The text There’s a vague historical theme going on in my first term’s work at Fairburn. No, actually, now I think about it, it’s not vague at all - 17th century priest harbouring, houses made of flint, string orchestras, Halloween and bonfire night all feature in the first handful of English stories. Add the Geography, History and Topic books to the mix (covering the birth of New York, the Stone Age and the dinosaurs respectively) and the scale definitely tips in favour of the past. Comparing this with the following term’s work, which is uncompromisingly future- focused, only serves to underline my feeling that I was not yet being “myself”. This is one of those factual, descriptive pieces I always hated writing. Obviously, we’d learned something about “old houses” earlier in the day and were then asked to write about what we knew. Such things always used to irritate me on a fundamental level. Essentially, I was writing this for the teacher, and I never quite understood why I would want to tell him something we both already knew. Why couldn’t we both accept that we already knew everything there was to know about old houses, then I could get on with writing about something we didn’t know, so we’d both be twice as knowledgeable? Naturally, I’d missed the point. Writing these pieces wasn’t about telling the teacher what he already knew - it was about telling him things he didn’t know, like whether I’d actually taken in what I’d learned and whether I could pass on that knowledge to others in an engaging manner. In time, I would learn how to spruce these things up and inject my increasingly hyperactive personality into every sentence. But for now, I was keeping my head down, being good and doing what I was told. The result is a straightforward, simplistic account of three types of “old houses”. There’s nothing remarkable about it apart from some odd phrasing here and there. I’m not sure whether I really thought the rich people’s fire was “lovely” or the even richer people’s fire was “nice” or whether I was just desperately trying to find something interesting to say about it. One notable thing about this piece is that there are no spelling mistakes (though I may have cheated a bit with the word “their” on Page 1), so I was clearly paying attention. My propensity to get confused about which nouns have capital letters and which don’t is still intact, but not overwhelmingly so. The practice of using brackets to highlight errors is now well and truly ingrained. The margin is even straight. Well done, Waen - the tick at the end is well deserved. Eagle eyed readers may also spot that I’ve drawn the lines on the page myself. The books we used for English around this time contained a mixture of both ruled and non-ruled paper, the latter presumably for drawing on. Whichever bright spark thought of that didn’t really take into account that not all pieces of writing are exactly the same length. So in this case, the text happens on the blank page (onto which I have diligently drawn wonky lines) and the picture happens on the ready-ruled page. As far as I know, this is the only time I ever did this (cf. Clarke Hall and The Forgotten World). The picture This badly drawn house reminds me how alien Fairburn seemed to me when I first went to live there. Having spent most of my life on a purpose-built council estate, it was seriously weird to live in a place with old stone walls and houses which didn’t all look the same. I’d probably never even seen a village at this point in my life, never mind lived in one. OK, so Fairburn wasn’t a rural idyll by any means. Yes, there were old-fashioned pubs and nearby farms, it was surrounded by fields and it had one or two olde-worlde buildings (which didn’t have thatched rooves but did bear at least a passing resemblance the picture above). From Silver Street, you could see past the houses to the tail-end of Fairburn Ings, a vast wetland and bird sanctuary which served (and still serves) as the region’s top tourist attraction. But it had its fair share of modern housing too, the A1 ran right through the middle of it (right past our house in fact) and, if you crossed the footbridge to the other side of the village, you would find not only a modern housing estate but also (if my memory serves me correctly) a fairly sizeable quarry. (Link there to a quarry, not sure if it’s the one I remember.) Still, to me, arriving in this place was like stepping into the past. A world that had some kind of history behind it, instead of being simply a crude post-war housing solution. A place where you could freely ride your bike down the road without fear of being run over. A place dominated by pubs with the word “horse” in the name. And a place where, so far, I didn’t really fit in.
