Sunday 5 May 2013

Tom Andrew Brown’s Schooldays

They must have been awesome….
The Duke of Wellington once made me cry. I was sitting in a prep school dining hall, where we also sometimes studied, and I read in our textbook a passage where he had reacted to the horrible distress among workers and peasants in Britain after the Napoleonic wars – starvation and repression that led to the Peterloo massacre. His advice was that the poor should put curry powder in their drinking water. His troops, he said, had found this a useful substitute for food when on their campaigns in India.
When I read this I was at once seized by the most choking, terrible sadness. First my throat and then the whole building smelled thick with snot in a most disgusting way. I had to rush to the lavatories and rub my face with cold water before I could breathe and stop weeping.
Oh, wow! What can you say to that?
In those days, at the Dragon school, the food could be so awful that curry powder in water would have been better. We were given milk in bottles that held a third of a pint, and were stored, in crates, without refrigeration. This meant in summer that the good milk was tinged with sourness; the bad milk was practically acid, and the worst milk had entirely separated into curds and whey. It all got drunk.
Truly, another example of #firstworldproblems…
Yet this kind of physical hardship had nothing much to do with poverty. Our parents were paying good money to have us educated there and the school was not particularly heartless. It just had an ethos that paid little account to physical pleasure. There was an expectation that we should learn to endure discomfort. It was absolutely not the same as a belief that discomfort was all life would hold.
So much better now, in 2013, when physical pleasure is not just something to pursue, but a right!

And who endures anything any more? Why, no-one! It has gone the way of deferred gratification and the dodo…


Anonymous said...


That would be the era when people had been displaced from the land by the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution was just getting going. The era when people's standards of living were improving, bonded servants were banned. The era when the Prussian government went to visit Manchester and were amazed by the industrial development there.

So a privately educated idiot thinks that having sour milk was bad, can we find an alternative planet for them? Douglas Adams was right bloody Golgafringians.

James Higham said...

deferred gratification and the dodo

Ah ... like that.

Lynne at Counting Cats said...

A steaming heap of weapons grade pretension. What else would you expect from the Grauniad.

Uncle Badger said...

Bloody idiot! Every school was like that when I were a lad - state or otherwise.

He is so solipsistic he appears to have no idea that what he imagines was treatment reserved for privileged elite such as he, was actually a universal experience.

Indeed, it was the removal of this state-sponsored child abuse by the Blessed St Margaret that led to her nickname among the far Left 'Milk Snatcher'.

One of her better decisions, in fact.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain something to me in simple fashion?

Why are cops paying for equipment for dementia sufferers at several hundred pounds a month when care is supposed to be provided by social care and services? Surely these fuckwits have AGAIN got their priorities wrong?


They are not meant to be mixed over the line with politics, other services and greedy scumbags that want to use them as a political tool against the public.

Get used to it you nasty little shit.


JuliaM said...

"Douglas Adams was right bloody Golgafringians."


"What else would you expect from the Grauniad."

To be fair, nothing else...

"One of her better decisions, in fact."

It was indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Julia, I'm not seeing so much of you these days. Is this blog dying?

Never mind you can always take over at "Orphans of Liberty" where you will write alongside illiterate Amfy and delirious James.

Onwards and upwards!

I hope you are being paid.

JuliaM said...

"Hey Julia, I'm not seeing so much of you these days. Is this blog dying?"

*checks stats*

Three posts a day for the last, oooh, three years? You should go to Specsavers.