Saturday, 8 February 2020

Saturday afternoon.

I am just back from a lunch out with friends.   I was late up (8.30) which would have been impossible when I had dear old Tess, I had two rounds of toast and marmalade and a banana, then the papers came and I sat reading them for an hour and a half over several cups of coffee.   Then the phone rang inviting me out to lunch - of course I went (fish and chips) - and now I havent' been back home for long.   My friends came in for a coffee and they have just gone.   I am going round drawing all the curtains and making everywhere cosy.   Storm Ciara is forecast to arrive later this evening and to rage most of tomorrow so I thought I would get the bungalow cosy early this evening.
Already the sky looks threatening. 

I smiled when I saw that the storm had been christened 'Ciara' - isn't it silly to give storms a name?  (or is it just me?)    I had been reading the word as 'Clara' and smiling as I remembered that when I was a child there was a girl in my class called  Clara Harrison.   She had a brother, Harry, and he once threw a blackboard - slate - and it hit and cracked my cheekbone.   What a furore it all caused and really the poor boy hadnt been aiming in my direction.   As I remember it he was a quiet, innocuous kind of boy who wouldn't say boo to a goose and the poor chap got into lots of trouble.  Isn't it funny how little things remind us of things which happened so long ago.   Anybody out there old enough to remember the days when we wrote on slates in a wooden frame?   I hope somebody reading this does remember otherwise I shall feel as old as Methuselah!

32 comments:

Rachel Phillips said...

Yes, I had a slate at kindergarten. I learnt the alphabet and how to read and write using a slate. It was a very useful piece of kit. I don't remember any pens and paper. I think the naming of storms is rather daft as I said to you yesterday.

Daisy Debs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayCee said...

We didn't use slates at school, perhaps I am too young! However, at grammar school we had old wooden desks with inkwells that we had to fill from large glass jars of blue-black ink. During lessons we had to use fountain pens that were filled from the inkwells. I remember it was very messy and I usually ended up with ink smudges over everything.

the veg artist said...

I remember slates and chalk in my first year at my tiny country primary school, but I also remember pen and ink there, so we couldn't have used them for long as I was only there for a few years.

High winds building up here in West Wales - no doubt the ferries will have been cancelled so the despondent rugby fans will have to stay in Ireland to drown their sorrows. What a hardship!!

Sue in Suffolk said...

At Primary -in 1960 I remember little blackboards - about A4 size with wood surrounds - were they slate? But we also had fat wax crayons and lovely coloured sugar paper. Desks had inkwell holes but no ink wells, think we had to stick to pencils at primary. Pens with cartridge ink at Grammar school - but even they splodged quite often and ran out in the middle of dictation.

Christine said...

We didn't have a slate and chalk but I do remember the inkwell in the desk and doing "joined up" writing with - even in those days, late sixties - old fashioned pen and nib. What a mess we made! Blots and ink everywhere.
Here in Germany the storm, Sabine, isn't due to hit till Sunday afternoon but it's already been announced that all schools will be closed on Monday. Hope everyone stays safe.

Amanda said...

I am far too young for slates - my nieces and nephews consider me ancient because I remember blackboards! My father was at the very end of that era. We came across the slates his older siblings used in my grandmother's storeroom. I wasn't nearly as impressed with the slates as I was with the slate pencils and how hard it was to write with them. Not only did you really have to bear down, but they made this horrible scratchy sound. Granny assured us it wasn't because they were old, it was just the way they were. Can't even imagine what it must have been like in a room full of students using them all at the same time.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

There were some slates at the school I went to, but the headmaster said they were a ridiculous idea as we'd all have to learn to write with pens eventually. So it was pencils for the infants and pens were used sometimes in the juniors. He also said that one day everyone would have to learn to type - but that was clearly never going to happen, was it? We had names for storms when I worked on the farm, but none of them are printable here! Keep warm and safe tomorrow.

Anne Brew said...

One of our jobs as children in primary school was to go to the stockroom and collect ink powder! The teacher would then make a mixture and dispense into each desk inkwell. What a mess it all made. Biros were forbidden as they were “bad for our handwriting “ apparently! Stay warm tonight Pat; it’s beginning to bluster a bit down here in Sheffield too. x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Ah inkwells in our desks - I remember that. I also remember at Grammar School how one of the teachers nicknamed me 'Blotter' because I was so obsessed with being neat that I used to blot every single word as I wrote. Memories, memories.

Joanne Noragon said...

I knew what they were, Weave, because Laura Ingalls wrote on one.

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gmv said...

I just love reading your blog. For some reason I feel cozy as you write you are closing the drapes and putting up the heat. I never used slates for school but certainly enjoyed your little story. Thanks for sharing your life with us readers.

Gayle

Cro Magnon said...

I think it's quite useful to give names to all sorts of things; just as farmers give their fields names, it helps to differentiate. In future we will be able to compare storms Ciara to Camilla.

thelma said...

Early Sunday morning. It has rained all night and the wind buffeting the trees, and there is still more to come. All I remember of my kindergarten, was our teacher taking time off because of nervous breakdowns. And horror of horrors, small bottles of milk warming on the radiator.

Heather said...

The wind is roaring away outside as I write this, and the sky looks very grey. I am glad that we are both snug and cosy in our respective homes and sorry for those who have to be outside.
I too, think it is daft to name storms. What is the purpose?
I don't remember slates, but do remember inkwells in the desks, and that I was very proud to be pencil monitor when I was six!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Thelma - but wasn't it good when they weren't warmed and the cream at the top of the bottle was mushy ice?
Heather - your remarks are a perfect example of how important little things like being made a monitor are to children of this age.

Thanks to everyone from the Dales on the windy and wet Sunday morning.

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