MY SHORT HISTORYI can only write about my time at Chailey in the most general of ways. I was frustrated and angry about 90% of the time. I made no friends and I always missed my sisters, my parents and relatives, and the neighbours who generally accepted me as I was. Although I was unhappy it was made bearable by some of the best people in the world, but there were those who truly disliked me and made no effort to disguise it. Children are not stupid, they know. Some people went out of their way to make life bearable and these are some of them (if I spell their names incorrectly it's because I was woefully ignorant of any learning when I first went there). Dr Quibell, Dr Strode, Mr King (porter), Mrs Heifer (cook), D. Elizabeth Whatley (psychologist), teachers Mrs Cheshire, Mr Broadhurst, Miss Bruce and Mrs Phipps, Mrs Spiers (physio) and Mrs Chichester. I include the vicar, The Reverend Galetley, who was very patient when I queried him about heaven and hell and the angels and saints, and I also include staff nurse Johnson (who I never appreciated at the time). The truth is even with all my ups and downs, by the time my Chailey years were up, I had a lot of the tools necessary to survive in the wider world. Even if I didn't know it at the time.We were lucky to be given the opportunity to experience many things; tea at Arundel Castle, an evening in London to see My Fair Lady (sitting in a box with our own footman!), The Theatre Royal at Brighton to see Macbeth (or was it Hamlet?), the Funfair at Worthing, a visit to Ardingly school to see the boys’ latest Shakespeare production, a quiz night at another school, and Iolanthe (which I missed due to bad behaviour). These are some of the things that gave me a chance to expand my horizons.I learned to walk with crutches and now I'm in a wheelchair but, because of Chailey, I got the chance to go as a boarder to grammar school to do my 'A' levels, and also to have the worst chilblains in the world.I got married to a soldier, and have tried to pay my dues in any way I could. I've run a successful mobile disco, taught adult literacy, been on stage, and given talks on sailing. I’ve sailed on a tall ship at every chance I got for thirty years, and been a hospital radio presenter. All this while I earned my way by doing several very dull jobs before I finally found my niche at BT, getting men in four different locations to get on with planning various jobs. Now I spend my time gardening and writing, and learning how to be a no-nonsense aunt to ten, and a better great-aunt to eleven.There is always something to do or learn. There is not much time to curl up with a book and, if you know a way, tell me. I'm still trying.