Sunday 4th September
And now for a small apology; I realise now, re-reading together the two pieces about my early memories of London, how dreadfully sad they sound. I cannot really believe I was that sad as a child. Perhaps these memories are not so much specific, as the result of many nights laying awake and thinking about Cyprus and leaving my father, or had I lost him somewhere, because I couldn’t really remember saying goodbye, perhaps he had got lost on the boat back to England. But no, he had definitely stayed behind; I knew that much, as Grandma had great pleasure in relating it to all and sundry. She took almost a relish in letting people know, and the complicity in her voice, “Of course, the child’s father stayed behind in Cyprus. Yes, a bad choice my daughter made I am afraid.” Was there a knowing wink in her voice? As if they all knew the reason he stayed behind and nobody had told me, and yet I almost had to go along with it all and as I got older it was just assumed that I knew the whole story. Well, of course, nobody knew the whole story, and you will just have to buy the book to find out.
But no, I wasn’t always sad. It may just be the act of remembering that throws up this miasma of misery around coming to London. Maybe on a different level I was really enjoying the adventure of it all, and had, say, my father joined us later, I may have been writing quite a different story altogether. Perhaps if I had had a brother or a sister things might have been different too, but I had to deal with it all on my own. My mother hardly ever spoke to me, and Grandma was always the one informing of things rather than sharing them. She was always the fount of knowledge, but would never put up with me moping about or being maudlin’, so I had to do my moping on my own. And I seemed to be left on my own an awful lot, there was no television to crowd around, and we didn’t have the wireless on much in the evenings either, so I would wander up to my bedroom, and write up my diary or read another Agatha Christie, or just lay on my bed and think about it all.
So a little apology and a small promise: that I will try to be a bit more cheerful over the next few posts.