School Days

A row of basins, cold and clinical in their perfection of pure white. Carbolic, it’s scent floating down the years, pungent, smelling of boarding school.

The scent of freshly polished floors. Teachers scolding girls who trip along in high heels

“You will ruin the floor. Those shoes are unsuitable”.

Polish, carbolic, the smell of food wafting from the refectory.

An institution functioning like a well oiled machine? The bullying in dark corners. Teachers generally kind but lacking eyes in the back of their heads.

Baths in the communal bathroom, the scent of vim (now called jiff I think). Water running down plug holes, getting dry thence to bed.

Lights out. Children whispering.

“Who’s talking?” the voice of the house master booms. Silence,

“OK you can all stand outside in the corridor”.

We stand a sense of pride that no one told tales. Sometimes, shame to say one of we boys would crack and, pointing the finger at such and such would escape the corridor only to be ostracised by our peers for “being a grass”.

Sometimes happy, other times sad, oh distant school days.

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