Feeling peckish yesterday afternoon and fancying something sweet, I took a stroll to my local corner shop to get myself a bag of munchies. Looking in the fridge section I just couldn’t decide what I wanted, until I spotted a massive Jam & Coconut sponge! Memories of past school days filled my head & I just had to have it!
Jam & Coconut Sponge with Custard was one of my favourite school desserts before I was blessed *sniggers* with Type 1 Diabetes and my diet became limited. Back then, we didn’t carb count, meals were set and I was only allowed the rare treat on special occasions. These days, I can eat almost anything (in moderation) as long as I give extra insulin to cover the carbs. So I grabbed a tin of custard, headed home & dished myself up a slice.
Munching my delicious treat, I once again got taken back to my school days and started remembering other things I’d loved, but had forgotten about. The smell of my fresh new school uniform and that leather smell upon opening my new schoolbag to put in all the new books we received on the first day back. My sister and I would have a meltdown of excitement when our mum announced it was time to go shopping for stationery supplies.
It seems I’m not the only one. Emily of Emily and Indiana says “I used to love going pencil case and stationery shopping! I used to hunt for ages for the perfect one… And then be disappointed when someone else had a better one than me!”
Tara from Mums Space agrees: “I used to love getting all my stationery. I had a bit of an addiction to getting loads of cute rubbers with no intention of actually using them. Smelly gel pens and highlighters were my favourite at school as well, I was always known for having the best stationery collection!”
Jo from Miracle Max remembers “Shopping in Woolworths (how I miss that place!) for new stationery the weekend before school!”
Carly from Mummy and The Chunks is a girl after my own heart: “I used to love preparing my pencil case. Sharpening my pencils, choosing which rubbers and other bits to put inside. My favourite was my ‘Friends’ pencil case. I also used to love talking to everyone about whatever happened on the latest episode of Friends. Going to school in the 90s was amazing!”
Unfortunately, my four year old daughter Cici is too young to need stationery right now, but I imagine I’m still going to enjoy helping her choose when she is old enough. For the start of term next week, we’ve been hunting for the perfect schoolbag. You can imagine how excited we were when we found a Disney Princess bag in Tesco, which – wait for it! – lights up! I think I was more excited than Cici was to be honest!
Getting back to the topic of school desserts, my other favourites were chocolate pudding with pink custard and a homemade biscuit covered in sugar, partnered with a glass of milk. I really need to google some of these recipes to make at home!
I’m not the only one with fond memories of school desserts… Tracy from The Red Spotty Mushroom says “My favourite thing was cornflake tart. There were always rumours it was on that day so we needed to get to front or it would all be gone! I still crave it today!”
Sophie from Sophie and Lily also loved the cornflake tart and says “I’ve found a recipe to create it again for my own little girl who is about to start infant school!” Sophie, be sure to let us know how it turns out. I personally don’t remember this one, but I’d love to check it out!
Hannah from Fab Fat Mama reminisces “Jam and coconut sponge was the one! And fresh pencil cases with unused pencils and clean rubbers! Also being the one to ring the bell at break time to get everybody in!” Oh, I loved that school bell too Hannah, it was always an honour to be the one chosen to go ring it. It also meant “Dinner Time”, my favourite part of the day!
Lorraine from The UnCheshire Wife casts my memory back to another firm favourite I’d completely forgotten about… “Manchester Tart! No it’s not an insult! It’s the most gorgeous pastry, banana, custard topped with coconut dessert EVER & my Mum couldn’t make it…” Mmmmm, it was indeed delicious, my belly’s growling now!
Jaymee from The Mum Diaries states “My favourite was fudge tart and chocolate custard! Fresh workbooks, I loved writing on the first page! And seeing my friends…”
Speaking of school books, I remember having to cover them with wallpaper or posters to stop us from doing what Natalie from Plutonium Sox did “Doodling on the cover of a brand new exercise book”. Let’s admit it… We all did it! I’d spend the rest of the year swooning over my favourite British boy band Five, imagining my future wedding to my favourite band member Scott.
Rebecca from Becster.Com also remembers this fondly… “Having to cover your new school books! Lots of wallpaper was used back then because we didn’t have posh washi tape in those days!”
A new school term always meant one thing… A brand new haircut! My mums best friend is a hairdresser. Back then, she worked from home so we’d go over to play with her children for the afternoon & get our hair cut the same time. These days, she has her own salon and now cuts Cici’s hair for me, ready for the new term.
Carla from Random Thoughts of a Twenty Something was a tomboy and admits “I wasn’t one to care about fashion or make up and always had really long hair. I remember my first day back into year 10 having had my hair cut the day before and all the girls looking shocked, announcing that I actually looked like a girly girl! It was very funny!”
One thing I absolutely hated about school was… Assembly! Living in Wales, we didn’t just sing hymns in English, but we had to repeat them in Welsh too! Assembly would go on forever and I’d struggle to keep my eyes open.
Julie from Pondering Parenthood however, has fond memories of assembly… “Singing in assembly from our personal hymn books, which we had to cover ourselves in wrapping paper of our choice at the start of the year!”
Sadly, I’m well aware that not everyone has fond memories of school. I was a terribly shy child and found secondary school a bit of a struggle. If you weren’t loud or popular, you’d get teased for being a bit different.
Estelle from Estellosaurus agrees: “I hated school. I was never bullied but I always struggled, I missed a lot of school because of operations and illness and I had to work really hard to be as ‘clever’ as everyone else! I will never be that person that says school days were the best days of my life!! I also went to an all girls school – girls are mean and bitchy! Myself included when I was younger.”
So there you have it, a small glimpse into my childhood and what British school life was like back in the 90’s. Do you have the same fond memories or was school totally different for you? Maybe you have other memories you’d like to share that I’ve, again, completely forgotten about? Place them in the comments below, I’d love to take a read! 💕