Thought I'd tell you a bit about my early life - feel free to delete without reading. I was born in Coventry to an unmarried mother, which in those days was a terrible thing. She wasn't allowed to keep me because there was no money in the family and they couldn't afford another child. I was put up for adoption and fostered until a suitable family could be found. Meanwhile, my parents to be had been on the waiting list for a while - because they were older parents, they went through 22 adoption societies before finding one that would put them on their books. Eventually, when I was 4 months old, we were put together and I went to live in the Isle of Wight. Six months later, I was formally adopted.
Of course I don't remember any of this, but looking at photos, I was a happy baby and toddler. I was a happy child as well, which I do remember. When I was five, we all went back to Coventry to adopt my sister Dinah, Family complete. We lived in a nice house with staggering views across the Solent, right above the sea front. I started at a private school just down the road, run by two terribly eccentric elderly sisters - Miss Margaret and Miss Cecil. I loved school and was put up two classes because I was bright -- however, I was then bullied by the older girls, so I moved schools to a country junior school in the middle of nowhere.
I passed my eleven plus and went to the grammar school - it was a good school, in the top ten for England. My favourite subjects were English and History - and of course PE, at which I excelled. I loved the freedom of gymnastics, hurling myself through the air over the box, or dangling from a rope high above the floor. I was in all the teams. I think, by nature, I'm a team player - when I did a personality test for fun a few years ago, I came out as the chair of a large team. Maybe that's why I enjoyed the RAF so much.
To cut this short - I did my O levels and A levels at the school and got a place at Warwick University to read philosophy and logic. I was Head Girl and Captain of Sports. Then Carol died and I had my first breakdown. I decided that I didn't want to go to University, so applied to go into the RAF. The rest is history.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?