A life changing decision….

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I was just 19 years old when I made a decision that would change and shape my life forever!

I was working at a company that decided to make toys to take to a local hospital at Christmas that year. I am good with a sewing machine and decided to make cuddly toys for the children’s section of this hospital, which at that time was known as a ‘mental hospital’. I spent most of my wages from then on buying the furry fabric, patterns and materials I needed and made a huge amount of toys.

The company chose me as one of the people to visit the hospital and deliver the toys………and there was the beginning of my life changing decision. I went along with a few other people one Saturday fairly close to Christmas. I was devastated to see that there were a lot of people in the hospital who would probably never leave it due to their mental illnesses. The hospital was arranged in a series of houses, each one caring for people with various degrees of illness. We went into the house where some children lived and I found it unbelievable that some of these children had been put into a hospital when they had little more than physical problems.

There were two little children there, no more than 3 years old,  and when I asked what problems they had, I was told that they were unable to walk and their parents had decided to put them into the hospital as they couldn’t take care of them…………I went home and cried!

After that I decided that I would never have my own biological children, but would adopt children with disabilities, who probably would have no chance of a life other than in a residential home. I was then of course not married, so would have to wait until I met and married someone, as social services in those days had rigid rules about adoptive parents. Single people were unable to adopt…….

Did I adopt? Well, that’s a story for my next blog…

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In The Beginning…………..

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Blogging! Of course, why didn’t I think of it earlier? I think in my heart I have always been a writer, but the brain and hands have never caught on to the idea. Probably my first experience of writing came at the ripe old age of 9 years old when I wrote a poem at school, which to this day I still remember. I then performed it in front of the class (Dad always said I should be on the stage…….and I don’t think he meant sweeping it).

I stood out front in my two-tone coffee coloured dress feeling all grown up. Mum had permed my hair and I felt like the bees knees. It wasn’t until much later when I found an old photo, that I realised I must have had the only hairdo that looked like a square box sat on my head. This was all back in the 60’s when most people had hair down their backs and were practising free love. For me the hippie stage (or an abbreviated version of it) came later when I had the most amazing pair of candy striped trousers, coupled with a kaftan, a pink flower in my hair and a cow bell hanging around my neck.

I’m sure by now you are on the edge of your seat waiting to read my poem, so, as I hate to disappoint, I’ll let you……just be kind!

Lake Windermere

(written by me age 9 1/4 rears old)

The mountains around Lake Windermere

The water flowing so fresh and clear,

The wind goes rushing round and around,

never daring to make a sound.

The trees they sway from side to side,

And through the sky the clouds do glide,

The sun throws beams upon the lake,

While in the water swims a drake.

OK…….I never professed to be a budding Wordsworth, but I did get a shiny gold star in my exercise book for that. I always put so much store on those stars and always went home from school feeling good whenever my book sported a new one.  I never really expanded my career as a poet you will be pleased to know, but could perhaps be tempted to give it another go with enough begging letters………..