My granddad once told me about a teacher who wore glasses with little mirrors attached to the frames so he could see behind him: as if he really did have eyes in the back of his head!
When he saw, reflected, one of the kids in his class messing about, he grabbed whatever was closest – usually the blackboard rubber or a stick of chalk – and threw it at the miscreant: whack!
Perhaps that story sowed the seeds in me: certainly I didn’t think of teachers as human beings who liked to play in the snow!
It was why I was surprised when Mr Cannon told me to open all the windows in the mobile classroom.
The school heating system had conked out that day, and if it was below a certain temperature everyone had to be sent home.
It was early January and there was a foot of snow on the ground.
A class of thirteen year olds, of course we longed to be released: to charge off to Warley Woods to sledge and throw snowballs!
But Cannonball was a teacher! Why would he tell me to open all the windows before the Headmaster came round with a thermometer to check the temperature?
I was more than surprised: I was gob-smacked, which is why I didn’t move.
“Get out of the way, lad,” Cannonball snapped, moving past me and flinging open windows to let in the icy air: as he did so dousing me with his aftershave: strong enough to curl my nostril hairs: the Brut 33 Henry Cooper used to advertise on telly, something I thereafter always associated with a snow day.