My next memory, is of sitting looking out the kitchen window, and seeing a soldier walking by every few minutes or so. I didn’t tell mum, because she got upset when I told her things like that, because she didn’t see them. When I was older, I realized he was dressed in the uniform of the Queen’s guard. I had no way of knowing that then, as we had no TV, and didn’t get newspapers. It wasn’t until we watched her coronation on my grandma’s TV in 1953, that I knew what I had seen.
I had a baby doll I loved. She was about the size of a nine month old baby, and she was made of hard plastic. One day, one of her legs came off, and I was heartbroken. My mum took her to the doll hospital, and we heard nothing for a long time. I kept asking my mum when she would some back. Finally, she did, but it was not the same doll. My mum said it was, but I knew better. This doll’s eyes did not close, her painted hair was almost worn off, and her nails were not pink. This was the first, but not the last, time I as lied to by an adult.
Next, I remember travelling on a bus with my mother. We were moving to a new house to be closer to daddy’s work. This house I still remember, and I could draw you a floor plan. I could get off a bus today in front of the Sale hotel, and show you where my house is.
After we moved there, my mum made friends with a lady not far away. She would go for tea, and take me with her, as I was till too young to go to school. This lady had a mother, who everyone called Granny Danson, and she is featured in my second book. Their house had a huge fireplace, large enough for an adult to stand upright inside it, an Granny Danson had a huge cauldron that was on a lever that swung in and out. She would talk to me while my mum and her daughter were having tea in the lounge, and she would show me different plants, and tell me what they were for. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was a Witch-a hedge Witch. That is, she knew all the plants, and what they were good for. I loved talking with her, because she didn’t talk down to me like some adults did, and I loved the smell of lavender and rosemary that permeated the kitchen.
She asked me if I had seen the fairies in the garden, but I had not. She told me to watch the privet hedges, and I would see or here them inside. I watched, but I never saw them, not then, anyway.
They also had an old player piano, the kind that played rolls, not discs, and they showed me how it worked, and let me come over any time to play with it. It was hard, because my short little legs could barely reach the pedals, but I loved it anyway!