Far away and long ago
I can tell you exactly what I was doing sixty years ago today~ fully nine months pregnant, I was scrambling up Dove Dale with Howard and my mother who had come up from Bristol to be with me at the birth of Richard my first born who would arrive next day the 24th ! It must have been the Whitsun weekend, half term ~ Mum was teaching at the Chew Valley Comprehensive School ~ we had hoped the baby would be here before this as she would have to go home on the 25th for school starting on the 26th ~ I've forgotten what day of the week it was though I have a vague ideait was on the Sunday that the baby was born. So there we were on the 23rd clambering over stiles and stone walls and the baby due any minute ~ complete madness ~ Richard could so easily have arrived out there miles from anywhere ~ and then what ? No mobile phones of course ! "Don't worry, the first one always takes hours ~ plenty of time to get back." I think Mum hoped this would actually induce the birth ~ she badly wanted to get back to Bristol in time for the start of school ~ and as she did not know this part of the country at all she could kill two birds with one stone ! She was right and no doubt encouraged by all this exercise, he arrived just before midnight next day, the 24th ! Tomorrow I'll see if I've got a post card of Dove Dale or the Peak District)
Richard Thomas Wilson Peach will be sixty tomorrow and I have had no contact with him since shortly after he graduated from Canterbury University all of 39 years ago ! Sad but there seems nothing I can do to restore our relationship ~ I blame this dreadful red-headed girl friend who had taken his life over, turned him into her puppet, and poisoned his mind about his mother ~ Janet-bloody-Stakey ! He married her eventually but the marriage didn't last and fortunately there were no children ! I've told you about this elsewhere but with it being his birthday tomorrow, and his 60th at that, and the Dove Dale adventure, he is much in my mind today.
Janet persuaded Richard that he had suffered a deprived childhood ~ she was an only child and thoroughly spoilt ~ funny how much time she chose to spend in our house, considering ~ I should not have allowed it, her treating it as her own home ~ constantly criticising and complaining ~ a quite dreadful character. I told you earlier how she rang me on her wedding day, can you believe, her Wedding Day ~ rang me from somewhere in Lancashire (I'm tempted to say from PENDLE which is where her family came from ~ she was a witch !) to announce that this was her Big Day and to make sure that I understood that I was not invited ! You'd honestly have thought she'd have more important things to worry about an hour before the ceremony. Will and Kate had known about the wedding and had been invited but had loyally told her they would only go if I was invited too.
Funnily enough, years later, when Will and Agi were getting married in Budapest Richard was extremely upset that he was not invited ~ Will told me afterwards he was welcome to come but only if he was prepared to be friendly to all of us, Mother included ~ he chose NOT to be there ! By then Janet had left him for someone else and poor Richard was apparantly shattered ~ if their marriage had been long lasting and happy he might have softened towards me eventually but it would have been very hard for him to admit that perhaps I had been right all along.
Oh my stars ! I'm suddenly starting to weep ~ better go and make a mug of coffee and get a grip ! Later : silly of me ~ it's so long ago since this happened I thought I was past grieving for my first born but there you go !
Had such a happy visit yesterday from my old friend John (yes, ANOTHER John) from Wells up here visiting his family in York ~ his son Patrick, who teaches Biology at St Peter's School, brought him over ~ they went and fetched fish and chips, and then we had a friendly chat outside in the sunshine before John mentioned my blog, at which I brought them up here so that PJ (as he's known in his family) could have a look at it ~ he seemed rather impressed that an old biddy of 82 could produce a piece of work interesting enough to attract so many readers (or visits ~ I'm never sure what the weekly totals mean) ~ so that was all jolly.
Someone just rang to book a Tarot Reading on Wednesday morning ~ I do so few these days ~ hope the magic still works. Saul and Bev called earlier ~ he is not very well at the moment and is training her to help if necessary ~ do hope he is going to be OK ~ a good many of us rely on his toe nail cutting skills.