When your younger son is 57 today and his elder brother is 59 you realise you really are old!!
‘Babe and me thought it was a good idea’ is our family saying for when someone – not pointing at someone recently or presently in power today – does something unexpected and stupid.
When our elder son, Simon, was in nappies we had those terry towelling napkins you had to soak and wash daily. By the time Bernard was born, disposable applies were available and the make we used was called ‘Golden Babe.’ Unlike the rest of our family, Bernard had white-gold hair and his nickname was soon ‘Golden Babe’ or ‘Babe’ for short.
Simon was three and Bernard was 6 months old when we moved them out of the box room and into a junior bed and larger cot in the spare bedroom. To our horror, the first morning the boys were in their new bedroom, Simon scribbled all over one newly painted wall.
‘Why did you do that?’ We asked. He looked over at Babe, who had just learned to sit up alone, and certainly hadn’t yet learned to speak. ‘Well,’ he said. ‘Babe and me thought it was a good idea.’
We couldn’t be cross. It was such a great saying!!
The following year we opened our educational toy shop, John Dobbie , in Wimbledon Village and amongst our stock we sold fancy dress clothes. They both loved dressing up.
Read more of my memoir in ‘Woman in a White Coat’ on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99
Now blocked by a shutter and covered with graffiti, this was the Goulston Street entrance to 116 Wentworth Dwellings in what is known as Petticoat Lane, and where we lived until 1942. We children never knew the dark history of the landing above hours. It wasn’t until I started to research the history of Petticoat Lane for my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’, that I discovered that in the doorway of 119 Wentworth Dwellings, two floors above us, at 2.55 am on Sunday September 30th, 1888, PC Long found a blood-soaked piece of Catherine Eddowes’ apron. Her murderer, thought to be Jack the Ripper, had left her mutilated body in Mitre Street, some distance away. His reign of terror in the East End of London, killing and disembowelling local prostitutes, finally ended three years later, with the murder of Mary Jane Kelly.
Had we known it then, I’m sure we’d have played Jack the Ripper games instead of ‘Cops and Robbers’ or ‘Doctors and Nurses’.
And I thank all you lovely people who bought copies of ‘Woman in a White Coat.’
Several people at the readings I have given from my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ in Westminster Libraries have suggested that I record excerpts. I am therefore appending a reading from Chapter 1 and the corresponding text.
‘Woman in a White Coat’ is the story of a young Jewish girl brought up in a cold-water tenement in London’s East End. In spite of her disadvantages, she becomes in turn a Harley Street dentist, an entrepreneur, a Consultant Pathologist and Director of a Cancer Research laboratory, as well as a wife and mother of four children.
‘Woman in a White Coat’ is available on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99
This excerpt starts in 1931 when Dr Abby J Waterman was born.
Excerpts from ‘Woman in a White Coat‘
My mother said she cried for days when I was born. I wasn’t the son she wanted, the son who would carry on the family name and say the prayer for the dead (the Kadesh) at her funeral. She didn’t need a third daughter.
Happy New Year – and many more to come for all of you wonderful people who have been following my blog and reading my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat.’
Always great having Louise and her family over from the Basque Country for the New Year and Simon and Bernard and his girlfriend coming to dinner tomorrow. Has to be vegetarian for Bernard and Josh is cooking vegetable cottage pie. I’m going to make the desert – Plum Traybake.
Louise made a great flyer to take to independent bookshops. A few have agreed to stock my book.
Great having the family to dinner – Louise over for the weekend from the Basque Country, Bernie newly with an MA with distinction and his girlfriend, and Simon and his wife.
Joshua made his delicious Fish Pie and I defrosted the Pear and Caramel tarts I tried out the week before. Josh will sometimes try a new recipe when we have guests but I’m too scared and prefer to try them out on the two of us first.
The recipe is from the Waitrose magazine and I have now modified it to make only 6 or 7 tarts. Mostly we are six for dinner and if I make the 12 in the original recipe it would mean freezing some. Better to have something different next time.
We used the lump sum I got when I retired to buy a terrace house in Nerja in the South of Spain..
When we bought No 6 Los Huertos, Nerja was a sleepy seaside village with cobbled streets, the occasional horse-drawn carriage and the classic white painted houses of the Alpujarras – the land south of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
From my memoir Woman in a White Coat The small delicatessen cum supermarket on the corner, a furniture shop and a hairdresser supplied us with everything we needed. For years we went there Christmas, Easter and in August – Joshua was still teaching at the dental hospital and had to take his summer holiday then – and one or other of our four children would join us. The simple fish restaurant 100 yards away served the catch of the day with crisp delicious chips cooked in locally pressed olive oil. Several restaurants in the centre served excellent local food. On Sundays we would drive up the steep road to Frigiliana, browse the craft shops, buy yet another pottery dish and eat lunch in one of the many restaurants.