Tracy Beaker shares advice for life. Tracy has the lowdown on secrets. She shares her hard-earned wisdom on all the stuff people don't want others to know about.
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My name is Tracy Beaker and these are my survival files,
your essential guide to the ups and downs of growing up.
Life in the dumping ground has taught me a lot about stuff.
And stuff that can make you want to scream.
If you can cope with the stuff that goes down here,
you can cope with anything. I've spent most of my life here -
first as a kid and now it's where I work.
I've learnt a lot about friends.
About what life can throw at you.
It's not always been pretty,
but it's made me who I am today.
And now I'm passing on my wisdom to you guys in a video blog.
Pay attention, I've lived through all this so you don't have to.
On the Tracy Beaker Survival Files this time - secrets,
the stuff we don't want other people to know about
and the stuff that other people know that we wish we knew.
We all have secrets, things we like to keep private,
things we don't want other people to find out about.
Sometimes they can be nice things, like a surprise party.
-Or maybe a secret present,
-like the bench we made in memory of Frank's granddad.
"Eric Beverley Matthews, 1931-2010.
"Frank's granddad who took him fishing
"and gave him a pocket watch."
Or they can be a bit random.
Crash once spent ages locked away with lots of empty baked bean cans.
What on Earth was he doing?
Secretly making a space rocket, that's what.
ALL: Yay! Woo-hoo!
But secrets can be much more serious.
Once, Lol got the hump about secret staff meetings.
He was convinced the care workers were planning something terrible.
So, he started bugging them.
You bugged the progress report meeting?
Full marks for craftiness, minus 50 million for dullness.
-Tracy, Nathan was wearing a suit.
It was an important meeting, they have lots.
They could decide to, I don't know, split me and Bouncer up.
Oh, no Bouncer! No-one for Lol to hide behind.
With Amber getting mysterious phone calls from Cam,
who's to say they weren't talking about you three as well?
I began to think that maybe he was right.
For a start, something was going on between Cam and Amber.
-Mysterious phone conversations.
-Cam's on the phone.
-She phones at the most awkward times.
-It's not for you. Amber.
Maybe she's decided to foster someone who's less of a pain.
-Hi, Cam! Bye, Tracy.
-'And then, even worse.'
-Shall we go to my room?
Cam and me never keep secrets from each other. What was going on?
I was desperate to listen to the secret tape Lol had recorded,
but like most of Lol's scams, his bugging plan went seriously wrong.
-But...? What did...? How did...?
-You can't be a good spy if you can't
spot when you're being spied on. Later, dudes.
Have you just been out-scammed by Amber? 'What a nightmare!
'Now Amber had secret info about the Dumping Ground and everyone in it.'
-Hey, kids. Want to listen to this?
-For a small fee.
-We're not interested.
If you don't want to hear about which blonde person is so helpful
that the staff aren't trying too hard to find foster parents for her.
Or which person's dad, who just got married,
may be getting divorced again.
Or which member of staff whose name rhymes with Penny
may be off to a new care home in New York.
And very soon Amber got the reaction she had been looking for.
-Could you help me with the washing up?
-You'd love that!
"Get Louise to do it, she never complains." I'm tired of it!
Are things really OK, Dad? I mean really, really?
You're not having any arguments?
What do you mean the normal kind?!
One miserable Dumping Ground with one very bad atmosphere,
and it was worst of all for Lol -
partly because he was the muppet who let Amber get the tape,
but mostly because he was worried about what the staff
had planned for him and Bouncer.
What if they decide to split us up? Send us to different homes?
Where has this daft idea suddenly come from?
You can't split up Lol and Bouncer, they're a team.
Still, I think it will do them good in the long run.
I mean, to be fair, they're too old to be sharing a room.
Lol got the wrong end of the stick, but we didn't know that.
We were desperate to learn all the Dumping Ground secrets.
-'The issue of stationery...'
-When we managed to play the tape,
we were on the edge of our seats, ready for revelations...
'Ordering the right amount of paper...
'The amount of tea we usually expect at the end of the month...'
Is that it?
Yeah. Fascinating, stationery and teabags.
The tape confirmed what we knew - Elaine was a gold medallist
in the Olympics of boring.
I've had enough of this!
We had too much information, and all of it dull.
We just needed some straight answers.
Are me and Lol being split up and sent to different care homes?
-What? Of course not!
-You're not going to New York?
-I most certainly am not.
-But you've got relatives there.
They were all OK then, but what about the secret plans Cam and Amber
-had been making behind my back?
-Hi, Tracy. Are you busy?
-Too busy to talk to you.
I'm making a list - reasons to foster Amber. She won't mess up
your kitchen, cos she doesn't know what it's for. You could laugh
at one another's rubbish hairdos.
