Memory From Schooldays

There I was, sat on the bank at the back of the school. It was a sweltering hot day. I mean really, really hot. Rivulets of sweat ran down the back of my least favourite school dress. (I was always told that ladies don’t sweat. “Horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow”, but rivulets of glow, doesn’t quite give you the picture.) I was wearing my cardigan too. Madness, I hear you shout.

Our summer school uniform was a cotton dress. In those days you couldn’t just buy them from M&S or Asda. My mother had to buy yards of the school fabric and make it up herself. It was horrible material, turquoise blue with something reminiscent of a Greek key in navy all over it. Much too busy.

I had two dresses, one with long sleeves and one with short. They were both so short in length that I couldn’t sit on the material and laddered my tights with great regularity as there was so much leg exposed. In those days we used to just put nail varnish on the end of the ladder and sew it up in a long stripe when we got home.

So why was I sat there on such a hot day in my cardigan? Well you see puffed sleeves were in, but I don’t know what on earth my mother had done to the pattern. I suspect that the sleeve pattern piece was the whole piece, but she had taken it to be half, as I had nothing short of balloons, barrage balloons at that, at the top of my arms under the cardigan. I was so ashamed, that I would rather have sweated until reduced to a stick than take off that horrid itchy cardigan and expose my mortification.

I sat there with everyone else in their cool short sleeves, trying not to faint. If I even thought about taking off my cardigan, I could see those pointing fingers and hear the name calling, just as if it was happening.

The joy of schooldays! Do you have a memory to share?

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. I'm not sure I can remember that much detail. I don't think I could see my mother sewing a dress for me either… so not sure where she got them from, because you're right, you couldn't just buy them in a supermarket. Weren't there special shops to get uniform from?

    I remember hating my glasses though. And would take them off as soon as I got out of the class room… and as I got older I forgot about them, and would remember they were on my nose and snatch them off. Silly really, because I could see a whole lot better with them on.


  2. Hi Teresa,
    You've sparked another memory. I hated my glasses too. I used to sit right at the front by the teacher so I didn't have to wear them. Can remember my friends having to put me on the right bus, because I couldn't see the number. They also used to discuss blurry shapes, which they said were dishy guys :-(. My first glasses were awful mind you. Blue ones with wings and diamantees! Lol. Mx


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