At our school we wore red ties and big, blue, woolly sweaters.
Groaning, frowning, learning all those numbers, saints and letters.
The nuns were big and ruthless and they loved to swish the cane.
The summer skies were always blue, it never seemed to rain.
I had a cat sewn in my bag - I couldn’t read my name -
till some wise wit made fun of it – I nearly died of shame.
Sat upon a wooden bench my face screwed up during French -
not for Past or Present tense but ‘cos Miss knew - I was dense.
Gran knit me a balaclava – I wore it, rain or shine,
reversed like a face mask and played at Batman – dinner time.
Paired with a blue raincoat. I looked a div – but what the heck,
the daring Caped Crusader – with the arms tied round my neck.
Teachers seemed old and wise – their nerves taut like a rubber band.
When they snapped – the vicious whistling ruler hit your hand.
Chalk dust clouds in the air. Milk sat by the radiator.
Gulping lukewarm lactic - praying for a respirator.
Paint brushes and jam jars that held the colours of our dreams –
Reds, blues and gaudy greens – not washed out lemons, mauves and creams.
Darkened cloakrooms hid the fear - the creepy monster striving
to grab us in kid-catcher claws if we dared be skiving.
We would all run down to the fields, where all the kids would play.
Doing wheelies on our Choppers and let the devil pay.
Down the alley, off we hurtled, kicking balls, swinging bats,
trying to keep the evil, older, kids from nicking hats.
I hear my mum calling me - twilight show so well rehearsed.
Smell of bonfires in the air, running till my lungs will burst.
The blazing sun set gold - and even as a child I see
the passing day of childhood slowly sneak away from me.
Yet, look back now, see it clear – like a summer pond in haze –
the tempting, chilling danger. Reminiscing on Skool Daze.
photo credit Mick Rock - original album cover design (rejected) for Mott The Hooples 'All the Young Dudes'