In the news today: government ministers smoked cannabis, but there’s nothing wrong with that, because they only tried it once or twice and they didn’t particularly enjoy it.
What puzzles me, though, is that they all seem to have said they did it “at university”. It’s fine for them to admit taking cannabis when they were 18 or 19 – but did none of them, really, never come across it earlier? Maybe they’re scared of being compared to David Cameron, who smoked cannabis when he was 15, and suffered the terrible punishment of not being allowed to leave school for a whole week. Certainly, at my school, about ten years later, cannabis use was widespread, and kids would frequently nip off to hide in the culvert for a quick smoke on their lunch break. Maybe the answer is that Labour teenagers, back in the 80s, were just too dull to realise the drugs were there.
Do you like it when random people from your past bump into you in the street?
In my case, I generally don’t think I do want to get in touch with many more people from my past. All the friends I wouldn’t want to lose, I’m still in touch with; I still see them at least every year or so. The rest of my schoolfriends, to be honest, I don’t particularly care about. It might sound harsh, but it’s true. If I’d wanted to stay in touch with them, I could have done.
I’m thinking about this now, because yesterday afternoon I was sitting in a pub, having a bit of a munch with a few friends, when some random people start pushing their car into the car park. They come into the pub, and idle time away by the bar waiting for the AA to arrive. I glance at them and don’t think anything of it; but then, listening in, I suddenly recognise one of their voices. I sneak another look: it’s someone I knew fairly well at school.
I hesitated for a moment. But I didn’t particularly want to talk to him. I last saw him ten years ago, and have barely thought about him since. I didn’t want to tell him how my life is going now, what I’ve been up to, who these friends I’m with are, how I know them.
I looked up for a moment, and caught him looking at me, as if he was trying to place where he’d seen me before. I turned back to my friends, and back to the conversation.
I’ve noticed, recently, a lot of people finding this site because they’re searching for the lyrics to the song Autumn Days, the primary school assembly staple by Estelle White. So, I thought I may as well post at least part of them:
Autumn days when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well
So I mustn’t forget
No I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget
You can find the rest of the lyrics here, although there’s a small mistake in the second verse.*
I’m sure it became a classic assembly hymn-singing staple because it’s only vaguely religious. It is to hymns what Intelligent Design dogma is to creationism – it implies we’re talking about some sort of god here, but the details aren’t just vague, they’re not there at all. In other words, it fits in perfectly in your average non-sectarian British school, forced by law to hold regular “religious” assemblies, but forced by common sense to make them as non-religious as they can get away with.
* it should be “and the song the milkman sings,” I’m sure.