12 April 2008

Fifty Years of Moyler Men

Well, last night was interesting.

This academic year has seen the fiftieth anniversary of my old school, and so there was a shindig in Citywest hotel to mark the occasion; there were a handful of us there from my year, along with an army of lads older than us, and smattering younger, and maybe a score of teachers.

I can't remember the last time I was a gathering so absurdly male -- it was probably when I was in school, to be fair, as having paid my dues through thirteen years of all-male education, I've tended towards female friends over the last few years!

It was a good evening, what with drinks, dinner, and entertainment, though that was a bit hit and miss. Comedians are always risky, since everyone's got their own sense of humour, and while the band was very good, it was rather neglected; by the time they came onstage everyone was outside chatting at the bar.

The chatting was definitely the soul of the evening, and so I buzzed about chatting to almost everyone I wanted to, during which I discovered to my astonishment that teachers I'd been terrified of when I was twelve were surely no older then themselves than I am now!

I couldn't help but grin ruefully as I nattered with a couple of them and pointed out a detail or two from the Jubilee Yearbooks, piled on the tables in front of us. Look at the history of the school magazine, I said, embarrassed. The first few all have cartoons by a fella called Robert Bohan, cartoons that are described as 'benign'.

My cartoons take up where his stop, and there's no 'benign' attached to mine. Were mine 'malign'?

To be fair, in retrospect, they probably were. And the last of the magazines was the one that got banned, pulled off the racks after being sold for just one day, all due to me. There must have been a ferocious row about that in the staffroom. Maybe more than once. Dearie me, and talking last night -- for the first time since leaving school -- to the person I surely bothered most, left me feeling decidedly ashamed.

There's a lesson there somewhere, though I'm not sure what it is.

Sadly, there were more than a few teachers and old friends missing who I'd have loved to caught up with, but there'll be more nights like this, please God. And next time, with luck, there'll be more of us from my year, and perhaps a bit less of the entertainment.

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