Saturday 29 June 2013

Annual at Gordon’s School

Mike taught at Gordon’s in Surrey for almost thirty years.  It was called Gordon Boys’ School when he first began there but became co-ed and so the name had to be changed.  Every summer they have ‘Annual’ which entails marching, presentations and music by the Pipe and Drum Band.

The school was set up by Queen Victoria as a tribute to General Gordon and it started as a Home teaching lads a trade – tailoring, bootmaking, carpentry and smithing.  In 1985 the Queen visited the school for its centenary and Mike was photographed with her.  That photo must be somewhere deep in our attic because I can’t find it anywhere!

When I realised that Annual was today and we were on our way home this weekend, it seemed silly not to make a trip to the school and see some old friends and Old Boys.  Having only taken casual clothes with us we had a couple of shopping trips to find something smart to wear and I ended up with a complete new outfit – great! 

We had a terrible drive down as the M25 was clogged but we arrived just as the Band began to play and march into the school.  I’ve heard them play so many times but every time it gets to me!  They are brilliant.



Once all the formalities were completed we were able to wander around.  An Old Boy had spotted Mike and came over to say hello …


Simon was waiting for us when we arrived and although he hadn’t attended the school, it was very much part of his childhood.  Jamie had attended and he met up with a pal of his who was there with his family.  We saw Woolwich House where Mike was Housemaster …


Unfortunately it’s not called Woolwich any more but it will always be Woolwich to me!  We had to pose in front of the statue of General Gordon on a camel.  Beside it is a photo taken of us in 1979!


This was his classroom …


and this was where we used to put on annual Shows.  I used to do the stage make-up with another wife of a housemaster plus if choreography was required that was also down to me!  I made it on stage one year but that’s probably best forgotten!!


This is the plaque on Woolwich wall and the house where we lived …


We met loads of Old Boys and Staff and enjoyed a BBQ meal while a local Band played very loud music!

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It was a lovely day and I’m really pleased that we went.


When we got back to our cars the field which had been jammed with vehicles was almost empty …


We said goodbye to Jamie and Phill and I followed Simon back to his place where we spent the night before setting off for home the next day.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Spending Time with the Boys

It was nice to have some time with Jamie and Phill and we came in useful as dog sitters!  On Saturday they had tickets to the Silver Ring at Royal Ascot and left the house suitably attired and carrying their new picnic set …


The following day we drove to the Grand Union canal at Leighton Buzzard for a walk along the towpath and it was delightful  …


Monday nights the boys always meet up with their friends for a drink so I walked the dogs …


We had a lovely sunset one evening …


Wednesday 19 June 2013

An Operation? Yes then No!

With an overnight bag packed for Mike just in case he’s kept in for the op tomorrow, we set off from Luton for a day in London.  He was seen by Mr Verity who had performed the previous ops on him but it was Prof Dart who would be doing this one if necessary.  Unfortunately he was off today so Mr Verity had to make the decision and he felt that it was probably required.  Now began the fun and games!  Although the op had been provisionally booked for Wednesday at 7.30am, a bed hadn’t been booked!  I insisted that there was no way we could travel and be there for that time of the day and they needed to find a bed for him.  At two o’clock there was no hope but miraculously by three o’clock they had found one in the very ward where they should have reserved it for him!!  We checked in and I stayed with him until he’d had his supper then I left him there and returned to Luton.

Next morning after the boys had left for work and I was imagining a lovely lazy day recovering from the stress of yesterday, my mobile rang and it was the hospital.  Apparently Prof Dart had seen Mike and decided not to operate so could I please collect him as soon as possible!

I immediately ordered a taxi, got train and taxi to the hospital to be met with the comment “Is he not staying for lunch?”  I was amazed!  My reply was very polite but no he was not staying – we were leaving right away.  He left with medication and an appointment for Clinic in a week’s time.

Today was our wedding anniversary and I’d thought we’d be spending it apart.  Phill came home from work with some roses for me as he knew Mike wouldn’t be able to get anything and cupcakes for our dessert …


He’s such a lovely lad Smile

Monday 17 June 2013

Sudden Visit to Luton

Mike had a regular Thursday check-up at Moorfields and they were a little worried about his left eye which is the one with some vision.  We had to be there for another check on the following Tuesday with the possibility that he may have an operation on it the next day.  The decision was made that I needed to drive us up to Luton on Sunday in the Mini which was fine by me so long as I could get help around the motorways at the end.  The boys met me at Fleet Services on the M3 where I moved into Phill’s car and Jamie drove his dad in the Mini.


On Monday evening we drove to St Albans for a walk around the park …


It was lovely and relaxing and kept my mind off the decision that would be made the following day.