It gave me a great sense of comfort working on the farming that was next to the boarding school I was at. An escape from the establishment that I hadn’t fitted into. Ken and his family were a solid constant through this time and I enjoyed the outdoor work that taught me a lot about farming and the countryside. Hot summers bringing in the hay, early starts on dark winter mornings milking the cows, running over the fields on the downs bringing the sheep in, and collecting the eggs from the chicken shed set in an orchard. Any spare time I was down on the farm.
It was the last day of this school, O-levels finished, text books handed back to the teachers who wore their university gowns as they taught from the front of the class room. They mocked me when I said which school I was moving onto for the sixth form. I was out. I was desperate to be in a more normal environment. It had felt difficult cooped up in this place during my 15 and 16 years.
With some trepidation I walked alone along the leafy pavement to the County School.
Near the school gate standing on a low grass bank a group of friends were chatting. I called up to them ” which way is the sixth form” a warm smiled girl wearing patched jeans replied “we’ll show you”
I ended up marrying that girl.