When in town on Monday I met an old flame hadn’t seen for many years. To my old eyes she still looked as beautiful now as she was then. Over the years I have often wished I had asked her to marry me, but at that time I was too busy living the high life with my mates. When I did decide to ask her, I found out she had recently married someone else.
She had her granddaughter with her, a very pretty teenager with impeccable manners. I suggested that we went for a coffee at Costa Lot to catch up on the events of the last lost years.
We must have sat and chatted for a good hour, both realising we had missed out being with each other in all those years. She had two disastrous marriages, both ending in divorce, and I said I had been divorced and was now living alone (hint?).
I told her about the time my ex-wife was pregnant in the first three years of married life. In those days, 1960’s, it was still the norm to have your baby at home, unless there were complications. Her time was getting very near, but we were very well prepared with the help of my mother-in-law and the mid-wife.
Then quite suddenly she went into labour early one morning, before her time. So I ran to the mother-in-laws house and told her to get round there as quickly as possible while I went to the phone box to contact the mid-wife. We lived on an estate where there was only one public phone box about 200 yards away. I got there only to discover it had been vandalised, the handset had been ripped out and the money box had been smashed open and obviously the money had gone.
By then I was getting frantic and then I remembered there was one private phone on the estate belonging to a local member of the Council. I dashed to his house and rang the bell. He opened the door after about 5 mins and I explained the situation to him and asked to use his phone. He said “Certainly not, this phone is private and will remain that way. I’m fed up with you people coming to the door asking to use it!” With that he slammed the door in my face.
So I had to run just over a mile to get to the next phone box, which was in working order luckily. I garbled out my message to the midwife and she said she would come straight away. I was out of breath, but somehow I managed to run the one and half miles back home, just in time to see the midwife pull up outside. We both rushed upstairs to the bedroom to see my wife holding my son and beaming all over her face, and saying “What kept you?”. My MIL had done a wonderful job, so all was well, I was more knackered than my wife was!
Wendy said what an terrible experience to go through, and then her Granddaughter piped up with “But why didn’t you use your mobile?” I was dumbfounded because she obviously thought mobiles had been around forever! Rather than try to explain I replied “Cos the battery was flat, I forget to charge it, Wendy will explain later when I’ve gone”.
I did have a walkie-talkie at that time, but it was on the Amateur Radio freqencies and wouldn’t have been any use in that situation anyway.