Home Remains the Same
All this activity kept me out of my home as it remained cheerless and disspiriting for no matter what I did it had little affect. Mother did not improve. She relentlessly made her way to Church, sat smoking, sipped tea and read the newspaper all day before a smoldering coal fire while failing as ever to make proper meals or do everyday housework. Father was out a lot, in poor health and despite my reminding him consistently, he failed to take his medications. My brother John was a thoughtless schoolboy and teenager. It was on me they all relied, not only for all practical things in the household but the money I earned to keep it functioning.
I did keep some of my wages for myself however, and with them I took several holidays. The first of my life. Two in particular I remember with particular pleasure: one with a girl friend to Douglas on the Isle of Man sailing on the steamer from the Pier Head, and the other alone when I took my bicycle overnight by train up to Glasgow and stayed with Aunt Monica at her convent. As before the nuns spoilt me. Aunt Monica was allowed some time off to spend with me, and we went to Dunoon on the Firth of Clyde and sat in October with flowers still out around us in the warm sun on the shores of the Firth. I also visited the local area, taking my bike to get around the Western Isles and Ionna. I can still readily recall the beauty of the Firth and the Isles. They made a big impression on me.
A Ladies Excuse Me Changes My Life
But the need for all this activity as a way to avoid my home changed when I went to a dance at the Tower Ballroom at New Brighton in October 1953. In a “ladies excuse me” I asked my future husband John to dance. I recall him saying he “would be delighted”. A friendship developed, and we got to know each other over the course of the next few months. John was from Surrey, working in Liverpool as a surveyor with British Railways. He had first seen the city as a soldier when he embarked on a troopship at the Pier Head one bleak January day in 1950 on his way to perform his National Service in Hong Kong.