Empty Nest

Empty NestIt has been an odd week on the domestic front of the Parrot household. Where there were three, there is only two and we are left with a large son shaped hole in our lives.

Master Parrot moved out last weekend, off to a house that he is sharing with his two best mates. We’ve known he would be leaving for a couple of months, but it even so, it all happened very suddenly, or so it felt.

It’s a feeling we’ve experienced before, of course. Miss P disappeared to university in Sheffield when she was 18, then spent a year living in the city when she’d finished. Since then, she has lived in Cape Town, Thailand and Japan, so you’d think we’d be used to the idea, but it was different somehow.

For a start, her bedroom remained her bedroom, still furnished and full of the stuff she didn’t want to take with her. In that sense, it was more like she was simply visiting other places, rather than having left, and here was still ‘home’.

With our son, he dismantled his bed, packed all his belongings and off he went, leaving pretty much a bare room. Like he had left for good, which he probably has.

He may feel differently. For many years after Mrs P and me set up home together, I still thought of the house I’d grown up in as ‘home’ and in some ways I still do, even though my dad no longer lives there and it belongs to someone else.

But to return to the point, it has felt very different to be just the two of us rattling round in a house that suddenly feels emptier and it has set me thinking that perhaps we need to move on as well. We shall see.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

22 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 22nd April 2016

    Testing. Testing. Earlier I tried twice to comment on this post but the technology would not co-operate.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 22nd April 2016

      Hmm not sure what the problem might have been. They weren’t being blocked or anything.

      Reply
      • Yorkshire Pudding 23rd April 2016

        Just in case your blog hosting organisation spies on users, my advice is to stop relentlessly logging into beachvoyeurs.com . That may well prevent comment blockages in the future.

        Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 24th April 2016

    Stop being such a softie, Mr P. Surely you don’t want them to be tied to your apron strings forever. Call yourself an Old Hydonian? Get singing that school song.”Nunc Amici Consurgamus, etc”

    PS For the life of me, I can remember the whole of the school song, apart from the second line.

    Reply
    • Yorkshire Pudding 3rd May 2016

      The second line was “Hit me with your rhythm stick. Hit me…”

      Reply
      • Trevor Rowley 3rd May 2016

        Surprisingly, you are wrong on this one, Mr Pudding. The second line goes something like, “Atque Cantecum Tolamus.” (spelling optional)

        PS It came to me in the middle of the night.

        Reply
    • Shooting Parrots 3rd May 2016

      Actually you can find the second line here Trevor. I’m sure there were more verses than this, although that might just be my faulty memory.

      Latin was never my strong suit, despite Doc Berry’s best efforts, and Google Translate isn’t a great help reading it thus:

      Now friends rise
      And take a song
      Joy than you think
      Joy than you think

      Nor are hard labor
      But let us hope for the future
      They show contents
      They show contents

      Reply
      • Trevor Rowley 3rd May 2016

        “Neque sint labores duri” The whole school congregation, assembled in the bowels of the school, always belted out this line, with just a small alteration to one word – much to the dismay of the masters looking down on them from the stage.

        PS. I once came third in our end of term Latin exam – with the princely total of 9%. God knows what the poor schmuck got who came last.

        PPS. Doc Berry, don’t remember him teaching me, but he was certainly one I always gave a wide berth to (him and about thirty others).

        Reply
        • Mr Parrot 3rd May 2016

          Doc Berry was getting on a bit when I was there and only taught me in the first year. Think Harry Potter – he always wore the gown and mortar board, although I may have imagined the last bit.

          Reply
          • Trevor Rowley 3rd May 2016

            I’m probably at least ten years older than you, Mr P. Doc Berry seemed ancient to me when I arrived at HCGS (1956) as a snotty little twelve year old. He’d probably be about fifty then, with about fifteen years of teaching still to go. However, there were others who almost had “one foot in the grave.” For example, Mr “Nappy” Martin was one of a clutch of teachers who were First World War veterans and heaven help you if you asked to go to the toilet mid-lesson. We would then get a lecture on being able to hold your bladder and “When I was in the trenches at Vimy Ridge/Paschendale/Ypres etc, I had to hold my water and not go snivelling off to the toilet.” You soon learned to hold your water.

