What is PERFECTION? Is there any such thing? What may seem to be perfection to one may not be to another.
It was that way with Grange Farm. To me it was absolute perfection. When I think of it now I think of the huge horse chestnut tree, bearing its startlingly unusual blossom. The cherry trees, the lilac, the buttercups, the daisies, and all manner of wild flowers. I think of the weeping willow tree where I used to hide, the sand pit where I used to play. The blackberries and the wonderful apples in autumn. The getting in of the harvest, which was like a huge party, the sound of the birds singing in a morning. Toast done on a huge long toasting fork in the fire. The old piano in the middle room, which I constantly tried to teach myself to play. And much, much more.
To me, that was perfection, and yet to both my aunt and my mother, it was far from that. They couldn’t wait to get away. And they did! My mother ran away at the beginning of the War to join the WAFS, under age! She ended up in Scotland as a balloon girl. Until her best friend snitched on her and let it out that she was under age. With that she was hauled INSIDE the Big Boss’s room, and told that she would unfortunately have to go home. It was indeed unfortunate because she had excelked at being a balloon girl, and she was given the option of returning when was old enough. They had her NAME and had written down everything about her. She had been their top student.
And so, she had to return to Grange Farm.
My aunt became a wild one, running away in her teens, and staying away. Until she found herself carrying a baby that was. She had become entangled one night with an American airman from the air base opposite to the farm. But he had run off and left her carrying the can. She gave birth to the baby, a beautiful fair haired blue eyed boy, and immediately dumped him on the doorstep of Grange Farm. My grandmother brought him up as her own, saying quite simply, “He’s our blood.” And that was it. We were all of one blood, me included. And never a day goes by without my thinking about Grange Farm. That place that to me was perfection.