Me & Lou

Lou is very imaginative- and also kind, caring and helpful. And when she gets packed off to the countryside during the war, she finds that those qualities are important. But can she keep up the soft approach, even when panic, trouble and worry hits?


6. School Days

Victoria's nursery school was like a little shoebox with windows, painted a pastel blue. There was a little wooden slide in the play area and, when Victoria arrived, a kind, middle-aged woman with blonde curls and a spotty pinny took her hand and escorted her inside. 

Jem and Rosie went to the same school- St.Joseph's School for Six to Thirteen Year Olds, which was rather big, with it's own little chapel and a play yard with bouncy balls and wooden benches and chalked hop scotches. They both walked in happily, each going off with their own group of friends. I badly wanted to follow them, but I'd missed out by a year. I was going to the giant , harrowing Our Lady Mary's. As I stood outside the iron gates, a shiver went down my spine. Children walked in orderly lines (remember how the children were playing at Jem and Rosie's school?) and a tall, scary Headmistress with a big nose wandered over to me. I flinched, terrified. 

"LUCY?" she bellowed. I didn't say anything. "WELL? Are you Lucy? Speak up child! I am Ms. Diana, the Headmistress!" 

"Um, yes, I am- Lucy, that is," I stammered. Ms. Diana sniffed and flounced off, beckoning a girl with jet black, tied up into a scraped back bun, over to me.

"Hello!" she said, in a strong Welsh accent. "Are you Lucy? Hello, then. Hurry, English Language starts any moment!" She pulled an elastic band out of her dress pocket and tied back my hair.

"Ouch!" I yelped like a puppy. "What are you DOING? Um... what's your name?"

"Gwyneth," she replied. "My family is from Wales. And your hair must be tied back. Ms. Wish-She-Would-Die Anna says so," I chuckled at the way that pupils called Ms. Diana. I decided that I liked Gwyneth. We stuck together all day. She helped me copy down answers. She lent me her books. She looked out for me when bully Thomas Henderson commented on my hair, which was falling out of it's bun. 

"See you Monday!" Gwyneth said, after walking me home. "Enjoy your weekend!"

"You, too!" I called back, wandering into the house. Everybody was in the front room- Grandpa sleeping, Victoria stroking a brown chicken, Rosie wearing her grape necklace and plaiting her hair, and Jem reading. Ida was looking very stressed as I walked in. Uh-oh. 


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