Following nearly eight years as a nun, Eleanor Stewart left convent life, and – in her own words – “went a bit wild,” picking up an STD on the way.
She soon discovers the disease has devastating consequences.
When she finally meets the man of her dreams, she realises she will never have a child of her own – the main reason for leaving holy orders. Instead, Eleanor and her new husband face a battle to adopt two children.
Eleanor Stewart has fond memories of moving to Childrey in 1959, after she and her family returned from Hong Kong.
She spent one term at Icknield School, where poet laureate John Betjeman’s wife Penelope gave RE lessons to all the Catholic pupils.
Stewart recalls: ‘Eight years in a convent was a wonderful time in my life but when I left I caught hold of the tail end of the swinging sixties and swung on it with gusto.
‘My monochrome life exploded into a dazzling polychrome existence and for a time I lost my head. I have no regrets but had to take responsibility for the consequences of my wild life. Infertility is hard to come to terms with and the adoption process is no walk in the park, but thanks to a brave and loving husband my children and my grandchildren are my reward.’
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Listen to Eleanor Stewart speaking to BBC Radio Oxford’s Kat Orman here.