January Small Stones # 17

School’s In

The state school kids walk down the                            Independent school children slide

hill their uniforms ‘customized’ to                                from Range Rovers, Mercedes and

define their identity, identically                                    more, driven up the hill by a parent,

individual. Girls with ruler straight                              they wait patiently for the boot lid to

hair, darkly lined doe eyes and thick                            open automatically, thus saving the

foundation, pert breasts forced                                     energy it takes to lift it. Their

skywards under polo shirts with St                              discreet sports bags are smart and

Someone’s embroidered. Boys                                      unmarked. The senior boys look like

hiding school clothes under hoodies,                            daddy clones, in navy blazers, beige

pushing the boundaries of accepted                             chinos immaculately pressed, ties

footwear. Some of each gender                                      perfectly ordered around proud

brazenly taking the odd puff of fag.                              necks. Pink cheeked girls, knee

Boys shove their mobiles in their                                  length skirts, tidy hair and not a

back pocket; girls show theirs off                                  smudge of lippy anywhere. The

while they Facebook and tweet.                                    occasional middle nowhere voice of

Check out the street corners, you’ll                             mummy, ‘Darling, please don’t

see some Good Morning gropes.                                   forget the Humphrey-Pococks

Hugs or fights.                                                                  are dining tonight.’