Monday, July 09, 2007

Glad Tidings
Story contd.

So the resolution was made; a baby or bust in 1956. William was in complete agreement- by no means an every day occurrence – and we set about bringing ‘it ‘to fruition with gusto. We didn’t have pregnancy tests for years and years so after I missed a period I trotted down to the local hospital. Eventually they told me I was pregnant and then gave me a resounding telling –off; I should – they said – have waited at least a couple of months. I explained that, in my job, I often had to chase round London carrying cases laden with accessories and I didn’t want to risk having a miscarriage. They looked rather surprised that someone should actually answer back. Tough!

A month or so earlier I had had a shock when I fell backwards off a table. I was working with one of my favourite photographers; he was an expert colour photographer who had come down to London from somewhere north of Watford and we bonded. Sometimes he was like a bull in a china shop, but I found that quite rare and endearing. He told me that he and his wife used colour transparencies of me to put round their lamp-shades.

I can’t remember what the shoot was for but Jim persuaded me to wear shorts and sweater and balance on a chair which was balanced on a table As usual he was darting between me and the camera; tweaking and rearranging until he got the right shot and suddenly I felt myself going A over T backwards, crashed on the floor and passed out. I was taken to the nearest hospital and felt such an idiot, dressed as I was.

I was seen by a sweet doctor and I remember he had dark curly hair, freckles and a club foot - so I wasn’t completely out of it. After X-rays he said I had bruised my coccyx, there would be no permanent damage but I should rest for a few days. These were not litigious days and I don’t think it would occur to Jim that I could sue him; it certainly never occurred to me. He did however show me the series of photos which illustrated how he had pushed the chair closer and closer to the edge of the table with the inevitable results. The studio insisted on paying me the equivalent of two weeks work which I happily accepted.

Now I was pregnant I would take every precaution to make sure the little thing inside me was safe and sound. I was so happy I wanted to shout it from the house tops but Mum said not to - as nine months is such a long time and people would get bored with the idea. So it would be a secret. Ha! Fat chance! Overnight my whole metabolism changed and my personality. From being a nervy, edgy highly strung girl I became a placid, docile, happy cow. With the serenity came the avoirdupois and William had the wife he’d always wanted. If we could have lived on a boat his cup would have runneth over.

It was time to break the news to Paula. She had news for me. Ben Lyon - a famous American actor and his wife Bebe had a very successful show – ‘Life with the Lyons’ and on the strength of the Spotlight photo, wanted me for Richard Lyon’s girl friend. At the same time H M Tennant a well known London theatre management wanted me. Oh dear! I decided to invite Paula and her husband over for the day, the next week-end. Paula was delighted; she said they would love a day in the country.

21 comments:

Sim said...

Pat - you look blooming gorgeous in those photos. If only I was so photogenic.

Any problems with the coccyx now? I know my sister still has problems after brusing hers years ago. Serve her right for walking down stairs with roller skates on really...

PI said...

Sim: what I forgot to say was I have a large birth mark on my coccyx which I hate anyone seeing and made a big fuss with this lovely doctor and he said it was nothing. Then as he walked out I noticed his club foot and felt ashamed.
Your sister sounds as daft as someone I know who walked downstairs in stilettos carrying her baby and fell.
Both survived. Coccyx fine now but not fof public consumption:)

belle said...

Keith's on a roll, isn't he?!
I damaged my coccyx in a ski fall once - seems alright now but some problem with it did show up in a reflexology session.
Hopw lucky you are to have all these lovely pics from your career

R. Sherman said...

I became a placid, docile, happy cow.

Based on your journal, I've difficulty imagining you that way.

Cheers.

Ms Pretend said...

I will read with relish your tales of London when you were modelling. I lived in London for six years until last year and I miss it. But is must have been really wonderful when you were younger. Just like the movies.

PI said...

Belle: it's a very sensitive part of the anatomy! The pics are getting a bit tattered and torn = apart from the black and white ones I framed.

Randall: it didn't last long - just two lots of nine months!

ms pretend: I used to feel really at home and safe in London then. Not now I think.

sablonneuse said...

I'm looking forward to hearing whether you managed to appear with Ben Lyon before the bump showed - or whether you gave up working sooner rather than later.
Yes, it's true, pregnancy changes your personality but I also remember being as irritable as hell during the last month (but both mine were late!)

PI said...

Sablonneuse: I'll give you a clue; i put on a lot of weight very quickly.

f:lux said...

Did a friendship develope between you and Paula then? Did you go back to modelling between babies? Looking forward to the next installment already!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is a GREAT Story, Pat....! And waiting for the next installmenmt is like "The Perils Of Pauline"...'What will Paula say?' 'When will Pat's Pregnancy show?' You look smashing in ALL the photo's Pat....
I remember he Lyon's....but who is Richard(?)...Their son?
Anyway...looking forward to the next installment, my dear.

PI said...

f:lux: it was a friendly, professional relationship - she was quite a lot older. I invited them to make it easier to tell her I was pregnant. She could really go off on one.

Naomi: I promise I won't be tied down on the railway lines like Pauline:) Richard was the son and there was a daughter Barbara - they may nave been adopted - or one of them. And I think Ben was one of the many people who discovered Marilyn Monroe.

Michele said...

Stopping by to say hello....

What a wonderful story you life is and your telling of it is captivating. I will be around for further instalments.

Yes, I should have been commenting long before this, you will forgive me, won't you?

You were and are gorgeous. Being a print model is interesting, (did you ever do runway?) although some of the work is not and the days can be long. Yes, you can call it intuition or perhaps I might know a little bit about this. (wink)

Please have a glorious day!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

All these offers, and you had to go off and get preggers. Now what? We shall see....

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I can't WAIT to find out how Paula takes the news! V good tactical approach, inviting them both over to break it gently. And it's a testament to the quality of your writing that I keep wanting to say things like 'ooh Pat I hope it goes well' even though I know it's been and gone!

PI said...

Michele: it's lovely to see you and you are very welcome.
I am not surprised you know a lot about the fashion world. No I never did runway (what we call cat walk)- just as well, as I have never been able to walk in straight line. I was never tall enough for high fashion and was more an advertising model. Thank you for your kind words and see ya later:)

Hoss: at least it was deliberate - not an accident:)

Zinnia: getting encouragement - as I do from you - makes it a pleasure to continue with the story; although sometimes it is a bit traumatic looking back and seeing things from a different perspective. For instance I realise now that I could be a pain in the bum, especially when very young and have much more sympathy now with both Jamie and William.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Such is the peculiar nature of well-written blogging that I want to cry Congratulations! and give you a great big hug on your impending mammyhood!

PI said...

Thanks Sam: I still think it was one of my proudest achievments.

belle said...

pi - see, you got a comment from Michele in the end! and a very flattering (justified) one at that!

I did cat walk stuff for a while - oh my, Paris turns, basic turns, shrugging that jacket/coat off ... seems along time ago!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Pat, you really are on a roll with your writing! As Zin says, I can't wait to read the rest. I keep seeing all of this as a tv series. Hahaha, I almost splurted my water at this: 'From being a nervy, edgy highly strung girl I became a placid, docile, happy cow.' So William wanted a plump gal?

FOUR DINNERS said...

Just think. 1 year later n it could have been me you had. Was that a narrow escape or what????

PI said...

Belle: wasn't that great? I was as pleased as when I(once) got a comment from jonnyb! I admire anyone who could do the cat-walk!

GG: Wiliam said I was at my best pregnant. It was not an easy relationship to define. At all!

4d: yes young man - could have been your Mum - not your Gran!