One of my favourite lessons in Miss Trill’s class at Fareham Park Junior School was sewing! I do not recall if Miss Trill taught the lessons or another teacher came in to help with the activity. I remember cutting out the green material for the rabbit and doing the embroidery for its face. I remember sewing it up by hand. I don’t remember what I stuffed it with, but I do remember the great feeling of satisfaction I felt when it was finished. I also got to make a lion. Looking back I’m surprised that I could sew; it was as if I always could.
My mum keeps these two hand made toys on her bed. She has had them for over forty-five years! I don’t remember what the other children in my class made. I think this may be due to being so engrossed in this project.
From this experience at school, I have developed a great love for making things with yarn and thread. My friend’s mother taught me how to crochet; I remember her teaching me to do a crochet stitch. One day my friend and I sat in the Wendy house that my Dad made at the bottom of my garden and we crocheted together. I was so fascinated by it that I saved up my pocket money and bought a crochet book and some wool; I must have been about ten years old. From this book, I taught myself how to do it. I made a little cardigan out of crochet motifs for our neighbour who had a baby girl. I made blankets - saving up more of my pocket money for wool. At the bottom of Fareham Park Road, there was a little wool shop. I remember the shop being very small and cramped, but I loved to go into it and look at the colours of the wool and imagined what I was going to do with it. I have missed this shop so much; It was taken over by a grocer many years ago. Now I can’t really tell which shop it was. Last time I went home, things had changed so much at the bottom of Fareham Park Road. The Post Office that stood on the corner is now someone’s house and the pub opposite has been demolished. The other shops are all different businesses and the launderette is now a dry cleaners. I spent many hours on Thursdays at the launderette doing the family’s washing. Everything up Fareham Park Road to Coppice Way seems so built up now with new housing taking the place of bungalows and land. It seems very cramped and claustrophobic.
My grandmother was a seamstress. To help the family budget, she would make people’s clothes and do alterations. She would also knit. She would give me her left-over wool which would go into my blankets or I would make dolls clothes with them. My grandchildren now play with those dolls clothes. My grandmother lived into her 90’s. When she felt too tired to do any more knitting or crochet, she gave me her needles which I still have. When she moved out of her house in Highfield, Southampton, she gave me her old Singer sewing machine. It is a treadmill sewing machine in a cabinet. This sewing machine has sat in my homes in Telford in Shropshire, England; California, Arizona, Minnesota and now in Utah. One day it will be passed on to my daughter and her daughters.
In senior school, a friend’s mother came in after school and ran an embroidery club. I remember that I had quite a conflict when this opportunity came, as I had also been approached by Mr. Mullins to learn how to sail after school. Both after school activities were on the same night. The pull to go and sew was greater than the pull to go yachting. This was probably because I was worried that I would get seasick. One time we went on board the Ark Royal when my Dad was returning home from a trip at sea. We went out on a smaller boat, boarded the Ark Royal, and then sailed back into port. Unfortunately I spent most of my time on deck. We had been in the mess below, but I had become quite queasy and had to go up to get some fresh air. It has always been a standard joke in my family that I can get seasick even when the engines are not running. When traveling across the English Channel in future years, I usually fell asleep for the whole trip after taking some Dramamine!
When I travelled to University on the train from Fareham to York, I taught myself to knit. I got quite a lot done on that journey. As a young mum, I took up cross stitch. I had done this a little bit in embroidery class. Now I go to any of these activities in my spare time especially when I need to relax or ponder. They are my therapy! I think it is amazing how an activity in junior school had such an huge impact on my life.
Mrs Trill’s fourth year juniors at Fareham Park School were invited to take part in a class Easter bonnet parade. We were all very excited - probably the girls were more excited than the boys. I didn’t know if I would be able to make a bonnet to participate - that would be up to my mum.
Mum wasn’t really into sewing, although she could sew. She wasn’t into cooking unless it was the usual meals that she prepared - they were simple and delicious. She made math's cards for the pupils in her class and she liked to do the display boards. Mum was artistic but not really into making things, especially Easter bonnets.
My luck was in! Dad was home from sea for a long weekend and he was volunteered to help me make the Easter bonnet! Dad and I are pretty much alike. We love to help others, we like to be creative, but we aren’t very good at creating with others. We like to do our own thing. So Dad made my Easter bonnet. I remember him measuring my head to cut out the circle on a piece of cardboard. I would have loved to have helped him stick on crumpled up tissue paper, but it was late and I had to go to bed.
