I 'lurked' back in the early days of Skinning ....so that when I finally 'emerged' I wouldn't say something that made me look like a dork.....
So what's changed? You still lurk... and you still say things that....er...
Yeah, think I'll quit while I'm a.... er, while I still have a head.
Thing is, I didn't immediately join in on the forums, either. I was a visitor/member here for some time before I began to make myself known in the forums... and sometimes I wish I'd waited another 'some time' before opening my big trap. Forum etiquette was not my strong suit, given it was my fist real foray into a forum, and I wasn't too sure what was permissible, either, so I put my foot in it more than once... and earning myself a reprimand from the wielder of the big stick. Luckily for me he wielded it without great force... 45 years later and I'm still getting over the multiple canings I received at school.
In fact, I think that's why I was prompted to start this thread.... because we were encouraged at school to communicate openly and honestly. Well perhaps the honesty got a little stretched at times: "Got six of the best from Waggy [our Aus born headmaster] today, and even though he raised the cane as high as he could above his head and brought it down swiftly and fiercely, didn't hurt a bit."... cos one could not admit to having it hurt at all. After all, we were the sons grandsons and great grandsons of the toughest fishermen to ever sail the channel [the English one, that is] and we were not about to let some sheep farmer bloke from Australia break us. No siree, we were as tough as the old salts who sired us... many of whom were direct descendents of some of the meanest and bloodthirstiest pirates to ever bed a landlubber wench while on shore leave.
Yeah, it was a school tradition that whoever got the cane [which was always announced at morning assembly] would go to a certain corner of the playground and tell all about it...in gory detail, imaginative embellishments and telling downright lies about just how severe it was. I mean, what was the point if ya didn't scare the pants off the out-of-town 1st termers?
Needless to say, I was a regular visitor to the headmaster's office and... the 'cane corner in the playground scaring the pants off out-of-town 1st termers with: "And when Waggy brought that cane down with such force, and I could see the brass tip glistening in the sunlight coming through the window, I thought he'd cut me in half and leave me on the floor writhing in agony. But I showed that Aussie *******, I turned around and laughed in his face, that's how ******* tough I am."
Truth be known, had I even thought about laughing, much less doing it, he'd have given me six more for good measure. And the strange thing, despite a few canings, all of which I probably deserved, I have the fondest memories of that one teacher. Mr. Wagland was his name and, because many boys followed family tradition to become fishermen, he taught navigation, and very well, too, i might add, which, along with English, History and Geography, was one of my favourite subjects.
In Mr. Wagland's final year of teaching, the entire teaching staff 'volunteered him to chaperone the students going on the annual school cruise. I was one of those students, and I saw a completely different side of him, a side that revealed a love, a gentleness and a compassion I'd not really seen before, so along with my memories of his navigation class, among other things, I fondly remember him as the best teacher I ever had.