Tuesday, 6 July 2010

One Day Late

My friend, Margaret, read my blog the other day. You don't mention Paul, she emailed later. David is our eldest son who we meet often and Patrick, who frequently comes to stay, is the youngest. Paul is in the middle, but he lives in Colchester so we see him a few times a week. We would never ignore Paul.

Margaret and I met fifty years ago when we both worked in the typing pool of the English Electric Company in Liverpool. We decided life was terribly boring and that we would hitch hike round the continent together. Such adventures were frowned upon in those days. 'If you leave this house,' my mother told me, 'you needn't think you're coming back.'

Regardless of this, Margaret and I resigned from the English Electric and hitch hiked from Liverpool to Dover, travelling one part of the journey on top of a load of beer crates on the back of a lorry. We went by ferry to France and then hitched to Paris where we looked for work but didn't find any. We had little money and ate nothing but French bread for a fortnight before hitching as far as Lyons, meaning to go as far as Nice or Cannes. Instead, we got a lift to Geneva, found work as shorthand typists in the United Nations where we stayed for two months, then with another branch of the United Nations in Rome. They actually flew us there and we stayed in Rome for three months having our bottoms pinched by young Roman men. We eventually learned to pinch them back.

The wages were fabulous, three or times as much as back in Liverpool. I had remained on speaking, or at least letter-writing terms with my mother. As soon as she was told how much I was earning, she felt able to boast about my achievements whereas before she'd been ashamed.
And she let me in when I went home.

Have just watched a programme about The Andrews Sisters on television. I like watching these sort of programmes because I write so much about the second world war when the sisters were very famous. One sister is still alive in her nineties. So many of these real life stories have terribly sad endings. The sisters split up as they grew older and went their own ways. In the end, they almost hated each other. Yes, really sad.

Will go now. Hope everyone is well and happy. Good night.


  1. Wow, sounds like you had a very exciting time on your travels. That took a lot of guts to just take off like that into the "unknown". Congrats to you!

  2. I admire you so much! I've just read through a lot of your blog, Maureen and am fascinated. I've been reading your books avidly and am officially hooked and inspired. I've written a blog about you here; www.everythinghasasimplermeaning.blogspot.com

    I hope you are well.

    OH and it's awfully sad about the Andrew's Sisters :( They're one of my favourite ever music groups. I tend to lean more toward that era for music as it was much better back then.

    All of my love, Shell! (Michelle) xxx