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day 14 - your earliest memory.

I can't really remember much before primary school with any great clarity. Primary school I have lots of random memories of. I can remmeber the building; 2 stories, red bricked, stairs at either end and possibly t-shaped. The shape comes from my memory that the playground was divided in two by the presence of a chunk of the school sticking out. I'm guessing it must have been the assembly hall. The playground was divided as such because the younger kids and older kids weren't allowed to play together.

I remember that each gender only had 1 loo in the whole building; the girls was at one end, the boys at the other. Not sure how this worked with the split playground thing though. The boys loo was just a donut shaped room with a urinal trough in the floor against one wall. No idea what the girls was like - I guess I was never brave enough to explore. I know the girls were terrified of going into the boys loos and it made a good hiding place from them...except for it having only one entrance/exit.

I can't remember any of the teachers though. I do have one vivid memory of one of them getting irate at me for not having dried myself quickly enough after a swimming lesson and coming over and vigorously "giving a hand". The school had it's own swimming pool. It was outdoors in a building that looked a lot like a plastic greenhouse. The water was always ice cold - I suspect they only did swimming lessons in the winter. There were no changing rooms, so we always got changed/dried/whatever in a random classroom.

I think that's enough memories for now tho and I've saved the embaressing/interesting ones from seeing the light of day ;)



You can't remember your primary school teachers? I can remember all of mine, vividly. Even some of their first names, though we never called them by them.

1st year infants: Mrs Greenhill (Pam)- middleaged, overweight woman with dark curly hair. Goodnatured generally but could be a bit of a disciplinarian, didn't really know what to do with gifted kids, viewed them as disruptive. Taught me to knit.

2nd year infants: Mrs Laidler (Grace) - severe, hatchet-faced woman with a temper. Didn't seem to actually like small children at all. Told my mother that she and I had a 'personality clash' (mother not amused by this).

3rd year infants: Mrs Gibson - tall, wore glasses. Very engaged and smart. Particularly good at teaching English.

1st year juniors: Miss Strong (Alison) - younger teacher, blonde hair in a sort of Princess Diana style. Nurturing and lovely. I think we probably gave her the runaround a bit.

2nd year juniors: Mr Stephenson - Yorkshireman. To our eyes anyway incredibly tall (over 6 foot) with huge feet. Bit old fashioned in his ways though he was probably only in his late 30s/early 40s, but generally well-loved.

3rd year juniors: Mrs Laidler again - she'd switched classes due to a reshuffle when Mrs Gibson left. Seemed to like me a bit better this time if only because she'd worked out I could outsmart her. Made us do lots of tedious and pointless craft projects involving wool. Often vindictive and unfair.

4th year juniors: Mr Purvis (Gordon). Trim man with a moustache. Very intelligent and wanted to push kids to do their best. Threw a party for the leavers at his house in the next village - that sort of thing probably wouldn't be allowed anymore!

Headteacher #1: Mrs Robinson (Hilary). Maternal, wise, lovely woman in her 50s. Had a perm and wore glasses on a chain around her neck. Everyone adored her and cried when she left.

Headteacher #2: Mr Yorke (Peter). Was only there for my last year. Very much wanted to be a new broom and liked things done his way. Nicknamed 'Peter Perfect' by the other teachers.

Other figures at the school:

Mrs Thursden, the teacher who replaced Mrs Gibson. Eccentric older woman with flyaway hair pulled into a bun with lots of pins, rode a bike with a tartan basket. Called everyone 'poppet'. We called her Supergran.

The caretaker. Can't remember his name now - it'll come to me. Short, round bald man who always had a packet of Polo mints in his pocket. Played Santa at Christmas.

Mr Alderson, the peripatetic brass teacher who taught me tenor horn. Dapper chap with a robustly Northern sense of humour and perfectly coiffed silver hair.

Mrs Fairlie, the swimming teacher. We used to get bussed out to a neighbouring school for swimming lessons, in an over-chlorinated pool that was invariably freezing. She was a horrible woman who viewed inability as a form of weakness, and used to duck kids who didn't like putting their faces in the water. Universally despised.

I can remember a few sketchy details about my middle school teachers, but no names. And I remember having a really awesome arts teacher called Mrs Ford in high school. And my a-levels maths was taught by Mr Celine(sp?). But aside from that, nothing. I guess it means that my teachers didn't make much of an impression on me?