Apart from the potty bashing as a tot, I was quite a reserved kid - although being sent to boarding school did knock a lot of that out of me :) But, to this day, I can't abide bullies and unfairness.
Before I was despatched off to boarding school we lived in Singapore where for a time, at the age of 10, I was friendly with a girl who lived next door. She was quite small (doesn't poison come in small bottles?) and could swim like a fish - always beating me in competitions. She turned out to be a spiteful little minx so I began to avoid her. My Mum lost count of the times I came home in tears having been pinched, punched and scratched by one Naomi Cameron - yup, I'm gonna name and shame here. She was totally spoilt and could do absolutely no wrong in her parents eyes. Eventually, I was told by Mum and Dad that if I didn't stand up for myself against her I'd be in double trouble at home :( 'Great, a no-win situation here' I thought.
Needless to say, I was waylaid by Naomi a few days later - and this time she had a new tactic. Ever been lashed across the face by a plastic skipping rope? It hurts, BIG TIME. And that's when the worm turned - also BIG TIME. In the monsoon season we had a downpour most afternoons so I'd been sent off, on my way down to see Mary who recently died, carrying a bamboo and sort of 'oiled paper' umbrella like this one (the photo isn't me BTW, I had a short urchin hair cut and generally ran round in shorts and a top!):
RED and set about her with said umbrella after the face lashing. Both hands had firmly gripped the umbrella and I'd given her a really good hiding :)) Possibly if Mum hadn't rushed out I'd have carried on until the umbrella was totally wrecked :) Of course her Mum also raced out - but guess what, Nasty Naomi got another hiding because the huge weals across my face were pretty self-evident. Wow, a double triumph - finally punished by one of her parents.
The third triumph came a couple of weeks later. It was the school swimming gala and Naomi and I were through to the final race, with about four other 10 year-olds. To this day I really don't know where I found the determination, probably still seething about the lashing, but I swam my heart out, beat her and came first :) Mary and Ken were there with my parents and, along with a load of other parents and their offspring (that kid must have made some enemies), they were screaming and urging me on all the way.
What a sweet victory - and to this day I don't feel one iota of regret for being 'the worm that turned'. So, I can sometimes forget being 'Little Miss Sweetness and Light' and look a bit like this: