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lost & found

July 2, 2016

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Here I am aged five.

Year one in a school near Hemel Hempstead which I thought was called Gaybridge Infants School until today’s search became a Google fail. Cognitive dissonance prompted continued searching: Gadebridge?

46 years is a long time, and Eric asked for the memory to be shared in 5 minutes!

Since this post has been brewing while Term 2 came to a close, and I attended a #betterconversations workshop presented by Jim Knight at Crown Casino yesterday, you will have to forgive digressions. That is the accepted nature of memories: unreliable, circumscribed, interwoven with messy, complex stuff of life. And, boy, did life intrude yesterday with a curious iMessage from my Aunty in England…

But, I digress.

In Year One, I recall sowing watercress seeds on blotting paper and taking care to water each day until those seeds germinated. Sprouted seeds grew into shoots: some short and stunted; others more luxuriant with foliage. I have a feeling the teacher brought some in from home.

As a Science experiment, results varied, yet we ate watercress sandwiches. This moment:


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Right there! Thunderbolts and lightning.  I was hooked on learning.

Same deal at Jim Knight’s workshop yesterday where I caught the wrong train – an express – and wound up seeing Perth differently. I aimed for Burswood, but overshot to Oats Street. Train stations became part of my day’s experience, as did a surreal encounter with security guards when I became lost again at the casino which has undergone revisioning as a resort.


Here I go, demonstrating that learning, like life, is

  • happenstance,
  • random and
  • unpredictable.

From cities which you thought of as familiar, stable, to people you know who suddenly transform, nothing is really as it seems. And change – learning itself – is unsettling.

So, to the found part of my lost & found narrative.

In the midst of learning about trust and relationships and better conversations which help build authenticity along with school improvement (because results are formed on a bedrock of strong relationships), my Aunty messaged that my biological father had contacted them. That he’d asked after me. That he would be visiting. Even as I tweeted.


46 years became as nothing. I was, once again, that five year old girl whose parents were separating. Who moved to be with her Nanna and Aunty and Uncle. Who later emigrated to Australia. And hasn’t seen her father since.

Strange, but not nearly as unsettling as Life-the-Soap-Opera might have you believe.

After all, here I am; still learning with others.




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