About a year or so before, I had started my new job at the University Department of Museum Studies, where we had 20 students, 2 lecturing staff, a secretary, and a technician – me. It was like a family in itself and I think the students were almost as excited as we were. And we had moved into our first house (we’d had flats, but never been owner-occupiers; almost like being grown up), a Co-operative movement built terrace in the middle of a short row of 6 with a shared (defunct) water pump in the middle.
The young family - with a rather disgruntled Ben, ready for bed
Marea’s mum and dad bought us a pram – HCB (high carriage built). A beautiful thing, but rather difficult to get up and down the steep steps up to the front door. How we loved that house, and constantly opened it to groups of friends and acquaintances. We weren’t especially well off financially, but had lots of friends - we were rich!
Ben in the HCB pram in the back yard
Ben - angelic, or what?
The house came with a long garden. You can only see about two thirds of it here; the lower section was a typical cottage garden crammed with flowers, but the top was my pride and joy – where I grew fresh vegetables and fruit. We bought an extra large freezer for all the produce, salted beans, made bread and, of course, wine. It all seems half a world away. It’s certainly over half a lifetime away.
Both sets of parents are now gone and Ben is grown into a (not quite so) young man, and like his younger brother, Toby, a son to be proud of. Both are seen here organising and cooking for Marea’s 60th birthday fusion BBQ. I know they don’t read this blog, so they won’t be embarrassed.