Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Holy Memories…

June 15, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Sacrosanct – definition:  highly sacred or holy

I was taken back to my early childhood by this word. My first school was actually within a convent and we were taught by nuns. Even all these years later, I can conjure up the feel and smell of the nun’s habit. When they walked, it was a floating motion with only an odd glimpse of sturdy black shoes underneath. We never saw what color a nun’s hair was as it was tucked into their coif. Most of the time they wore black habits with white coifs but if they were working on the farm, it would be grey habits. Yes, there was a farm in the grounds where the nun’s grew vegetables and kept cows and goats. As children we never questioned seeing several nun’s herding the cows!

My convent school was called St. Finians.  __67474b5700981c1d48916d79171d76f0My time there is a precious memory. I always felt loved and cared for by the nun’s. Mother Superior could be scary, though. If we made too much noise coming down the stairs, she would tap her ring  on the brass hand rail. The sound would go from the top to the bottom of the circular staircase instantly. Of course, I had my favorite’s and when one was sent to Africa I cried all night.

St Finians ChurchThis is the church, where we held assembly. The scent of incense is another memory trigger. When the nun’s sang their voices filled this massive building.

When my parents told me I was going to a new school at the age of 11, I cried and pleaded constantly for three days. I wanted to stay at St. Finians – forever! My next school was an Elizabethan mansion converted into a school with a huge modern building in the grounds. It was certainly a culture shock for me.

What was your first school like?

Changes…

October 10, 2012
mandyevebarnett


12463871-empty-straw-nest-with-twigs-and-feathers-on-a-white-background

As the old saying goes ‘nothing stays the same’ and the last few weeks have made that quite apparent in my life. Each event has made an impact on me both emotionally and physically. My oldest child flew the nest and is making a new life with his girlfriend in a very nice apartment.  As a natural worrier, I am tending to bounce back and forth between being happy that he has made this transition so successfully to being anxious that he will struggle. Is it only mothers that do this? His girlfriend is a delightful young woman and it is obvious they are very happy together…but that mother/ child bond is never truly broken. I know I will have to curb my contact and ‘interference’ – thank goodness for texts!

Another event has seen my daughter change schools due to conflicts at the previous one. Again I have bounced between anger and frustration to swelling with pride that she made a decision that was slightly unpopular but has proven to be positive.  In fact she has the option of finishing school faster with her option, which is an added bonus. Within moments of my son’s departure, my daughter commandeered the basement suite as her own space and has started planning the redecorating already.  We were washing walls and cleaning carpets the very next day.

Whatever challenges and changes life throws at us, we know in our hearts it is for the best in the long run but when we are in the midst of them, they sure are hard on the heart and body.

Are you facing changes at the moment?

From little acorns……

August 9, 2010
mandyevebarnett


acorns

My first ‘public’ acknowledgement of my creativity came at the tender age of seven years old. I was a pupil at a convent school called, St. Finians. Not to be confused with the infamous St. Trinians; depicted in several movies, although we found the exploits of those particular pupils to be wonderfully exciting and deliciously naughty.

My teacher had entered a piece of my art work into the Brooke Bond National Travel Scholarships and Educational Awards. I was extremely excited to be presented with 1st prize – a beautiful hard back book of The Story of Hiawatha. I was entranced with the images and story and it has echoed throughout my life in ways I could not have imagined at that time.

Thus my creativity began with painting and drawing. In secondary school, I explored many art forms but was drawn to the abstract and in particular, the Impressionists. I would spend many lunch hours creating 3D and moving images. I was very fortunate to have a very supportive art teacher; Miss. Randall, who gave me whatever materials my heart desired. On one particular occasion she even allowed me to have a 12 x 5 foot notice board from the main corridor so I could make a perspective piece! I will be forever grateful to her for her unfailing belief in my art, so much so she submitted some of it to the Royal College of Art in London. When it was accepted for the next intake she had to advise them I was just 12 years old. So unfortunately I could not start my ‘creative’ life at that point and not later either – life has a way of interfering just when it’s not welcome.

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