour long before I got up.

I lived in that house during the long, hot, drought infested summer of '76 but can still only really recall the cold.

The author sits on a bench with brother Mark to his right and his sister Dawn on his right.  The clothing is very seventies, with all wearing bell bottomed, flared trousers.  The author sits awkwardly with crossed legs and his hands clasped around his knees, rather camply
Benchmark children. Mark, Vince and Dawn. I blame the parents

I shared a bedroom with Mark, who was, and still is obviously, older than me by two years. We shared that room for the best part of twenty years and always got on well. Our murmuring together late into each night was not appreciated by the rest of the house and when Dad hadn't quite got fed up with the nattering our younger sister, Dawn, in her separate bedroom would squinny until he shouted. Girls eh.

In fairness it was always harsher for Dawn because, due to her gender, she slept alone. The late night boys conversation was probably a sad reminder of her loneliness at night.

Not that she had a right to complain. I spent more daytimes playing with her than Mark. She was two years younger than me so being the middle kid I had a choice of playmates. I would often be torn between playing toy cars with Mark or teddy bears with Dawn. In that respect being the middle child was an advantage. Other things weren't quite as useful.

Because I had an older brother I often had to make do with cast offs. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a regular thing but enough to irritate. Dawn, being a girl, had none of my cast offs so at times it seemed I was the only one with used items. It may explain why I always prefer new now, from goods to houses.

Talking of new, in my family sense, the newest additions are my nephews and niece. Mark married Alison and together they had two boys, Simon then Alex. The niece part is Jenny, daughter of Dawn and her husband Andy.

I, myself, chose not to have children. A choice made far easier by the concurrence of my wife, Lynda. So the family Bible won't be getting filled up with my descendants and in theory when I properly research the genealogy it will at least have a conclusion.

Just like this chapter.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.093 3 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.01 in Jul 2005
The first image shows the author's grandparents, William and Rose Poynter, taken on the Isle Of Wight around 1965
The central image is of the author's parents, John and Lilian Poynter, enjoying a meal at The Vine Inn, Cadnam in May 2009
The final image shows the author with his older brother, Mark and younger sister, Dawn, sat on a bench on the Isle Of Wight around late 1976 and was picked to amuse you. So feel free to snigger
All images were originally added in Version 3.00 around Mar 2010



De-smarting

The School Years from the autobiography of Vince Poynter

Image of Vince Poynter stood, wearing a small hat and large red nose, holding a gonk, with Lilian Poynter sat in the background
Clearly a genius child, with his mother in the background

It is one of the most dramatic times of our lives.

In barely over a decade you start school, graduate to two completely different ones, learn about money, relationships, fighting and sex, get progressively smarter, meet hundreds of other people, decide on what floats your boat and suffer the indignation of a growing army of zits on your body.

And everyone tells you it's the best time of your life.

I'd disagree but suggest that childhood might be the busiest.

You may have no money worries, because you haven't got any, nor any concerns over time, because you haven't any idea that it might stop one day. And no clue what to do about anything.

But there is one overriding factor about childhood that dominates the time - children.

Unless you chose a career path that involves them such as a teacher or Scout Leader [those poor fools] you will never again associate yourself with so many of the little blighters.

And by and large they are the most evil, deceitful, mean, bullying individuals you are ever likely to meet.

Alright, I might be being a bit harsh and by now all those little urchins have now probably grown up to be nice, rounded adults. Rounded in more senses than one.

Children will constantly taunt, wind up and bully each other until someone bigger says stop.

And as a very young person I was in the thick of it.

My schooldays are not full of happy memories and although I fully list myself in friendsreunited [a now defunct, previously popular, Social Media gathering spot], complete with picture and 1600-word narrative, as that is the social thing to do, plus I felt I had a good story to tell, I have no real wish to meet up with most of the old characters again.

My first school, Shirley Warren Infants, has now been demolished.

In fact I own one of the apartments [read flats] there and rent it out. It is now a lovely little oasis in the grime of the surrounding area and handy for the hospital and my letting aspirations.

It used to be a single story building filled with screaming youngsters.

I recall the basic layout but not much of the detail. I cannot really remember the classrooms or any of the teachers even though I spent five years there.

I do actually recall one of my first days there and the pairing that kids do during the first break so we all ended up with a best mate.

I chose a similar looking friend to me called Kevin but he was soon shipped off to a strange remote location that he referred to as 'Lester'. Near to the moon I gathered at the time.

I had lost my first best friend. All the others had already paired up and I never again had such a [male] relationship.

Other memories from the Infants school include the attention I sometimes got from the 'older' girls. I remember being cuddled a lot - it was a blond hair thing.

And I recall once pretending to be dead so I could peek up the skirt of a teacher. I couldn't get away with that now.

Other than that my only memories were the walks to school with my mum and strangely the bike shed.

No, let me re-phrase that, before everyone jumps to the conclusion that the pre-schooling preamble was in the company of a mother and some sort of strolling bike shed.

I recall walking to school with my mum and I recall the bike shed, which I duly tested the back of with a couple of volunteers.

The shed, not my mum. Oh, sort it out yourselves!

The little Infants school was not too far away from the main school which brought together the Junior and Senior elements.

School photograph of Dawn and Vince Poynter
Sister Dawn [no, not a nun] and Vince in an obviously school posed photograph

I duly graduated to the Junior side, the details of which are much clearer to me. I could probably accurately trace the whole school layout with its several classroom, play areas, tin huts, assembly hall and car park.

I returned to the site a few years ago and was saddened by its demise.

The boys playground had obviously not been used much and weeds had ripped through the surface of the tarmac. In the early seventies they wouldn't have stood a chance from the incessant pounding of football feet every couple of hours.

