On the Edge Of Darkness

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About the author

Anthony Molloy

Born: Yes I was, despite Hitler bombing my family out of house and home in London. It was personal between him and me, I had two balls and he didn't.
In truth the house was that run down people never noticed, the whole area was the same, so bad that a Nazi bomb at our  end of the road caused 200l000 pounds of improvements.
The evacuation meant I was born a ´Devonshire Dumpling´. I went back to Bideford once, to the actual nursing home where I was launched, no blue plaque yet.
Schooling: Rotherhithe New Road. That was the Rotherhithe before they got rid of the rats in the warehouses and installed the other sort.
I was actually there, aged nine, when our neighbours Sunday joint floated away on the neap tide of 1953. My family and I chased it for miles. As I recall it outpaced us all, we were all rather thin and weak.
Undeterred we searched for days until the increasing size of the mob was spotted by the Government who thought we looked hungry and, as a measure of their concern, called out the riot squad. They fired rubber bullets at us made of metal.
But I digress, my teacher at Rotherhithe thought that, because I liked drawing ships, I might like to go to sea. Perfectly logical, when you consider that one of my class mates, who enjoyed drawing plants, later became one.
I went to the London Nautical School, there I learnt navigation, seamanship and how to muffle screams whilst receiving 6 of the best from the headmaster. I left as soon as I could, they kept dragging me back until, at fifteen I was able to leave legally and without the skirmish lines that so blocked the Waterloo traffic.
I ran away to sea enlisting in Blackheath, not there now, I burnt that down.
There followed a year of hell, the beatings were fine, but the sport...every afternoon.
Come on!
Someone, spotted I wasn't keen and decide I'd prefer hard labour; they were all so sensitive in those days. It was then I took a liking for hard work. Hard work equals no pain being the rough formula. God how I loved Ganges.
You couldn't buy yourself out until you were 24. It was this that turned most of us to booze.Then in '71 they stopped the tot, That was it, until I woke up in a Horticultural College, married to my wife
I've spent 30 years adjusting to life without brutality. Then retired to Spain and used the cheap red wine as a kind of dummy to recover.