Monday, June 04, 2007

Back To School

Until very recently, I believed that I was still too young to be invited to a school reunion. After all, it's only been nine years since I left secondary school, and only five since I graduated from university.

But despite still being a metaphorical spring chicken, I was recently invited to attend a reunion of all those fortunate past pupils of Tarfside Primary School who are still alive.

So, despite both suffering from chronic hangovers, Baby Brother and I headed back to the school for the first time in many years on Saturday.

Actually, that's a lie. Mither dropped us off at the school on Saturday. Which is pretty lame - a combined age of 50 and we're still getting driven to school by our mum.

It was an unusual gathering. Though many had travelled considerable distances to attend the event, many hadn't made it for one reason or another. So we were left with a strange spectrum of ages, ranging from the school's current pupils, all aged between five and twelve years, up to a handful of alumni now within grasping distance of their 80th birthdays.

(What is the correct collective name for a group of elderly folk? A wrinkle? A moan? A zimmer?)

The present, but soon to be retired, teacher at the school has retained self-made yearbooks for each of her years at the helm of the school, and it was equally intriguing and mortifying to flick through the pages chronicling my brief period as a pupil.

Parents in the early 1990s must have cruel, colourblind or both. Amongst the natty costumes I was sporting in the photos were a faded Rangers shellsuit, the jacket bleached a pastel shade closer to lilac than to the more proper Royal Blue; a Rangers strip (notice a trend here?) which I wore in its entirety, the shorts hiked up to somewhere around my armpits; and a pair of Bermuda-patterned Speedo swimming trunks, which at least provided some distraction from my lurid white pigeon chest.

Thankfully, this catalogue of what not to wear was shared equally amongst those of us who attended school around the same time, so the burden of shame wasn't mine to bear alone.

Even more toe-curling were the videos of school plays showing on a constant loop in a back room, showcasing to full effect the incendiary thespian skills of Scottish primary school children, starring yours truly affecting some god-awful English accent for recurring roles as a butler.

All in all, it was a great weekend, offering the opportunity to catch up with old friends who have been strangers for too long, drink to excess in the unique surroundings of Tarfside Masonic Hall and spend Sunday eating freshly barbecued hamburgers whilst playing football on the school playing field for the first time in nigh-on 15 years.

Needless to say, I had lost none of the magic.....


Erica said...

I saw a teacher of mine from high school a few months ago, who proceeded to present me with one of the book reports of mine she had held onto [for 15 years!]. I was definitely mortified, and as soon as I got home, I put it in a place where I hopefully wouldn't have to see it again for another 15 years.

Glad you had a good time, though. I don't suppose you'd be bustin' out any of those old pix for your adoring fans?

Groanin' Jock said...

Well, I could, as I had my mobile phone with me and used it to take photos of photos. But as they all have other people in them besides me, most of them primary school aged children, it's probably not a good idea to stick 'em online.

mirk said...

Did your Mither spit on her hankie and wipe the dirty mark aff your fizog before she sent you in ;0)