When I was at school I was a bit of a swot, I admit it. Now, usually, this doesn't result in immediate rewards. The geeks in the science club might be the heroes of some teen TV shows (have you noticed, cheerleaders are always evil?), but in reality life isn't like that. But just once... I want to take you back many years to when I was about 13.
It was an English class, I think. At the end, the teacher held us back. 'I need a couple of people to write letters for me,' he said. No response. Eventually I and one other did volunteer. 'What a mug,' I'm sure I heard someone mutter. Yet seconds later, they would all have their hands up, begging to take our places.
'You see,' said the English teacher, 'two Swedish girls have written to the school asking for penfriends in England. So these two will be writing to them.' No, really.
And so it began. It was a strange pen-friendship (this was before emails, children). Rather bizarrely we both quite liked science and stamps, but Ann Oldman of Skelefteå otherwise lived in a very different world. We were the same age, but they seemed... a bit more advanced over there. Not to mention having a habit of putting crowns of candles on their heads, something we rarely did in Rochdale.
It lasted a couple of years. We never met, but I still fondly remember receiving those letters - and occasionally wonder what happened to Ann Oldman.
(Science Geek t-shirts available here.)