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Started by mingmong on Feb 6, 2021 9:46:58 AM
Days off school: your memories

How often did you pull a sickie as a child? How much of a push-over was your mum? Did you need to go through full ruse of putting the thermometer on the radiator, or was enough to merely lie in bed looking tragic?

How did the sick day then proceed? Did you have to accompany your mum to work or the shops, or was it the full breakfast-in-bed followed by watching TV covered in a blanket treatment?

What was involved in the aftermath? Was it limited to a few sarcastic observations from your dad, or was there a punative regime of fun-limitation for a period afterwards?

mingmong - 06 Feb 2021 10:32:10 (#1 of 87)

In my case, I would pull a sickie maybe three or four times over the course of a term. My mum was a bit of a push over, and would very rarely disbelieve me if I lay in bed saying in a rather pathetic voice that I didn't feel very well. Maybe she just couldn't be bothered to argue.

Once the sickie had been pulled, I got the de luxe treatment. No TV, but a bowl of cereal on a tray, a pile of tintin books by my bed. I can remember one or two occasions of having to go into work with my mum, but this may have been the holidays rather sick days.

On the whole, it was a cushy number with very little comeback. No wonder I did it so often.

One of mates never had a day off sick because his parents wouldn't let him go out or do anything fun the following weekend. I took note of the effectiveness of this regime, and we have applied it to the Minglet, who is consequently never off school.

Tenesmus - 06 Feb 2021 10:36:41 (#2 of 87)

I am envious of Minglet's immune system.

HouseOfLametta - 06 Feb 2021 10:41:43 (#3 of 87)

Ugh. Crown Court and the smell of Windolene.

A travel rug on the settee. Milk of Magnesia. A plastic bucket on newspaper for the puke.

A Country Practice.

The theme tune to CC would still make me nauseous.

NotACloggie - 06 Feb 2021 10:43:05 (#4 of 87)

... and Lucozade to aid recovery

kvelertak - 06 Feb 2021 10:45:57 (#5 of 87)

Strange, uncharted regions of soap operas, such as The Sullivans. Van Der Valk if you were lucky.

Antimatter - 06 Feb 2021 10:47:19 (#6 of 87)

I was never allowed to be ill, it was always, 'well go in, and see if you feel any better by lunchtime'. Apart from that one occasion when I got Hong Kong Flu. Even the school crossing lady insisted I was not well.

RosyLovelady - 06 Feb 2021 10:51:24 (#7 of 87)

I was never able to deceive either parent that I was ill when I wasn't. So being allowed to stay off school was a great treat. My mother treated me with extra respect, according to the severity of the indisposition, and my father usually went to stay with his mother until the panic was over. I was allowed to listen to the radio all day long which was an added bonus.

FleurDuMal - 06 Feb 2021 10:51:41 (#8 of 87)

I pulled frequent sickies, using a sore throat as an excuse.

So frequent, that eventually I ended up at the ENT Clinic, who (unsurprisingly) found nothing wrong with me.

That was the end of that.

HelenDamnation - 06 Feb 2021 10:53:55 (#9 of 87)

Don't forget having to do the special quiet, wobbly, breathy Illness Voice.

HouseOfLametta - 06 Feb 2021 10:54:59 (#10 of 87)

Jimmy Young on the wireless. Jim Reeves, 5th Dimension, Lindsay DePaul.


darkhorse - 06 Feb 2021 10:55:05 (#11 of 87)

One of my fondest memories of illness was I think during chicken pox (which was fairly painless in my case) the telly being lugged up to my room, and watching whatever was on, and I remember enjoying this unlikely choice of light 50s drama for a 10 year old boy:

Woman's World (also known as A Woman's World) is a 1954 Technicolor drama film about corporate America directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Clifton Webb, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Lauren Bacall, Fred MacMurray, Arlene Dahl and Cornel Wilde. The screenplay concerns three men who compete for the top job at a large company.

tasselhoff - 06 Feb 2021 10:56:12 (#12 of 87)

I'd occasionally get away with the "staying in bed with a quavery voice" thing too. But daytime telly was rubbish and I'd remember that it was more fun in school.

dottie30 - 06 Feb 2021 10:59:26 (#13 of 87)

I went to a boarding school and it was quite difficult to pull a sickie. The only time I was off sick was when I had bronchitis and they only sent me home reluctantly - not really believing I was that bad. My mother took me to the doctor where the shocked GP said I couldn't go back for the rest of the term (there were only two weeks left).

mingmong - 06 Feb 2021 11:00:18 (#14 of 87)

two weeks though - that's a substantial result

dottie30 - 06 Feb 2021 11:03:57 (#15 of 87)

Yeah - it was pretty good. And when I returned I found myself in a completely different dorm because it was thought the person in charge of the dorm I was in didn't take my illness seriously enough. Even back in the mid 80s seems they were scared of being sued.

RosyLovelady - 06 Feb 2021 11:04:30 (#16 of 87)

I managed nearly three weeks off with the measles in my 11+ year. Happy days.

Tricyrtis - 06 Feb 2021 11:08:16 (#17 of 87)

I went to a boarding school too and the only time I remember being allowed to be ill, there were three of us in the dorm all in bed with bad colds. One of the reasons it stays with me is because a horrid nurse came in and shouted at us because she'd just been fired and said it was our fault.

Once my sentence was served and I was released from incarceration, I went to a normal school. It was a terrible place and I got quite good at mixing bowls of fake sick as proof for why I hadn't gone to school.

mingmong - 06 Feb 2021 11:12:57 (#18 of 87)

The sense of elation when you go to the sick bay at school and it turns out you are actually ill

The first fruits of victory come in the form of a nice-tasting disprin. Then you get an hour or two under a blanket in the sick bay, reading Asterix books, and sparing the occasional thought for your peers enduring mid-morning double maths.

Then your mum arrives shortly after lunch, drives you home then goes back to work, giving you a blissful two hours unsupervised on your newly-acquired Game and Watch (you are normally only allowed to play it for half and hour a day, after you've done your homework)

helbel - 06 Feb 2021 11:16:48 (#19 of 87)

Never pulled a sickie as my mum was not a push over. Once old enough to be left alone (way younger than 14) we were issued with a flask of coffee, two biscuits and instructions to sleep until lunchtime when she would be home to check on us.

If we felt well enough we were allowed to get up after lunch. No tv was allowed. Luckily we were allowed books and reading was my favourite thing so a day spent alternately reading/sleeping was great despite being ill.

I still drink coffee when ill (the only time I do) and essentially sleep and read until I’m better.

Sabacious - 06 Feb 2021 11:40:42 (#20 of 87)

Bleeding from all orifices was the minimum requirement for being ill enough to miss school. Mt dad was a pharmacist so would always have a remedy for any ailments invented or otherwise. Consequently not a day of school was missed from 5 to 18. I did get chicken pox when I was about 11 and had to stay at home for two week, unfortunately the first two weeks of the summer holidays.

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