this subject seems to keeping popping its little head up a lot recently with friends, family and workies. today a very old (not old in age, but time) friend of mine, one from primary school, emailed me to ask if i remembered mrs lang one of our primary school teachers. of course i do she was probably one of the first people in my life outside of family to make such a huge impact in the way i was going to grow up and be. so i thought i would take some time to reflect on who in my life has made me the way i am, just so you know.
she was our second teacher at primary school our first being mrs macarthy. there was something rather special about mrs lang, i couldn’t tell you exactly what it was, but she completely engaged me at such a very young age. she was calm and gentile, but also authoritative. she allowed you to be yourself rather than stifle any imagination, but kept you inline. she had the most amazing calligraphic writing, i wanted to write like her so much. i remember asking my parents to get me special pens so i could write just like her. if you look at my writing today you can see the definite influence from mrs lang in the way i write. she taught me to always take pride in how i presented my work.
she played the piano and every assembly she would flawlessly tap out tunes, of the catholic variety. as soon as my tiny fingers would allow me to play i started piano lessons, i wanted to play just like mrs lang. in the meantime though i played the recorder so that i could at least play in the group with her. this carried on to tenor then the saxophone.
her creatively and musicality completely captured me. it showed me a way of expressing myself in completely different ways, something that has always stayed with me.
when we had to move up to the next year, i cried and cried. i didn’t want to leave her class, i couldn’t bear it, so they let me stay just one more day.
my dad the carpenter. as a grew up as a child he was always building and making things for the home. he was a perfectionist. he was strict but he was fair. he wasn’t one to get on the wrong side of put it that way.
he was always the one to go and get answers from. if he didn’t know something he would always find out the absolute detail and get back to you, he wouldn’t leave it until he knew the answer. he doesn’t like not knowing something. he taught me to learn about something and to learn it well. to do something properly and do it with pride. he taught me to be proud of myself.
he encouraged me to be creative and built me the most amazing desk come easel so that i could spend hours painting and drawing.
my mum. she was a grafter and a tough cookie. she worked in the city of london for many years. she worked in banking, at a time when there weren’t many women working at the level she was at. at work she wasn’t a fool to be messed with, she gave all the men a run for their money and she was hugely successful because of that.
at home she was softer and bonkers. her chaotic funny side came out as she left the world of banking behind her. she would spend hours in her shed at the end of the garden on her potter’s wheel making rather strange-looking objects. fabulous strangeness of course.
her spanglish was at times pants wetting funny.
when everyone else thought a degree in weaving was slightly odd she pushed me to succeed all the way.
she taught me to work hard to get the things i want i life. she taught me to do what i wanted to do and to never settle for second best.