Juvenilia #1Tales from my Attic


Recently, clearing the loft, I found some exercise books from my schooldays. The following prompt was set as a writing task when I was in fourth year (what is now year 10) and it made me laugh, so I thought I would share it here.

Task: Supposing that as a result of an illness, not physically crippling, you found yourself unable to either attend school or to undertake a regular job for about six months. How would you occupy your enforced leisure?

My response:

                        In a state of bliss such as this, I would indulge in everything that pleased me most, and furthermore I could do enjoyable things which I have not usually time for, such as eating, writing poetry and sleeping.

                        This wonderful state of affairs would enable me to refrain from getting up until dinner time. This would be sheer bliss, as, not only am I bone idle, but I think that bed is the best place to read, as I am able to relax every muscle in my body and devote myself, not to keeping warm but to associating myself with the characters in the book.

                        I would try to vary each day as much as possible, to prevent myself from being imprisoned in a monotonous little rut. I would not, of course, stop doing any of the things which come naturally to me, but I would try to read different types of books, and write poetry on different topics, instead of the usual sentimental trash!

                        I should, of course, find myself with a lot of spare time on my hands, therefore for part of each day I could turn to industry. Daintily embroidering, like some young Victorian girl, would make me feel wonderfully historical, whereas, furiously knitting garments for my nieces and nephews, I would be the very essence of virtue.

                        With devotion to the musical side of my mind, practising my clarinet and piano would be a necessity. And I would prove myself to be the model of virtue, which I am most certainly not, by helping not to make a mess of the home.

                        I would find myself able to read more Bridge books and improve my game, as I long to beat my ‘brainy’ brother-in-law and my sister (his partner). Chess, too, I would try to improve my game to enable me to beat Marie, who taught me to play. That would be sweet indeed!

                        I would go for walks in the lovely countryside around us, drinking in deep breaths of fresh air, perfumed with the sweet fragrance of manure. On second thoughts, I don’t think I will!

                        Painting is something that I always enjoy, whirls of blue and orange give me relaxation of the mind, and though meaningless to the onlooker, are the bewitching children of my mind, in whom I place my sanity.

                        On the whole, during this gift of leisure time I would really enh joy myself and thank my Maker for the much-needed rest.

Teacher’s response: 7/10 and a comment ‘A bit on the short side’.

I don’t think she quite got my humour, and the way I send myself up throughout! The other thing that amused me is how little I have changed, if at all!



Filed under Education, Prose

2 responses to “Juvenilia #1Tales from my Attic

  1. Looking forward to your (contemporary) poetry based on this find!