#Carrotranch Times Past – High School Graduation

My final year of high school was a great year. I had gone through all the uncomfortable stages of trying to fit in and mold myself into a carbon copy of all my peers. I had finally reached the final year of my schooling and at the same time I found a certain amount of inner peace and my skin finally fitted me fairly comfortably. I had lots of friends and they were all understanding of my reading, writing and dreamy nature. The subjects I studied at school were largely ones I enjoyed, including English, History, Accounting, Science and Maths. I had boyfriends but they were all peripheral to my own goals and future plans. Life was fabulous.

This glorious year culminated in a celebratory “knees up” in the form of our matric dance. The girls in my year had looked forward to this event for the entire school year and dress and hair discussions were the flavour of each and every day.

I don’t remember the venue but it was large as we were a group of 300 hundred matric students at my high school (10 classes of 30 learners). I do remember the theme was Under the Sea which seemed amazing at the time. I shopped for a dress with my Mom and sister, Cath. It was so much fun, we tried on long dresses and short dresses, straight skirts and full ones and I eventually decided on a dress that I still think symbolizes my personality – then and now.


I thought I would write a 99 word piece of flash fiction to encapsulate my memory of this day:

She stood on the cusp of her new, post-school life. Today symbolized the end of childhood and the beginning of an exciting journey towards adulthood. Her dress fitted her perfectly, and she loved its short, full skirt of many shimmering colours. Her blonde hair had been curled, teased and coaxed into a fullness she had never achieved before. The overdone make-up of the late 80’s and early 90’s decorated her youthful face and sparkling eyes. She was ready to make the transition from one life to the next in a swirl of loud, pumping music and glittering disco balls.


I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa during the 1980’s and was a young adult during the 1990’s. I studied to become a chartered accountant through correspondence courses at the University of South Africa (“UNISA”). I did my articles at KPMG in Johannesburg and that is where I met my husband, Mr Fox.

One of my favourite songs as a young adult was So You’d like to save the world by Lloyd Cole. My dear blogger friend, Paul Andruss, reminded me of this song this morning when he left a comment on my blog saying that we will change the world one small step at a time. If you don’t know Paul, you are really missing out. He is a fantastic historian, writer and gardener and you should go over and visit his fabulous blog http://www.paul-andruss.com/. He is also a resident writer for Sally Cronin’s blog and you can read a recent post of Paul’s here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-about-the-new-gardening-column/

The first verse of this song is as follows:

“So you’d like to save the world
I suggest you take one person at a time
And start with me
Not an ordinary girl
Not someone that I should hit upon
And ask, “hey what’s your sign babe”
Have you been reading my mind
(what did you find)
Nothing more or less terrestrial
Could I keep you in mind.”

Read more: Lloyd Cole – So You’d Like To Save The World Lyrics | MetroLyrics

This post was inspired by Irene A Waters from Reflections and Nightmares blog. You can read Irene’s lovely post here: https://irenewaters19.com/2018/01/02/high-school-graduation-times-past/


Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

90 thoughts on “#Carrotranch Times Past – High School Graduation

  1. Good to get to know a little more about you Robbie. You looked very pretty in your grad dress and you still look awesome. This post brought back memories of high school and graduation😊.
    Will check out the site you’ve recommended.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A beautiful, positive post, Robbie. “I had finally reached the final year of my schooling and at the same time I found a certain amount of inner peace and my skin finally fitted me fairly comfortably.” That’s quite an accomplishment for a high school senior. I think most adults never get there. 😀 Said lightly, but seriously true nonetheless. Have a positively wonderful new week. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would think so too, Robbie. When I got my degree late in life, making a segue to a different kind of job, so many people (then and even now) commented to me that they were unhappy but had no idea what they would actually like to do. I think that goes hand in hand with accepting one’s self. All the snobbery and self-righteousness I see every day — that also shows a need for self-acceptance. Have a good new week.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Robbie, a real gem of a post! A joy to join you on your trip down memory lane…I enjoyed the 99-word flash fiction and your final sentence works brilliantly – ‘ She was ready to make the transition from one life to the next in a swirl of loud, pumping music and glittering disco balls’. The dress is beautiful and I love the shimmering colour of the short dress and you look wonderful!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post Robbie, I love the photos, are you wearing the black or the pink dress in the top photo, I am not sure but I think it may be the black. Is the second photo you and your hubby.what a gorgeous pair. You certainly are a clever lady. 💜🌹 Did you change the world? 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am in the pink in the first photograph, Willow. The girl in black is my beautiful sister, Catherine. We are trying to change the world by supporting charities and being part of educational upliftment programmes. Baby steps.


  5. so much to respond to after reading this very fun post.
    here are some top things that come to mind…
    how cool that the dress reflects you then and now – that is so cool.
    the timing of reading this is fun because just yesterday I saw a version of a dress I wore in 1985 and I cringed – it was not my style now. BUt the one I wore in 1986 would be both – a then and now. and that was fun to read your note in that.
    The Lloyd song is interesting and good message – I also feel all cultured and expanded – which is why I love blogging, exposure!
    oh and you’re so purdy….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely post Robbie. I grew up in the 70’s and my matric year dance was in 1980. We had an Egyptian theme which was stunning, with the inevitable disco balls and 70’s music. I never actually went because I didn’t have a partner but it was videod and lots of photographs were taken.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great memories and pics, Robbie. I studied in Barcelona and we didn’t do anything like that at the time (not even the handing out of certificates or diplomas, as these took a long time to arrive, usually by post).Not one of our traditions, but I think it is becoming more the norm these days. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a terrific glimpse into a formative time for you. The fact that your boyfriends at the time were peripheral indicates you truly had come into being who you are meant to be. That is an accomplishment! Love your dress with the colorful, shimmering skirt, too. Thank you for adding your generation and location to Irene’s Past Times discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

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