The trip and move to The Hague was arranged by a removalist. My parents and baby Herman in lap sat at the front with the driver and the kids inside the covered truck but at the front of the interior which had a window overlooking the top of the cabin. Frank, John and I had already reached the stage of collecting cigar bands and marbles. The marbles were won by knocking opponents out and collecting those marbles that were in the ‘pot’. Standing up in the truck and keen to spent time with mischief, I started rolling a couple of marbles over the cabin at the front and subsequently over the front driver’s window. The truck soon came to a sudden halt and a very angry removalist got out climbed in and without a word gave me a hard smack, took the bag of those dearly won marbles and climbed back inside his cabin. I am not sure why my parents did not deal with the problem, perhaps used to much mischief twenty four hours a day, with marbles rolling over driver’s windows being a mere bagatelle.
The arrival of the removalist and truck with goods and inhabitants has got lost in my memories accept that the driver was big enough to give back those marbles. During the evening most of the furniture must have found a place somewhere on the floor and would have included the children’s large bed. Our bed was a wooden affair with planks across the width of a double timber bed frame.
The mattresses were in three parts and made of kapok which my mother used to air outside at least once a week. I suppose some of us were not totally nonstop toilet savvy and the war would not have had the most soothing effect on the nerves of children that grew up in that period. As the first evening grew more and more hysterical amongst the three of us, at least in my father’s eyes, and we were suffering from loud laughter and endless farting under the blankets, dad felt the need for discipline and letting off his steam as well. It had been a hard day and his tobacco might have run out at a most inopportune moment as well. He grabbed a little stick and started to flay us kids who were already experienced enough to dive with split second precision under the blankets. When we got out from under the fart laden blankets we noticed the little stick had broken. However, the break was not clean and resulted the end bit hanging onto the main part which was now flipping and flopping about whilst my poor dad was wildly trying to bring us under control. It had enough of an impression for memories to have etched so firmly in my conscience as if only yesterday