Wedding

I love my husband so much. Do you know where he is? Can you find him for me?  Please help me.

You see those birds there, through the windows? I love watching them I do. There’s the pigeon. Oh, it’s gone again.

I’m looking for Bert, my husband. Have you seen him. Oh, he was a handsome man. Tall. Lovely. He was in the Guards. Everyone liked him. He made me laugh. Such a good sense of humour.

He should be here somewhere.

He wanted to move to Australia after the war. I couldn’t leave my mother, she would have killed me. He was a lovely man. When he died so many people turned out for the funeral. I didn’t know he knew so many people. Where did they come from?

I wish he was still here. Have you met him? You might know him. I loved him dearly, he was my Bert. We never argued. But I didn’t want to marry again. I never wanted anyone else. He was all I wanted.

Have you seen my wedding dress? I keep it in a box on top of the wardrobe. Go and fetch it and have a look if you like, I don’t mind. I used to get it out now and then to have a look. I suppose it’s still there. I don’t expect anyone would be interested in it now.

I was so lucky with Bert. We were a team. I loved him and he loved me. I miss him so much. Did you know him? He was around here before, but no one can tell me where he is. I’m looking for my father too. Transition.

My father was a coffin maker, we lived in Docklow then, and he had his shed where he did all his wood work next to the house. He was good with wood he was.

Do you know Hamnish? It’s not far from here. If you ever go there, have a look at the Church doors. He made those. Lovely they are. I wonder if they’re still there.

I married at Hamnish church.

My mother didn’t come to my wedding. She didn’t want me to leave her.

We always knitted together, my sisters and me and mum. The needles and the wool and we would knit. My mother wanted a dish cloth, something to wash the dishes with, and I knitted her one. She taught us to knit. She knitted a lot, jumpers, vests and things like that. She knitted a lot of jumpers for my father.  My father was good at knitting too.

But Aunt Lilly came to my wedding. She lived on a farm at Bolstone Court and I used to visit her during the school holidays. I think I had a perm for the wedding.

Bert wore his best suit. All my brothers turned up for it. It was only family. Bert had two sisters but only one could come because the other was looking after her baby. After the reception, we went straight to Bolstone Court and Aunt Lilly washed new sheets for us. ‘Better to get into,’ she said.

I met him at a dance. I was only 14. We used to cycle for miles to go to dances in those days. They were in village halls and places, someone on the piano, like that.

I was a good dancer, everyone said so. I danced with an American soldier once, during the war. He threw me over his shoulder, woop! My parents weren’t best happy when I missed the last train home.

British-women-dancing-with-American-soldiers-601603

But they still used to invite American soldiers home for Sunday lunches, to give them a little taste of England. They smelled nice and had good teeth. They used to bring us tins of peaches.   I’ve got a letter from one of them somewhere.

One of my friends, Betty, married an American soldier, Chuck, during the war. They moved to the US but she didn’t like it so they moved back here. He used to spend a lot of time with us. I didn’t think much of her.

I like dancing. I used to go to dances with Bert. The old dances, waltz, foxtrot, you know.

That first dance when we first met, Bert saw me and said: ‘I’ll have her’, can you believe it? laughing. I’m short, and one of the first things he said was, ‘oh, here comes Tiny’. He called me that until the day he died.

It could have been a bit difficult I suppose because my husband’s brother also liked me. But I preferred Bert. He was a good husband.

It was love at first sight. We were married for many years.

I worry I get things wrong. I forget things.

Mum lost dad when I was four years old, so she had cows and calves, cow for the house and some sheep and some pigs, to kill in the winter or in the autumn and to eat in the winter, salt them downstairs in the cellar.

You see this? A necklace of wooden beads she wears around her neck.  He made this for me. We used to go for walks on Dinmore Hill and collect nuts and seeds. He made this. He’ll tell you himself when you see him. I’m hoping he’ll come in this afternoon.

We had a winter wedding, Boxing Day, December 26th1942. Weddings weren’t big and fancy like they are now. Our reception was just a few sandwiches at my parent’s home in Docklow.

They had a large room there for us all. You’ve seen my wedding photo, have you? I’ve got it somewhere.

Look there – can you see? He’s lost his arm in that photo. Was shot off by a sniper on the German/Belgium border somewhere, during the war. Never held him back though. His other brother was a Desert Rat.

I was a lot taller then, I’ve shrunk. He was tall though, and good looking. What do you think of my wedding dress? I didn’t even choose it, laughing.

My father found it in a shop in Hereford and bought it for me. I didn’t even try it on. It looked alright I suppose. My sister was my bridesmaid. She died very young. I still miss her.

Where’s Bert? I love him so much.

I don’t know if he is dead or not. I can’t find my father. I danced with black American soldiers during the war. ‘I’ve lost part of my brain’, tapping her forehead. I don’t know where my husband is. Where’s my daughter.

There’s the pigeon. He’s back. Can you see him? There he is.

homing-pigeons-china

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s