Friday, November 17, 2006

AND MOTHER CAME TOO

AND MOTHER CAME TOO!

It just didn’t make sense.  Dodie had a lovely home and garden.  She had a good social life in Norfolk, playing bridge in the winter, croquet in the summer and tennis parties on the lawn.  If she needed extra cash she could and did, from time to time, let half the house out to service families.  If she wanted to be closer to family, it would make more sense for her to move to Hampshire where William’s brother Mark and his wife Fleur now lived.  At least they had bought a house and were settled with their children.  But as William said ‘When Mummy makes her mind up…’

I didn’t think when I said yes to William I was marrying his mother also but maybe William felt like that about my family, although Mum and Dad were very happy to get on with their own lives now we had all left home.  Evan was married to his fiancée, Helen who was also a nurse,  Maddie was teaching at a boarding school in Scotland where her son Matthew was boarding, and Gran spent half the time with her other daughter, Janet and family, in the States.

The truth was William was the apple of her eye. There was no point in worrying about it: we moved into our new flat, bought curtain material – a Jacobean print for the living room and a pretty blue satin with a fleur de lys pattern for the bedrooms. I’ve never liked a lot of patterns but Mrs Cooper had come up trumps and had all the walls painted a harmless magnolia so we could afford some but that was the last time I chose a patterned carpet.  Our social life improved; William had friends from his earlier stint at Metro Vickers and we would all meet up in one of the coffee shops on Saturday mornings and plan the rest of the week-end.

I had plenty to keep me occupied, but after buying two Parker Knoll armchairs our money was getting scarce and it was time to start earning again.  I had been thrilled when William opened a Post Office Account in my name but came down to earth when he explained that this was so we could both withdraw on the same day in an emergency.  There was a limit on how much you could withdraw in one day.  Think again Patricia!

I would have liked a change from nursing.  Working part-time was not the same and I missed the continuity and the camaraderie.  When I walked through the hat shop I thought what fun it would be to work there.  I loved fashion and helping someone to choose the perfect hat seemed an admirable job but alas they were fully staffed so I had to look elsewhere.

I didn’t have any luck in Altrincham but there was a hospital with a Children’s Ward in Stockport – a neighbouring town.  I applied and was told to come for an n interview.  It meant walking down through the town to the bus station and then a cross country bus ride.  I would have to change at the hospital so if I worked 9am to 3pm it would be like a full day’s work.  As long as they had a vacancy I should be fine.  The last thing I wanted to do was travel into Manchester.

Dodie wrote in her weekly letter that she also had an interview with a Mrs Fell – an elderly widow who lived in one of the wealthy villages nearby.  Originally the rich in the surrounding area use to get their staff from Altrincham.  Dodie said she would stay with us for the interview and could we arrange for her to have a refresher driving lesson as she felt that would be an asset.  As far as O knew she hadn’t been near a car for years but William dutifully arranged a lesson and we waited, with bated breath to see how things would turn out.

11 comments:

Sim said...

Uh oh! Elderly parent behind the wheel of a car after years of driving absence. Cause for concern indeedy...

PI said...

sim: I think in those days they didn't need to have a license. I sometimes wonder if she ever had driven as it was customary for the husband to do the driving. I know they changed their car every year and when her husband died she must have decided to get rid of the car which you wouldn't do if you were a driver.

R. Sherman said...

This can't work out well. Can't wait for the next installment.

Cheers.

granny p said...

Oh dear - mother's-in-law...had two of them. But had better be careful. I am one.

(And you do marry their mothers; seems to be a fact of life.)

PI said...

Randall: ther's nothing like looking back on life to develop a little more understanding although at the same time one is thinking - but I would never do that!

granny p: me too! Jumping from one side of the fence to the other is quite exhausting - and illuminating!

kenju said...

William's mother sounds a lot like my mother-in-law....LOL. She had another son, but to hear her, you'd think she only had the one.

PI said...

judy: times have changed and i don't think it would be tolerated now. I know as a step-mother , mother and mother-in-law I step very carefully!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Some mothers-in-law here can be pretty dreadful, especially the husband's mother. They are tyrants. Mothers of only sons can get quite jealous too.

PI said...

GG: I have to admit I was lucky with my second MIL but she - like all good mothers, was happy to see her son happy.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

At the moment my mother-in-law is phoning us at 4 am almost every morning. She lives 2 time zones away in Minnesota so it is 6am and waking up time for her. My husband has tried asking her to call later but her response was that she is dying and if she wants to call people in the middle of the night she will.

A nurse in the nursing home she's in (mentally she's tip top but is physically very frail) saw her trying to call her daughter also in Minnesota at 2am Minnesota time and asked her if it might not be better to wait 'til the morning. Shouting ensued, along the lines of: I'm dying, I can do what I want, and thus did my mother-in-law cement her reputation as a difficult resident with the night-staff. The day-staff could not have been surprised by this.

PI said...

Sam: that is really out of order and unforgivable with small children. I would unplug the phone during sleeping hours but people like that are ace at emotional blackmail. May someone put me down if I ever get like that.