Sunday, 27 May 2007

I have gone tiny

Oh dear, seems like my entries have been coming out in very tiny print.  Sorry to those who thought they were having a bad eye day.

Have been fiddling around on here and blimey ... look what I can do, post a blimming picture properly today.  So just before I lose this again, here is a picture of me and my Auntie Lila taken when I visited Poland for the first time and met her 2 years ago.  She is small but she is fiesty. 


Off to be lazy again.

Hugs, Terry x

More of those memoirs

Hope you enjoy this too.

Hugs, Tells x


We arrived in London, where we were met by some people from the firm whom Father was to work with. They took us to a hotel.

Maria, Danshell and I were put into one room. The nights were quite hectic for we carried on all night. Danshell made us laugh so much I couldn’t stop giggling and couldn’t get off to sleep.

We kept doing the beds. They were quite different to what we had been used to. On the Continent we had huge pillows and a feather bed to cover us.

The feather bed was a huge pillow to cover the whole body, filled with down. It was very light and beautifully warm. The covering was changed everywhere, the tick was red and the covering would have inserts of lace showing the red tick through.

The English bed was a hard small pillow, a cold sheet and hard heavy blankets which were in a muddle all the time. So we had to keep getting out of the bed to put all the blankets and sheets in order.

During the day the parents left us in the Hotel while they went out to see to things to do with staying in England. They were all on contract for three years.

In time we arrived at Brimsdown Station. We sat on a bench on a long platform and waited. I don’t know what for. It was very countrified. We saw the distant hills of a forest (Chingford), all around the station were fields and a road not far away with houses.

The houses were a little like the pamphlet we had received in Austria only they seemed wider and lower.

We were taken to the houses, Mrs Rudolph in the first, then a few houses further Mrs Mendrys, next door but one we were shown ours.

Mrs Szymatowice was to live in the road behind.

Our furniture had arrived and the unpacking soon done.

It seemed a huge house, there were two rooms and a kitchen downstairs, a bathroom, toilet and three bedrooms upstairs.

I was given the little box room. There was a gas stove in the kitchen and a sink. In Austria water was brought into the flats with large jugs from a tap in the hall.

We, the children, were taken to school. Some children would come for us and we walked a very long way and home for lunch and again in the afternoon.

In Austria, school was only in the morning and we had to do homework at home in the afternoon although we started at 8 a.m. and finished at 2 p.m.

Maria, Danshell and I were put into different classroomsbecause of our ages. We met only at playtime and on the way to and from school. We could not understand a word. Soon we were whipped off to another school. A different direction but even further.

Nuns had descended on us. There were Polish nuns among them, so of course we had to go to their school. I was put into Sister Stansislow’s class. She was a chubby sister always fussing. She called me Dzieckcko which means child in Polish.

She had been to Poland although I think she was Irish. She could not forget Poland. She could not speak Polish very well but she spoke to me all the time.

Proze, Dzieckcko! All day long, Proze being "please".

She was like a flapping old hen around me. Her excitement at practising her Polish was unbounded.

Maria and Danshell she tolerated as my friends but showed no interest in them, only being able to speak German.

I think it was mainly through her I learnt English very quickly.

I have met Maria this year - 36 years later and she still speaks with an accent, although I find people will not believe I'm a foreigner at all.

Sister Stanlisaw had a very funny way of teaching - she had no shame.

She took me into the playground for games.

The classes were mixed of course. I had become used to that in my first English school, ignoring the boys!

But not with Sister Stanislaw, she made me play games like ‘The farmer had a wife’, where you had to get into the ring with a boy to be his wife and worst of all some game where you stood in a ring and somehow you had to kiss the boy in the ring!

I would not do it. I’d run off in tears with everyone laughing. I hated the games.

Then she would have this horrible Alfie Cook, who looked like a monkey, thin puckered lips, hair standing up all over his head and round thick glasses making up stories.

The stories had to be acted. He would, with Sister’s encouragement, choose me to be his leading lady. The story was always about a prince and princess who would have to end the scene kissing!

By that time I realised it was better to suffer the kissing than to cause a rumpus by refusing.

He would approach me for the kiss leering at me. I would screw my eyes shut and pretend I was somewhere else, but as soon as I sensed him near I would quickly turn my head aside and he would miss my face and do ‘the kiss’ somewhere in my shaking hair.

