Middlewitch, England

I lodged with a farm family called Holstead. Mr. Holstead was called ‘The Boss’ and his wife ‘Mrs. H’. These monikers were first applied by American flyers who lodged on the farm during the war.

The Holsteads had three adult children. Tom, Allen, and Jean. Tom was married and had left the farm. The other two were engaged and still lived at home.

Jean kept geese. When the geese got out of the barn the dogs could kill them but the dogs couldn’t go into the barn. I was curious how the dogs knew these laws. Jean was engaged to a farmer and her only regret was that for the next 20 years she would be cleaning milk churns until her children were old enough to do it.

The Holsteads used to hunt to hounds but had lost interest. Hunting is a natural activity for farmers. The local farmers used to carry shot guns with the hope of bagging a rabbit for the pot.

I failed to integrate into the local community and hay-fever made my life miserable in summer.