I was complaining about having been sent to Clark’s College and how deprived I was. It took my good friend RS, who is organising the reunion, to remind me of one the better things – the wonderful holidays abroad with the school.
We would go to Dover, catch the boat to France and go by train from there. The seats on the train were mostly wooden and everything seemed so exotic and different. I went to Bruges, Paris, Oberramagau, Interlaken and the Italian lakes over the course of several years.
RS sent me this photograph of us taken in Bruges in 1953. Sadly my friend Maureen who is cut off in the photograph and RS’s cousin Terry with the broad grin are both gone now.
Looking at myself as a girl evoked a memory of one of the most embarrassing incidents of my young academic life.
I wrote an essay for my English teacher on The Trials and Tribulations of School Life. Unfortunately I thought that the word tribulation meant wonderful happenings. Well it sounds like that, doesn’t it? You know, tribute and all that, help me out here, I had no Latin and did not know at the time that it meant ‘ distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution‘.
Trouble was the things I included under the tribulations were the school secretary, the headmaster, the Dutch maths teacher and the cook. Whatever way I had worded it apparently could be read either way and the English teacher (thanks T.J.) passed it on to Mr H and I was called to his office to explain myself. I didn’t do it on purpose, really I didn’t, honest mistake and all that, I remember pleading in vain.
That was the first of many visits to the Head mostly for my pathetic attempts to act the school clown and get attention. Come to think of it, one of my children inherited that trait and as a result visits to the Head, albeit a different one, where I made excuses and apologised continued into my adult life. Like mother like daughter ……..