Friday, January 28, 2005

Talking of the 70's (which I was earlier), I've been thinking about my complete inability to wear anything which looked even remotely good during my school days.

It appears that kids these days know exactly what they want to wear the moment they emerge from the womb, "Take that Next baby grow away - I'll only be seen in ...(add your designer label of choice)". For me it was all so different, I was the classic kid who has his clothes bought for him by his mum. According to Orynthia, the photographic evidence from that period indicates that I was in receipt of some rather fine knitwear.

My main memory however is of complete bafflement as my schoolmates emerged butterfly like into adolescence, wearing all manner of clothing which was wider, brighter and texturally stranger than anything I could understand. In hindsight I suppose that my mother protected me from the worst excesses of the period, however to compensate for that I was subjected to a collection of clothes which were sensible to the point unreasonableness.

In the later stages of my schooling, a quiet rebellion of sorts started to rumble, within my nylon clad chest. I decided that the black sensible shoes from the Tuff factory outlet shop in Kingswood were no longer right for me. I put my foot down (no doubt clad in the black plastic shoe of my mothers choice) and said that I needed to have a pair of platforms, like every other boy in my school. Of course it was a dreadful mistake, the hideous pair of brown shoes I chose were ugly, ungainly and ultimately unwearable. Needless to say, fairly soon I was dutifully following my mum back to Kingswood for another pair of generic black shoes.

An earlier, more painfully memory around schoolboy clothing, is of my first trip to school in long trousers. This was in good old days of junior school, which is probably known as "year zero" or something in the new fangled American style school systems which we have now. I guess that I was probably one of the last 3 or 4 boys in my class who was still turning up for school, on freezing cold winter mornings wearing dark grey shorts and socks, which were nicely offset by the lovely blue of my freezing legs.

Eventually my parents took pity on me and I was taken to Hodges on Fishponds Road for a pair of full length trousers. The following Monday, I proudly marched into school feeling every inch the mature young man about town. Sadly disaster lurked just around the corner, that day my classmates and I embarked upon the making of a spectacular papier-mâché creation. I eagerly joined my young friends as we set about the task of creating a wonderful mountainous landscape.

The day ended with us standing back, admiring our handiwork, quite impressive it was too for a bunch of 8 year olds. I did what I'd been doing all day, wiped my gluey, gunky hands on my trousers! Then for the first time I looked at my previously impressive new leg wear - OH NO! They were of course covered in the detritus of our endeavours.

I returned home and was greeted by my stony faced mother, the next day I was back in the shorts. I had proved that I was not yet ready for the extra responsibility that comes with being grown up and the guardian of full length trousers. It was several weeks before, I was given the chance to test my maturity again.


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