Friday, 2 June 2017

MARY: HOW TO BE A YOUNG LADY...

Not all of my readers are teens and tweens... mums and even grans read CC books, too! Here one of my older readers writes about how different life was when she was growing up!

Mary says:
I was a teenager in the 1950s and early 60s and things were very different in those days - and easier in some ways. In other ways, life was a lot harder! Some foods were still rationed in the 1950s and we certainly ate a much less varied diet, but it was healthy and there was no junk food to be had. My mother cooked tea every day, and it was usually meat and vegetables, and at the weekend there would be a pudding. In the week, if you wanted something sweet, it would be bread and jam - and the jam was blackberry, made from berries we picked from the hedgerows on the edge of the town. The toilet was outside in a draughty outhouse and indoors the only heating came from a coal fire which my father cleaned out and lit anew each morning.

I passed my 11+ and went to the grammar school, and that was wonderful for my parents who were very proud. For me, it was hard because many of my friends from junior school went to a different school, and I missed them and took quite a while to make good friends at the grammar. My mum made lots of my clothes, even some of the uniform for school, to save money. She knitted my jumpers and made my skirts, but I remember the shirt and tie were my pride and joy because they were always shop bought. I did very well at school. It was an all-girls grammar and as well as pushing us to achieve our best in every subject, we were expected to be well-mannered. The school was very proud of us and we were expected to be a good example, to act 'like a young lady' at all times. It sounds very old fashioned now but manners are important, I think, as is respect for other people. The school expected us to shine, and I suppose I did work harder because I knew the teachers really believed in us.

In those days, although women did work, not many planned careers in the way they do now. Some of my friends wanted to go into teaching, some into nursing or banking, and some wanted to go to university. This seemed impossibly glamorous to me, as nobody in my family had ever been to college or university. My exam results were good and I was encouraged to apply to study English at university. Those were wonderful years. I dreamed of being a writer at one point but instead I worked as a teacher encouraging young people to achieve their own dreams. Over many years, I saw my students achieve more than they thought possible and that gave me great satisfaction. I still love reading, and my grand daughters are very impressed that they discovered their favourite author (Cathy Cassidy) after I sent them both a signed book for Christmas! I knew they'd love the books, because I read them first to check that they were suitable... well, that's my excuse, anyway!

Cathy says:
I love this! I often meet older CC readers and love their support and loyalty... who says my books are just for teens? Do YOU know an older CC reader? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

2 comments:

  1. I loved this post! It's so interesting to see how times change...
    http://pinksmartiesblog.blogspot.co.uk/


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  2. This was really interesting to read! I've always loved learning about the past, and how people used to think and act.

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