It is my first day in my new winter workplace and when I got up this morning I felt exactly like I used to do all those years ago, when I changed schools, or when it was the first day of the new school year.
Remember those times? Changing schools was awful. The mix of nerves beforehand and stomach-churning excitement. Going from being the important big fish in the little pond to being the small and very insignificant sprat at the bottom of the pond-life pile. Not only that, but there was a massive new building to navigate around. Prior to this I had attended small primary schools and so to be thrust into what seemed to me at the time, a huge and unfriendly leviathan, populated by giants bestriding the corridors, filled me with terror and awe. It was many weeks before I became familiar with the layout of the building and accustomed to living with giants and able to deal with the new world of academe.
A new school year, a new term. These bought their own problems. After the long summer holidays, new items of school uniform would have to be purchased. My mother, in common I suspect with every other mother in the land, allowed for the future growth of her offspring when making these purchases. Thus I would be sent unwillingly to school in a skirt much longer than I would have chosen, a blazer at least two sizes too big, (it has to last darling) and truly hideous, nut no doubt sensible round-toed flat leather shoes. Not to mention long brown socks, (everyone else wore fashionable white ones) and large shirts and jumpers, )allow for 'development' darling.) I, at an innocent eleven years at the time had no idea what she was on about. Times were different then. No doubt eleven year old now know far more than I ever will. And lastly, we come to the school bag. I longed to sport the mega-cool rucksacks or duffle bags my classmates possessed. Instead I was sent off with a stiff new leather satchel and in later years, a sturdy leather briefcase. How uncool was I?
Yes, there was a lot of teasing, mostly good-natured and friendly. I smiled and shrugged but inwardly I would have loved to have been cool and hip, in pointy-toed shoes, tights and a mini-skirt, maybe even a hint of mascara around the eyes. But that was never going to happen.
And here I am again, the new kid in the building. I was up early this morning, excited and raring for the off. No stiff, new uniform for me though. I am dressed for autumn warmth and comfort, with sturdy sneakers on my feet with a view to a walk later. I don't mind being the new kid now. I am still a small fish in a big pond, but everyone is kind and helpful and I have settled into my new quarters already. I have peace and quiet to work and best of all, a beautiful view out of a large picture window. The morning clouds have lifted from the bay, revealing the Cumrian hills beyond. Move over John Donne, a can feel a sonnet coming on.