Chailey Heritage School Old Scholars Association
MRS HEIFER ( and I don't know if that is correct) She kept us fed, food you wanted to eat (except for poached eggs). Acts of kindness from an unexpected source have an impact on your life and this is one of those. We laid the tables for meals at St. Martins, we would cut the butter and the margarine into little squares and place them on plates, one margarine plate and one butter plate per table. One square of margarine and one square of butter per person. Amazingly, lots of the girls couldn't tell the difference between the two. I could and I liked butter. On several occasions when I was involved in laying the tables I would place two plates of butter on the table I hoped to sit at. I didn't worry about another table having two plates of margarine, if they couldn't tell the difference. You would think that coming from a fishing village I would like fish but I didn't, never have and never will. It caused me a lot of trouble but as with poached eggs, I never gave in. I have set the scene, stubborn is the word. Stubborness over the small things in life. Vegetables were another. They were OK , I couldn't say I loved them but they were...ok. Mrs. Heifer was the cook. We were not meant to go into the kitchen area but I did. If I could go into some place that was technically  "out of bounds", I went there. Casually, sneakily, stealthily.  They were shelling peas, peas in pods! The only peas I had come across were marrow fat peas in tins. So in I went, curious as to what was going on. "What are you doing." I asked. "Shelling peas" came the terse reply. "Can I help" I asked, sure I would be told no.  "Alright".  So a brief lesson in pea shelling ensued and I was set free to have a go. Wonderful, a lovely green smell as you popped a pod. "What do they taste like?" I asked. "Try one", was the reply.  I warily popped one in my mouth. Delicious, I popped another one in. "That's enough, we've got to fill this saucepan up." I had a lovely time, it was quiet, I was doing something, it reminded me in a way of home.  It came to an end when a nurse spotted me and I was removed. It was the last homely thing I ever did at Chailey.
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