Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Story contd.

There was never a shortage of young men – what with the monthly dances – but I still hadn’t met Mr Right and I began to wonder if I would be left on the shelf. Taking advantage of time off together, Ginny and I went into Manchester and visited the NAFFI and met two Welsh soldiers. Harry wrote me a lovely poem, but a few days later they called unannounced at the hospital, asking for us – an absolute NO-NO - so they were history.

Maddie’s baby was due in February so I arranged to have a week’s holiday in March. Gran would still be there so I booked myself in at ‘The Girls Friendly Society’ which was in the university town itself and therefore more easily accessible for MTL which seemed a good idea. Gran had just returned from the States where she had been helping Auntie Janet with her new baby boy. We were so lucky to have Gran with all her midwifery experience and her capacious bosom was a bonus. When she came to visit I would be waiting for her at the door and would say;

‘Come in Gyan! Sit down! Beya!’

Beya-ing was resting a child on her CB and gently rocking to and fro. Bliss for babies and toddlers alike. There was never any boiling of bottles, teats and comforters in our family. All babies were breast fed and then were supplemented with ‘pobbies’ – pieces of white bread soaked in hot milk and sprinkled with sugar. Its strange fragrance instantly evokes my childhood.

1948 was coming to an end – a year that had seen the Olympics held in London where Fanny Blankers –Koen of the Netherlands won four gold medals, Israel became independent, Ghandi was assassinated in Delhi and the film de jour was ‘Easter Parade’ with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.

We had two Christmas Balls; one in December and one January. In order to have something to look forward to after Christmas I decided (or Fate did) on the January one. Dad had given me a Collins One Day Diary for 1949 – the only year I ever kept one – a great aide memoir.

You know how you can wait for ages for a Number 19 bus and then two come along at once? Here I was looking forward to seeing MTL after nearly a year and then, at the ball, I met Andrew.


fjl said...

Very nice style here.

Dad was of the opinion that Ginger Rogers was the only real match for Fred Astaire.

Growing Up said...

Did you have a great time at the ball?

PI said...

fjl: he's right of course.

gu: yes I did. Tell you in the next post.

kenju said...

How can you just cut us off so precipitously? Andrew.....???

PI said...

Sorry Judy - more on Friday


Andrew? When's friday? oh tomorrow. oh allright then I won't sulk. Hurry up Friday! ('N why couldn't they call for you at the hospital?)

PI said...

4d: good to see you. No pressure then re Friday! Maybe I'll stay up all night.
The hospital was run rather like an exclusive girl's school as far as the nurses were concerned and you just didn't see stray men other than medical staff and maintenance staff around. I couldn't believe it when, years later, I heard that men couldstay overnight in the nurse's homes.