Someone surely has speeded up the Hands of Time, replaced the batteries in the world clock, making the fingers hurry around the dial ever faster. Perhaps our lonely planet has been influenced by a passing comet, causing it to spin more quickly around it's precarious axis.
Whatever the reason, time is going so fast, much faster than it used to pass by. Or is it simply an illusion, merely one of the effects of my getting older. Do you wonder at the fact that we are now midway through May 2010, it seems like only yesterday that we welcomed in the New year (well actually Mrs Pecker and I did not enjoy that celebration - see this post January).
When I think about this passage of time, as I often do, I see the image of a schoolboy dressed in a drab uniform complete with short trousers and knobbly knees, and that was senior school. This boy could not wait for the day that he would finally be able to leave Alsager Secondary Modern. Yes of course that boy was me, I hated that school, hated it with a passion, hated every last thing about it. I always felt that the day when I would walk across the stage to shake the hand of the headmaster and receive my bible and school report would never come, it always seemed to be so far away as to be unreachable.
Then one day, arrive it did, I could finally leave that school behind and go out into that big wide world out there. No more having to be at school on time, being told what to do, answer for my every action, obey the teachers, Oh what a shock I was in for.
I left school at the Easter holiday of 1966, no exams in those days at a secondary modern school unless you applied to stay on for an extra year. You simply left and went on to an unskilled job, an apprenticeship or very rarely to a full time college course. Jobs were plentiful, dole or handouts of any kind for a school leaver were not an option.
By the time I left school I had already been signed up to an apprenticeship with British Rail Engineering at the locomotive works based in Crewe. This appointment which was for a duration of five years (but therein lies another story) was due to begin in the September of that year, however because of my previously mentioned hatred of school I took up the option of leaving at Easter. I needed to get out as quickly as I could, not wanting to stay a moment longer than I could get away with.
And so it was that on the day before Good Friday 1966, I bid my school a last farewell and I looked forward to a long enjoyable lazy summer.
As my dad returned home from work on the Tuesday following that Easter weekend, he informed me that I had an interview for a labourers job the following day. I was to catch the bus to Tunstall where I would meet him as he finished work, then he would take me to Permaflex at Trubshaw Cross. I needed a job he said to fill the gap between now and September.
I was certainly out of the frying pan but I was headed most definitely for the fire.