chapter  1
10 Pages

The country work girl

Country girls of the nineteenth century were by nature and necessity more hardy and practical than I was as a child. For instance the attitude my younger sister and I had to animals on the farm was that they were pets. We always had chickens which we used to rear from day-old chicks with the aim of them being the ‘Sunday joint’. But it was fatal for us to get to know them - how could you eat something that you had reared and played with and liked? As soon as the weekend came round and there was the prospect of ‘Carole’ or ‘Margaret’ chicken being killed, Liz and I would start our pleading for her to be spared and a joint bought. For us there was that alternative; our predecessors would have had none. Killing was always done by my father, be it the chicken for dinner or newborn kittens.