Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Early Memories Guernsey I

When I was seven I was sent to boarding school, I have three memories of my first day; the first was calling the housemaster 'Sir', it was the first time I had ever called anyone Sir, and for some reason it made me feel grown up.

My second memory of that day was falling out of a tree house and splitting my head open within about half an hour of my parent leaving me there. My parents only found out about this when I mentioned it some forty years later.

The overarching memory was being left, and the following poem describes how the excitement that my parents had built up turned into a feeling of being utterly alone, but also being aware that I must not show I was upset. I hope you like it.

Early Memories Guernsey I

Today was the day I’d been prepared for
I was bubbling with excitement
as we neared the big blue door.
We were met by a teacher
my Mum my Dad and me,
he was going to be the Dad
of my brand new family.
Later on; that same day
my parents said goodbye
and I was left, a little boy
determined not to cry.

John Carré Buchanan
07 February 2012


  1. The first day of the school for anyone would be a memorable day and i think were strong enough to go through that moment with all the courage by not letting your parents down.

    1. Elvirah, Thanks for your comment, I was not trying to prevent my parents being let down, I was ensuring that I was not seen as a target for bullies. One of the early lessons I learnt in Kenya was that Lions pick on the weakest in the herd.

  2. I'm (slowly) rereading the first volume of Doris Lessing's autobiography. Both she and her brother were sent off to boarding school (they lived in what was Rhodesia at the time) and she wrote something like "No boy can be sent off to boarding school at age eight without coming back with half of his heart sealed off." (despite the quotes, this is a paraphrase). Your poem -- and your comment above -- reminded me of this.

    1. Jennifer, I think the quote is very accurate, as a seven year old it was hard to adjust. My parents did a great job of preparing me and explaining why it was all happening, it wasn't until 35 years later that I began to understand what it had really meant to me and my subsequent life.

  3. I can't believe they never called your parents after your head injury.


    1. Those were the days, Our parents got a few lines of reports once a term and that was it. In those days Health and Safety didn't exist and most people were better off for it. Nowadays you can't move without having to do a risk assessment, I doubt you could have a tree house nowadays, let alone fall out of it. LOL


I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.


Free counters!

Popular Posts

Blogs I Enjoy Following

  • SPLASHING OUT - Despite living minutes from the sea, I remain a reluctant swimmer and am regularly put to shame by my wife, Jane, who is an intrepid bather untroubled by c...
    20 hours ago
  • Walter Le Page, L'homme des Pignons - Bryony de Lat - At the Model Yacht Pond, he's feeding the pigeons never on Sunday, though, he's to church they climb all over him, pecking the seed sometimes, even on his he...
    1 day ago
  • Samhain - To walk through summer’s final veil between the fractures of our worlds as shrouds of autumn mists escape the dawn; now is the time to tread lightly on dew...
    3 days ago
  • Little Earth Prayer - I lay down and wait........ Until not a sound Placing my face on the cold of the ground Then whisper my feelings to earth and below My words sink deep... Abs...
    5 days ago
  • Gold Day Night - The only work that gets done On Friday night trains Is watching neon stations Drift in then out of view Across your own face
    1 week ago
  • Awareness Day - Today is Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day....and many TNers on Facebook have been trying to turn the world teal in order to get the condition noticed. Bu...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waves on the Shore - With my feet on a beach, there are stars I can reach, I won't ever die, I'll just step through the sky, there are waves on the shore that will lead m...
    2 months ago
  • Days of Glitter - *Days of Glitter* *I cry...* *A lot...* *Every day...* *I love my new job* *It also makes my heart hurt* *I've been teaching yoga for awhile now, * *but ...
    2 months ago
  • This Job, Not That Job - *What I'm reading: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon* *What I'm listening to: Incomplete by James Bay* Isn't it fun to spend your birthday ...
    3 months ago
  • ... gloriously exciting! - There is something gloriously exciting about anticipating ones next Chad assignment, sitting in the back of the relative comfort of seat 34J, the the dron...
    2 years ago
  • Time-Out - Every now and again in life we come across a bump or hurdle. It can come in our relationships, our finances or as in my case, health. Right now I've been...
    2 years ago
  • thumbs up - it was a battle. looking back i don't think we ever had a chance, but you don't just give up on a young man in the prime of his life. we had to try. he ...
    3 years ago