I loved school. I remember my teachers with a fondness. Most were inspiring, interesting and great fun, particularly at primary school. I still remember the build up to Father’s Day in year 3 or 4. The teacher, we’ll call her Mrs Smith, was extra excited about the art & craft project she had planned.

For what felt like weeks we designed, redesigned, what we would make out of a new delivery of clay. I can still remember feeling the smooth clay, the sense of clean dirt on my fingers. Mrs Smith roamed the room, offering reassurance and tips. Her sing song voice explaining how our fathers will love their father’s day presents.

I finally finished my large bowl and painted it with bright orange and black blobs, as my father followed the tigers.

A few days later, just before Father’s Day, Mrs Smith had us all go and pick up our freshly baked creations. Mrs Smith was particularly cheerful about my bowl, praising the shape and colours.

We had all left our creations near the front of the classroom while we carried on with Father’s Day cards. At the end of the day, I went to collect mine. But it wasn’t there. I waited until everyone picked these up; I asked the other kids, but they hadn’t seen it since Mrs Smith had said it was the best of the whole class. Mrs Smith was dumbfounded. All these years later I still think Mrs Smith loved that bowl a little too much and took it for her own father!  

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