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

  • Writers Worth: Favors, Barters, and Your Writing Worth - If you know Nancy Oliver, you love Nancy Oliver. I met Nancy about four years ago through LinkedIn. We got to talking and pretty soon, we were sharing funn...
    20 hours ago
  • Wasted - *If you close your eyes* *am I no longer sitting before you* *Can you wish me away* *with these words you have heard before* *stifling yawn after yawn * ...
    1 day ago
  • BARD AWAY FROM BAY - *Bard at Bay* is taking a short holiday, so this will be the last poem until online activity resumes on *Tuesday 7th June*. Image by Dima Dmitriev ...
    2 days ago
  • The Coast - Ian Duquemin - Rocks gather high, so protecting the land Soaked by the sea they climb rustic and coarse Shells of the ocean cling tightly to shelter Close to the land tha...
    3 days ago
  • The Unread - *The Age of Uncertainty* and *Cours de linguistique générale* Sit heavily on my bookshelf Mocking and taunting me Calling me Coward and cretin For not readi...
    1 month ago
  • Three years on. - Saturday, three years since I found my old mum dead on the floor, after a wonderful day gardening, doing things she shouldn't have been doing. There was a...
    1 month ago
  • Your Life, Your Choice - Since April is "Your Life, Your Choice" month, I felt the need to write a wee blog post about it. Actually, I didn't *feel the need* at all.....I *chose* t...
    1 month ago
  • Autumn (Natures Artist) - Autumn (Natures Artist) Soon the seasons change in colour Blending into one another Mosaic leaves shall paint the land Enhanced by mother natures hand Reds ...
    9 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...
    1 year 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 ...
    2 years ago