This was routine most evenings. I’d have been about 3 – mother would’ve been hugely pregnant with my new ‘playmate’ – and I’ll need a whole post to describe how traumatic I found this promise once I discovered it wasn’t the white rabbit in tartan dungarees that I’d imagined this new arrival to be – and I’ve no idea how old Kimmy the crossbreed dog was. Probably 8 or so.
It’s weird to think that dad was just 31 in this photograph.
Because I ate before dad came home from the butcher shop he worked at, he’d always have his dinner on his lap in front of the (tiny) telly. In fact this happened for most of his life as far as I remember and I think we only ever sat at the dining table in the front room for special occasions – Christmas, Birthday teas etc. My brother and I used to eat our teas at the picnic table and bench in the kitchen after school and mum would pass our servings through the partition/shelving unit that separated the dining end from the cooking end.
I used to love dad being home because it alleviated the tension of it just being me and mum. Mum wasn’t such great company; I think she found it hard to know what to do with this little girl she’d tried 5 years to conceive; odd then that she’d decided to go through it all again. But she was very fond of pointing out that my brother and I were like chalk and cheese – he was a simple, happy bundle of fun and I was anything but. I do remember having the feeling I needed to be noticed and I guess this translated itself (to mother,anyway) into me being clingy and demanding. I can see how it would happen; I’d been an only child for 3 years and once the spotlight had left me, I felt in a very cold and dark place. Luckily I still had my Nanna’s attention otherwise I dont know how I should’ve managed. I think mother would have sold me