You think I want to foster Amber?
You know that before Amber came here she used to run away a lot?
That's what I was talking to her about.
-For an article, about runaways.
-An article? Is that all?
I knew it would be something like that all along.
So, as it turned out, there was nothing to be scared of.
The secrets weren't as bad as we feared.
In fact, some of them were brilliant.
-Just a little chat the staff had about you,
-after we told them about you.
-We tried the tape recorder again,
-with someone sensible in charge.
-Did it work?
-Like a dream.
-I don't believe you.
-That's not our problem.
-There's a great bit about her imaginary friend.
-Give me that!
We've all got stuff we don't want other people to know,
stuff that doesn't fit with the image we want to show to the world.
Amber likes to think of herself as hard, but her imaginary pal,
Mr Snuggles, proves that even Amber has her soft side.
Mr Snuggles was never going to stay under the radar forever.
Nothing here stays secret for long.
And especially when Gus is on the case. That boy misses nothing.
He writes it all down in his notebooks, too,
as Frank and Liam discovered.
Gus was away for a few days and they got the job of cleaning his bedroom.
He sees everything that goes on in this place, and he don't lie.
Have you seen this? Gina's husband calls her Snuggle Bum. What's wrong?
But some of the secrets in Gus's notebooks were no laughing matter.
'June 6th. I went to the shopping centre with Liam and Frank.
'The burger smell made Frank's tummy gurgle,
'but we had no money,
-'so Liam said, "Let's do the dive." '
-He wrote about the dive!
'We looked in the bin and found some chips. Then Liam said, "Jackpot!"
-'Then Frank said, "Sweet as." '
'He did not say sweet as what.
'Liam pointed out a man and Frank said, "Yes, that one." '
Gus's notebooks don't lie.
And after they had faithfully promised Mike
their burger diving days were over, too!
-What are you two doing?
-Just tidying Gus's room.
And reading his private notebooks while you're at it?
Give them to me, come on. Come on!
Thank you. All of them.
Right. I want you to tidy Gus's room before he gets back, right?
We need them pages otherwise we're in serious trouble.
Gina, when you got your mitts on Gus's notebooks,
wasn't the idea to confiscate them so no-one would read them?
That's right. Gus's notebooks are very important to him.
We didn't want the other young people to invade his privacy.
But it was OK for you to have a good nosy?
It's important that we understand what is going on in Gus's head.
You know, he may have had concerns he felt he couldn't raise with us.
-It's our duty of care.
-Duty of care or duty of snooping?
-Yes. I was just about to lock these in the office.
Good idea. Listen, why don't I do that for you?
You can get started on dinner.
Mike, as Gina had already done your "duty of care",
did you need to read the notebooks, too?
Well, something you learn with experience is to have two pairs
-of eyes across something is highly beneficial.
-Oh, highly beneficial.
Oh, Mike, how could you?
I'm sorry, I couldn't put it down.
Did you know that Gus has pie charts of your monthly biscuit consumption?
No, but I read about the top ten excuses
for your silent but deadlies.
Oh, no, Gus is mistaken. We've had a problem with the drains.
A problem with the drains! AKA, excuse number four.
Everyone faithfully promised they would leave Gus's notebooks alone.
Yeah, sure they would.
# Take out the papers and the trash... #
It all got sorted. Gus's books were for Gus's eyes only.
Although, I did spot a little bit of misleading information.
So, um, I got rid of it.
# ..Let's see that dust fly with that broom
# Get all that garbage out of sight
# Or you don't go out Friday night
# Yakety-yak, don't talk back. #
It's important to respect the kids' property,
so I kept the notebooks safe until Gus returned.
Apart from that one page, which I destroyed for good staff relations.
# ..Let's see that dust fly with that broom
# Get all that garbage out of sight
# Or you don't go out Friday night Yakety-yak, don't talk back. #
Phew, that was us off the hook... we thought.
Someone's been reading my notebooks!
-You've got to hand it to him, that boy misses nothing.
I'm sorry. We moved the books when we were cleaning out your room.
Yeah, but you didn't have to read them.
-Or tear pages out.
-Someone tore pages out?
-What pages were torn out?
Book four, pages seven and eight.
-Frank bumped into a man to get money.
-You've been burger diving again!
Right. That's it!
You are finally and totally banned from the shopping centre.
-You can't do that!
-No, not fair!
-Not fair? You two have committed fraud!
Mike is letting you off lightly.
Also book three, page 16, Gina's actual dress size.
-That's enough, Gus.
Also, book two, page seven.
Mike spilled coffee on Gina's laptop and blamed us kids.
It was an accident.
Gus, we're all really, really sorry.
