Wow that was one terrible fortnight I’ve just had and I don’t want to discuss it with anyone cos it was horrendous. But today is the start of the rest of my life, I may be one day closer to death but I don’t wanna think about that until nearer the time I’m going to meet the big man with his scythe, again.
What to talk about today? I’m not sure but I’ve been told my life is rich with stories to make the hair curl, make you cry, laugh and wet yourself and, apparently, I’m very good at telling them. I don’t think anyone wants to hear of my exploits with the dragon, death or near-death experiences. I really don’t have a clue where this is going to lead me but it will be brighter than my last few posts, so sorry if I almost brought you down to my private hell with those. Anyway, here we go…
In 1973, at the age of 19, I had protective sex with a girl approaching her 20th birthday (to be honest sex was all I wanted hence the protection). The condom had burst when we had finished and I prayed to anyone who might be listening that it would be ok and she wouldn’t be pregnant. I didn’t finish with her though, we kept seeing each other but only had sex on another 4 occasions then she dropped a bombshell on me just four weeks after the fateful time, her period was late and it was always on time. Two weeks later we got married as her period still hadn’t started. We found a place big enough for the two of us in Edinburgh, close to the city centre, and could just about afford the rent. I married her thinking her folks had plenty of money. After all they owned a house in the most expensive area of Edinburgh and two adjoining cottages in Carnoustie. Because they knew she was pregnant when we got married they told us to move to London and “gave” us money to get started down there. They paid for the first week we were in London so we could stay in a residential hotel (it was a dive but it was only for a week). I found a bedsit in Muswell Hill for us to share (The Kinks had released an album called Muswell Hillbillies and I’d bought that a few weeks before getting together with Lizzy). There was a £100 bond which again her dad provided, along with enough money to keep us going till I got paid at the end of the first month we were there (May 1974). When I did get paid we decided to have a night out in the West End, it cost me the entire months salary to have that one night out as we had something to eat and drink before going to the Leicester Square cinema to see “Sunshine on my Shoulder”. It was when I rang my father in law the next day to see if he could sub us for another month I got the feeling something wasn’t right in Scotland. Later on I found out that he thought he was well rid of the girl he and Molly had adopted when she was left in a hospital emergency department and the pittance he had given us was a paltry sum to him to be completely rid of the drain on his resources and the cause of his heart problems. Anyway, he did sub us for another month and after that we didn’t go anywhere unless we went by tube in London. just to make sure the money I was being paid would keep us going so we didn’t have to ask for handouts from anyone. In the August my baby girl, Sara, was born after her mum had been in hospital for a week. I could not have wished for anything better, she was beautiful and I remember thinking that life could not get any better. How little I knew how bad it was going to get.
I will save that for another day, at the moment I want to concentrate on my relationship with my baby. I knew this would be difficult to stop when I got started, When my father in law took early retirement, aged 54, my mother in law came down to spend a week with us and see her new grand-daughter, this was a godsend as I didn’t have to stay home to help out as I would have had to take unpaid special leave to do that. Anyway, this put a strain on my marriage as we had no privacy and no time to ourselves. My daughter was still the light of my life and I used to hate having to leave her to go to work Monday-Friday. I always made a bee-line for her when I came home and would pick her up and make a fuss of her for at least an hour before putting her in the bath and getting her ready for bed. I was the one who encouraged her to try walking from 6 months and she managed unaided at 9 months, unfortunately, her mum wasn’t there to see it as she had gone to get something for our tea on her way home leaving me to get Sara from the child minder and take her home and feed her. When her mum came home I was cuddling Sara and singing softly to her, I then told Lizzy to sit down on the floor and call Sara, I stood Sara up facing her mum and held her up, when her name was called she went to drop and crawl to her mum but I said “no” and she walked halfway over.
Of course Lizzy was in floods of tears by this time as I knew Sara could walk but she’d missed her first steps. I told her it had only been a few to get to the chair and some sweets. After that there was no stopping Sara and she wanted to walk everywhere. Unfortunately, when her mum and I split up I left her with her mum, not knowing that Lizzy was going through a complete meltdown at that time. It came to a head really when I rang to see how they both were and Lizzy said she wanted to die so could I take Sara. I told her I’d be down in a couple of days to see how she was doing. Went home and told my girlfriend what had been said on the phone and she told me to go. Luckily the following day the clothing grant I’d applied for came through and I used that money to go down and pick my daughter up. I’d had a good chat to Lizzy from the time I arrived at hers until getting Sara’s bits together to head back to Scotland that night. Turned out she had finished with her long term boyfriend two days before I rang and she couldn’t cope with having Sara to look after as well as suffer her heartbreak. Anyway, I told her that I would have to get myself a solicitor and start proceedings to have sole custody of my daughter, in the meantime I wanted her to concentrate on getting her life back on course and then she could come up and collect Sara when she was ready.
I had Sara living with me and Jean for 6 months before Lizzy came up to collect her and I was wondering if there was something wrong when she turned up with Social Services in tow. They were only there to make sure the hand over went smoothly and one of her friends had advised her to arrange this before she came up for Sara, who was almost 4 by this time. It would be almost two years before I saw my daughter again and that only after fighting through the courts.
I think that’s enough to be going on with, I may continue this another time, or maybe not, if anyone is following my blog can they let me know what they think of me baring my soul in this way?