TESSA is in this story… I just realized (2020)… from whence came Tessa? She of The Dark Side of the Valleys…
Suicide Narrative Age 11… I rest my case…

These stories were written at a junior school in Portsmouth in 1982… I was obsessed with horror, fear, despair and suicide… I already knew I would grow up to be an alcoholic… the way out is through… as I was uploading these photographs (partly with compassion for the little girl I once was) I noticed that even then I was using the name TESSA in my stories… I had previously thought I used TESSA because of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles; apparently not…

1982: At school I remember my English teacher told my mother that he was “only interested in talented children” – imagine saying that these days! It is my belief that I was blessed to have had such a teacher, and I am glad that I went to school before a time when intelligent, talented children are insidiously dragged down – dumbed down – in the name of a virtual-signalling ‘equality of outcome’ philosophy which has now seemingly infested and poisoned the education system… in 1982-3 I was encouraged to write my own plays and direct them in that school (I remember writing a play about devil worshipping), to write about anything and everything which interested me (no matter the subject, as demonstrated here); and to be proud of my natural ability – dare I suggest God-given – to craft English into ‘art…’ Were Gen-Xers the last lot to experience such tutelage before the political correctness of today’s snowflakes took a strangle-hold on education? This is a question to which I have no concrete answer but… well, that’s enough implicit preaching from TNBW…

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