Anarchy In The Playground
The school became more unruly and some of the older boys argued with the teachers. Toward the end of summer term, all children were herded into the main hall and locked up. It was lunchtime and we didn’t know what was going on. The Spanish boys were trying to talk to the teachers through the door, banging it in frustration. The heat was getting unbearable in there and tempers frayed. After around an hour, I heard a window being smashed. With shards cleared from the edges of the window pane, kids began to pour out. The room cleared at a rapid rate and we peered out. It was only two metres down, so Marky and I jumped and walked clear. The glass crunched under our shoes. There seemed to be a riot going on with Spanish boys ransacking the place. It was nearly home time, so we waited at the back of the school to be picked up by Mum. Why this all happened was beyond us. But the school didn’t re-open that term, so it was our last day.
We often spent weekends and longer holidays visiting various parts of Southern Spain. Our little red Fiat never had any air conditioning, so we sweltered on those journeys. The ever-present clear blue sky hovered over roads blurring past Seville, Cadiz, along the coast to Malaga and the mountains of Granada. Every now and then, we drove off the beaten track until tarmac ran out and the car bumped along dirt lanes. In the wake of dust clouds, donkeys sleepily carried their wares as branches of cypress trees swayed in time with the shrill hum of cicadas. We drove along the Costa del Sol, which just looked like a stony beach. I couldn’t understand why the English flocked there on holiday.
Once, we stopped by an interesting-looking outcrop of rock. In order to get there, Dad, Marky and I walked by a small, eerily still lake. We came across some enormous frogs on their backs with legs outstretched. It looked like they had been sunbathing, but were burnt black on the sand by the water’s edge. It was a long, hot summer and that day was scorching. We moved carefully around the rocks and discovered a cave complex inside. That was a great day’s adventuring.