Some stories require more backstory than simple narration. This is one such story.
I grew up in the bush. Really in the bush. The kind of area where you learn about snakebites and changing tyres before you learn about Nintendo 64's - not that we had a Nintendo 64, but a kid down the road a bit did. To get to my primary school, which was also in the bush, my mother would drive me over dirt roads to a nondescript crossroads in the middle of nowhere. From this crossroad, the school bus would pick me up, along with a few other kids from the area, and take us the rest of the way to school. The school itself, when I started, had just three buildings: the permanent classroom, the portable classroom, and the sports supplies shed. It wasn't long before they took the portable away and we had to divide the so-called "big room" into two. We only had 27 pupils, so one class consisted of prep to grade three, whilst the other class was grades four to six. However even that 27 rapidly diminished, and shortly after I moved away from the area the school was closed down. They haven't done anything with the property or buildings yet, it's all still there just like it used to be, and that's where I dragged Aidan on the weekend! I had to see the old place again before they demolish it.
I swear the entire grounds and buildings have shrunk to about half their previous size. The play equipment is all wussie plastic now instead of metal. It's a short walk to the back of the property instead of the long run it used to be. But despite those things, I still feel that the place is exactly like it was. So many memories! I can't believe I'd forgotten all about Trog the Dog - beloning to our prinicpal and becoming something of a school mascot. And the time some of us convinced ourselves that the place nextdoor was haunted, and we spent ages staring at it petrified that something might prove us right! I remember a girl called Amanda hogging the swing all lunchtime, probably because nobody would play with her. I remember us girls being taunted if, when upside down on play equipment, our underwear should accidentally become visible - and our standard response to the boys: "It's only a piece of material!" Oh, how young we all were, and how naive!
I hope they find a use for the old place - it's been suggested that it become a meeting place or serve some function within the community, rather than demolishing it. It would be sad to see the old school gone. Particularly as it comprises approximately one-quarter of the buildings within the "township"! (Fire station, community hall, general store/cafe, and school. All the residences are in what you might call the outskirts, eg farms.) So I'm glad I dragged Aidan all the way there, over unsealed roads in our rented car, despite the hassle it was to get there. Just to see the place one last time, to say goodbye.