7 May 2015

Beginning, Middle And End

Of creative writing, my English teacher had a mantra, "beginning, middle and end".  Bloody woman.  I used to fight very hard to suppress the desire to give her a hard jab in her beginning, middle and end.

She would scold me for being too 'flowery' in my writing and despair at my lack of structure.  She would peer at me through her industrial strength glasses and sigh.

She wore crimson lipstick and, a buxom creature who favoured tight clothes, looked like she had an extra pair of breasts due to an ill-fitting bra.

My Classical Studies teacher was a flimsy, whimsical bird of a woman.  She never wore a scrap of make-up, wafted around in faded floaty skirts and spoke in barely audible tones.  Being a gentle soul, she was the butt of many a joke but her quaint ways enchanted me.  I adored Homer's The Odyssey and could do no wrong in her eyes.

I can remember most of my school days and teachers so clearly, as if it were yesterday, and yet I suddenly find myself being the mother of a son about to sit his GCSEs.  Good grief, how on earth did that happen?

Ever wish there was a pause button?



  1. Definitely. My daughter phoned me in shock a couple of months ago when it was her brothers birthday and he turned 27, how can that be she said that means he's nearly 30 I can't have a brother that old. I did wonder how she thought that makes me feel when I realise I have one that old because obviously I am only 28 myself :-) but that's only in my head unfortunately the mirror tells me the truth on a regular basis.

  2. I remember so many of my school days and teachers very well. Things I thought were annoying then, I now see the relevance of today. I had a very strict head mistress in one school when I was eight. She was a robust lady, who, I was sure, brushed her hair into a low plait with brylcreem everyday. She always wore a tweed skirt, tweed jacket, victorian style blouse fastened right the way up her neck, long brown socks (with tweed ties) and brown brogues. She had half moon glasses and there were always 3 boys waiting outside her office for the slipper (usually one being my brother!). She stood no nonsense and was feared, until, on a Butlin's trip with the school, my friends and I found her passed out in the toilets drunk one evening! Her husband had left her and she had fallen apart. I learnt then, that people all have a story.

    I had another teacher who was obsessed with good grammar. He loathed children who wrote 'your' instead of 'you are', didn't know when to use 'their' 'there' or 'they're', and wrote alot as one word. He would shout and repeat these all on the board. He loved Classical music, and we were made to sit and listen to so many Classical artists and name them. I thought he never seemed like he wanted to be a teacher, but he was my best teacher. He passed on the grammar thing to me and I drill decent grammar into my own sons as it's my bugbear on social media. It's funny when you look back and see how these people shaped you. These memories seem so long ago, yet just yesterday. Seriously, how did we get to having children doing GCSE's? I'm still a kid in my head, and only just about responsible for myself!!!!!!!!! xxx

  3. Oh yes, yes, yes I need a pause button ! For goodness sake come August I shall be in a mother-in-law !!! And my eldest baby, who was born like yesterday is going to be a married woman !! I am soooo excited but where oh where did those years go ?
    Kate xx

  4. Believe me I still feel about 30 and yet will have been married for 40 years next year . Life speedy life as you get older x

  5. Oh yes, I definitely need to slow it all down. I wouldn't mind going back and doing some of it again as well. I'd get it right this time. CJ xx

  6. Oh yes, I wish there was a pause button all the time, and a go back button too!! It shows that schooldays experiences are so much down to your teacher because you were the same person and yet had two totally different relationships with these teachers! xx

  7. Life is just too fast, and I would love to pause it every now and again but would I go back - hell no! When my children come home from school with their tales I guide them and coach them as parents do but deep down I am so glad that my school days are done!

  8. I always think it would be nice to magic our children back to littlies for the day on 3 year old birthdays and Christmas and storytime at bedtime,got to dash now feeling teary at the thought!!Best regards Pam.

  9. Yes, often. I remember my A level English lit teacher telling us how to write an essay: "tell us what you're going to say, say it, then tell us what you've said. " I got an A. Lots of luck to your son. Xx


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