I was very excited when I woke up the next morning to see my Easter bonnet; the parade was that day. I dreamed of looking really pretty and maybe even winning the prize. I got washed and dressed and ran downstairs for breakfast searching for the bonnet as I went; maybe Dad had it out in the garage? I did see an orange triangular prism shaped object on the dining room table; It had brick-like lines on it and looked like the roof of a house.
Mum was super organized and had put out the breakfast cereal, bowls and spoons the night before; my sister and I ate out in the kitchen. We had some nice orange bar stools with backs on them that fit comfortably under the counter in the kitchen. Whilst eating my breakfast, Dad came downstairs; Mum was in the bathroom getting ready for work.
“Did you see your hat?” He asked. He seemed so happy that he had been able to help me with my Easter bonnet.
“No,” I replied. “Where is it?”
“It’s on the dining room table”.
I don’t know if he saw my perplexed look; I didn’t remember seeing an Easter bonnet on the dining room table.
“I made you a roof; I thought that would be a pretty good Easter hat”, my Dad said. “I just figured out how to put the chimney on it. As soon as you have finished breakfast, try it on, it should be finished with it by then”.
I gulped; A flood of emotions came over me; I was so disappointed that I didn’t have a pretty flowered Easter bonnet to wear. I was so thankful that my Dad had made me a hat but worried how others would react to how unique it was. I was however so happy, that my Dad was happy and excited about helping me make a hat.
It fit perfectly and I was able to balance it on my head. Dad had put some orange ribbons on it so that it would stay on. Due to it’s large size I had to hold my head just so, so that it didn’t topple off or shift its position. Dad said that he would give me a lift to school in the car as the hat was probably a little bulky to carry. I grabbed my satchel and put on my coat and shoes and we were off to school.
School was just up the road. It took me about ten to fifteen minutes to walk to school depending on how fast I walked; today, I was there in five minutes. I struggled out of the car with my satchel and reached in to grab my Easter bonnet. “Thanks so much, Dad!” I called out as I shut the door.
“My roof - my Easter bonnet - was kind of awkward to carry. The bell rang and we lined up in our classes. As our class walked in to school, I avoided my classmates eyes. We put our bonnets on the top of the bottom cabinets, went to our desks and proceeded with our day.
The day dragged on; I wished I was back at home and enjoying the weekend and that the Easter bonnet parade was over. Then all too soon, lunch was over, final playtime was over and it was time to put on our Easter bonnets and parade in front of our class. I took a big gulp and decided I would wear my hat proudly. My sweet Dad had made my hat and I was proud of him, his love and effort for me.
I wore the hat perfectly; It didn’t slip to one side and it didn’t fall off. Dad’s hat won a special place in my heart. Maybe others laughed and mocked but they did not know that my hat symbolized my Dad’s love for me. What better way to remember Easter and all it stood for. A gift from my father.
Change Me? No Way!
So last time I wrote, I raised the question whether it was my own culture that led me to have very high expectations of people and their behaviours. I wondered if the world had changed from when we were brought up, or had the culture set us up for failure?
Posing this question to my therapist, she said that if the principles and values didn’t work in reality, then yes, the culture is setting you up for failure. (She’s so good, she doesn’t criticize my crazy thinking!) However, she said it is more likely that your high values of loyalty and duty are the first things to signal a manipulator, who will then home in on you and exploit those values. All strengths have their flip side. So a sense of duty and loyalty can be a strength. When a manipulator, a bully, or an abuser sees that in you, they will then manipulate you, so that it becomes a weakness. Something for me to get my head around.
When I have read self-help books or talked to people about emotional abuse, or bullying, they have all said ‘You have to change.’ I have sometimes felt very resentful about that. Why should I have to change? Why should someone else’s behaviour mean that I have to change who I am? Recently I read something in a book called ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud and Townsend that helped the lights go on.
“You cannot change anything else: not the weather, the past, the economy - and especially not other people. You cannot change others. More people suffer from trying to change others than from any other sickness. And it is impossible. What you can do is influence others. But there is a trick; Since you cannot get them to change, you must change yourself .....”
Oh no, here we go again, I thought, I’m being told I have to change myself.
“Since you cannot get them to change, you must change yourself, so that their destructive patterns no longer work on you. Change your way of dealing with them; they may be motivated to change if their old ways no longer work.”
So basically, what I learned that to do, is to change how I respond to them, so that their destructive behaviours no longer work on me! This validated my thoughts that the abusers’ behaviours were destructive. What I have to change, is my reaction to their behaviours. So this was most useful to me, as it actually defined a little more clearly what kind of changes I needed to make.
