Parents and Parenting!

January 23rd, 2011

Approximate years covering these events 1948 – 1950

My father was not at home for 90% of the time being a commercial traveller (sales rep) and when he did appear I always found it very embarrasing and was very uneasy in his presence, after all he was as if a stranger in the household. My mother, being a frail person and having had to cope with the stress of coping with everything on her own, became more and more depressed and would shut herself in the bedroom for days at a time. Every month or two she would emerge and do a clean sweep of the whole house to such an extent that she would end up even worse than she had been for several days often requiring the doctor to be called to help her settle down.

We, my two sisters and brother would do most things for ourselves and the squabbles and arguments were horrendous. When my father would be at home he really wasn’t bothered where we were as long as he had his meals and went off to the pub for his nightly drink things plodded on in the normal chaotic way.

There were no hugs and kisses in our family, indeed this was deemed as totally unnecessary and demeaning by mother. The only time that we were given a hug, which was a long drawn out drama, was when the “men in white coats” came to take her off to a mental hospital for treatment. Her mother and sister arrived to try to stop father from sending her as it was such a scourge on the family name to admit that anyone suffered from mental problems. During her absence it was decided that my eldest sister would be taken out of school to look after the houshold. She was then in her last year at high school being about fifteen. This eventually led to her rebelling and running away where she was found by the police at the local speedway venue. This was of great concern as the “happenings” there were deplorable her being under the age of consent.

All the youngsters in the neighbourhood would meet on the recreation ground which was just in front of our house. There would be between 12 to 20 of us all having high jinks as is the wont of youngsters. Then later a Youth Centre was formed run by my sister and some older boys at the nearby school hall. Initially there was an older man who oversaw everything but he soon went and we were all left to our own devices. Boy! Did we have a fun time! Our house was an open door situation and we would go from there to the YC at all hours of the evening and night organising events such as dances and fetes and using the facilities of the school. We spent all day Saturday in the Domestic room cooking scones and buns for an evening social where other YCs had been invited to come along as well. It’s amazing that this was all accomplished by 15 to 19 yearolds.

Well, soon the family was to be split up by the fact that we were evicted and from then on any concern for us was absolutly zilch!!

The effect that those things had on my ability as a parent I will relate onother time.

P.S. Just FYI I shall not be able to post to this blog for several weeks as I shall be away.


January 20th, 2011

I had a great ambition to be a shorthand typist secretary. These days they are called a PA. I started to teach myself the shorthand when there was a free period at school and then on leaving at the age of fourteen I signed up at the city college for evening classes. At that time I was working at a small grocery shop and would cycle home, a good 4miles up a grinding uphill road, only to find that my mother would have completely forgotten and there would be nothing ready to eat so I would turn round and cycle all the way back.

In order to get the shorthand class and the typing class I had to do a third one so I chose drama. Many a time I would sit in class with my stomach rumbling thro’ not having had any meal. It wasn’t long before I fell ill with rheumatic fever again, so that put an end to that.

Because of being in a frail state the Employment Bureau went out of their way to get me a job in an office. It was a shoe manufacturing business and I had the job along with others to sort out the paperwork to get the next batches of shoes made. I loved it and only after afew months when my senior group manager was away for a few days I was left in charge. Unfortunately I did have one mishap and put thro’ a batch of shoes with the wrong style number. I was really terrified but the bosses were very understanding and said they were able to utilise them elsewhere.

Then a problem arose when things began to get very unhappy at home with the result I started to talk and talk and talk. It was as if I knew that I was doing it but I just couldn’t stop. Finally I was told to find other employment.

From there I was able to get another office job sending out invoices and taking the cash when customers came to pay. Another enjoyable place but then when we were to be evicted from our home my sisters and I went into factory work.

Many years later when my children were about 6.7.and8 I then went back into office work and again had a lovely job as a utilities clerk. This meant that when the orders came in I had to work out how many buttons, buckles, heels and lasts were needed. How much leather or suede etc. needed to be ordered. I was able to get the work done so quickly that they then put me into  a more responsible position of assigning the various styles of shoes to the factory.

Then my OH who was having an affair, proudly announced as much to me so I told him that he could pay ALL the bills from now on as I was going to leave work, which I promptly did. He then up and left which I was very pleased about as he was a very violent man and had beaten me up on more than one occasion.

Many years later I had a job with Tesco head office where I did the cash sheets for a certain amount of their stores and then other places where I dealt with invoicing or sales. I began to realise that I had the potential to do bookkeeping and accounts and so obtained books to read up about it myself, eventually culminating in taking a bookkeeping and accounts GCSE and a maths and english O levels, all of which I passed with flying colours at the age of 52.

Of course I would have loved to have been able to go to uni and get a degree but at least I tried my best with what opportunity was presented to me and am quite pleased  that I was able to put my abilities into practice as not only did I take over a small office where I did all the bookkeeping to trial balance but also went on to work for B.P. at one of their stores where I again ran the office by myself, cashing up, banking, wages, ordering goods, etc. etc.

I would recommend anyone do their very best to achieve their dreams, we only have one go at it, this is not a practice run!!

January 20th Thursday

January 20th, 2011

A good day workwise. Managed to get all my washing up to date and then made some marmalade. Took quite some time to cut the peel into thin strips but pleased with result. Just hope it all sets properly. Did eat too many calories altho’ I am feeling rather lax because I know everything will go out the window when I get to Sandras.

