My children grew up in a commune

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Posted by: Newswalle

Most people leave the clutch adegree University. Significantly IWENT a little more and went with a title under his arm and a baby under the other. Jamie conception was a shock, but it was not an unfortunate accident. His father and I a couple who loved our son, and although he had to finish my career one years still, we were in this together.

It was 1971. I had terry nappies towel, a bucket, and amangle Belfast sink. No washer or dryer and a house heated by a single coal fire during a bitterly cold winter in Northern Ireland. We lived on almost nothing, very dependent beans, oats, brown rice and eggs.

I wrote my essays, while Jamie was asleep, and I went to as many conferences as I could. We share the care of children, and we plan in this way, when I had finished, but the tension that continue its toll was already taken. I do not remember the time when our relationship began to crumble, but before Jamie had reached his first birthday was on my own. A single parent. It is the first of many unexpected twists and turns my life has taken, but one of the darkest.

I did not know where to turn, but had a eureka moment when I get the idea. Cohabitation Communities were not in the 70s exactly plentiful, but there were a few, and live in Iended was so extraordinary that in 1973, the BBC has a documentary about him.

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I do not even remember how I found out the first community I visited, but eventually led to take me to a rock band farm living with Jamie in the church, arambling Elizabethan house in Sotherton, Suffolk by James and Jeremy Lascelles possession. At this time none of us by what they were impressed, and so far I had to look up in Wikipedia to be sure.

Children from the Church Farm commune with Jamie on the left and in the middle of Laurel.

James played keyboards in the band and is a musician. He is a first cousin once removed, Queen, and is the second son of the seventh Earl of Harewood and his late first wife, Marion Stein, who died in March. He and his younger brother, Jeremy are great-grandson of George V, and a second cousin to the Prince of Wales. Jeremy was the manager of the band, and was CEO of Chrysalis Music. His mother Marion was then remarried to Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe. The drummer was Sir Simon Stewart-Richardson: a baron. The three of them were wise, but not the rest of us.

The band was the Global Village Trucking Company and, years later, iMarried singer Jon Owen.

Jamie and I had the pros and cons of living with 20 adults and eight or more children under five. On the positive side, Jamie loved to roam the grounds of the farm with his "brothers and sisters" readymade, and many "aunties and uncles" looking. With such a large family, I never had the feeling that some women experience caught when stuck at home alone with the kids.

My second child, Laurel, was born atChurch farm. I remember the horror of the midwife when she realized that he intended to give birth in the purple leaves with an audience looking for. We were a united and oddly traditional pile hippies, which we bought in bazaars, our clothes and ate a lot of rice. Too much. I hate it, now things.

Dina Jefferies: "What I would not give to go back to those days of sunshine, only for an afternoon." Photo: Sam Frost for the Guardian

Good times, enhanced by sharing it with many others, were wonderful. We are here for our dance, both in the garden in the summer when the band rehearsing, or its many shows around the country known for trade fairs, concerts Rougham Tree Association rowdy students. Sometimes children and Jamie came loved it on the street, every opportunity to the band on stage.

The bad times were impossible. What was so wonderful when you share it, acquired a nightmarish quality, if something unpleasant end. You can not really like the whole world and that ugly could get if you fell and there was nowhere else to go. There were disputes over parenting styles, too. As with most parents, it was sometimes difficult for us, impartial, what who whom be done.

Many times it was a little thing that upset the balance between reason or keep together. Real men have no idea, and the hardest part of life is that the sex was strongly biased. The men were in the band, or were roadies for the band, and often on the way: women were employed in and caregivers of children – at home. This does not mean that women do not go to concerts, or that there is finally a female roadie. And the people were good with the kids when they were there. They played with them, took them for walks and generally popular.

This traditional division of labor was not really my street. I was sad when we stood back and suffered from crippling depression. Kitchen, growing vegetables and dairy goats were notfulfilling me. I was a teenager in the 60s, and from the age of 15 he felt the need to sweet to reject oppressive 50.

Jamie, 13, shortly before his death.

There were other problems. That some of us had money, and some do not, came to nothing. And it was strange to see Jeremy Thorpe walk around the house before. Favor Hewould appear on your hat and long black coat, dressed up with a nice and very generous heart Marion, their children and grandchildren that look like rags to usually visit.

The times have changed, and some of us have. We are tired of scratching around to make ends meet. By taking regular jobs, paying mortgages and buying expensive dryer stopped. But despite the difficulties, there is something special at the time. Got something magical in the air when the band play their bright feet pounding music, something nice for the long days of summer, hot when we collected on very small blossoms to make elderflower and champagne, and walk about charming children free from morning to night, and without dirty when they entered care. It was idealistic and will not last, but for a few years, he felt himself a bright new world.

Although I missed some aspects of life together, as we were leaving, I had the pleasure in the privacy of your own home, once again, despite my two children lost their farm and the other children. My daughter eventually went to college and worked before marriage and starting a family. Now a mother of two children, is living a "normal" life, and I, of course, I am a loving grandmother.

Several years after leaving the church, Jamie died in a tragic accident in 14 years, in a place he loved so much, as he had Church Farm. I am sure that these first years of freedom were the happiest of his life and was partly due to them, he was open and sunny child who was short. I had to live a son who captured life with both hands and loved. It took a long time to recover from the death of Jamie, and forget Iwillnever, his kindness, his generosity and his big warm smile. I miss him and always will.

I now have a different life. A new happy with a man cooking marriage and a wonderful family nearby. But what I would not give to go back to those days of sun, playing only for an afternoon to my little boy with blond hair seen in the barn or riding on the back of a tractor, with the sound of the band to rehearse in the background, and no idea what was going to happen in the future.

• Separation of Dinah Jefferies is from Penguin, published 7.99. To order a copy for 6.39, including free UK p & p, go to theguardian.com / bookshop or call 0330 333 6846

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