2 February 1982

Tues Feb II

First day of school! Took Karen to the MainDonalds and then walked with Evan and his friend Keegan to school. Went into Assembly. Sent to be put into classes. I’m in Mr Beechey’s class, 4Bc, with another new boy – MICHAEL GREGORY. A boy in my class from Liverpool – NATHAN GAUNT* – showed me about. We ate our lunches in the First Aid Room, where Nathan works in the break. He told me about what you could get in England that you couldn’t get here – like Walnut Whips! When the bell went we went back to our room – A8 I think! Then we were let out at about 1.50. I came home and went swimming. This evening I had a phone call from the cricket master at MAG. He wants me to go to a fielding practice tomorrow and, if I’m good enough, play in a match against the second XI on Saturday.

Trains = 28

(*time to confess that I mis-remembered Nathan’s name by the time that it came to write up my diary and had to go back and correct it the next day)

Why did Karen go to the Maindonald’s? I don’t know. I know that I was the only one who started school that day, with the other three beginning later in the week. Did they have a daughter for her to play with? I really can’t remember.

Evan Maindonald was a dark haired geeky kid, a bit like the main character in The Inbetweeners  now that I come to think of it. He was into things such as chess and Dungeons & Dragons, or in other words the complete antithesis of me. Kegan – for that was how his name was spelled – was small and fair haired and seemed, at least, to have some of the same interests as me. Despite this, I was disappointed not to be placed in the same class as the two of them.

The classes were streamed on ability. Our year was taken by Mr Douglas to an outdoor seating area – it may have been a stand next to the main rugby pitch, but I was so disoriented that I didn’t really take in where it was and I never went there again – so that he could read out the lists of who was in which class.

I managed not to endear myself to him in two ways. The first was by not being able to make him understand the way that my school in Leamington had streamed us. Essentially, at MAGS they placed everyone in one form according to ability and that class would have five of the seven subjects together – English, Maths, Science, Social Studies and PE – and only break apart for two option subjects. By contrast, in Leamington you kept the same form – or ‘tutor group’ – throughout the school but were then streamed into another group for all of your science-based lessons and another for all of your art-based ones.

This all baffled Mr Douglas and he ended up deciding that I fitted into the form one below the top stream, which suited me even though I had been in the top stream at home. I then irritated him further by promptly forgetting which form that was. He patiently explained again that I would be in form 4Bc and my teacher would be Mr Beechey.

Meeting Nathan and the cricket phone call were definitely the high spots of the day, but I’ll return to both of those topics in the next few days.


About Richard

Just your less-than-average married father of one
This entry was posted in 1982 Diary, New Zealand, School and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 2 February 1982

  1. Evan Maindonald says:

    Hi Richard (Richard who ?),

    Googled my name and found your blog !

    Apparently you came round to my parents place in Auckland with Karen (Karen Who ?) on the 2nd of February 1982. Can’t remember that precisely, but the facts are right. I remember Keegan – he was in my class at school (Keegan Danford – such a Kiwi name). I remember Nathan Gaunt as well, but haven’t seen either of them since high school days.

    I am not sure that I feel complimented by being compared to the main character in the Inbetweeners, but you are probably right – that is how I was back then. I did find that comment amusing though :). I remember the space invaders calculator too. I think I still have it somewhere.

    Anyway, I was interested to see that you live in the UK. I do too and have since 1992. Where do you live. I have a place in Gloucestershire, although I’m spending most of my time in London or Kent at the moment.



    • Richard says:

      Hi Evan,

      The perils of googling your own name, eh? At least you have a distinctive one, mine just throws up the Canadian equivalent of Peter Mandelson most of the time!

      I’m currently living and working close to High Wycombe, so not too far from London. Pleased to see that you decided to reverse the flow of Brits into NZ and are now over here. I’m still in touch with Nathan, he’s a psychologist – a pretty successful one – back in Auckland.

      Thanks for getting in touch!


      • Evan Maindonald says:

        Hi Richard,

        Funny that you’re still in touch with Nathan. I think he was in my class in 3rd form (3KZ). What is your last name ? I am still trying to work out how we knew you and how you ended up visiting our house.

        And do you remember Karen’s last name ?

        Kind Regards

  2. Evan Maindonald says:

    Oh – it’s quite possible that Karen came around to play with my sister – Shireen 🙂

  3. Richard says:

    I don’t put my surname on here but I’ve sent you a LinkedIn request instead.

    Karen’s my sister and yes, she was probably playing with your sister. I think our fathers knew one another and thought it would be a good idea if I had someone to walk to school with on my first day. Then I think you ended up in the class above me when we were allocated to forms and Nathan got lumbered with me instead (on the basis that he had been born in England).

    3KZ would’ve been Mrs Krzanich, I guess. She was one of the teachers who grew on me, I didn’t like her at all at first.

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