If we did genuinely have a period, we were desperate to get off doing 'cross-country' in particular, because of the nature of sanitary protection in the 1970s. It was embarrassing to run around in public wearing only gym knickers. If you don't understand what I mean, try jogging round your local streets for an hour with a king-sized duvet stuffed in your underwear, and you'll soon realise.
I remember claiming one day that I had a wart in my armpit that would stop me playing tennis. I think my teacher commented that she didn't care if it was a wart or whole warthog in my armpit, I could jolly well go and change into my tennis gear and fetch a racquet.
My parting gift to her on my last day at school was to sneak into the changing rooms, wheel a trolleyful of hockey sticks into the girls' showers and turn on the hot water so that they would warp. I never heard what happened and whether it succeeded. I wonder if the Games department at the school are still puzzled about why no one has scored a goal with the school hockey sticks since 1978.
Anyway, I wrote this poem about her, which I read tonight at a gig. Originally, I called it 'A Letter of Apology to my Games Teacher' until, after the gig, a friend pointed out that there wasn't really a hint of apology in it, so I've changed the title! I've also changed her name. Just in case ...
Not an Apology to my old Games Teacher
|'Get onto that tennis court now,' she said, 'and maybe one day|
you'll look as fit and attractive as I do.'