A different world

When I was seven, in the last few weeks before I changed from infant school to junior school, my grandma was taken ill and my parents went to help look after her in her last days.  I went with them.  She was at my aunt’s house, and so we stayed there too.  While we were there I was enrolled in the local infants’ school, just up the road.  I also attended the Salvation Army church, which was just over the road from Auntie’s house.  One thing I remember is that you got a special award if you attended Sunday school five times, and I just about managed to do it in the seven weeks I was there.

I don’t remember much about that time; I do remember a little about the school.  In fact it could be where the strange reaction to communal eating comes from. In the school I usually attended, lunch was taken in two sittings.  In this one there were about six different sittings, because of the relative size of the dining room/hall and number of children.  I think it was the first time I met chocolate pudding and green custard as well (mint!).

One memory of the time was being embarrassed in assembly because our task for the morning was to draw a line to divide our page in half and then draw a picture on the top half and write about it on the bottom half.  All I’d managed during the entire morning was to draw the line.  Instead I’d spent the time talking – actually I don’t think that was so bad, considering I’d been uprooted completely and really didn’t make friends easily!

Another memory is the school trip we went on.  I was excited to be going, but was sick before I went.  My mother put it down to excitement and sent me to school anyway.  I was sick again on the way to school, and again on the coach, and again as we went round the big house we were visiting (by this time I’d been provided with bags!).

In the afternoon, we were taken to play in a big adventure playground, and as by this time I was feeling better I queued eagerly for my first chance at climbing a ladder up a tree to a big tree house, but the girl before me got stuck and had to be rescued, so the rest of us were then banned from going on anything more exciting than the maze, much to my disgust.

I liked my aunt’s house; it was long, and right on a corner.  There was a black and white tiled hallway, and we always went in the side door, not the front door.  There was an outside toilet, and another one upstairs that we weren’t allowed to use during the day. The only thing I didn’t like about staying with my aunt or Grandma was the occasional times when they had sterilized milk instead of pasteurized milk.

My uncle (Dad’s brother) and aunt were there, and I had grown up cousins around as well, who I didn’t see very often usually.

I think my sister came to visit at least once, but being a lot older she was working by that point, I think, or staying at home to finish exams.

The day my Grandma died, I suddenly got the idea that as the rest of the house seemed sad maybe I should be reacting that way too, but most of the time I really didn’t notice anything.

I didn’t go to the funeral.  Instead, I think I went to spend the day with friends of my aunt.  I vaguely remember the child there had a drum set, which I enjoyed playing.

While the others at my temporary school toured their new junior school I remained in class, as there was no point in me going round there; I wouldn’t be staying much longer.  When I left, they all gave me a card and a story book about dinosaurs.  They’d all signed their names.

When I got home, everyone had broken up for the summer, having presumably had their own chance to tour the new junior school.  On my first day back in September I stood in the playground with very little idea of where I should be going or what I should be doing, because I’d missed the tour in July.

That few weeks away from home seem very strange, looking back, a different world.  I’ve visited my aunt’s house again since, when my eldest son was small, but one day I might go back, walk further up the road and see if I can find the infant school that I once attended for seven weeks, and see how much of it I remember. In fact, I do believe it’s a place I visit occasionally in my dreams.


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1 Comment

  1. Hi honey 🙂

    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

    You can find the info here: http://the-view-outside.com/2012/12/20/beautiful-inspiring-go-me/

    I hope you decide to accept, but, you’re under no obligation to ok 🙂



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