I remember starting a new school somewhere round here. Form 1 or 2, as they were called then. It was a Christian school. The uniforms were god awful! It had rules like any other, but this one included being paddled if you stepped out of line. I’m not sure what is more humiliating; knowing that you’re your going to get a beating with a paddle; or everyone else knowing you’re going to get a beating with a paddle. I had a near miss one day; I was late. A big No No. But I managed to talk my way out of it.
It was an intense place. Our desks, as such, were little cubby things, that were cut off from everyone else. I think the idea was that you concentrated on your own individual work. If you needed help, you put your hand up and the teacher would come. But putting your hand up in a deathly silent room with 20-30 other cubby-holed students, all diligently working their good little Christian asses off, was to say the least, a daunting thought. Needless to say, I didn’t do it often. I think I did a term or two in this place. And I was the second tallest in my year. There were two or three of us in that year 😉
And as destiny would have it, I attended this school with a cousin I didn’t even know I had. My uncle, the good one, had had a baby girl 12 years prior. And they had adopted her out; which was the common place thing to do back then. There was no government family assistance and for ‘un-wed’ parents, the whole, let’s go it alone thing, wasn’t really an option. Any who, this cousin was in the year ahead of me and her sister was in my year. When she found us all, years later, it was a huge surprise. A good surprise.
This was also the year I started smoking. Passively to begin with as the lady I caught a ride with to school, chain smoked her way through the whole trip. At the end of the day, I’d have to walk to where she worked and wait an hour until she had finished before we headed off on our smoky return trip. So while waiting for her to finish, I one day decided it’d be a great idea to have a puff on one of her ciggys. Bad idea in hind sight, but it passed the time then. It was a habit that I wasn’t able to give up though. My mother asked me if I was smoking one day. I of course lied and said no, that the driver smoked and so everything smelt like smoke. Which it did, but I had started something that I couldn’t give up.
I moved schools again, and was re-integrated or re-united with some of my old classmates. I remember feeling very different and lonely. Friends were scarce. Not that I didn’t have any, I just didn’t like or really trust them. There was the Christian hang on that leached the life out of me for the most part. And then there was the ‘lets experiment’ friends. And I wasn’t able to get away from either of them. A theme that continued for years…constantly trying to get away, and never being able to.
So, the new school, I did well at the academics. I remember winning a writing competition. But no one had told me I’d have to read the bloody thing out in assembly! Way to get noticed when I was trying to master the art of anonymity. But I must have enjoyed it really; I went back for more when me and two little friends decided to do a dance to ‘Beat It’, LOL. I rocked it though 🙂
I was still dancing at 11, and was doing well in this area. I had taken up modern dance by this time too. And I loved it. I think I really discovered how much I loved music too. Up until this time I’d been in-undated with Christian songs … you know … Majesty, Jehovah Jireh and the like. Not all a bad thing really…a topic I’ll cover later; I really do have beef with the whole Christianity thing, that I haven’t quite unfolded yet 😉 But modern dance gave me a whole element of music that I hadn’t been allowed to experience until now. My fav would have been The Clash’s Rock the Casbah! I remember doing a funky little pirouette, a kick split into a backward bend, to that one lol.
Ahhh so not everything was bad….there was good times…and the eighties were pretty good aight 🙂
Love and light to me xo