Mike started his chauffeur job and said he really liked it, although it was hard work going from meeting to meeting and hanging around waiting for his boss. It was good for me as he was never in, sometimes he would start work at about 8am and not finish until midnight by that time I was in bed, but he was better tempered.
He had been at the job for about 2 months when his boss said he wanted Mike to take him and his wife and her parents to Kew Gardens and would he like to bring Lesley he said yes and it was arranged for a Sunday morning.
Sunday came Lesley looked so lovely she had her long blonde hair brushed until it shone,she was wearing a red pleated skirt and white polyanna blouse from Harrods courtesy of my Mum and a red cardigan, she looked a picture Mike was so proud of her . It’s a shame he couldn’t feel proud of her when he wasn’t showing her off.
They didn’t get back until about 5pm. They had had a wonderful day, they had loved Lesley and she had behaved herself. She had told them all about the twins, their birth-weight their health problems . How she helped with the feeding. Mike said she knew more than he did. He said they were fascinated by her.
Mikes boss and his wife were going to New York for two weeks this meant Mike had to do odd jobs for them while they were away. He said it would be quite an easy two weeks. He was also to make himself available for their parents.
We had a lovely party planned for the twins first birthday and Lesley’s 4th. We knew quite a lot of Mums and their kids as we went to the clinics regularly and the park and I think we invited about 10 children, most of them were around Lesley’s age but we had a wonderful time. At all their births it was hard to imagine them reaching their 1st and 4th birthdays.
A few days after the party a letter arrived for Mikes Mum saying an housing inspector was coming to inspect the property. Also to see how many people lived their and their relationship to the tenant. The reason being our houses would eventually be demolished and the tenants re- housed. The visit would be the next morning. Mike and I were scared we could possibly be made homeless. At least they could see
that we were badly overcrowded , three children in one bedroom, no bathroom and an outside loo. There was a knock at the door Mikes Mum answered it and called upstairs saying it was the inspector. The children were still in bed and Mike, well it was just to bad there was nothing I could do. He came upstairs and I apologised and said the children were still in bed and he said that’s good I can see how things really are. I suppose he had a point. He poked his head around the door then went to our bedroom I said my husband was also in bed but he still poked his head around the door. He had a look in the kitchen and then apologised for the interruption, he could see that I was in the middle of getting the twins bottles ready and also Lesley’s breakfast. I asked him if he would like a cup of tea as I had just made it and surprise he said yes. I thought maybe a couple of brownie points.
He sat down and asked how on earth I managed. I said I had no choice. He must have noticed, although he made no comment , that I had a bucket of nappies already on the cooker boiling. He was a really pleasant guy and as he was leaving he said don’t worry I will see you are alright. I really hoped he meant it. Time would tell.
This came quicker than we thought about a week later the postman came with a letter for Mikes Mum and one for us from the council. We were both stood there too scared to open them. Mike shouted for gods sake open them lets hear the worst. Mikes mum said she had been offered a brand new one bedroomed flat in Herbert Morrison House the brand new flats that had just been completed She said it was on the 17th floor the very top number 65.
I opened our letter and we had been offered a three bedroomed flat in the same block on the 10th floor. We had to be at the flats which were just up the road at 1pm to view.
Mike and I were ecstatic three bedrooms a bathroom and even an inside loo this must be heaven. We couldn’t wait to view. It was 12.45pm off we went to view. We had to get the lift that was scary, I had the twin pram this took up quite a lot of room but we managed it . We got out at the 10thfloor and found our flat number 38. Mike opened the door and in we went it was absolutely amazing. Immediately opposite the front door was a good sized bedroom next to that was a smaller room a long hallway and then the master bedroom which was huge with fitted wardrobes and all the rooms had lovely floor tiles. Right at the end of the hallway was the lounge we were gobsmacked by it, it was approx 20’ x 20’ it had one wall all glass including a balcony that had glass doors leading to it. There was also a fantastic fireplace with electric fire and brick surround. Leading off this room was the kitchen, the wall that formed part of the kitchen was a serving hatch and it was all heavy frosted glass. The kitchen was also amazing it even had a waste disposal unit was ultra modern, it certainly didn’t look like a council flat. The other amazing thing was a bathroom and separate toilet from no bathroom to a luxury one with shower and an inside toilet. That inspector certainly did see us alright.
We were beside ourselves with happiness. We then got in the lift and went up to Mikes Mums flat to have a look. She had a really long hallway the first room on the right was her bedroom a very good size again with fitted wardrobes then the next room on the right was her lounge this was something else it had window on three sides . The views were amazing you could see St Pauls Cathedral and loads of other famous landmarks she also had a balcony that went around the whole flat. They called this the penthouse flat. In spite of her being concerned about leaving her house she now appeared to be thrilled.
We had to go and see the rep from the council and either accept or turn down the flat, of course we accepted and were told to start packing the removal would be done and paid for by the council as they were the cause of us having to move. They said they would drop off packing crates for us within 24 hours.
We were all so excited even the twins had realised something was afoot. Lesley understood, she had just started infants school at John Lillie School and she loved it but was now concerned about having to change schools but we were going to be even closer to the school, which pleased her. Also her friend Raymond whose mum Carol was my friend was going to live on the floor above us, the 11th and we would go to school with them.
The removal company were true to there word and two days later dropped off the packing crates. It was going to be chaos as we were so short of space that we were unsure as to where we were going to put the filled crates. Mikes Mum was amazing she cleared her sitting room and said we could put them in there as I had to leave some space for the children to play until we actually moved.
The packing got under way I didn’t know where to start. So much stuff went with three children, clothes, toys, and all the miscellaneus stuff the bath, which was a really nice one Mikes boss’s wife gave it to us it had a plug and was a different shape to normal baby baths. This one they got from America. Then I thought it was of no further use now as we had a bathroom in the new flat, so that could go as I had no intention of having any more children.
Mike couldn’t help much as he was working most of the time, so most of the packing was down to me. The removal company sent us a letter saying the move would be in 3 days…help I didn’t see how I would be ready. I asked Mike if he could mention the situation to his boss to see if perhaps he could ease off the overtime for a few days as I needed help. His boss said that would be fine he fully understood the situation, I don’t think he did but there you go and that him and his wife were going away for a few days again.
That night he said he was just going for a quick drink with Mickey next door, he said he would be back to help in about 1 hour. I thought pigs might fly but hoped he would do the right thing. Pam, Mickeys wife knocked and asked if Mickey was in our house as he had vanished one minute he was there then the next gone. I said they had gone for a drink she was fuming as she was in the same position as me trying to pack.
About 3hours passed no sign of them. Another hour and there was a knock at the door it was Mike covered in blood and not looking at all well. He came upstairs and said they had taken his bosses wife’s car and gone joy riding except he had crashed it and the proverbial had hit the fan. The police were involved as he had hit another car. I couldn’t believe that he had done something so reckless. He would now lose his job, all this just to show off to Mickey. Moving to a new flat we would need carpets and other things and we wouldn’t have any money for the rent let alone bits and bobs. I know he was hurt, not badly more his pride than anything but I just couldn’t have cared less about his state of health. I was worried about money now. He knew that as soon as his boss came back from his holiday that he would be sacked as that’s a breach of trust as well as technically stealing.