speak/listen

The European School

By John-Paul Flintoff

Silly me. I thought I had quickly got over feeling sad about the referendum result, but of course I haven’t.

My parents just sent me this photo of a very old school T-shirt, which I didn’t know they had kept. I wore it when I was six, after we moved to Brussels and I went to the European School there.

The school offered were separate classes for each language group, but we mixed in the playground and on Fridays we were thrown together for lessons, on a variety of topics, in French. I remember making good friends, in those lessons, with a German girl who, like me, was mad keen on roller skating.

Coming back to England, aged nine, I often wondered if I had missed out on something while we were away, but on the plus side I spoke decent French (with a Belgian accent) and allowed people to think, because of my unusual forename, that I actually was French or Belgian.

At any rate, without necessarily putting it into these words I felt deeply European, and although I know that we will be OK, it we put our minds to it, I feel a little sad that I won’t be able to call myself an EU citizen any more.
Looking about me, at the glum faces on London transport today, I wonder how many others are going through something similar.

Perhaps even Boris Johnson – he was a few years above me, at the same European School, and must have worn the same T-shirt.

Posted: June 24, 2016