compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
... to tell my own 'experience of life ' stories for the potential benefit of
others. The very first memory of a story being told to me, was that which
my mother exchanged, one morning in North London, as we climbed hand
in hand up Highgate Hill on our way to my nursery school, shortly after my
4th birthday. That day was hot and I vividly remember playing with toys in
a sandpit in the playground and sleeping on a camp-bed, under shelter, to
the side of the playground up against a wall. The story of course was that
of Dick Whittington and his cat, but when I was told the story, the cat
imagine what the cat might have looked like !!!
For those not familiar with the story, however legendary ...
Dick Whittington and His Cat is the name of English folklore surrounding the real-life Richard Whittington (c. 1354–1423), wealthy merchant and thrice Lord Mayor of London, alleging he escaped his poverty-stricken childhood and made his fortune thanks to the ratting abilities of his cat. However, the real Whittington did not come from a poor family of common stock, and there is no compelling evidence that he owned a cat.
Another element considered essential to the legend is that Dick attempted to flee his service as a scullion one night, but was dissuaded by the tone of the church bells, which promised he would become mayor of London one day.
It was in the school attached to Charles Barry's, Grade II listed, St. John's
Church in Pemberton Gardens, a short walking distance away from where I
lived, that I first went to primary school. Having been encouraged to perfect
my LEFT-handed italic handwriting by the nuns, who were my teachers at
the school, I received, as a reward of merit, an "Osmiroid 65" fountain
pen, which subsequently proved to be the catalyst for others, at
Saffron Green Primary School in Borehamwood, who took over my
education and preparation for the 11 plus exam, that gave me entrance to
The Grammar School.
BUT it is now strange to think, from my own left-handed dyslexic
perspective, that the bronze sculpture of Whittington's cat was finally
added in the year that I completed my education at grammar school ...
and to realise that behind the original yellow brick walls and church style
windows of the former dispensary and my first primary school, which dates
back to 1830, you will now find extremely modern apartments and
duplexes which are spacious, well equipped with soft furnishings and
appliances and bathed in natural light. That is because, in accordance with
a local conservation accord, the school complex has been converted into
SO began the rest of my journey of life
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