Monday 25 July 2011

Summer, Larks, and Smelly Girls

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.   


  1. Went to Brizzlzootoday because it is the hols and one has to do something summerholsish. Notwithstanding the youngest has just finished school completely now and the older two many years ago still I made sandwiches, homemade scones and a flask of tea, and off we set.
    Someone set fire to the tunnel a couple of days ago and we suffered an hour of contraflo eitherway plus many wayward motorists who knew not the highway code.All in all though it was a fun day the only slight moment of miffedness was finding the girls had been playing a game of "Mum Bingo".

  2. We need to know, what is 'Mum Bingo'?

    And where's my scone? I love a good scone, me. They are increasingly rare.

  3. You set up a card of all the things that mom says or does an a day out and cross them off as they occur.
    I will make a point of baking scones next time we meet up.

  4. You made me fondly recall those books that they made you work on in junior school... well they did in my junior school at least. I clearly recall one of the questions regarding future ambitions.

    One was given a choice of two, yes I said 'ucking TWO, future professions to follow, those limitless highs of future robotism were "Policeman" or "Astronaut".

    I remember feeling entirely lost and carefully obliterated each choice beneath a scrawl of pencil and then carefully in my best block capitals inscribed "Mad Scientist or "Witch Doctor".

    I was unaware at the time that my Grandfather was called to the school to 'discuss' my subversion of the prescribed (gah spelling) curriculum and he later told me all he had to say to the glowering headmistress was that I'd spelled the right kind of "witch" in witch doctor and that he had similar aspirations as an eight year old boy.

    I feel it can only be a positive thing that Catnip shows signs of "being girlier than a pink unicorn with a candyfloss perm" - certainly the sign of a an inspired dreamer, making the world around her as it pleases her... not unlike someone she's related too, no? ;)

  5. I am so switching off my auto-correct btw! I might make a better impression if grammar and spelling are the mark of a man.