The cool kids

Summer is finally rolling in, slowly. It’s cloudy today and there’s been some rain already, but I don’t need a cardigan, and that’s all good. It was red hot last week, so I’m calling on the Corduroy power to reawaken those lovely temperatures this Much Love Monday.

This song takes me back to the last year of Uni, when I was beginning to start a ‘proper’ job (I’d had jobs before, and I had jobs after that weren’t a ‘career’ if you know what I mean… nobody plans on chopping vegetables as a kitchen grunt, or being a lowly bar wench all their life, do they? Not that those aren’t fine things to do, but you’d kind of want to work your way up the chain a little, I guess!)

That was a great year in retrospect. Now people get paid half a full salary to do it, but I got my usual student grant to do my teaching certificate. It kind of eases you into the real world. I had two placements of a term and a bit each, and in between, we’d have to go to classes ourselves. I got to fade away from my favourite bit of Sheffield, rather than leave it completely.

Collegiate Crescent was this kind of old estate with lots of Victorian and Edwardian houses on it, surrounded by huge, ancient trees. It was this narrow strip of land off Eccleshall Road that sat back a little and then extended way off up the hill. There was a library at the bottom – where I spent most of my time outside class – and then various buildings as you walked up. The Student Union wasn’t so much of a hip place and I don’t think I ever went in there – there was a laundrette I used when I lived round the corner, and there was a gym. There were occasional aerobics classes in the small sports hall. Further up, each department had a dedicated house, so you’d go to different houses for psychology or English, as I did. The English one was two-thirds of the way up the hill. Behind that, there were the buildings for trainee teachers.

To be honest, the PGCE itself was a dead loss. We had ancient professors who had not been in a classroom for years. Still, it was nice to spend a year with a foot in both camps, working, but not working, if you see what I mean.

Apart from the oncoming summer, I’m loving the cherries. I lost a good few to splits and mildew, but a lot have survived. Unfortunately, most are on my second tree, which is not easy to pick from at all; thank God for hooks and ladders. That sounds like a piratey children’s game, but in reality, it’s just my picking method for those top branches. These are big old trees, so plenty get left for the birds. Last night, I felt a bit peckish and went and picked myself a bowl of cherries. That’s the best kind of larder to have.


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