Learning to Survive!


What was good enough for my Aunt was good enough for us girls!

Over twelve years ago one of my granddaughters went to play hockey and netball in Kenya. On her departure she did not feel privileged!  Her ability to complain about her useless school was second to none! She had not appreciated that she was learning to learn and survive!

In Kenya she went to three completely different schools over a period of a few weeks. On her return she was a changed girl. Her admiration for the pupils at a charity school in Nairobi has remained with her. They, the young, taught her so much.  Every child was so grateful to have the chance to go to school.  They wore their school uniform with pride and yet they had nothing and were taught so little. Their hunger for knowledge made a massive impression.

Wearing the hat correctly!
Every Saturday morning in Cyprus we cooked!

My education was pathetic! I went to fifteen different schools! Yes a service brat was I!  My parents considered survival, for me, was to be taught how to curtsy, put my gloves on correctly, lay the table   (remembering the all important butter knife!)  and speak with a plum in my mouth. That was their honest belief on education for young girls.  Being the ‘New Girl’ so often was a bit like surviving in a pool of Crocodiles! I am grateful for all of that. But there are times when I would have loved an academic schooling. Let’s face it the grass is always greener ….I survived!

Does it make sense for Bear Grylls to suggest Eton did not teach him about real life?  Bear Grylls – Eton did not prepare for real life. Where did he gain the confidence to do what he does? Where was he encouraged to aspire to do something with his life? Where did he learn to communicate so well etc etc etc. Yes ‘Life is an Adventure’ so learning comes to all of us at different times and not necessarily all in five years!

On board Sea Diver -Villefranche 1962
Early trials using helium to get to depths of 300+ feet! 1962 Villefranche-sur-mer. What a treat!


“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Mark Twain



  1. Where did I learn to sit at the back of the class, join in with everything that was going on, rebel when I could………with the nuns of course !

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