I hate to mention this, because I know it will cause my oldest son William (13) acute embarrassment, but on Saturday, I took him to school. Nothing particularly surprising in that, you may say: he’s at the age when he’s just started a new one. But the school in question, which used to have Saturday school in the days when I went there, has, as we discovered, in the intervening 30 years, unaccountably stopped.
The thought that some of William’s classmates might have seen him wearing his blazer at an uncool hour on, of all days, Saturday, was a very keen source of distress only mollified by a Herculean breakfast at the Butcher and Grill in Wimbledon Village, followed by the purchase of a dartboard. William hasn’t gone to King’s College School, Wimbledon, just because I did, but it’s nice for both of us.
On his side, it gives the opportunity to quiz his father about details of school life I can barely remember. To me, as someone who is temperamentally averse to going back to places, it offers an unexpected thrill of nostalgia as I revisit old haunts. Or it ought to. The trouble is that three decades of investment have changed much of the school out of all recognition. I very much doubt I’d get in if I tried now.