Thursday, 7 August 2008

Page 61

When we got home Mike was in and was thrilled to bits he had got the chauffeur job. It was for a guy who owned a sort of department store of all types of chairs it was called’ The Chair Centre’ and was in the city, hence the need for a good knowledge of London. The main car he would be driving was a top of the range Jaguar but he would also at some times where required drive a Bentley. He said he got on really well with the boss, whose name I have forgotten . They were going to put a telephone in for us as he would need to get hold of Mike sometimes at odd hours. They would also pay for our calls within reason. On some occasions when they were entertaining they would want Mike to help announcing people and driving some home.

I didn’t think Mike would like being at someone’s beck and call but he seemed really pleased. A uniform was being provided he had to go for a fitting next week. The money was really good as his boss said to it was to compensate for being on call. He would get paid for any overtime he did. His sister was Lilli Palmer the Hollywood actress.

Mike said his boss wanted to know about the twins and Lesley as they unfortunately couldn’t have children. He said sometimes he would want Mike to chauffeur him and his wife and their parents to certain places for a day out and that if Mike would like to he could bring Lesley with him on appropriate places. Mike said he would love too.

The twins were ever so good they went to bed at about 6.30pm , would wake for a feed and nappy change at about 11pm then sleep till morning albeit about 6am. Very occasionally one would wake up during the night and wake the other one but it was very rare. It was easier with the twins than having just one or maybe I was more sure of myself than I was with Lesley.

Mikes Mum came up to see us one day and said she had heard rumours that they were going to demolish Coomer Road and re-house us . We had seen at the top of our road they were building two blocks of flats about 16 floors we were told on the bush telegraph. Mike and I were worried as we hadn’t got a tenancy we were only lodgers in his Mums house. I said I would go to the town hall and see where we stood. With three children under four we needed to now the situation we were possibly in. Mikes Mum was upset she had lived in this house all her life, Mike was born there. We didn’t know for sure this was happening.
The Town Hall said they new nothing about demolishing Coomer Road and were sure someone had got hold of the wrong end of the stick. As for our situation they couldn’t or wouldn’t give the criteria for being re-housed. So I learnt nothing.

My friend Olive was going to emigrate to Canada as they had had enough of being unable to get a descent flat. Olive’s sister lived in Edmonton and they were going to stay with them for a while until they sorted themselves out. I thought it was a big risk as they had two children one 4yrs old and one 3yrs old. Paul the eldest child had had a real bad case of meningitis he would have to take medication for at least 2years. It had badly affected his nervous system. They had also borrowed the money for the airfares from the Canadian emigration scheme and would have to pay it back over the next two years.

Olive asked me if I would like any of her furniture as it all had to be sold. I said I would like her childrens cupboards and a kitchen unit she had that I had always liked. I also told my Mum that she had a lovely bedroom suite for sale, very reasonable as I knew my Mum had wanted one for ages. This was a good opportunity . She went and had a look and bought it straight away. Olive and family were emigrating in February a couple of weeks away so we arranged for Mike and a mate of his to pick up our furniture the following week ,a day was decided upon. My Mum made her own arrangements.

The following week a Thursday, Mike and Mickey from next door were supposed to collect the furniture at 6pm before Olive’s children went to bed. They left about 5.45pm and I fed and bathed the children and put them to bed. It was now about 7pm and I thought Mike and Mickey should be back by now. Another hour passed and another ,at about 9,30pm they arrived I asked where they had been and they didn’t have to speak I could tell they were both drunk. They managed to get the furniture in and Mickey said sorry and went home. Mike was fuming he said don’t you ever embarrass me in front of my mates again, I said I didn’t think going to Olive’s 3 or 4 hours late was right. The next thing I knew I was flying across the room, I landed with such a thump, I was sure serious damage had been done. I tried to get up but couldn’t I was all disorientated. He thought I was pretending to be hurt so lifted his foot and pushed or kicked me back to the floor at this point I must have passed out. I came to and Mike was leaning over me and said that’s enough of the pretence make me a cup of tea. I couldn’t get to my feet I tried but was in too much pain and I wasn’t sure from where. He finally realised that this was no pretence and that I was really hurt.

At last he helped me to my feet and said he would make the tea. Good of him don’t you think , after he had half killed me. My back was agony, once sat I couldn’t get up. I think Mike was getting worried. He helped me to bed and started to apologise but said I should know better than to upset him when he had had a drink, once again it was my fault. I dared to challenge him. He had been quite good for quite a while and it made me complacent. The next morning I could hardly move and I was black and blue but obviously no real damage only to my pride. I still had three children to take care of. Thank goodness they were fast asleep last night. We got through the day somehow . Soon Mike would be home .What kind of mood would he be in. The dread had already set in. It got so you dreaded hearing the key in the lock.He came in all smiles with a bunch of flowers for me and toys for the children, I felt like throwing the flowers at him, did he really think this made things better, in my eyes it made things even worse. I didn’t know who I was anymore , I did so much pretending that things were ok with Mike and I . If it hadn’t been for my kids I would have been committed. They kept me sane. The thought of something happening to me and leaving them with their Father was enough to keep me going.

As was the usual thing after an altercation Mike was as nice as pie. This was where I would pretend that all was ok just to keep the peace as a wrong word from me would completely tip the scales. If my mum and Dad knew what was going on I think they would have insisted I leave him but I knew this was not possible with my Dads health and I couldn’t put them in that position So I kept it to myself.

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