On art, anniversaries, and playing with poo

Friday was my 6th just-finished-my-aprenticeship leavers-party anniversary.

I didn’t exactly celebrate, but I did get DB to take me to a friend’s ‘horse farm’ and load a trailer with 3-yr-old horsepoo.

Somehow it seemed fitting.

***

The headteacher usually gives the speech at the leavers ceremony on the last day of school. Usually. When my year group finished, he unfortunately had some extraordinarily important, spontaneous meeting planned which couldn’t possibly be moved to a different day (or time), so he handed the responsibility to his deputy, an art teacher on the verge of retirement. I’d never had him as a teacher, but he seemed innocuous enough. Until the leavers do anyway..

It started at 11 am.

Most of us were still exhausted(/hung over) from the unofficial party the night before, but that didn’t bother us much. It had mostly been a good night and we were ready for the friends, parents* and/or grandparents* to turn up and celebrate us. We were the Stars of all the shows and we wanted (and, at least in our minds, deserved 😉 ) to be applauded for working so hard for so long.

The tables had been decorated and the canteen staff had graciously allowed us to use real plates and cups, instead of plastic. The stage was full of balloons from the morning’s balloon fight. J and I had organised drinks and most of the group had brought cake, sandwiches, biscuits and other party foodstuffs – someone had even made trifle, but don’t ask who. Several select members of the group below us had been chosen to wait on us.

Anyway, the scene was set.
Let the show begin!

The deputy head got onto the stage and, after all the customary waffling and welcoming that goes on at these things, he proceeded to spend 20 minutes recounting his first artistic endeavours. Which, seeing as he was an art teacher, would have been okay, IF he’d started his artistic career using crayons or potato prints or fingerpaints and paper like the rest of us. However. He had had the dubious privilege of learning to paint with the contents of his nappy and the walls of his bedroom.

Even that would’ve been bearable if it had been a 30 second joke before he moved on to something serious, but it wasn’t and he didn’t.

20 minutes is a long time to listen to someone you don’t know talk in graphic detail about things you’d really rather not know about.

It was excruciatingly embarrassing. Cringeworthy even.

No one actually got up and ran away, but it would have been understandable and probably appropriate.

I think the only thing keeping us there was the promise of certificates and once we’d got our grubby mitts on them there was no stopping us.

No one really felt like staying on and celebrating afterwards. Coffee was served and drunk in a stunned silence, no one really had an appetite for anything, much less for chocolate mousse or trifle.

By 1pm the hall was empty, except for J and I and a couple of others who stayed to clear up before going our separate ways for the weekend and the rest of the summer.

***

Which brings me back to the weekend.
I never thought I’d spend a weekend playing with poo. But I did. And I even quite enjoyed it.

I have a new raised bed and while the horsepoocompost was already amazing the way we got it, it’s also full of bits of wood and random stuff like clothes pegs, so I’ve been sieving the biggest stuff out. I’m getting a load of topsoil delivered this week so hopefully, by the end of the week, my babies will have new homes by the weekend 🙂

*(not mine, but all the rest)

0 Replies to “On art, anniversaries, and playing with poo”

  1. What a lot of poo talk! I can’t imagine an art teacher talking about something so embarrassingly nasty as that! But I am pleased you got some good horse stuff, it will be great with some new soil.
    What babies are you putting into the new bed? Veggies? Flowers? Herbs?

    1. Pumpkins (hopefully they’ll stay in their pots until I’m ready to plant them – they look as if they’re planning an escape), beans (maybe, they look quite happy in their pots, so maybe I should leave them where they are), tomatoes, parsnips (have to remember not to mix too much manure into their patch), and the strawberry runners (from the other bed).

      Then I have to see how much space I have left (if any) and maybe plant some flowers 🙂

  2. The first example of poo sounds gross, in a really “never talk about it” kind of way.
    Your example of poo is great, it’s wonderful with strawberries – my best year was with chook poo in straw.
    Happy gardening.

    1. 🙂 I wouldn’t complain about never hearing the story again 🙂

      Pssh! Don’t tell my strawberries they’re missing out! (I don’t have hens 🙁 )

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