I have one or two things that I have been working on in relation to this, but I’m sure I will discover many more on my journey. One of the things that I am trying to change is, how I view people in the working environment. I have a deeply ingrained sense of hierarchy and how I should behave to someone who holds a position. I tend to be very deferential to those in authority. My therapist suggested that I look at this differently - not to encourage disrespect or rudeness - but so that I can create a different paradigm to work within. Using the example of my boss or my trainer, she said that ‘they are no different from me - they are not better than me - they just have different responsibilities than I do at work.’ The other thing is, I have given myself permission to call them (or rather their behaviour) ‘jerks’ in my thought processes, when their behaviour towards me is demeaning; when they talk over me, when I’m asking a question or explaining a situation that they need to know about due their position; and when they withhold information from me. I think the word ‘jerk’ might be one of the Americanisms that I have picked up. I’m sure my dad would use the word ‘idiot’!
I don’t usually like to think unkindly of people, but using the word ‘jerk’ is helping me obtain a better reality of the situation. (I so hope it doesn’t just pop out of my mouth when I’m speaking to them! That would be an interesting dilemma, that I don’t want to have to deal with). It is also helping me not to absorb their destructive behaviours as my fault.
The other thing that I need to work on, is my communication. The rules that I have to practice have the acronym of HARD.
Communication is HARD.
I don’t have a problem with ‘Appropriate’ and ‘Respectful’. I do have a problem with ‘Honest’ and ‘Direct’. ‘Honest’ is hard for me more in the realm of omission. It is hard for me to be confrontational and to say exactly how I feel. Unfortunately this weakness leads me to be passive aggressive - meaning that I won’t tell the person that I’m upset with them, but I would tell my husband or a close friend. This lets me vent and release my anger but it doesn’t really solve any problems. When my boss talks over me as I’m explaining something, it is hard for me to say ‘I feel that talking over me is rude’. I guess this is why ‘Direct’ is also hard for me. Ha ha -I am thinking that not only is it difficult for me to actually say this to her, I also think that she would still be talking over me when I said it, so I don’t have a window to say it anyway. Then there is the fear of being rejected or have some other verbal abuse come back from saying it - at which point I would probably hang up on her and lose my job.
Why not forget the job? This is a very good question. I will leave my answer for another day ....
In reading Luke’s blog, memories were stirred. One of the things that came back was the culture in which I was raised. Having lived in America now for nineteen years and becoming partially assimilated into the Borg, it was nice to be able to identify with those values in which I had been raised.
A few months ago, I finally started going to see a therapist to try and put my life back together again after the events of last year at work. It was my therapist that identified to me that I was being bullied at work. It is kind of interesting how this bullying follows me around. I, of course, had labeled it differently. There were two major parts to the events that happened. The first part I had thought it was poor management decisions. I thought the decisions were very unfair and poorly thought out. The second set of incidents that were happening I thought were abusive. I thought it was a scheme to get me to leave. Or could it be that people were so blind to the actions of this person. I felt controlled, put down, micro-managed, insulted, set up so that whatever I did was wrong. My husband had never seen me go to pieces like this. We had been married for eleven years and he had never witnessed me behave like this before. I was frustrated. How after all the work I had done to get my life together, could this happen yet again?
My mother was frustrated when she came to visit and saw what a state I was in. ‘Why haven’t you gone to HR?’ She said. Why hadn’t I gone to HR? Well it was simply because HR does not represent the employees in America. HR is there to protect the employer. That is common knowledge in Corporate America. The second reason was, here we are again, how do you prove emotional abuse? At the end of the day, it would all come back on me - that there was something wrong with me.
My husband got extremely exasperated with me as I vented to him frequently about new incidents. He wanted to protect me and was angry that I was getting hurt. He was also frustrated with my responses to the situation. Besides not sticking up for myself, he was irked by my continually expecting a particular response from the said persons. ‘Haven’t you realized that they are not going to change? They are not going to respond in the manner you want no matter how hard you try.’
So exhausted, I went to the therapist to try to figure out how to move forwards. This is my journey.
Reading Luke’s blog and reliving my own culture, I just wonder if the way we were brought up led us to have these very high expectations of people. I have always thought people would be kind, truthful, help the underdog, be fair, execute justice, keep their word, acknowledge hard work and effort, be true, have integrity and so forth. Did the world change? Or were we just set up for failure?
A Very Clear Choice!
