I haven’t always been the suave city slicker that I am today. I grew up in a tiny village filled with characters, a farm and a duck pond. The village seemed to exist in a time warp. A vibrant tapestry of the weird and wonderful.
Everyone in the village used to speak like the kids from the film ‘Bed Knobs and Broomsticks’, you know that film where the little boy’s knob makes the bed magic?
One end of the village was lovely, the other end was a whole different story. We lived somewhere in the middle. We ate Quinoa and liked art but were a bit skint. My mum did the big shop at ‘Kwik Save‘ and I thought we were dead posh because everything in our trolley matched.
Every front garden had a mattress in it for the kids to jump on. I still to this day have no idea what they all slept on.
Their school packed lunches made me green with envy. Four bags of crisps, a can of Coke and chocolate spread on white bread. I nagged my mum every day for the same pack lunch and an alfresco jump on a worn out mattress. I was usually met with a “Quit moaning you ungrateful sod”. The lemon and rosemary chicken salad she’d make me just wasn’t what 8 year old Ilaria longed for. I wanted cheese strings and lots of ‘em! Their breakfasts, on the other hand, were not something I desired. Most of them had chewing gum with a side of passive smoking whilst we all waited for the school bus.
One of these ‘chewing gum kids’ was also the smelliest kid in my class. She wore a t-shirt that said ‘My friend went to Disneyland and all I got was this stinking t-shirt’ I remember thinking how perfect that was for her. One day I said “I like your t-shirt”. I discovered sarcasm very early on, it just took me years to get good at it.
Side note – the percentage of crossed eyed people seemed very high in our village, this I feel was mainly due to inbreeding.
The nicknames still make me laugh. There was a lady simply named Fat Sarah. Straight to the point.
One sports day she turned up wearing a bikini and a grass skirt, sarong thingy that was shoved firmly up her arse. Not a great look if your name’s Sarah…certainly not a great look if you’re referred to as Fat Sarah. Every time she cheered her nipples almost fell out. I couldn’t take my eyes off her which resulted in me coming last in almost every race that sports day. My mum would say “Don’t worry love, look, you got a sticker saying you tried your hardest”.
In all honestly I hadn’t tried at all. The sticker should have read “Try harder next time Ilaria and Fat Sarah, wear a more supportive bra and stop jumping”
Fat Sarah took a shine to our family and wouldn’t leave us alone. She’d always bring her two kids. They somehow managed to survive on a diet of popping candy and adult television.
Her son didn’t know how old he was because Fat Sarah refused to buy him a birthday present, he never had school shoes but always had a new bike. I’m glad his priorities were in order.
I desperately wanted his life!
Popping candy and telly with swear words seemed so much more fun than vegetables and homework. Having said that, her kids did grow up to be racists so I assume my mum was right all along.
Fat Sarah was such a character, I’ve often thought of looking her up on social media but I can’t remember her surname. Or maybe her name really was Fat Sarah…her parents must have had incredible foresight. “I’ll name my child what she will become”. That idea could really take off. There would be too many slutty Stephanie’s though. School registers would suffer the most;
“Prick Tease Chloe”, “Grab ‘Em By The Pussy Donald” and “Gets Aggressive When He’s Had a Beer Robert”.
In a time before mobile phones, and common courtesy in this case, Fat Sarah would be very old fashioned and knock on the door all the bloody time. It was like being under siege in your own home. One Sunday afternoon my sister and I spotted her from our playroom window as she came up the garden path. We took unnecessary action. We ran to the front door with our hands on our hips and said “Our mummy said you’re not to come round here anymore” .“Yeah and that we don’t like you very much”.
Looking back on this as an adult I realise how mean it is, but I have this theory, you see. My theory is that you can get away with anything providing you are under the age of 10. Im 29 now so I have to behave myself.
She was gobsmacked. She turned on her calloused heels and headed back down the garden path towards the skanky end of the village.
Fat Sarah we’re sorry!
Fat Sarah, I take it all back. The grown up Ilaria would love a cup of tea with you…in a well ventilated room.