The football games were quite fun with teams of about 50-a-side fighting over whatever ball someone could smuggle into school.

It was never a proper leather ball, in fact often just a tennis variety but the game was always fought with passion.

I even recall days where a stone was used as no one had a ball. Of course, by the end of the playtime session I had 'introduced' several other stones to add to the pace, and cut shins.

Formal games held on the green near Lordshill were never such fun.

Although I often found plenty of space away from the massing defenders I would rarely be passed the ball as my team-mates would hardly involve the chap that was last to be picked for the team. I was so distrusted in sport that if there was an uneven number they would argue about who would have to suffer the indignation of an extra player!

Can't think why I bothered to do all their homework for them now.

I used to have to do the homework for several other boys.

I was gifted academically, which set me apart from the other kids.

Couple this to a timid personality [at the time] and I'd be bullied into assisting the lazy slobs.

I recall having to 'grade' the homework so that these unintelligent pond mammals would seem to have done the work themselves.

However, one thing I could never comprehend was how a teacher could think that some toad getting 35% when he normally got 15% was so good, when next to the toad was a smart little chap with [yawn, another] 95% score.

Even more surprising was later in the playground the idiots boasting of how well they did.

In my opinion teachers do not like clever children. Perhaps they don't like the competition, or losing their superiority.

Gifted though I was I had yet to understand the complexities of personality and was constantly derided for something I thought was good.

I would sit at the front of the class showing great keenness in their efforts but couldn't understand why the teachers would be annoyed by me volunteering to answer any question they posed. I'd be dismissed with comments like "Can anyone but Vincent answer this question?"

Another example was a lesson we had whereby the teacher would try to raise awareness about understanding with a word association game. The teacher would say a word and ask the pupil to say whatever word came into their mind. For example, the teacher might say 'tree' and expect the child to say 'forest'.

As ever, I had to wait until near the end to have my say, despite my arm thrust up in the air so hard it had grown two inches longer than the other had.

Having waited [im]patiently for the other automatons to attempt to formulate a word it was finally my go.

"Alright, your turn Vincent, your word is rabbit." Instantly I replied, "Rabbit".

The teacher was aghast. Perhaps I had misunderstood? Was the blond boy human after all?

She re-explained the rules, then repeated "Rabbit." And "Rabbit" was what she got in return.

She enquired why I had just repeated her. I explained that "When you said rabbit the first thing to come into my mind was rabbit, the word you had just said. What you meant to say was 'What is the second word that springs to mind?' In which case I would have replied carrot, or even warren."

Smart-arses are never appreciated.

I couldn't loose my skills so I had to start hiding them and did this in my next school. Smart eh?

I graduated from Shirley Warren Juniors to the finest school in the vicinity.

School Photo of Vince Poynter at King Edward VI
A spud. One of dozens and dozens of privileged smart arses

King Edward VI Grammar School was my saviour from the certain 'ducking' I was promised on the first day of Senior School at Shirley Warren.

I comfortably passed the entrance examination and started life as a 'Spud' along with a hundred other smart-arses.

One of my first actions was to stand up to the first bully. It worked and I was no longer the weakest link, but I was also determined not to be the brightest as well.

I drifted toward the back of the class in lessons. Until my eyesight weakened and I found myself drifting back to the front again.

I recall a lot about the characters there, and even a few teachers but cannot recall any good yarns.

There wasn't many things funny about the school or having to travel half-way round the county to see your friends when I wasn't allowed a bike and certainly nothing funny about not having any girls at the all-boys school.

I can't even amuse you with stories about public school initiations because it didn't happen.

In fact the only story worthy of mention is the skiing trip to the French Alps, where I got badly sunburnt. Under the chin of all places, because snow reflects.

As a result I missed half the holiday but I was determined not to let that stop me attending the black run on the last day but was too inexperienced to handle the highest ice slope at the top.

So my friend and I [apologies for not recalling who] jumped off the ski lift one hundred metres from the top.

Into six foot of powdered snow.

It took us three hours to traverse the twenty metres back to the run.

King Edward VI supplied me with enough education to pass nine 'O'-levels, my only failure being French.

I would have had half a dozen more had I stayed with the Warren as they didn't restrict entries to ten, or more likely I would have been stabbed as did happen to someone during the time.

I didn't have enough money for the independence I was seeking as a young man and my fantasies of becoming a Veterinarian were being dismissed from every angle. My parents were concerned that failed Vets have nowhere to go and the school looked at my failed mock exams.

In fairness I had cruised all the way through King Edwards using minimum effort in an attempt not to look clever but knuckled down in the last month to pass the main exams. This must really grate if you are the sort that tries hard to achieve your results. Sorry, can't help it.

As I had no need for Oxford or Cambridge University the school was disinterested.

I left the school under a cloud. Only at a Grammar school could nine 'O'-levels be seen as a cloud and they refused to acknowledge my status as an 'Old Edwardian'.

That is, until they wanted some cash when they went private of course.

I left the year they brought in girls. Just my luck.

But I had finally achieved my metamorphosis.

No longer a smart kid.

I left school, grew my hair and left behind the side parting. I opted for a trendy centre parting style that nowadays they would call a mullet. In fact they still do!

And to top it all the spots started getting worse.

I had become a teenager.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.091 31 Mar 2018
First Published: Version 2.01 in Jul 2005
The first image shows the author being silly at a Christmas visit to relatives, around December 1966. The author's mother sits in the background
The second image is a formal photograph of the author with his sister Dawn, taken by Shirley Warren Junior School around 1970
The final image is a formal photograph of the author, taken by King Edward VI Grammar School around 1975
All images added in Version 5.091 31 Mar 2018