Tuesday 31st January
The customary tutor period was followed by lessons, pizza and chips and lying on a sofa in Dayboys feeling slightly unwell. Mr Hann kindly undertook to listen to my speech for the McEachran prize that night, and graciously said that he liked it. I spent the remaining few minutes on his computer, trying to find an appropriate picture of a “slimy thing..with legs”, as specified by Coleridge, but was rewarded at the cost of cutting it pretty fine to RS that afternoon. Gradually getting a bit nervous, I duly turned up to the Moser Library that evening, determined to simply try to enjoy the experience. I was slightly daunted by the standard set – there was not one person who spoke who, in my opinion, was unworthy of the prize. My speech went well, and I felt that whatever happened, I had genuinely done the best that I was capable of. It was, however, rather nice to find later that I had won – sharing the prize with Xavier Greenwood. I did miss Debating Society though– which I would have like to have gone to.
Wednesday 1st February
A half day of lessons, followed by recreational swimming and recreational squash. Taking my crossword to squash, as is generally my wont, I ended up spending an extra hour trying to fathom the cryptic one, whilst Dr Brydon struggled kindly and valiantly to instil some sort of competence in this respect. Such was my engagement that I missed Model United Nations, and was late for tea! I spent the evening doing battle with top schools deferred from Tuesday, and a group of us ended the day with our Christian Discussion Group.
Thursday 2nd February
I had cornflakes for breakfast. I also went to the Barber Institute for Fine Art in Birmingham with the other members of the Art History group, hurrying to the Art Building after French, and from there to the station. The collection was surprisingly good. Mr Reid talked on various pieces and my concentration wavered slightly – especially when I noticed the institute's Canaletto. When it came to “evaluating” I wrote on this and a work by Ingres – a neo-classical painting in which two people who are kissing are being crept up upon by a rather disturbing-looking chap with a dagger. Trains being as they are, we were late back. This meant not only that I missed a play rehearsal, but also that I had to forsake my dinner to get to Chapel Choir on time. This is one of the greater sacrifices I can make, as all who know me will testify. Having overdosed on toast at the house, there was just time to do some top schools, before Christian Forum – at which there was a lot of Nachos and a fairly lively discussion.
Friday 3rd February
A group of dedicated, albeit slightly tired, Salopians arrived at the Maidment Building at 8:30 for a chorus rehearsal for the Magic Flute. I sang bass, Mr Mason was enthusiastic and I tootled off to Physics. My spirits were slightly sapped when I discovered we were drawing graphs for a Skills Assignment, but am pleased to report a full recovery. Break saw the traditional Grot-Shop foray, followed by RS and my organ lesson. My teacher having tactfully declined to hear my noisy rendition of Tu Es Petrus, we worked on a more reflective piece, and with commendable restraint, the news that I had not practised my Elgar was met level-headedly by my teacher.
Saturday 4th February
I awoke to the disconcerting knowledge that I had been, albeit semi-humorously, press-ganged into a Hunt race. Arriving just after break with a group of dragooned, monosyllabic and Haribo-eating Salopians, we discovered that a series of unforeseen circumstances meant that our participation in this event had to been cancelled, which was rather a mixed blessing. On the one hand, an epic victory would have been good material for this piece, on the other, it was getting rather cold and wet. In compensation Dr Foulger took us out after lunch for a short run, which despite my initial misgivings, I felt much the better for. I spent the afternoon eating a friend's food, listening to his novel and watching Brideshead Revisited. On the way to tea, I had a loud improvise on the chapel organ, and afterwards snuck off in the vain hope of getting some work done. I finished the day with the Grove's house play, and an icy ride home on Rory Fraser's bicycle.
Sunday 5th February
I lay in and was slightly late for church. After lunch the Parental Department plotted a “Post Prandial Perambulation”, and my brother and sister were rapidly conscripted. I returned home sufficiently refreshed to tackle my English top-schools and then spent a leisurely evening reading Northanger Abbey by the fire in the living room, listening afterwards to my mother reading the Wade Family choice – Great Expectations. We were all most disturbed to hear about the attack on Mrs Joe.
Monday 6th February
Having survived the exertion of cycling up Kingsland Hill, I was greeted with a Whole School Assembly and a timed essay in English. There was some success for my Junior Debating apprentices in Societies' Hour, and then for myself - with a personal best of 8:26 in Benjies afterwards. That evening, we managed to get everyone together for a rehearsal for the Dayboys' Play. It is called Art, and is very French - unsurprising given that it was written by a French playwright. It seems, however, that we'll pull it off. It only remains for me to discharge my solemn duty as a true-born Dayboy to recommend very highly that you all come and see it!