My Name Is Daphne Fairfax

What follows is a part of the first autobiography I wrote in 1966 aged 12. If you want any more, you can buy the book.

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Listen to a sample of the audiobook, here,

Facts about myself

My full name is Brian Arthur John Smith. I am 4ft 11″ and weigh about 6 stone.
I have curly hair, glasses but nothing else unusual. I have dark, brown hair and hazel eyes.
I have scars on both my kneecaps. I am slightly above average height. I am skinny and wiry.

I have two brothers one younger (7) and one older (14). The younger, Nicholas goes to Kidbrookepark School.
The oldest, Richard goes to this school (Roan). My father is a policeman.
My Mother is training to be a teacher, at Avery Hill. My house is semi-detached and has a garden.
It is about the right size. I take size 4 in shoes.

I do not share a bedroom but I did until 2 weeks ago when I swapped with my elder brother. My father has an ancient, old, black crock of a car. I have between 2s6d and 3s6d.
I live about 1 ¼ miles from school and walk there and back everyday.
The journey takes me about 30 minutes.
It takes me about an hour from getting up to setting off for school. I have a medium-sized breakfast but often a big one.

My name obviously comes from a Blacksmith. My favourite sport is football. I am a left half for the school team and I also like running, swimming, cricket and putting.
I am a big head. My favourite hobbies are stamp collecting, reading, writing and many other things.
My father is a big man with a big nose. He is a policeman. At work, I think he is considered ‘a bit of a laugh’. He’s practically held together by cups of tea.

My character

I am quite a cheerful boy who tries to take life as it comes. I am usually happy or looking forward to something. But quite often (usually in bed) I feel the blow of dying. Everyone must die but I cannot think of the world being without me. Of course their won’t be but as I lie in a long slim coffin I will go over my life. Who thought what of me, how did I take life.
When thinking of this I once got a deep depression. I think some people hate me within themselves because when I am annoyed I try to hurt them. I am afraid that over the years I have learnt these ways to hurt someone.

My best friend is Gary Rimmer who was nice to me when I came to my new school and has been my friend ever since. He is an individual looking character with slits as eyes. He has a long face and brown eyes and long eyebrows. He walks like a duck. Since then I have been a friend to him. He is nicknamed ‘mouth’ at scouts due to his tendency to talk at the most inconvenient time. He is the life and soul of the party type. I know his mother and his father but I have never seen any of his brothers or sisters (partly because he has none). Another friend who goes to Roan is Kim R.P. Samson. He too went to my old school and was head boy there.
He is the only person now who calls me ‘Smithy’. Like me he wears glasses but unlike me he is not very big. His peculiar way of running earned him the nickname ‘spider’. Another friend is Fewer Geobb.
I first knew him in the first year of my infants. He then moved. Three years later I moved to the same place to go to the same school.


School presents mixed feelings to me. Some lessons I enjoy. Others are to be endured rather than enjoyed.
There is nothing that I dislike intensely with the exception of one thing. Prefect X.P.X is a prefect. He strolls around giving two sides here, four sides there. He doesn’t think of the poor little wretch struggling along after school worried about homework having to write six sides on blue desks. Most masters are reasonable but most of them seem very slightly eccentric.

Young ones wear gaudy ties and green shirts. Old ones walk around with cigarettes and pipes. Every Saturday I turn up at a place in the middle of nowhere (or the school field) to play football for the school. There are always a number of fathers there saying “Well played son”, or “Hard luck Smithy boy.” When we are losing 38-0 at half time they say “Hard luck you are much better than them”. They then proceed to tell us exactly where we have gone wrong.

Monday night is a dreaded night for homework. We seem to have the longest, most boring homeworks of the week. I arrive home, have some tea and then go to spend until midnight slaving away at homework.
I think that at school the timetable is too monotonous. I think that it should be changed every term.

School dinners are bearable but I do not like the favouritism shown to one boy. The boys mother knows the head cooks mother so whenever and whatever he wants, he gets. For instance one day a boy asked if there were any sausage rolls.
The cook replied “No”. But when our favourite boy asks he is gratefully given one. Overall I like school but I don’t like getting up at the ridiculous hour of 7.15

Opinions on things

I like both classical music and pop music. I do not prefer one nor the other. I like classical music because of the clearness of it. My favourite piece is Peer Gynt. It reminds me of a clear morning on a Saturday. I like pop music because of the beat in it. I like books to be funny and ficticious I like films to be bright and cheerful but with suspense.

My Dream Car

My dream car would have living quarters at the back and the motor at the front. The back would resemble a caravan. Everything would be cramped but plentiful.


At home I like to wear clean jeans, blue ones. I also like to wear my red shirt (man made fabric) that is very thick with little or no detail in it. I like to wear white plimsols too.

My Dream House (left)

My dream house would contain many unusual things. I would have a laboratory, a studio, a five-a-side football room, a private dish and clothe washing room a cinema an indoor swimming pool and all usual things.


When I am writing something interesting I often go into a trance. I get so wrapped up in it that I do not hear anything except the sound effects of my composition.
When I am swimming I feel relaxed (only when I am swimming slowly) When I was younger I used to feel nervous.

Always interesting and intelligent, Smith. You are very observant and perceptive, not to mention honest.
You can see into other people and yourself quite a bit – motives, feelings, thoughts.

Cultivate this and allow it to become ever more developed; continue your writing.
It’s very interesting and well done, and should get even better in these and other respects as you grow older if you work at it
and “keep up the good work”.

My Name Is Daphne Fairfax