            Reply
          • Mr Parrot 4th May 2016

            Nappy Martin is a new one on me, but then I didn’t roll up until 1964. Cherry Wain might have been there in your time. He was a kindly old stick who taught art and an old boy of the school if I recall. Another from your time might have been Snoz Saxton (French) and Doc Couzens, the headmaster who left not long after I started. I don’t think the two events were connected!

            Reply
  • Lee 24th April 2016

    I never had children, so I’ve never experienced “empty nest” syndrome that way; but I do suffer it every time I leave to go out.

    Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 5th May 2016

    Sorry for monopolising this topic (about your daughter) with reminiscences about HCGS, Mr P, but just one little bit more before we finally put it to bed. Talk of Mr “Nappy” Martin, Mr “Cherry “Wain and Mr “Snoz” Saxton made me think of one or two more of the masters who acquired nicknames. There was “Plum” Palmer who taught science and rode to school each day on an ancient racing pedalbike – arriving hot and sweaty in his khaki army surplus shirt. “Joris” (Cauldwell?) taught history and his droning, monotonous voice could send a glass eye to sleep after “this battle, that battle, this treaty and that treaty etc.” “Judo Dan” Dawson taught biology and was said to be a judo exponent. “Basher” Bailey taught Georaphy (I shudder to think how he got that nickname, as he was quite a pleasant chap!). “Sam” Seelig taught music and French and his true name was Hans. Finally, there was “Dotty” Deer, who came into our class for just one day when our regular teacher was indisposed. His method for maintaining discipline was to bring a wooden orange box into the classroom and violently smash it to bits as the lesson progressed. You don’t cause trouble for that type of teacher!

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 5th May 2016

      Plum Palmer was still there in my time and taught chemistry. He ran my head under a tap after I got some chemical in it then packed me off to hospital. After a long wait in casualty, the doctor told me that it must have been washed out, otherwise I would have already lost the sight in that eye!

      Joris also taught me history and was actually a decent old stick who got me through my O-level in one term and sparked a lifelong interest in the subject once we got past all that memorising dates and lists of kings and queens and stuff.

      The rest obviously scappered before I got there.

      Reply
  • Lu 6th November 2017

    Hello! I’m looking for the words to the Hyde County Grammar School song. In Latin. Do you think you’d be able to write it down rather than me translate from English!

    Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 6th November 2017

    I could have a bash at this but I think Mr Parrot might prefer that I let him go first. What say you, Mr P?

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 7th November 2017

    I shall have a stab at it although I must admit to cheating – you can find the sheet music here.

    Nunc amici consurgamus
    Atque canticum tollamus
    Gaudi prae sentis
    Gaudi prae sentis

    Neque sint labores duri
    At cantemus spem futuri
    Animis contentis
    Animis contentis

    You can hear some old boys singing it here.

    Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 7th November 2017

    I got it mostly right (no internet cheating for me!) but the only bit I got wrong was missing out entirely the Gaudi i praesentis two lines and singing Animis contentis instead. Silly boy! I haven’t a clue what any of it meant and I don’t believe there was anyone in my circle who did. Nonetheless, we sang it with gusto – I think it was that thumping piano that did it for us.

    As for the clip on You Tube, I had seen it before and it always brings back fond memories for me when they bang along with the piano and the vocals. Fred Whyatt is on the video as one of the guests. He was one of our two PE teachers. He had the unique position of having formerly been a pupil at the school who then returned to teach there. He played in the same school football team as Warren Bradley, who went on to play for Bishop Auckland (when they were arguably England’s top amateur side). He then became an England international at amateur level (a level of football that just doesn’t exist anymore). Following the Munich air crash, in which most of the Manchester United team were either killed or were injured, he was hastily signed by (Sir) Matt Busby and went on to play as a full-time professional for them. He then went on to play for England as a professional. I think he is the only player who has represented England at both levels of football. On retiring from the game, he returned to the teaching profession and (I think) became a headmaster in Bolton.

    Reply
    • Trevor Rowley 8th November 2017

      My error. Warren Bradley was the first footballer to represent England at both levels of the sport (ie amateur and professional) in the same season.

      Reply
  • Mr Parrot 7th November 2017

    My Latin isn’t really up to this, but I recall that it ‘gaudi – i prae sentis’ so the extra ‘i’ was just our singing with gusto as you put it.

    I shall never, ever forget Fred ‘Pele’ Whyatt though!

    Reply
  • Lucy Rigby 8th November 2017

    Thank you ever so much.
    Lu

    Reply

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