Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The road thru Bristol

It was the end of August when we arrived in Bristol, from 35 c to 12 c. A big change , the majority of our clothes ,summer weight for the east. One jersey apiece. Shoes not suitable for European winters. My fathers mother was going to put us up until we could find somewhere. We weren't there 3 days when she started on my mother, saying my mother was only fit to be an African maid and that me and my brothers were coloureds. Funny really as my mothers family were Dutch Afrikaners, my father German Jew, the problem was my mother wasn't Jewish. Which was daft because my gran was a not practicing Jew and gave up the religion long before her divorce from my Grand father. Still we were told to go ,I never saw her again for 12 years and didn't really know her at all. With only his travelling allowance from the navy my father approached the council housing office, when he got married he had registered for a house so he asked for someplace until we could sort things out. Their solution , my brothers and I could go into a home and my mother and father into a temporary welfare shelter.  Not bad I suppose for someone who had seen active service for his country, He just lost it in the office ,almost posted the mans head up his arse and walked out. Homeless in Bristol in the middle of winter, so my parents started phoning. we never slept for two nights it was to cold so we stayed in Templemeads  station with our bags on the platform. How ever it came about we came across a German Lady who I will always remember as Aunt Lisalotte, her husband an ex soldier was the caretaker of an old derelict house in the Whitehall area of Bristol. Without knowing us ,she looked after us for a week I will always have a place in my heart for her. My Father managed to get a mortgage and bought the heap of bricks that would become home.

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