It’s funny how fast I have grown up and how fast time has flown by. It feels like yesterday I was blowing out candles, wishing to be best friends with Selena Gomez. Now, I’m wishing for good credit score. Both of which will never come true.
I finally aged up last week, on the 16th of October, like I do every year. And now I’m big fat 19 years old! I literally don’t feel different! I don’t think I’ve felt different since I turned twelve. My face also hasn’t changed since I was twelve. Or my height. BUT, one thing that has changed are my experiences and memories.
I went out on Sunday with a few friends, one of which was my best friend in primary school, who I’ll name Fizz. Since we got to catch up, I went on a little journey down memory lane, which evidently gave me a stomach ache from laughing so hard. I thought it would be fun to share some of the crazy and wacky memories that I have of primary school.
Troublemakers on Bikes
Like in It, The Goonies, Super 8, Stranger Things, E.T, basically any 80s film where the kids ride bikes 70% of the time, me and my friends were the Kidz On Bikes in my area. And by ‘area’, I mean our road and the few roads that branched off it. We live in the city, it’s hard to go bike riding for fun when you’re nine.
There were five of us (including Fizz), who lived about a minute away from each other (basically on the same road). We would meet up after school and even on day offs and ride our bikes around. I remember brining out as little as £3 and having the time of our lives, negotiating with the corner shop man for lower prices. Business people in the making! I remember the corner shop man emptying Haribo’s onto a plate and selling each Haribo for 1p. We really manipulated him.
We used to play Knock Down Ginger, which is a game where you knock on someone’s door and then run away and hide. I feel like most kids have done this but we were way too brave. There were a few sketchy houses on my road and the roads near us, like this old man who lived in this really run down house. The windows were boarded off, the door was half blocked, the paint was peeling, garden overgrown. It was straight out of a horror film but we tried to knock on his door. We also knocked on the door of this house, which the police always came to. Not really sure why…
We honestly had the time of our lives. We would go out in the dark, in the pouring rain, in super cold temperatures. Now that I think about it, I’m wondering why my parents let me do all that.
The Man in the Bushes
In my primary school, there was this field that the big kids (year four and above) were allowed to play on. There were a bunch of bushes at the very back, right in front of the fence. And right behind the fence was a block of flats overlooking the field. One day, at lunch, all the kids were playing on the field and all of a sudden, there was a random man standing in the bushes. We were never allowed to play in the bushes again. There were theories that the man was the dad of a kid that went to the school, who lived in the flats, and he wasn’t allowed to be with his child. I don’t know. Once, he jumped over the fence into the school and we were all made to go and stay inside. After that incident, we all took the piss since we would stand in front of the flats and call out for the man to come back.
The cloakroom was where we would keep out coats, bags and stuff. It was always dark in there and this one time, we went inside and saw a dark shadow move. Ever since it happened, we would always go into the cloakroom together or be really scared and we would claim to hear creepy sounds. Little did our dumbasses know the dark shadow was our shadow from the light coming in from the classroom. We were very silly.
Another silly situation was something that happened between me and Fizz. I think it’s a fact that young people experience déjà vu more often than other people so me and Fizz were experiencing it A LOT. Because we were geniuses, we jumped to the conclusion that we were psychic. We wrote it secretly in our diaries. Fizz told me recently that she wrote ‘I am psychic’ backwards in her diary so no one would suspect it. I even remember going downstairs quietly and telling my mum privately about my secret. I genuinely believed that I had some sort of psychic ability.
Biggest Scams of my Childhood
In my lifetime, I have met a lot of pathological liars (they’re more common than you think) but I still can’t get over two lies that I was told in my childhood.
