Tag Archives: gym

February 15th 1973

“Lost to Sned at table tennis 21-9, 21-9, 21-9” / “Opticians Appointment 3pm, Dental Appointment” / “Got ‘ome early” / “GF3”

They say that the key to success in sport is “consistency”.

As you can see, I was terribly consistent in my ping-pong play against Sned, perfectly losing by the same score three times in a row.

I would like to point out that that image of the table tennis bat on the right is in NO WAY representative of the bats we used to play with at school. Ours were somewhat more… how should I put this?…. bloody worn out! Indeed, if the bat you happened to pick out of the box had any rubber covering on it your chances of winning were dramatically enhanced. The balls too varied from “slightly shagged out” to “misshapen work of the devil”, although in this regard at least the disadvantage was a shared one.

Table Tennis was perhaps one of the very few ‘sports’ I enjoyed participating in during gym. Probably because it involved FAR less physical effort than football, rugby, hockey or basketball AND I was unlikely to be roughed up by the opposing team. (No guarantee of that, of course, but I’m hard pushed to remember anyone leaning across the ping-pong table to punch me in the arm?!)

Table Tennis appears to have been this particular day’s highlight. An eye test and a dental appointment all in one day is now my idea of utter hell. I have no doubt it was back then too as I have never been a fan of visiting either.

I am intrigued by the inclusion of “GF3” tucked away in small letters in the corner of the diary entry. I have no idea to what it refers, and further inspection of the diary prior to this date shows no “GF1” or “GF2” so as to hint at some kind of time/event lineage.

I’ll leave you to imagine as much as I have been. Was it my own special code for something rude? The third date? (I have made no diary references to dates with Angela, or anyone else) The third girlfriend? Perhaps it simply refers to my drubbing at the ping pong table, suggesting I “Got F…… erm … Frustrated three times over?


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February 13th 1973

“Scored 2 in 4-a-side during Gym” / “Dad got me another Who Do We…. – it jumps as well – wrote letter to record co” / “started jigsaw”

Once again my little scoring successes in Gym – a school activity which I despised for everything it stood for – seems worthy of a diary mention.

Maybe I felt it necessary to boast of whatever ‘result’ I got because I was always amongst the kids that were picked last by whomever was deemed to be ‘team captain’ regardless of the sport being played.

I wore specs, I did not have athletic physique at all and I was uncoordinated. I was probably considered whatever the 70’s equivalent of a ‘geek’ was.

Want proof?

This is me, a year later in 1974

Yes, that was my passport photo.
Yes, I look like a girl.
Yes, that is a pudding basin haircut.
Yes, Angela wanted me.
Yes, maybe she did need therapy?

If you can please all stop laughing now so we can return to the matters in hand?

I wrote to the record company, proving again that my predilection for ‘complaining’ (something which I now enjoy almost as a profession) was started very early in life.

It appears that instead of contemplating anything like a date with Angela, I started a jigsaw.

Wild Man!

(I dedicate this post – including that photo, to which she would have undoubtedly gone “awwwwwww” – to my dear old Mum, who passed away in 2005. This week would have been her 79th birthday. I loved and miss her very much)

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The 1973 Diary (II)

This shows how hard I worked as a 15-year-old schoolkid!

Here’s my school timetable, at least (presumably) for January – July 1973. (The diary makes no reference to a timetable from Sept 1973 onwards… maybe it was the same schedule?)

I had Economics (as in ‘world financials’, not ‘home economics’ and all that cookery nonsense) to kick off the week, followed by Religious Education (ha!) and English Composition after the break. Monday afternoon was History, French, Physics and Maths.

Tuesday morning consisted of a double period of Technical Drawing (TD), Geography and (the dreaded) Gym, whilst the afternoon offered up (more) Geography, French, English and History. (I have no idea why the two Geog lessons of the day weren’t twinned together)

Wednesday commenced with French (“quelle horreur”) followed by Grography (again??), SINGING (!!!???!!!) and Maths and after lunch I was subjected to English Drama, History and a double TD.


Thursday started off BAD for me with double Games (outdoor physical nonsense like football, hockey, basketball, running, cross-country leg tiring) with Physics and French after the morning break. The afternoon threatened double Maths and double English.

My Fridays were top and tailed with double Economics and double Physics with French, Maths, History and Geography in between.

The one thing I really CAN’T remember is that the timetable suggests we had preset evenings for specific homework. The nights don’t even seem to always line up with next day lessons, so what was the point I wonder?



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