Tuesday 3 January 2012

A Tuesday Tale - learning to share

On hindsight, this isn't a tale that I'm very proud of having been involved in - but it was all part of learning to share, and the penalties if you didn't.

A few folk have asked if we had midnight feasts at boarding school - yup, we sure did! Although, with all the outdoor activities and fresh air it was often difficult to remain awake until 'the witching hour'! Electrical appliances in our rooms were on the 'banned' list - but that didn't stop us of course. There were a few travelling irons around plus totally exposed immersion heaters - lethal weapons - but it didn't stop us from trying to make toast by ironing bread snaffled from the dining room (it never worked so don't try it), as well as boiling up water and making up packet soups. In those days they needed a bit of a simmer and a few of us were almost branded when the soup was finally cooked and the 'chef' then charged down the corridor to into one of the wash rooms to plunge the red hot immersion heater into water to stop the veggie bits from sticking and burning! How the staff didn't smell what was going on I don't know!

Although midnight feasts were banned, we were allowed to take some 'tuck' with us at the start of a new term, at half term and sometimes if parents sent parcels from home. Generally there was a week or so's grace to share out your goodies  and, without question, we did share. The rule was that if, for example, you cut an apple up, everyone else got first pick of a wedge so that you didn't take the lion's share.

One particular pupil hadn't totally embraced this 'code of ethics' by any means. Happily taking our offerings but never seeming to have any of her own, we eventually realised that Pauline was 'squirelling' her tuck and quietly sneaking off for her own little 'sugar rush'.

This is the part that makes me feel uncomfortable. We were quite outraged by what we perceived to be greediness and being devious, then one girl eventually found Pauline's box of hidden chocolate bars and sweets underneath a folded pile of clothes in one of the wardrobes. When the coast was clear, a group of us carefully opened each and every chocolate bar and took a big bite out of it before carefully re-wrapping it and replacing the box where it was. At the time, we thought we were sending a clever message to her and of course to accuse any of us as being the perpetrators would mean owning up to hiding tuck away in the first place.

But now, I can't help but wonder why Pauline needed the security of her stash of her own chocolate bars hidden away from the rest of us girls - hopefully the experience didn't damage her for life :( She was a skinny little girl - for all I know she could be the size of a Sumo wrestler by now if she continued scoffing vast quantities of chocolate without sharing!



  1. Morning Di

    Your little tale is brilliant, thanks for sharing it with us.


  2. Little scallywags, the lot of you!

    I wouldn't feel too guilty . . . it's all part of growing up! Lessons to learn etc! Some harder than others!


  3. Just brilliant Di. There are so many lessons to learn in life and sharing is one we all have to learn...I'm sure it doesn't come naturally so no guilt is needed :-)
    A x

  4. Oh dear that brings back memories!!!Tuck boxes, you could open with a knife as we had all lost the keys, though very rarely did anyone steal anything. At mine we didnt share, as we too hoarded it, but thats the way it was. I always remember one year, Miss Abrahams was our Maths teacher, and occasionally she got roped into doing the night watch!
    one night, Kim, our resident prankster, decided she was a Rabbit, and stuck a Rabbit hot water bottle cover on her head, hid under the covers, and kept popping up to cries of "Bunny!"
    Well Abo, snuck in to the room, and of course, we all saw her except for Kim hiding under the covers, so Abo just waited until Kim did it again!! OH boy was she in trouble, lol
    But Boots used to sell the heaters as a one cup kettle, and my parents were very cruel and never got me one!!
    My memories of School...., Bad food, Loads of Hockey, and the saint who was kept in the Cellar, Honestly we had a Saint in a Glass coffin, in the Cellar. He was supposed to have been Buried when Beeney Bought the School (Yes my School is Beeneys restoration Nightmare), but a Church near me Snaffled him, did some restoration, and now apparently he's quite a tall Chappie, and this year I will pop over to Manchester and see him, thats my only new years resolution, pop and see Saint Benignus!
    Thanks for reminding me! xxx

  5. Kids will be kids! Isn't it interesting how as adults we re-visit those times and can see them from a whole different set of eyes? I remember one boy being picked on at summer camp and I thought he was cute..... Instead I joined the crowd. Oh well, kids will be kids.

    I bet your boarding school was interesting, with you there!!

  6. oh dear I can well imagine, so now lets see........ Marlborough, Stoney Hurst, and I know theres one down devon way that was a co-ed one, but I am blowed if I can remember which one, lol, you werent a Forces Brat were you?

  7. Hi Di, What a fab story! it's all part of growing up ......lol:) Sandra H

  8. Yup, I was a Forces Brat so no choice there then :( Well guessed LOOpy :). Probably why we had to share - it didn't matter what rank your Dad was - you all had to pitch in and be equal! And the school was in Wilhelmshaven - Germany - which used to be a U-Boat base - shudder :)) Not shuddering at the school you understand, just the stories of what went on in the cellars. Di xx

  9. Obviously doesn't attend the school re-union's then? Great tale and who ever thought up the idea should have gone to the top of the class.

    Kath x

  10. Di, you do amuse me with your tales, they always make me smile. I wonder if she thought they had been nibbled by mice lol. Hugs, Amanda x

  11. Stuff like that is what makes us who we are today! Someone learned a lesson through all of that I'm sure! I don't think you are alone pulling pranks or "getting even" stunts Di and it takes a bigger and funnier person to retell the tale! Thanks for the chuckle!


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