At boarding school there was a huge vegetable garden. It was fabulous, you could get lost in the rows of beans, peas and raspberries. The nuns were self-sufficient and fed us 300 or so girls from their farm and the gardens. There were Walnut trees and Cherry trees and rows and rows of beautifully trained ancient Apple and Pear trees. We were allowed to keep pets at school and I had an Old English bunny called Barney. Every day after school I used to check the boxes at the end of the gardens for scraps. All the leaves from Cauliflowers and any other veg were left in this box along with bruised Apples etc. A lot of the girls used to shove some pellets into their rabbits cage and rush off to other things but not me. Barney was my best friend and was treated as such. He became very tame and hopped along behind me or laid down to wait for me. I soon managed to get myself on the best list at school – the fruit picking list. We picked crates and crates of fruit and I learnt to whistle. The nuns had a rule you see. Just the one. Whilst we were in the garden we had to keep whistling. If we stopped they rushed in to find us within seconds. Just enough time to stuff our mouths with raspberries.
I am so proud to be asked yet again to play at the opening night of Bradford’s Literary Festival. They said it would not be the same without me as I was an exceptional Harper. Ooooooooooo! 🙂