Thursday, 18 February 2016

Fat chips and pink buns

"I must have bunked off that day," said I.
I was joking.
One look at Mrs Goldsmith, her with the gold hair who was rather an expert piano player, confirmed I would have been approximately eight years old.
At eight years of age there would have been no reason whatsoever to bunk school. It was a time where I sang loudly and unselfconsciously in assembly. I didn't have spots or a bad perm and boys were just people who wore trousers to school.
I even enjoyed lessons. Especially our book reviews and making things. School dinners were very exciting when we had fat chips and pink iced buns, which was quite a lot of the time to be honest.
I gazed fondly at all the familiar faces in the photograph and was pleased with myself for repeating all their names. For seven years we were all classmates, seven different teachers and seven different classrooms but the same bunch of kids.
There was Susan, my best friend throughout infants and juniors. I wondered why I'd chosen her to be my best friend, and felt quite lucky that we'd grown up together and had a lot of fun together.
I've absolutely no idea what she's doing now. We lost touch when we were separated at senior school.
There was Claire, who I used to swap shoes with, and who became my best friend at senior school, until she decided she wanted to be Yvette's best friend and I wasn't best pleased about that.
I heard through the grapevine that Claire later married a local MP, who alas was sent to prison for setting fire to hotel curtains.
There was Nina, with the really long hair, who lived in a big house with chandeliers and a grand piano. I was ever so impressed when she invited me for dinner at her house and I discovered these facts.
Oh so many names and faces and happy memories of birthday parties and playtime. Life was simple then.
With regret, there is usually always a kid who didn't make it. Sadly on this occasion it was Joanne. She was standing at the back of the photograph, being one of the tallest, with her pretty face and short dark hair. She was killed in a car crash just after we left senior school. We went to the same senior school and she wrote 'see you there' in my junior schools last day of term book. Funny the things you never forget.
Life got more complicated after we left junior school, so I can't say I'm as fond of focusing on my next school. This brought algebra and netball. Competitiveness, awkwardness and homework. Then exams.
No, senior school was not nearly as pleasant. I was aware of bullying and not wanting to be unpopular, with girls and boys. It was hard work sometimes.
For not the first time I stared at the photograph and wished I'd been at school that day, so I could now laugh at my fringe or how small I looked.
It was Bradley Glen who had posted the photograph on Facebook and tagged a mutual friend. He's now an actor and calls himself Brad. Yes I looked at his Facebook wall and was interested to see what he'd made of his life.
I noticed he was Facebook friends with Nina, she still had really long hair and carried the look of someone who'd grown up in a glamorous house. There were various other old faces and I silently thanked Facebook for allowing me to peek at their lives.
One lad from the photograph had commented that it would be funny to arrange a reunion. The class of 1983, or whatever the year must have been. I knew it must have been September, the start of a new term, the day everyone posed for the class picture. I expect I was on a family holiday. Yes I decided I must have been. My mum hates the heat so we always holidayed in the cooler month of September, during a period when it was perfectly acceptable to vacate during term time.
I would have been enjoying myself with my mum and dad and my dear brother. A good old fashioned family holiday. With all four members of the team.
I suddenly realised I was glad I wasn't in the photograph.
I smiled as I imagined the lovely day I must have been experiencing somewhere else.


a writing place said...

Ohhhhhhhh... You didn't show us the photo!!!!!!!




The World According To Me said...

Okay, just for you I will post!

Amel said...

Ah, FB is good for things like these. I've got tons of ex-school friends since I went to rather big schools with changing classrooms (except for Junior High). Yep, sadly there are a few friends who aren't on earth anymore, but looking at the old photos always bring back the memories of the ones I still remember. :-)

The World According To Me said...

Yes Facebook is very good for these sort of things. So many people I would have lost touch with or not been able to have a nose at! Yes it's always sad though when you hear about the ones who didn't make it.