It was a rotten thing I did. Or was it?
As me regulars will know, me Mum passed away January 2015. She crawled miserably into the cold early days of
that wretched year, before giving up the fight.
Mum left us at 6.45 in the morning, but it wasn't until I went to that bitterly cold evening service at 6,
that I realised what I'd actually lost. That that part of my life was really over. This lonely darkness engulfed
It didn't really help matters that I had to drive across the M25 to go and see a Vicar that my brother arranged to come round.
Some stranger I had never spoke to nor knew my mother.
Or did it? Suddenly an idea came to me.
I pretended to the Vicar, who was a really nice bloke, that this certain hymn was Mum's favourite - when it was actually mine.
It goes "Eternal Father, Strong to Save...." and ends "for those in peril on the sea".
I felt I was getting one over on everyone, I felt a very small cog in this farcical funeral. This was my Mum, after all.
The saps bought it. And so, on that horrible grim day in February, I sang my heart out. Glad that there would be a bright spot after all. My Mum would have laughed.
Of course, it's come back to bite me, as when that hymn plays now in my local church, it reduces me to tears. Taking me back to that cold day in February. I've cursed my treasured hymn!
Still don't regret it - or do I?
I suppose I didn't help matters by applying to a further education drama course at the local college. I got in, but I didn't tell Mrs Bastard I was going to do it. Not only had she been so awful to me, but for some bizarre reason, I thought she'd be proud that I acted on my own initiative like that. Sixteen year olds can be very naive!
She did her pieces! That's two years of your life going to waste! You'll never do it!
All sorts of horrible things. She said she was going to stop it. Well, that would be interesting! Of course, she didn't do anything.....
Except hit me where it really hurt, and cancelled my play for the end of term showcase. I didn't shed a tear - until I got out of school. Bloody good script that was too. Spiteful old whore!
Gad! That perm was annoying!
Come mid-July, I left school without a backward glance.
Not a goodbye to either of them!
I was as generous to them as they
were to me!!
It took me a while to get rid of that
Despite this brutal blow to the ego, I must have still excelled at the exams, as come late August,
I got good grades from both subjects.
Mrs Mare said I would never pass the O level, yet I got a C grade. That was very high then. Those GCE's were very hard to get.
And drama was a CSE exam (pilot scheme), and grade One was the highest mark. That booted old Mrs Bastard up the arse!
Well, I had an "interesting" career in the theatre, some good, a lot bad, and I didn't stay in the business for very long. But at least I'd given it a shot!
However, art, despite my healing result, didn't happen again. I thought it had died somewhere along the line.
I couldn't draw a damn thing!
I did colouring with the kids, and made me own cards, but that was it. It had gone for ever. Mrs Mare had truly buried it ....or so I thought.
But I was wrong, it was just lying dormant for 40 years! Before coming back to embrace me!
And I began to love drawing all over again.
Thank you for giving me that gift back!
So I suppose the moral of the story is:
Don't take other people's malice to heart, and don't let it change your life.
You want to do something, you do it.
Listen to yourself, and bugger everybody else!
Thanks for watching. You may now flip channels!
Art became a big part of my life, I felt I could really express myself through it. What with that, and the headway I was making in Drama, I felt I'd gone to a new level.
I became so much happier with myself.
For once in my life, I liked myself. And more astonishingly of all, I actually had a good crowd of friends. Loyal ones, unlike Evelyn, who had got herself a glamorous sixth former, and every lead part going.
They just asked me up the disco during one maths lesson. I knew if I persevered, I would get more friends eventually. I treasured them all, having known what it was like without them.
I also became a right culture vulture. It was a lovely time of my life.
However, there are bete noirs wherever you go, and my art teacher, Mrs
Mare, was one of them
Right grumpy northerner, she was. Only not to the boys, she ignored me and Jane, and just sat with them and chatted. All they did was copy Kung Fu cartoons, it was the girls who were more creative.
She wore her dresses and skirts much too high. Very unfashionable for the mid-seventies.
This was how she was at the school disco. I know! I know!
But some teachers really did think they were it.
They had so much power in those days.
Once, she gave me such a hard time for being called out to do part of my drama CSE exam. I wouldn't mind, but Mrs Bastard had summoned me!
I'll never forget my pal, Jane, standing up and having a go at Mrs Mare for that.
Telling her she knew full well boys skived off art lessons, and that I had never
Strange as it may seem now, you never answered back a teacher like that.
Did the old cow good.
To add insult to injury, my art spring term report was dreadful! To give me a stinking report like that, when I'd worked so hard! I should have complained, I really regret that now. But as I said, things were different then. I know now if one of my kids got a report like that, I'd have been up that school! It's not always favoured towards teachers now. Sadly, it was then, and no-one would have taken me seriously.
It crushed me dreadfully, and I shed tears during Geography that afternoon.
I felt 2 inches tall!
Mrs Bastard and Mrs Mare used to park their broomsticks, and blatantly moan about me while I was in the same room working.
At least Mrs Bastard gave me a more favourable report. Actually acknowledged how far I had come.
But their lack of regard for a vulnerable person's self-esteem was unforgivable. Especially when they were trying their best!
Will our heroine overcome such adversity?!
The final part continues of this bitter-sweet memoir very soon.
Do not touch that dial!!
I began to draw and draw, I couldn't stop. It was like the Red Shoes, and I couldn't stop dancing!
This was all very well, but it brought back strong memories of when I was a schoolgirl.
1973 had been a wonderful year, I was in the third year at school, and everything seemed to go my way.
However, once I set foot into the Fourth Year, things turned on me :
Choosing our exam subjects made the work very hard. I struggled a lot with O Level material.
Then I became this sort of wreck....
Greasy, frizzy hair, incredible and unstoppable spots, and I cried at everything going! Quite out of control. What a long Fourth year that was!
Seriously, I was in a terrible state.
Attitudes were different then, and you were told to get on with it.
My parents couldn't understand it at all.
So what's the first thing a blushing, withdrawn girl does? Someone who mumbles and wobbles awkwardly as she walks across the room:
yes, take drama as a serious subject.
Even the austere, chain-smoking, brutal and outspoken Mrs Bastard, the drama teacher did not put me off. Not at first anyway, but she disliked me on sight!
Mind you, the feeling was mutual.
Sometimes, at 15, you can face the world, and sometimes you can't......
It didn't help that my best friend, Evelyn, was Mrs B's pet. She could do no wrong!
That made it very tense between me and my former mate. Not to mention that all this limelight went to my pal's head, and she became unbearable. Making me even more alone in the world!
And then, I discovered art
Stay tuned for the next gripping instalment.....
Don't touch that dial!!!