My Gypsy childhood
September 7, 2009 4:37 PM Subscribe
posted by acb (14 comments total)
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Roxy Freeman was born into an Gypsy family. For years, her family travelled around Ireland in a horsedrawn wagon, without electricity or formal schooling, getting by on picking fruit and selling horses they bred, before settling in Norfolk. Roxy taught herself to read, devoured books, and, after travelling the world for a number of years, decided to go to university, a move which would require her to completely change her way of life. Living in a flat in Brighton, a way of life which she finds bizarre and alien, she has written
about her childhood, her family's culture and the difficulties and prejudices she encountered, for the Guardian.
The shift to a fixed, urban lifestyle wasn't an easy one: "I can't see or feel the change from one season to the next, I crave greenery, and I constantly wrestle with the emotion of feeling trapped. I spend half my life opening doors and windows, trying to get rid of the airless, claustrophobic feeling that comes with being inside. I get woken up by bin lorries, the rush-hour traffic and my neighbours shouting, instead of birdsong and the wind in the trees. I can't sense when it's going to rain because I can no longer smell it in the air, and when it does rain I can't hear it landing on the roof."