With a level of comfort and elegance not seen elsewhere at Dr Williams’, the Headmistress’ sitting room/study was not somewhere you wanted to visit too often. Situated away from the main body of the school, it overlooked the garden and the school bridge. You visited it if you were summoned. You never, ever just popped down the corridor, past the dining room, post box and the Reading Room for an uninvited chat.
Small in stature, but huge in presence, DBL often wore richly coloured, expensive suits. She favoured Fuchsia and Royal Blue. Pastel just wasn’t her style. To my young eyes she exuded authority, right down to those brightly coloured long nails that tapped unnervingly as she waited for answers that didn’t always come.
The prospect of having to go and see DBL, especially when I had no idea what I had done wrong, was unsettling. It meant that I must have done something I shouldn’t have done… but what? Or, it might be that something had happened to someone in my family- an accident perhaps? Or someone had died? These were the reasons you went to see the Head. My imagination ran riot.
I stood outside the Reading Room, a few feet from her study waiting and worrying, waiting and worrying.
Finally, DBL appeared and ushered me into her room. “Now then Jennifer….what’s all this I hear about you not liking hard boiled egg?” she said, in an accent that would make the Queen sound common. Turns out that word had reached her that I wasn’t eating everything on my plate and of course we had to eat everything.
As for the eggs in question, when I say “hard boiled”… mercy….were they hard boiled! Sometimes the eggs took on a slight blue/green, yellow hue they had been boiled for so long. The claggy yolk clung to my palate. It made me retch, I couldn’t eat it. We agreed to a compromise, I would just eat the white of the egg in future.
So you see, no one had died or had an accident and I hadn’t really done anything wrong. Good sense had prevailed.
I still can’t stand hard boiled eggs.