The fifty-plus documents to be sorted !

A clean sweep

In my college blazer 60-someyhing years ago !

Yesterday, at last I made a start on the box of old files and folders which I have not looked through in years ~ papers to do with our divorce, my battle with the DSS and the manuscripts of several unpublished articles and two TV plays ~ a record of disappointment and rejection for the most part.  Dusty and faded, by the time I gave up to make supper I felt filthy so had a good hot bath ~ this morning I shall tackle a folder marked My College Essays ~ for heaven's sake !   Why have I kept them ?   Dragging them along from Buxton to Norfolk to Winchester and finally up here and probably without ever opening it to read the blooming stuff !   However I've braced myself to do it this morning and have spread an old towel on my bed so that dusty as they are I can sort the items out and maybe read them before putting them in a BLUE RECYCLING SACK for the dustmen on Thursday.   I was 18 when I went to Beckett Park College in Leeds to train to be a teacher ~ the biggest mistake of my life !!

Later : Glory be !   There wer 53 documents in the folder, college essays, short stories, the first three exercises I produced for The London School of Journalism in the few months between resigning as a teacher and Richard's birth ~ for now I simply sorted them out and put each item in a plastic sleeve to deal with further later ~ the college material is all hand written (of course) on lined foolscap paper, the pages held together with rusty paper clips ~ later stuff was typed, badly typed for the most part, on Daddy's old Olivetti which he gave me in our Buxton days.   At least it is fairly well organised now and I'll carry on reading it tomorrow, and discarding most of it so that was a worthwhile exercise this dark wet day.

The photo is snipped from a bigger one of the students of Leighton Hall, Beckett Park College, Leeds ~ now I come to think of it, I was elected first year president within a couple of days of arriving there ~ mainly because unlike the rest of the first years I was not coming straight from school but had already worked for two years ~ as a kitchen maid at Eton College, and as an au pair in Switzerland, and as a mother's help to a family in Wales.   I guess this must have made a difference ~ I was the happiesr student and the most dismal and disastrous teacher !   Teaching Practice was a nightmare ~ never mind KEEPING THEM QUIET, I can't remember that I ever GOT THEM QUIET no matter what exciting lessons I had prepared.   Maybe I should have gone to university ~ as I had left school without A Levels, training college was the only option and even then I was only squeezed in at the last minute thanks to Philip Lamb, our God Father, Principal of St John's College, York who must have twisted the arm of somebody in charge of applicants at Leeds ~ a tale of woe told by an idiot, my education !   Too depressing to contemplate ~ let me go and make a pancake while I listen to the News on Radio4 ~ Beverley has moved in next door and fortunately got her stuff in yesterday before the deluge !

Thursday evening : Georgie came up from Driffield for a few hours but I'm not happy about her driving so far now that her Parkinson's stmptoms are getting worse ~ we had a good talk about it and there were buckets full of tears which I think may have been a good thing ~ she's usually so cheerful and jolly but covering up her fears about the future, poor darling.  I wish she could get early retirement from North Humberside CC where she has worked since she was about 18 ~ it seems she could get six months sick leave on full pay and then a further period on half pay ~ very wisely she took out an insurance on her house when she bought it some twenty years ago and if she was off work a year her mortgage would be cleared for her ~ her life seems to be no more than work and sleep, and cleaning the house on Sundays ~ because of her other problem, she didn't dare eat breakfast before driving up here and couldn't eat anything except a cup of tea while she was here for fear of having to stop off every few miles on the way home ~ my poor darling Georgie.

I was remembering her in our Eccles days ~ even as a four year old she was a great visitor and knew all the families in the row of houses and most of their troubles.   I remember how when she was about seven we'd cycle off on a Thursday evening, the two of us to East Harling Brownies ~ she had a little red bike and she had to peddle like crazy to keep up ~ it was fully five miles away.   [see Solitaire,  p 25]   Ah me !  She brought me a big bunch of phlox today ~ purple, pink and white ~ filling the sitting room with such sweet scent.

Right ~ back to earth ~ yesterday I went to the optician, as instructed, to check that the first cataract op had taken OK ~ YES ~ but the other eye, the right eye might be too damaged for the op to make much difference there ~ still, my sight is already heaps better so I can manage as I am ~ I go to Scarborough Hospital in the morning for the situation to be assessed.   By accident I watched a programme about dementia ~ the poor man was only in his early fifties ~ the camera had filmed the family over 18 months as his condition deteriorated.   Oh dear ~ hope I don't go that way ~ so awful for his loved ones.

Tidying up those papers from the attic I came across two TV plays I wrote a few years back and re-reading them I could not bring myself to tear them up ~ pointless hanging on to them of course and someone will chuck them out in the end ~ but in the night I woke up with a start and  shouting out ADRIAN ~ Adrian was a very lively Office Junior way back when I worked in the Education Dept of Hampshire County Council ~ in the Advisors Section ~ one of the Advisors recognised his potential and persuaded him to do A Levels, and he then went to University, and from strength to strength in the BBC and is now Something Important at Salford ~ but that's enough for now ~ time for Question Time ~ and a new entry tomorrow.