a velvet hand in an iron glove (missfrost) wrote,
a velvet hand in an iron glove

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purple shoes again rhoda?

So I was watching the film of The 39 Steps (Kenneth More version) and remembering when we read it at school. I really can't remember which English teacher I had at the time - either Miss Huddart, or Mrs Chayter, but I have lots of memories of both, mainly Huddart, who was also my form tutor for a few years and would regularly tell me off for the non-uniform subject header. (I loved those shoes.)
Mrs Chayter was, like, cool, yar, like, down with the kids? She once introduced a conversation about 'the F word' and in particular, the Who ('why don't you just, f-f-f-fade away?' ooh, they're nearly swearing!) and I precociously pointed out that I'd recently watched Quadrophenia with my mother, who had said 'the big problem with this film is the swearing - we swore in the 60s, but we didn't say fuck.'
My actual overriding memory of Mrs Chayter is a thunderstorm that happened one day, but that's by the by. Oh, and the fact that she once got out our current read of Elidor and everyone groaned, and she had the grace/sense to say 'ok, you all hate this book. Let's ditch it then.' I actually was enjoying it, because it was set in Manchester, but I've never finished it since.
Miss Huddart was young and trendy - thinking back, she must have been about 15 years younger than I am now - and my dad fancied her to bits, as he used to tell me when parents' evenings were coming up; she looked like Olivia Newton John in Grease, post makeover, and this was very much of that year/era. She then became 'Mrs Watson' and we saw photos of her wedding. We were all quite amused at Mr Watson's beard...
So one day (back to the point, Rhoda) I was in an English lesson with Miss Huddart, and I became the hot topic of conversation. We had a big school building, split into lower school, middle school (I have no idea what point this served) and upper school, and we were expected to run between them. I tripped and banged my knee behind middle school (aka the swimming pool) between lessons, and got a piece of stone lodged in there (it still is) and I went to the lesson. Half way through I realised my leg was still bleeding, so I rooted around in my bag for something to clean it up. I was making my cousin Mina a dress at the time, so I got a bit of that material out to clean it. Miss Huddart had spotted me. 'Rhoda, if you have a problem, can you come to the front?' With absolutely no idea how this could be interpreted I said 'sorry miss, I've got blood pouring down my leg.'
All the boys stared with the excitement of observing a womanly period taking place. All the girls stared in horrified fascination. But I had just cut my knee, and the scar is still there.
Mentally, I guess.
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