In the Spotlight - Ros Ousey
Retired teacher & Mowsley Parish Chair
A former teacher of English, French and Special Needs at Lutterworth High School, Ros is Chair of Mowsley Parish Meeting, District Editor of the Kibworth Chronicle, stalwart of the U3A and frequent traveller and theatre go-er.
Q. What is your earliest recollection?
A. At age two a half, I fell over onto a gravel path in the local park. There was invisible wire round the lawns but at one side the wire had been broken. I ran across the lawn from this side but on reaching the other side tripped over the unbroken wire there and fell flat on my face and hands. My screams alerted my mother and the park keeper who for some reason showed me my face in a mirror. The horror when I saw this awful vision, a face embedded with sharp bits of gravel and two pieces of glass, made me scream even more. I still have several pale scars and a small hole on the right near my top lip, to remind me of that time.
Q. Your attractive accent indicates you are not originally from this area. How did you come to live in Mowsley?
A. I am of course a Geordie. My mother, till her death, used to rebuke me for adopting an “awful Midlands accent”. No one else could hear that in my voice, just my mum. I came down here in 1964 with two friends to begin teaching. Leicestershire had a great reputation then for being very educationally progressive.
Q. What was your most embarrassing moment when you were teaching?
A. Probably when I introduced a male Ofsted inspector of French to the class as Madame Bloggs instead of Monsieur. Not a good start!
Q. What is your most treasured possession?
A. My Open University Degree Certificate. I did my BA in my 40s while caring for a hard working husband and two boys. My cat Max, would sit on my knee, keeping me warm while I wrote essays well into the wee small hours. It was a grind but it was one of the best days of my life when I graduated.
Q. What makes you angry?
A. Wastage of tax payers’ money and condescending people.
Q. Why would you encourage all children to enjoy reading books and plays?
A. Reading is the gateway to so much more: an understanding of oneself and one's culture, the lives and cultures of others, the imagination, one's own abilities and uniqueness and the wonders of words and the world. A dictionary and an atlas are still two of my favourite books.
Q. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
A. I had a list of very prestigious people but then knew that my favourite dinner guests would be my sons, their wives and my four grandchildren. The people I love most. One son lives in Australia but we all meet up about every two years and have fantastic often hilarious conversations round the dinner table.
Q. What do you enjoy about Chairing the Parish Meeting?
A. I enjoy being chair as it is very rewarding when projects reach fruition and you can see that the community has been enhanced by your action. Our Folly Field Play Area is an example. Of course it is never down to one person and it is great when the parish works together.
Q. What is your favourite book of all time?
A. ‘The Shipping News’ by E Annie Proulx.
Q. What is top of your ‘Bucket List’?
A. I am one of the people who does not really have a bucket list. There are interests I would like to improve like Bridge playing and speaking Italian. I would also like to visit Cambodia and Vietnam so perhaps I need to make a bucket list to ensure these happen.
Interview by Carol Townend