The four of them had let Gus down by prying into his secrets.
How long would it take before he could trust anyone again?
Next time you want to read my private notebooks, just ask me.
Oh, as it happens, it took about two seconds.
Gus has probably got the right idea.
Keeping a secret in the Dumping Ground
is pretty much impossible.
So, what have we learned about secrets so far to put
into my survival files?
Secrets are a big part of life, whether it's nice secrets
like planning a surprise party or less nice stuff,
like the secrets Amber pretended she knew.
Secrets work both ways.
We all have things we want to keep private.
But most of us can't wait to find out other people's secrets.
We all have a nosy streak, especially at the Dumping Ground.
I can't tell you who I think is the nosiest of the lot, it's a secret.
All I can say is their names rhyme with "bike" and "Mina".
This may seem obvious, but the big thing about a secret is that
once everyone knows it, it isn't a secret any more.
Some secrets are harder to keep than others.
-Come on, Frank.
-Pass the ball.
-Take this, for example.
It started with a game of football.
-What was that?
Little did the players know what was coming next,
that the Dumping Ground was about to be hit by...
..the biggest, most troublesome secret the place had ever known!
Whoa! So, what should the boys do?
We can't just take it, that would be stealing.
Finders keepers, losers weepers.
-That's the law.
-You don't actually think that's a law?
-The point is,
the guy is a crook, so we deserve it more than him, right?
But what if he comes back?
Good point. Let's get this stuff inside, come on.
'Step one was getting the stash safely inside
'without anyone noticing.'
-'Which was trickier than you might think.'
-Toby, are you all right?
-Toby, are you OK?
-Yeah, I'm fine.
'Because the harder you try to be sneaky, the more likely
'you are to attract the attention of anyone who happens to be watching.'
-What's in the bag, Toby?
-No, I want to know what's in the bag.
So do I. Come on, let's see.
Yeah, a massive bag of money.
You can see why they wanted to keep it quiet.
Trouble is, Carmen knew. I mean, she isn't exactly MI5 material.
I can't believe he said that. I CAN keep secrets.
As long as nobody asks me directly. Then I find it really hard.
It's too risky, we don't even know where the money came from.
Did Carmen really think that stealing
hundreds of thousands of pounds would be easy?
Sure enough, the Dumping Ground soon got some unwelcome visitors.
Can you come down, please? House meeting.
-But we were just going out. Can't we do this later?
Don't ask me, ask the police.
Something was up with the kids that day, but what?
I just couldn't quite put my finger on it.
-How much money are we talking about exactly?
-We really can't say.
-Like a grand? More than a grand?
-Recovering the money is a priority.
-More than a grand?
-But our first priority is to keep you safe.
-Safe from what?
-I don't want to frighten you,
but there are some very dangerous people looking for this money.
-It's all right, Carmen, don't be scared.
-It's OK, I'm not.
See what I mean about Carmen and secrets?
Whenever she tries to keep something quiet,
it's like she's on a mission to spread the news to the world.
Thanks, Carm. I love it.
-What's with the stuff?
-Oh, just replacements,
you know, for the stuff that got nicked at Berrywood. Lily, no!
-You found the money, didn't you?
The money the police were looking for. Gina told me everything.
-I don't know what you mean.
-So, it's not in the usual place?
The usual place?
No, don't! That's my money! Lily!
I wanted to tell Lily about the money, she's my best friend.
But I knew the others would go mad if I did.
I never thought Carmen would lie to me. It just shows what money can do.
Do want to know a secret? I'm really glad she found out.
I was a bit sad that Carmen didn't tell me,
but we didn't fall out over it. Not like everyone else.
-All right, everyone gets their fair share, agreed?
-I think I should get some.
Good, we'll do it according to age. The older you are, the more you get.
-That's not fair. No offence, but who put you in charge?
Well, if you want Mike and Gina to figure out we've got it,
you carry on spending. We'll know who to blame then, won't we?
Bet you wish you had shared with me now.
# Money, money, money makes the world go round
# Money, money, money, money, money... #
This secret had grown too big. It was tearing the place apart.
Once I found out about it, I told the kids they had no choice.
We had to put an end to this secret once and for all.
But once it was out there, it was a weight off everyone's shoulders.
It must've been quite a relief to not have to keep it secret any more.
Relief? I was gutted.
Really, really gutted.
Yeah, they say that, but they were relieved really.
Why is that, do you think?
We all knew secretly if we kept something that wasn't ours
we would get into massive trouble in the end.
-It's a long story.
There you go, another Dumping Ground secret that didn't stay secret
very long. That's this place for you.
Although, it's not true every single time.
There was one secret that did get kept very well here, maybe too well.
