Thursday, February 19, 2009

Memories

!image035 My first real memories of my mother was when I was about two. Really it had to be because I was laying in my cot and she was pregnant with my brother Raymond. My mother was anorexic in her thinness. Due to Krohns disease and from frequent bleeding episodes she could barely eat enough to survive. She had this thick mop of bushy ,curly hair. Coal black in colour. Big wide eyes , made more so by the thinness of her face and hard cheek bones. We were staying in England for a few months because of her illness and the difficult pregnancy she was going through. I don't think my father was there. I have no recollection of him during this time . It was during the time of the Sino/European conflicts in the far east. So I feel that my father was stationed either in or near Korea or Formosa or Vietnam. I do know that he saw active service in the French /Indo- china war. The mental scars from this time would be there for the rest of his life. Walking bombs were the norm, the early days of the so called suicide bombers. But they were not free agents usually they were toddlers and young children, strapped with explosives and sent into the troops on guard. I know my father was involved with the evacuation of civilians and had to fire live rounds at any suspected person crossing a no go area. After shooting a child the person doing the shooting prayed that they blew up. More often than not they didn't, that was the hardest to accept.
On the day Raymond was born my mother haemoraged and was rushed more dead than alive to hospital.  Raymond was breach and in trying to turn him was severely injured by the doctor. He would have  that damage all his life. He was crippled from the waist down . Not given the hope of ever walking. He eventually, after years of operations and wearing callipers ,would .But one leg would never be more than a stick . But that is another story and probably not mine to tell. This was the start of frequent separations and difficult years during my childhood. From that time on until I was twelve I was more often than not under care of the naval welfare system . This,I'm sure is what made me estranged and different from my family. I had spent too much time as an individual and was used to my own company. Not good for a child.

Hardly had my mother came out of hospital we ended up in Malta ,where my father had managed to get transferred too due to my mothers health.Here my youngest brother Steven was conceived and born . There is just over a year age difference between Steven and Raymond. I can remember flying for the first time and I loved it. I always would and always will. When I eventually started working on and with aircraft it was a dream come true. Sadly my own health problems would take me away from that environment.

Those were strange years the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties. Due to the second great war this was when countries still had rationing of different goods. Industries heavily hit by wartime shortages ,economics and lack of staff were gradually rising above them. There was a new found freedom . The war had caused a lot of the social barriers to fall away and the points of view of the different classes were having a big revision. It was a time of experiment . Clothing ,music, jobs ,wealth and differences between the sexes was under scrutiny and very big changes were coming about. The true years of mass production, education social reform and hope for a better and more affluent future was coming to the fore. But still the world was split. New nations now would dictate what direction economics and power would go . The great divide between the east and west would for the next forty years be the biggest factor to control the world. Into this I was born and would grow up. More has happened in the last fifty years and at a faster pace than the two millennium before.
Malta would be the lull period for me, my mother would go through several cancer operations. Raymond would start on his life time of having his body repaired and Steven would be crapping everywhere screaming to be fed and  generally being spoiled. This would be the longest period in twenty years that my father and I would spend in each others company and he didn't have a clue how to handle me. I was a strange child. I was born old in spirit and had already shown my stubbornness and to paraphrase the movie "I saw dead people". I still do , but that is another story and will really confuse  those unbelievers.The funny thing is though I don't believe in life after death. Been there , done that and no bright lights .tunnels or ancestors the other side. But I will write on it one day.

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