There was always an expectation back then that everyone got married. I gave up on the idea when I had Suzanne. There would be no handsome prince on a white horse for me. It just wasn’t possible. And I had responsibilities. I had made my bed and I was to lie in it, alone.
Earlier, when I was 17, there was talk of Vince Braddock”s brother. He was an odd little man but he did have his own house, well it was more of a shack. Some people thought we were an ideal match. He was single and in his 30’s. There were all kinds of strange stories about him and looking back I suspect he was gay. Perhaps his family thought marrying me would fix him. He gave me a lovely silver cross.But I had other things to do so nothing happened.
I went out with guy called Wally. He was nice but lived up to his name. My mother used to say, Walter, Walter take me to the alter but there was no passion, no spark. One day it dawned on me that the way things were going we would end up in suburbia with two kids and a white picket fence. I wasn’t ready for that and to my shame, I broke his heart.
My mother had her eye on Len Taylor. He was one of my brother’s flat mates. I have some lovely photos of him with Suzanne when she was a baby. He was quiet and conservative. Really nice but boring. He went on to become an Anglican minister. Any one who knows me, will know I am not church material.
There were others of course, but usually they used the marriage word to get me into bed and disappeared. And at times I was stupid enough to fall for it.
Once I had Suzanne my prospects dimmed. But some people don’t give up. In mid 1979, Eric and Lynne Davies said they had found the perfect man for me. Eric knew him through the church I think and they invited us dinner so we could meet.
I think his name was Graham and he was very nice, a few years older than me. He seemed very old. He also had a few problems. He wore hearing aides in both ears and those really thick glasses. He was an alcoholic and had liver damage. He also had a severe heart condition. The dinner was very nice though I remember having to make gravy because Lynne didn’t know how. The meal was really tiny and the guys were still hungry so we pigged out on cheese and crackers.
I invited them to my place for dinner the following week. We dined like kings. Of course there was no alcohol so I couldn’t make one of my standard recipes, grilled grapefruit (seeped in sherry and brown sugar and then grilled) but we had four courses and a lovely time.
Lynne and I talked about him and she didn’t understand why he kept drinking when he so sick. He invited me to his place for dinner and I got my answer. He lived in a basement flat. It was bed sit and the kitchen and the bathroom were combined at the back. It was damp and cold and didn’t get any sun. He didn’t have a job either so his days were spent alone watching day time TV in a cold damp flat with nothing to do. In those conditions I would probably drink too.
He was very gentle with Suzanne and a really nice guy but there was no spark, no passion so it didn’t go any further.
I gave up on the idea of a handsome prince. I was content with my lot. I had Suzanne, nothing else seemed important really. I would go out and have fun but there would be no serious relationships.
Then I met Marty.