No autobiography, even a mini A-Z blogged one, could ignore schooldays. I have always been amazed by those who say schooldays, in retrospect, were the best days of their lives. I passionately hated nearly everything about being a schoolgirl and yet – and yet – when I looked up the web link for this autobiographical blog, (originally intending to use it) (changed my mind) I did nostalgically watch a few of the pics flicking by. Oh! The Quad! The pool! The dear (!) old playing fields! The girls still wore the same uniform (sprigged blue dresses in summer, red pleated skirts and tie in winter) and the creme de la creme still clumped together with cheesy grins in their honours blazers for annual photos. There are lots of photos on the school site, and they brought back a flickering montage of memories, too quick to distinguish. Including a photo I scrolled back to, with deep disbelief – Miss Nathan! She is STILL THERE.
She was going grey – granted, steel-grey – when I was a sullen spotty herberta doing detention every Saturday. When I became a boarder, she was one of the house mistresses. In fact when I was caught returning from bunking out to a party, with beer fumes and cigarettes still heavy on my breath, it was Miss Nathan and two prefects who were waiting for me. (Tip off from another boarder. Another story.) It was Miss Nathan who had to tell my father I was gated, when he came to collect me for the every-other-Sunday exeant, and I expect she was one of the teachers who voted enthusiastically for my expulsion back into the day school.
And there she is. Although the steel grey hair is now pure white she is otherwise unchanged. Suddenly I don’t feel quite so old. Can you really be considered old if a teacher you had in your teens is still teaching?