Damp Skoolboy

I like to get out for a walk, whatever the weather and the other day, it was whatever the weather. Rain coming down like stair rods and this called for full kit walking gear. Well “dubbined” boots, that is greased up to keep the wet out of my socks, weather proof coat with inner warm lining zipped up to the chin with hat to steer any drips away from the face area, and rain proof over trousers, which I generally refer to as ‘nipple trousers’ as the waist band reaches this area. I can go out in almost any amount of rain in this kit and the inner me stays as dry as a biscuit.

As I was tramping the streets on my way back to base camp in front of me was “damp skoolboy”. Dressed in his usual thin shirt, skool blazer and cheap grey blotting paper trousers he trudged ahead of me on his way home. He seemed completely impervious to the rain and did’nt even have a hat. Following on behind him I felt like Nanook of the North. I imagine that once he got home, his mother would have squeezed the moisture out of him like a sponge before parking him in front of the fire to fill the room with evaporating steam. He would then have probably shrunk to even smaller proportions.



The importance of washing up.

Dishwashers have been around for years now but there are good reasons for dispensing with them. First of all they use some pretty toxic chemicals to get the burnt on cinders off your beautifully crafted dishes. They can’t really be used to clean anything delicate or fine, and certainly shouldn’t be used to clean the silver cutlery. Did you hear that Jeeves? But the most important reason they should be considered superfluous is that they are desperately unsociable.

Jeeves v1

Fascinating little memorial just up the road from me here in Cheltenham at Cheltenham College, a very expensive public school with the most beautiful cricket ground. I never know that Jeeves was a cricketer and that he was the inspiration for Woodhouse’s character. The school was also the location for some of the filming of Linsday Anderson’s cult film “If”, but they don’t talk about that much. It did feature schoolboys machine gunning people from their chapel roof, so perhaps no surprise there.


In the day when washing up was the order of the day, it was, or at least should have been, a team effort. Two people minimum in any team. One to wash, one or maybe two to dry and one to pontificate and put stuff away until the next time. It should not be undertaken alone if at all possible, but of course these days it is usually people who live on their own who do wash up, instead of loading dishwashers.

What happens when two or more people gather together to wash up. They talk, they are in close proximity, they interact, in short they are sociable. Whereas it usually falls to one person to load a dishwasher. The end result of washing up is cemented friendship, the end result of a dishwasher is cemented cookware.

Awards and winning, they are not generally for me!

Awards and winning, they are not generally for me!

I mean that in the politest way I can say, they are generally not for me because they have never come my way. I’ve won very little. When quite young I won something where the prize was a balsa wood model plane, it was a Weetabix competition of some sort and I suspect that anyone who entered won an award. The plane flew once and disintegrated on landing, so no prizes for aeronautics.
I was never that good at sport, keen but no good, and managed to go through my entire gymnastic career at school without climbing the rope. I was a disappointment to my gymn teacher, but not to myself. There didn’t seem to be much point in climbing to the ceiling of the place just to come down again. I did win the modern studies prize in the first year of my sixth form and met with some disapproval when I asked for a book on the Mafia. They did not feel comfortable with the Bishop of Blackburn handing me a book on organised crime, but to be fair they went through with it. I can see his rather strained smile now. I ruined it all the next year by failing all the subjects that I got the prize for, apart from Art which I just scraped through.
So being nominated for the versatile blogger award this morning felt like winning.If I win I won’t thank anyone apart from the kind person who nominated me, because I simply do not know what it all means.