In the winter the meadows opposite our house would flood and then freeze so we would all go ice-skating whenever we could. My sister, Barbara, remembers going out in the meadow before the water froze, with a little boat belong to my brother Tony.
My Auntie Babs and Uncle Fred lived in Aylesbury. They were competition ballroom dancers before retirement and my Auntie was also a pianist. They said I could have dance or piano lessons and I choose the piano. I used to go to them after school one day a week and I think I loved the tea more than the lessons. My aunt always served up small cucumber sandwiches and little home-made cakes on beautiful china and I was very impressed. I had a piano at home (it had been left me by a different aunt when we lived at Ibstone) so I thought it would be lovely to be able to use it properly. Of course, I could not practice as much as I should because living in a terraced house it upset all the neighbours!
Unfortunately my time at Aylesbury School didn't last long as within a year my dad had fallen out with his employer and we were on the move again. I think he had numerous interviews, but the one we children remember best was one for a job on the Isle of Wight. The journey across was awful with a really bad storm; I remember sitting up on the deck where I felt safest and chatting to a farmer who was taking sheep over to the island. When we got there we went in dad's car to what seemed the centre of the island to this most beautiful farm. The farmer and his family seemed very nice and friendly. They had dogs, horses, a tennis court and swimming pool – all the things that were quite impressive to us youngsters. The house that went with the job was a really large very old farmhouse and mum hated it – said that it reminded her of Twigside, and she was not going back to “the dark ages”. We were very disappointed, as I think was dad. On the way back to the ferry we stopped and picked some lovely white flowers – well we had never seen wild garlic before - the car smelt awful for days!!