>Back in the day (to irritate my absent husband, who will at some stage no doubt plough through this), 30 years ago today as it happens we moved from what I regarded as home, a sleepy little Cornish village (clicking this link will show you some really charming pictures but your ears may be assaulted by some kind of ragtime tinkly stuff) and birthplace of the Twentieth century’s communications technology revolution, to the dizzy excitement of the metropolis of Falmouth.
I moved from a village school and my own clothes to a catholic school with uniform and rules and positively no swearing (no really we didn’t). The school had an infant bit and a junior bit and the juniors left at a different time; there were bells and smells and Mass every Wednesday. It was also in a new building with indoor toilets and everything. Shortly before this I had even appeared on the local news in a feature about the village schools outside loo, holding a noddy picture.
I found it scary, regimented and foreign to begin with but actually grew to love that school and the people in it.
My first kiss happened in the cloak room near the girls’ toilets in the infant area although as I was 7, I was actually counted as a junior. The bell rang for the end of afternoon break and it happened. Samuel MacBeth ran at me and planted one on my kisser. He looked at me for a moment and then ran off with a nervous sort of smile. I only remember being really taken a back. Kissing was for grown ups. One day I would want someone like Samuel, although not him exactly, but not here and not now. When it did happen I wanted him to be a cross between Carry Grant and Rock Hudson, to be wearing a shirt, tie and long trousers.
It made me grumpy. I didn’t feel invaded or violated just thought it was a bit bloody stupid and with my milk bottle complexion and red hair, my face stayed scarlet for the rest of the afternoon. Well at least until we did our times tables and said a Hail Mary.
There, Mrs Baggage, it’s done.