Life lived from now to then

People have often told me I should write a book about my life experiences but where to start? From now, living contentedly in my flat with a views right down to the sea and Martello tower just a minute away from the house I lived in aged 1-10? Or from my very first memory aged three of the birth of my first brother and the smell and feel of the leather seats in my father’s car as I cradled him in my arms on our way home from the hospital? I live within sight of both the sea and the South Downs and my “sense of place” is a constant in my life. I am the fifth generation of my family to live in this small unassuming seaside town, my daughters and granddaughter live in the town I went to school in a mere ten miles away. That reminds me of my schooldays, perhaps that is a place to start? Let’s have a go – but you need to know first that when I was two, I barely survived a serious bout of encephalitis. In a coma for two days, only massive doses of antibiotics saved my life, with the side effect of almost totally destroying my hearing. More about that another time. So – first school? My parents were lucky and so was I that at the end of our road, in a large house, was a small school run by three wonderfully encouraging teachers. From 4-9, I would pedal my red tricycle down the road for lessons in French, maths, dictation, and English. Sewing was immediately identified as my nemesis and that has never changed. I remember all my school friends and when I was confined to bed for three weeks with measles, each one wrote me a letter. The best one concluded with a picture of me parachuting from a blazing helicopter, with a helpful arrow pointing towards the figure “this is Sarah”.


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