Yes, the subject for today is handwriting, particularly the poor quality of my handwriting. I suppose the title shows my age – these days nobody would refer to bad handwriting looking like a drunken spider had fallen into an inkwell and crawled across a sheet of paper.
How many people reading this post have ever used an inkwell? And even if you have used one, how much actual writing on paper do you do these days? I don’t even write cheques. All I do is shopping lists, and I do those in block capitals so I can read them. When I was gardening one of my customers complained that whenever I wrote her a message it always looked like a ransom note.
As you may have guessed, I’ve been having problems reading my own writing.
My first memory regarding criticism of my writing is of being told off because it was large and childishly formed. This was in the village school I attended in Lincolnshire. My memories of it are not positive. On one occassion I was shaken and thrown to the floor because I had failed to memorise my multiplication tables over the weekend. There was not a lot of modern educational theory in place, the system being as Victorian as the schoolroom.
I wasn’t physically punished for my writing, the teacher merely called the headmaster (her husband) through from the other classroom so that he could shout at me.
My writing was too big, even I could see that, but it was just how I’d been taught at my previous two schools. I expect it was also childish, though I can’t really remember, as I was only seven at the time.
From that day on, until I left school, the only major complaint I recall was that my writing was too small.
The headmaster, by the way, was given four years for indecently assaulting a couple of girl pupils shortly after we moved away. Standards in educational recruitment have, I suspect, been improved over the years.
Since leaving school, I have rarely needed to do much writing, most of my written work being based on tick sheets and simple arithmetic. I don’t use cheques and a computer does the rest of my writing.
The current situation is that the only writing I do is my “to do” list, which I write every Sunday. And forget every Monday.
I’ve just been looking at the one from last week.
Most of them are easy enough, and even the instruction to “bug now sosks” isn’t too challenging, but reviewing the “forgetting boof” might be a little more difficult. “Boof” is clearly something that needs reviewing, so it’s a book, but I haven’t a clue which one it is. It’s not about forgetting, as I don’t have a book on that subject. At least I don’t remember having one. I’m going to have to go through the book pile and work it out by a process of deduction.