I moved to a new school when I was 7. Everyone else had started the year before and knew what the hell was going on.
My first ballet class: stretched into a pink leotard, pink ballet skirt and pink satin pumps from Freeds, THE ballet suppliers of London – standing in the Assembly Room surrounded by huge mirrors and wooden bars nailed to the walls. The teacher, hair up in an elegant bun, her cardigan buttoned just so, and sensibly heeled blue polished court shoes faced us and intoned in a sing song voice :-
“Good Morning Girls, today I would like you to be a tree. When the piano begins to play, just imagine yourself rooted in the ground and swaying in the breeze. Try and think of the trees in the park – no Samantha, not the ones with dog poo underneath – some of you may even have trees in your gardens which I expect your naughty brothers like to climb – yes Annaglypta, I know SOME brothers prefers to wear tutus and practice their positions.”
When the music started, probably Schubert, Ravel or Tchaikovsky bashed out by Miss Crotchett on the sturdy upright in the corner, I had moping before me, long-haired Weeping Willows, leaping thick-thighed Oaks testing the sprung wooden flooring to its limits, and a rather splendid Cypress whose arms, locked at the elbow, pointed heavenward as though lift off to Mars was on final countdown.
All the girls seemed to know what to do.
I didn’t. My arms and legs were more wooden than any tree and appeared more like a telegraph pole than anything nature had raised from the ground.
Considering the above, my first school report AGED 7.10 though was surprisingly promising:
THE NEXT REPORT AGED 8.5, less so
5 MONTHS LATER AGED 8.10
Here is my husbands first ever report: In the days when Radio 4 was still the Home Service, Radio 2 was The Light Programme, and they wrote DRILL instead of PE.
So a genetic evaluation might say that our combined genes could have created another Usain Bolt, Darcey Bussell or Andy Murray. Possible. But unlikely. If its all in the genes, our son didn’t stand a chance. Here are our little one’s reports from his earliest sporting days:-
Anyone there at the back remember what Mr Kierkegaard said?
“Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backwards “
Was Mr Kierkegaard right?
What do I know? That our son, even before he was born, cleverly selected parents who don’t like to leap out of bed on a wet Saturday morning and stand around yelling at other parents next to a games pitch.
Yeah. Well. Whatever.