Desperate Exmoor Woman. The meme is to reveal a memory, be it a dark or light one. And now my mind has gone blank…HELP! Brain meltdown!
Right! Just pick a memory, any memory.
Ok, no, not that one… no definitely not that - far too embarrassing. No, nor that one - too humiliating. That one could be?…well, no – it’s a bit difficult to explain. Look it would need a 100,000 word novel behind it for it to make any sense at all!
Aha! What about this old chestnut?
Inspired by the fact Jane can be found in Exmoor – no it doesn’t have anything to do with her nor does it have anything to do with Exmoor. My brain is just wired odd that’s all…
It’s about college, mine and the first day there.
Seale Hayne Agricultural College in Devon near Newton Abbot and the best times ever – for one, my Mum wasn’t going to be around to hamper my social life or at least that’s what I hoped.
I don’t think she deliberately tried to hamper it, she just wanted to focus it. Agricultural College and farming were not part of her game plan for me but she and the rest of the family worked with me and I sort of disappointed them for starts by opting for Seale Hayne.
I mean as far as I can make out they would have much preferred me to have gone to Cirencester and the Royal Agricultural College – looking back perhaps they were right but then I wouldn’t be where I am now, and I certainly would never have become a journalist. (OK not a desperately high flying one but I have been lucky enough to have been gainfully employed for 21 years!)
Anyway, it’s the first day and Mum and I travel down in convoy all the way from Yorkshire. Dad is a way again, this time in Zimbabwe on an unaccompanied tour – this was a MAJOR bone of contention – and I was about to leave home for pastures new after a year of living at home.
Mum I think needed a bit of glamour and kudos and all I could give was Seale Hayne. In terms of social cachet back then Seale Hayne did not rank with the RAC. In those days of Hooray Henries and the OK Yah crowd, which I was thankfully leaving behind, the RAC was THE place to be seen – if you wanted that sort of thing. I had got accepted there. In fact they offered me an unconditional place. I turned it down because I just didn’t think they took me seriously and I so wanted to be taken seriously.
I had been shown around by one of the lecturers with another potential student who I think was called Jocelyn - you know a blonde floppy haired, Harrow educated son of a minor duke or something who would inherit a little farm of some 4,000 acres and probably drive a red golf Gti – just my family’s cup of tea. I remember he wore magenta coloured crocodile skin winkle pickers. He clearly didn’t seem interested in farming. However, he was shown all the exciting farming things and I was shown the Great Hall with its state of the art stage and excitedly informed how great the drama club was…it didn’t go down well with me – at all!
I think my family’s collective disappointment was palpable.
So now in Devon we were, and not a Golf Gti in sight, no trilby hats or new waxed Barbours. Just a lot of strange hairy men, hippy hand knit jumpers and an amalgam of ancient and rusty cars – mine included.
It was this tiny little fact that was to be my undoing and never have I felt more embarrassed.
The pronouncement echoed round the college and there was a lull in activity as every head swivelled in our direction, including the owner of the aforementioned car. I wanted to die! I could see my social aspirations withering before I had even started!
I love my mother and always will but she sure picks her moments!
Notes: Seale Hayne is no longer an Agricultural College. The RAC goes from strength to strength despite my absence as one of its alumni I have yet to see a similar pair of winkle pickers. I did find a suitable husband.
For my own pleasure I will now pick five bloggers 'cos I'd really like to know:
Crystal Jigsaw (if she's not already done it!)
SmitoniusAndSonata (I think that counts as two!)