I always admire writers who can, from a very small thing or happening write a wonderful and imaginative story all around and keep the readers interested. I think of something whilst driving or walking or sitting on a bus or train. I tell a fabulous story in my mind, but when it comes to pen and paper. It has dissapeared or seems boring and trite. So I don’t write it!! I leave the stories to the story writers.

Having said that I thought it might be nice to tell you about Rousham, the village that I was bought up in and the village that I loved and still dream about. We used to go to our cottage No. 1 Rousham Village every weekend from the time I was two and Candy was 4. We used to go to the well for water and have hip baths (for  those of you who don’t know hip baths are a tin bath covered in paint that if you are a child you fit in nicely but if you are fully grown only your bottom fits in!) in front of the fire. We had an out door loo and we loved it there. When the twins were born, we moved to the cottage and by then we had a proper kitchen, bathroom and everything else really. Have I already told you about Rousham? I can’t remember what I have written or just thought about.

Scan 6

Our house number’s one and two, then Number three was Mr. and Mrs. King. Mr. King used to roll his own and smoke his cigarette right down to the very end and in awe we would watch the hot but of his cigarette disappear into his mouth and then he would swallow it. Quite a thing! Next door at number four was the older Mr. and Mrs. Tuckey. Mrs. Woods who made the most extra-ordinary elderberry port wine. Not very wise for children to drink, but drink it we did, just a thimble full could make my head spin!

Next door at number six lived the Wickisons. Candy fell into their garden trying to get to know them no doubt and know them we did. Lyn the Wickesons daughter it still a great friend after all these years. At number seven lived Joe Joe and her husband Micheal Baird used to rent. Joe Joe was one of mum’s best friends and Candy’s God mother. Julia Joe’s daughter was so kind to us and always told us we were wonderful. Which was pretty as we heard a lot of negatives at home.

At numbers eight and nine, lived Bill and Michael or as the villagers fondly called them ‘The Boys’. Then at number ten lived Mr. Tooley who always gave me a toffee when I visited him. A toffee was a good reason to visit as often as possible.

Then at number 11 lived and still live the younger of the Tuckeys and their two daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Cook lived at number 12 Then Mrs. Walsh and her children used to live at the last cottage in the village. We also used to play with her daughter Sue. And if you are not too bored we can go up the village, or maybe I will go up the village tomorrow.

We might just go through the lodge gates for now, the spinny on the right, past the fields and huge chestnut trees. We used to collect the chestnuts and roast them on the open fire and rubbed salt in them. The only way to eat chestnuts as far as I am concerned. Then the rather imposing big house on the left. The village and all the land around was owned by the Cottrall-Dormers, the big house was built in the 16th Century and in those days the Cottie-Dotties owned most of Oxfordshire.

Scan 14

I used to visit Mrs. Cottie-Dottie a lot and help her in her garden or help her cook. I was often left behind by the other girls in the village who were a few years older than me and used to cycle off at the rate of knots leaving me behind on my rather too small for me tricycle. At least someone paid me attention!

As ugly as the big house is the stables, dove cot and landscaped gardens are so beautiful and a magical place to play in as children.

I will write more anon.

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