Sunday, 19 April 2015

Boarding School

I can't believe it's so long since I last blogged! So let's try and get up to date. We are just back from boarding school  in  the glorious deepest darkest  West Country venue which we now use. It's gorgeous, so quiet  and serene. Until  the NGM contingent arrives! My Guardian drove me and the Head Boy  Malcolm  down to the school to make sure that we arrived in good order. (The other year she let Mr Malcolm take me to school, and I arrived worse the wear for drink....I kid you not....the apple juice which came with my Ploughman's Lunch turned out to be some sort of very strong cider and took me off my feet!) We tumbled in through the front door and caught up with our friends. I went off to inspect this year's dormitory while Malcolm retired to the Head boy's room. I changed into uniform and pottered off downstairs to inspect the chores list and have a wander around the old place.
Several of us got together in the Common Room and had a good old chinwag. Sherbert (Mr Holmes) popped his head round the door and muttered something about  "7pm" and "the Staffroom" but we were all too excited to pay much attention.
Around ten past seven we were ordered into the Staffroom, and Miss Livingstone  told us off for being late, and said that she didn't expect to have to have us herded into the room. Perhaps, dear reader, this was not quite the right moment for me to utter a small bleat..... the baa really incensed our revered Head and she told me I could stay behind after the Meeting. My spirits sank somewhat, I doubted if we would be having a cosy chat about old times and I was proved right when she produced a cane and told me to bend over!
We had a scrummy supper of burgers and sausages, and it was all hands to the pump to clear up afterwards. Well all pupil hands that is!   Michelle turned up, but sadly she was only able to stay for twentyfour hours so we brought the Midnight Feast forward to Friday night. After the long journey to school, I could have quite happily slept right through until morning, but when the alarm went off at Midnight  I followed the others downstairs to Malcolm's room  where we sat around nibbling savoury snacks and drinking strong pop. Tommy had flaked out completely so he missed the Feast altogether.
Retribution appeared in the figure of |Miss Liversausage who walked in without knocking, would you believe, and gave us our second reprimand of the evening! Katie was well hidden  on the windowsill behind the curtains, but Miss L hunted her down with all the enthusiasm of a bloodhound tracking a desperate criminal!  Miss L made a date for us all to meet her in the Staffroom after breakfast  later in the morning, and we all trooped back to our beds.
Saturday was a beautiful day weatherwise. so  Michelle and I decided that a stroll in the grounds would be much more to our taste than a Maths lesson with Miss Lindsey. We found this lovely little hut and we were catching up on things when Miss L hove into view and caught us. She had armed herself with a strap before sallying forth, so we were summarily dealt with out in the fresh air!
There was more mischief during the day and I ruffled Vimto's feathers to such an extent that he sent me out of the room to stand in the lobby, facing the wall. He was awfully cross so I thought maybe I had better behave, and I listened intently to his lecture on photography. Eventually the lesson drew towards its close and he decided to test the class to see how much had been taken in. He asked when did photography begin, and I called out with the correct answer!  He was nearly incandescent with rage! Miss L had just come into the lobby and he asked her to take me to the Staffroom and deal with me! I couldn't understand it, I got the answer right. She duly dealt with me and he later  told me off for disrupting his lesson. I hadn't meant to be disruptive, I was just keen to let him know that I had actually been paying attention to his talk, so I apologized for getting the answer right.
Michelle departed, and we wondered what else we could do to upset the smooth running of the school. Tommy suggested that we should hide just before bedtime. This sounded like fun. We all piled into the downstairs loo and locked the door.  Sandra was fast asleep in her dorm, and Tommy had been waylaid on his way to the back regions, so he melted away and hid himself elsewhere.
