When I was 19 years old I went to England to live there for a few years. Ever since I returned the people I lived with there have a special place in my heart and I will never forget them.
Judi Arnold, now Judi Dale, Annette Francis, now Annette Thorpe, Liz May (where are you now Liz?), Anzio Cabrini, Simon Parsons, Nick Bowman, Elliot Stevens, Ruth Wilkinson, Anne-Louise James, Darrin Fox, Stuart Ingram, Rod and Sue Townend, Gordon and Nancy managing the Social Club, Sue May, Lawrence Swerlinck (now deceased, bless his heart), Sarah Blake (Blakey), Mark Blazeby, Joe Toehill, Tim Bryant, Norman Allen, Sue Harris, Margaret Jackson (Maggie, my ‘surrogate mother’), Stephen Eyers, Jean Ringwood, Susan May (Liz’ mother) and so many others were an important part of my life. And in case if I have forgotten your name, you too.
My rooms were in the Old Hall, an old but beautiful mansion, built in red stone with a large lawn in front of it. Here is a picture of it from around 1930 when Major Ashley lived there.
In 1998, a colleague said to me: “You have ADHD, you just don’t know it yet. You can’t sit still!”
He had been working with me for a while, he knew perfectly well how to work together with me and we had a good time, but he had absolutely no idea what he just did to me. From then on it gnawed on me, if I weren’t restless yet, making me think back on my childhood years did. He gave a name to what I always knew, but never learned to give it a name myself, let alone to cope with it.
Honey, when I say “I bring home the bacon.” I do mean I bring home the bacon, 1.5 pounds to be precise, three tins of Baked Beans, half a pound of Mushrooms, 18 eggs, 30 sausages and three loafs of white bread for toast. But it was just a little investment in a great friendship that hopefully will last for years and years to come. And boy, did we laugh today.
I was up early. Blackbirds are a messy lot, aren’t they? Eating the entire cherry tree empty at six in the morning, talk with their mouth full, throwing food at the waitresses and if they get a chance they start a rowdy singalong.
I once was in love, I was only ten years old. Perfectly innocent we held hands and were equally happy. I remember these summer afternoons after school in the forest hidden under a roof of three foot high ferns, away from the world.
I must have been 11 or 12 years old I think when I saw this image in the sky for a split second on my way to school and they said I was one penny short for a pound ‘up there in my piggy bank’ when I told my friends at school that day. Later in life I discovered that is was an F-117A Nighthawk when I saw a documentary on Discovery a few years ago. So there, I wasn’t barmy after all and there are no UFO’s.
Little Lord Fauntleroy, getting reacquainted with the most beautiful book of my childhood.
Once, when I was 6 or 7 years old, I read Little Lord Fauntleroy, a book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. And when I finished it I read it again … and again. And I never forgot. It was my first book with people from the grown ups world, where people could be mean. And then there was this little boy, capable of making these mean people nice and happy again. It fired my imagination to leave your own trusted surroundings and take a boat across the sea, no land around you and surrendered to God’s mercy and to go to a country and live in a castle.
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