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4,190 DAYS WITH CASSIE

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It was her ears that saved her. The census collector saw them sticking up out of long grass as she was driving slowly along the country road, and stopped to investigate.  There, in a paddock surrounded by cows, abandoned to fate, was a shivering little scrap with dog bites all over her.  She was promptly uplifted by this kind woman and taken to her home.  
As luck would have it – or maybe it was destiny - the census collector lived next door to our daughter and took the puppy over to show her, saying she would take it to the SPCA on Monday.  But Jen, knowing I had long yearned for a dog, phoned me immediately and said, ‘Mum, come over right now, I have a puppy for you.’  When Mr B and I got there we saw a broken, sad, hungry little pup wrapped up in a towel, being cuddled and kept warm by our son-in-law.  “I suppose you want it”, said Mr B.  It wasn’t really a question – he knew I did – even though he was reluctant.  And so, with great excitement on my part, some trepidation on his, …

The Girl in the Shocking Pink Dress

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It was always going to be a winner, that shocking pink dress.  I LOVED it from the moment I saw it.  It was a loose shift-type of dress in crimplene with a tie belt in the same material.  My 16-year-old light must have shone like a homing beacon and I felt fabulous.  Being the era of mini skirts, the dress was, of course, far too long for my liking, but I could sew reasonably well and took the hem up to a (just) acceptable level.  I bought some perfume – Shocking by Schiaparelli – which came in a shocking pink box.  It was musky and sweet and I doused myself in the scent until it made me cough and sneeze.
1968 was a great year.  I was coming slowly out of my little-girl shell, learning about being a young woman.  Mum gave me a book on etiquette – how to stand tall; how to peel your gloves off with aplomb (one finger at a time); how to walk with an umbrella; how to use cutlery and glassware correctly, etc.  I practised conscientiously until I had everything just so.
School was enjoyab…

THE DREAMER

I guess I was, even very early on, a dreamer.  Mum said that I was three weeks overdue, was in no hurry to be born, and as soon as I finally made an appearance, I put my thumb in my mouth and went back to sleep.
My Dad, with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, gave me an ornament - a small china dog in a kennel - which had the legend above it Dreamy
As a child, I dreamed of being famous; that someone would discover my talents for music, for drama, for public speaking, for writing.  My head was full of myths and legends, dragons and castles, and, of course, white knights and princes.  On the school playing field, I kissed Robbie S. and thought he was THE ONE.  He wasn’t. We were five years old; he was horrified and threatened to tell.  He didn’t, but I was scared.
Learning to play tennis, I dreamed of eminence and fortune, but all that happened was that Teddy R. kissed me behind the tennis pavilion after luring me there with an ice-cold Coke.  I didn’t fancy him at all, was horrified…