I began attending Fareham Park School half way through my first year as a junior in January 1969. Those months were a blur; the only thing of significance that shone through was reading about the Griffins. I loved these books and they grabbed my attention. I believe I started a game on the playground, as I got bored at playtime. One had to travel only on the painted netball lines and could only change directions at a junction. When I played this with friends, one would have to try and catch the other person.
I was in Mrs Harts’ class for the second year of junior school and have only two memories .... the blue National Health Glasses I had to wear to correct my stigmatism and the boy who sat next to me, who always seemed to step into dogs muck and then scrap it on the bar under the desk. It smelt foul and was very unpleasant, not just for me but for the rest of the class. I remember Mrs Hart getting very upset about the smell; we were told to own up to who had stepped in the dogs muck again; no-one put their hand up. So then there was the search at the end of the day; Mrs Hart went around table by table, searching and letting each table go; we were always last. The boy would get yelled at; maybe she wanted him to own up at the beginning. For sure after repeated performances of this, she would know who had done it? I would sweat it out, hoping that she wouldn’t think that I had done it (although I think I did do it once by accident). Funny how I would think I would be in trouble for something I hadn’t done. Maybe I got into trouble at home a lot, for things that I was supposed to have done? I do remember the boy’s name but I wouldn’t like to hurt his feelings.
Life in Mr. Hebron’s class in the third year of junior school was going along well, bar the milk that we had to drink before going out to play. Oh that milk was so foul. It may have been cold when it arrived, but by the time we had to drink it, it was warm and oh it made me gag! I think it was the result of a National Programme to ensure good nutrition for all children. I was fortunate in that my parents were able to provide good food for my sister and I and that was one of their priorities. Other children were less fortunate; their parents had other values; the paycheck was spent down the pub, before the bills were paid and the family was provided for. The idea to help provide some of children’s nutritional needs in school with the Milk Programme and free school dinners, is admirable. I advocate the community helping each other and not deserting the people in times of need.
Playtime was fun, with the other girls in my class. We played two ball on the walls of the school; continued to play the ‘line’ game on the painted netball courts on the playground; and learned how to clap our hands in different ways with each other, at the same time as singing small songs, such as:
“A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,
To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see,
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.”
This one ditty was pretty apt, as we lived in community where a lot of the men were in the Navy. We were used to our dads going off to sea or being deployed in Scotland or Plymouth for periods of time.
Then half way through the year, things changed. They changed because I made a choice. A choice that I would not change if I had the opportunity over again. A new girl came to school - half way through the year - just like I had in my first year at junior school. She and her family had moved into the area. Others seemed uncomfortable around her. She wore glasses and was socially awkward at the time. She sat at our table; I think I was conscious of how other people felt around her, but I did not feel that way. Something inside of me knew that something was going to change, if I continued to be friendly to her and become her friend; I felt like it was the right thing to do.
One day we suffered at our table trying to down that warm, off-tasting milk, chatting, and then went out to the playground together. As we walked out, the girls that I had always played with, hindered our path and confirmed my gut feeling, that things were not going to be the same ever again. You know, I have never regretted that decision to make friends with the ‘unpopular’ girl. She was an excellent friend whilst we lived in Fareham and then went our separate ways after college. My only regret is having lost contact with her when I moved out to the States. I moved, then moved again and she was moving at the same time and we lost each other’s address. I wish she had written to me at my mum’s address; she still lives in the same home we moved into in 1969. Her parents had moved away from their home and I didn’t know where they had gone.
My friend and I hung out together even when we weren’t in the same class. I went around to her house often. We would type on our typewriters writing story after story together and then reading them to each other. I was fascinated by the organ in her house. She lived near Blackbrook Park which was a decent walk from my home. It was safe enough in those days, that I could walk to her house by myself, at such a young age. There is no way I would ever have let my children do that same walk on their own, at the age I was doing it. My friend had two older sisters that were twins; they were about twenty years older than my friend. Both her sisters and her mum were very eccentric and flamboyant; her dad was a quiet man. It was quite intriguing for me to watch them interact and a little intimidating, as I was not used to the behaviours and didn’t really know how to respond to them.
One of the things that I remember doing at school with my friend, was sitting on the field in the summer, near Fareham Park Infant School and eating our packed lunch. She always had two or three packets of crisps with her and was always generous enough to share with me. My mum only bought plain crisps then; sometimes cheese and onion or salt and vinegar but mostly plain. I recently realized that my mum actually likes plain, lightly salted crisps the best, that’s what she buys as a treat for herself when she comes out to stay with us. Now that I have twigged they are her favourite, I’ll get them in for her. My school friend introduced me to smokey bacon, prawn cocktail and Bovril crisps. It was very exciting for me to try these. Crisps are one of the things that I miss very much in the States. The chips out here don’t have the same texture or flavour.
