As I said at the beginning (archives Jan 16th 2006) Gran was the greatest influence in my childhood and she died before ever seeing my new son. She would have thought it fitting. She always said the normal span of life was three score years and ten and she had reached that. Also she would have thought she must make room for the new member of the family. I’m relieved that ideas have changed somewhat; my father died in his mid- eighties and Mum was definitely taken before her time, aged 90 as a result of too much flying.
Always believing that breast is best, I wanted to nurse #1son through the baby’s most vulnerable time – the first year, and managed to quell the pangs of grief to keep the milk flowing. As he thrived and got bigger I started to shrink and at eleven months I got a period and Mum said that was a sign to stop nursing – so I did, content that he must have got most of my immunities. It seemed to work; the childhood diseases both boys got were ones I never had.
One of the best things I did was to teach William how to bath the baby and from then on he was a devoted, hands on father. What was missing in our relationship was compensated by our relationship with our children – total, unconditional love. Life was pleasant enough; I have always thrived on routine and so did baby and we had our new friends and their babies to go for walks and have tea parties whilst our boys sat, crawled or rolled about according to their different accomplishments.
I had no intention of doing any more modelling and then one of my favourite photographers - Neil Nimmo asked if he could come to photograph the baby. I said yes because he was a charming man and it would be lovely to have some first-rate photographs which would have cost us a bomb. Then we heard that Heinz wanted to use us as the Heinz mother and baby. I refused – politely telling them I was nursing him and I didn’t want to interrupt his routine. They assured me that everything would be done around him and nothing would be allowed to interfere with his schedule; they would send a chauffeur driven car, I would have privacy to feed him deed dah deed dah!
After much discussion William and I decided to give it a go with the proviso that if it was upsetting him we stopped. We were going to appear on TV using me to introduce the advertisement as a well known model. I was given a script and I proceeded to learn it – as I thought. It was so simple – just me introducing myself telling them about my baby and how he enjoyed Heinz baby food which happened to be true and I loved the chocolate mousse!
I think the car was a Silver Shadow – very posh, and quite a few neighbours happened to be around when we were picked up. I was tempted to give the Royal wave but thought it might affect future relations so restrained myself. At the studio they were as good as their word and baby’s well- being came first. I settled him in his carry –cot whilst I did my piece to camera. They asked if I would like it broken up into short bits but I said no – I would do it all in one – easy peasy!
By the time they had finished with adjusting the lights and light meters with me brilliantly lit and blinded so I couldn’t see all the people talking around me I was a little unnerved.
The director finally said they were going for a take and a hush descended.
Pat: (beaming smile) Hello my name is … (my smile froze. What the hell was my name again?)
After a little chat we agreed that we would do it in small bites. I was mortified. This was nothing like talking on stage or being photographed in a studio – it was a whole new ball game. They couldn’t have been nicer and said it was better breaking it up as I could change position which made it more interesting to the viewer. The next bit was mother and son together. Now what?