Maggies death got me thinking, or more remembering. Remembering my teens and twenties mostly.
We as a family landed in the UK in 1980 after 5 years living in Malawi, my parents and brother fairly swiftly headed back to Africa leaving me in a boarding school in Wiltshire, a horsey school founded for ‘ladies’ – the daughters of the landed gentry. They couldn’t really have picked a worse school if they tried, anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t do ladylike, at all! Mind you the antics of my peers weren’t exactly ladylike either (boys, alcohol, drugs yes, being ladylike didn’t figure) but most were sloaney ponies and would eventually revert to type. Me? Bolshy, mouthy, scruffy lefty would be closer to a good description! I made good friends there, many of whom are still friends now, but all are at the opposite end of the political spectrum to me, Daily Mail readers to a (wo)man.
The parentals did better with their next choice, my boarding school for the sixth form, although still an all girls school this was an independent school aimed at the daughters of those in the Forces or Diplomatic Service – most of my closest and dearest friends today were there with me, and we share the same ideals if not always the same politics.
Thing is I fall in between stools – my darling Dad was from a career army family (he joined the Foreign Office as his asthma meant he failed to get into the forces), Public school-boy, addicted to playing rock and roll guitar. My mother was third generation Seychellois – of french descent and therefore a ‘colonial’, my brother and I grew up mainly overseas and at boarding schools in the UK, I’m not sure whether I’m a colonial like my mum, or a services brat, maybe a third culture kid or an expat brat?
Or maybe I’m not a ‘type’ at all, maybe I’m just me, original, no?