In the late 70's, as soon as the first 'tring' of an alarm clock peeled I would scurry to the bottom of the bed under the covers in a futile attempt to get a high temperature and thus escape going to school. It never worked.
It signaled the need to adorn a rotten stuffy tie, a stiff collared itchy shirt and donning short trousers regardless of the weather. I then had to cycle uphill for 2 miles to catch a bus for the privilege of listening to some old duffer talk in a monotonous drone for six hours, only interrupted by a bottle of warm milk, stifling guffaws of laughter because someone had farted or by a piece of chalk thrown at someone for falling asleep.
Looking back in reflection to that seemingly longer journey home, I'm visualizing that young lad trudging up the path oblivious to the fact that he had any benefited from any education at all that day. If you'd have asked me at the time, 'What did you learn today'? I undoubtedly would have replied ... "Nuffink!".
In fact, suffice to say if it wasn't for telltale stain of ink either on my hands or in the corner of my mouth and a grazed knee you would question whether I'd actually been at all.
However, Saturday morning alarms where another thing and would be met by a whoop of delight.
How I never broke a bone whilst flying down the stairs wrestling into a t-shirt, or hopping in one shoe while fingering the other over my heel in my haste to the shed for 'champion' (didn't everyone name there bike?), Or eating toast while riding one-handed as I sped down the lane to the village store to collect my paper round deliveries. And how I'd envied those American movies that showed the delivery boy's tossing rolled up papers into gardens! But alas, such behavior would have resulted in a 'thick ear', a slapped leg or worse still, no tip at Christmas! Taking a lollipop offered by the newsagent for my trip home I would speed 'like a streak of lightning flashing across the sky' aboard my 'wonder horse'.
The reason for my haste was for one reason and one reason only... I was going fishing.
The next half hour was spent mixing up flour and water, pilfering a tin of 'green giant, ho,ho,ho!' if there was any, lashing my fishing rod to the frame of my bike and stuffing bits and bobs into my school satchel. Whose contents of schoolbooks, a geometry set and a tennis ball were upended onto my bed to make room for my more important tackle.
After letting the tap run for ten minutes to ensure the water was good and cold, I would make up a bottle of squash and be away.
In one pocket I would have stuffed with blackjack's and fruit salads to chew on the way and in the other...? Nothing!
I always had one pocket purposely left empty for things I might glean from my fishing trip like 'conkers'. That or just because more often than not it had a hole in it, such were the perils that plagued small boys with pockets.