Yeah-- well, Oi've got me a blog now. An' cripes, wot a combat obstacle course it were ter get 'ere! Anyone'd fink Oi was a-joinin' up fer the Commandos or somefink.
Any'ow 'ere Oi am, an' Oi want ter get somefink straight roight from the start, jus' so's yew won't go a-rushin' madly off in all directions at once wiv the wrong idea. So-- if'n yew're lookin' fer pretty photos of me down at the beach wiv the fam'ly an' the dog-- well yew'd best go a-lookin' someplace else, 'cos yew won't be finding any o' that sorta fing 'ere. Besides, there's mines an' barbed wire all over them beaches, an Oi ain't got no camera any'ow. An' Oi ain't got no dog neither, though it'd be noice ter 'ave one. Moi mum says a dog makes too much work. Besides 'ow would we feed it when we've got our work cut out ter feed ourselves, wot wiv the rationin' an' all. Get the picture?
So-- wot Oi'm goin' ter put in 'ere is jus' moi own stuff, see. The sorta stuff wot pleases me. An' if'n yew don't loike it, well yew know wot yew c'n do about it. Jus' don' say Oi didn't warn yer.
Roight then. The thing is, Oi ain't too good at writin' -- 'cept when it's real important, loike our petition that toime. In any case, the kinda stuff wot Oi loike is wot moi friend Peter writes, 'specially when it's about me. So wot Oi'm goin' ter do mostly, is ter copy down stuff wot 'ee's already writ. Sometimes 'ee's a bit daft, so's you'll 'ave ter forgive 'im the daffy bits, but 'ee troies real 'ard, an' 'is 'eart's in roight place. Well-- 'ee wouldn't be moi friend ovverwise, would 'ee. See wot Oi mean?
Well, 'ere goes wiv the first bit. It were just after Peter 'ad come ter moi school:
"Do you know Jenno Bryce?" I asked.
"Everyone knows Jenno," replied Winnifred in a hard voice. "What do you want with her?"
"I just want to know who she is."
"She's over there doing handstands, and showing off next weeks washing, if you really want to know, Mr Peeker," said Winnie angrily.
"I'm not peeking," I retorted, crossing my fingers. "I thought you were my friend. What's the matter? Did you get out of bed the wrong side this morning?"
"Huh!" snorted Winnie disgustedly. "Boys!"
"But which one is she?" I persisted. "There's quite a lot of washing on show."
"If you absolutely must know," burst out Winnie, "she's got pink ones." She got up in a huff and stalked off.
I watched the pink knickers for a while, waiting for their owner to come right side up again so that I could see her face.
The wait became protracted. I decided to go over to her.
"Are you Jenno?" I asked.
"Go away," replied pink knicks, her voice muffled by the skirt that hung over her face. "Can't yew see Oi'm busy?"
It was Jenno's voice. "Can't you stand up? I want to talk to you."
"Naaw, go away. Oi'm busy."
"You're only doing handstands."
"Oi'm irrigatin' moi brain, an' yew're interruptin' moi concentration. Oi'm staying loike this till the bell goes. Go away."
I turned around, bent in two and looked backwards, upside down, to see her face. All I could see was the waistband of her pink knickers, a strip of white flesh with a belly button in the middle, the fabric of her skirt, and two wrists protruding below it, their hands on the ground. The hands were very red, the knuckles very white.
"I just wanted to say thank you," I said quietly.
"S'orrite," said Jenno. "Now go away. Oi wanna concentrate."
I straightened up and began to walk slowly away. A few moments later the bell rang. I swung round, too late. The hand-standers were already upright and mingled with the other girls.
I still didn't know what Jenno looked like.
(Gang Territory Chapter 19)
(Gang Territory Chapter 19)