Tag Archives: Wedding


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


I was a lot slimmer then!!

My family was late for everything. That wasn’t surprising, since my mother always started out at the time we were meant to be there – for holyday services, for the cinema, for everything. I got used to pushing past unfriendly knees and apologising ‘Sorry. Sorry. So sorry’.

My parents had always gone to the Great Synagogue in Duke’s Place, but the magnificent old building was bombed in 1942 and services were held in an unadorned single story temporary building. My brother-in-law, who was a ganser macher (big noise) in the West Ham shul (synagogue), persuaded me to get married there and leave from their house which was nearby.

The car to take us to the shul had arrived and my middle sister, Hannah, made last minute adjustments to my headdress. My elder sister, Rebecca, had recently adopted a sweet little baby girl and of course Susie needed changing urgently, just as we were about to leave. It took Rebecca ages as she fumbled with an unfamiliar terry towelling nappy and the huge safety pin. Finally, we were ready, but now we were 15 minutes late. To cap it all, there’d been a minor road accident around the corner which made us later still.

As I climbed up under the chuppah (wedding canopy) it was to see Josh looking absolutely ashen in his Moss Bros tuxedo and top hat. He’d been sure I’d stood him up!!

He and his parents were the opposite to mine and always on time. Once safely married, I caught being punctual from him and now I’m always on time and often early. So – lots of unwanted cups of indifferent coffee while I wait for my friends to arrive or the class or meeting to start.

I thank all the 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.

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