It’s the first day of the school summer holidays here in Tolly Maw, the Monday – not the Friday before which was just a Friday. I woke earlier than everyone perhaps more excited than the sprouts who mostly enjoy school anyway. But I as I sat with my tea and a list of things to-do for work I was excited for them.
I used to spend the whole year just waiting for this Monday. Because school was just rubbish frankly, annoying and in hindsight those five years of physics, geography and maths could have been better spent on languages, and car maintenance, or bunking off a lot more. Even taking aside that I was already hitching all over the country and hanging with people comparative to then a lot older than I, even when younger I sort of knew school was just... rubbish. I went to a modern junior school they’re already knocking down and a modern comprehensive school that was rotting even then.
I did okay, sort of just in the top sets because like a class system – oh, actually, aha – I just sort of was. I had better things to do, better places to be, better books to read and better things to write, and draw. Hell, school managed to make Lord of the Flies and Great Expectations bloody awful, and they’re both cracking stories (I later discovered). But when young and today, yes it was hot, it was summer, and there were six weeks without homework I didn’t have to pretend somehow to have done.
But here in Tolly Maw the school is old, it smells of chalk and floor polish that no one makes any more and they would still cane the children had not my own Catnip and Bosswell led a series of hilarious rebellions using flour and lacrosse sticks. There are only two teachers for everyone from four to eleven, one year only has two pupils. The first teacher smokes woodbines, and the second is Lionel Jeffries. The only reason there’s a new surface on the playground is to hide the last Ofsted inspection though I’m pleased to see that with punch cards they are teaching my girls the rudiments of computer science.
So with thoughts of soap box carts and apple scrumping I never myself did I finished work only to see that my girls were not skinning their knees so much as playing with their dollies in the garden. If I built a club house they wouldn't be able to come in. Bosswell at least is showing promise with a catty but Catnip the little love is girlier than a pink unicorn with a candyfloss perm. I love her dearly but I still pushed her into a muddy puddle.
Because I’m a ghost-pirate-highwayman. And girls smell.