My Family & Other Animals

Sunday, 2 September 2012

"Reading, Writing and Arithmatic Are The Branches Of The Learning Tree..."

Good morning, what a beautiful day (I hope the same can be said of where you are right now too), the Challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Krew this week is (#109) Back To School and that of course got me to thinking about my own school days.
I attended the obligatory reunion around my 40th Birthday and was amazed to learn how many people there were looking back through rose tinted glasses. There was a girl at the bar when I arrived and she was stunned that she didn't know me from our school days, she couldn't believe that we had never been in the same social groups or that she didn't at least remember my name. I had to point out to her that the reason for this massive oversight on her behalf was due to the fact that she wasn't in the same class as me (and I don't mean socially!) and as my memory served, she spent most of her time with her girlfriends being a Grade A bi*@h to every boy who even dared to enter their radar! I pointed out to her that there were an awful lot of people at school I stayed well clear of for that very reason and I was amazed that she had been able to rewrite her own history, no longer was she the 'Mean Girl', now she was Miss Congeniality!
Of course British schools in the 1970's were nothing like the cool, modern, whitewashed buildings of US movies. They were grey, tired prefab buildings with the permanent stench of cabbage and desperation about them. They were filled to the brim with embittered teachers whose soul had been crushed by the weight of their pre-pubescent cannon-fodder whose only hope of escape from the area was to join the Armed Forces or hope that they were 'discovered' (for what though still remains a mystery!!), failing this they had a life on the dole/at the local steelworks to look forward to, until the grim reaper too their final breath with one last lash of his sythe.
Was it this grim? Probably not, but I really don't have a wealth of positive memories to draw from. I was bullied for a while but that stopped when I finally had enough and actually stood up for myself. In retrospect, I probaby asked for it, as I imagine I was quite a distant child who (as in adulthood) only had a few 'real' friends and these people were fiercly guarded from intruders taking them away from me. I had a particularly heinous homelife and used to gravitate towards kids from 'happy' family homes. I liked to surround myself with friends who came from large/ish families and who had siblings to share their hopes and fears with. My sister is nine years older than me (I'm sure she's delighted that particular cat is out of the bag!!) and as such was never really around while I was growing up, plus she really didn't like me either!
Of course it wasn't all bad. School gave me the one thing that has been with me throughout my life - art. I wasn't a particularly academic child (I could have been if I hadn't set my sights so firmly on joining the Royal Air Force where I knew I didn't need any qualifications to get into the areas I really wanted to join) and I hated sport with a passion, we had a Sports teacher who would watch us play rugby from the comfort of his Ford Fiesta, ocassionally rolling the window down to let the steam from his flask of soup obscuring his field of vision totally. But art class was where I came alive. My imagination was fired up and all I could see were an endless world of possibilities, one filled with every different type of medium known to man and colours that could make you weep. I loved to paint and draw and my favourite medium to work in was charcoal and pencil. It wasn't a particularly well funded art programme (this being the industrial North East, where men were men and the children frightened!) but we had teachers who went above and beyond for us and I will always be indebted to them, so let me take this chance to say Thank You now and I hope I have repaid their generosity with an ongoing yearning to keep learning about something so precious to me.
As for the day to day stories, I am going to save them for another day. I must remember to tell you about the time I was arrested for breaking and entering - into my own home!! But that's for another time and now I feel I should tell you a little bit about this week's card. I have used Kenny's Sexy Teacher (available here) and I have kept my colour palette very neutral this week, this card could easily be sent to a man or a woman and I love the argyll striped ribbon which I found at the bottom a drawer earlier in the week.
So that's it for this week, I will be back with some more projects soon,
take care and Hugs 'n Stuff,
Rntered Into: Incy Wincy Designs Challenge - Back To School
Critter Sketch Challenge #131 - Back To School Is Cool
Hooked On Craft Challenge #24 - Cards For Men
Love To Create Challenge #31 - Back To School
Paper Pretties Challenge #55 - Create A Square Card
The Cutie Pie Challenge #26 - NO Flowers!
Di's Digi Designs Challenge - Back To School
QKR Stampede Challenge #4 - Back To School
Daring Cardmakers Challenge - Colour Inspiration
Art Impressions Challenge #79 - School/Office Supplies


  1. Gorgeous Card Andy- I was also quite Happy to leave school ( to become a hairdresser/beauty therapist) guess where I work today -and TOTALLY Love it ?- Yup the very same school i attended :)
    Lovely to heard your stories. Take Care x

  2. Oh Andy, I know why I missed your blog so much, I could read your stories all day, you should get them down in print.
    I was at school in the 60's, I was luck my seconrdy school was fairly new, and very modern, such a change from the infants which was directly behind my home, which my Mum also went to so very old.
    I also hated PE our teacher was very young and dictated the rules of rounders, hockey etc which we had to sit on the gym floor and write for 1hr each week, hated her and PE.
    The art teacher was brill she had had polio and used crutches, but insisted she had her classroom on the top floor she dragged herself up 3 floors everytime she had a class.

    And your card is great love Kennys images.
    sorry for such a long comment Janet

  3. Andy, great card, awesome did excell in art,that's for sure! Great description of your school years, I know there are moments and people we all steer clear of.Hope you have a great week and thanks for joining our challenge at Critter Sketch!! ~Sharla

  4. What a fab creation I really like it a lot, love how you look back at your life, 40 is a special birthday :), thanks so much for playing with us at Critter Sketch, good luck and I hope I will see you again in our next challenge. have a great day, hugs, marion

  5. Sorry for the delayed post but oooooooo Andy you really have made a FABULOUS card here. Love the image and no criticism of past work but your colouring does just get better and better. This is perfect !!!!!!!!! Love your design, paper, embellishments... everything about it.As Shelby would say you really rocked it.
    Love your reminiscence of school days and reunions. I have only been to one but have to say it was great seeing people who thought they were so special that they were going to change the world, and they ended up in mundane little jobs... not everyone of course. Many had gone on to achieve great things.
    Hope all is well
    Eileen x

  6. Fabulous card great colouring and love the LO, thanks for joining us at Incy Wincy this week, hugs Samantha x

  7. Stunning card. Thanks for sharing

  8. Fabulous card, I love the image, and your colouring is amazing. Thanks for joining in with the Daring Cardmakers this week x

  9. Ha! Maybe that's what I should wear tomorrow to welcome my new class =)
    Nice card and I also enjoyed reading your thoughts on your reunion.

  10. Hi Andy, fabulous card. Wonderful colouring and your layout is great.

    Thanks for joining in with us this time at The Cutie Pies.


    PS - I never went to the reunion my school held, why should I have gone back to a place where I was bullied, ignored by most of the teachers and told I would never make more of my life than being somebody's wife. Best years of your life, rubbish - I detested every minute of it.

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  12. Great card and layout and I love your coloring , thx for entering the Art Impressions challenge : )

  13. Wow.. sexy teacher!!! Great coloring!!!

    Thanks for joining us at Dis' this challenge!


  14. Great card, love her hair.

    ** Kate **

  15. Really love your card! ;o)
    Thank you for joining the QKR Stampede Challenge. Good luck on the draw!
    Ruza ~ QKR DT

  16. What a Fantastic Card!! LOVE THIS IMAGE, Wonderful Coloring!! Thank you so much for playing with us at QKR Stampede this week!! We hope you come back and play with us again really soon!!

    Many Blessings,

  17. WOW!! Fabulous Andy!! Gorgeous coloring with her hair! Thanks for sharing with us at QKR Stampede Challenge!

  18. What a lovely card. So lovely. I like the inspirational design and that image is so creative. Thanks for sharing.

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