Monday, 22 February 2016

Autobiographical guff

So...when you are a child, you have no thoughts about being grown up..except maybe you might want to be a princess, or a ballerina or in my case a mermaid (comes of living near the sea in Cornwall).Possibly less so if you were a boy!! I grew up in a little village in Cornwall. The village was basically built on a hill. It was divided by a main road which went from Truro to Falmouth and for the first 9 years, we lived at the top of the village. Our house backed onto woods, belonging to lord something or other (probably Lord Falmouth) and we children used to run free in the woods, free-range childhood at its best. We made mud pies, dens, played hide and seek, played cowboys and Indians (I always wanted to be an Indian princess and in my head was no longer dressed in shorts and a tee shirt but a fine Native American dress and had long black hair...ah...)and all manner of jolly children's imaginative games. Our village had a corner shop, a post office, an ironmongers and a blacksmith. If you have read Milly-Molly-Mandy (and if you haven't, you really should), my childhood was a bit MMMesque. I even had a friend called Susan. When we were 5, Susan and I were both engaged to the same boy who had liberated two of his sister's rings to give to us ..his father had words to say to him about that as he was the village policeman!! When I was 9 we moved to the bottom end of the village. It was as if we had moved to another country...Top End children didn't play with Bottom End children and vice versa so I had to make a whole new set of friends. It was OK though as we had lanes to wander and haystacks to climb into. No woods but plenty of fields.  There was an old lady who lived in a tin house with hundreds of cats (it seemed like hundreds to us) and we all thought she was a wicked witch so had to run past her house as we made our way down the hill into the valley, or dared each other to walk slowly as we approached her property.....hearts pounding, adrenalin pumping. School did intervene periodically. The nearest school was in the next village so we all had to catch the bus to school. Even at age 4 and a half which was when I started school, I was bundled onto the bus with all the other village children. Top end and Bottom End, altogether. Primary school was fun..we had a progressive headteacher who thought that learning through playing and experimenting was the way to go...consequently we learned how to develop photographs and we had our own radio station in the school, taking turns to be the announcer, producer etc etc. We did a lot of Englishy based subjects but fewer mathematical ones. There were only three classes in the entire school and everyone knew everyone. The older kids looked after the younger ones. Doing English and language based subjects was all very well, but I have never managed to get to grips with maths ....I think it is the way my brain is made,actually and less to do with the teaching
So, when you are young, you have no idea of the things that bother grownups. Being a child is about learning and exploring, reading and imagining, creating and making....who'd be a grown up when there is so much still to do!!!!
I have tried to paint a small picture of life in Cornwall as I saw it!!!  Life wasn't all golden...but it often those bits that one remembers.
Maybe more to follow..who knows!!

The End