for EMO

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This is one of my favourite photos of me. I was about 7 or eight, 1961 or 2, and staying with friends of my mother in a little village outside Brecon, in Wales. She would leave me there for weekends and holidays, because she was a working mother, recently separated from my father, and this was the only place he would let me go. I loved it. I was safe, in a real family with a grandmother, parents, two little girls and two dogs.

Perfection in many ways. I wasn’t too fond of the food, but I also wasn’t too interested I was a bit scared of the dogs, but they didn’t bother me. WhatI did like, as an only child, is having someone to talk to all the time. E was a bit older and M a bit younger. They had lessons with grandma in the morning, but I wasn’t made to do them as I was a guest. But I sat and listened anyway, and probably learned a lot. In the afternoons we were sent out into the woods, fields etc to play. Rain or shine, I seem to remember. For a city girl like me it was at times quite overwhelming, but E was extraordinarily kind. And imaginative. Her father had built her a little log cabin in the little woods by the house, and we played there a lot. Houses. As you can see in this photo. Very uncharacteristically I am doing the washing up. I am not terribly houseproud now, and I certainly wasn’t then, but I did want to please. So I put on my pinny and scrubbed. I am not sure what the blackboard was about, but it may have been a vestige of one of the plays that E liked to put on.

60 odd years later, E now lives in Poland and is still putting on plays. M, sadly, is not longer with us. But my memories remain.

I have a feeling I have already written about this in the past. I’ll have to have a look. The dress was blue and very special, because Ciocia Hanka made her daughters’ ones before I arrived, and then took me into the town to buy more material, so I could have one too. I was so pleased to be one of the family.

One comment on “Wales

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