I promised to tell you about school days today, a mixture of mine, Gran’s and Grandad’s. It’s been a lovely Summer, we’ve had so many amazing adventures without feeling we are clinging onto the days before you start school. G still has another year and L you seem happy to go back into year 1 and to see all your friends. This video shows how I felt last year, silly really, you loved reception L and seemed really happy.
Yesterday, L and I met Grandad at Sudbury Museum of Childhood. (G I hope you understand, you still have a year where most of the week can be spent with me, and on some solo visits to see Grandad). We played with the marbles and jacks and Grandad told you about how he used to play jacks with bottle tops.
When I was at school we used to play British bulldog, hopscotch, tag, football, pretty similar to what you do. Except you also seem to get more fun equipment like hula hoops and diablos.
In reception I sat on a table with my best friend Claire and two boys called Benjy and Michael. We were learning to read using a different system to the rest of the class, the school let parents choose, and mum being a teacher decided she didn’t like the other way. So it often felt like we were quite separate to the others. We had lots of fun on our table though, I remember laughing lots, getting told off for leaning on my chair, for putting things down Benjy’s jumper and shouting across the classroom to Benjy.
I also remember standing in line at the teacher’s desk rolling a red crayon under my shoe. I knew what I was doing was naughty but I didn’t stop because I liked the pattern I made. The teacher didn’t catch me. Once I am absolutely sure the room, and the sky outside went completely black, it’s a vivid memory, I wondered if there was some kind of eclipse, Gran couldn’t remember, maybe it was just a storm. I remember mum’s cartoon drawings in my black PE pumps, to help me tell my left and right.
It’s funny what sticks in your mind, I remember rehearsing for our Postman Pat assembly (he’s still going after all these years), with a cut out Jess and Pat and a postbox, singing the theme tune at the tops of our voices. I couldn’t sing like you can L, and I remember feeling very sad the day I went to the choir audition. The teacher made me sing along to some notes on the piano and then told me to go back to the playground. My best friends Laura and Claire got in, so I was always a bit lonely on lunchtimes when it was choir rehearsals.
I remember the dinner lady shouting at me for sitting under a tree in my blue gingham dress and white socks with blue stripes, picking my nose. She told me i was disgusting and made me go inside and wash my hands. I was so cross with her for shouting I went inside, but I didn’t wash my hands. I had a rebellious streak from an early age.
My Gran, my mum’s mum, lived near both my primary schools, she used to come and pick me and Uncle A up and take us home for lunch, if you want to know what she fed us it is all here, in this post. We always got things we weren’t allowed at home. In year one I remember the teacher telling Gran one day not to worry about bringing me back after lunch, I could stay with Gran. One day that teacher, she had a long black plait, she asked us what our favourite smells were. We couldn’t think of any. Then she suggested cakes and cut grass and suddenly my nose was full of amazing smells, and it felt like my mind opened to a brand new way of thinking.
I was good at gymnastics though, and we had an amazing teacher called Mr Harris, I remember him choreographing a routine with lots of us to Sink or Swim by Paul MaCartney, a song that really reminds me of primary school days.
I wrote about some memories of being in The Nutcracker and the day mum sent me to school in navy knickers the day I was wearing my white snowflake costume. That was a disaster, but it wasn’t until my next primary school that I really discovered drama.
My headmaster at my first primary was slightly mad, as all good teachers need to be. I remember he did an assembly where he showed us his red underpants, something to do with running the marathon, maybe they were actaully jogging bottoms? I also remember him coming round to Mr Harris’ class with a cane to tell us he could use it if anyone was really naughty. We were terrified.
Mr Harris’s class was class 3 I think, and by that time I was so engrossed in reading and trying to lead the class in the sets of comprehension cards we had to work through that I rarely got told off. Although Mr Harris did tell me to sit properly once, we were listening to The Iron Man, and I was sat like an 18 year old on a bar stool, I thought I was so cool, Mr Harris was clearly very tired of it though. But, it was soon forgotten and I loved making junk models of the Iron Man afterwards.
I remember sitting in his class and wishing I didn’t have to go to middle school as it sounded terrifying. Luckily, my wish came true I left that school after Mr Harris’s class and we moved to Macclesfield where you stayed in primary school until you were 11.
Uncle A and I went back to visit Pirehill Primary school in Stone, when we were 15 and 17, it was funny how small everything felt, especially the toilets. We walked our old walk to school, which I used to do with Gran and Uncle A. Sometimes Gran would fit us both on her bike, once it snowed and she took us by sledge. Sometimes an older girl called Tina took me and I had a little orange satchel. I remembered looking down each morning at the cars speeding by beneath me, from the bridge across the A34. The day they made seatbelts in cars compulsory we stood and checked if everyone was wearing them.
You can read some more about Gran’s school days here and I am hoping to add some of Grandad’s, and maybe even Daddy’s too. Oh and add some photos for you! But now you want to go to soft play and we need to get back to the present.
The last Thursday of the month is the Memory Book linky. July’s theme is school days. You could post a single photo, write about your memories, interview a relative, get a relative to guest post, write it as a letter to your child, include a bit of a diary entry, write a list, make some bullet points, whatever you like. When we’ve collected a few, if you want to join me, we can self publish them into a Memory Book.
Next month the theme is Siblings.