Monday, July 4, 2011

1980: Please. Keep to the lake

Art was the only lesson in which we could have the radio on. But only when we got to the fourth year and not in pottery with the fearsome Mr Wilson. Mrs Harrison, in her rainbow jumpers and handmade shoes and Mrs Sandoval in her floaty smocks and airy fairy sundresses didn't mind at all. In fact it was encouraged.

Unfortunately, those lessons were always at time that meant we got half of the Golden Hour first. Now that would be ideal listening, but back then I wasn't interested in the old. I wanted the new.

We did get some new of course, and you'd wait and see if your favourite came up or it would be a chance to hear something new. Vienna by Ultravox got its premiere in an art lesson, as did Fade To Grey to Visage and Piece Of The Action by Bucks Fizz. But it's this McCartney tune that sticks in my mind most. It was shortly after his Tokyo drug bust and so when he sang the line 'I need love' we gigglingly substitued 'I need drugs'. Oh, how we laughed. Anything not to have to do any work.

Though I liked art, I was never great at it. I could do still life no problem, but figures, forget it. Same goes for cartoons or perspectives. I'd usually draw delapidated old houses and run-down street scenes, things I'd spotted out of coach windows on daytrips to London. But it kept me busy and I enjoyed it.

My dad is a marvellous artist and used to have a nice sideline in drawing children for neighbours. He had a design scholarship with Sanderson though National Service put paid to that. Needless to say it was of great disappointment to him that I wasn't superhot when it came to art. But I did get the O level, and I know what I like.


  1. Our art teachers were the Spanish Miss Cubrillo (pronounced chew-brillo) who always wore something flouncy and black with film-star sunglasses and a raspy laugh. Or Mr Sergeant a dry and dowdy chap who got punched by one of the class (who only punched Sergeant as he was leaving the school and knew he couldn't be expelled)..

    I don't know how Prince got away with ripping these lyrics for TLC's Waterfalls

  2. I thought the same, Mondo! Cheeky old Ponce.

    We'd have given anything to have the radio on in Art, but the nuns would never have allowed it. Our art teacher herself - the fabulous Miss Clarke - probably wouldn't have minded. She was a genuine bohemian, swathed in silk scarves and chunks of ceramic jewellery. Away from the confines of school, she fraternised with gay men who wore wide-brimmed hats and blouses. I really wish I'd got to know her better, but sadly I was rubbish at art.