7. The sound of church bells ringing out....
It doesn't matter where I am - Switzerland or England - the sound of the bells ringing over the countryside is always wonderful. A call to worship, Sundays, weddings, celebrations. And the practising too. In Switzerland, the time. The bells ring throughout the day for various things. In our village, children can go and learn how to ring the bells too. None of this recorded stuff. Dangling from the end of a rope is the way it is done. Often families all join the bell ringers, and parents ring with their children. Mine, however, never showed any inclination. But I love hearing those bells ring. Like this morning.
Bells are so different. In Switzerland, there are the cows too, with their bells, and some of them are enormous. The bells. The cows too, come to think of it. When winter approaches, they all come down from the mountain, and they have garlands on and their bells clanking means grab your camera and run to take photos. In the spring, back up they come. Seasons have entirely different meanings when cows pass by.
Unlike the sirens used in schools today, when I was at school, there was a real bell. Being the "bell monitor" was a real honour. Ringing the bell throughout the day for end of periods, breaks and everything else was fun. It didn't matter how shy you were, that bell made a great deal of noise. We had to walk to the designated bell ringing place, holding the clanger to make sure no sound was made till EXACTLY the right time.
Oh heavens... I just remembered being a blackboard monitor. Using the duster to wipe the chalk off the board, (making sure you left the date in the top right hand corner!) and then at the end of the lesson, going outside with the duster and a ruler, and whacking it to get the chalk dust off so it was clean for the next lesson. These were the days I was in junior school, when we still had inkwells and pens with nibs to dip into them, and blotting paper. Who remembers those days??
Lunch bags, shoe bags, sewing folders, art smocks, hats with the school badge on them, winter uniform, summer uniform, playing jacks in the playground. Cracking open pine nuts with a stone to eat the kernels. The school song. Eurythmics. The metric system bricks. Hair touching the collar had to be tied up. Morning markets.........
You see what happens when you stroll into the memories of yesteryear? It is like blog-hopping. You go from one place to another, getting further away from your starting point, and usually, it is a delightful experience. I am so fortunate that I had a wonderfully happy childhood. And school. There are no demons lurking there for me.
And I am very thankful for that too.