I ate Vegemite sandwiches almost every single day of my school life. From Kindergarten to Year 12. I loved them. My Mum tried to mix things up a bit by making celery and cheese sandwiches - which invariably got all hot and sweaty by lunch time, and became largely unedible. I don't like sweaty sandwiches. And I have to say, celery sandwiches are a little unorthodox in my book too.
When I was older I got a job to help pay my bills (read: so I could go to the canteen whenever I wanted), to bankroll my own dream lunches.
I never ordered. I was never that organised at high school. Truth be, I never wanted what was on order. I didn't dig on the potato pies. Or the meat pies. Or the fishburgers. Yikes! Instead I liked to see what fate threw at me that day. Usually, I ate an apple pie for lunch. A chelsea bun. I know both my sisters loved those buns too (and I'm not referring to the PE teacher if you know what I mean).
School lunches were where the social side of school played out. You know, who were you going to sit with, were you going to brave going down the back, did the rough kids throw food at you as you walked past (thanks for the apple that hit me in the head that time), handball for the Year Sevens, Year Eights were too cool to be seen doing anything, Year Nines were dodging Year 10s and so on. Sometimes lunches were spent watching the boys play football/basketball. Sometimes we made daisy chains. Sometimes we hung out in the library. I liked books. (I still go to the library.) And for some, lunchtime was canoodling time. Or rather, it was make up or break up time. But not for me. Nope. I liked chatting with my friends, hanging out in the darkroom, and surprise, surprise, eating lunch. And talking on a Walkie Talkie to friends in a different building. Mobile phones were not around, or they were, but heck - who can fault a Walkie Talkie?
Year 12 meant less and less school lunches, and more of a drive home and bunker in to study (or Oprah) for the afternoon. Or afternoons with our drama class rehearsing. Or working on our final art projects. Or just hanging out in the common room (I hated that room. It always smelt like sweaty boys and afternoons of studying history). And then the era of my school lunches ended.