Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Lulu and Amy Winehouse
Out for my walk with Paddy this morning, it was that time of the morning when pupils are wending their unwilling way to school and, in front of me was a girl of about fourteen, thumbs busily occupied on the ever-present mobile. Presently another girl joined her and the two of them turned and walked up the lane past us. I was struck by a blast from the past. Each girl had backcombed hair and black eyeliner, a cross between Lulu and Amy Winehouse, and they reminded me of when I was twelve or thirteen.
At our school, the girls' toilet block comprised of two sections, one of which had been commandeered by a group of fourteen or fifteen year olds as their bolthole, where they spent hours carefully applying make-up so that it would not be noticed by teachers and backcombing their bleached hair to unbelievable heights. At that time, we were the first year to experience the joys of wearing a velour hat, instead of the beret worn by all the older girls and this group were expert at pinning the beret to the back of the head so that it was invisible from the front, hidden by all the backcombed hair.
Being cheeky second years (Year 8 in new money), we made it our mission in life to enter their territory and annoy them as much as possible, which we did and insults were duly traded, but over a period of time, we got to know these girls and struck up an odd sort of friendship, especially as this was in the days when older pupils definitely had nothing to do with younger one. These were girls who were probably on the borderline between Grammar and Secondary Modern candidates, so not particularly academic, but when we got to know them, they weren't at all as aggressive as they first appeared.
Probably my first lesson in the advisability of not judging people by appearances.