Sue led me towards the huge building. On the front steps was a large group of giggling girls. Sue pushed into the middle.
'Prue? Prue, this is Kate.' She stepped forward.
'Kate? Is that your real, full name?' She sounded accusing and slightly patronizing.
'Well, my real name is Kathleen, but I prefer to be called Kate.'
'That's a nice name,' she smiled, 'Sorry, I must sound rude. It's a weird thing, I'm uncomfortable with people who were christened with a nickname, although I don't mind real nicknames. Feel free to call me Prue or Nellie!'
'I get the feeling you'll be just fine.' Emma whispered in my ear, and left me to get acquainted.
Nellie introduced me to her friends, Maisie, Sophia, Aramanta and Lillian. They gave me the whole grand tour: Grand hall, with it's high ceiling and grandeur, the dining room (also known as the lunch hall, mess hall and grub hall as Lill informed me); the assembly hall; the theatre; the girls dorms; the pool, the tennis courts and the sports hall; the class rooms; the courtyard (which I guessed would have been beautiful in summer; and finally, the cliff path. This last place was by far the best. There were steps down onto the beach, and on a clear day you could see for miles.
'It's a beauty isn't it? I wish I could spend every second here! The view just fills me with serenity.' Sophia sighed.
'Susie told me that they swim in the sea, in the summer term! And they can have picnics in the huge grounds. One day I'll have exploered all the fields. There are lots of paddocks and things, and hidden gardens. It should be a bit like the secret garden!' Prue explained.
'There are exactly six hundred and twentyfour acres belonging to BCR's.' commented Maisie-the-walking-factfile.
We wandered back towards the building. By now all our luggage had been brought into the main hall. The first years had a special assembly to welcome them. Then they had to go to their tower (East and South for the girls - luckily with the best views - and North and West fpr the boys). They had to check with matron and hand in their medical slips. Then they went to unpack and settle in in their dorms. At six o'clock was tea time, then there was two hours 'til bed.
We slipped into some seats in the third row, and prepared ourselves for the beginning of the rest of our lives, and me, for my first school, classes, and boys.