Glasgow, Scotland, UK • February 1998 • Length of Read: 12 Minutes
Whilst cleaning out my room this week I came across a box of old assignments I'd completed when in primary school. Most of it was rubbish, but amongst the scribbled jotters and scrunched paper, I found the autobiography which I'd written and annotated for one of my classes. I've translated this into the below unedited and unabridged version solely for myself, however, you may also find it really quite entertaining. Without further ado, I give you 7-year-old Crobs' half-glass-empty perspective of the world.
I think my life has been quite worthwhile and I hope you will find my autobiography interesting. As well as all this I want people in other countries to know what a person in a different county’s life is like.
This book is about my life up till now from when I stood on a banana with bare feet to my holiday in Holland. I hope you will enjoy this book and I hope it will bring back memories from your past.
By Christopher Roberts (Aged 7)
On Tuesday 14th May 1991 I was born in Paisley Maternity Hospital and I was 6lb 15oz and my star sign is Taurus. I took a day and a half to be born and Mum lost so much blood she had to get two pints. I am very glad I am called Christopher because the other names I was to be called were Gareth or Ryan and I don’t fancy those names very much. My name was finally decided when my Mum and Dad both voted and Christopher was the name they liked best. It is very strange but I was baptised at the age of six with my brother at Broom Church on 28th January 1996. “Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Grandparents came to Broom Church for the Christening then came back to our house for lunch” Mum recalls.
“Close friends had their baby Christened at the same time which made it special” adds Mum. I was an all-right baby at night waking about every four hours for milk.
“Fortunately, Christopher slept well at night because I needed a rest having pushed the pram all day as this was the only time that Christopher didn’t cry,” says Mum.
“Christopher was the second child in the history of Nursery to be recommended to leave. This was because he was so miserable and cried most of the time” Mum also says.
I cut my first tooth at about four and a half months old round about the time of a normal baby. I started walking when I was eight and a half months old on 2nd February 1992 and my first shoes were blue and had clowns on the front. I am very accident prone as Gran says: “Poor Christopher has to be taken to A&E on three occasions as a toddler with severe cuts on his head.”
When I was about one and a half I started talking and my first words were ‘mum’ and ‘dada’. I had the Chicken Pox and some colds but apart from that I wasn’t ill.
Bananas and baked beans were my favourite solid food but I like yoghurts as well.
My favourite toy was a plastic tool box and I was always clutching a tool and my Gran said I even took it on holiday to Jersey with me.
Chapter Two: Earliest Memories
It was the night before Christmas and I couldn’t get to sleep. The next day was Christmas and I was getting my first games console. It was going to be a PlayStation and I couldn’t wait to get it plugged in and play it. My room was very dark and the only bit of light was coming through a crack in the door and there was an eerie feeling in the room. I lay in bed thinking about what games I was going to get for it when I dozed off to sleep. The next morning I woke up and switched the light on: “Oh no! It is 2 o’clock and I still have five whole hours to wait until I can wake up mum and dad, what should I do?” I tried to get to sleep again but I simply couldn’t I was too excited so I carefully tiptoed silently out into the landing to see if Santa had been. Yes, he had! My stocking was bulging with presents and my other small stocking was crammed full of sweets I couldn’t bear it. Looking at all those things and not being able to open any of them…. How disappointing! I walked back into my bedroom feeling very disappointed and jumped into my bed. I lay there for hours on end thinking about nothing but my presents until finally, finally, seven o’clock came. I flung off my bed covers and leapt out of bed, charged into my mum and dad’s room with my stockings and ran back for the presents that wouldn’t fit in the stockings. After I did all this I jumped about in a frenzy shouting: “It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas!” By doing this I woke up the whole household, even my brother which is very surprising as he could sleep through a tornado. Anyway, he was awake. After all this commotion and I had quietened down the only noise you could hear was the noise of wrapping paper being torn up and my brother shouting: “look what I’ve got, look what I’ve got!” until I found my PlayStation. I rushed up to my dad and heh came stumbling into my room and set it up, then I rummaged about for a game and popped it into the machine and I sat there for hours on end playing it. This was my best Christmas ever.