I hated Alfie Cook! I have a photograph of agroup with him in it and even now I’m not surprised, he looks awful!

I did manage by that time to live with boys. There was a little boy David next door with whom I used to play with. He was always saying ‘Ay-Ay-Ay’ when asked a question. I tried to find out what ‘Ay’ meant - no-one seemed to be able to tell me.

I would have to take Father some food to his factory and all the men were very friendly.

They taught me to say words in English and when I told them to Sister Stanlislaw she would go as red as a beetroot.

When she had got over the shock enough to speak, she would tell me they were something dreadful. So when I went to the factory and got talking to the men I would repeat the words, knowing they meant something nasty, all innocently, going round the men in the factory and saying them. Some would roar with laughter, others would look shocked. I’d look at them to see their reaction. On the whole it was quite good fun. But I did not repeat them to Sister Stanlislaw.

Mother would send me to the shops with the unfamiliar money. Some of it was very big. Pennies they were called, although you could not buy as much as with the silver money.

In a sweet shop there were two sisters, elderly ladies, they called everyone ‘Duck’,

In the shop next door was a dark haired woman. She had a load of black frizzy hair and lots of make up on. Her husband was old. At least 40. She must have married him for his money. Years later she was old too - but he did not seem any older than when I first saw him, so perhaps she did not marry him for his money at all.

On the corner was a fish and chip shop. It smelt awful. When I walked past it I would turn faint. My stomach would get the wobbles and I would have to run to get away from the tainted air.

If the woman next door asked me to get her chips I’d find another girl to go in for me and give her my reward money, a penny.

In time of course, I learnt to love chips and other English delicacies.

In the road behind where we lived a woman kept a shop in a house. She would fill a glass for you of mustard pickles for a penny. They tasted wonderful. They don’t make tasty pickles like that now.

There was a factory opposite our house. At he back of the factory were sand pits and cement works. In the pits it was fairyland for the children. Bushes crew and ponds galore. Shallow pools where the sand had been taken out.

There were frogs and toads, frogspawn and then they would grow into newts, then they got larger and larger until they were fully grown frogs.

We would play in the water, taking out frogspawn and put them into old rusty tins we would find.

Dragonflies would fly over the water. They were very beautiful, their wings shining and shimmering with a thousand colours and lights as the sun flashed on them as they flew. But we were all frightened of them. They were too big.

In the water grew reeds and we would tear them up and plait them and make pipes and mats.

Around the cement factory lay big cement stoves. We would make houses out of the block. We would play mothers and fathers. We would get sand from the pit, mix it with water and make pies with the assortment of tins we found laying around.

Father would go to work. He would have to search for anything he could find for the house.

Mother would stay at house cooking the pies.

Sometimes we would be film stars, Ginger Rogers and Joan Crawford. Mostly I was Joan Crawford. I would walk around tossing my hair. I would discuss my leading man, Clark Gable.

Sometimes lots of children came to play. We would all play together, hiding seek, statues, where the girl who was ‘he’ if she turned around and caught someone moving would count her ‘out’. The idea was that while ‘he’ turned around you had to move to the front. As soon as he turned to face the players, they had to pose as statues and of course the one who managed to creep to the front without being noticed, played ‘he’ next time.

We played ‘film stars’. ‘He’ would call out initials of famous film stars and of couse the one who guessed the initials became ‘he’.

My favourite was ‘truth and dare’. You would be asked ‘truth or dare’, if you said ‘truth’ you would be asked to tell the truth, mainly if you kissed boys and things like that. If you said ‘dare’, it was much more exciting. You would be dared the most terrible things. Like going in the middle of the road and screaming or trying to stop cars and get lifts, or shouting something nasty at men or going up to someone to ask them something like ‘can you tell me where Mrs So and So lives? We would then hover around while the ‘darer’ would approach someone to ask for Mrs So and So. We would all die laughing.

More of Mummy's memoirs

Oooh, I haven't put any of this for ages (December) and I so I have decided to type up a bit more.  Another instalment to come shortly. 

Hope you all enjoy.  Hugs, Tells x


Gradually I became aware that we were going to move again. To England. Everyone seemed jealous.

