|Salisbury Road Infants: on the right|
I started at the junior school aged 7 but turned 8 in December. Teacher: Mrs Hepple. I liked Mrs Hepple.
The school was the same building as the Infants but completely seperate part with a different entrance - as my sister started here two years later than me, but I never ever saw her until she moved up to the Junior's - and even then don't remember having much to do with her there.
|our playground at home|
We read the children of Cherry Tree farm. It featured a wild man character called Tammylan. I asked mum to buy it for me, and she did. I was now reading, just a couple of years after the upsetting experience with my aunt.
Milk stopped at age 7 I think. I used to enjoy the ritual of milk at school - the straw, the wafer, the creamy top. It also fucked my sinuses for life. If we were meant to drink cows' milk we'd have been born as calves! Two milk images of the time - Margaret Thatcher milk snatcher and watch out watch out there's a Humphrey about.
Rumours abounded about 10s and units, that they were really hard and we'd have to do them in the second year. But kids love to tell stories and the scarier and the more over-blown the better. By the time we started doing them they were a doddle!
|Home: house at the top of the hill|
In the evenings and weekends I used to play close to home with local kids. Used to see Mrs Hepple occasionally and remember following her - thinking she hadn't seen me, to find out where she lived. She was always very friendly and seemed to like me, got on with my mum.
My Dad took me to see "Live and Let Die" - very exciting and one of my favourite films for years. I was smitten with James bond now until, at least the early 1980s. Went to see every film as it came out right up until "Spy Who Loved Me".
But I can measure my young life out in crappy sit-coms, which is vaguely alarming - George and Mildred spin off from Man About The House in 1976 - the great Yootha Joyce. Robin's Nes, which I soon appreciated to be a pile of crap, in 1977; and my parents watched the rag Trade which was a revival of an old 50s/60s sit com - I had no interest - didn't even klnow it was a sit com till i looked it up on Wikipedia.
But it was a good time to start going to see Argyle play Argyle had a good season in 73/74 though they were in the 3rd Division. They got to the League Cup Semi final against Man City, but only drew and lost the replay.
In 74 / 75 Argyle managed to get back into Division Two. They had been managed by Paul Mariner, who now played for them, while Tony Waiters took over as manager. Billy Rafferty and Mariner scored 46 goals that season between them.
I was never really into football, but I tried to please my Dad and stuck at it for years. On and off I kept going until I was in my early twenties, even going to matches in London. When they made football an all seating event for the audience is when I stopped attending matches for good.
Apart from not really liking football, there were things I loved. At this stage I loved comics and drawing. I read. I'd been reading for 2 or 3 years now - a late starter. At this point my gran decided she would buy us, me and my sister, a comic each week. Which one did we want? I think I started with Whoopee comic, though I may have started with shiver & Shake which merged with Whoopie in 1974, which my Gran thought was great, the thought of going into a shop and asking for a a copy of "Whoopee". My sister had girls' titles with more sensible names - "Mandy" for example, which I glanced at from time to time. But they weren't very interesting - not funny, the stories were all serious!
I would attempt to copy comic characters, which is probably where my art started.
Luckily for me, comics got more sophisticated as i got older so I have more or less been able to continue reading comics for the whole of my life! And I don't mean D.C. or Marvel either! I mean British comics.
I remember comics being bought for me quite early on - Topper was one. Also Annuals, usually 2nd hand, were passed on or bought for me - the usual I guess, Beano Dandy etc. One character I thought was funny was Janet the Gannet as my mum's name was Janet. Strangely, my Dad thought it was funny too.
|on a day trip, probably Cornwall|
We were taken on daytrips pretty much every weekend. You should expect nothing less from the generation born to believe in the car, that the combustion engine would bring freedom and prosperity! My parents took us everywhere in a car. Dartmoor to please my mother, the coast to please my Dad and us kids. Sometimes we'd head off with our cousins, to Wembury Beach or to Dartmeet on Dartmoor where we picnicked by a river, and we kids went swimming too. I remember one day deciding that I could swim, while in that river. I moved around in the river with my hands and feet on the bottom, believing that this was the only was anyone could possibly do that thing where they thrash about and stay on the surface of the water.