>Little Jenny Wren


This post was inspired by Doris over at Grans on Bran. Many Happy Returns, Doris.

Your anniversary date is one I share as on 9 June 1986 I left home aged 17 to join the Women’s Royal Naval Service as a trainee Wren Radar. The girls I shared a mess (bedroom) with were Sue Thomas, Elaine ____ from Sunderland, Claire Norsworthy from Cardiff and Lesley ______ who’s dad had been in the Navy with mine.

I could say that I joined for all the usual reasons given for joining the armed forces but in truth I joined to escape a situation that over the previous six years had eroded my confidence and broken me into tiny fragments of myself. The shards were so shattered that it has taken me the intervening twenty years to try and reassemble them and they are still not all in the right order and some may still be missing in action.

At 17 I found myself close to emotional meltdown and considered a career in the Wrens as a safer option than the complete boundarylessness of the next few years spent at University. In fact it was anything other than safe and in effect just pulverised the shards into smaller fragments than they would otherwise have been.

My memories are therefore bittersweet. I do not blame the Navy; my expectations were flawed. The people I met were not all angels and their motives were sometimes very suspect but on the whole they were good people. I was the ubiquitous square peg and however hard I tried I just didn’t fit.

I have felt like that for a lot of my adult life apart from here; I actually feel like I do fit in. What that says about the rest of you, though, I couldn’t begin to imagine.


  1. KW

    >Just the other day I found myself saying to my supervisor that I’m writing a thesis about some very odd characters indeed. God knows what that says about me! It must be catching! 🙂

  2. Stegbeetle

    >If you feel like you fit in with the company you keep “around here” then I guess that makes us, collectively, a square hole!Um…not sure where I’m going with this. I felt sure I had some kind of profundity to offer but it’s gone now!I’ll settle for *hugs* and passing a cup of Rooibus Tea. Watch out, I’ve heard it described as “an acquired taste”.

  3. Ally

    >Isn’t it a indicator that one is moving on when one is able to start ot separate yourself out from the things that you’ve been through? I like to think that we’re a mixed selection of very knobbly pegs in an infinitely flexible internet-shaped hole :). :{

  4. doris

    >Aww thanks!And did you know about my brush with the Navy here…..?Jeez you are so young!!! :-)I am so sorry that the Navy didn’t work out so well but then the services are a crushing environment. Perhaps your “problem” is that you actually were not crushed and re-formed but kept something about your individuality. The youness of you. And that’s great.It amazes me that some of us manage to survive our childhoods and actually come out relatively OK. No matter how weird! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s