I remember sitting on the grass in the playing field, eating Bovril crisps with her, the day after my mum had the 'birds and the bees' chat with me, the night before. I was ten years old; I remember feeling quite bewildered and unfocused that day, staring at others playing on the field but not really seeing them; thinking what my mother had told me was quite bizarre and could it possibly be true? I think my mum had to have the ‘chat’ with me because that year, we had several movies at school ranging in subjects from accident prevention, germs, and having babies. Actually the films were really good and I wish my children had seen them. I still am conscious of not leaving things on the stairs in case someone falls over them going up or down and all the germs that one can leave on a dish cloth!
My final year at Fareham Park Junior school saw me in Miss Trill’s class as a fourth year. Miss Trill, who was affectionately called ‘Bird Seed’ or ‘Budgie Seed’ was an older lady about forty (well that’s what she seemed to be to me). She had very dark hair and I was a little afraid of her. I learned a few years later that she had married, which was a great surprise to me. I must have had some presumptions about who is marriageable, for it to have been such a surprise. I’m quite embarrassed to have had those thoughts all these years later; why shouldn’t she have the chance to be happy? In that class, I remember a humanities system that we used. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was color coded. As you got through the levels in each color, you moved onto another color, with a greater degree of difficulty. You had to read the text on the card and then answer questions on it. It was nice to get onto the levels that were a little more challenging, but I also remember getting stuck and not having a resource to go to. Miss Trill was a little bit fierce. I remember once that we were being taught how to address envelopes. She taught us that it had to be the following format:
Mr. and Mrs. initials surname
number and name of street/
We were tasked to address the envelope to our parents. I checked my work two or three times before I stood in the queue to show Miss Trill. I was pretty shocked and humiliated for her to tell me that it was wrong. Mystified I returned to my desk. I read it and reread it; I couldn’t see where it was wrong. I knew I had to go and show her again and this time try and ask her how it was wrong. Shaking, I stood in line; she was very quick to tell me that it was still wrong. I disliked the sharpness in her voice, but I had to ask; I knew that she would be annoyed. I plucked up the courage and asked her what was wrong with it. Sharply she looked at me and said ‘You have put ‘Mr’ twice;’ I was stunned; why hadn’t I seen that I had done that? I walked back to my desk very cross with myself, very embarrassed and humiliated. Let’s just say that Miss Trill’s voice was loud and sharp. How could I have missed that? Once back at my desk, I looked at the envelope again; I got ready to correct it, But I looked at it and looked at it; I could not see that I had written ‘Mr.’ twice. Then the light bulb went on! My dad’s initials are M.R. That’s why it looked like I had written ‘Mr’ twice. So now I have to line up again and let this scary teacher know that it is correct! I know I was shaking in my shoes .....
The fourth year also brought more recognition of being part of a team. In Fareham Park Junior School, every class in each year were divided into teams, which were named after the patron saints of Britain: St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland - colour blue; St. David, the patron saint of Wales - colour yellow; St. George, the patron saint of England - colour red; and St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland - colour green. Each of these patron saints have a day during the year when they are remembered. If you were in the Brownies or the Cubs, you could wear your uniform to school on those days. I was always in St. David’s house during my years of school. Some students were put in different houses during their sojourn there, but I was always in St. Davids and St. David is who I supported. We worked in teams getting house points for work that we had done. During my years, St. Davids and St. George were always the top two houses for points and were always in competition with each other each week. Even in sports we were in our teams. I kind of let my team down in PE as my arms and legs didn’t seem to coordinate, unless I was in the swimming pool. We played a lot of rounders. I remember sports day. I also played netball.
The other wonderful thing that I liked to do in junior school was country dancing. We used to do it in class and then we had some extra time to do it at lunchtime; after everyone had their school dinner. Now school dinners, that’s another thing. I got chosen to help serve the school dinners; I loved it when I was putting the jam or sugar on someone’s rice pudding, but felt awful when I had to serve out the mince. The mince at school was terrible. I don’t know how they could cook it so badly; it made me retch; it was even worse than the warm milk! I helped serve schools dinners during my fourth year; during that time, the school kitchens were renovated and they had to bring in an outside caterer. Their food was totally amazing and I often would go up for seconds. Because I served school dinners, I also got to have one free. This meant a change from the sandwiches that I used to bring in - or worse yet, the cold toast and jam. I don’t know why my mum would think that cold toast with jam on it would be tasty. I have always liked hot toast and still do. Love my food hot not tepid! Or in the case of toast, cold .....
