Total drama the Ghost and Real life Heather

Fitting into college life as a Mature student took a huge amount of adjustment.

Learning new specialist painting skills like imitating woods, oak, burr walnut, pine and  mahogany, as well and all styles of  marble  was difficult.  Woodcarving was wonderful. Gilding was hard. Using tools I did not know even existed. I also loved the study of architecture and to this day still love looking at buildings. Projects seemed never ending and there  were many occasions when I  felt like the village idiot, I always seemed to be the last  to produce a  piece of work.

What college life  taught me is that I am a slow learner, I work well with my hands and once  I  mastered the skills I could  produced good work.

Living on a daily basis with fellow students,  we  were   bound together with a passion for the subjects we were studying and work was all that mattered to us.  My smart wardrobe never consigned to the back of the wardrobe, whilst  leggings and old jumpers were the  order of the day.

College was pure escapism and whilst I lived in this new world I soon realised just how unhappy I had been. The social life, parties and lunches were surface living what was lacking was the real depth of a good life.   Everything in the marriage became difficult and taut. The gap was widening between us and going to college had highlighted the differences. I knew  it  would come to an end and decided that at the end of the two years I would plan a different life.   I was so wrong.   Everything came to an abrupt end within  9 months and from that point there was no turning back.

I found myself  in another home, working in a café at the weekends, without transport and the only way to get to college was by pushbike.  8 miles there and 8 miles back, come rain or shine.

Whilst riding around Hilsea lake making my way to College,  the heavens opened and I was soaked through and  started to cry. Then starting to sing ‘ Oh no don’t let the rains come down..’ I was sobbing and singing.  Out of nowhere an elderly man on a bike came along side me. He joined in the singing and  made me smile. We got to the end of the lake and he turned to me and said ” You will be alright my dear, I promise you”.  On the blink of an eye he disappeared.   I just stood there, soaked to the skin and did not have a clue what happened to him.  What I did know was I would be alright. I have never believed in ghosts but for  that one moment in time, he was my ghost.

Soon after, there  followed  every possible worst nightmare associated with impending divorce.  It was not difficult it was hell on earth. College kept me sane. College became  my refuge.