Father had been on a contract to Austria for three years with the Krup Group and the three years were nearly up.

From England we received pamphlets with houses printed on them, Bay windowed house as we had never seen with round porches around the front door and a strip of garden. Three other families were to come with us. The Mendrys’, Rudolphs and Szymatowice’s. The Mendrys’ still only had Peppy, the Rudolph’s had a boy, Anton whom they called Danshell and the Szymatowice’shad Maria. Maria was 14 years old and Danshell was 14, Peppy was 2.

I was very upset having to leave Gise. We promised to write. I gave her my most treasured possession as a keepsake. A cardboard clock with moving hands by which I had taught myself to tell the time.

We were to go first. Mother and Father wanted to stop in Poland to see their friends, then we would meet somewhere in Germany.

Back in Poland we stayed with the people upstairs where we had lived. The parents of Marynka who had trodden the cabbage with Father.

Marynka had married and had a baby. The baby had died. There was a little photo of her on the wall under a little altar.

While we were there Father had to return to Vienna for something was not in order with the travel documents. He did not return the time he was expected. Mother threw herself into a panic. Everything happened to Father. He had been arrested at the frontier! He had been met with an accident. There must have been a train accident that had not been announced. All sorts of things had happened.

I got quite panicky with her. I could not imagine life without Father.

He turned up though with some vague explanation that did not satisfy Mother. She carried on and on and after a few stormy days came to the conclusion he’d been carrying on with the young stage artist whom we had stayed with in Vienna.


We somewhere met the rest of the party on the way because I remember travelling with them. Whether it was in England or still on the Continent I don’t know, although we did have a stop in Holland.

In Holland Father had his sister Marynia. She was married to a Dutchman of Polish descent. They had three children, Maria about 17, Stefan about 14 and Agnieska 8.

They lived in a little box house. My Grandfather from Germany joined us there. He was very much like Father to look at, quite plump though with big white whiskers. He always smoked long thick cigars. He had silver money done up in a long paper tube. He gave me a big silver Mark.

The children all seemed to have bicycles which had license plates on them.

I played and slept with Agnieska. She was my own age and although she spoke Dutch we could understand each other very well with my German.

Soon we were on our way again.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

this, that and the other


Ok, here is a little picture to tease you ... more pictures to come ... I can only seem to get one in at a time and need to take some more now the kitchen is almost complete.

Hmmm, today lady boss called me into talk about my rise and told me it made no difference how long anybody had been at our firm ... we will all get the same money.  That told me then!  Told her then that she had her opinion on what she thought was fair and I had mine.  Funny, really as I haven't made any official complaint, they are the ones that keep on about it!  The new girl is quite nice and I actually do like her ... but I am still peed off that she is earning the same as me, so there!!!

I can't tell you how pleased I am that I am not at work tomorrow.  Yay, although I only have tomorrow off because I have to take Rosie to have the brace fitted.  Brace day at last!  She is not at all nervous although she realises that she will be feeling some pain while it settles down.  I am going to meet her from school at lunch time and we will be ladies who lunch and then plan to have a good time looking round the charity shops before we go for her appointment at 3pm. I must also make an appointment for myself first thing at the doctors because I almost run out of my blood pressure tablets and I don't want to go bang.  Its almost impossible to get an appointment to get my blood pressure read with the doctor!  She is booked up weeks ahead for goodness sake.  The receptionist told me 2 weeks ago that I would have to phone tomorrow and say that it was urgent that I saw the doctor, what a palarva!!

I had some great news at Matthew's school when I went for the parent's evening.  As you know he attend a moderate learning school and I was amazed and proud to be told that they think he may be able to take an English GCSE.  My Barb would be so proud.  I had a little tear in my eye.  I wasn't so pleased though to be told that he was king of the belchers in one particular class.  He has been taking advantage of a young, new teacher.  I was amazed that she hadn't even contacted me about it.  Now I know, I can confirm that his reign is now over!

I had to dash out the other evening to get him some new school trousers.  He is growing at a rate of knots and is now 5ft 9inches with size 9 feet.  Oh god, he is going to grow out of his bunk bed and then what will I do?  He is very slim with a 28 inch waist so men's trousers are no good as even a 30 inch swims round his waist.  In the end I managed to find some lovely, easy care ones from Matalan for only £7 each, which have buttons with elastic tags with cut outs in which you can pull tight ... thank you Matalan!

