In good old London Town, my former students would tell me that things were "sick", "hype" and "hectic". In New York City, kids would use the words "ill", "dope" and "tight". In the OED, most of these words have negative connotations-I mean when was the word "tight" ever used in a positive manner in formal English? I've been sat here for 13 seconds and the only example I can think of is when someone is checking your parachute harness.
Out here, I honestly have no concept of slang. A teacher tried teaching me some today. It was funny, me trying to speak Creole Slang. To give you a bit more perspective on this, Seychellois Creole evolved from 17th century French. Imagine if a group of plantation workers developed a language based on 17th century English? What on earth would it sound like. The answer is Patois. And as you know, Patois is not exactly easy to pick up! "Wagwan B" and "Sick ting" are a couple of phrases that come to mind, beyond that I'm pretty lost.
Anyhow, back on topic. 2 weeks ago, a bug hit our island. Half the students fell ill and had the symptoms of food poisoning. This soon spread to staff. Without going into too much detail, I had a bad stomach for 2 weeks! It ended fairly promptly last week, having sampled a large quantity of Mr B's homebrew. The brewer of the infamous Ti-Shot claims that his new rum is 45% Vol, but I'm pretty sure I could run my car with it. It cleared the stomach bug as good as Unicum.
RANDOM TRIVIA: Unicum, (great name) is the national drink of Hungary. It usually exceeds the 40% advertised on the side of the bottle. During World War I, it was used as a medicinal disinfectant. Basically it tastes and smells of Dettol. It's guaranteed to kill germs and clears you right up. It also clears your memory; you will have little recollection of the night before.
As I got over that bout of sickness, another bout of sickness set in. The worst kind which has no cure. Homesickness. Symptoms included staring into space at times and listening to retro 90's tunes in my free periods. Artists included All Saints, TLC, Oasis, Texas, Catatonia, Travis, Coldplay, Blur, LL Cool J, Dr Dre, Chemical Brothers, Black Eyed Peas and a whole host of Cantopop from my HK days. Here's a classic song you won't be able to get out of your head. FLASHBACK TIME:
Whilst listening to songs from the 90's I looked back at old Facebook photo's from our school years. Some of these photo's are more than 10 years old!
Check out the disgusting decor of this Weatherspoons pub in Wakefield. It was called Six Chimneys, we only went there because it was cheap. This is the only time you will catch me wearing sunglasses indoors. Wearing sunglasses indoors or on the tube is for chumps. I learnt that at 18 years old on the mean streets of WF1. Some mature adults in E17 (shout out to flo's neighbourhood) and NW2 still haven't learnt.
At night we would sing Karaoke at a bar next to the place below called Bar
Latino. In the mornings however, we would go to Breakfast club.
Breakfast club involved a bunch of testosterone-filled guys going into a
Turkish cafe and eating at least 2 of each of the following: Sausages,
Bacon, Eggs, Black Pudding, Tomatoes, Beans, Toast. The hardcore amongst
us would eat a triple breakfast. Yes that's 3 of each of the above.
This photo was taken at the last ever breakfast club. It turned out that
Rey, the guy who ran the Diner owed some people a shed load of money
so he mysteriously "disappeared". This is a true story, you can't make
this stuff up! It suddenly occurs to me now, that we missed out on nicknaming him Rey Mysterio Snr (WWF).
Wakefield is a funny old place, there are lots of charity shops with many a bargain to be had. Take this armchair for example. The biggest mistake they made was putting wheels on this bad boy. A friend rode it all the way back from the Charity shop. It made it into our sixth form common room and for many reasons it was quite a memorable piece of furniture.
We used to get the train to school from Doncaster to Wakefield. Back then it seemed like the longest journey ever. It was actually only 25 mins or so. But the things we would get upto in 25 mins were ridiculous! Some people managed to get through an entire copy of Heat magazine. That was when Heat was released on a Tuesday and cost £1.20. Nowadays, we travel 40 mins just to get across London and all we get to read is the Metro (This is pretty much the same as Heat to be fair). Seriously though, if you're reading this and you also read Heat more than once a decade, then you're probably in the wrong place. P.S. If you like gossip- Yes I had blonde highlights, my suit was from Topman and pretty much every guy in school had a crush on the girl in the middle of the photo.
If I were stuck on a desert island, I could have worse company than these fine folk:
Indeed, I am stuck on a desert island, so here's more photo's of us at the grand old age of 18:
Hockey Tour, Sydner 2003.
The photo above was taken opposite six chimneys, that's the pub in the first photo. TBH if you've made it this far down the blog, you're doing pretty well. I'm only writing this as a cure for homesickness! This is A2 results day. My maths is bad at 1.20am, but I'd estimate that between these 8 scholars, there are at least 25 A-grades. That's when A-Levels were still relatively difficult and we couldn't resit our papers 3 times. Most of us were addicted to 2 things: Studying and Partying. Talking of which, here's another flashback for you all:
We used to play cricket in the playground. With a full slip cordon. Some people took it more seriously than others!
I honestly thought this was one of the best photo's that I ever took as a kid, but now I've grown up I still think it's a pretty awesome photo!
There were some real classics and as the lyric goes "Those were the best days of my life."
I don't know if my homesickness is cured. All I know is that life on an island is far from all joy. Just yesterday a ship dropped it's anchor on the fibre optic line from Tanzania. The Internet went down for an entire country, so did the SMS and Blackberry network. They soon got us up and running via Satellite link. But the speed was rivalling only 28.8k modem speeds.
For those of you born after 1990, you're about to hear to one of the most iconic sounds of our youth.
I'm sure that brought a flashback to a few readers.
Droughts, power cuts and Internet cuts aren't too bad though. It just means you have to adapt in all areas of life. Today I had no Internet in my classroom and so I taught my Year 3's how to use custom Brushes in GIMP/Photoshop. Yeah, they're only 7 years old, but they're just getting ahead of the game!
If you've got time to kill, then why not listen to this too...
Thanks for reminiscing with me on this superlong blog post!