Monday, June 18, 2007

Guys and Gals


I had a little bit of business at the White City BBC in West London. (Nothing exciting, and nothing to do with my voice overs I hasten to add.)

Ed (still on study leave) and I, went up together. The train journey up was somewhat overtaken by some "gals" from a certain famous girls school in Cheltenham that shall remain nameless, who took great pleasure in providing loud entertainment for all, in that cavalier sort of way that such "gals" do. ED had danced at their school a year ago, with Gloucestershire Youth Dance Company, as entertainment for part of a school event. I mentioned this to one of them, and so they took a very "little" interest in us in that very insincere way that some "gals" do.

Now, having been privately educated myself, hubby having been privately educated and having sent my own children to the same type of schools until the money ran out, I have come across quite a few "gals" in my time.

They often grow up to be "madams" of course.

Now don't get me wrong, my very best and oldest friends were at school with me, and they are two of the most "unlike that sort of girls" that you could ever meet, and I don't think that I am like that, nor are many of the children that I know from such schools, but............. there is a certain type of product that is sometimes produced from such establishments, and when exposed, it isn't always a very attractive one...

I remember once being asked to a school swimming gala when Sensible was at her private school. Parents were asked to take their daughters out to lunch if they wished. Sensible and I arrived in a cafe and sat down, next to another mother and daughter. It was just before Sensible's birthday party, and the young lady next to us was on the guest list. I asked the "madam" if the "gal" concerned would be joining us for the party, and, after accepting the invitation, she then went into conversation with another mother who had joined us at the table. "Come and join us over here" said the other "Madam". "So sorry" said the "Madam" on my table, but my friends have asked me to join them."

And they went to sit on a big table together with a big group of mothers and daughters, all the daughters being friends of Sensible's, and all due to come to our house to be entertained by us the following week.

Strangely, and I can't think why, this was one of those times when I wondered why we had nearly crippled ourselves providing such education for our children.

Still, back to the train and the "gals" from that famous school......

The said "gals" then asked ED where she went to school. They feigned ingnorance of said school's existence.

At this point I wanted to say.... Actually, you should know the school, because their results are consistently better than yours, and there are only five state grammar schools in Gloucester and Cheltenham all of which compete with your school and others for good places in the league tables...

I didn't. But I wanted to.

ED who frequently goes to parties with people from schools all over Gloucester and Cheltenham, including the "Ladies' College" as they refer to it, wrote me a note using her phone. Something about it being a status thing.

They then dropped in that they were going on "exeat". "So you'll be back Sunday evening then?" I asked. They did at least have the good grace to blush at their boarding school code having failed to confuse the onlookers.

On the way back we settled down on the train again, hoping for a peaceful return.

We were however to be entertained again.

Lads this time.

Although "lads" is possibly a polite word for these guys.

They were very noisy and "entertaining" in a "laddish" (read: polite form) sort of way and as we approached Gloucester, my head throbbed.

I mused that said guys were probably unlikely to ever meet with those "gals" and chuckled to myself that they were unlikely to have heard of the said "gals" college as well.

Which group were the most entertaining I am still not sure.

It did occur to me though that we of course are so amazingly normal.

Of course.

As for BBC White City, watch this space...

25 comments:

Asha said...

I can relate to "private school" education.Both Arvind and I went to Catholic (private) schools in India,never knew anybody who went to Public schools!
But most Indian doctors we meet here in US,most of them are educated in Public schools back in India! Our parents wasted lot of money on us both!;D
Here,we send our both kids to Public school and they love it although most students are not that well to do. I think it's wonderful to live in a real life.You learn a lot!
Personally,guys are more fun and easier to interact than Gals!:))

ChrisB said...

Sally you created such a vivid picture of your train journey. I'm a grammar school girl myself and as a single parent I could not afford to send my girls to a private school and in any case Sam refused to sit for a scholarship place and so went to local comp with a few friends who stuck together. They actually had a tough time because of where we lived and the way they spoke so there can be a lot of prejudice both ways. I felt quite smug when Sam got a 1st (I don't recall any of the people we knew who went private getting such a good result) and I met people who pointedly asked me how she had done I was able to smile and say how delighted we were. I was particularly proud of her as she had been head hunted and was actually working during her last year at uni- in my book that's a double achievement. I probably shouldn't be saying all this (lets hope she doesn't read it) but your post brought back some not so pleasant memories.

Ignorminious said...

