Illustration Friday - BLACK & WHITE
When I was eight I was sent on my own by plane from Fiji to England to start boarding school. I arrived at Heathrow after a 36 hour journey having left my parents and brother and sister behind. I was very frightened and very homesick and to be met at the airport by these two beings kitted out in black and white did nothing to comfort me. I felt weighed down by my extraordinarily heavy clothes and shoes. The taxi drive back to Haunton Hall (that really was its name!) filled me with depression. The cold, the dark, the long rows of dreary brown terraced houses snaking down the ugly streets, the townscape desecrated with huge hideous advertising hoardings. The unfamiliar names of the nuns - Concepta, Perpetua, Jeanne D'Arc, Marie de Lourdes, St Patrice, Winifred - all contributed to a truly terrifying experience.
But the robustness of human nature is phenomenal. Once the other girls arrived a day or so later it really wasn't so bad apart from one little bully, who made it her job to ensure that I cried at least once a day - but then she'd been there since she was six so she'd really been toughened up!