Talking about Christmas, I have also got another memory about when I went to Millport. It was a beautiful day and me, my mum, my dad, my brother, my friends, and my friends’ parents all stood at the harbour waiting for the ferry. My friends Kirstie and Martin and I had yo-yos with us and we played with them whilst looking at the bright yellow sun, the birds flying in the sky, and the green leave on the trees. Then the ferry arrived and we all jumped on, it was going to take us half an hour to get there so we told each other and looked at the waves splashing at the side of the boat. We finally made it to Millport, we got off the boat and walked onto the sandy beach and up onto the kerb and went to a bike shop to hire bikes to cycle around the island. After we had all got our bikes Kirstie and I went to ask when they were to be back and the man said in two hours and that was when I was run over. We were just going to cross the road back to our parents and because there were so many cars parked, we stood in a parking space that was empty when a taxi reversed into the space. The parents were all shouting so I jumped back and they all signed with relief. After that I crossed the road safely and we had a fine day cycling around the island.
Chapter Three: Earliest Memories at School
I remember my first day at school when I was in P1. I wore a shirt and tie but I hated it so much my mum let me wear the school polo shirt. I didn’t always like school and sometimes I didn’t want to go. I soon settled down though, once I got to know my teacher, Mrs Leslie, who was very nice. The classroom was about 12 meters long and wide, there were about 30 people in my class it was very stuffy and it didn’t smell of anything really but people. I remember sitting next to a boy called Ross Maitland who actually lived down the street from me. My worst subject was language because I didn’t like writing stories very much. I liked it when it came to reading though because I liked reading stories and the first book I read was ‘Robbie’s First Day at School’ and I liked this book because it was about his first day at school.
I also liked lunch, because I could see people from older classes I knew and I loved the jam sandwiches that I had for lunch. We were also allowed to have lunch outside when it was sunny, round the other side of the school at the benches. I also liked lunch because the next step was playtime.
In loved play time because I could run about, get fresh air, and see pals from other classes. I knew quite a lot of people from other classes and I began to like them even more when the classes were muddled up. I liked playtime most in the summer though because you were allowed to go on the grass and play. My favourite games in the playground were ‘tag’ and ‘wars’ where we pretended we were space ships and tried to blow each other up.
Sometimes though I don’t like being in the playground because one day I was playing tag with some girls that I took a run to school with when I tripped over somebody’s school bag that was lying on the ground, luckily though I had my school bag on otherwise it would have been really painful. Everyone was laughing at me, even some mums because it was before the bell had rung. I went red because I was so embarrassed. I ran over to the mum I was with and she gave me a hanky to rub my hand. Then the bell rang and I went into school feeling happy again.
Chapter Four: My Great Gran
My great gran, Nessie Arthur, had a very interesting life and this is part of it.
My great gran Nessie Arthur was born in May 1901 and lives most of her life in Perth, Scotland where she dies aged 93 (in 1994).
When she was 10 her mother died of influenza. Her father was too busy to look after her and there were no nurseries to go to so she went to stay with her Aunt Katie in Edinburgh. In early 1913 (when she was 12) Aunt Katie took her to Canada to live. There were no airports at that time so they crossed the North Atlantic on the Cunard Linear Mauretania, a journey that took almost 14 days. I was told it was very stormy and must have been scary for a young girl as it was only the year before that the Titanic had been sunk.
The start of the 1st World War in 1914 stopped Nessie returning home to visit her father and as there were no international telephone calls, the only way of communicating was by letter.
When the War ended, Nessie managed to come home in 1919. By now she was 18 and started to work in Jenner’s Department Store in Edinburgh.
Whilst she was working, Nessie met and married William Arthur in 1931. A few years later my Granny was born and then a son Sandy Arthur.
It must have been very hard to leave her dad and travel to a new country but she did and that was my great gran’s life.
Chapter Five: My Favourite Sweets
My favourite sweets are Blackjacks. They are a bit like the shape of a half-cube and are black in colour. They are rough on the side but smooth on the faces. The wrapper is also black and it has Basset’s & Beyond written on it. I prefer to open the wrapper by pulling up the tab and ripping it off but sometimes I open it carefully. The sweet doesn’t really smell of anything but if you smell it carefully it smells of liquorice and it feels squishy if you hold it for a long time in your hand. If you hold the sweet on your tongue it feels a bit stingy. The texture in your mouth feels hard to begin with but if you suck it, it will go smooth. The sweets don’t taste like any other sweets except Blackjack bars and they themselves taste like liquorice. You can suck the sweets or chew them but I prefer to chew them because it’s easier than sucking. I normally eat them when I come home from tennis and in my room I normally eat them once a week.
