A Scheduled Book Tour
My Mum, the Dinner Lady by R. B.N. Bookmark
It was April 1972, and I had settled down fairly well at St Iggy’s. The initial brawls to establish my middle ranking in the class hierarchy were over, and for the most part, I’d arrive home with my clothes and nose still intact.
The miners’ strike was in full swing, and Britain had become a cold and dark place to live.
One of our neighbours had hit upon the idea of making her own candles, a very enterprising thing to do in light of the “dark” economic situation at the time. My mum bought a few, but within minutes of them being lit, the room would smell of chip fat and other more nondescript odours of a dubious nature. We persuaded Mum not to buy any more, and the earth’s ozone layer was given a short reprieve.
One morning at school assembly, Mr. Bishop announced that the school was looking for a new dinner lady to work in the kitchen and if we knew of anyone to tell them to get in touch with the head. When I arrived home later that day, I mentioned it to Mum, as she was always going on about returning to work now we were grown up.
“If you like I’ll speak to the headmaster and book an appointment for you to come over.”
Mum couldn’t say yes fast enough, and the next day I knocked on Mr. Bishop’s door. “Come in,” said that all-too-familiar commanding deep voice.