Tag Archives: Marriage


I was a lot slimmer in 1956

We started going into supermarkets separately when we were first instructed not to shop in groups but to shop singly. I asked a Tesco manager ‘What about the aged? Oldies like us?’. ‘It’s fine,’ he said, ‘Don’t worry. It’s not meant for couples like you.’

But Josh said he didn’t want the hassle of being told off by an officious security guard and now we find it’s a good thing having separate lists. We cook on alternate days and often want very different ingredients, so this new arrangement works fine.

Except we often arrive at the checkout at the same time.

‘Are you together?’, the cashier asks as we combine our trolleys. ‘We have been for 65 years,’ I gloat.

The response varies from ‘Really. 65 years? How fantastic,’ to ‘Amazing. And you’re still married?’

It’s as if it’s strange for people to stay married!!

When we were young, the only divorced person we knew, well not ‘knew’ but ‘knew of’, was Wallis Simpson – and what a scandal that all was!! For my generation, ‘Till death do us part’ meant just that!!

And couples all got married. I can remember the first time a neighbour said her daughter had moved in with her boyfriend, and how shocked I was. I wasn’t shocked at the idea of her daughter living in what was then sin, but that she had told me! In those days you’d be ashamed to admit such a sinful occurrence and there were plenty of ‘shotgun’ weddings, with the ‘bump’ hidden by discrete adjustment of the bride’s wedding dress. And many seven-month babies resulted!!

I really don’t know where all those years have gone – the good and the bad: the joys of our children’s successes, so much more satisfying than our own, and the horrors of their illnesses and accidents – again much more heart-rending than those we suffered ourselves.

Thanks to Boris there will now be a rush to carry out those marriages delayed by COVID-19 – and long may they last!!

To love and to cherish until death do us part.

Read more of Abby’s stories in her memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ and her previous posts Abby’s Tales of Then and Now. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site and get a taster for free. ‘Woman in a White Coat’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £9.99 in paperback. ‘Abby’s Tales of Then and Now’ is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour.

Woman in a White Coat


As soon as I turned seventeen, the pressure was on. This was long before Computers or Internet Dating, and my mother started to worry that she’d have to find a Shadchen (a matchmaker) if, like a nice Jewish girl, I was to get married and have a big family. But despite my mother’s fears, all I needed was the nerve.

In my early teens, eager to meet handsome young men, I got myself booked into Guy’s Hospital Dental School to have my teeth seen to. I never actually got off with any of them, and I certainly never knew why I had the professor and a crowd of students around me when a new junior student took over my treatment.

I was now a senior dental student myself and treating my favourite patient. He was an elderly man who had a fund of brilliant stories of Times Gone By. He kept me in gales of laughter – in between me trying to get on with filling the many cavities in his teeth.

I’d had odd twinges of toothache in a lower premolar, but when I consulted our very misogynistic professor, he said he could find no cause for my pain and that I was just another hysterical young woman student. But now I had a throbbing pain in my tooth that seemed to be bursting out of my head. I’d never experienced anything like it. If you’ve ever had really bad toothache you will know what I mean. It was almost unbearable.

I apologised to my patient and said I’d have to put in a temporary filling. I just couldn’t go on.

He tried hard, but he couldn’t help grinning.

‘Don’t worry, my dear,’ he said. ‘You get yourself seen to. Good to have an excuse to come and see you again.’

The pain had subsided a little and I was able to bid him goodbye.

I didn’t know the on duty house surgeon very well, but I knew he had the reputation of being very skilful but with a sharp tongue. I expected him to be as scathing as my professor.

By now the pain had simmered down a bit. I went up to him and asked him to look at my tooth, explaining that the prof had been unable to find the source of my fleeting pain.

In very little time, he established that a right lower premolar, which had a small filling in it, was the source of my raging toothache. The very junior student at Guy’s Hospital, who’d treated me all those years ago, had drilled too deep and exposed the nerve in the centre of the tooth – hence the crowd around me, watching the exposed nerve being capped off. It had lain dormant for years and was now finally giving trouble.

The house surgeon gave me an injection, removed the inflamed nerve and arranged to complete the root filling when it had settled down.

Having made a further appointment, he asked me if I’d like to come to the cinema that weekend to see ‘Les Enfants du Paradis.’

The rest is history. Now, four children and four grandchildren later, Josh and I have been married the best part of 64 years.

Josh as a very handsome young dental student (not me – another student in his dental chair)

Josh as a very handsome young dental student (not me – another student in his dental chair)

I thank all you lovely people who wrote and commented on my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat.’

‘Woman in White Coat – the memoir of girl growing up the East End making good.

I thank all you lovely people who wrote and commented on my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat.’

About ‘Woman in a White Coat’

Buy it on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99