I refused to do the things that nice, domesticated girls were supposed to do, and spent all my time in my grandfather’s library.
It wasn’t that I was rebellious or anything it was more that I was not interested in growing up trained in domesticity as my mother insisted.
The ritual Monday morning stripping of beds and re-making with starched sheets and tight hospital corners drove me crazy.
Rather I snuck off whenever I could to grandfather’s library and buried myself in his many wonderful texts.
Grandfather had been an engineer, and I was drawn to all things to do with that. He had multiple volumes, and I found myself devouring the ones that dealt with mathematical issues. Alongside that, the physics of engineering fascinated me more and more.
I found there was a corner of his library where I could secrete myself and read to my heart’s content.
My revere would be disturbed by my mother calling and finding me in the library she would regale me with the reasoning why I needed to be schooled in domestic chores as basically, no man would marry me if I wasn’t. My mother couldn’t stand the thought that a daughter of hers would in any way be seen as a potentially failed wife.
My grandfather understood my interest in his library and would sit and explain to me the many questions I fired at him. He also explained to me that in the day and age in which we then lived a woman engineer was not something society would look favourably upon. Maybe he once said to me I should learn hospital corners, just in case.
But when I finished school there was an opportunity for me to go to University and grandfather who had died two years before I finished school had left a sum of money for me to go to University and study Engineering.
Much to my mother’s horror I did just that and graduated top of my class. I found my way in the world difficult as jobs for female Engineers were hard to come by, but I always made an impression when I did work on a project and in time I was recognised as an outstanding Engineering talent.
I did marry eventually, a beautiful man, who like me was drawn to all things mathematical. We started our own business and did so well we were able to employ servants who knew how to fold the perfect hospital corner.