Friday 16 January 1987

…This evening I ate an apple and everybody complained about the noise
so I went upstairs…

I’ve long had an aversion to eating apples in enclosed public spaces, and I wonder if this is from where it hails.

I would never, for example, munch one on the Underground, or on a bus. I’m happy to do it while walking down a street, but I’d never dare do it sitting at my desk at work. Apples are extremely nourishing but also extremely anti-social. If the noise doesn’t irk the people around you, then the sight of tangy spittle dribbling all over your chin and hands most certainly will. Plus it makes you feel shabby and out-of-sorts. Best to keep this habit for when you’re alone, or when you’re alone in a crowd.

In other news, my primary school was still closed, snow still lay thick on the ground, and I’d got to spend my time watching daytime television. Hurrah!

Tuesday 16 December 1986

…It was the traditional Christmas lunch at school with turkey, potatoes,
stuffing, carrots, sausages and gravy with, what else,
Christmas pudding to finish.
In the afternoon and evening we had the Christmas carol concert.
I read my lines all right.
The choir remembered their lines and
I played the piano without any mistakes…

Leicestershire Education Authority did us proud on this day.

The food was carried into school in the usual giant metal vats and cases. We had no forewarning of the seasonal delights therein. To have five different foodstuffs for the main course was exceptional. In fact it was unique.

And it all tasted wonderful.

Better, actually, than any such equivalent feast offered in those private sector establishments in which I have subsequently worked – one of which once had the nerve to offer a “vegetarian” alternative consisting simply of potatoes and gravy.

Hooray for the mid-80s, state-sponsored, municipal-distributed Christmas dinner.

Wednesday 10 December 1986

Today I managed to get out of PE again because
I had to play the piano for a Christmas Nativity rehearsal.
For lunch today we had meat, potatoes, cauliflower and
parsley sauce (yuk), followed by some sponge with
yellow icing and a sweet on top of that.
This afternoon we all went crackers making crackers in the library.
After that we made a quick dash and cleared the space for
the Blue Peter Bring and Buy Sale…

An out-of-season bring and buy sale? What kind of madness was this?

Tuesday 2 December 1986

…Today we did, all morning, some special Maths exercises.
They are terribly, terribly boring and are very, um, er, um, er,
more boring.
In morning breaktime we carried on putting Christmas decorations
up on our bit of wall. It’s beginning to look good.
As always we went swimming and as it was the last one
in the term we had the inflatables to play on.
For lunch today we had mashed potatoes, beef, cabbage
and gravy, and to follow some Yellow Whip.
This afternoon we played Consequences and people kept
writing rude words on them

Look how I try and distance myself from the “people” who were adding the profanities, when in truth I secretly admired them.

Oh, and Yellow Whip?