I was barely four in Sept' 1962 as I was an August baby. (My mother, moannie & MEG , has just written a comment to correct me, I was five!) She handmade me, I remember her sitting stitching it, a grey flannel skirt with straps. My parents made a big fuss of me being so grown up and I was excited but apprehensive too, as there were no nurseries etc to acclimatise us to big school in those days.
I remember walking into this huge brightly lit room, and being asked to sit at a table in the front of the class next to the teachers desk. Everyone else was already in class, l didn't understand why.
The teacher had a wide smile and big teeth, I can see her now. She smelt of cigarette smoke and the thick powder which covered her face. I was always mesmerised by her heavily powdered skin and face. She kept a powder compact and a packet of cigarettes on her desk. I remember the packet had picture of a bearded sailor or stuck through a navy and gold circle, Players l think? She coughed a lot.
I stayed in this teachers' class, whose name for the moment escapes me, as the other kids went up a class I stayed with her, I liked her a lot, she was kind and encouraged me and I soon caught up with my contemporaries. It was my first feeling of inferiority. I remember her very clearly but not so the other pupils. I can only remember their reaction to me when I had caught fleas, from one of them! They called me flea bag forever or so it seemed. On a Friday afternoon we would all squeeze into Mr. Hake's class for story time, my favourite time of the week. I was happy when I left.
We emigrated to Canada in '66 and then moved to Mexico in '67, by the time I returned to the UK system in late '68, I was well behind the others. I soon lost interest and the study ethic and I never really found it until my 40's. I now study with the Open University and I love it!