Monday 11 January 1988

…Back to school today.
We got off to a right start this morning by having some homework set: honestly.
It’s called A Winter’s Tale, which the teacher has pinched off William Shakespeare.
We have to make up our own tale, though.
It’s a bit of a lazy idea for some homework.
In PE we were supposed to have our first lesson on all the gym equipment, but
we spent the whole time learning how to get it out and set it up.
We didn’t actually DO anything!

Just the thought of that weird webbed substance on the underside of gym mats still gives me a Proustian shudder. It always seemed to me the least appropriate material to offer protection from sharp falls and high-velocity antics. I could never understand why we were encouraged to climb all the way up ropes attached to the gym walls with just ONE SOLITARY MAT at the bottom for safety.

There was an enormous vault over which we were expected to jump. It’s hard to imagine any other object that could rob as much dignity as possible from both adolescent boys AND girls.

Mini-trampolines were also in evidence, which meant the same went for unsupported body parts on all genders.

This was all getting too much.

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