My brother and I knew that our parents were getting divorced, no question about that. My mother had driven our father out of the house and we basically approved of this, because he had done some unacceptable things. Personally, I was pretty happy with the idea that we would have our mother all to ourselves.
But she sat us down one day to inform us that she was going to marry Jack, the family friend who had driven our father into an unjustified rage one day when he made a totally innocent compliment. Of course, I was only 13, so it is quite likely that I had missed a few details. Anyway, she said "I know he doesn't look like much, but he is really so nice." I am disturbed by this comment even today. No, he was not handsome, but he was absolutely no worse than our biological father. Was she hoping to find somebody more handsome? I think it was just a clumsy statement because she didn't really know how to announce that she was getting married again, but I still find it strange.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Mar 6, 2019 21:33:57 GMT
Our Mother died in 1994 after 53 years marriage to Dad. They were happy I suppose... my father refused to allow Mum to go out to work, even after us children were grown up. I think that she would have loved a little bit of independence, especially after raising 6 children...but she did all the 'domestic duties' and basically Dad organised their lives and made all the decisions...she was very submissive and to a certain extent I'm quite like her...well I used to be. Much more assertive these days.
ANYWAY..Mummy died on October 12th. On November 5th I still put on my customary bonfire night party for the family to try to cheer us all up a bit (pre-dog...hate fireworks now) Father brought along a ' lady friend' without warning...myself and my sisters were astonished and a bit annoyed..this lady was a friend from before he met Mummy (the rest of us had never met her before) and had lost her husband a few months before. It wasnt this lady's fault and we were all lovely to her of course...but it was a complete shock to see Dad could move on so swiftly whilst we were all still crippled with grief.
I think Dad would have liked to have found someone else after he lost Mum, and I sometimes wonder if our rather childish reluctance to let go of our idea of our Parents' idyllic marriage prevented him from doing that.
When I was doing my geneaology research, it struck me how often people remarried very shortly after the death of a spouse. Mostly after the death of a young wife so there would be someone to help with the kids, I imagine, but even older wi.dows/widowers remarried quickly.
An interesting change among my male friends and relatives. As the men become widowers, they've noticed that there is a shortage of women available to take them on. No one is bringing hot dishes, suggesting travel together, offering to mend the clothes, nagging them about Dr. appointments . . any of that. Is it that older widows who have worked long years and are well pensioned are now more financially secure and don't need to do care taking or domestic work for a male provider?
If only that were true, Kimby. One of the biggest issues in France is widowed women left with almost no revenue who have to go to the associations that distribute food. I think the category of traveling widowed women is not as big as you might think.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Mar 7, 2019 16:58:19 GMT
I'm really happy that I decided to take on a work pension when I started working for the NHS in the 80s. I dont get my state pension until I'm 66 but the NHS pension meant that I could retire at 60. We'd never have been able to manage just on hubby's state pension that's for sure.
The very first Eurovision song contest that I ever saw was in 1965 during the year I spent with my grandparents. The television was in the kitchen on a shelf over the refrigerator, so all evenings spent watching television were at the same yellow formica table where we ate all of our meals. The matching formica chairs became quite uncomfortable after a few hours. We were extremely lucky in those days because we had 2 television channels, while most of France had just one. We had the French channel but we also had Télé Luxembourg, since Luxembourg was only about 50 kilometres away.
Anyway, that evening, it was the same programme on both channels, so I don't know which one we watched. There were 18 participants that year, a new record, and the show took place in Italy, which had won the previous year. Besides the Western European Eurovision zone, it was also broadcast for the first time in Eastern Europe on the Intervision network.
The show lasted 1h38, compared to tonight's estimate of 3h40. Luxembourg won the contest, with France Gall singing Serge Gainsbourg's Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son. For us, it was like a hometown victory. Luxembourg was so much closer to us than Paris. Of course France Gall was French, but nobody cared about such details. She became one of the most beloved singers in France over the years and died last year at age 70.
In any case, the Eurovision song contest became embedded in my life at that moment, so I have remained faithful to it over the years. There are too few moments when all of Europe comes together, and that has always been important to me. My grandfather was mayor of the village, and he constantly received letters with DDR stamps on them. He threw them away unopened, but I was totally fascinated that another country would continue to write to a small village in France.