Elle’s family found a vacant farmhouse which the owner let them use, if they’d take care of his cow, which they did. Elle learned to milk the cow by hand, which I painfully learned about when I tried to hold hands with my beloved.
Elle’s early schooling in Perth was difficult. She was ready for fourth grade, but after asking her only one question, which Elle was too timid to answer (although she knew the correct answer), they put her into third grade, where she was bored; but she did learn English there, simply by listening.
Since she had learned English, they put her into fifth grade, which she failed, because she had never had taken fourth grade.
Mother solved the problem by arranging her to go to Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Perth.
When Elle reached the legal working age of fourteen, she went to work at a Perth department store. It was the first of a series of jobs in Perth, the last of which was as a flight attendant for MMA (MacRobertson-Miller Airlines, West Australia’s own. As such, she flew all over Western Australia, and as far as Darwin, Northern Territory. She hosted political flights to the outback; Rough Range, the first producing oil well in Australia; the military installation at Shark Bay; and other locations.
When I met Elle she was working in Melbourne as office manager for a fabric importer.
(This post ends my thumbnail sketch of Elle’s early life.)