I also have another favourite sweet: Polo Mints. They are the shape of a circle and have a hole in the middle of them. They are white and rough on one side where the print saying ‘Polo’ is. The wrapper is blue, green, white and yellow and I prefer to open them by ripping off the paper at the top and picking them out. They smell of mint and are rough in your hand and if you place it on your tongue your tongue feels all minty and your mouth feels refreshed. The texture doesn’t change in your mouth and they taste of mint. They also like Soft-mints, another sweet, but that’s all. You can eat them by biting or sucking, I do both and I normally eat them twice a week
Chapter Six: When I Was Ill
I was 10 years old and I was at school. I couldn’t eat my lunch because I had a sore tummy and my head was in agony. I went outside and I found that I felt too sore even to play so I went into the bathroom and was sick in the toilet. I was going to go to the medical room when I felt fine again so I went out to play only to find I felt really bad and had another sore head. I dragged through a long playtime and finally the bell went. I went upstairs and into the classroom with the rest of the class to find my sore head was even sorer in the heat of the sun in the classroom. I was in the middle of my work when I was sick again, not too much but was sick so I told Miss Milne and I went down to the medical room and lay on the bed for a little while thinking about the bell for home-time and my house. I then felt better and went back up to the classroom sill thinking about home-time. I managed to last five minutes before the bell until I puked up and this was a lot of sickness. Then the bell rang and I went outside to see my mum because I wasn’t to go on the bus. I went home in the car and jumped onto the sofa and had a rest, my mum said to try and get to sleep but I couldn’t so I just say there thinking about nothing until I felt a bit better and was able to watch television. All I had for tea was tortillas and a drink of milk then it was time for bed. My mum gave me Calpol before I went to bed because I still had a sore head. I lay there in bed or hours on end because I couldn’t go to sleep, the bedroom looked quite scary because I thought objects in my room looked like other things and it looked like their shadows were moving. Then I finally got to sleep. I woke up in the morning feeling just as bad so my mum said I should stay off school and wait until I was better. My mum had a friend round called Jill and she brought me a comic which was very kind of her and that took up quite a bit of time as well as a Star Wars video. It was finally night time and I went to bed feeling much better and fit again. I woke up in the morning with the sun streaming through my window, the birds chirping and my brother jumping about the place. I was feeling much better now so I went to school feeling fit again, and that was my day sick off school.
Chapter Seven: Things I Love and Hate
These are the things I love.
I love my PlayStation because when my friends come round to play we have a lot of games to choose from and sometimes they even bring games of their own so we don’t get bored. I also like my PlayStation because I’d get a bit bored if I didn’t have it to play.
I love my Nike T-Shirt as well because it is blue and blue is my favourite colour. I also like it because I feel cool in it and it has a nice pattern with a tick for Nike on it and checked squares. It also makes me feel free because I don’t have any weight to carry. It is the most favourite t-shirt I have and I wear it all the time so my mum has to do quite a lot of washing at the end of the week.
The third and most final thing I like is my GameBoy because it is small and I can take it anywhere with me just by putting it in my pocket. I like this also because it gives me something to do when I go on a long, boring, journey. I also like it because I have a selection of games to play and I have a light to see in the dark so I can play it in my bed at night without anyone knowing.
Now I will tell you about the things I hate.
I will begin with my Adiadora jumper. It is too small for me but my mum insists I wear it when my other jumpers are in the wash. I don’t like it because it is a sort of grey and white colour and it is disgusting.
I also hate tomatoes because they look revolting inside with all the pips and they taste disgusting. They are red and there are so many of them on pizzas it is unbelievable. I also hate cucumber because it tastes all sour and revolting.
Finally, I hate nursery rhymes because every night I go to bed all I can hear from my brother’s room is nursery rhymes from his tape recorder and he turns it up so loud I can’t get to sleep. Luckily though the tape recorder broke and he hasn’t listened to it since.