Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thursday’s Weather

I’ve had the glums for last few days – a combination of work dross, lack of sleep, a bad back and the interminably grey skies that have sat over the entire country like a giant pie crust.

What kind of filling are we, I wonder? Steak and kidney? Chicken and mushroom? Beef and onion?

I have no idea and as you can imagine pondering such questions has done little to improve my mood.

However, I can’t deny that there is something comforting about the featureless grey skies that have lidded my world for the last three days. Maybe I’m only saying that because I’m English and we English are secretly proud when our weather proves to be even more mundane and dreary than our European cousins think it.

For some reason it takes me back to my junior school days... huddling in the playground wearing a home knitted bobble hat and those annoying mittens tied together by a giant piece of string, watching the world go by over the other side of the school fence, thinking how lucky all the grown ups were to be able to go about their lives without having to be stuck at school all day...

I seem to recall that for a short period in 1980 there was a huge thunderstorm nearly every Thursday afternoon. Forked lightning and everything. It sticks in my mind only because the headmaster at the time – the evil Mr Enoch – informed us that Thursday was named after Thor, the Norse god of Thunder (hence Thor’s Day) and so the thunderstorms were all rather apt.

Sigh. I’m so glad I came out of school with something embedded in my skull (other than a thrown chalk rubber).

And now I sit at work, watching the world go by outside my window and think how lucky all the kids are to be attending school rather than sitting here behind my desk grubbing at interminable paperwork and trying to diffuse the latest plumbing disaster to hit the public toilets...

Is that amused hammering I can hear in the distance...?

18 comments:

Tristan said...

If you're getting nostalgic about Mr Enoch (the scariest man in the world), then you definitely need to find a new job!

Steve said...

Yes, wasn't he vile? Thanks to Mr Enoch's psychopathic teaching methods I didn't learn to swim until I was 30! His method of dealing with nervous learners was to throw them into the pool. Literally. I developed a huge phobia that made my school life hell for the entire year that we had swimming lessons. I believe he was just as vile to the other teaching staff too - I'm sure Mr Gardener ended up having a nervous breakdown because of Mr Enoch's bullying. Possibly I'm risking a lawsuit here by such revelations but I fondly suspect that the old git (Mr Enoch that is) is well and truly dead and pushing up a roadside verge somewhere... hey, I can dream, can't I?

The Hitch said...

Know the feeling
But the suns shining today, plus going on sunbed
Try it steve it works

Rol Hirst said...

My first-day-of-school memory involves grey skies and interminable rain... but I think that was pretty much the 70's as a whole.

Steve said...

Hi Hitch, I must admit I've never thought of myself as a sunbed person. I can't even sit still long enough to sunbathe at a beach let alone lie in a human toaster for half an hour! Plus I don't look good in goggles. Not a great thing to admit to when you're a spectacle wearer...!

Hi Rol, actually you're right. Thats sums up the 70's exactly. Life On Mars featured way too much sunshine for it to be considered accurate!

-eve- said...

I'd heard about Thor's day before, but forgot. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

EmmaK said...

I dunno, school was okay until I was about 12 but after that it got a bit harder and so boring. Spending all day drawing love hearts on exercise books and thinking about my latest crush. I think you're looking back on your schooldays with rose tinted spectacles, christ, don't your remember the lumpy custard with skin on top or maybe that was just my school. Also Spam Fritters, cold wedges of grease. Remember? could give indigestion for weeks.

per.pri said...

When I think of school before the age of 12 the first thing I think of is sunshine. When I was a kid it always felt like summer. It was always happy.

If I consciously think to remember a time when it was Autumn/Winter I have recollections of 'Wet Play'. We were kept indoors because of the rain and got to play board games, build Lego models, build Brio train tracks... even then my memory tricks me and adds in sunshine.

From the age of 12 onwards it all changes though... Growing up - life is no longer full of sunshine.

The Sagittarian said...

You were lucky, I used to dream about having a vile teacher....

Steve said...

Hi Eve - always a pleasure!

Hi Emma - I'm just looking back at my school days with spectacles full-stop! I do recall some truly awful school dinners - sardines in tomato sauce was a particularly dire one, plus mash potatos - urgh: always dry, lumpy and with a texture like grit. Thankfully my parents allowed me to take in a packed lunch once they saw how little food I was actually eating at school.

Per-pri - I remember wet play too though I hated being cooped up inside with that awful strip lighting; it always gave me a headache. The teachers were always more bad tempered with us kids running around indoors too as they had to keep a closer eye on us - I guess they couldn't slope off for a fag break with us indoors! Regarding the sunshine - it does come back out again! Trust me!

Hi Amanda - why on earth would you dream about having a vile teacher? You could have had Mr Enoch with the greatest pleasure in the world - even now the man is a blight on my childhood!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I feel a bit wiped out too. And I have a bad back. It must be catching!

Steve said...

Poor you! You have my sympathies! I'm very glad that bad backs aren't catching though... God, can you imagine? Bad back epidemics... bad backs spread by sneezing...!

Old Cheeser said...

Oh no! You've been feeling glum too. Sorry to hear it.

Teachers, eh?

Annie said...

Hi Steve, so sorry to hear about the winter glums - I get 'em too. It's the lack of light - maybe you would benefit from a light box.

With regard to school meals, eeee when I were a lass (I'm 9 years older than you) I would've dreamed of sardines and lumpy mash. You're probably too young to remember being force-fed stew with fatty meat, pearl barley and huge processed peas, semolina, sago (frog spawn) and pink custard (that wasn't too bad actually!)

Re. your back back - is it a persistent problem? Try a chiropractor - a tad pricey but often the difference between comfort and hell.

TimeWarden said...

Despite the weather, I've given up travelling home on the buses preferring to walk!

Steve said...

Hi OC, yes teachers are very much a double edged sword. A really good one can make you but a bad one... can mess you up for years.

Annie, I do indeed recall semolina and pink custard! In fact I seem to recall we also had green (mint) custard at our school too. We used to have it with "chocolate cracknell" which was basically a pudding made out of cornflakes and melted chocolate. One of my favourite puddings at the time actually.

Hi TimeWarden, being a keen perambulator myself I can definitely see the attraction to walking on a bright crisp day. The sun is out today and everything smells clean and fresh... as a consequence I'm feeling much better. I hope your mum is well on her way to recovery.

Daisy said...

i am usually really great on grey days...i cherish them...but to be honest the past week has been rough for even me...i don't know if it is how SAD is affecting some friends of mine or the weather actually affecting me but i was so glad to take a walk this morning in the sun!

Steve said...

Too right, Daisy - sunshine and blue skies here... and it makes such a difference to everybody's mood!