So, did boys ever really career through the woods, engaging each other in mock sword fights? Yes.
Did they really slap their backsides, to gee-up their imaginary steeds? Yes.
Did they really arrive home with lame excuses for being covered in mud, from head to toe? Yes.
At the end of a dim and distant 'parents evening', my long-suffering maths teacher, Mr Shields, shrugged his shoulders and confirmed what my mother already knew, too well, that she had produced the kind of boy that should try harder. My problem was, there were too many better things to do, other than pay attention in class. For instance, I could use my time more creatively by manufacturing miniature blowpipes from empty fountain pen cartridges. Simply snip off the ends, load with wet paper pellets of the correct calibre, and blow. After some practice, it was possible to hit the back of someone's head, from twelve or fifteen feet.
Daniel Roche, as the BBC's current incarnation of William
In my eleventh year, we moved to the town. The lads at my new school seemed to be hard-edged, compared with those I had known in the country. Nevertheless, there were a half a dozen or so I gravitated towards. Our common interests revolved around, tree climbing, football, bicycles, fishing and maintaining a girl-free zone.
Yours truly. A delightful young man.
I have, largely, happy childhood memories. Those things I wished to be different, were in the hands of grown-ups, so I never got to vote. Not many children do.
Once, my science teacher, at secondary school, held me back after a particularly disastrous chemistry lesson, a little incident with a bunsen burner, as I recall. He warned me that, unless I knuckled down, I would come to no good. Oddly, he seemed to think I had the potential to be a master criminal or a comedian. At the time of our discussion, he hadn't, yet, decided which!
Early signs of me in William Brown mode, HERE.