I was cleaning out the pigsty at a farm in Wales, where my mother had rented a room, when the results of my final school exam were handed to me by the postman, along with the news that I had a state scholarship to Oxford. I had waited for this letter for so many weeks that I had abandoned hope, deciding that I had failed ignominiously.
Other quotes by Nina Bawden
The murder of my husband by the railways has altered the way I think about everything. I had always thought that the majority of people were decent and honourable. In the wake of the crash, what made me angry more than anything else was the realisation that this was not true. I still find it very hard to come to terms with.
I met my second husband on a bus. We looked at each other and that was it. We were both married to other people at the time and behaved badly, but we didn't seem to have any choice. We were very happy for nearly 50 years and would still be together if it wasn't for the bloody railways.
At 11, I passed the scholarship - only just; I wasn't very good at maths - to Ilford County High for Girls. When the Second World War started we were evacuated, first of all to Ipswich, and then to Aberdare, Queen of the Valleys, in south Wales.