Great excitement here ... Mr Enthusiastic has put my new switches and plugs on in the kitchen ... one left to put on, watch this space.

Martin is coming back this weekend and the children are really looking forward to seeing him.  I hope we have a good weekend together.

Right, off to do some wishy washy.

Hugs, Terry x

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

My bread a picture at last


Well blimming 'eck ... Ally alerted me to the fact that there was something different about adding pictures and I have found that I am able to add my bread at last.   Now its really easy, had to be if I was able to do it and it looks very professional.  It is delicious just after baking and for the rest of the day.  Sliced thinly with some cheese on the side, ooooh.

8oz self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1oz butter
1 smallish onion finely chopped
4oz mature cheddar cheese coarsely grated (I just chopped it up)
1 egg
4-5 tablespoons of milk

Mix the flour and pepper together and rub in the butter

Stir in the onion and cheese and make a well in the centre

Whisk together the egg and milk and pour into the well and mix to a soft dough

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed quickly into a small round of about 6-7 inches

Using a knife cut a lattice on top of the round, pressing quite hard so definite cut marks showing

Put on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 190 or gas mark 5 until well risen or golden brown (about 40 minutes).  Turn the bread over and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

I hope you are able to try doing this.  Let me know what you think of it, its a great hit in my family and last time I did it I ended up having to make another one and fighting them off of it until Paul got home and could have a slice!

ps:  Got home to find the tiler has been again and tiles all grouted now ... so not much to do now and the kitchen will finally be done (new plugs put on and decorating ceiling and wall).

hugs to all, Fanny Craddock the 2nd aka Terry x



Saturday, 12 May 2007

Hello everyone, well here I am on a sunny Saturday morning, which makes a nice start to the weekend.

I feel so sad at the moment, worrying about little Maddy and I even had a nightmare this week about it. It brings to mind a lot of sad events in my own life, particularly concerning paedophiles.  I pray to god that this little girl was maybe taken by someone really wanting a little girl and not some awful paedophile.  I don't condone her parents leaving her alone but who would imagine in their worst nightmares that such a terrible thing would occur. Please god she is found safe and well.

Turning to other things, I was shocked to see the room where Jeannette is having her treatment.  That made me sad too, knowing that my two sisters had face it too.  It was my Andrea's birthday yesterday, we lost her in 1999.  She went totally crazy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and after she had had the operation she was convinced that she was still waiting to have it done and they had to move her into a separate room and she had to have psyhciatric treatment.  She was just so shocked that she had cancer she just lost it for a little while.  She said her turning point was when she was afterwards waiting for this treatment and saw little children waiting for theirs and that seemed to pull her back.  God bless you Andrea, I miss you so.  Our long telephone calls where my ear would be hot after talking for so long.  She would have loved the internet.  For years she was part of a postal blog involving about 8 girls, they wrote for about 20 odd years I think.  All young mothers together, sharing their lives.  As times got better for them all, they would meet up in London, firstly for just lunch and then they used to make a weekend of it, staying in nice hotels.  I am sure if she was here now, she'd be on the computer all the time.  She was such a lively person, always on the go.  If this blimming AOL worked properly and let me post a picture today I would put one on.  Lets hope I can get my buttons working properly again soon.

So, all in all, I have been feeling a bit blue.

Work has been challenging this week.  I have managed to be fairly nice to the new girl, through gritted teeth (or what I have left of 'em).  Big Boss has called me in twice, trying to get round me and even left an orchid on my desk the other day.  Hmmpppph.

I haven't mentioned that I am off to have my root canal on the 2nd June, the day draws nearer .... makes me realise what a coward I am especially when my friends here are going through worse.

I am off now to visit my good friend Laura.  I met her in a lonely lane in Greece many years ago when we were on holiday in Zakynthos and have been friends since.  I am going to try and help her with her computer ... I hope I can.  Its nice to have a lazier weekend as last weekend I worked Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday clearing up the office.  Double time was nice and it has helped pay for our little holiday in August but has left me exhausted!

Last and not least .... the tiler cometh on Tuesday!!! Hooray.