Yes, I once bumped into a group of private school types at a cricket match I'd been invited to. It didn't take long for me to loose all interest in the conversation and leave them to it. I really don't think there is a lot for me to gain from talking to such snobby people, especially as I'm a product of the state school system.

Sally Lomax said...

Asha - It is debatable as to whther these particualr guys were more fun!
Chris - Sorry if I brought up some bad memories for you. Well done Sam though!
Ig - Not all are like that. They were just bad ambassadors of their system sadly..

enidd said...

enidd once taught maths to a young lady from cheltenham ladies' college. she was in her o'level year (for it was a long time ago) - and she couldn't do vulgar fractions. too posh, probably.

Sally Lomax said...

Enidd - I love it!

Alice Band said...

I went to my own local comp but due to being a bit of a social climber(!) I have mixed with several privately educated chidlren. My most prevailing memory is when I worked in Paris and was having lunch with my two friends who were both from some posh school. We were only 20 and at home: we'd had a baguette, cheese etc. Then we had a peach, I bit into mine, they used a knife and fork!! As for Cheltenham and Gloucester? All I know about C&G is that they own my house...

Jayne said...

I giggled a the post and then giggled more at alice band's peach/knife and fork story.

Sally Lomax said...

Alice - I went to private schools from 5 to 18 but I eat my peaches like an apple unless they are in fruit salad!!!
Jayne - Glad to make you giggle!

meredic said...

In a curious way this took me back to my own teenage years in South Gloucestershire Sally. I worked through school as a farm labourer on evenings and weekends. One of the social highlights of the rural calendar was the hunt ball. Farm labourers, for some reason I can’t fathom to this day, got a free invite. It was a great opportunity for rubbing shoulders with gals, who on reflection, were of just the type you describe. The sort that my mate Jim and I would not normally get to meet unless looked down upon from a well polished horse. Being the right age, we were delighted to provide the ‘bit of rough’ that seemed to be at least part of our function.
A couple of year or so ago, at his fiftieth, Jim and I were reminiscing and concluded that we had moved on. Nowadays it was their mothers we fancied.

Sally Lomax said...

Meredic - Would their mothers not possibly be the same girls that went to the Hunt Ball in your youth? So in essence it is perhaps the same girls you fancy...

Flowerpot said...

Sally, your post made me cringe - I can see exactly the types you mean. I went to boarding school before I managed to get myself expelled and I hated it. I also particularly hated the Mindset of the other girls there. Unimaginative snobs. But that was a long time ago - I hope schools are better now!

Sally Lomax said...

Fowerpot - Hopefully the exception rather than the rule...

Akelamalu said...

It takes all sorts, I like the sort I like, and I disregard the sort I don't. Makes no never minds to me where they went to school. :)

Sally Lomax said...

Ak - I agree!

Lisa said...

I can just imagine the type, there are loads of 'gals' (and I like the quotations, too, by the way) around these parts, as I live in Connecticut and people send their children to schools here from all over the world . I tend to not go to the towns they are in, but have had my fair share of dealings.
Just, um, 'lovely.'

headless chicken said...

I really dislike people who think that speaking in a posh accent, living in a posh house and having loads of money makes them better than those who don't!
We all know that wealth and class do not go hand in hand.
A lot of the time they are all fur coat and no knickers anyway!!!

Sally Lomax said...

Hi Lisa and HC!
I do have to say that that at the other end of the journey the boys on the train were also very badly behaved and irritating. ED told me off for not writing so much about them.

I think that the point that I was making is that bad manners aren't acceptable wherever you're from. Perhaps my post has misfired a bit?

BTW HC, as you know, I live in a big house and have a posh accent - but no money - does that make me all fur and no knickers?!!!! :)

headless chicken said...

Sally.......I'm hoping that you don't own a fur coat and as for your under-garments,you are genuinely a little bit posh so would never go commando.....or is there something you are not telling me?!!!:o

sally's hubby said...

Wouldn't you like to know!

slimmeroftheyea said...

Could be worse.... could be Rockport!!!!

Sally Lomax said...

HC - Nah...... No fur coat, and not commando.... :)

Sally Lomax said...

Slimmer - Similar experiences there too...

elena jane said...

rofl @ all fur and no knickers....
in the end, at least in the usa, i always wondered if a private vs public education put anyone ahead or behind...

Sally Lomax said...

EJ- I wonder too! Nice to have the choice, but that coice if you have it needs to be exercised carefully I think!