Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Back to School

By the time I returned to school after my accident I had a lot to catch up on with the first major examinations, known as the School Certificate.  My worst subject was Maths, which also affected Physics and Chemistry. As Dad was an accountant and good with figures, he could not understand my apparent inability to grasp the basics, never mind algebra and geometry.   He just became frustrated and I became upset so it was decided I should receive extra tuition from the school Maths' teacher.  That, together with excellent teaching in class, got me through in the end.  However it was clear by this time that sciences were never going to be my strong point.  I did enjoy art and I managed to cope with the other subjects in the curriculum.

Now I was fit I took up sport again.  Swimming was good exercise and I always took part in the swimming gala at the local open-air pool. In the summer holidays the pool was a great place to meet friends (in particular my three pals John Waters, John Armstrong and Malcolm Ayers) and get to know some of the girls. The other favourite meeting place was the park. There were plenty of tennis courts so this became a sport I enjoyed too. We were even allowed to play bowls under the ever-watchful eyes of the park keepers.

I was not too good at athletics, although I could run well enough to compete on school Sports Day.  Later on, when I was doing Art A level, I was given the job of writing out the winner and place certificates for presentations at the end of the day. My friend and I used to have fun writing out false certificates with our own names on, winning events in spectacularly good times!

I played rugby in the winter, hockey in the spring and cricket in the summer. I was never good enough to play on the first team pitches, which were located adjacent to Park Road and passers-by would stop to watch. I always imagined one day I would represent my school at sport and my chance finally came when they introduced rowing. Located on the River Nene, Peterborough had a good straight stretch of water suitable for rowing, so I eventually discovered my natural sporting inclination.


  1. Still very much enjoying your Dad's adventures!
    He must have been so relieved to go back to normal after this nasty fall!

  2. I can empathise with the maths illiteracy. My dad's a maths graduate and he kept all the talent to himself. None of his kids are good at it!

  3. @Funky - I know, poor wee boy, being off that long.
    Glad you're still sticking with it!

    @Sarah - He must have found that so frustrating! I don't think I've got my dad's artistic flair but I hate maths, as he did.

  4. I can sympathize with your dad. I wanted to be a physician until I found out it required me to take heaps of not only mathematics, but also science. A rude shock, and undoubtedly the reason both of my degrees are in literature.

    On a side note, you probably know that we Americans refer to it as just 'math' (singular.) However, since most of Son#2's classmates here in Seoul are British/Canadian/Australian,NZ, he has upset the applecart by coming home and referring to it as 'maths'. He corrected himself initially, but has finally given in to peer pressure and no longer even tries. Wonder how long it will take to get out of the habit when we return home?

  5. @MsCaroline - interesting that we bloggers/writers struggle with our Math/Maths! I remember I wanted to be a pharmacist at one stage but my better subjects were all arts-based so that all changed.