Letters To The Fairies

To the fairies who live in the bushes along the fence by the living room.

Dear Fairies

Last week you did not answer my letter until two nights later !  So I will just tell you again that your letterbox is behind the chair in the corner of the living room near the ranch slider. I made it out of lego and you can see it easily.
i have started school now and I like writing letters. Claire wants to write letters too, but she is not at school yet. Mummy writes her letters for her. I copy my letters after Mummy writes what I want to say.
Today after school I found some fairies but Mummy says they are clematis seeds blowing in the wind. I still  think they look like fairies. I have put one in your letterbox. Please would you turn it into a real fairy ?  And make it not afraid of me ?
I know which is your special trees. Our black and white cat fell out of it when he was a kitten. He is much better at climbing now.
Please answer my letter soon.

Love from
Chloe
________________________________________________________

Dear Fairies

Happy birthday.

Love from
Claire.

I an Chloe’s sister.

Letters To The Fairies

Writing In Ink

At my school there were clear rules set out for writing in ink:
– You started using ink during you standard 3 year ( year 5)
– You wrote neatly in all books, in the Palmer McLean style
– You had to keep your books neat, with no blots or spilt ink.
– No mistakes at all if possible, but rule one neat line through errors.
– Arithmetic (mathematics) was always written in pencil.

Our teacher regularly reminded our standard 3 class of these rules as the day approached when we would start using ink. He emphasised that it was a privilege to write in ink, and strongly recommended that our parents buy us Osmiroid fountain pens, a good brand at a good price. The new pens coming into shops, called ballpoint pens, were not allowed in school. Their ink flowed irregularly and sometimes left blotches, or no mark at all. We all felt very proud and grown up as the day approached when we would be writing with ink.

My parents refused to spend all that money on a fountain pen, just for a nine year old. However on our big day I was still excited setting off for school with my bottle of Stephens Radiant Blue Ink, and a dip pen. As we put our pens in our desks before school, I was embarrassed  to see that no one else had a dip pen. However we then went out to play until the bell rang at nine o’clock and I hoped someone else would bring in a dip pen as well.

No one else brought a dip pen. To make matters worse I found that dip pens had to be dipped in the ink every few words, but too much ink in the nib left blots behind. I left several blots before i worked this out. Our old two seater desks had sloping writing surfaces,  with narrow ledges at the top with a hole for an inkwell, and ridges to hold pencils, pens and rulers. There was little level space for my open ink bottle where I dipped my pen, and there were no ink wells in the school. The teacher frowned at my dip pen. I worried too that I might put blots on my seat partner, at our double desk and get into serious trouble.

Disaster came when I tipped my bottle over, and ink ran down our desk, under my book, and down across our bench seat. The teacher frowned even more and made sure I blotted up all the spilt ink. I was in tears, waiting for a big telling off, with a possible strapping but neither came. I went through my big day with the humiliation of the other children staring and commenting on the big ink stains on my leg, gym dress, and underpants. I dreaded the expected telling off at home, but to my relief Mum made light of the ink stains. We went down to the stationer’s ship in our little shopping centre and I chose a brilliant green Osmiroid pen which I thankfully took to school next day.

Much later on I realised the school must have rung Mum and insisted that i have a fountain pen for school.

Writing In Ink

Summer Term

The last two months of my third year at school was a wonderful time. I had been away sick for much of my first two years at school, always coming back to unfamiliar work and routines. With up to fifty children in a class back in the 1950’s, we had to be independent. In my third year at the age of seven I had far less time off school. I was much more confident and and progressing well. I had found the joys of Enid Blyton stories as Mum bought the Sunny Stories magazine every week, and I read Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven.

It seemed that every morning when Mum raised our bedroom holland blinds at 7 am we saw a sunny blue sky and a cloud of fuchsias in the nearby hedge. Dad complained about having to mow the lawns. It was the time of the school flower show, of the school sports, and I was now old enough to play a bigger part in both activities. The gladioli bulbs bought at school were flowering brightly under our bedroom window. The scented rainbow sweet peas, also bought at school, were planted along the foot of the wire netting attached to the garden shed. The school flower show day was so exciting. We all carried big bunches of these flowers to school and made up our sand saucers and flower arrangements, then took them to the classroom where they were displayed for the judges. We enjoyed a very long playtime while the judges set to work. Later that morning the classes filed through to see who had won the coveted place awards.

Sports Day the following week was also a big event, and the tractor dragged its rotating blade around the sports field a few times over the previous weeks, to prepare the grass for the big day. after an early lunch we marched on to the school field in our school house teams with the school assembly march music blaring, then ran our various age and novelty races. Mum and Grandma came to watch, then we went home for a special afternoon tea for my birthday, with strawberries of course. We always had strawberries for my birthday.

Summer Term