As summer retires after giving us two days of sunshine and we bring out our autumnal wardrobes once again, it can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that September is already upon us.
As well as being a mere three months until Christmas (I’ve already seen houses getting into the spirit with tinsel adorning doorframes), it’s also the time when the new school term begins. When September rolls around and large queues of tardy parents form outside the school uniform shop, it makes me reminisce about my own school days.
They say your school days are the best years of your life, but mine were beset with blunders, embarrassments and epic fails. So each autumn I dedicate a few hours to cringing my way through photo albums of bad hairdos, ill-fitting uniforms and memories of the bizarre scenarios that I found myself in on an almost regular basis.
So, like every embarrassing story in my life, I thought it was only right that I share my stories with the High Tea Cast. So here are my shameful school confessions.
I failed my cycling proficiency test
Before your driving test, comes your cycling proficiency. Showing an examiner you can do the one thing which you never forget… how to ride a bike.
I was screwed from the beginning as my bike was too big and left my helpless hanging feet paddling air inches above the pedals and the brakes were so broken they were practically pointless. Before I had even began the test I was struggling to stop, and my legs were so high off the floor I could only tip toe my bike to a halt.
But without doubt the trickiest part of the test for me was signalling. This involved letting go of the bike with one hand and indicating your direction. While all the kids got this in the first lesson, to me this resembled some sort of circus trick, and every time I tried it I promptly fell off my bike with a thud.
Apparently being able to tell drivers what direction you’re going in is quite important on the road, so after falling off my bike twice during my test, I became the only kid in my school (and probably in the world) to fail my cycling proficiency test. The shame of that day has made me the only person I know (and, again, probably in the world) forget how to ride a bike.
I flashed my underwear pretending to be Emma Bunton
In a Welsh talent show at the tender age of 13, when my boobs were refusing to grow and I was more fat than puppy, me and my friends were asked to mime to the Spice Girl’s hit Wannabe. To this day I have no idea why.
We weren’t exactly the coolest kids in school (picture a female version of the Inbetweeners, I was probably the briefcase wanker), so I guess we had nothing to lose.
Because I was the youngest, I had no choice but to be Baby Spice (I wanted to be Mel C, but you can’t have everything) and I was given a hideous bright pink dress to wear to bring the transformation to life.
But because I’d never worn a dress before I had no idea it was (a) short, as in came wayyyy above my knee and (b) how to conduct myself/sit down in a dress.
We did dance moves that can only be described as appalling, worse than any X Factor audition you’ve ever seen, and all I could see was all my future bullies just rubbing their hands together in glee at the ammo I was providing them with.
As the song ended I blew a kiss out to the audience and knelt down, relived it was finally over. I heard some loud laughs and a few “oh gods”, but just thought the school was laughing at our comedy-like performance, and praising us for giving it a good go. They weren’t, they were laughing at my big, polka- dot knickers.
Safe to say I wore shorts for the next ten years.
I looked like Harry Potter
Everyone has a school look they’d rather forget. From ill-advised pigtails and make-up experiments splashed across your face to customising skirts in a bid to make them shorter than the school rules (you rebels).
But my school look was one I not only want to forget, but to completely obliterate from history, because my haircut got me mistaken for a boy for a whole year. Although it was shorter than I’d originally asked the hairdresser for (I remember asking for a general “tidy up” and came out with hardly any hair) I could have dealt with that, had I not just bought some round silver glasses, unaware of the Harry Potter shit-storm that was about to hit the cinemas.
Within days of the film’s release I was being called Harry Potter, and “You’re a woman Harry” was chanted at me until I left school. Thanks J.K Rowling, thanks a lot.
What are your classroom confessions?