Navigating High School

The last summer holiday before going to high school was so much fun. It was spent building dens in the woods (if anyone wants a fern fence, call me!), having slumber parties and playing rounders.

Roxanne and I continued to be inseparable and were looking forward to being in the same form in year 7. We had already made a couple of new friends on inset day so were very excited to be reunited with them.

I think my mother was well for most of it, I remember some epic barbecue parties with our neighbours, a failed camping trip and some fantastic day trips to Barry Island. There were a few nights where she wasn’t her best, again sleeping the day away and getting upset at night but I don’t recall them being too frequent. There was a holiday that was one of the best until we found out that social services were trying to pay someone we knew to foster us. This came as a shock to us all and it really shook my mother as she had a few bad weeks after that. I feel for her when I think of that, she knew she was doing her best but it must not have felt like that was enough. It was for me.

Starting high school was fantastic. I still remember buying all my new stationary, bag, shoes, coat and uniform. I know that shouldn’t be fun, but I loved it. No social workers ‘helping’, the whole day with my mother and sisters, plus (usually) a Wimpy for dinner. It was awesome.

My first day of High School was a blur of posing for photos with friends (mostly Roxanne) and trying to remember our way around the school. Meeting all of the teachers and new classmates was the most daunting part, I came across as outgoing and confident but was shy and full of self-doubt on the inside. I remember watching the other kids and betting they had easy lives.

Not very nice to admit but that is how it was and it didn’t stop me making new friends quickly.

Year 7 was great fun; I loved my new subjects (especially French), decorating my books (with Usher posters…) and my new friends. I had new houses to visit and new places to hang out. Having friends over for tea was interesting; I remember my little sister ‘escaping’ from her grounding, my friends and I spotted her dangling out of  her bedroom window. She used to swing across to the shed roof and climb down. She was/is nuts! Such a dare-devil!

I don’t remember anything more specific about my mother at the time. We had food on the table, a clean home and clothes and I think, for the most part, she was well.

Apart from a few episodes, the next year passed in the pretty much the same way.

After that; well, we partied. More on that next time.

Sorry about the poor quality again… 90’s cameras, that’s all I can say…

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