Anyway, back to country dancing; I loved to do the Victoria Reel and the other dances. Because I was tall for my age and there were a lack of boys, I often had to be the boy in these dances, but I loved to dance them; there was something satisfying about dancing with a group of people, in a systematic way.
The final thing I thought I would mention about junior school was that we took the eleven plus. For those of you not familiar with this, there was an intelligence test that was given in the fourth year of junior school. From the results of this test, students were then filtered into three types of schools. If you did well in the test, you went to a grammar school when you left junior school. If you didn’t do well, depending on other aspects of the score, you either went to technical or secondary school for the next five years. I did read somewhere, that there was another test given earlier in junior school, so this combined score contributed to the decision of where, your post junior education would be. The tripartite education system had been existence since the mid 1940’s. I do remember sitting in the school hall taking this examination.
Now I could get on my hobby horse about this, but I will leave that for another time. Suffice it to say, that I would have gone to the grammar school if they hadn’t built the new Fareham Park Comprehensive. I’m actually glad that I attended this school and this type of education, as it suited my learning style and my personality better. We were the first year through this school, being built around us as we went. This was really good for science, as teachers could dissect the rats they caught on the building site (so glad they didn’t ask us to do that)! We were quite fascinated with the pregnant rat. We also got to see a pair of cow’s lungs; and thank goodness for clarinet lessons - as I missed them cracking open the fertilized eggs and seeing the headless chick running around. I felt so sad for the chicks that died and the cut up rats.
We had sky blue PE skirts, tracksuits, white collar tops for PE and black leotards for gymnastics and dance. We used one of the larger classrooms for PE; by the third year we had the gym, the running track and the dance/drama studio.
Have to say that my time at Fareham Park Comprehensive School was pretty boring! Most of the time, I read the book that I had brought in, as teachers struggled to make my class quiet enough to teach. I was in class K through out my five years there; my friend was in P.
The first couple of years there were fine, but by the third year, I was getting bullied. Girls from my class would wait for me and try and push me down the stairs and hit me with wooden spoons in cooking. My mum came up to the school and had a word with my tutor. She told them that I would only take it for so long and then probably lose my temper and someone would get hurt; she didn’t want me to get into trouble for that. I’m thankful for my mum’s confidence in me, but I wouldn’t have actually lost my temper; I wouldn’t have really known what to do in those kind of situations. I knew that I didn’t want to go to school and that I was frightened and had no control over the situation. I was so glad to move on from that school and go to college; academically it was more satisfying and I felt safer. Ironically, the girls that bullied me were the first ones to come to me for help when we were doing our ‘O’ levels and CSE’s.
Sadly, the bullying has appeared in its multiple forms again and again in my life. Even this last year, it has reared its ugly head in the workplace. I know that wherever I go, it will happen again, so this time I am not going to run away from it and am endeavouring to change my behaviour in response; again, another clear choice. Hopefully, it will have excellent benefits as did my choice to be friends with the girl in my third year at junior school.
#Fareham Park Junior School#
A would like to thank Penelope Wren for her guest blog contribution, entitled 'A Very Clear Choice,' published in 'Spanish Views' today. Penelope's recollections on school life in Fareham, where we both grew up, has brought a lot of memories flooding back, as I recall my own school days, spent in the relative tranquility of this small suburban town on the south coast of England. Though not in the same year, we both attended Fareham Park Comprehensive at a time of great change. Penelope was lucky enough to be part of the first intake of pupils, I wasn't far behind. Both of us have very different lives to the ones we had, growing up in Hill Park. The connection we have is born from the words we write about our shared experiences.
I believe it is important to keep memories alive. I am at an age, where my past is important to me. I really do look back at my school days with fondness now, despite the challenges I faced at the time. My life now is immeasurably different compared to forty plus years ago and I do find writing about my experiences rather therapeutic and life enhancing.
Penelope has also highlighted workplace bullying in her introduction, something I am very familiar with. It is sad that so many people have to suffer the indignity that harassment and abuse brings. Penelope is lucky enough to have a supportive family, as I have an understanding partner; without a solid network both our circumstances could be very different.
Thank you once again for your fantastic entry today Penelope; I hope my readers enjoy your entry, as much as I have. I look forward to hearing from you again, with more memories to share!