I went home for a few days at Easter and all the discussion about the wedding planned for July, the pregnancy and plans for my degree ceremony somehow normalised them…they become accepted facts.
Mike is a Catholic and because I had been married before we could not get married in a Catholic church. Neither could we get married until my divorce was finalized. For years I had been content to remain married because it was a way of ensuring that I didn’t get married again! Perhaps it was to do with reaching a certain age but suddenly ‘settling down’ and having children seemed imperative…I walked blindly into everything. How ignorant I was. I seemed to lack any critical faculties…Catholicism! Years later I saw its paternalism and abuse of power laid bare and was appalled by my earlier ignorance
I’m an atheist and found all the religious carry on full of hypocrisy. I was told by father Maxwell, the university chaplain, that if Alex had not been baptized then the Catholic church wouldn’t recognize my first marriage! I had to phone Mrs Howie,, my ex mother-in-law, and ask her to write and tell me that Alex was what she called ( with her smoker’s cackling laugh) ,’A wee pagan.’ After this I had to wrote to Rome for a papal dispensation. It was fixed that we would have a civil ceremony followed by a blessing in the catholic chaplaincy. Once all that was sorted out I tried to concentrate on working for my degree …best I could in a fug of morning sickness
Professor Muir, my English professor was retiring that year and I volunteered to host his retirement party because my flat had such a large living room. All I had to do was lend the space. Dad was terribly impressed by this and spoke of it for years to come
My Dear Joy,
As regards coming up for your degree-day, that’s always been a definite must. Wild ‘Osses wouldn’t keep us away on that most auspicious of all occasions. Chris is not sure at the moment whether he will be able to make it , so in the meantime be sure of our two tickets. It would be a crowning climax for mam and dad to see our lass step up and with all our hearts we do hope you do well. We have followed you all the way with that hope –and prayer and you have worked so hard too. And now you are near the finishing line and the race almost over. How your dad would love that last final burst. I’d feel cool and detached with unswerving purpose. That is I feel, the best way to approach these final commitments –and you’re not the only one you know when you’ve done your best when all is said and done, there but remains good health and modesty above all things to see you through. So, the best of luck .
Its Saturday evening and as usual I’m on my own-mam paying her weekly visit to Auntie Sylvia’s. I’ve had a busy day in the garden and also a heavy week clearing and weeding amongst the goose –gog bushes-a scratching about and I’ve lacerated, raw and sore arms as a result. Today I cleaned the bonfire hole –about three barrow loads of bonfire ash –excellent stuff to scatter about. And now its all clean and tidy-the hardest part done. Chris came down as I was working to say he’d be out for the day-but he’s already done his part emptying the cold frames and renewing the manure and compost ready for the tomatoes. That’s a job that really floors me so I was very thankful. Now there’s only the graves to cut.
There’s not really a lot to tell since you left. Except for Tuesday which was glorious sunshine , the rest of the week has been overcast, cold and dull. . Next week , Tuesday we are entertaining at a Stoke Golding concert and again the next night at a dinner at the Conservative Club. What were my highlights for Easter? Well, of course having you with us above all. Your good Samaritan act with the German lass and your concern over my dad’s grave which never sees flowers. That touched me and I’ll be thinking of you when I’m across next week. I suppose Mike is back with you once again –best regards to him and always my love to you. Dad
PS Hope that you are settled in and steady as she goes , with you in good heart.