But I do love spring, especially the weather. There’s something about April spring weather, when it’s sunny with a breeze, that reminds me of high school. If I haven’t said this before I loved high school, and I miss it terribly. But then last night I had the most appalling dream where there was some sort of major world war that had its basis in the school’s junior playground and carpark quad that resulted in people being fed, still alive and screaming, into a grinder to kill them (blame Emad, he asked :P) I can still see their faces. But anyway, most of my memories of school are good memories. Surprisingly some of them come back when I hear a particular piece of music (I was never into music at school), or when that April breeze wafts the smell of spring into my face. And I have been getting s lot of these flashbacks recently, and I thought I would share.
The Killers -- Human: Sixth Form English Lit lessons. I think this particular incident was in lower sixth. We had quite an in-depth discussion about the meaning behind the song’s lyrics, instigated by the teacher, not any of us. I always sat in the same place, on the corner, and out of the old casement windows you could see a tree in blossom. I remember once thinking ‘I need to remember how that tree looks, because I won’t be here next year to see it’
Maroon 5 -- She Will Be Loved: Coach journeys to (not from) school, especially when I was in years seven to nine. We had to wear skirts, and even with my uber-long Islam approved-ish skirt I still manage to ladder my very thick tights. They would get caught on the Velcro on my bag, or on part of the generally very dirty coach chairs. I used to read Harry Potter out load on the coach, and we would play cards and The Word Association Game. But most of the time I would just stare out of the window. My brother thought it was weird but I didn’t. I could just think. And there were those early mornings when I would be the first to leave the house and the world looked so beautiful and unsullied with a perfect layer of frost and mist and a terribly bright sun that we would drive into and left me with white spots on my vision.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers -- Scar Tissue: The first Arvon Foundation writing course that I went on. We had an evening where we had to read from our favourite book. I remember choosing Mort by Terry Pratchett and practised reading it to a few of the girls in the lounge because I was worried I wouldn’t be any good. That was the year with the thick pink cardigan that I wore ALL THE TIME. One girl read from an autobiography or something about the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and about suicide and one of her friends. Surprisingly didn’t freak me out. I remember where I was sitting, and that it was dark and homely, and I literally sank into the chair when it was my turn to read.
The Pride and Prejudice theme tune: Arvon again. The 3rd or 2nd time. There was this old piano and one of the girls would play the theme tune. You could hear it all round the house and I remember feeling like I was in a film, in one of those scenes from the movie when they drift from room to room except it wasn’t Austen it was my life. And it was perfect. Crisp weather outside, fire and friends and writing inside. Not a care in the world.
Toccata and Fugue by Bach: The Head of Music would play it on the organ in assembly. My friend played so many different instruments and was a huge music geek – I would tease her by calling it Tobacco and Fudge, because that’s what I heard when she said it. In the final assembly for the old headmistress she (the head) sat on the stage as the music teacher played the entire piece. It was over nine minutes long and people were getting bored and agitated but looking back I can remember the smile on the head’s face as she looked out at us all. We gave her a standing ovation at the end that may have lasted longer than the organ music.
Any Christmas Carol: Christmas at school and the Carol Service. Every year the Art Department put up these beautiful paper angels that had tinsel halos and hung from the rafters in the hall. It would already be going dark outside, and there may have been candles inside and even if there weren’t it felt like there were.
Viva la Vida -- Coldplay: The Gold D of E expedition that I did on the school’s boat (yes we had a boat...). We must have played the album over ten times, and I was listening to it whilst washing up in a galley so small that I could fully stretch my arms out and where the oven was on a swing. One day half of us were downstairs whilst the other half tried to sail through some really stormy weather. The boat tilted over so far that down below water covered the port windows and we were literally flying and falling over things. We videoed it but when we played it back it looked like the ship was still and we were just throwing ourselves around.
Now that I’ve started this I realise there are so, so many more. I would love to write them all out now but then this post would get really, really long and I still have about 2000 words of an essay left to write. So we’ll call this part one.