If I hadn't happened to be looking for Liam's file that time,
it might have stayed secret to this day.
I was gobsmacked.
Randomly stuffed there at the bottom of a filing cabinet,
was a letter from my mum that had obviously been there for years.
'This is what I've been waiting for for most of my childhood.
'I never understood why my mum hadn't been in touch
'and now it turned out the big secret was that she had.'
She's my mum, you have to give me her address!
It's for your own good, Tracy.
Grown-ups always say that when they won't tell you the truth.
I want to get out of this dump, and you're trying to stop me!
-I was looking for my mum's address.
I want to write to her and tell her that I'm back here
and get her to come and get me.
She knows you're here - Elaine wrote to her.
But if I write to her, she'll know it's urgent.
I'm sorry, Tracy, it's just not possible.
How can you keep a child from her mother?
Don't blame me if my behavioural problems get any worse!
And here it all was, everything I had been looking for
all those years, just sitting there in the office.
So much for "there are no secrets in the Dumping Ground."
They certainly kept this quiet.
We did what we thought was best at the time.
-It's a letter from my birth mum!
-Yes, saying that she might visit.
And she always let you down before.
Cam and I thought it was best not to show you
until we had some confirmation.
-Cam knew about this?
-Well, yes, but...
This just got worse. Cam knew, too, after she promised me
there'd be no secrets between us.
I couldn't believe that she could be so two-faced,
and for such a long time.
Why are you bringing this up? This is five years old.
-I thought you knew.
-If I knew about it, I'd have said something.
Well, we were trying to protect you.
And we were right. She never even applied for visiting rights.
You should have told me.
At least I'd have known she was thinking about me.
I'm sorry. It felt like the right thing to do at the time.
What other secrets have you kept from me?
Have I got a dad somewhere out there I don't know about?
I was in a state of shock. Who could I trust?
Who else had been lying to me?
I knew it was best to keep calm
until I worked out what to do about it.
# Keep on running
# Keep on hiding... #
Yep, keep calm and work out my next move.
That's what I needed to do,
but what I did do was shout my mouth off and storm out.
Big mistake. As soon as I calmed down,
I realised I didn't really want to lose my job after all.
-Mike, I'm really sorry about earlier.
No, it's not OK. I made a mistake, I want to stay.
'But was I in for a nasty shock.'
-I'm sorry, Tracy, it's not that simple.
Look, I don't think that you made a mistake, I think I did.
The whole business with the letter showed me just how hard it is
for you to come back.
I shouldn't have said you could come and work here.
This didn't look good.
I didn't know who I could trust any more and now I'd lost my job.
Perfect. But then, the king of secrets, Gus, stepped in.
-He had been making one of his lists.
-Things Tracy has done right.
"Rosie says Tracy makes her laugh.
"Lily says Tracy is the only other person Poppy lets tie her shoelaces.
"Sapphire says Tracy was rude to a boy who phoned her.
"She says that's a good thing.
"Liam says he likes it with Tracy here
"cos he's not the only one causing trouble."
-That might have been a joke.
-Jeff likes Tracy, Gus.
-"Tee says Tracy..."
-Thanks, Gus, thanks.
I have 11 more things Tracy has done right on my list.
That's OK, I think I've got your point.
Now, why don't you leave us alone? Please. Tracy and I need to talk.
It seems like the kids want you to stay.
If you do, you are making a huge commitment to these children.
You can't keep letting them down.
I won't, I promise.
I know I've got to stop living in the past and move on.
He was right, you know? No more secrets,
no more obsessing about my birth mother.
This was a time for a fresh start, with people I knew cared about me.
Everyone here is my family, and that's no secret.
I don't care if the whole world knows that.
So, the truth is out there.
I'm sharing everything I know about secrets with the lot of you
by uploading it to my survival files.
And there's a lot to take in.
We all have secrets. Some people can keep them for years,
while others find it hard not to blurt it all out.
I think the best secrets are the happy kind,
like secretly organising a surprise party.
But others can cause much more upset,
like the big bag of money that had everyone fighting for a share.
Deciding whether to keep something secret or not can be a tough
decision, like it was for Mike and Cam with the letter from my mum.
Do remember, though, secrets can soon lose all their power.
If everyone tells just one person, before very long, everyone knows.
And a secret that everyone knows, isn't a secret at all.
So, that's the Beaker Guide To Secrets safely uploaded
to the Tracy Beaker Survival Files.
More gems of wisdom from my experiences next time.
There's no need to keep that to yourself, tell all your friends.
Remember, I've been through all this so you don't have to.
# Secrets, we walk in the sun
# We've got secrets You can't come with us
# Cos our secrets are not for everyone
# Secrets are not for everyone. #