As a child I was a reasonably voracious reader, and the works of Enid Blyton and Anthony Buckeridge particular favouites. For this reason, I felt I had a good working knowledge of the fun and adventures to be found in a British boarding school. Today, for the first time ever, I got a real glimpse into one - or at least, the New Zealand equivalent. I was at a course at St Patrick's College in Upper Hutt. This is a magnificent old school set in beautiful, established gardens. The autumn display from the oaks and other huge trees is stunning. The buildings themselves are two-storied brick and built in the grand style of times well past. Luckily for me, getting to the conference room entailed walking along huge corridors and to the upper levels, giving time to admire the architecture and the beautiful wooden detailing of the stairs, doors and windows. But the prize sight was through the open door of the infirmary - a line of empty beds, and a scene seemingly frozen in time and looking exactly as if Dick or Julian might suddenly appear in their dressing gowns with Matron in attendance.
If you have never read a Jennings book, I highly recommend them - I think I'll look out one tonight.