Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Ordinary Life 3
In 1970 I went to secondary school. Again a step into a larger world. Because of the system I was now mixed with students from a wide area of North East Bristol. Five miles and two buses from my village home, I was exposed to wonders new and little understood.
To go back a little, my upbringing wasn’t sheltered; at least I don’t think it was, but the opportunity for certain experiences were limited by its rural remoteness. Not everybody had a car in the sixties. There were only four telephones in the village, ours being the phone box along the road. Going to school on the outskirts of a city of millions was big! Suddenly there were other kids that could do maths.
I think I rose to it, although I floundered in sport, the only one I did well in was the high jump, but then you might expect that of an eleven year old who was narrowing his gap with being six feet tall. Physically I was poorly coordinated. Academically I was firmly B stream. Except in science and maths where I found it simple to excel. I was fascinated by languages eventually taking Latin to improve my prospects! Along the way though I was lazy. I couldn’t get of my arse to have a passion for geography, the history I was taught seemed dry despite the efforts of castle builders. It took me many years to come back to these with interest. Perhaps my greatest surprise to myself was learning French and some of the knock on effects that this had.
I was still felt very shy around girls. Looking back now I can see that there were plenty that were interested. Most of them couldn’t wait long enough for the penny to drop though. The prospects for a teenage fumble at the glamrock discos of the early seventies were grabbed by bolder souls than I, and so for most of the first four years, girls remained an exotic mystery.
1975 saw an end to all that.
Pardon? Oh yes, Top far left.