Eventually the search party decided that we must be in the loo. Vimto smacked his hand against the door and ordered us out. We stayed very quiet but there was no deflecting him, and eventually we undid the bolt and sidled out. He was nearly hopping from foot to foot he was so angry. He and Miss L were on Lights Out duty and I suppose finding that the entire school had disappeared had upset their plans somewhat! He told us to get to bed, and promised us all ten strokes of the cane in the morning. We all returned to our dorms, got ready for bed, and were tucked up, to all intents and purposes looking as if we were there for the night.
Once the dust had settled we made our way by various routes down to Malcolm's room. Once again Miss L came prowling around, and we all had a second appointment in the Staff Room alongside Vimto's. That woman has such a suspicious nature!!
Zoe and I played truant during Sunday's lessons. naturally we were caught and sent back to the School. Miss Strippers gave us lines to do. She said, "Write I must not run away one hundred times and I want to be able to read every line." So that's what we wrote. She took a hairbrush to us in portions of ten strokes at a time. I held out to fifty, so had fifty left to write, Zoe managed  sixty so she only had forty! At some point I got into trouble with Vimto (surprise!) and whatever it was (memory fades....) I'd done half and Tommy had done half, but it was me that  got caught. Vimto gave me the third degree to  ask who else was involved, but I told him "I forget". He insisted I must be able to remember but I told him I wasn't going to dob on my chums to the beaks, so he gave me six for myself, followed by six for the "unknown culprit"... so Tommy ,if you are reading this, you owe me six!
That evening several of the Beaks decided to pop out into the front quadrangle for a quick smoke of smelly cigarettes.  The key was in the door, and it was a matter of seconds for me to slam the door shut while Katie turned the key, locking them out in the cold. We 'd also locked the back doors. Vimto nearly took the door off its hinges when he tried to barge it open! next time they will take the key out with them! Vimto took Katie and me into the Staffroom once he got back in and expressed his displeasure in the usual way. I wriggled a bit and told him he was hurting me in an effort to get a bit of sympathy and a lighter stroke, to which he replied with a snarl that he was not trying to tickle me!
We were all starting to get a bit tired by now, and although we made half hearted plans for a third Midnight Feast, in practice I was the only one who made it down to Malcolm's room. I  only stayed long enough to consume a packet of crisps and have a quick drink then I legged it back up to my dorm cos we thought it  might look bad if there was only the two of us even though it was a perfectly innocent tryst!   It turned out that I had managed it perfectly as our little Feast fell within Miss L checking the girls' dorm when I was still in my bed, and then her checking the Head Boy's room after I'd slipped back upstairs! Nice timing!
We crammed a lot of things into our boarding school weekend. We watched most of a black and white silent film called Metropolis. We discussed hell with A4, and he took us out star gazing too. We had a sports day during which Zoe and I attempted to recreate the Mentos/Coke experiment. It fizzled out sadly, but the intention was there! I did my own little experiment by saying "Shan't" to Vimto to see what would happen... that one didn't fizzle out, he exploded with rage and I spent another uncomfortable five minutes in the Staffroom!
We had scrummy food, and made our own gingerbread biscuits in cookery. Miss Strippers taught us how to insult the Beaks in a sort of Latin  patois (quite interesting cos we didn't have to worry about nominative, dative, ablative etc  or make the endings agree with the subject)! We were sad to go home on Monday morning, but we have day schools to look forward to, and my  guardian accidentally found an excellent place to stop at during the journey next year when we come to school again.
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Saturday, 22 March 2014