Hugs to all and hope you have a great weekend.

Terry x

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Wages of sin

Life can get you down and most days you can forget how lucky you are just to be still here and living it.

I was just reading my local paper and have seen that a good friend to my family has passed away.  Phil, a good neighbour and friend to my mum and stepdad.  He was a very nice man, would do anything for anyone.  He was a Bevan boy during the war. 

A Bevan Boy was a man of military age forced to work the Coal Mines of Britain in WW2 , under a scheme devised by Ernest Bevin , Minister of Labour.

If you refused- 6 months imprisonment . Men who wanted to fight for their country were given no alternative.

They were employed from 1943-1948, received absolutely no compensation -after the war the UK Government burnt all the records to prevent the men from claiming.

There is now a motion going through Parliament to get these men recognised and given compensation.

One good thing about his Bevan boy service was that Phil met the love of his life Marion when he lodged with her family during this time of his life.  He married her and they came back to his home town to live the rest of their lives.  Phil went on to be a fireman and then when he retired he took a job at the local funeral parlour and I was proud that he looked after my mum, step dad and Barb on their final journeys.  Being a Bevan boy though took a toll on Phil's health and he always suffered a bad chest.  His dear wife passed away a few years ago and I am sure they are together again now.  Goodbye dear old faithful friend and neighbour.

Here we are on a Saturday morning at 11 am and I am still sitting in my pjs!  Its a bit chilly and I will get dressed soon.  Rosie as usual is sitting watching Friends on the telly, I swear that girl is obsessed and has fallen in love with that Joey one. Her first crush was Dennis the Menace from the Beano comic, ahhh.

Paul has gone off to work and Matthew is at scout's camp, so we have total control of the telly, which makes a change in this house.  Its a shame we have to go out and get some shopping but then we will cosy up and watch a film later together.  Tomorrow I am working and maybe on Monday as well, so quite a lot of other things to do today for next week.

The tiler has gone silent!  No news is good news I suppose but Paul has promised to phone him and see "wots going on".  I shall be patient but not for too long now.

No Martin this weekend.  All has gone quiet which I hope means he is happy and more settled in his new job. 

I booked a surprise holiday for the kids this week.  I've booked a long weekend at a caravan park at Walton on the Naze, which is a seaside place in Essex.  Rosie has always wanted to go on a caravan holiday and when we spoke about it last she said it would be lovely towing the caravan and stopping where we like.  I had to put her right.  I am a woman who finds it difficult enough to park between two cars at Sainsburys, let alone tow a caravan and manoeuvre it!  I am not the gypsy type who could sit in the middle of a field either with my little log fire burning.  This caravan site is quite a busy one, with lots for the kids to do and entertainment in the evening.  Its also near the main beach and one of the longest piers.  The kids will go crazy when they see the funfair.  I intend to tell them the night before we go, so this is a secret I will have to keep until mid August.  They know we are going away at the end of the month but this will be a nice surprise for them.

Work ..... hmmmm, well I am going in to pay for this "surprise" so it will be worth it.  Apart from that I am a bit fed up as I have found that a new girl starting on Tuesday will be getting the same money as me!  I wish I hadn't been told as that makes me feel a bit peeved.  Big boss asked what he could do and I said give me a good reference!  Not that I would leave.  It suits me having the unpaid 3 weeks leave a year and also with my health background I would not be a good bet as a new employee, so I have my hands tied.  I shall do my best to be a big girl and be nice to the new bitch who is earning the same as me after I have been there 30 years!  Ooooh, can I do it????  Its not her fault, I know, just blimming annoying.

I have posted a picture of my family taken a year or so ago when my cousin from Poland came over.  We are not all there and there are a few imposters in there, the one in the polish tee shirt is a friend of my nephew but he does have a Polish mother.  You'll see me in the black tee shirt and jeans.  On my left is Matthew and my cousin, Klaudyna in the beige jacket.  Rosie is being cuddled by my sister, Chris, ahhh.

Chris is off to Ireland on her hols on Tuesday.  She is going for 2 weeks and renting out two separate cottages.  She loves Irish books and is looking forward to going and see some of the places mentioned.

Well, I have gone on and on again.  Hope everyone has a nice, restful weekend.

Hugs, Terry