Within living memory there were many men and woman who kept secret the ‘shameful’ fact of growing up in an orphanage or similar homes for children who could not, for various reasons, be cared for by parents or extended family. Whatever the reason for their exclusion from society, the inevitable implication was that they were unwanted, by family and community.
Category archive: Nostalgia
The other day we trotted off with the other greys, the tinted, the bald and the in-betweens to see the film Shakespeare Live, marking his death 400 years ago.
Like some of the Bard’s plays it grabbed us from the start with Leonard Bernstein’s opening to West Side Story and its compelling choreography, to the close with Prokofiev’s menacing Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet…
I’ve always struggled to understand economics, which means I have a bit of cheek embarking on a view of the economics of the western world. Still, in my possibly naive view there are simple rules. Take Alzheimers for instance. By taking daily exercise, eating healthy food and maintaining mental and social stimulation, there is a good chance of avoiding Alzheimers. Similar rules apply for avoiding type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and probably many other diseases that swoop in when the rules are ignored.
Balham, London, 1961. I was twenty and my fiancé eighteen when we decided to get married. London was my fiancé’s home town. Being young and in love we discounted obstacles, the first being my girlfriend’s mother, who was not impressed by the idea. Not only was I from a northern tribe with a Liverpool accent, I was a labourer. We never did become pals but we learned to tolerate each other.
‘William, your birth mother has approached our department and asked us to try and trace you. How do you feel about that’?
That was the beginning of Bill Paget’s foreshadowed reunion with his mother. This is the second part in which he described how it all went…
‘William David Paget’ began the address on the envelope. Whoever could be addressing me in such a formal way?
Then I noticed the sender’s address the exterior of the envelope – Department of Social Welfare. Surely no-one was alleging that I might be the father of her child.