Saturday 5 September 2009


The season of mellow fruitfulness.

I don't like the beginning of September. I didn't like my secondary school years and the back to school feeling is not one I like.

It's funny how it is those years that stay with you. I loved primary school. Have very happy memories of that. I loved it when my own children went back to school. And now, in France, I love the cooler weather. Beautiful days that start just about warm enough without a sweater then become lovely sunny days. The leaves are just beginning to turn, the tomatoes are just finishing, there are still some courgettes/raspberries and the weeds aren't growing much.

Secondary school was ok, nothing particularly traumatic. It was an all girls grammar school. I now realise that we had a lot of very clever girls. A lot of academics daughters, most of the upper sixth went to Oxbridge and certainly all but a very few went on to university or teacher training college. I decided that I had had enough of exams and would get some money and leave home as soon as possible. The quickest way was a post A level secretarial course and I was out of home and earning within 9 months of leaving school.

Nothing dramatic, just always bottom of the class. We had exams twice a year, once in January and again in June. I remember sitting in the class waiting for the teacher to read out the results. It didn't matter whether she read from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top, it would still be me in one of the bottom few places. Except in maths where I came top or nearly top. But then that was division 3B so somehow that didn't count!

When I got to tech and started the shorthand/typing I was top! It was so lovely, magical to be top, able to do it easily when the other more academic girls were struggling. And then I met a gorgeous man and life was soooooo changed.

On one day in my whole tech life I wore a very, very, very short pale blue brushed denim skirt, a tight black polo necked jumper and knee high 'ox blood' (rust) suede boots with a heel. And that is the day that this gorgeous leg man saw me. I never wore the outfit again but that was enough to catch the man that I have been married to for 35 years on Monday. Bless him.

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