i was married to my husband for 18 years, it all seemed ok. I met him at a Judo club in UCL in London. My friend Penny and i who worked for Coutts Bank decided we would learn it to keep fit and also for self defence. We went several times and many of us would meet in the pub after for a social drink.
Penny gave up after a while but i decided to keep going. I was living at home at the time in Hockley, Essex, so it was a commute from London, hour or so. But i met Jackie who was even shorter than me, at the class, who was training to be a nurse at the London Hospital. We got to be friends.
Jackie decided she would come out of the nurse accommodation and get a flat in Bow, London, as nurses got concessions but she didnt have anyone to share with from the hospital, so she asked me if i would like to join and also Brian, who was living in a bedsit on his own. I said yes i would, it was an opportunity to leave home, again, at a cheap rental whilst working in London. I had left home before at 18 to train to be a nurse in Surrey but it did not agree with me, the sight of blood, needles, etc, i ended up on the floor in faint, so had come home and done a Pitmans Secretarial course and got a job with Coutts Bank in the City of London.
Well i signed up to the three bedroomed flat with Jackie and Brian, it was in Bow, a stones through from the City and on the 14th floor of a tower block. There was an amazing view and a silence at that height. It was slightly unsavoury but an experience and the rooms were very big. We got on ok, i was earning the most at the time and seemed to be the main supplier for milk and general goods required! Jackie often wanted her friends round and would ask Brian and i to go out at this time! We were often at a loss what to do so we would go to the local pub and have a drink together. We got to know each other and became good friends. I became good friends with Brian and Andrew his brother, we would go out together in town and whathaveyou. Brian and i became more than friends and eventually we with our savings bought a maisonette together in New Barnet in Hertfordshire. I still worked for the bank but i managed to get a local job in an Insurance company by writing to all the companies in the area and quite quickly got a letter back from one company asking me for interview. It was brilliant, ten minute walk to work and flex-time, where you put the key in as you enter and take out as you leave. They were a good friendly bunch.
I remember getting the keys to the maisonette our first home and how exciting it was to go there and open the door for the first time as home owners. I had been staying with him at his mum and dads house in Paddington to keep in touch, really and easy for travel to work. It was all ok. Brian was a Stone Mason, someone who repaired stone work on buildings or made it up, he had done his apprenticeship on West Minster Abbey.
We decided to get married and it was a do-it-yourself job at the local Registry Office and i did the food myself with a friend. Lots of friends and family came, it was more than we expected.
Then we decided to have a baby, so i thought it would be nice to move near my parents in Hockley, Essex to have family around. We sold the maisonette and bought a new Wimpey home in Hockley, Essex. When i was about seven months pregnant we moved to Hockley. I remember my parents and my brother Alan standing at the door of the new home, so pleased that we would be living nearby. We moved a couple of times to different houses and our final one in Hockley, was in Marylands Avenue, i loved that house, the big airy windows and the lovely view of the countryside from the back bedroom. The walk in ten minutes to be in the woods and The Mount.
It was hard work for Brian commuting to London and he did change and got a job at the local swimming pool as a Life Guard, he was very good at swimming. I had of course, given up work, to move there and have a baby. I could have kept my job at the Insurance company, they said, if we had stayed in Barnet but would have had to find childminder for baby. I think i should have done that…. and for us to stay there, things would have been different
Well we were happy enough and two years later Nicholas was born. Brian was working in London, Stone Masons pay was very good. Sometimes we would stay at his parents house in Paddington at the weekends. His parents were Irish and had been sent over by their parents to England to earn money, as they had come from farms and rurual areas of Ireland. Brians mum, came as a Nanny and his dad a building labourer.
My parents loved having us around, we would often go there for tea and my dad would love playing with his grandchildren, in his element. Christine would swim across the carpet in an imaginary ocean and Nicholas would want to tell us jokes with the main punch line often being Squash Tomatoes! There was Playschool and then School for Christine, i would drop them off and then go and do aerobics at the Community Centre. We were all fit, swimming, walking, i did yoga every day, as my dad did. Bought tape on childrens yoga which Chrissy did and found her yoga heart to this day, who is a teacher with er own LifeTree Yoga lessons on Utube and local sports centre in Shrewsbury.
Then along came Robert, so the three amigos i called them, wrote a poem too, we had some fun and went swimming, karate and generally time passed very quickly in the family life. We had pets, Chip the hamster, Tigger and Freddy the cat and then Jo… Lizzy the dog.
One day, Brians site where he was working got bombted by the IRA and he was out of work. Thats when it went pear shaped. It was very difficult for me to find work and when he did find work again he was out for very long hours so it was impossible to leave them with him whilst i worked.
Brian nagged me to get work, his brother, sister-in-law, who in the future did work when she had children but her mum looked after the children. My dad was willing but my mum was not. She had looked after my Grandmother for serveral years who had lived next door to us and had enough responsibility of looking after people and said she wouldnt do it. oh well…
I went to College and did Level 2 and 3 in Computer Studies in order to get a job again. It is difficult to get back in the job market if you leave it and you do need retraining. The courses were free at the time, as the Government was trying to get people educated in computers, City & Guilds Certificates, i dont know if they even exist now.
