What follows is a short story from Rosemary’s past. After talking with her, I have taken our discussion and turned it into a series of small stories highlighting the incredible life that she has led. Direct quotes from our discussion are highlighted in quotation marks. All else is a retelling written by yours truly.
Six children, all going to school (and many going to different schools). It was a strange time for Rosemary. She was a woman of work and the busy lifestyle fit her well. But this world was so new. First she had grown up in rural England, then she had spent upwards of a decade moving around and living all over the world; now all of a sudden she was back in the UK raising six children and juggling all her responsibilities.
Not to mention that they would often have people stay with them for long periods of time. There was a boy who went to live with them when his parents moved to Australia. He was just starting an apprenticeship and couldn’t join them. Well, not only was this another human but he got on thick and thieves with her sons and together they, and I quote, “used to get into all sorts of tricks and cause me a few headaches.”
There was a girl who went to live with them for some time as well. As well as all the world travellers and friends Rosemary and Bill knew who would pass through their house from time to time.
Well anyway, with sometimes six, sometimes more, children heading off to school it was a real challenge trying to organise it all. Rosemary and Bill were fairly insistent on their children going to private school. It meant times were lean when it came to holidays and food and general home life, but it meant their children got the education Rosemary and Bill wanted them to get.
And as luck would have it, the area where they lived had five different private schools to choose from. There were two boys’ schools and two girls’ schools. Clarendon School, which was originally near the border of Wales, had also moved to the area when an electrical fire burnt the school down over the Easter break. Luckily the pupils were away. But this meant the school had to scramble to find a new location and so they moved everything to Bedford. Which was convenient for Rosemary.
Because of the age range that all meant there were fours schools and six (at least) children. Each school had different uniforms, different schedules, different so many things. How she managed, I will never know (remember from a few posts ago that much of this organising was being done while the family lived in a hotel and hunted for their house).
It was an experience. But now it was done and the children were settled into their routines. In a few years they would start to go off to university and onto the rest of their lives. She could manage.
Stay tuned for more stories from the life of Rosemary. Please note: these stories will not necessarily hold any chronological grounding. They are designed as snippets of understanding into the life of Rosemary and while some will hold chronology, others may not.