Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Memories of ... School (Part 1: Nursery & Primary School)

Earliest memories first, Nursery/Pre School. I remember little about the building but I do remember a large curtain, behind which sat a plump, smiley old lady who read stories all day.

Burnt in my Memory: Sitting on plump, smiley old ladys lap for story time.

Best Forgotten: Clinging to Dads leg so he couldn't leave me there.

Dramatic Performance: Just the tantrums when it was time for Dad to leave.

Stuff I Learnt: At Aged 3? Just that I miss my Mummy and Daddy I think.

Typical busy street corner.
Primary school, I went to an awesome one in a truly beautiful little Cotswold village of yellow stone walls and cottages in the UK called Standlake. The village has been around since the 12th Century and the school since 1672. I must do another memories post on Standlake itself, it was such a brilliant place for a kid to live. The old school building still had separate Boys and Girls doors and cloakrooms and lots of winding stairs, mysterious unused rooms and even a ghost. Coooool.

Burnt in my Memory:  Imagine the scene if you will, the entire school would gather in silence outside at breaktime whilst a teacher checked the grass on the playing field and determined if it was dry enough to play on. The playground was hard, concrete, boring. The field was soft grass, trees, logs and four times as much space. You'd be on your toes, ready to run. Playtime was limited, you and your mates already knew which game you wanted to play, which area of the field you wanted to try and bag. The teacher would bend down and touch the grass, look at his hand ... prolong it. Then it was either a shake of the head, cue crowd groan similar to the sound you hear at a soccer match when the winning penalty misses. Or a smile and a nod, in which case, hang on to your leather patched tweed jacket Mr Peters, 150 5-10 year olds are about to fly passed you on their way to the field at breakneck speed. Screaming and whooping as they go.

I also fondly recall fun school fete days and sports days and the local celebs that opened them. Funny performance poet Pam Ayres, and the 'Utterly Brilliant' (his words) all round entertainer Timmy Mallett to name, er, two. Having milk at break time in those little glass mini milk bottles. The local vicar, who arrived for school assemblys on his motorbike in leathers and a dog collar. Friendly dinner ladies who reminded you of your Mum or your Gran, and served up a varied menu of cooked lunch including; spam fritters, mashed potato served with an ice cream scoop and the puddings, my word. Semolina with a dollop of jam. Fruit, jam or treacle Sponge with custard. Is it lunchtime yet?

Best Forgotten:  Timmy Mallett. Oh and er, there was this one time I made a puddle in the classroom. The teacher had given me that old "you should have gone at lunchtime" when I asked if I could go to the toilet. What did he expect from a seven year old? Highly evolved bladder holding skills??

Mine was better, ey Mum?

Dramatic Performance: An angel in the Nativity. I don't remember much but I've seen the pictures. I had a tinsel halo. And I was a brown river rat (yes, a rat) in a school production of The Wind in the Willows. I had brown face make up, whiskers, ears. I was wearing brown tights and a brown high neck sweater and my tail was a brown stocking stuffed with newspaper. Mum, you must have toiled!

Stuff I Learnt: Learning to make Ginger Beer, Lemonade and Coconut Ice in Cookery Class. And history, lots of history. The school and the village were proud of their history and we learnt about it almost daily. Dressing up in period costumes, visiting historic buildings in the village and doing brass rubbings in the old churchyard. Oh, and Timmy Mallett is a prat. Luckily I learnt that at an early age.

** Coming soon, Part 2. High School & College.

Awesome Kate at Donotbreakthedog, thanks for the idea to post memories. Methinks it may turn into a regular post. Until I catch up with myself and run out of memories that is ..