Brian would do his karate lesson with his friend Mo who lived round the corner with his mum and dad, he was in his twenties and he had met him at work as he was a Stone Mason too. He would come to our house and they would do training in the garage and then sit and smoke in the kitchen. The kitchen would be full of smoke and loud voices. They smoked things they shouldnt too…
Brian got more and more dominant and i guess as often happens when the wife looks after the children, she is worn out, tired and not in a good position if she is not earning money herself, she is reliant as i was on him. Moods change, from being a confident single woman earning a good wage in a London bank i was now subserviant to him, whilst he worked and was the breadwinner for us.
He became complacant with me and also not very nice…. He had a very loud voice and a temper came through that was not there before… although his brother Andrew said he did have one, though he had never shown it to me. Up until now. He turned into a monster. some men do this. He did not care about me, my well being, would denegrate me and do awful things. For instance, when out shopping, he would chuck anything i put in the trolley onto the floor, he would buy icecreams for himself and the children but not me, he would swear at me when i said i needed a lift to the doctors when i didnt feel well. He would stomp and put his fist through the doors, he was n ot a happy person. He was scarey to me and the children. He blamed me for everything since time began, said i was fat, stupid, useless as a wife in all respects and didnt work so was useless.
It became a horrid existance after starting so well. I think this happens to many women not just me. There was conflict of what women should be doing, in my mothers day, after the second world war, women were encouraged to stay at home and look after the children whilst the man went to work and women were homemakers. In my day there was difference of ideas where some women wanted to stay at home to look after the family whilst others wanted to go back to work as soon as they could as they felt being at home with children was boring or making them brain dead. I enjoyed looking after my children, helpling them read and having silly conversations…
it went for ages and ages, i eventually got a job with the Government Office as a clerk and very soon put in for promotion and got a job as an Assistance Compliance Office in the Tax Department. And following that in the Registry Department with a local Six Form College. i left him, he was just so awful to me…. my dad had helped us, paid for the house, bought him a car, holidays, stuff for the kids but he said it was all his… It was a shame and perhaps we could have shaken ourselves out of it but when i said i would leave he did not protest.
I left and bought a flat in Prittlewell, i should have stayed in the marital home and he should have left so the children could stay stable in their home but they wanted to leave too. It is a case of flight or fight…. we took flight.
So, he bought a flat and i bought a flat … then i managed to get a mortgage and bought a little Victorian house for me and the childrem. It was traumatic, it was upheaval, we were all affected, i say we still are… He soon married a woman who lived down the road in Rochford, and they bought a house together…. that is it…. very quickly…. she is by the way much larger than me, even at my fattest…. She is an extremely nice lady….
So that is it …. my husband…. Nick carried on at Southend High School for Boys and then onto Leeds Uni. Rob went to Plumberow in Hockley and would travel on the train there. I would go on the train and pick him up to start with . Then he went on to Greensward College and then Southend College Six Form Film Studies and to a degree in Weling Garden City. Chrissy started doing a College course to be a Childrens Nanny but gave it up and worked in a local call centre. She met Mike on the Internet and there she is successful, happily married and doing amazing things. They all are amazing….
It is a shame, i dont think he could cope with a family and could not cope with the shouting and denegration. Maybe we could have got through it and been happy? You start off loving someone… He was an intelligent man when i first met him, spoke well, always reading a book and interested in many things, as i was, history, opera, art, interesting places.
But when i saw him at his brothers funeral, poor Andrew, died too young leaving a partner and two teenage children, Zoe and Luke and Helen his wife, who were just a lovely happy family, he seemed to have gone down a notch, in the way he spoke and wearing white trainers to his brothers funeral. They didnt seem suited, him and his wife Sue but i think they were thrown together with love after being divorced and that is how it is.
What happened it was all too much… i should have stayed in my home in Hockley and still be there now….. i have done far to much… in the interim… thats how it was, i cant change it…
I just wanted to be married, like my parents to the same man for 60 odd years, share it all to death do us part and all that… but instead…
it is a shame indeed…..
i always remember going up to London to visit his father in hospital with the children and someone saying to us what a lovely little family we were….. The Headmaster at the Primary School said to us what an interesting family we were too…. i wonder…
time has passed…
here i am …
62 years old, just written this, we are in the midst of a Panamdemic and i have advanced glaucoma. I live in Shrewsbury near Chrissy and Mike her husband. Rob is in Balham in a bedsit, unemployed after losing his job as a film editor for a company that filmed all the tennis tournaments and Nick and his girlfriend are living in the house they just bought in Plumstead, he works for the National Childrens Beaureu and she The Red Cross, he is working to be a lawyer.
I feel alone, out of my depth with the sight loss, wonder where i will be…. is this the right place to be… Shrewsbury… i miss my home ground of Hockley and Essex, i always went back there….
i wonder what will happen…..
today is Chrissys 34th birthday, she is away on holiday in the North with her husband, get away from it all….
I remember when she was born, living in the new Wimpey house, she was a lovely pretty little baby…. She is very pretty now…
I will end here.. so thats my husband…. that was…..