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Life story, Chapter Two: The Monmouth School Days

"My life history", by Michael Riversdale aged 37 and a bit
(from the mikey_boyle Yahoo! Website, all those years ago)
Anything that I may have said about anybody is totally my memory/impression - anyone wants me to change/delete it then I will without hesitation, simply leave a comment. If you find any links that no longer work again, just leave a comment.
< Chapter One: The First traveling Years
Chapter Two: The Monmouth School Days
6th form Monmouth Comprehensive 1984
(I am in the middle row, 5th from the left)
Initially, after arriving in Monmouth in Wales , we stayed at Nanna and Grandads farm for a year or so. A wonderfully large farmhouse with fields and hills to play in that went on forever - I loved it. At the local school, Wonastow Junior School , I met my oldest (and still a best) friend, Andy Sparkes and we immediately set about humouring ourselves by playing " bogie boats" with our school meal tickets - a fruitful imagination was emerging at a scary rate.

At home my brother and I amused ourselves by making tunnels in the hay barns (very dodgy now I look back), playing cowboys and indians which lead to me falling flat on my face after being captured (have a slightly bent nose still - hee hee). Of course we had the grandparents to amuse us - Nan, a wonderful woman with the, " And she said ... " conversation after Friday shopping , Grandad a staunch farmer with his, " Heished!" (Forest talk for "Shsssh") when watching the Sunday morning farming programs and Grandad's brother Verdun. Verdun was a source of unlimited humour and imagination to both my brother and I - Spike Milligan was only half way there.
Mum and Dad got a council house in Chestnut Terrace, Wyesham, a small estate/village just outside the throbbing metropolis that is Monmouth. To my joy I discovered that Andy's parents had also moved and was 5 houses away. The junior school time was one of fun and I may have even learnt something - especially the playground game of British Bulldog, swearing and what soccer was.

In 1978 I went to the "big school", Monmouth Comprehensive in town. I could list all the experiences but I shan't bore ya. For those that were there here are a few memory joggers - Jo D and her parties , The Three Horseshoes pub, AAA athletics at Cymbran and rugby in the freezing rain . My first kiss at Andy's party (Mushy), getting drunk on 60p pints of Welsh and Brains, lessons at school that did actually teach me stuff and my first fight with Jonathan Croudace (I won, *manly thump of chest* - although Jonathan, now a world travelling minister of some church doesn't recall this, ho hum). The girls Jo, Jane, Nichola, Cookie and the "posh set". Most of all I treasure meeting Rob Burge, my 2nd oldest friend.

The O levels came and went, I picked up a few and then 6th Form and A levels. Life was getting serious now, although we could act like grown-ups in our own common room. During this time I forwent the athletics and rugby after a pretty successful few years (AAA records, nickname of Billy Whizz and playing for Pontypool and Wales - under 16) and discovered the finer things in life - wine, women and song (heavy rock for me and in particular Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow and Deep Purple). It was also during this time I met a woman called Jean - a strange time for me as I was rebelling against the parents and being a very destructive teenager , just ask Mum. Suffice to say, a good time was had and by the middle of 1986 I was ready to take up my career of waiter at The Kings Head ... but fate had far more interesting paths for me to take. All will be revealed in the following chapter.

Chapter Three: Swindon and How to Survive It >
Also related to this is my 'Life soundtrack: Side One"

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