It was Jackie`s birthday on the 3 rd December and he asked if we could get engaged then, I was on cloud nine and so were my Mum and Dad when we told them. He bought me a beautiful ring scroll shape with diamonds set within the scroll in an old fashioned setting, I loved it, I bought him a gold signet ring with a diamond at one corner.
My Mum and Dad were so thrilled they asked Jackie if it would be alright to announce it in the local paper, he said yes and gave them the details of his parents. We hadn`t spoken about a date for the wedding as we anticipated it being at least a year away.
When I went to work the next day after getting engaged of course all my mates wanted to see the ring and congratulate us. The irish lot really sent me to coventry, they blatantly snubbed me, looked the other way and made snide remarks. Barbara my best mate said that I should just ignore them but it was hard and it really got to me. Jackie said he had spoken to them about it but it got worse.
Christmas was fast approaching my Mum was the host this year, so there would be about 20 people for dinner Jackie said he had never had Christmas with so many people my Mums brothers and sisters and families would be there and there were 13 of them but only about 10 would be coming.
Christmas arrived, Jackie and I went over to my Grans across the street to wish her happy christmas and out came the bottle of sherry as was traditional. Jackie looked at me I knew what he was thinking, our first disagreement, I said that I was sorry but I am going to have a drink with my gran, he really got the hump and stormed out. Tough, my Gran would have been so upset, luckily she was stone deaf so had no idea of what gone on. I made some excuse up for his departure.
I eventually went home to see how Jackie was ,he was the one who signed the damn pledge not me. I think he had thought about it because he was his usual happy self but I didn`t get a kiss for a while ,in case of contamination I suppose.
We had dinner and had a great time, the tradition when my Grandad was alive was clear the table ,wash up and then play a card game called Newmarket a game for money, only coppers That was everyone , even the children. This was not just at christmas time it was every sunday after family dinner. I missed him so much but it was a time for happiness not sadness, he wouldn`t have wanted that. The day seemed to last forever, it was great, Jackie and I were so happy.
Later in the evening, after tea we all had a sing song,musical combs,spoons in bottles, harmonica and anything else we could make a tune out of. Christmas day came to an end , those going home went and the rest carried on.
Boxing Day today, a more restfull day, just my Mum ,Dad Dennis Jackie and myself my Gran had gone to my auntie Betty`s house down the road. Dinner was cold meats, chips and homemade pickles and chutney`s. Also fantastic cakes and pastries my Mum had made, she was an amazing cook.