- Lie 1: In reception, when I was about five, this girl told me and this other girl she was going to the jungle after school. I asked her how she was going there and she told me she gets picked up and goes to stay the night. Even more curious, little me asked her how she could stay there since it was so dangerous and she responded by telling me that there’s a monkey, lion and some other animal that talk and take care of her. Excited, the other girl and I asked if we could come with her. Enthusiastic about the idea, jungle girl told us we could come but we had to ask our mums. I told the teacher I was going to be going with the girl to the jungle after school. I can’t imagine what the teacher must have thought. After school, I asked my mum if I could go to a freaking jungle with flipping Dora the lying explorer and my mum obviously said “no, she’s lying” and I don’t really know at what point in my life I actually accepted that there was no jungle and was no friendly talking animals and that it was all a lie.
- Lie 2: There was this boy, who I was fairly close friends with and so trusted, who came in with a little clump of ‘gold’. We asked the boy where he got it and he told us that he got it from the
pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So I stupidly asked where the end of the rainbow was and he told us by the reception of the school. To get to the reception, you could either take this narrow dark pathway outside or walk to it from the inside but when my dad came to pick me up, we had to take the dark pathway. I told my dad, who already looked fed-up, to take a detour to the reception to get the gold. Tired and done, he told me the boy was lying but I went to look anyway. Spoiler alert: there was no pot of gold. Fizz and I were annoyed so the next day, we asked the boy and he told us it moved to the alleyway near my house. I don’t know what I must have done to this boy but he was really trying to get me and my friend, two young weak girls, kidnapped or god knows what.
I don’t know if this was just my primary school but we had this ‘top table’ thing where every week a child from each year would get picked to sit at the TOP TABLE for lunch, with the deputy head teacher. They made it seem like such a privilege but I don’t remember a single kid that yelled “YESS! IT’S MY TURN TO SIT AT THE TOP TABLE!” I used to dread the moment I would get picked. Sadly, I did and it was the most awkward thing in my life. You just sit with a bunch of children, you’ve never spoken to before, and with this teacher, and you just eat in front of the rest of the non-top table children, who get to sit with their friends for lunch.
After school, on Tuedays, we had Activity Club. It lasted until 5/5:30, which meant it was only two hours but it seemed like forever when I was a child. Activity club was just where you could do whatever you wanted. You could paint, make masks, play sports, run around, etc. They always gave us drinks and sandwiches at the beginning and sometimes, they brought Gogos (these tiny plastic monster figures you could collect) for us. Anyway, for some reason, every week, me and my friends would play with the giant rainbow parachute on the field. Every week. I can confirm that my claustrophobia was initiated at this stupid club, or at least made it worse. We would throw the parachute up in the air and then run inside before it could hit the floor and then keep running around until we were all trapped and lost and wrapped up in the parachute. And then we had to find a way out of the parachute. There was very little air and everything was dark and smelt like sweat. I swear we were stuck for a good ten minutes at one point. I honestly felt like I was trapped in the Twin Towers on 9/11.
The same boy who told us about the pot of gold would sometimes come over and push us while we were trapped and trying to get out. There was also this really big boy, who was kinda violent, who would come over and bash into us.
We still did this every week, though, so I don’t think we ever learnt our lesson. We were not okay in the head.
I don’t actually remember ever doing proper learning for most of the year. Of course, we were taught shapes, literacy, our times tables, etc, but for most of the year, we were practising and performing plays, doing art and D.T. (just making stuff) or just anything that wasn’t really to do with conventional school.
We had a supply teacher once called Mr. Stone, who wouldn’t teach us a thing but would just sing songs with us all day. He taught us this Boa Constrictor song about how the snake kills. Our usual teacher, who was quite new, came back the next day, asking what we learnt and we told her that we just learnt the Boa Constrictor song. Mr. Stone ended up getting fired and never came back. We’re pretty sure our teacher got him fired. Jokes on her cause I’m pretty sure we got her fired, too.
The school, education wise, was pretty bad. They re-did the whole place after I left and the head teacher even got replaced. The head teacher before honestly looked like modern Miss Havisham.
Those were just a few funny primary school memories I remembered with Fizz. Do you have any funny school/childhood stories?