When I first opened Jeremy’s site, I was amazed. How many years of battling Friends Reunited, and here we are – a lovely and simple source of so many memories.
I do dwell on my memories of CGS, quite often. Without it, where would we all be?
I must confess that, at Carisbrooke, I was not best stimulated on the academic side, but certainly enjoyed the sports available. Somewhat unfortunately, toward the end of the fourth year, I had a rather nasty accident playing rugby, which led to major changes in my attitude to Life.
When I left, I had no real motivation, but knew that a sedentary career was not for me. I was then a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service, and the then Deputy Chief Fire Officer told me that I was wanted for interview for a position as a whole-time fireman. I was successful. I was actually under-age, but they were determined. October 1965.
That lasted until the late 1980’s. I was fortunate to survive being confirmed dead twice, many accidents (story of my life), eventually acting as Brigade Training Officer, Senior Fire Prevention Officer, and Brigade Senior Staff Officer.
Unfortunately, another accident brought that career to an end just prior to going for a Brigade Command Course (Chief Fire Officer). I damaged the major muscles in my back, in service, and was told that I would never walk again, would need a plastic body corset, and an electric wheelchair.
I must admit that I had had better news in my life!
I found acupuncture. Within six weeks, and a tad of perspiration, I was walking. Recovery took perhaps ten years, and I still have to be careful (mm that is the difficult part).
Upon leaving the Fire Service, we went to Scotland to live. A series of Life’s strange ways saw us running the Forestry Commission’s largest camp site, which we turned into a profit-maker in two years. Then we went up to Glen Nevis, where we bought a farm, Guest house, self-catering and bunkhouse.
Ten years on, and my back problems saw me using walking sticks, and the GP advised moving South, to warmer climes.
Ramsgate, where Dianne was born, was our next sojourn. I really enjoyed the time there. I went to College in the evenings, and gained A* at O Level Law, and A Level the following year. I was also a Magistrate, and Kent county standard croquet.
Another health problem. A version of Dermatomyositis trundled into my life. This time, however, the medics gave me two years to live, and massive doses of steroids. 1998.
So, we defeated that one. We moved to Central Portugal, quite close to Coimbra, in 2000. The first thing that we did was an intensive course in the Portuguese language. Here, I pay homage to dear Percy Hallet – my enjoyment of Latin (truly) helped tremendously.
We enjoy a wonderful life, in a tiny, and tranquil village, preferring the company of our Portuguese chums to most of the expats (of all nations) who have descended over recent years.
The Portuguese are lovely – until they are driving a car!!
On the personal side, I had married, in 1966, in Holy Trinity, Cowes – and who could ever forget the Rev Eyton-Jones? Sadly, there was need for me to draw an end to that marriage, in 1981.
I remarried, to Dianne, and I have two lovely step-daughters, one daughter, and a son who my first wife and I adopted. Five grandchildren, and one cat.
I enjoyed amateur dramatics for most of my time before leaving the IOW. Sailing was, and still is, a huge love. I played a lot of cricket, and still umpire/score with new teams that we have set up in Central Portugal. I recently umpired in a match at Liz Tavares (nee Taylor)’s old school, St. Julien’s.
I noticed Paul Eveleigh’s comments about age, work, etc. – very true, but I have found that memory, and ability have increased also. Oh, that I had felt like this in those heady days of CGS!
Sorry that I missed the reunion at Ryde, medical problems, what else!
Keep the memories strong, people.