Sunday 12 June 2011

Head-masterly Wisdom.

Not only does my old school now take girls, but the 'headmaster' is also a woman. Here she is; the smiling Sue Freestone. Oh that things were thus in my days.

When I left school, the headmaster (a pig of a man) called me, and several others, up to his study for a talk. He had no doubt summoned up all his worldly experience, and whittled it down to two bits of advice that he was convinced would see us through life.

His recommendations were these. Don't visit prostitutes, and don't drink spirits. I won't go into his reasoning for the former, but his logic behind the latter was clear. Whiskey is medicine, and if consumed by the young its great healing power would no longer work its magic when required later on in life.

Well I'm pleased to say that I've unwittingly followed both bits of his wisdom. Although I would happily not have done so, just to be contrary.

My headmaster retired at the same time that I left, and had bought himself a new home on the Dorset coast. His wife and two children went ahead, and he followed by train a few days later; he died on that train on the first day of his retirement. He didn't even reach Dorset.


  1. Hello:
    The times are indeed changing and, from what you write of the previous headmaster, the 'smiling Sue Freestone' will most likely be a change for the better.

    But, what an extraordinary thing that he should die on the train travelling to his retirement. Live for the moment, we say, as who knows what life changes are just around the corner.

  2. Was his advice based on bitter experience Cro?

    Perhaps the poor chap died on the train journey finally succumbing to syphilis and alcoholic cirrhosis...

  3. I didn't like to ask. And how I would love that to be the case!

  4. I have heard of this kinda thing before. Stress of the unknown,eh?
    I've been retired in my mind for years, so I doubt I'll have any problem when I physically turn off the lights and move on.

  5. my father died soon after he reired.....
    I m not making that mistake...
    I am retiring slowly now!!!

  6. So your Hogwarts spell worked then, Cro? It sounds like a good job that I will never be able to retire, but, having drunk whiskey in my youth, I don't any more. It just wouldn't work. Maybe this is why the average life expectancy of a Glaswegian is about 59?

  7. Poor soul. He probably spent his entire working life waiting waiting waiting for that blessed retirement. What a shame.

  8. So the moral of the story is, don't visit prostitutes, stay away from spirits, and never take a train by yourself. Whew. I'm writing this down.

  9. My own Father saved all of his life for his retirement and died 3 years before he got there.
    I learned this lesson from that. Life is for living now, who knows what the next hour may bring. I try to live my life like this according to my means.

  10. The lady 'headmaster' looks very nice! The one we had was very prolific with the cane. He used to haul some of the boys on to the stage during assembly and switch them across the hand in front of the whole school. I can't ever remember him hitting any of the girls though.

  11. I had to laugh at this entry. My headmistress was an Anglican nun who informed me that I was an irreverant trouble-maker who was bound to amount to nothing. She didn't die when she retired but became an Anglican priest. Strange, huh?

  12. Perhaps he was a pig of a man, but he kept YOU on the straight and narrow! Took bad he didn't live long enough to enjoy his retirement. Might've mellowed him out a bit, too.


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