The wind has blown...not a nice soft cooling breeze...but the kind of wind that rattles the windows and slams doors shut and sends the Swallows soaring so far into the sky you can hardly see them anymore.

And it's rained on and off as well, just to make it more interesting.

I've been thinking about liver which led me to remember school dinners...Wednesday was liver day you see...a slab of shrivelled up at the edges, as as tough as old boots liver, with millions of those nasty little white pipes inside...a dollop of lumpy mashed potato which I suspect was dehydrated stuff anyway...and another dollop of stone cold cabbage leaves. Friday was fish of course...that was a portion of slightly undercooked cod...cold and watery baked beans and the inevitable dollop of potato. Someone found a long white worm in their cod one day and had hysterics...well, you would wouldn't you? They were taken away to have a bit of a lie down in the nurses room and missed the first lesson of the afternoon...

But the very worst dinner...even worse than the dried up over-cooked tough liver...was mince. Minced beef in a watery gravy with greasy onions that sort of swam about on your plate as though it had a mind of it's own. It must have been the cheapest and worst quality mince ever because it was totally full of bits of gristle and what looked awfully like tiny bits of bone that had escaped being minced...we had peas with that...those dreadful funny coloured processed peas that were sort of floury inside and stuck to your teeth. And a dollop of potato.

Stew came a close second to mince for horribleness...most of the meat, from some undetermined animal, had lumps of yellow fat attached to them...often more fat than edible meat if I remember correctly...extremely soft carrots that went to a kind of mush and pearl barley. I hate pearl barley...it goes squashy in your mouth and is vaguely glutinous...and potato.

We were obliged to eat everything of course...woe betide you if you were to leave food on your plate...whichever teachers were on duty would patrol round the tables with their eagle eyes swivelling around only too pleased to catch someone shovelling greasy mince into their satchel to take home to poison their dog or cat ...

Dinner was held in the main hall where we also had morning assembly and gym...each table held eight pupils and you always sat in the same place with the same people...with any luck you'd have at least one person who'd eat anything you left, so you waited until the coast was clear and then slid whatever it was onto their plate and it'd be gone in seconds and no-one the wiser...

Puddings were actually edible...except for the tapioca which made all of us on our table feel queasy and we'd spoon it into our mouths and struggle not to heave and gag because making rude noises while eating could earn you a detention...the jam tart was quite nice but the favourite was treacle pudding which had a thick layer of sweet and sticky golden syrup on the bottom of a sponge. For reasons known only to the cooks, it was always served with pink custard.

No-one had allergies or special diets...we never, but never, ever worried about whether or not we were fat or getting fat...don't think it would have even occurred to us to talk about it...we were all rake thin anyway with walking to and from school and playing hockey etc three times a week...the only 'body issue' we had in the class I was in was having decent boobs. Miranda had proper boobs and she wore a proper bra while we were still wearing vests and liberty bodices in the winter...and Miranda was allowed to shower on her own instead of in the communal showers with us...which was probably the main reason we envied her bosoms...

All school meals were much the same no matter which school you attended...we just got on with dinner-time as being a neccessary part of the day...much in the same way as a maths test...