School Cross Country Running

This morning a blast of a school memory – cross country running. I’m not sure if they still do this? I imagine it’s got health & safety written all over it. Certainly the ones we used to do at my school, Manor, would have raised a few eyebrows in H&S Central. 

Cross country running eh! Happy days. Wind so cold that you lost your bearings. Hard freezing rain lashing your face as though someone was stood in front of you with a hose on the firm spray setting. Then the mud that reminded you of your Great Granddads in the Great War as your sergeant major sports teachers bellowed at you from their warm cars placed conveniently around the route. Ah yes, they were the days… 

Of course had they allowed us to run with the girls I could have at least followed a fair sight or two to help alleviate the pain. Instead, rather than the view of a fine female, I got the grunts, smells and groans of the great unfit and almost certainly unwashed of the Woodhouse boys brigade. 

One of my best pals, dear Paul, would run at speed to the first teacher manned post, nod at Mr Foster in a self congratulatory manor, and then promptly nip down a side path to one of his non working pals house for a quick fag or two. He would finish the race as one of the last in, having rejoined the run at the finishing straight at the top of Park Road. They must have known what Paul was up to but I assume his audacity was so immense that they let him be. That and the fact that he was taller than all of them probably helped. 

The memories slice wide into my own hard wired cinema that seems able to store a million tiny fragments with ease. I smile at the memory of a youth not lost, rather stored. 

Happy days. 

Have a good day!

A X 

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