This word particularly reminds me of schooldays and the excursions we were taken on. I did not particularly enjoy school but excursions were usually fun. They gave me an opportunity to go somewhere and see new things and also to get away from the everyday routine of lessons.
Excursions in the 1960s were not as elaborate as the school trips of today. All primary school students got taken to the Coca Cola factory. We could watch the bottles whizzing around the assembly line and see a film about how Coca Cola was made. Every kid got a “Coke” ruler.
The first year I was in Australia my class visited an agricultural college. I have to admit that I don’t remember much about the excursion except that we went in two double-decker buses and one of them hit some kind of a cable between two buildings.
In High School, our English teacher who had worked with special needs children arranged for us to visit his former school. It was quite an education for a group of 14-year-olds to see the challenges these children and their teachers had to deal with.
By far the most significant excursion for me was a trip that my class took to Hallett Cove with our science teacher. It was a long trip on the bus from our school in the northern suburbs of Adelaide to the southern beaches. It was the early 1970s and Hallett Cove was not yet a suburb. The day we were there some old beach shacks were being demolished. Hallett Cove is the site of glaciers formed as early as the pre-Cambrian era and there are interesting rock formations. It was a good trip although the area was not yet a conservation park and there were no proper paths. I remember it as being quite hard to clamber about for an awkward, clumsy kid like me.
The significant part is that about seven years later David and I bought a house in the new and growing suburb of Hallett Cove where we lived for the next 25 years.
It’s funny that today’s word is “book” because I spent most of Friday surrounded by books.
I was at the Op Shop. I don’t usually go on Fridays but one of the other volunteers was away so I was helping out. It can be a big job for just one person. Anyway, there were not a lot of customers so I decided to continue tidying in the book room which had become very untidy. It’s a tiny room and as boxes of donated books had been dumped in there to be sorted out it was getting very hard to browse comfortably. I’d spent a couple of hours on it earlier in the week but this time I wanted to tackle a particularly messy corner.
It’s always best to work in there when it is quiet because there is not enough room in the aisles to pass anyone. A few customers came in to look at books but apart from a few interruptions, I was able to sort most of the donations that would not fit on the shelves into boxes and label them alphabetically. This will make it easier for me to restock the shelves as space becomes available.
We also keep CD’s, DVD’s, cassette tapes and computer games in that room and these too, were a terrible mess but by culling most of the games, I don’t think games for Windows XP sell much these days, I was able to create space for the boxes.
I was feeling satisfied with my day’s work when ten minutes before closing time a customer asked me if we had any books by a certain author. There were none on the shelves but I knew I’d see one when I was sorting. He was determined to have it and at closing time he was still rummaging in the box it was in. He found what he was looking for but I didn’t want to go back in there and see what sort of mess he might have left.
If I hadn’t tidied up I would not have known we had that book.