March School

March School  Assembly was  very sad. We have lost two of our own, Matron Godders and Prof Robertson. It made me think back to happier times, and I tried to pinpoint what has changed over the years. It's respect. Once upon a time there was mutual respect, but that seems to have  flown out of the window along with pride in belonging to one  House or another and striving to make that House the best. I know we can't go backwards, only forwards,  but how about we get back to some of the old standards?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

January School

Well that was a great school.  Plenty of lessons,  lots  of gentle mischief, and Dura and Susie came back too! It's so nice to see old friends, There was such a lovely atmosphere, everyone chatting to each other and conspiring to do the odd bit of mischief! The marbles were great fun, although I did hear a rumour that they were to be banned next school, along with Mentos and  Doc pepper, can't think why. I know Mr Holmes  was being very cautious in the dark trying not to step on one of course! Mr Grimshaw made a couple of satisfactory bangs when he stepped on the bangers on the floor, and I managed to blow up Morning Assembly by accident just because I pulled one of the things out with my yellow book and it landed on the floor with a resounding bang! Mr Malcolm wouldn't believe it was an accident, seemed to think I was up to ask you?
Thank you to Deedee for doing the school homework....we seem to have managed to get away without  being offered any more!
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Little Hitlers

I was watching a programme today about the rise of Adolf Hitler. He was the chappie who became the German dictator in the early 1930's and led the world into a ghastly war. I know hindsight is a  brilliant thing, and as Prof always tells us in Military History class, you can't judge history by today's standards.  Those of us who went to school in the fifties and early sixties  can empathise with this principle, our younger friends and acquaintances who were educated in the more liberal 80's and 90's can have no conception of the terror which we faced daily at school, never knowing which large, often angry, adult, was going to assault us and with what....cane, strap, blackboard duster, ruler, hand..... I even got kicked once. You didn't run home to  your parents in those days and complain, chances are you'd get a clout round the head for  coming to notice in the first place!
Anyway, back to Uncle Adolf. He really was a ridiculous little man, and it's a mystery to me just how he managed to sway so many people to his way of thinking. Of course he was very loud, very in your face, and had a total belief that he was 100% correct and anyone who disagreed with him must be an idiot.  A total disregard for authority, and a complete lack of respect for others, a pure ruthless drive to get what he wanted, and any organisations, people, or ways of life  which didn't defer to him were trampled on willy nilly.
According to the programme he didn't give a damn about  anyone, he even had his friend, Ernst Rohm, the leader of the brown shirts, killed because he feared that people might like him better, and possibly want Rohm as a leader instead of himself. This didn't gel well with Adolf; he believed he was the best, and anyone who got in his way would be removed. Luckily (or unluckily from the point of view of history), Hitler wasn't one of your shy, deep, keep your thoughts to yourself sort of guy. He was loud, brash, arrogant, and had the manners of a bullying lout. People caved in because of what they thought he could do; after all, hadn't he proved his own worth to himself early on in the War....paper hanger to military genius in one fell swoop!
Thankfully the world has  improved since then. Still lots of wars and problems of course, but Dictators  in the political world  tend to get dealt with fairly swiftly.  There are pale imitations going around still,  traffic wardens tend to spring to mind, but programmes such as this really are a real warning from history and offer much food for thought.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Well, I got the most demerits at boarding school. I even managed to beat Tommy Mac, our resident bad boy. Only by 2 demerits, and he was the boy with the mostest, but it was a small victory!  It all started the first night, someone was given a house point for doing their allotted chore, so I thought right, that's the way the wind is blowing, and set out to gain as many demerits as I could! Mr Malcolm helped, unwittingly I might add, when my continued refusal in his class to read out loud resulted in me reaping a whole seven demerits! Sorry Mr Malcolm.......

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Midnight Feast

Imagine, dear readers, the scene of the crime. On Saturday night we were thwarted in our efforts to indulge in a Midnight Feast in the Staff Room owing to the vigilance of our dear Headmistress. She had caught me creeping across the Dining Room and sent me back to bed. Instead, I let myself out of the side door, scrunched as quietly as I could across the gravel path, slipped and slithered and scrambled up onto the grass, and padded quietly round to where the others were supposed to have unlocked the side door by the Staffroom. It was locked. I couldn't see in very well, I'm just not tall enough, but assumed as the others were standing round in a circle they must be playing some sort of game. They were, but sadly not through their own choice. I tapped on the window and made frantic gestures to be let in, and tumbled into the Staffroom to find that the game the others were playing was "explain to Miss Livingboobs why we are not all in our beds". She was in the middle, leading the commentary. We  will draw a veil over the next ten minutes, suffice to say we all crept back to our beds and slept on our tummies for the remainder of the night.
We decided that maybe with the Beaks having their sleeping quarters in between the Boys Wing and Girls Wing it might be better if we had  our own gender Feast the following night. Opposite to our dormitory (Michelle, Sarah and Bethany) there was an empty dormitory, so we earmarked that for our Feast. Deedee, Katie  and Sandra duly arrived with goodies, and we settled down to put the world to rights while sipping wine, and eating cakes and biscuits. Katie thought she heard a noise, so we doused all the lights, and sat in absolute darkness, ears strained for the least sound. Slowly the door opened, we all tried hiding and suppressing our squeaks of terror as Tommy Mac bounded into the room with a cry of "here you all are". He was closely followed by Chris and Malcolm, all clutching bags of more goodies. These had been confiscated the night before, but Mr Malcolm told Chris to leave the bags on the kitchen table while he took him through to the Staffroom for punishment. Michelle and I retrieved them and hid them in... well, never mind where, we might want to use the same place next year! They had decided to try and come and find us, and had negotiated the creaking  floorboards in the dining room successfully.
We continued our chatter and our Feast, and all was well until the door was suddenly thrown open, and Miss Livingstone stood there, absolutely amazed at our temerity.  Thankfully she had only popped into the kitchen to retrieve her phone, and had no toys about her person. She had been  alerted by the light from the dormitory window above the kitchen spilling out into the courtyard, otherwise she would have returned to her slumbers  unaware of our naughtiness.
We were sent back to bed with a smacked bottom and the promise of proper retribution in the morning. she didn't forget, either! But all in all, we can chalk up yet another successful feast.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Boarding School is Imminent!

Boarding school is looming, just a few days to wait now.