Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh what fun we had...


So it's goodbye to the summer. Or so we're led to believe by the likes of M&S or Asda.

I always used to think, and I still think now, that shop window displays that scream 'back to school' before the summer holidays are even half way through are cruel beyond belief.

I remember my heart sinking when catching sight of these. Not only were windows full of uniforms, but also pencil cases and stationery too. All those useless things like set squares and compasses. They were only good for piercing rubbers or doing a home-made tattoos. I still can't really look at a protractor to this day. In fact it took me ages to remember what they were called, they're that unnecessary. But I didn't mind buying things like Letraset, Dymo labelling machines or Tipp-Ex. Everyone had Tipp-Ex. What a mess it made. Tipp-Ex thinners were real status symbol too.

The only good thing about the new term - apart from seeing your mates - was having a new pencil case to doodle on, your favourite bands gradually taking over until you couldn't see the original colour. What was on yours? Motorhead? Dollar? Human League? Set The Tone (as my friend Paul did on his, not ever having heard a note of their music), The Peech Boys?

I had a friend who was an ace artist who drew The Police on one of mine for me, singing So Lonely. It was really good. I wish I'd kept it.

Anyway, it wasn't that I didn't like school - I couldn't wait to get back to sixth form, though we all had our darker moments - but no one wants to be reminded that they actually have to go back there. It sends a shiver down my spine, especially when I think of being the new boy in a place where everyone knew each other. That happened often. It's okay on day two, but day one is hideous. Remember those semi-sunny days, walking home as summer turns to autumn...

So let's think of a song that reminds us of going back to school.

Look! It's B A Robertson, with his 1979 end of the summer back to school smash Bang Bang!

12 comments:

Graham Kibble-White said...

This is a cool post.

Dan W said...

Very evocative. I remember the first day at secondary school and travelling back on the bus, with a final summer sun blinding us all within, while we all tried not to be look absolutely terrified of the bigger kids behind.

New pencil cases full of items like protractors and compasses always felt so good; as if 'this year, I will work hard', and then by October you'd lost it all, or had it nicked, and you were happy to scrap a B minus and let the C minus lot take the flak.

Happy times.

Valentine Suicide said...

Top post FC.

I didn't have a pencil case. I had one of those oblong Oxford instrument tin cases. The compass was used to scratch artwork into the surface of the tin. The serious drawings were on my pale blue Adidas holdall.

How about ABC's All of my Heart or Simple Minds' New Gold Dream/Someone Somewhere in Summertime?

Five-Centres said...

Oh yes, VS, 1882. And can we add Pass The Dutchie to that list too.

Five-Centres said...

Sorry, that should be 1982 of course. I don't the hits of 1882.

Valentine Suicide said...

Since You've Been Gone by Rainbow is also ringing a (school) bell, rather disturbingly

Helen said...

'Long, Hot Summer' Style Council, 'The Wheel' Spear of Destiny and 'Dear Prudence' Siouxie and the Banshees all remind me of the summer/autumn of starting Hurtwood. Probably quite similar to you, hated always being the new girl, but then really used to look forward to going back to sixth form and writing Peech Boys on my pencil case!

Five-Centres said...

I'd second you Dear Prudence, and add Red Red Wine by UB40, All Night Long by Lionel Richie, Modern Love by Bowie and This Is Not A Love Song by PIL for that first term, Hels.

Ishouldbeworking said...

A fine post.

'Ashes to Ashes', September 1980. Going into my A-Level year, a very full-of-myself little New Romantic. The only year I ever remember enjoying the return - I had all those lovely new cummerbunds to show off.

Prior to that, the return to school was an annual ordeal, and whatever was number one at the time would come to sound like a death knell to me. New pencil case or not.

Simon said...

Returning for the third year at secondary school to find Mark had got his ear pierced over the summer is the one that sticks in my mind.

And I still have my final pencil case - blue denim, with assorted equations scribbled on the inside and thankfully never checked by the A level invigillator. Not that I needed the reminders, honest!

Sky Clearbrook said...

I remember coming to the end of Primary 7 in 1983 and we got a day trip to the High School we'd be joining after the summer holidays. I will forever associate Yazoo's Nobody's Diary with that visit.

The summer holidays of that year rang to the sound of Freeez's IOU, The Kinks' Come Dancing and Depeche Mode's Everything Counts.

Autumnal hits, Simple Minds Waterfront, Culture Club Karma Chameleon, Madness The Sun and the Rain, Duran Duran Union Of The Snake, Adam Ant Puss In Boots, and Billy Joel's fucking Uptown Girl remind me so much of my first term at that new school.

Like it was yesterday... just like it was yesterday.

Five-Centres said...

Ah, those salad days...

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