Mini biography of my mother

In a dark dingy hospital in the North of England, a baby was born. Her grand arrival into the world was made highly inauspicious for several reasons, the main reason being that a Caesarian section was required. This in itself was not particularly unusual, however her father couldn’t be tracked down, and there was no surgeon available.

Eventually a surgeon could be tracked down (dragged off the golf course), though he did complain about being dragged from his game of golf on such a nice summer’s evening (he was winning). Her father being contacted presented a far larger problem. Since this was before the days of cars and telephones the police were used to find him, and when they couldn't find him the operation had to be performed without his consent.

The birth itself took 72 hours and ever since my mother hasn’t let anyone rush her.

She was born on June 21st 1959, at a time when Marilyn Monroe was still starring in films, when sending a dog into space was thought revolutionary, when dressing to look like a teddy bear was considered fashionable. My mother speaks of these day and the following two decades will deep nostalgia for reasons I cannot begin to fathom. She speaks of it as if it was a golden age, and conveniently forgets events like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the appalling haircuts.

Her earliest memory from childhood was sitting at home with her mother, listening to “Listen with Mother” on the radio (TVs were not yet a life essential). They then went into town, and she was pushed around the town in a red spotted pushchair.  Afterwards she went home on the bus. Having been taken into town from a very early age she comments upon being distinctly unimpressed by the large crowds of people and the noise. She was a true city child and began using public transport etc from a young age.

Later that year she moved to Nottingham, however she claims to have no recollection of moving house. Soon after that she started primary school. She remembers this vividly for a slightly sordid reason, the reason being that the girl next to her had an “accident”. Towards the end of the day, when the teacher was telling a story she remembers the girl next to her wetting herself.

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Another of her earliest memories is of a more serious nature. It is of President Kennedy’s assassination. She remembers playing out in the streets on her blue scooter, then came in to find her mother pacing up and down with the radio pressed against her ear. When she spoke her mother suddenly became cross and explained that she was trying to listen to it. Five minutes later she explained that the president of the United States had been assassinated.

When asked how her childhood was different to a modern childhood, she says, “childhood then was far less organised than ...

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