Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Page 66

From left to right. sheila, steve,Lesley
We were worried about the lack of affordable heating. You could see the disk on the electric meter going round about 100 miles an hour. We would have to look maybe for paraffin heaters at least one for the dining room and one for the upstairs landing.

I got the kids ready and we set off to see Hemel Town Centre we had to drop off a couple of forms at the Council Offices. We were quite impressed there were lots of shops. We bought a couple of convector heaters as we couldn’t stand being warmer outside than indoors. When we got up this morning there was ice on the inside of the windows upstairs.

When we got home Mike installed the paraffin heaters and secured them firmly to the floors as with the twins nothing was safe that wasn’t fixed. I still had this feeling of fear for them. You wouldn’t believe the difference in such a short time it had heated the whole house. Also we were right across the road from a garage that sold, amongst other things paraffin.

I was so surprised Mike really got stuck in laying carpets downstairs putting up curtains and installing the cooker and washing machine and loads of other jobs. At this rate a couple of days and we would be straight. The children were all wrapped up warm and playing in there beloved garden, I could hear them all laughing and playing. Mike had secured the gate so they had to call us if they needed to get out.

That evening we had our first proper meal at the dining table all of us sat around chatting away it was really nice. The twins had been so well behaved it couldn’t last. The next morning Mike had to go to work and I had to take all three children to the school to arrange for Lesley to start . I told the twins if they didn’t behave they wouldn’t be able to go to that school when they were old enough, it worked, the head-teacher said she would look forward to teaching them as well as Lesley . She would start school the next day. The school was only two minutes walk from our house but I would still have to get all three kids ready . Eventually when she had settled in she would probably walk to school with her friends.

When Mike came home I could see something was wrong he said he had given up the coal job he couldn’t stand it any longer. He said he would be out first thing in the morning job hunting. I thought he could have lasted a bit longer until he had found another job. He was true to his word he was up early and I asked him if he would watch the twins while I took Lesley to school he said yes and off Lesley and I went. She was nervous but excited at the same time. A teacher met us in the entrance and took Lesley to meet her classmates, I said I would be there to meet her at lunchtime at the school gate. I felt really choked leaving her, not knowing any one at all.

We were at the school gate early and out she came all excited she said she had had a lovely time and made loads of friends already. She said one particular little girl she really liked lived across the road from us she was called Kim.

We all sat down for our lunch and Mike walked in ,he said he had got a driving job and was to start the next day which was good news. The wages weren’t that good but better than none. I couldn’t understand why he hadn’t gone for a job on the buses when I asked why he said he had changed his mind and that was that. This job was driving a rigid lorry I believe it was general haulage, loads of drops.

Dennis and Roy came to stay the following weekend and we had such a good laugh them telling us about there escapades, they made themselves out to be a bit tough but we knew it was all talk. I suppose at 19 yrs you were allowed to spin a few yarns. The children loved them being there it was like 5 kids not 3 and two young men but it was great.

Christmas was almost upon us and I would have liked to get the house decorated but I don’t think there was much chance of that. Mike was working all hours to try and get the money together for the Christmas presents, with three young children it was a very expensive time. He was absolutely shattered and I didn’t think he would stay in this job long.

Lesley was really enjoying school and would have liked to go during the Christmas holidays if she could. She had made lots of friends and I said after the holidays she could go to school with them. I could watch her right to the school gates from the landing. She was thrilled, no mummy tagging along. We had settled in the house and area, we all really liked it but it was odd not knowing anybody. I had just got friendly with Mia next door when she said they were emigrating to Canada…its odd but that’s the second person I have become friends with that has gone to Canada….maybe it was something I said.

She had a beautiful home and asked me if I would be interested in buying curtains and things. I said I would but didn’t think we could afford it at the moment with christmas being only a couple of days away. She said they weren’t going until February but it was up to me, The windows were an unusual size the dining room was like patio doors with a balcony only bigger therefore from floor to ceiling, the lounge was 12ft wide x 3ft deep one at the front and one at the back so Mia`s curtains wouldn’t be any use to anyone else. They were beautiful so I knew I would have them but I would hang on she might reduce the price, hopefully.

We had a lovely Christmas in spite of Mike being his usual miserable self at these times. He just couldn’t cope with the kids enjoying themselves , all he wanted to do watch the television and tell the kids to be quiet. This was the most difficult thing for them they were excited it was Christmas. So he went to bed, good riddance I thought now we could have fun. What a way for a Dad to be.

The next day Boxing Day we were going to my Mum and Dads for our second Christmas. There would be loads of presents for the kids round the tree. If Mike behaved we would have a lovely time and my Mum and Dad could spoil them . They didn’t see much of them since we moved.

After dinner we played with the kids that is my Mum and Dad and me, as usual Mike was watching the TV but on this occasion couldn’t tell us to be quiet. I could see his forehead throbbing. I knew the next thing was “shall we make a move “ he was so predictable. So we got all our things together. There were so many toys most from Harrods as that was where my Mum worked and got a really good discount. Thanked my Mum and Dad for a lovely day and off we went. The kids all fell asleep and it only took us about 1 hour and we were home.

The house was looking quite nice now with the curtains from Mia, it even made Mike say he would start decorating when I could afford the paint and paper. Mia and John were having what they called an emigration party and they had invited Mike and I. I got Dennis to come over and babysit Mike said the kids would be ok as we were only next door but you never know what could happen and I would rather be safe than sorry. He said I fussed too much but I didn’t think I did and until he could do better then he should wind his neck in.

We had a really good time at the party. I was sorry they were going as they were a really nice couple.
A few days later I was looking in the local paper and saw an advert for Tanker Drivers to drive for Texaco. I couldn’t believe the wages they were at least twice as much as Mike was getting now, working all hours.

When he came home I showed him the advert and he was really keen and said he would ring them tomorrow. I had got the materials to decorate the bedrooms so Mike said he would start at the weekend. Of course the kids each wanted there bedrooms done first so we got them to put there names in a hat and I picked one out and guess what Stevie boy won, which of course meant Sheila won as well, as they shared a room. Lesley was not amused and went off in a mood which lasted all of 1 minute because I couldn’t stand sulky people and said if they had a problem with someone or some thing then not to go and sulk but talk it through.

Mike rang Texaco and got an interview for two days later. He had never driven anything as big , the tankers were 32ft long. They said he would get an intensive training course paid for by them. He had to have the day off work and they were not happy, tough. It paid off because Mike got the job and immediately handed in a weeks notice.

We got up for school the next morning and Lesley shouted Mum quick look out of the window ,everywhere was covered in snow it looked really beautiful. The twins rushed downstairs they had never seen so much snow. It was really deep. I have never seen them get ready so quickly they were washed and dressed in no time. They didn’t even want breakfast but I insisted.

We left earlier than usual as I knew it would be a slow journey. It was hard work walking, it really was very deep the kids were finding it very hard just walking. We eventually got there and dropped Lesley off.

The snow lasted quite a few days. This was not really very good for Mike doing his training but then again it was probably good because he learnt to control skids without the skidpans. When he came home he said he had really enjoyed it and the instructor said he was a natural. The training lasted three days. Then it was on the road on his own delivering petrol to garages.

I got a letter from my Mum saying she was coming to see us the next day as she had a problem with our Dennis and didn’t know what to do. This worried me I couldn’t think what problem she could mean. Still I would find out tomorrow.

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