On my hike down memory lane, I stumbled across this gem……….


Who has travelled in a car with a bunch of quarrelling kids? Not a great experience! 

I remember when I was a child, fighting with my brother in the back seat of the car. Between us, we had Peter’s guitar and a pencil. A recipe for disaster? Who would have thought it?

The two of us were having a violent, but silent, altercation. Dad had warned us if we did not cease our squabbling forthwith, he would stop the car and make us walk. As we did not want to attract his attention but still wanted to murder one another, we were as quiet as possible. We were pinching one another, pulling hair, digging our nails into each other’s flesh. Nothing was too extreme, but all done in silence.

The atmosphere in the car was heavy with anger and frustration. No-one was saying a word for fear of bringing down the wrath of our father on their heads. 

Stillness reigned. 

Not a breath, not a whisper could be heard. The only sound; the thrumming of the engine, and the swish of rubber on tarmac.

Trhrummmmm. Silence. Swishhhhhh. 

 and then from the whispering silence…


As if a massive gong had been struck! a Deafening note blared forth, drilling into our ears and sending shock waves coursing through every nerve in the body. My pencil had snagged one of the guitar strings and plucked a single, booming chord with it.   

Startled, and in a knee jerk reaction, Dad slammed on the brakes! His foot had hit the front brake by mistake, and our car screeched to a halt, almost upending itself. Everyone lurched forward, kids, parents, guitar and pencil, all nearly flying through the windscreen.

Furious, and sick of our bickering; Dad reached back and gave both of us a thundering good clout, got out of the car, and threw the guitar into the boot. He warned us not to utter another word from then on, or we would get some more of his “medicine!”. 

The rest of the journey was made in total silence, except for the sniffing, snuffling, and occasional boo-hoo, from the back seat.

Our father was a firm believer in ’Spare the rod and spoil the child, and good for him!

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