Breakfast  –  1oz Branflakes + Milk

Lunch  –  1oz Bread + 1oz Cheese toasted + Tomato cupasoup

Snack  –  Apple

Dinner  –  Pizza small + Carrot + Br. Sprouts + Tomato Ketchup

* 2 Mini Choc. Rolls

Carbs.169.2  Fibre 20.2  Calories 1304  Protein 109.9  Fat 52.6  Salt 5.55

January 19th Wednesday

January 19th, 2011

Another snoozy day. Did manage to get some work done.

Vacumed thro’ flat and the outside hallway. Also made carrot soup but didn’t quite finish it as back too painful by then. Changed my lunch menu to scrambled eggs for a change but they do use up too many calories AND I had another 3 mini chocolate rolls! So evening meal sort of cancelled, had just a snack.

Breakfast  –  1oz Branflakes + Milk

Lunch  –  2 Eggs scrambled + 1oz Bread toasted + Butter

Snack  –  * 3 Chocolate mini rolls

Evening  –  2oz Ham & Fruit Yogurt

Carbs. 105.2  Fibre 8.15  Calories 1143  Protein 106.9  Fat 54.7  Salt 2.4

January 18th Tuesday

January 18th, 2011

Another good day diet wise even tho’ I had an extra treat I managed to keep within my 1000 calories or so.

Got up at 8a.m. and then promptly dropped off to sleep again! Really annoying. Was able to get out and go for my lunch at my favourite place as they really do a delicous chicken roast.

Breakfast  –  1oz Branflakes + Milk

Lunch  –  Chicken + Peas + Carrot + Potato mash 2oz

Snack  –  * 3 Mini Chocolate rolls

Evening  –  4 Crackerbread + 2oz Cottage Cheese + Beetroot

Carbs. 120.8  Fibre 10.8  Calories 1098  Protein 145.8  Fat 103.5  Salt 3.9

January 17th 2011 Monday

January 17th, 2011

A good day today although I didn’t get up till 11am. Had quite a restless night but at least my back pain has not gotten worse.

Spent the day browsing forums – alright for some, hehe!

Diet went well.

Breakfast  –  1oz Branflakes + Milk

Lunch  –  35g Bread + 1oz Cheese toasted + Tomato cupasoup

Dinner  –  4oz Ham + Cabbage + Carrot + 3oz Peas & Prunes + 2oz Yogurt

Carbs. 140.6  Fibre 22.8  Calories 1045  Protein 48.7  Fat 30.2  Salt 3.35

Emotional Upheaval

January 14th, 2011

I have found that the writing of these things have been very disturbing and was unprepared for how much it has affected me. At the moment I have decide to just take a break for 24hrs or so as I not only resorted to quite a long binge but have also had two really sleepless nights. This in turn has lead to my back being very painful and I need to get both of these things back under control.

January 13th 2011

January 13th, 2011

Had a very good day and kept to my diet well.

Then in the evening went to make a cup of tea and went berserk.

Breakfast _ 1oz Branflakes + Milk

Lunch  –  Banana

Dinner  –  small Pizza + Carrot + Cabbage + Tomato Ketchup &  2 Mandarin Oranges

Apple + 1oz Cheese

Total 961 Calories

* 4 Chocolate marshmallow teacakes*

Eleven Plus

January 13th, 2011

Having missed the exams – the “Eleven Plus” – I was sent to a Comprehensive school unlike my two older sisters who had passed and went on to High School.  It made quite a division between us as I did not have the homework they had to do and I did not have to wear a uniform either.

Only a few years later I fell ill again with the same thing. This time was even more devastating as being that bit older I was so much more aware of what I was missing. The loneliness and feeling of being such a nuisance was so demoralising and by this time my mother had begun to show very bad signs of her depressive state hardly tending to any of my needs. I would have to wait till about 11.30 in the morning for my breakfast and anything else before the evening meal was non existant.

Whilst my sisters were of the opinion that I was being petted and favoured because of being at home they were unaware of the fact that I was witness to the continual arguing and fighting between my parents, although my father was hardly at home being as he was a commercial traveller and cycled the length and breadth of East Anglia. He had the proud boast that he was the first to introduce Swarfega to the shops at that time.

The items that he was to merchandise was varied and at one time it was tins of biscuits. The big grey square tins that would be displayed in the stores would be piled in a shed at the bottom of our garden.   On occasion my sisters and I would raid them and sit and munch through quite a few pounds. Then one day there were these three beautiful body puffs, one yellow, one pink and one lilac, the type that are used to apply talcum powder after a bath. Having finished his use of them we could choose the one we wanted  but we all wanted the lilac one! Now my eldest sister had always gotten the first choice but this time I threw an almighty tantrum and so numbers were written on pieces of paper and we had to chose one – and I got it!! Little did I realise that it was to mean a continual bullying campaign from my sister to the point that she would put a pillow over my face till I could struggle no more and then let me go. I really cannot remember how many times this happened but it was repeated quite frequently.

It has had a profound effect on my relationship with her to this day.

More of the Past

January 12th, 2011

From the age of about three years old I was covered from head to foot with eczema and was taken into hospital. My hands were tied to the side of the cot so that I couldn’t scratch and I was plastered with coal tar. I spent several weeks there and then back home only for this to re-occur and back into hospital, in fact my mother said that the nurses were my parents as far as I was concerned and I was more distressed when I had to return home.

My earliest memories were my mother washing me down with bottles of tap water after a visit to the seaside otherwise I would break out in eczema again.

During the war years because of the food rationing and scarce amount of fruit and veg. I then had rhuematic fever and was confined to bedfor many weeks. Long drawn out solitude with hardly a visit from either parents or siblings to keep me company. Then several weeks of convalescing before going back to school where I was put into a class that was lower than the age I should have been in as I had missed so much schooling, much to all the other childrens amusement.