I remember I woke up in a cold sweat with the sheets wrapped around my legs - it had happened again - my nightmare. And today my worst recurring nightmare became a reality.
Let me explain.
I went to primary school (grade school) on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. My school was called St. Georges Preparatory School, and it had a certain Dickensian feel to it. It was housed in an old mansion and was privately owned by the family who ran it. Mr Job was the head master and we boys (only boys in St. Georges) considered that his mother, Mrs Job, was St George's dragon. We were all terrified of her!
This school had a strange custom concerning shoes - we had to have 3 pairs. Out-door shoes (Black leather lace ups), in-door shoes (black leather slip ons) and white plimsols (canvas sport shoes).
One of the strictest rules in St. Georges had to do with NOT wear your out-door shoe in-doors. In fact it was so strictly policed that if you broke this role you were dealt with by none other that Mrs Job herself, a.k.a. The Dragon!
All this would have been alright and even little boys with their heads in the clouds (and everywhere else except their school work) could manage, but for one little thing. You see y, we had lockers where the shoes you weren't wearing were kept. All you had to remember when you arrived at school was to change your lace ups for your slip on (not to hard, you just did what every else did). At play time you changed into your lace up, again following the crowd - you see, even us boys could do that.
No, that was not the problem. The problem was that every weekend you had to take all your shoes home for cleaning - EVERY WEEK END! Of course that meant you had to remember 2 very important things. 1. to clean them and 2. to bring them back to school on Monday!
No we come back to the recurring nightmare.
I can still see it as clear as day. There I am at my locker reaching for my indoor shoes and... you guessed it. They were not there. I had done the unthinkable. I had left them at home. Now I was going to face the wrath of The Dragon!!! This would be enough to severely age any little boy, but it gets worse. In my dream, the dream that recurred again and again. While I am am dealing with the shock of forgetting my indoor shoes I then look down, expecting to see my out door shoes on my feet, but no! They are not there!Oh no, the shock!! I am wearing MY SLIPPERS!!!
It is at this point I always woke up sweating and breathing as if I had just finished the cross country race (cross country races are another horror story that will have to wait).
This dream terrified me for all of my time at St. Georges. And today the dream became reality.
You see, we are packing up to leave Tanzania. The last 3 weeks here we are going to spend at a guest house and this weekend we are moving out of our house. This morning when I was getting ready for church I realised... I had done the unthinkable. Did not have my shoes. The only thing I had to wear were the striped boat shoes I used as slippers.
So I had to go to church this morning IN MY SLIPPERS!
Fortunately, a lot of years had gone by and it really was not as bad as the nightmare. In fact it was kind of funny.
But then again, I didn't have to face Mrs Job.