What do you think of it so far?

Thursday July 7, 2022

I am just coming to the end of my 87th month of June on this planet. Somewhere in the middle of this span of years I did a Masters in Computer Applications for Historians, and as a side dish ‘A’ level statistics, so I might as well make use of them.

Birthdays were a very mixed bag. Some very boring, many in various countries, a few where I consumed enough alcohol to not remember them at all. And a few highly dramatic. For the first ten years of our marriage I felt uncared for, usually ended in tears. The fact was it was hay-making season, a machine always broke down, and by the time we had mended it and baled the hay it was too late even to go down the pub.

My mother claimed that my actual birth was a terrible experience. The midwife/district nurse who patched me up after I fell out of a tree said the birth was very easy. Anyway, Mummy stated  she was ‘never going through that again’. I remained an only child; the mind boggles how she managed it in the 1930’s. My very survival was shaky – my mother could not feed me, they gave me cow’s milk, which nearly killed me and set up a lifelong intolerance to dairy products, and has been  an awful nuisance explaining in restaurants and when invited out.

I was married for 64 years to the same person! I was treated as manic-depressive for 20 years, wrong diagnosis. All our houses were near wrecks when we acquired them, three in UK and four in France. Wars! Spanish Civil, WW2, Korea, Viet-nam, Suez crisis, Cold, two Gulf Wars, Afghanistan permanent, now Ukraine. There was the Turk/Cypriot, only affected us because our favourite restaurant was Greek Cypriot. The owner got very drunk and started throwing bottles, we turned a table up and sheltered behind it with the kids. Just missed three IRA bombs. Was in Dublin the day after Mountbatten was murdered, chaos with the world press and more bomb threats. I have a ring bought in a shop in India three weeks before the tsunami struck. Lucky? Good at dodging? Charmed life?

In 1980, about half way through my current span of existence I wrote this in one of my ‘regulars’. “I hate June. All the dreams of flaming June, Ascot, Wimbledon, strawberries and cream, pretty dresses, long warm evenings under the stars, high money for our first outdoor produce – eyewash. June is rapidly becoming our worst month. It was the wettest for 100 years. Our takings were at an all time low. It is the fete season, and we are beleaguered by requests for produce, and tractors and trailers to cart the Brownies or Tufty Clubs through the local village. All this on successive Fridays, all we wanted was to get out of it. So we beat a retreat to Nice with our bikes”. The next year we bought a house in France. Do you have a ‘disaster’ month?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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