2 Feb 2012

And Then, Snow May Come….

With the chance of a little snow on the horizon my mind did one of its time travel thingies and I ended up back in primary school, aged about seven.

This is an awful long time ago, let me tell you. I remembered the times happily walking to school through the overnight snow, then all of us kids sitting in the classroom just waiting for playtime so’s we could get back out into it. Back out into it? Like we had a choice? Back then the weather had to be bad on Biblical proportions before we were allowed to stay indoors. Remember?

At playtime, somehow, natural selection kicked in and within seconds of being out in the snow, two groups had formed, a defensive group and an attacking group. Again, within seconds the defenders were busy rolling and pushing snow to construct a ‘U’ shaped redoubt. ‘U’ shaped? Of course. Open at the back to facilitate a quick and unobstructed escape should the need arise.

This group sub-divided to form redoubt constructors and ammunition makers with a further ammunition maker sub-group of roughie toughie kids secreting stones in their snowballs. Bless 'em.

The attacking group were similarly manufacturing ammunition while a small sub-group was involved with formulating redoubt attacking tactics along the lines of, “We’ll charge now then.”

Soon battle was joined and the air was filled with flying snowballs, small, and not so small, stones, kids wild screams and, occasionally, from far away, the voice of a teacher reminding us to be careful. Yeah, right.

Eventually it was close quarters combat. At this time, with ammunition low and not a snowball in hells chance of making a snowball, scratching, biting, a bit o’ hitting an' kicking was used with no mercy shown by either side. Alarmingly, the girls seemed to be the fiercest close quarter fighters.

All too soon the whistle went and back inside we trooped nursing various scratches, cuts, nose bleeds and the occasional loose tooth, grinning from ear to ear, to wait for the lunch hour when battle would be re-joined, spookily, from exactly where it left off at playtime.

And teachers reactions when viewing the wet, bedraggled, bleeding, battered, grinning bunch of kids before them? “Who won then? Looks to me like you all lost. Right, what's next? **Ah, here we are, Health and Safety then Global Warming.”

That was then. Do they still get to do that stuff now? No? Well, I’m so surprised you could knock me down with a stone loaded snowball.

**That bits made up by the way.

Quote; Norm Crosby.

"My school was so tough the school newspaper had an obituary section."


Giolla Decair said...

Your youthful memories seem to match rather well with mine. I also seem to recall that the school uniform consisted of shorts almost regardless of weather - and some classes took advantage of snow for lessons in building techniques.

Mac said...

Forgot the short trouser bit. And the girls had to wear skirts. Having been reminded of shorts, I now seem to remember, at the schools I attended, long trousers didn’t come into the uniform equation ‘till age fourteen. They were made from some sort of gray sacking material...

Caratacus said...

As GD said, your memories mirror mine almost to a 'T'. :-)

Eee - we were 'ard in them days... I remember wading through thigh-deep flood water to do my paper round one year, in Brixham of all places. Thought it was great fun too. Mr Smardon accepted it as entirely normal that his full quota of girls and boys turned up that morning. But we were given a penny chew each in recognition of our efforts.

Apropos of nothing in particular, you must surely be cheered by the news ref old Propeller Head this a.m. Of course we mustn't say anything that may prejudice a fair trial for the condescending fool ... but perhaps a small measure of schadenfreude may be in order?

Caratacus said...

Further to above:


Deep Joy!