Old Houses
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Sheet Lightning Waen and his Gran shelter from the sheet- shaped storm
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE
The text There’s a vague historical theme going on in my first term’s work at Fairburn. No, actually, now I think about it, it’s not vague at all - 17th century priest harbouring, houses made of flint, string orchestras, Halloween and bonfire night all feature in the first handful of English stories. Add the Geography, History and Topic books to the mix (covering the birth of New York, the Stone Age and the dinosaurs respectively) and the scale definitely tips in favour of the past. Comparing this with the following term’s work, which is uncompromisingly future-focused, only serves to underline my feeling that I was not yet being “myself”. This is one of those factual, descriptive pieces I always hated writing. Obviously, we’d learned something about “old houses” earlier in the day and were then asked to write about what we knew. Such things always used to irritate me on a fundamental level. Essentially, I was writing this for the teacher, and I never quite understood why I would want to tell him something we both already knew. Why couldn’t we both accept that we already knew everything there was to know about old houses, then I could get on with writing about something we didn’t know, so we’d both be twice as knowledgeable? Naturally, I’d missed the point. Writing these pieces wasn’t about telling the teacher what he already knew - it was about telling him things he didn’t know, like whether I’d actually taken in what I’d learned and whether I could pass on that knowledge to others in an engaging manner. In time, I would learn how to spruce these things up and inject my increasingly hyperactive personality into every sentence. But for now, I was keeping my head down, being good and doing what I was told. The result is a straightforward, simplistic account of three types of “old houses”. There’s nothing remarkable about it apart from some odd phrasing here and there. I’m not sure whether I really thought the rich people’s fire was “lovely” or the even richer people’s fire was “nice” or whether I was just desperately trying to find something interesting to say about it. One notable thing about this piece is that there are no spelling mistakes (though I may have cheated a bit with the word “their” on Page 1), so I was clearly paying attention. My propensity to get confused about which nouns have capital letters and which don’t is still intact, but not overwhelmingly so. The practice of using brackets to highlight errors is now well and truly ingrained. The margin is even straight. Well done, Waen - the tick at the end is well deserved. Eagle eyed readers may also spot that I’ve drawn the lines on the page myself. The books we used for English around this time contained a mixture of both ruled and non-ruled paper, the latter presumably for drawing on. Whichever bright spark thought of that didn’t really take into account that not all pieces of writing are exactly the same length. So in this case, the text happens on the blank page (onto which I have diligently drawn wonky lines) and the picture happens on the ready-ruled page. As far as I know, this is the only time I ever did this (cf. Clarke Hall and The Forgotten World). The picture This badly drawn house reminds me how alien Fairburn seemed to me when I first went to live there. Having spent most of my life on a purpose- built council estate, it was seriously weird to live in a place with old stone walls and houses which didn’t all look the same. I’d probably never even seen a village at this point in my life, never mind lived in one. OK, so Fairburn wasn’t a rural idyll by any means. Yes, there were old-fashioned pubs and nearby farms, it was surrounded by fields and it had one or two olde-worlde buildings (which didn’t have thatched rooves but did bear at least a passing resemblance the picture above). From Silver Street, you could see past the houses to the tail-end of Fairburn Ings, a vast wetland and bird sanctuary which served (and still serves) as the region’s top tourist attraction. But it had its fair share of modern housing too, the A1 ran right through the middle of it (right past our house in fact) and, if you crossed the footbridge to the other side of the village, you would find not only a modern housing estate but also (if my memory serves me correctly) a fairly sizeable quarry. (Link there to a quarry, not sure if it’s the one I remember.) Still, to me, arriving in this place was like stepping into the past. A world that had some kind of history behind it, instead of being simply a crude post-war housing solution. A place where you could freely ride your bike down the road without fear of being run over. A place dominated by pubs with the word “horse” in the name. And a place where, so far, I didn’t really fit in.
Old Houses
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
The Flame in the Desert An evil fire threatens the safety of the world
Apeth Badly-spelt high-jinks with a purple gorilla from outer space!
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
Florence Nightingale What if Florence Nightingale had lived in the Year 2000?
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE