way back in the beginning

Daily Post : Five Posts to Write Right Now (part 2)


I went to that school for seven years and I can’t remember a single lunch that my mother packed for me. Who knows what that means.

The tuckshop lunches though… Everyone wanted those. Looking back the food was shite so what was the attraction? Our first shopping experience? Being all grown up and ordering and collecting on your own? Or just having a choice, eating something you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Countless devon on white bread sandwiches. Oh my health! Meat pies with tomato sauce and the proof was in the first bite – if not hot enough a very low on the scale lunchbreak. Some kind of soup – also risky. And that’s about my repertoire – give me a choice and I repeat myself apparently 😉

I can picture the little building housing the other mothers who’s lunches I do remember. The lines of regulars. The brown paper bags we importantly inscribed – name, class, culinary desire. Hand over the coins and move away from the counter.

Peer around the corner of the library as the second bell goes and there’s Tony, from the year below me, heading my way with an ice cream. Nice to be someone’s crush. Didn’t occur to me at the time to wonder where he got the money. Tony from the housing estate – thanks for the confidence boost, and what became of you? 

Segregated playgrounds. Girls in the shady front of the school, sitting in chat circles on clumps of green. Boys at the back of the library building – between the sewing room and the remedial classrooms, near where the milk crates lie, where assembly, and the marching takes place.

Boys games too dangerous for us – warning. balls flying. high risk zone.  If you had to go to the library or office for any reason – slide along the building, ducking and dodging. Keep your head. Boys and their ballgames are for much older girls. Keeping us apart only increased curiosity and awkwardness though.

Did you love your first school? Did you have a favourite class/year? Is there a teacher that stands out in your memory?

I don’t remember the first three teachers. Vague recollections of a dismal embarrassing start to school so we won’t go there…but then in primary so much fun, such a happy place. I can see all four teachers – two stand out for being authoritarian and fairly dull but the second, and last…inspirational men. Reading the news from the locker room; the art of marbling!; being read to each day – the magic pudding and more great Australian children’s works; such unusual musical instruments and the opportunity to ‘be in the band’; introduction to philosophy – our inquisitive minds cranked up and celebrated; just feeling important and cherished – each and every individual in the room.

Think back and how many teachers made a significant impact on you in some way? And/or…is it the lunchtimes you remember? 🙂


devon on white bread

a taste of freedom

latchkey lunch order





10 thoughts on “way back in the beginning

  1. Wow. Makes the old gears turn. Creaking and groaning. 🙂

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed May pole dancing, playing What’s the time Mr Wolf? at lunch time. And singing Feelin’ Groovy accompanied by a teacher playing guitar.


    • How gorgeous – those recollections 🙂

      We didn’t have the May pole dancing…but yes, had forgotten Mr Wolf game – I suspect your Groovy teacher was like the one who showed us marbling 🙂

  3. I ate devon on white bread all through primary school, Annie (and I still love it!) High school – cream buns for lunch, YUM! I remember my year 1 teacher used to sit with her legs crossed on a chair at the front of the class reading us stories and we would sit crossed legged in front of her and she always kicked her shoes off and made us tickle her feet while she read. Nowdays – I don’t think that would go down too well! 😉

  4. Mmm I went to a tiny country school where there were only two teachers…my teacher from years 3-5 really made a big impact, I adored him. My brother and I were hippy kids in a redneck school and I envied them their white bread Devon sandwiches and was embarrassed by our healthy lunch boxes. I would often swap my lunch for someone else’s 🙂 they thought my lunch was awesome! It’s so different now, you know. If my kids take sushi they are the envy of the playground – and it’s the same school, just 25 years later 🙂

    • Isn’t it fascinating the changes in a generation 🙂

      My kids are way past school so I don’t know if anyone was having healthy lunch boxes back then! The tuckshop certainly didn’t sell anything we’d consider healthy today…

  5. I loved my school.. but really really really hated the milk we had to drink just before we went out for playtime.. Ewwwwww.. I can also remember sprinkling milo on a sandwich for lunch, because by lunchtime it had melted and looked like Koogle spread that only the richer kids could afford lol.. Melted milo doesn’t really taste very nice…

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