The carefree, innocent and amusing days of school life remain ever-fresh in everybody’s mind. The essayist was a student of Cross gates School. The good memories of school life have left a lasting impression on his mind.

Here he describes the pleasure he derived in school in summer months. He often went out in wonderful expeditions across a stretch of grass land called downs, with his mates, in summer afternoons. They sometimes slipped to Beachy Head. It was a thrill to bath among the chalk boulders. They often got scars while bathing there. They enjoyed a special treat in Midsummer evenings.

Instead of being driven off to bed they were allowed to wander about the grounds in the long twilight. Then at about nine o’ clock they took a plunge in to the swimming bath. Equally amusing were summer mornings. He woke up early in the morning and remained engrossed for an hour in reading in the sunlit, sleeping dormitory. He enjoyed reading Lan Hay, Thackeray, Kipling, H.G. Wells, etc. another fancy of the author was cricket.

Of course he was not good of cricket but he had a hopeless love affair with cricket till he was eighteen. And those were the days of keeping caterpillars.


And there was a wild variety of them different colors. There was silky, green and purple puss-moth, the ghostly green poplar –hawk, and the middle finger sized privet-howl. Different specimens of caterpillars were illicitly purchased for six pence at a shop in the town. They went out for a walk across the Downs under the guidance of a teacher.

There were many small natural ponds on the Downs. Whenever they could escape the watchful eyes of the teacher they dredged the ponds to catch enormous news. The newts have orange colored bellies. George Orwell concludes the paragraph saying “This business of being out for a walk, coming across something of fascinating interest and then being dragged away from it by a yell from the master, like a dog jerked onwards by the leash, is an important feature of school life. And this helps in building up in many children a conviction that the things you most want to learn are always unattainable.