Through the Keyhole


I’m sure there are certain places I should be banned from. For the sake of my thighs McDonalds et al should be on the list. Nativity plays, because I always cry unashamedly, even when none of my own children are involved. And country pubs when I’ve not eaten enough (see #7 for further details of that one!).

Dancing changing rooms on exam day should probably be added to the list.

Actually, dancing changing rooms on exam day may very well be added to the list.

But it was Boo’s first ballet exam this morning. She was fine. I was nervously excited on her behalf.


As we arrived the examiner was already sat at her desk. One of the first girls to go in hadn’t shown up. Neither had the pianist! The teacher was increasingly on the brink of a breakdown. The girls practised their petit jêtes whilst us mums looked for signs of loss of circulation due to over-enthusiastically tied shoe ribbon.

The pianist arrived flustered (thanks to a delayed shoddy Sunday-service train). The examiner was ready to start. The other girl still hadn’t arrived. It was decided that Boo and her partner would go in first.

The girls filed in. Poised. Smiling. Wands aloft and toes pointing. ‘Good morning, Miss Bone.’ And the door closed behind them. Eek.

Except there’s a keyhole that allows for the tiniest of peeks into the studio. How could I resist?

Sadly Boo was on the wrong side of the room. I stood to move away…and clunked hard on the doorknob. So much for being secretive! Remind me never to apply for a job at MI5: I’d be the world’s worst spy! (I’d also definitely not be nimble enough to get through any laser traps, I’d look ghastly in a Lycra catsuit whilst doing so too, and at school I couldn’t even be trusted to learn how to wire a plug properly, so bomb disposal might not be my forte either.)

I went and sat back down and twiddled my thumbs whilst slowly the teacher recovered in the corner, the other girl finally there and ready to go in next.

But the keyhole was calling me. The part of the exam was underway where they dance around the room. My chance to see Boo totter past. I kicked myself for wearing my glasses rather than contact lenses, the frames getting in the way. Damn and blast.

But – and WordPress, here I sort of blame YOU – I thought ‘Ah, a picture of the keyhole could make a suitable shot for the Container photo prompt. The secrets of the exam contained to the dance studio.’

And here’s a tip: if you’re trying to take a photograph in secret always ensure the flash is switched OFF!

Needless to say I hadn’t. A bright flash! Argh! I whipped the phone away and captured a shot of my leg instead as it flashed again.

Would the examiner have noticed? Could the flash have bounced off the mirror and distracted the girls? Worst: would the examiner say something to the teacher, thus black marking me forever? Could I claim it as a one-off flash of lightning?

Needless to say, I scurried back to my seat and deleted all evidence of my photographic attempt. Best just to keep sat on my bum.

So I’m sorry, Boo, if I managed to upset your examiner any more than she already was. I’m sorry if she missed your most fantastic footwork, wondering what was going on behind the door. If it’s any consolation, I’m sure you danced beautifully and dazzled her even more than my camera flash. Next time I promise I’ll keep sat in my chair and I won’t try any clever photography for the sake of my blog.


However, I can’t promise I won’t mess things up for you/embarrass you on any future occasions. Best you just get used to it. And I promise it’s never done in malice. Although it just won’t ever feel like that. Sorry.


5 thoughts on “Through the Keyhole”

  1. And? ??? How did she do? Also, I think you’re admirable for going to such lengths to document Boo’s life events! Phooey on the examiner….they certainly mucked things up themselves anyway!

    1. I’ve no idea how she did. I got to watch her class on Friday and I think if she’s replicated her performance she’ll have done ok. Plus, whose going to fail a 6-year-old?
      Most importantly she came out happy. But we’re going to have to wait until September to find out how many ticks she earned.

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