13 March 2011


When I was nine, I counted to a million.

Actually, I started when I was seven; it took me nearly three years. I was nine when I completed the task.

Whenever I had a few minutes to spare, I would count. Sitting on a chair in a shop, waiting for my mother. Eating lunch at school. Walking home from school, my eyes and ears and hands busy with other games, a corner of my brain was counting. In bed before sleep came, or climbing a tree.

I carried a scrap of paper, and when I stopped counting I would jot down where I had gotten to; the next session picked up where the last left off. I didn't tell anyone else about it, apart from my parents.

When I reached my target million, I threw the paper away and didn't think about it again.

I was, in some ways, a strange child.


Julie Heyward said...

You just don't count any more.

Since you posted this, I've been trying to think of something comparably charmingly idiosyncratic from my own childhood -- that I am willing to reveal.

That last part killed the several hundred instances that come to mind. The only one that might pass the local censor is the intensive, macro atttention that I and my little sister, in the privacy of one of our chairs/blankets/pillows hideaways, applied to studying the men's underwear models in the Sears catalog. (No, we never made a purchase.)

Felix said...

[smile] I would have thought that your personal anthropology pretty much set the enviable standard.

Sears catalogue ... it never occurred to me before that girls do that too!

Dr. C said...

My staff are addicted to the Victoria Secret catalogue. I told them they could all pick out sleep ware (lingerie) from there and i'd come in my Dr. Denton's. (they do have pajama day at the local kindergarten.) Unfortunately, my offer was rejected.

Geoff said...

I had/have a "thing" about counting. It started at a boarding school - "Whiteness Manor School for Crippled Boys". We were only allowed two pieces of toilet paper - we had to queue up and "go" at 8.15am. I always needed more than two pieces " ...you AGAIN poweLL !..." Ever since, even to this day I nearly always use combinations of two pieces - daft innit? Mind you, I do dare to use three or even five sometimes and live to tell the tale.

Felix said...

DrC and Geoff: Hmmm...