Saturday, 26 August 2017
#52Stories, Week 23, What sensory details can you remember from each of your past schools ? The colours of classrooms and lockers, the smells, the texture of the carpet or tiles ?
Well this one will have me racking my brains !
I don’t remember too much from kindergarten, but two things I do recall (or think I do) are the carpet “the mat” that we sat on together for stories was striped and that the big log or tree stump we used to climb on had the most amazing fungi or lichen on it with quite a distinctive damp sort of sweetly pungent odour.
From primary school my memories are just as sketchy. Although I am pretty sure that the Ministry of Education must have had a bulk order for that stripey carpet as I seem to recall something very similar in most classrooms. It must have been very durable.
Other smells I remember are wet coats in the cloakroom, and chlorine smelling wet togs and towels after swimming (remember when ALL schools had their own pool, and we all had swimming lessons as part of the curriculum ?). The smell of paints, paste, pencil shavings and the ink from the BANDA machine – back in the day before we had photocopiers. Chalk dust. That awful screechy sound chalk can make on a blackboard. Also the antiseptic=y smell in the “murder-house” – or was that just fear ?
At college, damp woollen blazers or cardigans at a full assembly, 1000 pairs of wet shoes on the wooden floor in the hall. Damp bare wood floors in prefabs in the winter and slippery vinyl as you raced along corridors in Brook and Tower. (“Walk girls, don’t run”). The incinerators in the toilets – just gross. Ink bottles filled with ink to refill your fountain pen, blue/black or radiant blue. Twink. Wooden chairs made of plywood that would split and splinter and snag your tights – always the new ones. 1000 girls’ voices talking all at once leaving assembly.