As part of National Novel Writing Month, (#NaNoWriMo) I've set myself the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel (1700 words a day), consisting of short stories about my memories of primary school. Just so that you know, all names of people have been changed unless they are publically known. Each story is based on my own memory, so may not be an exact representation of events, especially since I am writing this over 40 years after things happened! But I hope you will enjoy each story all the same, and that perhaps it will spark your own memories of life at primary school.
For as long as I could remember it was always weathermen or a weatherman who read the weather on the telly. I had been thinking about the kinds of job I might want to do when I grew up, and I figured that a weatherman would have to spend at least part of the time outdoors checking the weather, and that since I prefered to be outside rather than stuck indoors it might be a job that I would enjoy. Being a weather person would also mean that I could forecast some nice weather for dad since he was often working outside and he didn't really like the cold. If I was a weather girl I could fix the weather and then he'd be happy too. There was just one problem. I had only seen weather men, never a weather lady on the telly.
Dad was always talking about the weather. In the summer, he liked it best as long as it didn't get too hot, because he fitted conservatories for people and had to climb on the roof. He seemed very brave to me, and I imagined he had the best job ever, being allowed to climb on people's houses and on the building roof, places where people would normally tell you off for climbing. I loved to climb and I was ace at shimmying up the door frame in my bare feet.
No wonder dad had such good muscles if he climbed everyday. In summer he worked without his shirt on, so he always got very brown and sometimes he got red and then his skin would start to peel off, just like the gum glue in school or mum's Copydex stinking glue that she used to make her fabric and cardboard Christmas decorations or quilting templates when you would put it on your hands and then when it dried you would pull it off and pretend you had some horrid disease.
But I didn't think that ladies were allowed to read the weather because I had never seen a lady read the news or read the weather before. The only weather person I had ever met was a man from television called Trevor the Weather because he had opened some event and mum told me to go up to him and to get his autograph but I didn't like him very much. He seemed like a nice and friendly person on the television, fun and smiling, but in real life he was a bit grumpy and he didn't want to talk to us kids.
But then between 1981 and 1983, there was a new person on telly, a lady, and I felt sure that she wouldn't be like the grumpy man, and my friend who met her at an airplane show, did meet her and said she was really, really nice. So she must be because my friend wouldn't lie. And if she wasn't nice she wouldn't have been on television on TV AM in the mornings or on the radio or other shows. Later on she got a new job on one of my favourite programmes called Treasure Hunt, with Anneka Rice and they would take a helicopter and try and find clues against a clock, and it was all live television. It was so exciting. I was obsessed with helicopters too, and if I couldn't be a weather reader on the telly, I'd like to be a traffic reporter flying over the roads in a helicopter and telling people who were stuck in traffic, that they were stuck in traffic and in for a long wait!
The new weather reading lady on telly was called Wincey Willis and I thought she was amazing! Wincey was very glamorous, her name was like nothing I had heard before, and she had big hair like Lady Di, but even bigger, and she would wear sparkly blue eyeshadow and bright coloured clothes. She didn't sound the same as other people on television, she said words a bit funny and sounded posh but then like she had what my friend's dad said was a northern or Jordy accent because she came from somewhere called Durham that was very far away, where Vikings came from. Wow, so she was an actual living Viking and she was presenting weather.
But then I would feel bad because dad didn't like what she said on the weather about rain or snow being forecast and then dad would say 'what a load of rubbish'. I thought maybe I should write a letter to her and ask her to make some nice weather for him for once so he would be happy. Something not too hot and not too cold would suit him, and not rainy or windy because then he might fall off the roof. I never did get around to writing to her but I always wanted to. And I still love the idea of being a weather lady, I still love helicopters, and I still love being outdoors! But my favourite weather is the wet and windy and cold weather because then you can snuggle up warm and drink tea and eat hot toast after being out in the cold. That's the best feeling ever, especially when your cheeks get all hot and glowing.