Posted tagged ‘School attendance’

Here, or Present, there be prizes

September 13, 2014

report-cardThe last week at school before it broke up for summer holidays has memories I will always cherish. These last days were happy and the expectation of even happier times, no school, made them sweeter. Not many children were present at the “classes”. Only the most devoted, a small handful, that is the ones that their mothers forced to go, were in attendance.

For the ones that dogged it they missed a good time. You could wear your own “uniform” for a start; jeans and Adidas t-shirts and stuff like that. I’m sure snake belts were in fashion then. Can’t remember what the girls were wearing. Didn’t speak to girls in those days. You were allowed to bring board games in and CDs. No that’s not right. You could bring in vinyl records and the teacher would dig out an old player to spin them on.

While the doggers (it’s a shame how that word has been hijacked by the nefarious activities of “gangs“) were out enjoying the outdoors and playing on swings or kicking a ball about the hardcore pupils were learning new tricks. I think I learned more in the last week than the other forty five or so. As I got older and was still forced to march to school on the last week the seminars had moved on from simple games to more riveting material. Teacher showed a bunch of us how to play chess. Learning the chess moves was fascinating and I have never lost my enthusiasm for the game. Grasshopper will never forget this master. He was a teacher called Mr Littlejohn though he was well over six foot in height. In my lost middle years I could not find the time for chess though with countless online chess communities nowadays a game is never far away. I am no Grandmaster but I can play a vicious fork now and again. Nf3+.

Another plus was that I heard AC/DC and Whitesnake for the first time during this period. A more mature pupil brought in a collection of long players and since then I have loved rock music. No more pop for me except, of course, cola. Just around the corner was TNWOBHM. What a time to be alive! My hair has never been long though I consider myself a hard rocker through and through

Ain’t no love in the Heart of the City, ain’t no love in the Heart of Town.

Ain’t no love, sure ’nuff is a pity.


A bonus of appearing every day at the palladium was at school prize day every year I would win for attendance. Not one of the most sought after medallions but much better than the most improved pupil award. The MIP winner must have been garbage in class during the previous year. Probably didn’t know a Bishop from an Elder or Ozzy from Lemmy. Maybe if they were present each and every day they would know these things.

So what was the attendance prize? Not a bag of sweeties which would have been wonderful, no siree, it was a newly pressed hardback book. After winning these hardbacks I said to myself that I suppose I better read them. And therein I began my love affair with reading. Incidentally, I also have a soft spot for Reading FC. Read into that what you will. One of the first books I won was Shadow the Sheepdog by Enid Blyton. Magic. Just a magical read. My copy still resides in my mother’s loft. One day I’ll bring it down, dust it and photograph it as proof of my impeccable credentials as a school attendee. In the meantime, here’s a google image of said book.

Shadow the sheepdog